Wednesday, 29 December 2010
Many travelers – even to this very day – take musical instruments with them on trips. In the early days of exploration music could help “set” the mood, expressing the fact the visitors came in peace out of curiosity and were not a threat.
Tuesday, 28 December 2010
I guess a lot of comedy could be seen as jokes made at someone else's expense. Virtually any joke could be taken out of context and read out with mawkish solemnity to someone most likely to be offended though. Then we’d really stop making jokes which would make the world a poorer place.
Always buffeted by fate, wanting to do good but too scared of losing votes and status to do anything, the Right Honorable Hacker, MP, is the symbol of all of us, wanting to be better, and not quite making it.
Sir Humphrey, on the other hand, genuinely believes that it is the Civil Service that knows what is best for the country. His actions are motivated by his wish to maintain the prestige, power, and influence he enjoys.
It seems to be more about the eccentricities of people and less about the underlying eccentricities of communication. There are definitely fewer puns around. I think the best of the bunch is David Mitchell and Robert Webb. The "Toothbrush Company" sketch is particularly memorable.
Fawlty Towers is more than just a comedy, it's a work of genius. It gave us the most unhinged sitcom hero ever, a brace of unforgettable comedy moments and a biting portrayal of a loveless marriage.
Basil was the perfect vehicle for Cleese's comic talents: mixing the biting verbal tirades against his wife and guests with the physical dexterity utilised to charge about between self-induced disasters.
The show celebrates family values, practical morality and workaday virtues. Family and friends, loyalty and decency, fish and chips. It handles the heavy stuff - thwarted dreams, miscarriage and even death. But can still turn this unpromising material into comedy gold sometimes in a single sentence.
No sitcom has ever had a character quite as mean as the man who really runs Slade Prison - Harry Grout. And prison officer Mackay, played to neurotic perfection by Fulton Mackay, very nearly stole the show from under the convicts' noses. It's comedy gold.
Tuesday, 21 December 2010
People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone.
Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms. As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands; one for helping yourself, and the other for helping others."
Monday, 20 December 2010
Norman Vaughan, Antarctic mountaineer on reaching the 10,300 ft. summit of Mt Vaughan, aged 89.
"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will be fed for life." Unknown.
Friday, 10 December 2010
|The Fall of Icarus by Bill Hammond|
|Fish by Constantin by Brancusi|
With sculpture, I often get the sense that all the smoothing and rounding and hollowing of great, abstract sculptural forms, even their facelessness, has a point. There is a sense of great gravity and rest. The sculptures slow time down to a full stop, and us with it.Critically, the artist needs to let the material do the talking and respect its nature.
Whilst in painting, an exaggerated use of colour or form often conveys an emotional response to a subject rather than a faithful representation of it that in some way is so much more impactful.
- The Last Judgement by Hieronymus Bosch
- The Fall of Icarus by Bill Hammond
- Tangata whenua by Baye Riddell
- Sfera con Sfera ("Sphere Within Sphere") by Arnaldo Pomodoro
- The Cloud Gate sculpture (also known as "The Bean" by Anish Kapoor
- Primavera by Sandro Botticelli
- A painting I can't remember the name of by Ben Nicholson ;-)
- Composition VI by Wassily Kandinsky
Friday, 3 December 2010
|Calgary Bay, Scotland|
|Kapiti Island, New Zealand|
The landscape and the wildlife it contains change at different times of the day. Our senses become more attuned to the scents that spring out of the darkness and the sound of the lapping of every wave against the bows of the boat.
Humanity has always directed dreams of reverence up to the sky at night. It's nice to just sit there in awe of it all.