Brushes with Culture

This is a space where I can reflect on the many fascinating things that I experience. Some of the things I brush with are Culture with a capital C. Others are just intriguing moments. Sometimes I am brushing with these moments in a hurry. This is a chance to relive those moments in tranquility. These are the stories I tell myself in those quieter moments.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Tongue Tag

Too little time to do anything interesting except by mistake:

1) Landline locked. For when your other phone rings...

2) Crooks and nannies. For houses with unexpected corners and strange guests in them.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Cool Hurst Seager House

Perhaps this is the last post on that foreign trip. I could, of course, continue to put up posts about Australia or New Zealand and what I did there. If I wanted. It would be a matter of whether I had anything left that interests me to say.

But focussing on the experience of being away, rather than actual places and people, I have a few concluding remarks...

It is possible to be a very long way from home and feel a very long way from home. And it is possible to feel among friends.

It is possible to be among friends and feel how love doesn't necessarily lead to care. And it is possible to meet strangers and find a care that leads to love.

And if you are as dumb as me, it is possible to let the abrasiveness of the environment sheer off some of the love and care that are normally part of your givens and come back feeling damaged.

Thankfully, my spell in Christchurch was one of love and care.

And this is a house that captures what care can be. It happens to have been built by Christchurch's own Hurst Seager. He lived in it, on The Spur (intended as a garden suburb without streets and enduring as such till this day).

My friend on The Spur has extended it with consideration for the original style, taken out the elements that the iconoclastic 1960s introduced, made innovations to improve light and flow and worked extensively on the garden. Hand built over 20 years, the love is allowed to show through.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Permission Given

These are the signs that I captured on my trip because they were delightfully affirmative.

The first appears in the Botanical Gardens in Sydney and is so encouraging that not only does one walk on the grass, one nearly joins the Friends of the Gardens too.

The second was more informal. It appeared in Christchurch, at the Art Centre Craft Market amid some copper fishes for sale.

The last picture here is included only because it is so silly. It's the note on the office door at the back of a nice bookshop in Oxford Street, Sydney (though not my beloved Ariel). The toilet is indeed 'over there'.

Bonus incidental additions to the pictures... the shadow of a tree and the reflection of strip lighting. Shows it was all my own work.