Saturday, May 30, 2009

All from the archives. Above, live improvised sound and outdoor cinema

Filming at the corner King and Watt, Newcastle.

Former Victoria Theatre, Newcastle
Filming at Nobbys Beach, Newcastle.
Former Regal Theatre - a 'one man band'

Friday, May 29, 2009

The 'nerve centre' of the Dungog Film Fest was 'getting traction' before the event and was 'spade ready'.
'Done Sundance, done Cannes, Dungog'!
Dungog Film Festival is specially for those who love Aussie films. Stone Bros, shown at the opening last night, was yet another classic and many others are shown over these three days. Simply the best!

In this very small, quiet, conservative country town, an hour or so north of Newcastle, last night's dinner was nicely up-market and 'song' from the outlandish Paul Capsis was just right.
Although, small is beautiful, the arrangments grow more complex so as to appease big city visitors. Mining interests are an assertive sponsor of the event.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

An avenue of trees leads to the small church of Saint James in Morpeth 1837.
Edward Close ( of Closebourne, see previous post) promised that if he survived the Spanish Peninsular War he would build a church as an act of thanksgiving. Rightly or wrongly.
(The pulpit is a replica of the thirteenth century lectern in Beaulieu Abbey where Tyrrell had served before his appointment to the Newcastle diocese.)
I noticed a shell motif in the church and the scallop shell of Saint James is associated with the pilgrimage of Santiago de Compostela which ends at the large ornate cathedral of Saint James (the antithesis of that at Morpeth) in which, I read, is the Botafumeiro - a hugh cencer that dispenses thick clouds of incense as it swings. (Maybe it rivals Faultcults Pendulum mentioned here recently). The Botafumeiro is operated by a pulley and manpower and takes 40 kg of charcoal and incense and swings almost to the roof of the transept reaching speeds of 60 km/h !

Morpeth and Spain, our mind has the power to make leaps and bounds but for how long? A new type of search engine - for want of a better word, Wolfram Alpha, aims to make all knowledge immediately accessible to everyone in a new cross-referenced form - as I understand. A wonderful advance but will it spoil all the fun of the chase?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Two Bunya Pine trees grow near this home built in Georgian style in Morpeth and believed to be called Closebourne built in 1829 (which is very early by our standards). In this unshelted position the trees have become caricatures of more robust specimens.
The Bunya Pine, Araucaria Bidwilli, is indigenous to a small area north of Brisbane, north-east of Dalby and around the green Bunya Mountains where tall stands can be seen and walked amongst.

The female fruit cones are very large (football sized) and very heavy and contain segments with 50 to 100 edible nuts. The Aborigines would gather in those mountains to feast on this rich source of food. The taste is ok and the fruit can be used to make flour.

The avenue of trees in the photo on the right leads from this house to an Anglican church. Early on, the property, Closebourne, had gone to the Bishop of Newcastle, William Tyrell, and the church has maintained a large presence there over the years. A Theological College and Conference Centre grew there in time. The town would not be the same without that cluster, the trees and the simple, open, green setting.

Friday, May 22, 2009

The tallest tree is a Bunya Pine. Out of town, large old colonial houses very often grew one of these in the garden. Was it making a statement? The trees can be seen from a distance across the paddocks. Another photo of the tree is on the right 'sidebar'.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Jets football and South Korea. Currently from the Art Gallery of NSW, the above is (a small section of the screen) The ten symbols of longevity (Shipjangseng-do) from 1800s.

Traditional motifs are drawn from the four kingdoms: celestial, earthly, animal and vegetable and such works are often mounted on screens (folding and several meters high). Long life, health happiness and peace were the ideals of the time. Korean Dreams Paintings & screens of the Joseon Dynasty. The Lee Ufan Collection in the Musee Guimet, Paris. Below is a nice little screen souvenir from a Korean museum.

Now to important matters. The Newcastle United Jets play Ulsan in South Korea tonight in the Asian Championships and a win or draw is vital. Local ABC radio is on location and all will be revealed on air.
News of the Jets and their achievments are part and parcel of the local scene rather than that of me as a female looking at males or, rather, at a group of footballer males, at others - maybe.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Betty Boop, animated cartoon character, by Max Fleischer, had her beginnings in the 1930s and is an unusual addition to the display in this shop window.

Monday, May 18, 2009

After a long time the words of a song, Dance me to the end of Love, were found on ABC radio.
Leonard Cohen, recently in Australia, wrote the song and has explained how its meaning goes beyond the wedding song I though it was and Wikipedia explains this. He has a touch of genius.
The song rings with timelessness and renewal and, for a young couple, makes for a very emotive interlude in a Wedding celebration (if it accords with their taste and even more so if the wedding day is in fact the beginning of the marriage, as it seems to be in some societies).

Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin....
Dance me to the end of love....
Oh let me see your beauty when the witnesses are gone....
Show me slowly what I only know the limits of
Dance me to the end of love....
Dance me to the children who are asking to be born
Dance me through the curtains...
Raise a tent of shelter now, thought every thread is torn
Dance me to the end of love..
Dance me to the end of love Leonard Cohen
www. reveal more
Flowers for a local church wedding

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Looking skywards from the lower level to the central dome in the QVB Sydney as well as to other features.

