The Versailles Exhibition in Canberra

I went to watch Versailles Treasures from the Palace at the National Gallery of Australia (NGA) in Canberra today. My visit here today was part of an agreed meet up with some friends, and as often is the case with me, when I go to an event like this I’m never too sure about what I should expect. And so…

When I arrived at the gallery I was greeted at the parking gate with a ‘Full’ sign. I was not impressed Nelly, I thought! Then again, I wasn’t overly surprised neither. I had people waiting in line behind me, and I had to signal them to reverse back so I could get out. Luckily, reversing back out wasn’t such a drama and everyone was complaint and made room for me to get out, even though I’ve no doubt that they weren’t overly amused about it. I had the option of waiting it out at the gate though, I could’ve waited until a car exited the car park and then I’d be let in. I couldn’t be bothered waiting around for the gate to open, even though it might’ve been best had I stayed and waited a minute or two, but little Ms Impatient that I can be I just wanted to be on time to meet up with my group of friends. After I reversed out I went for a drive around the block and back; like I mentioned earlier, I should’ve been patiently waiting at the gate, and then I went and parked behind the John Gorton Building. Plenty spots there! Damn it. Paid parking. Arrghh. It’s like a sword poking my side, I’m telling you. Having access to free parking is a major thing for me! A thing of the past I know, but seriously, it’s ouch costly.

I walked into the gallery and waited for my friends at the top of the elevators. Hmm. Where are they? I was perfectly on time. I waited and waited (this seemed like forever) and then I spotted one of them, and then another and another, and before I knew it we were all together. Yeah!

Inside the Versailles exhibition I was greeted by (1) paintings, intricate tapestries, gilded furniture items, monumental statues and other objects from the royal gardens, and personal items from Louis XIV to Marie Antoinette.

It was splendid.

What can I say? I’m not a fan of crowds, they annoy me at the best of times and because of this I didn’t allow myself the time to relish in each and every item as I would otherwise, because it was hard reading some of the notes and hard to get too close to see the fine details of some of the items. Crowds of people have a way of blocking my view. It’s very annoying. So I walked through the exhibition admiring as many of the items on display as I could, and then I found myself with one of my friends close by and where were the others, where did they go? They were behind me somewhere.

At one point I took a photo of a painting with my iPhone and the flash went off alarming one of the gallery guards to come running up to me and reprimanding me for having flashed the flash, stating that the ‘flash’ was not allowed.  Ooops.  I apologised.

As it turned out, the photo I took with the flash looks awful and grainy, the flash made it look horrible and green like. So I went into the settings of my iPhone and removed the flash option and chanced another photo shoot without a flash and this time, it came out splendid.

I had a giggle though.  As I was being told off about my flash light going off, a woman close by approached me asking me if I could please help her change her settings and remove her flash from her phone.  I looked at her and at her phone and it wasn’t an iPhone.  What do I know about androids? Nothing.  (Cough, cough.  Not true, of course I can navigate through those things). So I apologised to her about not being able to help her.  I told her a white lie.  Of course I could help her, but chose not to.  I know.  Please don’t crucify me! I just didn’t want to be standing there in a semi dark room trying to figure out how to change her flash setting from her android, which would’ve taken up my time to enjoy the exhibition and taken up my time to get back to my car on time before I would get booked.  I was in a hurry (sorta).  She didn’t look impressed. Err excuse me! Did I have a sign over my head that said, ‘android technician here at your service’? No!

It wasn’t long thereafter that I walked out of there and my friend and I headed up to the cafe, a welcome reprieve let me tell you.  I sent a text message to one of the other friends and let them know I was inside the cafe with our friend.  They soon all made their way to us and we spent a lovely hour chatting until we got up and left for the day. (I know, I know! I said earlier that I was in a hurry when I chose not to help that helpless woman with her android… Priorities!) Now I feel bad.  Damn it.  I should’ve helped her. Grr. I’m so sorry lady! Drops my head down in shame.

Overall what did I think of the Versailles exhibition?

I thought it was spectacular.  It is definitely worth a visit if you can make it. I loved the grandeur of the paintings and the sculptures, the fine detail in the drawings and the intricate tapestries filled with lots of colours and the fine details which for me seemed it would take an eternity to create.  The gilded furniture items such as the Hunting table with a map of Compiègne 1737 is very reminiscent of a time long past and very regal nevertheless, and the monumental statues such as the Bust of Louis XIV 1665–66 depicted the face of a king responsible for the largest palace ever built.

