Moreidlethoughts Weblog

humour,art,gardens, books and whatever idle thoughts float through my mind (it's a very draughty mind.)


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A BLACK DAY

No, my friends, I don’t mean “black” in funereal sense. Stay with me and I’ll explain.

But first… as you know, I have  claimed the jaded “busy” excuse for  too long. My busy-ness was the making of an edition of artist books and now that I have mailed them to their distant recipients I can get back to more regular posting. Maybe! I’ll be posting  more about the artist book on our group blog (http://bookartobject.blogspot.com) later today.

So I popped into my little Computer Corner, clicked on my blog and thought: time for a change! Actually, there was a more serious reason for tinkering under the bonnet of this page…I had my eyes examined the other day and, as I had suspected, I do need slightly stronger lenses for close work. Dear god! Our house is already littered with reading glasses, must I add even more! 

The problem (with the blog) is not really the fault of WordPress (or even Blogger, where I still have a presence); it seems that whenever I pop into my Computer Corner and use this computer, my lovely laptop, I’m unable to enlarge the font. So I need coke bottle specs in order to see what I’m typing. Alternatively, I could just type and let you lovely lot to decipher it! 🙂

 

And now, about today’s title. Black. I suppose  a lot of people tend to think of it as gloomy, but I’ve always thought black rather stylish. One of those wardrobe basics that can be jazzed-up or toned-down accordingly. Not necessarily the preserve of pall bearers. Of course, I am a bit of corvidophile! Hey! If I say that’s a proper word, then it is a proper word. I just googled it..ooh! what a lot of entries!

But I’m getting side-tracked… the other day, I saw a black bird (not a blackbird because we don’t have those here) perched on a chair on the deck. Sort-of magpie size and with the bi-tone bill of a magpie, but ALL BLACK.

WTF? So I grabbed a camera and snapped a few shots, hoping they wouldn’t all be close-ups of fly screen mesh!  Click to enlarge.


I realise it’s one of the most pointless pictures ever to escape deleting, but I was curious, wondering if , perhaps, it was a magpie mutant. Or something. Of course, as soon as I’d got it on the computer screen and enlarged it I could see it was a butcherbird. But BLACK? Huh? I’ve only ever seen the Pied species here, but a little Googling filled the gaps.   http://birdsinbackyards.net/images/audio/cracticus-torquatus.mp3

If you click the audio link you’ll hear a very brief recording of their fantastic musicality. I’ve hunted around for a link that has a recording of the opening bars of Mozart’s 40th symphony, but no joy. Here’s the music, so if you have a  piano in your pocket…oh! OK, a flute will do…http://www.8notes.com/scores/10028.asp Now, take the tempo up a click or two and that’s what a butcherbird sounds like. Of course, the bird only sings the opening notes…

And don’t think ol’ Butch is our only classicist. Oh, no. The magpie does a very creditable first 4 notes of Beethoven’s 5th. Once again, I can’t seem to find a recording of that.

 

Finally…about the  new-look blog.  The background image is a photo I took a few weeks ago when The Man and I walked down to the beach. The tide being over in California or somewhere, we wandered through the mangroves and across the flats. The header image is a cropped portion of the same picture. Easy enough to change from time to time so expect “matching titles and images” occasionally!

Off to write that other post…

 


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DRYING OUT SLOWLY!

In our part of the world we’ve been more fortunate than some, but we have had some very heavy downpours.

Yes, I know it’s our “wet season” and I know we need good rainfall to flush algae from waterways and top-up reservoirs….but jeepers! enough with the mouldy stuff , OK?

I’m beginning to feel like a character from a Somerset Maugham novel!

My chief concern is that I can only proceed slowly on the books. I don’t want to have too many damp pages at once. So how do I manage? Well, I think Heath Robinson would probably have come up with a better contraption, but I use this:

With ceiling fans whirring gently (as opposed to clattering like mad helicopters) it does help. Of course, it’s in the middle of the floor. And a great temptation to little black furballs. But, like Mr. Hobson‘s clients, I have limited options! And I can’t use this when drying glued pages.

