Wednesday, February 14, 2007

If You Leave Me, Can I Come Too?

If you are one of the many that have absolutely had it with holidays like Valentines Day, you are not alone. Songs for the Dumped, whilst not all that tactful, has found a place in our cultural repertoire at this time of year. My favourite is the title of this post. The list is not exhaustive, but NPR does a good job of making an offering for all those whom this holiday is just a bit smarmy and overdone.

There is certainly no dearth of events, festivals and activities for those in love or not, in New Zealand's all-too-short but spectacular summer. Long holiday weekends seem to be as common as the Vegemite that traditionally accompanies them. Not many seem to care or know much about the history or reasons behind them, but a day off is a day off...

Here on The Rock, we have had the Sculpture on the Gulf, The Waiheke Wine Festival, CultureFest, Little Day In, Outdoor Cinemas, Whakanewa Regional Park Opening, and Waitangi Day and Anniversary Day all in the last month. No one can accuse the planners of not taking advantage of this window they have to lure Auckland visitors out here.

In between that, I am going to squeeze in two weddings, try to grow some good grapes and olives, and be a host to the stream of visitors that are lured to the magnificence that is the Hauraki Gulf.

Sculpture on the Gulf is fast becoming a regular feature on the New Zealand artist trail, and the surroundings could not afford a better backdrop for some of the local talent to showcase their latest works.

I would normally take the walk along the Pohutakawa lined seashore anyway, and to have it so decorated with artworks is just another treat for visitor and resident alike. Air temp 23 deg C, water 20 deg C. The islands long history of catering for and supporting artists continues.

Elsewhere in New Zealand, one of my favourite musicians came to play in one of those outdoor vineyard concerts, and the promoters did not bother to find out enough about Eric Clapton to know he is a non-drinker, and promptly named a vintage of their local drop after him to mark the occasion. Oops.

I just happened to be making a trip up to the US next week, and of course in the only in America file comes this outstanding story of the crazed, in love astronaut driving 900 miles in diapers and weapons in the trunk to deal to her rival for the affection of another astronaut. Do they time these things for Valentines Day, or just write them to boggle the imagination?

Houston, she has problems..

Oh, and let's not forget about the 363 tonnes ($US12Billion) of cash sent to Baghdad shortly after that very well thought out invasion and occupation a few years back. Well, it seems there is precious little information as to where it might have gone, or what it was spent on. Unbelievable really.

Before I have my afternoon nap, I can rest assured I am doing something solid for my heart and my health, according to the latest research in this BBC article. That is the kind of news I like.

Remember Carl Sagan? Yeah me too. Don't worry, he isn't on tour. As it turns out, he passed away about 10 years ago, and his partner/collaborator is giving us another glimpse into his vast understanding of the cosmos and life's origins by publishing some of his most important lectures. In these heated times of God v Science 2.0, his articulate and non threatening belief in the vastness of the universe is a bit of relief. Well worth a read.


James Samuel said...

Lovely writing Michael. I enjoyed this and previous posts. Hey, for some ideas about where some of the 300+ tonnes went, check out this film. This is by the same filmmakers who did Outfoxed.

Anonymous said...

Blizzard warnings were issued to go to parts of Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin as snow socked the states in tandem with wind gusts topping 45 miles (72 kilometers) per hour.
The storm -- 10 days sooner than the onset of winter -- took its greatest levy in Minnesota, where as much as two feet (61 centimeters) of snow had fallen in some locations, according to the National Sickly Secondment (NWS).
The country's largest city Minneapolis was junior to a blanket of corpse-like 17 inches (43 cm) broad, the worst snowfall to bat the urban district in more than 19 years and the fifth-biggest on record.
As an indicator of the rage's hardness, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport -- a motion pivot with adroitness in contending with foul weather -- was shush down for the gold medal time in years.