Simply beautiful.


A Christmas toy story

I spent some time in the kitchen cooking eggplant parmigiana on the night before Christmas, while listening to some music and dancing along as I cooked and welcomed the cool air of the night. Christmas was here.

I baked some sweet potatoes and then put together a simple green salad. I set the table and dressed it with Christmas decorations. It looked lovely.

After my daughter arrived we exchanged gifts and then we sat down and shared a Christmas lunch. It was delicious. For a brief second and out of the blue, I got all emotional and teary for a moment as memories of my Mum came flooding in. It took me by surprise and without warning, and it wasn’t just that, it was also that I was feeling very joyous for being blessed with having my beautiful daughter share this special moment with me. She also shed a tear or two. I apologised to her while explaining how random it was that I was suddenly feeling overwhelmed and emotional, and it was so unexpected. Maybe my Mum was with us in Spirit after all.

Then suddenly a stranger (a neighbour) was at my front door, just standing there holding a toy remote apparatus between his two hands and asking me if I could please retrieve his toy from my back yard. He didn’t knock on my door as he should’ve because he could see us through the security screen door seated at our table eating lunch. At first I was annoyed. How dare he interrupt my beautiful moment with my daughter over a stupid 2 second toy. I asked him to wait a minute while I went and checked my back yard for his toy. It was not there. It was nowhere to be seen. He apologised for the intrusion and off he went. Shouldn’t he be eating his lunch with his family instead of playing with a new Christmas toy?

Come Boxing Day, late this afternoon, my dog starts to bark ferociously, and I go outside to investigate to see what it is she is barking about, and who’s head do I see bobbin around behind my fence? Yes you guessed it. The strange neighbour. He was still looking for his lost toy plane. I stood there for a second as I watched him standing behind my fence and messing around with his bush, ‘What are you doing there Sir? Still looking for your toy plane?’ I asked. ‘Yes. I saw it land on this bush,’ he said, ‘and I’m sure it fell down on your plant.’ I stepped up close to my plant and gave it a shake and spread it apart and checked it for the toy and there was no toy. ‘No toy,’ I said. ‘Maybe you should look on the ground where you are standing, it might be there somewhere right under your feet.’ ‘OK. Sorry,’ he said. And then he was gone. My dog was still restless and asked her to settle down and I had a giggle to myself, as this whole toy story was really getting out of control.

I went inside and I got a text message from my neighbour who lives immediately next door to me, he is visiting his MIL with his wife in the North Coast, and I told him the story about what had happened. Now we all know very well how text messaging can get funny sometimes, especially if it is taken out of context. While trying to convey my message to him, it read like this:

‘The neighbour was at it again. This time my dog was barking ferociously at the back fence. I went to investigate and there he was standing behind the fence and trying to shake the bush. I asked him if he found his toy plane and he said that he believes it is the bush it landed on, but could no see it. Again I checked my plants (just in case it fell on them as he shook his bush) haha almost sounds rude! And told him that there is NO sign of a plane in it and to check the grounds where he stood. Drama!’

He replied:

‘Sounds like you’re having a ball…literally.’

I laughed out so loud that tears streamed down my cheeks. All I could think of was the strange neighbour shaking his bush behind my fence looking for his toy. I swear you couldn’t make this stuff up even if you tried. Haha.

Say no more.

Will he ever find his toy plane, I wonder?

POTUS – for real.

Views expressed herewith are my own. My views are not intended as a personal attack on anyone  reading this. Of course you are at liberty to make your choices, and as we all know, with every choice we make there are always consequences. Know thyself.

I’m not impressed America!

You have voted and your electoral system has given you and the world ‘Trump.’  Let’s hope that Trump as POTUS provides the answer and hope to the many disenfranchised ‘forgotten’ Americans  with the change that they so desperately want and need, so that you are inclusive and are productive in the land you call home, your America.

Based on what I’ve witnessed via MSM so far, I’m not liking your chances and I’m not liking the worlds chances at the throes over Trumps oscillating whims. It is what it is. You have voted and now we all need to give POTUS a chance to govern and be the president that you all hope he will be.

I am also astounded at the level of ignorance demonstrated from the mouth to microphone interviews journalists produced as they asked some of the Trump supporters; I’m certain you are all more intelligent than this and that it’s not a complete reflection of who you are, ”Do you believe that all women deserve respect? Yes I do. What about that T-shirt you’re wearing, what does it say? It says, ‘Hillary sucks, but not like Monica. Trump that bitch.’ — And you say you respect all women? Yessum, I do sir.”  WHAT? Or , “He’s not gonna take our guns and he’s gonna kick out Muslims.”

