There was some chick wearing a painfully bright orange Tigger onesie with bright pink hair and matching bright pink heels on the bus down to Canberra, and, frankly, nursing a massive migraine, I simply wasn't in the mood. Apparently 47% of respondendents polled by the Sydney Morning Herald agree with my curmudgeonly view that animal themed onsies, worn in public, on public transport, are a sure sign that the end of civilisation is nigh.
Oh dear, having more and more of those grumpy old 'you left the house looking like that?' moments. Especially those girls who got on the train at some podunk stop, heading into Newcastle (UK) on a Friday night. Now I grew up in a place so reknown for its skanks and moles people still always raise an eyebrow when I admit to my geographic origins, so imagine what these girls must have looked like to set me back in my seat.
Another one of those wrist slitting I am turning into my mother moments (please, no).
Anyways, today I am dressed like I'm off to join Department S, and it was entirely unintentional. The only tops to hand (in the dark) were my powder blue top, the one that screams 'please slime me', and my ochre turtle neck, so, easy choice. Next I fumbled further and found my black cardy with the white piping, and yes okay, it is stupidly retro, but comfy, and, as it was raining at the time (blue skies everywhere now), I picked my pencil skirt and leggings and those new silly lace up boots with the chunky heels I bought and lugged clumsily all the way back from Canberra because they were on special and I am insane, just 'cause I didn't want my long skirts dragging through knee high wet grass on the trek to the bus stop. Put the hair up in a bun because I forgot to wash it and now I look like I'm ready to chase after naughty men in silver space suits. Oh dear. And yet I strangely don't care.
So, yes, Canberra. Went off to see the Turner exhibition, not because I'm wild about Turner, but because it was all the way from the UK and I figured I ought to go and get myself educated (as though I'd never frogmarched myself around the Turner Gallery at the Tate because I knew I had to).
Still wouldn't walk across broken glass to see a Turner (though catching a bus down to Canberra with a mighty migraine must count) but it wasn't too bad. Near the end of the exhibition period, so not too crowded, and, being a piddling little show for the colonies, featuring, as always, just the early stuff and the late stuff (never the good stuff with the artist at the height of his powers).
That said, I kinda like his early stuff. The little water colours of misty castles by moonlight, I kinda really liked. I really did. I also liked the Swiss mountains, having been painted of a time that Frankenstein also happened. I liked those, too.
Then we get into the whole peasants populating scenes of romantic ruins or mythological figures besporting themselves in nature. Like, please. (Aside: the naturist pics only amuse when done by Oz artists because I'm always thinking sandflies! mosquitoes! spiders! bull ants! sharp little baking hot stones! gumnuts! jellyfish! sunburn! sunburn in uncomfortable places!).
Then we were suddenly into the smeary orange canvases that are supposed to be something but I can never see anything (and I know it's an important pre-impressionist moment, but, still). At least I got to see the chunky, buttery paints that made critics of the time accuse the man of painting with his breakfast. Heh. Ahem.
Anyway, that was Turner. Seen and ticked off.
Onto my main man then, because imagine the squeeing when I looked up the night before to see what else the NGA had going and discovered a Lichtenstein exhibition. Good grief, they're like buses. No Lichtenstein exhibitions in decades, and then two at once.
So I wandered past the Impressionists (two paintings), Modernists (half a dozen, it really is the world's most pathetic gallery), the infamous Blue Poles (apparently Jackson Pollack was promoted by the CIA in the cultures wars because he wasn't gay or Jewish, which makes his promotion slightly more explicable and much more despicable and I really loathe him and his messes) to some gloriously bright yellow canvases. I had arrived. Mainly, almost entirely, stuff from the 70s, 80s and 90s (which explains the huge gaps in the Tate show) it was fun, and I liked very much, especially the Peace Through Chemistry series. Bliss, joy and happiness.
I know people call him a copyist, but if they can call Turner's egg mcmuffin smears proto impressionism, then surely Lichenstein pre-empted the idea of mashups and cultural appropriation when it was subversive, and not the norm. And I just like the cartoony modernist mashups. They make me happy. They remind me of the hippy trippy cartoons I watched as a kid.
