Saturday, January 24, 2009

Heat, Monet and Nixon

That is a mixture of topics but it describes my Thursday.
We are in the middle of a heatwave here, heat is what is driving me to live in Dunedin.
Last week one day reached 42'C (108'F) in Penrith about 20km from here and was probably about 37'C (99'F)here. Thankfully it cooled down over the weekend but the temperatures have risen again since Tuesday and each day has been in the mid 30's.(high 80'sF). We are waiting for a cool change late this afternoon. Fortunately the humidity has been high, not fortunate for comfort but for bushfire risk although a complete fire ban has just been imposed. My nearest town has already gone over 30'C (86'F) at 9am.
I hate lying at night under a fan trying to get to sleep. My neighbour complained she has not been able to turn off the aircon but I do not have that. There have been thunderstorms around in the evening but they have all missed my place. While they can cause damage, they usually cool the air and the rain is nice. I spent several hours watering on Wednesday evening (we can only water certain hours Wednesday and Sunday).

On Thursday I decide to escape the heat and go to the art gallery and movie. My train journey of nearly 2 hours each way was in blissful airconditioning. Unfortunately about one third of our suburban trains are still not airconditioned and on my 3 journeys around the city, I struck the jackpot - all non air con but only about 10 mins each time.
I went first to my church to sample the coffee cart which has been operating in the grounds since July. Not sure of its purpose, suppose to advertise the church to people, it is located in the main legal office area and near an important tourist precinct. The church is the oldest in the city. Anyway it was good coffee.

Then I walked the 10 minutes to the Art Gallery (not too hot at 11am and it is near the harbour). Discovering that the Monet and the Impressionists exhibition was closing on the weekend had been the main reason for my decision to go to the city. I love Monet and have visited Giverny twice. Most of the paintings were on loan from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

I liked , among many, Seacoast at Trouville and Fisherman's Cottage on the Cliffs at Varengeville and Snow at Argenteuil had me envious.I then returned to the city, waiting 20 minutes for a bus that was 10 minutes late, fortunately there was a cool breeze off the harbour and the bus was airconditioned but I could have walked in that time.
After lunch and an hour perusing a CD sale where I spent $25 on 3 cds, I caught a train out to the cinema where I saw Frost/Nixon.

I intend posting about my recent movies soon. A number of them were included in the Oscar nominations. I see that Frank Langella has been nominated for his role as Nixon with which I heartily concur. I believe there were some historical inaccuracies but would not know myself. I was travelling around Europe at the time of the resignation and in those days most places I stayed did not have TV. I always thought Nixon was a bigger crook even than George W Bush :-).
It was not top of the list of movies for me to see, mainly chosen by time to fit in with the Art gallery visit but I did enjoy it, although Frost irritated me.

When I exited the cinema just before 5, it seemed to be the hottest time of the day and, after another non-airconditioned suburban train trip, I was glad to reach Central station and board my airconditoned train for the trip home. Arriving home at 7pm, it was becoming cooler although the sun does not set until 8pm at the moment.


Fran said...

I felt the heat just reading this. I say this as someone in the dead of upstate NY cold winter. I am embarrassed to say that I am a centigrade-dolt, I simply can think of the Aussie band Midnight Oil singing about 45 degrees and I know that means really hot.

It is about 35F here today and feels warm. It was -10F last week and will be 0 by Saturday night.

I also love Monet and I bet that was a great exhibit.

Mr. He Is and I saw Frost/Nixon last week. I really liked it and I thought Langella was brilliant.

Nixon was a big crook, but he had a brain, for good or ill. Bush has been a complete loss.

It feels more hopeful here at last.

Brian R said...

Thanks Fran, I put in the conversions for those of you in the States:-) Having grown up with Fahrenheit I can relate to it with some thought.
In the times of Nixon, we did not have instant TV news even at home and, as I said, I was travelling and not much concerned but yes I felt Nixon was a crook, out for himself, whereas Bush Jnr was just dumb and easily manipulated.

Doorman-Priest said...

Heat? I wish!!!

Swap for a week.

Those Monets are wonderful. Isn't the style linked to his short sight?

The film's on my list.