Saturday, April 01, 2006

Now we are here in Xanadu

It's one of those deceptively cool Autumn days in Melbourne sneaking up on the tail end of a series of hot weeks. I should know by now that a sunny April Autumn here doesn't actually guarantee warmth. Let the Northern states have their oh so typical 20+ degree weather and ridiculous humidity, god knows how they aren't bored and stifled by it's tenacity day in day out. I never liked knowing the ending of the tale just by reading the blurb anyway.Melbourne has an unpredictable and complex nature, to say the least.. She has layers (or wears layers, if you like). Of course, this is not everyone's cup of tea.

Regardless, you'd think I'd have remembered to bring a jacket or something. Geez.

I find myself on this Saturday morning on the first of April (my month as I like to think of it) at the NGV, sorting through posters looking for that Footballer painting by Sidney Nolan. I suppose I had better have something big and colourful to inspire the children when I next see them. I pick up a few more notable Australian paintings: Ocean Beach Sorrento, First Class Marksman, Lost I can't believe we don't have them already.

I make my purchases and thumb through the stalls of books on offer at Federation Square. She is an eclectic glass structure that we were either unsure about or hated with a passion in the early days when she was standing new and shiny on the corner of Flinders and Swanston. We secretly love her now, no longer a monstrosity sullying the history of the city with her vulgar post-modern, asymmetrical ways. Yes, her crooked stairs and bizarre lines always take you by surprise, but the chaotic spaces within the chaotic space somehow fits these days. We are a bit of a patchwork here - never one thing.

I remember what the space was like before.. A dull concrete wasteland where the derros on skateboards hung out and sold dope. The skateboarders are still there but they're wearing Tsubi jeans now. Things change folks.

I find 31 Songs by Nick Hornby. The cover is smudged and the edges curl up slightly but it's $5, which is better than $31, which is what I saw it for at Borders. I've been meaning to read it for a long time. I think there's a lot to be said about a person and their musical tastes. It's by no means the only description you can rely on for a good personality assessment but it's a picnic rug, you know? Other things go on top, cutlery, condiments, drinks, food, people, laughs etc. You can certainly still have a picnic without the rug, as long as you have the rest of the things, but the rug somehow brings it together.

Bad analogy ..I'll work on it.

I was thinking about this as I sat in my car at the lights on Hoddle and Johnston with Xanadu on full blast. Yep.