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Wednesday, 3 September 2008

“Her painted the universe”

We collected Linda's cousin - Valerie - from Corfu Port this afternoon after five flights - two in New Zealand from Dunedin, then on to Shanghai, to Frankfurt and so to Athens where she took a bus across Greece to Igoumenitsa, thence to Corfu by ferry and up to the village. * * * E-mail from Chigiri – read late – about Emily Kngwarreye:
Dear Simon. Thank you for e-mail… I am very very happy you had enjoyed the museum. And for me, Emily's works which I saw were amazing. They're similar to Mandala. I felt that her works told me what dialogues from deeply inside of the unconscious are. We, all kinds of things in the Universe are one. We have same dialogue. Like we have similar myths. I've felt excited since we strolled in the museum. What wonderful thing I found! I don't know why, but I felt her works were not painted by her, painted by something great through her body. Otherwise it was impossible to paint so many works in so short a time. Today I got a postcard which was sent by one of my friends in Tokyo, who didn't know I had seen the exhibition with you. She told she went to see the museum and how wonderful it was. Her painted the Universe, full of wisdom. What a coincidence we felt almost same thing. But I don't think it happened because we are Japanese, I think we had studied psychology for several years. But I can say Japanese may understand easier the dialogue in her works. Because we've believed gods are in all kind of things.
Kostas gave us a kilo of prickly pears as we left his office with the car. Nice fruity inside to spoon but, yet again, I got the pesky little prickles in my fingers for Lin to extract with tweezers. Mark went fishing off the estuary across the Straits and called me round later to give us one of the blue fish he'd caught. To get it in our small oven I cut off its head and tail - a shame as I like the cheeks on a roast fish. Its flesh was firm, fresh, delectable. "Have these grapes" gestured Leftheris, "I’ve enough for wine. Leaving them on the vine attracts wasps." He mimes being stung. Sweet juicy and small, I savour them in tens, swallowing the pips. Beyond the woods around Agios Elias the grey sea in the straits shimmers beneath the morning haze. At the harbour I put on Summer Song’s sails - this time making no mistakes; remembering to fix string to my specs, dropping nothing overboard. With September the weather is slightly less hot while we, having been here and in Athens during July, become more used to the remains of a Greek summer. Cicadas are gone, swallows nearly all departed, skops owls calling only very quietly, dogs too hot to bark as much as usual. Unlike our part of England this year, there are butterflies – some new to me like the White Admiral. Bubble, pregnant again, visits for food and to lie around, accompanied cautiously by her two indistinguishable surviving kittens, stalking each other amid our greenery We’ve boxed in the open ends of floor where the staircase ends, with two planks, fillets, filler and varnish – also applied to the wood plugs hiding four countersunk coach bolts tying the banister’s bottom support through the floor to the beam beneath. It feels firm; looks good. Leftheris, with typical generosity, insisted on mounting our ladder to fix a twisted gutter end – ready for rain, one day. We enjoy evenings indoors with the windows open but screened. Such larger insects as do wander through the door, wander out again as swiftly. The cobwebs I’ve left on our shutters help. Tiny ants irritate us when we try to sit outside, bare-legged, after dark, yet our neighbours chat outside suffusing a sultry evening with conviviality. Indoors we’ve watched - over supper - good films collated for us by Richard and played through VLC media player. We're also enjoying the DVD John Martin mailed me of Grassroots, a comedy series about Arcadia Waters Council. My e-mail:
Dear J. It's nice to see the Brits have done so well in Beijing in sailing and cycling (among other things)...the mere reference to bicycles has to be good publicity for policies supporting cycling - that plus higher energy costs might help towards saner local travel. Trouble is, there are still people who recall a parent who had to go to work on a bicycle - still a folk-memory of cycling, except for kids, sport and recreation, as something slightly demeaning. Have we been having fun watching the life of Arcadia Waters Council! The stories seem arguably truer, within the comedy conventions, than Yes Minister. The touch is lighter and, unlike Yes Minister, where the nearest you get to integrity is via Bernard's innocence, there's a seam of the stuff running through this series that distinguishes the struggling flawed owl from the obvious fox and donkey and sheep (:)) - often behaviours rather than characters too, as Kim and I always intended with our paper on political skills. I'll be intrigued to hear all the nuances I'm missing and - yes - there are lots of relevant passages - boundary crossings, political-managerial-professional confusions, role tensions and examples of integrity winning over game-playing and vice versa. I like the messy links between 'independent councillors' and the occasional connections with mainstream commonwealth parties and the multitude of 'critical incidents', especially those relating to the role of 'state'. There's so much. Lin and I have the impression the producers rather like local government. That doesn't make it less acerbic, but there’s less of the cynicism about government that runs through 'Yes Minister'. If you have no time for local government will find their prejudices confirmed, but if you do, the picture’s brighter. The script seemed so full of recognisable detail, I was almost relieved to hear that Geoffrey Atherden had been a mayor – in South Sydney. Was he as good at that job as he is at writing? I'm struggling to place George in many of our local councils. I can see his role but I think, despite his abilities as a fixer, he's the kind of lovable rogue who's been largely eliminated by 'new management' (rightly so of course) - of which Arcadia Waters' egregious General Manager is such a good caricature. Painless homework! I'm also engrossed in Helen and Chris' 2002 book Working Across Boundaries - rich with creative thinking about governance and leadership. Best Simon


  1. You Lucky People,I am trying to work in the humidity of Bermuda and all i can think of is Ano Korakiana.Trying to find as many jobs indoors as i can to keep me refreshed, wishing my life away fueled by your snippets of Kerkyra.Roll on October and my busman's holiday working on our spiti on Democracy street.

    Paul & Cinty

  2. It'd be good if you were here. Sadly we'll be away in October, but back soon.


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