Checked out this young New Zealander and his band last Friday. Because the venue’s parking was full and I wasted time looking for a street parking that would allow me to use a credit card, I missed out on the opening act. Honestly who’s got $10 in coins in their wallet? But maybe it was a blessing in disguise since I seem to get tired a lot more quickly these days standing at a concert.
I’ve resigned myself to the idea that I’ll probably never love another Bond movie like I did Casino Royale. Other than the movie’s own merits, it had the never-can-be-repeated revelation of Daniel Craig’s gritty, physical Bond who still had the heart that could be broken. Even so, Quantum of Solace was a huge disappointment and while Skyfall took the franchise into the billion dollar club, earned critical raves and had terrific cinematography, for me it was let down by the contrived, weak writing. So at this point my expectations were set low and I just wanted some decent entertainment. And for the first hour or so, the movie really delivered.
A sequel to Red Rising and a middle book in the planned trilogy, Golden Son is, to borrow the novel’s own speak, a bloodydamn great improvement on its predecessor and does everything a sequel should do. It broadens the scope and stakes, introduces new memorable characters and deepens the old ones, while also being very exciting to read.
Four out of thirteen figures are now done. Pretty happy with the results so far. I’ve used a mix of matte and shiny fabrics like satin and silk, and you can get different shades out of the same fabric depending on the angle. Very annoyed though that Lincraft now will not sell cuts of fabric less than 1 metre… damn you Lincraft!
Jack White – Lazaretto
Sounds exactly like you’d imagine a Jack White album to sound like at this point, which is no bad thing at all. I’m a huge fan of The White Stripes and his solo output has the same sense of eccentricity and weirdness, which I like a lot. Though his music is arguably less special and idiosyncratic without the simplicity and innocence of Meg White’s drumming, it’s still a fun, genre-blurring mix of blues, funk, folksy strumming and much more, topped off with quirky lyrics.
The 2001 film adaptation with Renee Zellweger is one of my favorite romcoms, so when I spied the original novel on the book shelf at my Mum’s I decided to give it a go. With some reservations, as I’ve read a couple of other books my favourite chick flicks were based on, which turned out to be very disappointing. I ended up gulping down the book in a space of one evening, while waiting for the drying machine to finish its business, it was that readable.
“The optimist without the pessimist builds spectacular skyscrapers that fall apart when the first woodpecker gives them a rap. The pessimist without the optimist may never conceive of the skyscraper in the first place.”
– Scott Brinker
I like Stephen King quite a lot and read most of his novels, but his tendency to overwrite sometimes annoys the hell out of me. This book stands at over 700 pages, and I wondered if this was going to be yet another novel of his which would have been so much better if it didn’t noodle around describing pointless details and dragging out the scenes. Insomnia takes its sweet time to set things up and yes some scenes and dialogues do ramble on. But whether it’s because I was in a right mindset or simply enjoyed the setting and the characters, I didn’t mind the slow pace and ended up really liking the book.
MONA and Mt Field National Park
The first time I went to MONA (that’s Museum of Old and New Art), it blew my mind – it’s simply one of the best and most unique museums I’ve been to. I had no idea a place so amazing was just an hour’s flight from Melbourne. Even taking away the art itself, the underground spaces with their somewhat ominous atmosphere and bare rock walls are worth seeing. It was a pleasure to visit it again and see the changes since the last time.
After MONA we decided to drive to Mt Field National Park and see the Russell Falls again. The last time we were there in a different time of year, it was more like a Russell Trickle, so it was nice to see it roar with a bit more energy. It’s a beautiful walk through the rainforest, as well, which made us burn off at least some of the food we shamelessly stuffed ourselves with during our break.
And that was it for our trip to Tasmania, except for a short stop in Richmond on our way back to Hobart, where Mum bought a couple of cheese knives, which she then forgot to take out of the handbag. That didn’t impress the guys at the screening point at the airport, luckily our bag was still available at the check-in so she could put them inside. I then also did a no-no by walking through the screening gate with my hands inside the jacket pockets, which I was told to never ever do again. The funny thing was that, at the beginning of the trip, Mum had to part with a pair of small scissors left in her handbag by accident when we were screened at the Melbourne airport, so this trip was obviously under a curse of small metal objects.
Freycinet and Bicheno
On the second day, we headed out to the Freycinet National Park. Our first stop was at the Friendly Beaches, which I haven’t checked out before. It’s a gorgeous spot, with white sandy beach and those awesome red lichen-covered rocks typical for the coastline on this side of Tasmania.
Then we went on to Coles Bay, which turned out to have its own micro-climate; it was hot enough to swim and made me wish I had packed my bikini or at least a pair of light pants instead of jeans. Sunbathing ruled out, I did a walk along the beach, enjoying the view of the Hazards and stopping to take a photo every 30 seconds or so, because seriously how can you not?
We had lunch at a local cafe which I would not come back to – we got served a lumpy seafood chowder, tiniest pieces of white bread, and a Greek salad which was predominantly spinach with a couple of drops of balsamic vinegar. Food everywhere else was great, but this cafe obviously survives only because of the high tourist turnover.
I chickened out of doing a hike up to the Wineglass Bay lookout, so instead we drove to Bicheno, a coastal town further up north. The sea was much rougher there compared to the sedate Coles Bay and the wind way nastier, but that didn’t stop us from hopping all over the rocks.