how time flies!

Hello, hallo, bom dia and welcome to the first post for this blog. I’ve been ‘away’ for over a month but it feels like about four. The biggest hurdle so far has been resisting my survival instinct to go find a job (quick smart!) and just enjoy being a tourist. Certainly I’ve spent chunks of time surfing the net sussing out the scene and have applied for some jobs, but am happy to report tourism won the day!

On the steps of St Paul's Cathedral, London

Roughly the first two weeks were spent wandering the streets of London in the rain and wind, getting a feel for the place and the people, and very sore feet. It’s big, very big. Just not high, generally 4 storeys max. So it makes sense that real estate is so expensive (looking at min. AUD155 per week approx in a share house, and that might mean sharing a room not just a house…). Back to the topic! Tourism! Not real life!

So, I visited the Tate Modern where there were works I’d seen in Australia (de ja vu the whole time!) but plenty of others of course. Only a handful I’d put in my lounge room but a great gallery nonetheless. A major re-hang was in progress so I’ll have to go back some time.

The National Gallery was another treat, although Van Gogh’s Sunflowers was decidedly brown. Especially thrilled with the Turners, Rembrandts, Vermeers, etc etc etc!

Went to see the Queen at Buckingham Palace but she was shampooing her hair. Popped into her Gallery instead and saw the crown she wears to open Parliament with. Lucky lady…

Finally the rain stopped and the sun showed itself a bit. Brendan took me to Hyde Park which was a welcome relief. I realised I hadn’t seen further than the next corner and it was DOING ME IN. Hyde Park has massive open expanses of lawn where couples picnic and numerous hoards of young men manage to have soccer matches without getting in eachothers way, all the while pretending the city buildings peeping over the trees are a mirage. When that stops working they wander round the lake, take a boat for a spin and walk on the grass (!) around the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain.

So many lovely flowers I've never seen before.Funky hair on an orator at Speakers Corner in Hyde Park.Boats on Hyde Park lake.Eerie. Except for some small details on the handbags, they look identical...Deck chairs in Hyde Park waiting for me...Relaxed......

Oh, I did get a job. Became a waitress! Not that it felt like that. The sort of cafe where working there feels like having some friends over for a coffee and cake, maybe a fancy sandwich if they’re a bit hungry. Run by some lovely Greeks and an Argentinian, Munson’s had a great bunch of regulars that seemed to live there. And a chalk board out the front with words of wisdom for all. This one a little different to usual:

Munson's Cafe chalk board

I did 5 shifts there then went to Europe (more on that later). Of course during my absence they found someone else who actually wants to be a waitress. Good for her.

My very generous brother lives in Ealing with the very generous Bridget who have been putting up with me living in their lounge room. I think they enjoy laughing at me when they get home from work! Here’s my bro and I on our way to town…

Brendan - isn't he looking healthy?Surely it's not that hard to build platforms to a standard???Me at Ealing Station - sorry not more imaginative

On a musical note (E flat), I have been to the opera once. Not enough, but hey. I went to the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden to see two one act operas – Bluebeard’s Castle and Erwartung. 5 pounds got me a standing position at the back of the stalls – excellent view and sound, plus a seat after interval as some people left. Erwartung took some digestion in comparison to Bluebeard’s Castle, but it was impressive to see the singer portray a madwoman berating a silent actor, singing non-stop for 50 minutes.

The Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts was well worth it with a number of pieces I’d definitely have in my lounge room. Loved the large scale canvasses – there’s something so satisfying about a large canvas. My favourites though were the postcard collage works by David Mach. He takes postcards of members of the royal family, cuts them up and makes images from famous paintings such as the Mona Lisa. Incredible workmanship and eye for detail.

The photos below are of a massive bronze sculpture in the courtyard of the Academy called The Virgin Mother, by Damien Hirst. Loved the expression on the face.

David Hirst sculpture at the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Show 2006David Hirst sculpture at the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Show 2006David Hirst sculpture at the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Show 2006

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1 Response to “how time flies!”


  1. 1 Sidney Hack (Dad) June 29, 2006 at 9:08 am

    Good work , keep it up , good to read & seed where you’ve been. Love Dad


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