But I’m not the only one suffering. If you’re interested you can read more about this “project” on our blog.

And for further notes on the daily doings Chez Dinahmow, the cats can help.

Back to work…


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WELCOME TO MY DUSTBOWL.SORRY, NO POPCORN.

I still haven’t found that thing I was looking for, but I did unearth some “stuff” I hadn’t seen for years!

“Taking The Piss” is one of my more recent acquisitions. The page inside the cover where there is usually a warning in impossibly small font against plagiarism, unauthorised copying, et cetera is missing. That’s my excuse!

on the nose

The author(Genevieve LaRue) of this slim volume claims to be a de-frocked nun…who am I to take issue?

A book of “Booze” that I see, from the inscription, was a Christmas present in 1969.

booze book 1

I love the illustrations (by John Astrop and Eric Hill, according to a very badly stained flyleaf. )

Booze book

Here’s one of its recipes…

rustty nail

And a tattered and worn anthology that’s been twice around the world with me and has scars to prove it.

faithful companion

Puns and parodies and irreverence. Bit like moi.

In my eclectic hoard, back in the 60s, I counted several interesting books. So, apparently, did some tea leaf whose conscience  clearly wasn’t a burden. If someone ever offers to sell you a first edition of John Lennon…it just may be mine.

I collected 3 kinds of books in those days: serious literature (early edition “Doctor Zhivago” before Omar Sharif’s face graced covers, Tolstoy short stories, Guy de Maupassant and more, art books, particularly early engravings and Japanese prints) and what I call the “funnies.”

These were light-hearted verse, graphics.  Things like “Sam, the Ceiling Needs Painting.” These cartoons are still around, but probably censored on Amazon.

And I had a copy of  this ! So I was delighted to find it on Youtube.

Which is lucky, ‘cos the weather is anything but a delight. Even ‘way up here, the dust is thick ; I need to keep my inhaler handy and firefighters’ water bombers have been grounded. A bit scary when there are bushfires raging.

Of course, on the bright side, I’m saving electricity as Hoovering is just pointless 😉

Here’s a web picture from Nine News of one of the bridges across the Brisbane River, in Brisbane.

Qld dust storm grounds firies' choppers

Seems there IS life on Mars!


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OF DAEMONS AND OTHER FANTASTIC THINGS.

A few years ago I read Phillip Pullman’s “Northern Lights.” Intrigued, I went on to read the complete trilogy.(Northern Lights; The Subtle Knife; The Amber Spyglass.) At the time, my sideways brain could see a television series in this. Actually, I could see rather a lot in the story/stories! I loved the creatures and objects Pullman created; in fact, I even made sketches of some to better understand how they “worked.”

And guess which movie seems set to score well at the holiday box office? Yep,the film based on these books; released as “The Golden Compass.”

From a review:
Los Angeles Times, Sam Adams:

Given a choice between Iraq and fairyland, it’s clear where moviegoers would prefer to spend time.

As one might expect, the God-botherers are reading into this far too much pseudo-religious opinion, crying “foul!” at what they see as an attempt to undermine Christianity. Utter tosh! As with the “Harry Potter” stories, they are just that: stories. And a heck of a good read, too. Go on, head to the library or book store and find out. You don’t have to like them, but I can pretty well guarantee that you will find them interesting.

Over at Bad!Kitty, Heather has an intriguing link to the movie website, including a Daemon Test. Well, naturally, I had to find out what my Daemon is…

Sirion, the tiger

/ /

There was a code to paste into this post, but Blogger rejects the code as given!And you know what I’m llike at re-writing html!! Bah!
(I did this twice, by the way, scoring Myron, the Snow Leopard first time around.)

Now, those who know me would probably use the word “pragmatic”(or maybe “pig-headed!”) of me. Certainly, they wouldn’t think that I go around chatting to my soul/shadow!

