All work and no play makes me a dull girl. Well, at least. I've not written anything in weeks, which is annoying because whole scenes have played and gone in my head, never to be recaptured. However the solvent fumes are making me a very strange girl. Sorry, stranger girl.
However I did manage to combine cleaning crap with watching tv, setting myself up on the dining room table and getting through some of my old trusty if dusty ITC tapes because there was bugger else on tv, aside from Stargate. Treated myself to some classic Saint episodes.
Saturday was much the same, only because I was there all day cleaning, I managed to get through Department S, The Avengers and the Professionals, too. We went from the Saint allegedly mucking about Loch Ness in "The Convenient Monster" (and it so didn't look like Loch Ness) whch led to "Castle De'ath" which of course naturally led to more of dear Gordon in the Professionals.
Bro took over cleaning the last two complicated pieces of brass during a sterling episode of Department S (and yes, the white Jag went over the cliff) because I'd arranged a small menagerie of Christmas themed stuffed animals to keep me company and I was complaining that the reindeer was looking at me funny. Too much brasso fumes for me, apparently (not to mention inumerous cups of coffee). :)
the nips are getting bigger
Sunday was a very strange day, and it wasn't just me and the brasso fumes (must get more brass to polish). The first strangeness was seeing thousands of cyclists go past while we rode the bus into the city. It was some big charity ride and I delighted in watching them hit the first (of many) big hills in the heat and humidity. Red faced folks were about to discover why this ain't a bike friendly town, and it ain't just because of the motorists. Wait'll they get to the hills I used to have to scale going home every night (when I used to be several dress sizes smaller, natch).
Then I saw a Caravaggio flag fluttering upside down. This I took to be a very bad omen, but it actually wasn't. Ah yes, Caravaggio. I know I'm supposed to be going later in the week but I've waited my whole life to see some Caravaggios up close and personal and I'll go again, and again and again. We were supposed to be going to the Scottish day thing and it was in the Domain and we had time to kill and, well, wild horses couldn't have stopped me, quite frankly (though a Japanese tour bus nearly did).
The first thing you need to understand is that Caravaggio is my favourite artist of all time and all things, nobody else comes close, and he has been a favourite since I saw my first in a book (and until now, only books) when I was eleven or twelve or so, and if you've ever been to my home page you might have had a clue that I think he's pretty keen.
Where do I start? The whole punk rock Sid Vicious thing? Only MC was really, actually, talented, as well as being all swagger and bile. The fact, and this is why I love him the most, that he painted most of the subjects against neutral or black blackgrounds, with none of those poxy half arsed overly fussy filled in by my apprentice let's throw in a few temples and sheep and some trees that don't even look like trees backgrounds that really detract from the work. No, MC's pictures are raw, scowling, totally in your face and right there. There is nothing else to distract. Front and centre and very look at me. I also really loved the limited light sources - just brilliant and evocative. And man, could he paint. They're so good you expect them to actually step down from the frames.
They also had another fave, Georges De La Tour, including the Mary Magdalene one from LACMA that I was so thrilled to find and sat and admired for so long. I never dreamt to ever see her again, and there she was. Actually, I really liked all the women portraits in this exhibit: give it up for the chunky sisters!
The other thing I really loved about his work, and his followers, is the whole TVPG14 content rating. Say hello to the Old Testament you self righteous censoring right wing Christian pricks. Fuck, I love this stuff. Mad saints, torture, dead gods and an entire room of decapitations. That's right, a whole room of paintings featuring gruesome decapitations. All right! Yes!
And too feking funny to watch one harried mother hurry her child through the room. Heh, you silly cow, didn't you realise? This is Caravaggio and his peeps, man. Sex, drugs and rock and roll and lashings of the old ultra violence. Luverly stuff. I was rapt, absolutely rapt.
After that we retired to the cafe where mother decided she needed not one, but two baked cheescakes and a mocha to settle her nerves (poor me had to settle for tea and a grass salad).