So I got to see lots of paintings/lithographs/sculptures I've never seen before (languishing in the basement but suddenly back on the walls now that the Asian art wallows in disgrace) and I have a fuller narrative picture of his creative output (because at the Tate show, there were massive gaps, and now I know why, they're here). I felt wonderfully completist.
Swung through the Oz galleries (no Nolans!!!) but there were my other boys (Streeton, McCubbin, Bunny, Roberts, et al) and Bracks (my new fave) and a Whiteley, where I amused myself by looking past the sex in the foreground to note the wharf that now hosts the STC in the background. Because I'm weird like that.
Exit through the gift shop and across to the Portrait Gallery to a quick whip through but mainly there to see the Rix paintings, which were lovely. So Oz you could hear the magpies calling out and smell the gumtrees. The WWI ones were tragic, but they always are. Nobody escaped that war unscathed.
Then it was a big winding bus around Canberra (the scenic route and then some) and back on the bus and oh, tired, and still with the headache. Ah well, I've done me kulcha quota for the month.
It was night we we got in. I was concerned about travelling through my neighbourhood at night (the McDonalds the bus drove past was held up at gunpoint 15 minutes later, according to the papers), but I got home in time to see the end of a cut up version of Ripper Street. Thank goodness my fondness for Matty MacFadyen abdides enough for me to have bought the dvd, because, man, Ten was cutting some pivotal scenes, like the bribey, blackmailery recruiting of the wonderful Captain Jackson, which made me like Reid so much more (not an eejit and blind to his companion's dodgey past or present proclivities, unlike others on tv at the moment). I will pay good money though if Matthew could keep his shirt on. Yes, I know we're going to hear the story of The Scar sometime, but for now, spare me the back hair, please, I beg of you. (Himself snides that knowing about the back hair dampened his enjoyment of that version of P&P considerably).
I do love that show, but I think they've overdone it a bit with a boxset of Deadwood and an expresso machine, because, having indulged in an unhealthy number of 19thC penny dreadfuls and Victorian detective fiction (that I've picked up in my travels, mainly from the British Library, of all places), I can tell ya, they didn't all talk in that stilted, overly dramtic fashion. In fact, they often crack me up with their modernity. Or maybe it's just me wot knows what a palaver is.
Minor quibble, but I can supply a reading list of contemporary novels that they might find illuminative. Also, if they're going to keep 'inventing' science, they are seriously stepping on Inspector Murdoch's turf (my faveorite steam punky tv detective).
Saturday: A week has past of blah and blah but at least I submitted that quickie research job, and received thanks for my efforts, which is more than I ever get in other quarters (just thanks, mind, but it meant a lot to me as it seems I couldn't put a foot right otherwise).
I also have an exciting new fandom. Proper meltdown wear the dvd to a wafer fandom. It's been years, I thought I'd gone past the point of ever feeling that wow moment again, but there it is. Wow.
I mean, there have shows I've liked, watched, recorded, bought, did the reading, maybe even a spot of tourism (I'd have never have called myself a Tudor fangirl but it seems I've hit a lot of actual Tudor locations in my time), but nothing that has just smacked me in the head like this has. Not for a while. A very long while.
I should have know, I have a type, it's my usual trope: stallwart and true thieftaker seeks enigmatic, clever and dangerous bad boy with a mysterious past and many, many vices for adventures and crime.
Ain't it the way? It's not even the best show on tv right now, but it hits my honey spot. You know me and my weakness for bad boys with mysterious pasts. Oh boy. Just love the scene where they're drinking together, with the prison bars between them. Proper TV buddies never let little things like that get in the way.
Meanwhile, White Collar S4 has started down here, I've never see Bomer look more beautiful than he does in the first episode. Real drop ded gorgeous. I heard it was wrapping up, and several episodes short. Shrug. The hack writers really let that show down, it never reached its potential, it made Remington Steele look serious and complex. And, weirdly, my two favourite episdes were set outside NYC. What's that all about?
Never mind, I have a shiny new obssession.
Help Peter Pan Fly
Exhibition Review: Murder In The Library! @ The British Library
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Ten invasions of Britain since 1066
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Justice for Alan Turing?
