Sunday, April 22, 2018

9.9.67 Being a tourist


I’m sitting right opposite the Harbour Bridge which is 60 times more striking than I ever thought it was in pictures. And the sea’s a blaze of blue – it’s fabulous. There’s a little ferry going past – they really travel, those things; and a couple of trains have just gone over the bridge – what a racket they make! It must be something to do with the atmosphere – but every time I hear one go over, I think it’s a jet flying above – funny, isn’t it? There’s boats and ferries and hovercrafts galore (and yachts).
To my right is the Opera House – it really will be magnificent, if they ever finish it. I’m going round to see if I can get a closer look, in a minute.

Conservatorium of Music courtesy Wikicommons
How did I fail to mention that it looked like a castle?
To my left is a massive grey and blue-black building – must be about 15 storeys and there’s a couple more further along. (I’m in the Botanical Gardens – which seem to go on forever.) Everywhere there’s people taking photos of other people standing in front of things. Government House is over behind me – it looks rather like ‘Manderley’ in Rebecca and the Con (Conservatorium of Music) is further back. It’s a lovely white place with lots of square turrets. (Gov House has got round ones!)
The little black and white friend has just gone past again and there’s some sort of large (very) motorboat tugging by just now.

It’s a terrific day (Not Too Hot) but a little cold in the shade.

I started to move off to see the Opera H and discovered me shoes were untied – I’d forgotten. Wonder how many steps I’ve taken in the last few days.

The Opera House gets bigger and bigger. There’s a little observation hut with scale models etc, and it’s going to be some mighty place. The steps up the front (which are partly completed) seem to go in every direction for yards and if you think the building is large you should see the crane in front – it’s a whopper. I’d really like to see this place when it’s finished.

Blackman's Angry Young Girl
courtesy Art Gallery of NSW
LATER. Waffled round in the garden (which seems to go on forever) (- I certainly didn’t go from one end to the other ) for quite a while, then discovered the Art Gallery, which, in spite of Cecil P’s remarks, is definitely better than anything I’ve ever seen. He reckoned it wasn’t a patch on Melbourne’s. anyway, I had a good look around there and it’s got some marvellous stuff – a Millais, Henry Moores, Rembrandt sketches – all the things a gallery should have. It’s even got the original of Chaucer reading to…? (someone or other) [Chaucer at the court of Edward III by Ford Madox Ford] which I seem to recall is in in one of the Wonderland of Knowledges. [A set of encyclopedias which had long had a place in our home.] It’s a massive painting – indeed many of them are – huge! There are two quite hilarious ones: The Angry Little Girl who has a face quite screwed up with annoy (it’s a modern one) and another – a portrait of some Australian VIP lady. She’s – well in this shape. [A diagram was scribbled on the page. The Angry Young Girl is by Charles Blackman. Can’t identify the other.] sort of all elongated towards the top – almost a triangle in human shape. I wonder how she liked it? I’m at the pictures, just waiting for it to start. I notice Sound of M is in its 3rd year and Dr Z in his 2nd!

LATER AGAIN. Film was very good – very well acted. Went and had tea in the restaurant where Cecil and I went the other day. An old (I think he looked older than he was) chap sat in the same booth as me – and acted, or at least spoke as if he was drunk, yet didn’t smell drunk at all. We had quite a wee chat, anyway, when he wasn’t apologising to me for interrupting, or being there, or living!

That’s about it. I’m going to try and have an early night – I’ve woken up very tired every day so far! Caught Mass at St Mary’s when I dropped in for a visit today – they’d only just started, so I thought I might as well stay.
See ya, love, Mike