So they load up my tray precariously with cups, plates and cutlery and cheesecake and I swing around muttering "If only I can get this to a table without dropping this...on a famous artist." For there, right on my arse as I swing around 180 degrees, I mean any closer and it'd count as frotage, was one Reg Mombassa, himself. Live and in person (and just when I thought I wouldn't be seeing any famous Kiwis in the gallery that week - meow).
Only my cat like reflexes saved me from recreating the old Sesame Street chef and his strawberry frosted cakes on Reg, so so you can imagine how close Reg came to wearing mother's baked cheesecakes and mocha, as cat like reflexes I do not have (his own damn fault for trying to sneak in the queue behind me though).
Somehow I managed to save the day, with my brother's would be career as an art critic flashing before my eyes - though mine would have been off to a very public start. It'd be like that I Love Lucy episode, I'd be known forever as the chick who threw cheesecake all over Reg Mombassa - and I thought my celebrity faux paus were just limited to cons. But no, I managed to hang onto the tray and its tipsy and rattly contents and Mr Mombassa seemed more amused by my predicament than was decent. I waved as he departed with his coffee and things settled back to normal.
Well, almost. The Chinese chappie in the AGNSW cloakroom saw Mother's clan badge and remarked he'd lived in Edinburgh for 15 years, then proved it by breaking into faultless Rabbie Burns. Too frelling funny. We applauded.
I also enjoyed a quick whirl around the new Asian galleries. Lots of good stuck hacked off various temples and a wide selection of plates, drapes, wall hangings and even a suit of armour. I dispute the labelling of one 17thC SE Asian design as a swastika though as culturally and chronologically incorrect as it's an ancient symbol and the proper name escapes me, not that I want to be a complete nazi over the use of the term swastika, as I remarked to my brother later. My inappropriateness amused him mightily.
Then we toddled over to the Scottish fair which, to be honest, was a tad disappointing. Only a few familiar faces turned up, so there was tea and gossiping, but little else. Some games, some dancing, a few stalls. Not even a haggis vendor.
So we hobbled back through the botanical gardens, sat on my favourite seats, because my ankle was very cranky by now, then onto Starbucks for another hit. Of course by the time I'd ordered the fraps (more work experience barristas) the cold front had blown in and we wished we had lattes instead. Oh well.
Going home on the bus we saw a full on bridal party and the bride, all done up like one of those toilet roll dolls, just sitting at a table in a cafe. Too funny. Then we rode through the storm, which was all over by the time we got home, not to say the storm wasn't impressive, it's just a really long, long ride home, and then I decorated my little mini tree, because I was in a mood to do so.
I was going to do those tapes I'd promised, but I was tired, and all day my Taffy Sense had been going, no, you don't want to do that, you want to watch Mind to Kill. Okay, I shrugged, though I couldn't see why. It starts, and it's not the advertised episode. I'm watching for about ten minutes, bored out of my mind, wondering why on earth I made myself watch this when everyone is being all weird and Welsh and Ioan. Oh.
There's a delay of about a minute as I violently curse my ancient vcr and remind it of its duty (I'm trying to wring a couple more years out of the beast until I can afford a dvd-r) but I only missed a minute or so of the lad. He's not in it much but there are a couple of nice closeups, though he does spend most of the episode getting beat up. He's so young, and his hair is as long as I've ever seen it, but there he is, Ioan. Well done, Taffy Sense.
After that I turned onto Stargate and it was the one where Daniel falls for the psycho killer chick and Jack gets all pissy and jealous. Yeah, I know, I'm going to have to narrow it down - grin. I love this episode, just to see Jack fret and pout. It's strangely slashier than your average non chick of the week episode.
Oh, and if you were expecting to watch Now and Again today on Fox8, forget it. They played it at 6am this morning without warning and luckily I managed to set a tape before I had to catch my bus. Bad, bad Fox8.