Sunday, 21 July 2013

Only the beginning

When I wrote my last winter post I was expecting it to make the beginning of a season of hibernation, and season of little growth and little colour in terms of the garden. I suppose I was expecting a European reaction to winter: complete hibernation followed by a burst of colour and life when spring finally arrived.

Our garden couldn't be more different. The whole area is alive with colour, texture and a range of animals that start with the worms and snails and ends with the two cats who want to know everything, especially the location of two scared little frogs. Everywhere you look there is something new and unusual and unexpected ( by me at least; I expect the multitude of seedlings to die or be eaten or trampled to death) making it a joy to meander around the beds with a camera in hand and cat following closely behind.

The fur of these leaves contrasts with the bud of the banksia above, a style that seems more at home as fashionable headwear than centimetres from the ground in the Australian Bush. 

It is the underside of this leaf, reminiscent of the spores of the fern that captured my attention.

Two frogs in the mulching pile, trying to hide from discovery by us, or the two felines nosing around the area. 

I know not what this is but it reminds me of the Scottish thistle and English holly and has the prettiest bud. 

Its hard to believe that this is nature and was not around to offer inspiration to Van Gogh and Monet, for I think even I could have done a better job of making it look like a flower. 

The pink/red leschenaultia to compliment the blue. 

Hidden by a rock, in the corner of a garden bed, near the side door, barely two inches in length, this spider's web was bejewelled with crystal droplets that hung suspended there quivering with the slightest movement

It is a hakea or grevillia, or candlestick something. All I know is its pretty and the red version is also in flower down the length of Leach Hwy. Must... get... cutting. 

Emerging out of a bumper (unwanted) crop of Pin Cushion Hakea seedlings rose these two, the purple hovea standing proud and tall, and a double petalled tea tree, its magenta flowers contrasting superbly with the dusty green of its surrounds.

And when the rain stops and the sun comes out...

Saturday, 20 July 2013

An Afternoon at the Opera

Growing up, one of the things my father introduced us to was the Marx Brothers, with one of the most delightful ones being A Night at the Opera. In this, Groucho, Harpo and Chico completly sabotage the perfermance of an opera in the aim of getting their candidate into the lead role.

Having seen this numerous times and thoroughly enjoyed their antics and the music from the destroyed opera performance, I thought it sensible to actually see the opera they ruin so spectacularly.
As a result, on a cold and wet and windy Saturday I took myself off to Leederville to watch a filming of a Met Opera production of Il Trovatore.

It was beautifully done, to what I'm sure would have been great acclaim and with a superb cast and orchestra, but I fear this was overshadowed by material of the opera itself; I have no appreciation for plays (and operas) involving unrealistic characterisations. and stupid plot decisions.

 As examples, Manrico is willing to kill the Count di Luna simply because his mother asks him to without even taking pause to ask her the reasons behind her demand, and di Luna isn't the slightest bit suspicious that Leonora is suddenly willing to marry him when previously her actions indicated her preference for entering a convent over marrying him.

Normally people would act logically and have a logical explanation behind their actions. These don't have to be moral or legal, but there is still a reason.  In the example of Manrico it is because Di Luna's Father killed Manrico's Mother's Mother and she wants revenge, while on Leonora's part she has decided to kill herself (unbeknownst to Di Luna) to save her lover and stop herself falling into Di Luna's hands.  The fact that neither Manrico and Di Luna contemplate these underlying reasons but openly and immediately accept what is put to them makes them unbelievable in my eyes.

I may be biased as I do love A Night at the Opera, but the Marx brothers did use the best scenes from the opera whilst avoiding all of the melodrama and stupidity that is incorporated into the plot.And they manage to throw in some delightful antics that would infuriate even the most peaceful of opera-goers.

It is sad that upon returning home I felt the need to watch Night at the Opera, if only to restore the natural order. After all, who can resist Harpo as a gypsy woman:

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