Saturday, July 31, 2010

Breaking Bread...

A quote from John Stewart Collis's 'The Worm Forgives the Plough' (1973) - his observations and ruminations on agriculture after working on the land in England's South during World War  2:

When I got home I heard John Barbirolli conducting Beethoven's 'Seventh Symphony' over the air.  What was agriculture for, it seemed to me, except that such a thing as that symphony and the playing of it should be made possible?  To make bread so that it shall be possible for mankind to have more than bread and hear the scripture of the kings; to listen to a Beethoven, a Sibelius, a Tchaikovsky, uttering some far message to paradox and joy.

This book came recommended; it has had many reprints and the review on the link above is glowing.  Have you read it?  I think I'd enjoy it.

Pic: Arthur Rackham

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Shooting Stars....

This past week we had a visit from Ashton Kutcher, who was here for the Melbourne Premiere of his movie 'Killers'.  Stopping off in Sydney first, he visited a wildlife park and tickled a koala.  "Koalas have two thumbs, that kind of freaked me out.  Imagine how fast you could text with two thumbs", he said.

More of my vintage was the presence of dishy Robert de Niro, here filming his latest spy thriller, 'The Killer Elite'.

His scenes, as 'a wily veteran assassin' were shot at several locations in Melbourne and producers were able to depict Paris, London and Oman.

Shooting was ahead of schedule and Robert fled Melbourne's winter for a holiday in Bali with his wife and son.


Pics: Andrew Tauber
         Tim Carrafa

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

To Chloe...

To Chloe: Who wish'd herself young enough for me...
by William Cartwright (1611-1643)

Chloe, why wish that your years
Would backwards run, till they meet mine,
That perfect Likeness, which endears
Things unto things, might us Combine?
Our Ages so in date agree,
That Twins do differ more than we.

There are two Births, the one when Light
First strikes the new awak'ned sense;
The Other when two Souls unite,
And we must count our life from thence:
When you lov'd me, and I lov'd you
Then both of us were born anew.

Love then to us did new Souls give,
And in those Souls did plant new pow'rs;
Since when another life we live,
The Breath we breathe is his, not ours:
Love makes those young whom Age doth Chill,
And whom he finds young, keeps young still.

Baron Francoise Gerard

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

He'd never seen a frog!!

We had mentioned to our daughter that we were going to drive to the mountain opposite to check out the crevice where the Wedgetail Eagle nests.  Being school holidays, Nicole's always looking for something different to keep 9 year old Bailey amused;  the two older boys are happy to just laze around these days. They came up for only two days as Bailey had to get back home for his footy practice.

It was a freezing day, 3°C, so we rugged up and took our walking sticks.  It was only a ten minute drive but when we got there, it had started to rain and, to our surprise, there wasn't a track going in. So I'm afraid Nana was a spoil-sport and said I'd sit in the car but I also added that I didn't think it a good idea to push through the undergrowth, particularly as the weather was going to get worse and we'd left our mobile phones at home.

Click to enlarge
Our house in the distance -
it is directly under the
house furthest left

Well, we had a very disappointed boy on board, so we drove on a bit further and showed him the old gold diggings (I didn't take a photo there) and on to the river to watch the trout spawning.

This is the river below the Pondage gates.  As it is not irrigation season and the Pondage has been drained for maintenance; the river flow is at its lowest.  The barrier across the water is to stop the spawning trout from entering the Pondage and also to stop trout in the Pondage escaping into the river.

The Pondage drained
for maintenance on the gates -
fish find their way
into the old river bed

The Pondage full
(photo taken in Spring)

We headed home to show Bailey his first live frog.  We couldn't believe it but Grand-dad found him some in the woodpile.

The next day we took him fishing and he 
caught his first fish on a fly he'd tied himself.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Audrey's the one...

I'd never heard of QVC until yesterday.  They had a poll to 
name the most beautiful woman of the past century.  
Audrey won, hands down; that I won't argue with. 

British pop singer, Cheryl Cole, second ..

.. and Marilyn Monroe, third.

Well, each to their own but I would have pipped 
Elizabeth Taylor for a place.

Flattering for Cheryl Cole, at the least;
she's the only one alive to care!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Slow progress but enjoyable...

'The Soul of the Rose'
John William Waterhouse

One month ago my little package arrived from Amazon; a DVD of ten cross-stitch patterns and a book that came highly recommended by Willow of Willow Manor blog, "Savage Beauty", a biography of Edna St. Vincent Millay, by Nancy Milford.

The patterns depict ten of John William Waterhouse's paintings and I've chosen the one above.  It's very slow going, as you can see by the photo below.  This is as far as I've got in a month; I have to give it away when the back aches!  I imagine it will take about two years to complete - if I'm still blogging then, I'll post the end result!  


My workbench above.  It's very pleasant sitting at this window on a cold winter's day and doubly so when the sun comes out.

I'm slowly getting into the book as well and enjoying it immensely.   It's what I call a 'day book'; I pick it up when I have a few moments.