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Documents reveal Bank of England sold stolen gold for Nazis
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July: The detective novel I was reading this morning suffered a bit of geography fail, unless the Austrian police are routinely concerned with the goings on in Venice. Maybe that old pooch led them astray again in search of sandwiches.
Speaking of which, I actually packed in a sandwich yesterday (made by Himself from the mountainous leftovers of the T-Rex he cooked for Xmas in July), but it was such a chore to find a quiet spot to nibble that was free of smokers, joggers, harpies with prams, children and other urban pests that I think I'll just give up on the idea of ever having a lunchbreak again. Sigh. Yes, I am a misanthrope, what of it? You'd be dark on people to, if you'd had my life.
Anyway, Xmas in July, just the novelty of a full roast dinner that isn't served on a 46C day, with the tin of expensive tea and the St James cake (with little iced snowflakes, how dear) saved back from the old F&M hamper. Cake was excellent, tea was nice, turkey was a bit of a disaster, but considering it was pretty much cooking with its legs still sticking out of the oven, twas to be expected. (Himself swears it wasn't his idea, it was the only turkey he could find). We're having turkey pie all week, oh dear (I say oh dear because while it's very nice pie (pies), I don't deal well with an unvaried menu, unlike others who'd be perfectly content with the very same thing dished daily).
August: Sigh. ITV asked me to come in for an interview, but as I'm in the wrong bloody hemisphere (shakes both fists at sticky fingered ancestors) that ain't never gonna happen. And so it came to pass, as I always knew it would. Finally noticed, and in no place to take advantage of the offer of a lifetime. Today was the the day my life was supposed to finally change, but didn't.
Also, Ian Rankin served back some mild twitter snark (just to prove to ITV that I am not, actually, an expert in my field).
It's been an odd week. I'd be sulking in my room with a box set of Endeavour if I hadn't done that yesterday.
I was just especially weary after a hard Wednesday (more gore than your average episode of True Blood) but I did go to the user group meeting and, despite everything, networking my little head off and offering my special low cost solutions to tricky problems (a standard keyword taxonomy of subject-descriptor should sort the most basic document management problems, as well as some filing and sorting discipline, rustic youtube shot with a phone camera will liven up a mundane training page) which were pretty basic but I collected some business cards and the address of a good coffee shop nearby, so that was one of my better efforts.
But after that, another meeting and a full day's work and some homemade soup from leftovers that would have been better left, I just wasn't up to anything more than watching Endeavour, which I really did like, and flipping through my old Brooklyn Museum guide (because it had pretty piccies in it, I wasn't up to any dense texts).
The reviews for Endeavour weren't good, and it is milking that poor old Morse cow for all its worth, but for all that, I liked it. Shaun Evans walks a fine line between homage and making the role his own, and he walks it very well, I think (and I saw that having actually seen John Thaw in the 60s via the excellent you must see it Red Cap). I like the comforting familiarity, the nods to Morses's inclination towards any suspect of the female persuasion, his inability to ever shout anyone a beer, the beginnings of the drinking that will finish him off, as well as the prickliness that was always there. I found it far more thoughtful and clever than the pastiche I was expecting. I liked it, and the fan shout outs made me smile.
Not bad for a series based on books by an old curmudgeon. I mean, when I was reading them I was shocked that Mr Dexter would casually use a word that everyone knew was wrong, even in 1980. Well, almost everyone, as the very next day there was someone in the front pages in the Herald being censured for having used that very word, and in public.
Anyway, that is neither here nor there. I had lots of US shows and Euro-cinema to watch, but it's always the old ITV (or BBC) I reach for). Also, Brooklyn Museuem guide was fun. I can't find it online, but I think I found one of the dogs from Ghostbusters in their collection (and now the NSA will be on me for searching for 'Persian' and 'Babylonian'). I also now know what a rebus is (hence the backhander from Mr Rankin).
Like I said, it's been an odd week.
In other news, I was nearly emparroted again last night, but ducked to fish up a dropped peg at the right moment. One of those parrots seems to think nothing cheers me up so much as a bit of the old pirate action, and he's probably right, but I do have to put my poor jumpers straight in the wash after he's spent all evening making himself comfy on my shoulder. Anyways, swing and a miss this time round. No yo ho ho-ing for me this week. Which is probably just as well.
2-8 August 2009
19 July 2013