Friday, May 31, 2013
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
My family's from South Australia. It, South Australia, is in my blood as much as Melbourne now is. I hope you love this as I do.
Saturday, May 25, 2013
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Without a connection to nature, to natural forces, I'd feel I wasn't living in this world.
Since I was young, however, I've witnessed a disrespect for nature that shocks me. So, in gardening, I make some attempt to rectify that, to rectify what I see as the damage done in this world, by human beings. I want my garden to offer space to creatures pushed out by our development.
I'm thrilled then to have found this Tawny Frogmouth ( Podargus strigoides ) sticking around, at his station in our apple tree, for a number of weeks now. Related to owls, frogmouths are largely insectivorous. I was sort of hoping they'd be after mice too, for they, the mice, have been making their presence felt here!
Not to matter. You somehow know the world's a better place when wild creatures feel quite OK living beside you, so discreetly, so unperturbed.
Friday, May 17, 2013
More recently, I've got interested in the Second World War. Perhaps because it was the war my parents' generation endured, or perhaps because its mechanization reduced its participants to data, I'd not felt it to be as aching as the First.
For anyone interested, John Verney's obituary in The Independent is excellent. He is described there as a "painter, writer and illustrator," a man devoted to his wife and children, and to his friends.
Sir John Verney ( 30/09/1913 - 02/02/1993 ) wrote, in this, "one of the best memoirs of the Second World War."
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Paul Theroux's The Pillars of Hercules: A Grand Tour of the Mediterranean ( 1995 ). His intention was to circle the Mediterranean, clockwise, from Gibralter to Ceuta. He appears to have had no distinct plan other than this, over 18 months; I marvel that he just takes me along with him as he bumbles along the coast. He is erudite, open-minded. He isn't drawn to ruins or to sights or sites. He talks to you, the reader, as his confidant.
I, however, would probably traipse here, being fond of ruins, if they are not tourist draw-cards. Above is an image of the theatre itself, taken from a little book I've found, Provincial Art: Southern Italy and the Islands, published in 1957 by the Italian State Tourist Office.