Tuesday, March 29, 2011


It's not so much that there's hasn't been anything happening as there's been a lot happening. Most memorable of the last few weeks were two exceptional concerts with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, compiled in association with and presented by Alex Ross, the music critic for The New Yorker, author, blogger and long distance driver. I hope to make some record of the programme in the next few days.

But there's been enough time in the country for the soft gentle pleasure of the change of the seasons. Days are now longer than nights, the sun's arc is increasingly lower in the sky, night temperatures are dropping, the morning grass is wet with dew and the lyrebirds are courting. I just love it. Summer holds too many perils down here, and the long winter nights, of the mild temperate southern hemisphere kind, suit my pyschological complexion.

I've been meaning to join in recognising the death of Elizabeth Taylor (Dame just doesn't roll off the tongue, or finger tips). We had, truly, just watched Suddenly Last Summer which I'd recently picked up at that Bookshop near the Balkan (Darlinghurst) where we sometimes grab a grill and sit on the footpath watching the parade. Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf (I think this is my favorite film of all, not of hers, of all) and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof are also in the collection, watched at least once a year, every year. And National Velvet is one of my earliest memories. There's nothing to say that hasn't been said, except that her kind don't exist any more, and that's been said anyway. She was a woman who was ultimately, by all appearances, completely comfortable with herself. There was no pretence. She was who she was and she dealt with her stunning gift of astounding beauty with an honesty and balance rarely if ever seen in today's superficial starlets.

Watch this (all of it) and love her that little bit more (by way of The Arts Desk) :

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