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Friday, December 01, 2006

Domestic Day of Wistfulness

Happy birthday, my wistfully-missed little brother.

A pinch and a punch (a hard one) for the first day of the month, just like the one Bumblebee gave me a few moments ago.

Watch out world, here comes Summer. I hate the heat. Bring back Winter. Maybe I'll move to Canada, or somewhere with a decent winter and a mild summer. Any suggestions?


I really wanted just to do a Remember to Breathe post (something I've been neglecting lately) but I don't have my camera this week, and I've used up my stockpile of nice pics, so here instead is a page from my artist's book What You Left Behind, featuring my brother and I in North Queensland circa 1980, quite easily the last time I ever looked good in a bikini (I was 13).

I left my body behind, you didn't

The text in his shape is from 'Morning is Broken', something we sang at his funeral, which was quite jolly and nice to do, but has ruined the Cat Stevens version for me forever and unfortunately major supermarkets like to play it in the vague hope that people will buy Morning Fresh washing-up liquid or something and I end up in tears in the biscuit section, much to everyone's alarm. I can just see them wondering what is so tragic about Tim Tams?

Ahem.

On a happier note, if you happen to be in Canberra any time over the next two or so weeks (Floppy, this includes you), have a wander down Alinga Street in Civic, between Northbourne Avenue and Marcus Clarke Street. There's a temporary Public Art thingy called Domain that has overtaken those two city blocks. (It's organised by the ANU School of Art, and because of this, of course there is no web link yet. They are dreadfully slow at getting relevant info online.)

It involves a number of artists doing wacky and/or thought-provoking things to the street-scape, the most obvious of which is Bella Wells' colourful plastic baskets threaded onto signposts and parking meters like lifesavers onto a pencil. There will also be video installation pieces projected onto building frontages in the evenings.

My favorite so far is actually inside one of the pubs on the strip, the Wig and Pen. It's a fleshy lump of torso, just a male chest and enormous beer-gut, complete with horrid bushy black body-hair, just sitting on a barstool beside the bar. Repellent yet oddly beautiful, and the best anti-alcohol message I have ever seen.

And has anyone local noticed the new flower message on City Hill yet? This is the hill in the 'centre' of Civic with a big roundabout on it, the main thoroughfare from north to south Canberra, and there's a flowerbed there which gets sponsored by various groups to have a community message displayed in flower colours.

Oh for my camera!

This month they have 'SPASTIC CENTRE'.

I hope the ACT Government can see it from their office windows, I couldn't have put it better myself.

15 comments:

Gaida said...

Agree wholeheartedly about that great 'beer gut' art work in the Wig & Pen - Simon (the artist)does great and very weird work ... also loved the silvery 'bomb' parked casually on the corner (Geoff said they drove this around Parliament House for a video documentation and weirded out a few security types in the process!!)

Zoe said...

I love the little buckets and have myself chortled over the spastic centre of town.

And, as you know, the book you made had me in tears.

xx hugs for duck

lucy tartan said...

Hugs and love.

elsewhere said...

Great photo. Sorry you have experienced so much loss, with your brotjher & your ex. The birthdays somehow can be worse than the deathdays.

MassMeltdown said...

yeah hugs and cheery stuff for you, and maybe a phone call soonish.Big gallery opens tonight.

Ampersand Duck said...

Hell guys and gals, they're only the ones I've told you about. Don't want to be typecast as a tragic figure! :)

Hey meltdown, great new name! Definitely will talk on the phone.

Mummy/Crit said...

I know what you mean aboout the biscuit aisle tears and stupid-market muzak....

but on an other note - the first time we drove past the spastic centre floral display the beloved did a massive double take, as the word is (still) totally taboo in his homeland...

Ampersand Duck said...

I thought it was here too, Crit, but obviously not.

TimT said...

Morning is Broken is a beautiful song, and an excellent choice for a funeral.

I agree with you completely about the heat of summer: which is why I plan to holiday in the northern hemisphere this summer. Come February, I'll hopefully be in New York. I wouldn't be surprised if I made an expedition of that sort an annual event, and heartily recommend it to others who dislike summer as much as I. Tig Tog apparently plans to do the same.

seldom said...

OMIGOD! I saw the beer gut this evening and it was wonderful. So fleshy! So hairy! We dared each other to stroke it.

Bernice said...

Resilience is the oddest strangest gift Ms &duck. You wear it well. Take care.

Mummy/Crit said...

Duck, I think that in the current anti-PC climate fostered by our 'prime minister' anything goes. That and the fact that the spastic centre (which I thought was a NSW body) never went PC and changed its name in the first place. Full circle.

HannesB said...

Summer in Canada is not really mild...What about moving to NZ?

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

oooooaaaahhh Ducky, I always thort Morning Is Broken was one of the most melancholy (albeit lovely) songs, without the added baggage... hugs to you.

Meredith said...

A beautiful post, thanks (sniff). The picture is lovely.