Friday, June 17, 2005

Polar pleasures

Why go to the city when a stroll into Moonah gives you fine dining, art and literature?

OK that's overstating it a wee bit. But we did get a quiche at Cafe 73, pick up the latest issues of The New Yorker at the newsagency and look at an exhibition of Suzanne Crowley's work at the Moonah Arts Centre.

Suzanne Crowley is Irish but has lived in Tasmania since 1991. This show (her first for a decade) is the first combined exhibition of her paintings, linocuts and photographs. The most interesting of the oil paintings was the large "Banna Strand" and personally I preferred the linocuts like "Sacred Place" and "Sailing on the harbour".

Some her photographs were quite striking. There were some nice pictures of the Jewish Quarter in Girona (a place that my gazetteer fails to mention) and a lovely colour photo of County Wicklow in Ireland.

The scrapes on my scalp from that fall last week are healing up all right. I've been a bit wary about using shampoo on my hair this week but everything seems OK.

I'm still very tired at night but that's probably because I just don't get enough rest. Living with my sister one has to put up with late nights as a regular part of life.

Disregarding the large goose in the backyard, we have five poultry in residence at my house this week. The two silkies are only here until Julie finishes fitting out a hen house specially for them (she'd like them to breed) and there are two chicks that were brought over to be nursed back to health and seem to be doing fine.

The fifth one is a bit of a worry. A chick that was brought over with an injured leg. She is almost half grown now, but the leg sticks out at a very strange angle and can't be used at all. Nursing and feeding by Julie has kept it alive but I really don't know what good this has done in the long run.

It will never lead a normal life unless we shell out for expensive veterinary treatment, which Julie can't afford. So at the moment we're just keeping it alive as a helpless cripple. It's not even like the half-blind hen that Julie had for a couple of years -- at least it got about quite happily in its cage. This one's prospects have me wondering.

After some foggy weather last week, the days have been fine and clear, but as soon as the sun sets things begin to cool down quickly. We have nearly reached midwinter, and that's the cue for the Antarctic Midwinter Festival, co-ordinated by Antarctic Tasmania on behalf of the Tasmanian Antarctic Community.

Many organisations in Tasmania are involved in the Antarctic. The Tasmanian Polar Network currently has more than 60 members. 65% of Australia's scientists studying Antarctica and the Southern Ocean live in Hobart.

There will be a plethora of exhibitions, lectures, seminars, art contests, concerts, film shows, tours, ice sculptures, and a grand Solstice Party.

Julie of course would like to see the Huskies Picnic at the
Royal Botanical Gardens on the Queen's Domain. The huskies have now been withdrawn from the polar bases, but in the public mind they are still an integral part of the exploration of the Antarctic continent.

She's also trying to lure me down to the Solstice Party ("enjoy music with Mr Coconut then put on your dancing shoes to tap your way into Salamanca Square to enjoy the midwinter fire show") but I'm undecided.

Some weeks the bills come in faster than the cheques do. It certainly cuts down impulse buying in the supermarket when you know exactly how much you have left on your Ezy Bank card. I got out of there today with enough to buy the groceries and still have $1.41 left in the account. That's what I call cutting it close.


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