Amongst the disappointment being felt everywhere today, including the popular 47.7% of American voters for Hillary Clinton, there is also a lot of good will and well wishes, as well as, international diplomatic respect for Trump, with the provision of a ‘positive’ change of things to come.  Well, at least let’s all hope so, let’s all hope that he will not let you and the rest of the world down.

I was especially warmed when Hillary Clinton offered her full support to Donald Trump when she delivered her concession speech when she said, ‘I hope that he will be a successful president for all Americans.  We must accept this result and then look to the future. Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead. Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power. My friends, let us have faith in each other, let us not grow weary and lose heart, for there are more seasons to come and there is more work to do. ‘

What a woman and what a brilliant speech!

I know her speech was well received.

The things that cross my mind, sometimes.

I find it interesting how our minds are focused on silly things sometimes.  24 hours is a long time in which to ponder all that is, all that ever was, and all that will ever be. Through the meanderings of my mind I come across memories of yesteryear and from them I gauge my perspective and emotion of that time and I try to compare it with this time, right now.  Not much has changed I gather, or has it?

Of course it has.

What I thought then, I don’t think now.  How I perceived things then, I see it differently now. Which leads me to think that whatever my focus is right now, will not matter at all in days to come.  It will just be a thought and an emotion filed into the abyss of my mind and maybe to resurface one day via idle chatter among friends.  It means nothing to anyone but me, or does it?

It might do.

My focus right now is on friendships, and we all know how they run.  Some friendships come into our lives and last a life time and others are seasonal, and some come and go like a laundry wash; clean one minute, soiled the next, and into the washing machine it goes, until you pull it out and hang it out to dry.  The thing with this analogy is that from the constant washing of clothes, over time the colour fades and eventually the fabric thins down too, and it starts to sag, and it starts to lose its appeal to the point that you decide to either trash it, or you give it a new home, perhaps at a recycling centre; and we all know where some of those recycled clothes end up, don’t we? Yep, into land fill.  I did say some of these clothes.  And so it is that our seasonal friendships end up in the scrap heap of our minds and our everyday lives.

Perhaps I’m gaining less tolerance of fools as I grow up some more?

In search of new friends, I’ve embarked on a quest to embrace every opportunity presented to me to make this happen.  I’ve joined various social groups and so far it’s proving a lot of fun. I am socialising now in a totally different way. I have decided to not overly invest myself or letting others overly invest in me and keeping it all simple and somewhat more real.  After all, if it is true that friendships tend to have a 7 year expiry date (where did I read that?), why invest too much of myself in it?

I wonder how this approach will pan out for me? Time will tell.

I figure for now it will do, and after all, it’s all evolutionary and it may all be evenly paced whimsically; if that is a thing.

All lives matter.

What is in a day? Plenty? Very little? Maybe a bit more than very little?

Most of us are preoccupied by many different things on any given day, and some of these things could be big things, or they could be minor things, silly things, serious things, or they could be trivial things.  Overall, they are things that matter to each of us, they make up the things that we know that make up the sum of our lives.

Our world sheds light and dark each day and night, and mostly humans are the creators, the generators, the destroyers, the affixed, the builders, the demolisher’s, the heritage keepers, the healers, the discoverers, the scientists, and sadly in some parts of the world, the bombers and the annihilators.

It pains me.

Images in the media of what once was a city or a town, where there once was infrastructure, farming, market places, communities of people, governance and a home for many, show the destruction of these things that has taken place in recent times, it shows of the many people suffering and dying. It’s horrendous.  Many lives lost for what purpose? Innocent people and children lost to the world forever.  When will all this madness and these wars stop?  Enough is enough!

Social media is filled with photos of war, death, bodies scattered over bombarded building debris, and in every possible space, it is beyond horrific to witness.  This Syrian Doctor Has a Message to the Whole World. Where is the humanity to help the survivors and the destitute people? It is not acceptable for any government to allow the death fields to continue and to not intervene and stop the madness.

Dead babies found on coastal shores Syrian baby refugee is heart breaking, beyond comprehension, extremely tragic, and not acceptable. All lives matter.

Please stop the madness.

If everyone would just stop the madness, the world would be a better place for it.

Everyone deserves to live a safe life.

Everyone deserves refuge, a safe place to live and a place to call home.