Sunday, July 15, 2018

From winter to summer in under 48 hours

We are leaving in less than a week.  The weather has been really cold, in a way that makes any gardening task seem like that task could know...just wait until Spring returns.  I have switched in this late hour to helping with the garage conversion- coating the wood panels with oil.  The goal is that the two small rooms will be completed and items can then be stored there so that the large office space can be finished- hopefully in a week in late November when he has a week between tours.  There was a recent switch to the workspace / garage / garden tool / where the automobiles are parked area that seemed to me a distraction from more the more important areas, but now, I think I was wrong.  That area being more put together makes the project seem close to being finished.  I am having trouble with the main house due to residual feelings from the robbery.  Last time we left there was still scaffolding up from repairs to the house as a result of the robbery- the house was really clean as we had had to empty to house out to have the floors repaired.  This year I seem to be leaving the cleaning to the last day- giving me a constricted time frame.  
I know this attitude of 'That doesn't matter I am leaving soon' isn't a clear feeling, the feeling is made up of all the good byes I have ever avoided, all the times I have made a break for the state line, every bitter "You will miss me when I am gone" feeling of disregard.  This is the drama I can't seem to shake.  The entanglement of emotional build up.  But I am not alone, I am part of a 'We are in this together'.  
I always feel worry when I leave my book collection, but I have library cards, and credit cards- there are bookshops and libraries all over.  Every idle fear has an answer these days.  I have picked a book for the flights.  I have ordered a new pack of crosswords.  I have snacks to squirrel away in defense of plane food.  I have armed myself with a new outfit in case of public appearances.
I have left my friends voicemails, a digital trail of my plans.
I have grandiose notions of spontaneity - perhaps I will just spend October traveling as far as I can by train.  Perhaps I will turn up on your doorstep with a rental, a map, and enough snacks to take us both across the state line.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Dark Mofo- Week 3

One of the most interesting parts of living in a town that becomes overblown with tourism is how your everyday gets peppered with people that seem out of place.  Then, day by day, there are other changes, often to do with out of town money moving in.  People that are a bit more styled.  Local dives that become crowded.  Places to eat that seem twice the price of everywhere else.  High end cars on the road.  The lack of parking.

I am probably repeating myself, as I would in a normal, hand written journal.
I love the new changes to the museum, the added permanent pieces of art, the new wing of the museum itself.  The plans for HOMO the hotel- which aspires to be the highest standard of green-sustainability in building while looking cool at the same time.  
I love that the catalyst for all the change is a single person, even though of course, there is a huge team that enacts the vision.  He is spotted at the events- talked about in grocery line queues.

I love that I get to look into buildings that I have stood outside of and wished I could break into.  I have never been here when there has been an open city day.  All the architecture, and the stories behind them are interesting to me.

We stayed on the island for more months together than we have done since we got our own place in Sweden five- six years ago.  I have now lived in Tasmania longer than I have lived in any other place.  I am not sure if I can truly say that because of how often we are away, but then again...I was also away on tour often during my time in Seattle...Los Angeles might qualify as the place I spent the most consecutive amount of days.
 Tasmania feels much larger than it did nine years ago, when all I had was Roller Derby practice and drama.  But part of that might have been how little I fit in to that group.  Had I fit in, I might not have been so willing to switch to Sweden and I believe I am a better person for my experiences there.



Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Dark MOFO, Week 2

One of my choices (motivation in part by time of day and price)- was what I thought was an art installation by Laurie Anderson- inside a building I have never been too, and had missed being in town for the chance during an 'open city' event.
I was wrong both about which building the installation was in and about what I thought the installation was.  We went to 'Chalk Room' at Domain House.
Domain House, I read was were the original Hobart University was housed, and that the University regained ownership in 2011, and had since refurbished the building.  This was not how the building looked to me- I thought this was another one of the many unused buildings that MONA seems to get access too.
The art installation was a virtual reality installation.  This was my first time trying V.R. and I thought it was a lot of fun.  There was a flying section, - of which there was a sort of night cityscape- for me the sensation was a bit like being inside a movie from the modern first person point of view that a lot of Sci-fi films use.  I loved the experience so much I convinced more people to go with us the second time.

In the same building was 'Lou Reed Drones'- which apparently was Lou Reed's guitars and amps set up to feedback, in a continual droning manner.
I thought this was sweet, even though Laurie has lost him- physically, there art can be co-existing in the same space.  
I also thought that the location was just off the through way far enough that we got easy parking, yet could walk down to Dark Park.
Dark Park was really crowded both times we went- which was of course both really good, and a bit of a hassle.


Blogging out of order - S. comes for Dark MOFO Week 1

My friend S. adjusted her festival plans to include me after we realized I would actually be home this year during June. We drove down to Port Arthur for the first Dark MOFO event 'Quartet for the end of time' performed in one of the penitentiary buildings.  We slept over nearby the tessellated plates to see if we could luck into a 'social media' worthy photography opportunities at sunrise and sunset.
We didn't have much luck with that, and I proved to myself that my body still is resistant to that side of morning. I was ruined for any plans in the evening that didn't consist of being near my couch.  My guest was moving into town for late night adventures, so our rest rest worked out okay for her.
Thankfully she had only added this on to her plans that had been booked months ago, so she had better opportunities to come.  Hobart is definitely so popular that booking months ahead is now the norm.  When I found out I'd be here in July I tried to find accommodation near Cradle Mountain so I could see the park covered in snow, but everything is booked out.  

I did pull the Jeep over to photograph the road sign posted here- Something I have wanted to do for years now.