In the Queen Victoria Building, Sydney, it is possible Umberto Eco could ponder on mystery and post-modernism in this escallating maze worthy of his book The Name of the Rose. And there is more trivia.
Another work by Eco is Foucault's Pendulum. An apparatus, with the same name, is used to demonstrate the rotation of the earth and one such apparatus was installed from the central dome in this same building. A bob or weight was allowed to swing suspended by wire from the top right down to the floor thru the galleries. (Leon Faucault first demonstrated this at the Pantheon in Paris according to Wikipedia.)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Which way is up? Ubiquitous but illusive Cafe.
Scones, Jam and Cream, are still, at times, known as a Devonshire Tea.
Butter and cream win the taste test but they are 'bad' fats yet other 'more healthy' spreads are full of additives. Butter, which is cream minus water, pure from the dairy, was the food of my ancestors. McDonalds Cafe even serve scones, jam and cream - now that's a worry.
Whether it is true or not, it has been said that all those oils (in spreads), except for olive oil, may cause Macular degeneration which results in severe partial blindness, rightly or wrongly, no matter what, a high fat diet, high cholesterol and hypertension are associated with that condition as well as all-round degeneration.
Moderation with an occasional treat is a start in the right direction....I of these days....

Friday, May 15, 2009

There are nearly a quarter of a million Peace Poles in 180 countries. They serve as a constant reminder to work for peace.

more words.....
....Words of life, words of hope....
Ancient words ever true,
changing me and changing you;
We have come with open hearts,
O, let the ancient words impart.
Holy words long preserved for our walk in this world,
They resound with creator's own heart.
O, let the ancient words impart:
Ancient words ever true....

by Lynn Desha

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ella Kazoo is an outlandish lass with wonderful unruly hair and simply refuses to do anything with it. In this likeable story the words She and Her are repeated in the way that is found in children's books which have a clever agenda that stress certain words.
A little child who hasn't sorted out the words she and her would often say: Her is playing with her doll. Or so I've noticed.

A look at this story book shows how much we take for granted and how it is not easy to sort out all the words we use. The clues must be scarce for a
Ella Kazoo will not brush her locks
stashes the brush in the draw with her socks
....She yells and she stomps and she gets in a tizz....
...her mother has called her a cunning wee fox....

However, a child doesn't need lessons and, I understand, they learn to speak automatically provided they are stimulated by hearing others speak. Chomsky has provided theories to explain the underlying magic. Reading and speech are not one and the same but these picture books must be good at enriching the learning experience.

One day when the child is old they may discover that she and he are subject pronouns while her and his are object or possessive prounouns or possessive determiners and some other points that can't be explained.

Ella Kazoo will not brush her hair. Lothian Books. Published by Hatchette Livre Australia P/L. 2006.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A nylon dress with fine handworked stitching is unbelievable nowdays.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Woman in a Rodeo, in the horse capital, Scone, last Saturday.
Rodeo as in Row-day-o is what old folks used to say (instead of road-ee-o).

Friday, May 08, 2009

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Newcastle Beach
I'm not an Andre Rieu fan. He is doing another spectacular in Sydney and will be wowing the audiences. All the same, the style of the show would be an amazing experience.

Monday, May 04, 2009

The Green Cathedral. With traces of strewn rose petals. A sacred space beautifully set among the tall trees with a vista beyond the altar to the lake.
Survivor comes to mind and after all, this cathedral is touted as a Wedding venue! Or imagine flaming torches illuminating strange midnight rituals.
This setting is at Tiona and was founded in 1923 and the story relates to the Mormon Faith.
Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormons (USA) has direct descendents living north of Newcastle in Tuncurry-Foster. The great-great grandson and 300 direct descendents are in Australia (and have been described on Radio National interview).
In the early days of white settlement their forefathers built a church at Tuncurry and at Tiona a sacred place beside the Wallis Lakes in an unusual palm grove where church reunions and children's camps would gather.
(Nowdays the nice busy Camping and Caravan Park, surrounding the Green Cathedral, is a business that retains no links with church. Several buildings from the early days remain there.)
The local descendents are not united with the church in Utah and have moved into offshoots of the faith. Family and genealogy are very significant to the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (Mormons) in Utah and hence they see the descendents as important and have notions of a Holy Grail bloodline which is revealed in more detail on Radio National (ABC) programs at these sites here and here.
Many people are probably entertained by the story Big Love, from HBO, on SBS TV, if they can suspend their disbelief in this far fetched tale of polygamy, which is very well cast (although is still well bested by Angels in America). The Mormon church (Utah) has distanced itself from the show and renounced polygamy over a century ago.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

One of our emergency departments has been upgraded at Calvary Mater Hospital.
What will be the response of Area Health to the threatened flu pandemic? Will some elective surgery be posponed?
I've been on the waiting list for elective surgery for months and months and got to the top of the list - so near and yet so far! However, immediate problems, such as flu, need priority.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Last Tuesday, other discoveries were made at Market-Town Shopping centre. These are Cakes on display at Sweet Poison open for lunch and coffee even bodice-ripping.

Friday, May 01, 2009

A big top, in circus style, has been erected over Market-Town Shopping centre, Newcastle West. The shadows grew. A boxing stadium had previously occupied the site. Synchronisity - I hadn't checked that it was theme day before I posted this photo.
Click here to view thumbnails for all participants