Wrong! When I was a toddle-bod I had (as do most youngsters) an imaginary friend. The family accepted that this friend sometimes held up proceedings because of a broken shoe lace, or whatever. I would grow out of it. And that’s what they all thought…

But I didn’t. Not completely. I just grew up a little and learned that the weird stuff in my head was not in other heads. So that’s where it stayed. My imaginary friend morphed into something a little different, with a new name and is still there!

No wonder Pullman’s Daemons struck a chord!


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I suppose it was only a matter of time before this happened. It is the Silly Season, after all!
If this link is also giving you trouble, blame cyber gremlins and Google ‘Reuters Oddly Enough’ and click on electric eel
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Ooh! I haven’t shown you any “awww!- aren’t- they- cute” photos for a day or two. So, to redress the balance for all you aileurophiles…

Geiger, leaping out of a pot of silk delphiniums and hydrangeas; Sporran about to make his attempt from behind the pot.

Apparently, climbing into and jumping out of was not as much fun as shredding…

But at least my “Heath Robinson” kitten fence works! Too bad if the Wet Season arrives and I need my gumboots!

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LATERAL THINKING (that is to say, Oi thinks loyin’ down…)

Some of you will have noticed that my last post was a week ago…

And what a week it’s been!
I’ve had a ridiculously big win on the roulette wheel, taken a Ferrari out for a spin

(sadly, the win was just a few gabanzos short of the asking price; still, the test drive was fun. Ask the policeman!) and written a new opera in three acts for La Scala. There is a suggestion that La Stupenda may come out of retirement for this!

And because the computer was causing no end of irritation and frustration I have been back to my bookshelf.

A few years ago I bought what may be my “bestest-ever” book. Whoah! easy there, girl…you have a lifetime of bestest-ever books!

But this is one of those books which sets you thinking. Not unlike James Burke’s “Connections” of 30-odd years ago. (And if you follow the link, please be kind and remember that ALL the chaps wore those ghastly suits then! Yes, even the debonair James.)

I like things which take me on diversions or to dictionaries. And “The Art of Looking Sideways”
(Alan Fletcher) does just that. A big, fat armful of book. Not the sort to snuggle under the eiderdown with. But a delicious feast for the brain’s right hemisphere! I am sure some of you artists already know this glorious treasure trove and if you don’t, I hope I’ve piqued your interest. A soupcon? OK…why are carrots orange ? Originally a dark purple, blackish, white or even green, patriotic Dutch growers who supported the House of Orange, bred the “new” colour less than 500 years ago.

Similarly, Nick Bantock’s “Artful Dodger” which is also current reading, is leading my mind on a fantastic journey through his life’s links and connections and chances taken.

Now, I’ll be the first to stand up and admit that my shyness in my younger days often stopped me from taking some of those “chances.” I am not bitter.Far from it; depite missing a few opportunities I have had some phenomenal luck (real luck, as opposed to the little bit of kidology at the top of this post! What? You thought it was all true?Ha!Ha!) and a lot of fun along the way. Sometimes, on roads less travelled, sometimes on major highways, sometimes in the fast lane.

And always, stepping to my own drummer, smelling my own colours and only held in society’s mainstream by that damned shyness! Only by being a sort of Walter Mitty could I really let go of (perceived ) convention.

So it bothers me, bothers me a great deal, when I see youngsters being bullied into those same constricting conventions.

Yes, basic rules are important. If we don’t learn them we can’t later bend them. But must the education system ( make that plural; it’s not just this country’s!) stifle all the emergent talent that ought to be pouring from every developing brain! If little Jimmy is more inclined to paint pictures of men with odd-coloured eys and green hair, should anyone “correct” him? If Susie uses her pencil with her left hand and combs her hair with her right hand, should anyone tell her she’s got it wrong?

Our world owes more to the dreamers and non-conformist oddballs than to the puppets the rest of us elect to public office.

Praise, not punishment, is what is needed. Innovation, not endless repetition. Next time you see a kid talking to the can he’s kicking along the street, join in. Maybe that can has something to tell you…

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