The Quartet piece was quite jazzy- which was unexpected but the performance was only an hour- and the setting was interesting.  
I realized that I don't know as much about tides as I thought, and low tide in the 'Remarkable Cave' was still too high to access the caves- 


 Winter moon outshining the winter sun during its rise

 Our underwhelming sunrise

"I am slowing down as the years go by"

...and then next week comes the start of July. 

The three week visit of my most frequent visitor has come to an end.  We have our departure date for Sweden as well.  For the first time we are going on a one-way ticket because we really do not know what will happen.  I felt like a bit of a jinx during the festival as our attempts at capturing photos in the prime social media times of Sunrise and Sunset, low tide, or catching a natural phenomena did not go well when we were together.  She did better after she relocated into town.  

The festival continues to grow larger.  My favourite part remains the fact that they use buildings that are not in full time use- or sometimes not in use at all anymore.  I am always curious to see into buildings and learn about the history of the place I am living.  A habit perhaps formed of not being from a place and having lived in so many different places.  
Seattle has been in my thoughts often, because I notice changes here, that to me are the same type of indicators I saw when Seattle was "suddenly" discovered by more and more people in the the early to mid-1990s- 
I hadn't lived in Seattle long enough to feel I could rail against the growth like the locals and I still sort of feel the same way here- for although Tasmania does comprise basically all that I know as Australia...I am still a new comer.

Now, I am beginning our last month before we leave for an undetermined amount of time, I seem always to use our comings and goings as markers of what I have not achieved.  An attitude I am working to adjust- my analytic - judgemental self is boring me.  So far, I am not feeling the impact of my trying to make changes.  


Wednesday, June 6, 2018

..."the thorn, the veil, the face of grace, the brazen image, the thief of sleep..."

I realized that this blog had not crossed my mind, since the last time I had a visitor. So another month has passed and now I have a friend arriving tomorrow- MONA has extended the dates of Dark MOFO, their winter festival, and we have extended our time to include most of winter here.  Well, a good solid month of winter.  I have bee enjoying the shorter days, with the sun setting at 4:40, the construction hours have lessened and I can miss most if not all of the noise.  Of course, the construction is the lure that is keeping us here into winter.
Everyone is sleeping more, as if our bodies are making up for our 26 months without winter.  
I have a strange bit of superstitious thinking, that perhaps illustrates that I take random events a bit personally.  I had written up a post here, and then the server crashed, and the post was actual lost, even though there should be the auto save.  I was going to take this as a sign to not bother to re-write.  However, my whole intention was just to put up a stop-gap to remind myself that my life does continue even when I don't feel there is anything worthy of a diary entry.  Mostly this is because of our new phone plans that allow us to call long distance for no additional charges which means I have been if not actually speaking to friends, at least leaving them messages.  Originally I started this blog because at the time there was no easy way to keep up with friends unless I did a mass email, which could cost a bit of money if we were traveling, or even on some of the plans that we have had.  
But I do not think anyone keeps up with these posts, but I have become a bit dependent of using them as a visual calendar.  
I have been trying to use winter and the quiet to work on myself.  I was a bit dependent on self-help books when I was young.  For years I haven't felt a need for them, but as 50s are here- I feel a need to check in with myself.
There is so much in my life I am grateful for- but I also do not want to become complacent to the point of ...well I guess to a point of ingratitude. 
Tomorrow my friend and I are staying over down in Port Arthur, going to see a quartet play 'Quartet for the end of time' or as my favourite snob would say 'Quatour pour la fin du temps' as the composer is french Olivier Messiaen, the piece that he composed while a prisoner of war during WWII.  Hence, perhaps the on the nose location of Port Arthur a former convict prison. 
We have aspirations that involve low tide, a sea cave, and a sunrise.
With success I will post photographic evidence.


Sunday, May 13, 2018

"...and then the rain came hammering down..."

This May is one of our first together in Tasmania.  There was a severe storm, about four inches of rain in under 24 hours.  The lightning and thunder seemed to be just over our house, a sensation felt by every neighbour I spoke too.  Reinforced by the action of the strike coinciding with our power going out.  Over ten thousand people were without power for a day or so.  All the historic flood areas like the old 'Wapping' area of the central business district were flooded high enough to move parked cars.  I think people forget that a 'rivulet' runs through the center of town, mostly the streets have been built over the waterways.

Parts from the fish farms were washed onto the beach, newly patched roads churned up leaving heaped piles of debris in the middle of the roads.  Our home is up a slope- and luckily even the basement/garage did not take in any water.  So work continues on the garage conversion. The storm was late Thursday night, and by today, Sunday everything was calm enough that the Friends of Peter Murrell monthly weeding workbee went ahead as planned.

Saff returned a few weeks ago, just for a quick trip- before her long stay in June for the winter festival.  We went to the newly built, and opened areas of MONA that were too crowded during summer to be able to visit properly.

There is a sphere in the center of the newest restaurant, two people can go in at one time, for fifteen minutes with an additional cost of $25.  This is another piece by Turrell.  After you see the light show, you are taken to a room that is completely dark for a bit of post-sensory - to sensory-deprivation.
Between the two exhibits is a new room that is spectacular...the second room they have had that reminded me of the inside of Barbarella's space ship. 
We also went into the lovely new room called Spectrum Chamber, by Charles Ross.  I don't think the museum has been especially empty in the last few years. This visit was as empty as it seems to ever get, and that just means that there is parking in the overflow lot, and you can get a seat on a shared table.  I find that I can barely recall going there once a week, and being alone with only the artwork.  Between Summer, Christmas holidays in Summer, followed by their festival, - then a lot is closed between the two festivals.   The winter festival is almost the entire month of June now.

 I avoided this room trip before last because the line to walk in was so long.
 The oil room from above.

The oil is to the very edge- the attendant blows on the surface to show how precise and exacting the level is.  The photo makes the corridor in look a bit larger than it feels when you are there.