Friday 23 June 2017

Warming to the cold

Quite a while ago I decided that I wouldn't mind at all not going anywhere hot again (and I'm working on exactly that, so watch this space...). It's not that I have anything against luminous turquoise sea, white sand and palm trees - it's just that it all gets a bit samey after a while. I've been hankering for ages to see Antarctica, the aurora, polar bears and penguins (yes, yes, I know they're poles apart) and lots of other interesting places not known for their balmy weather. I have the merino: I can do it.

It helps, of course, that where I live it never gets properly cold - not cold like a Christchurch winter in an uninsulated house, not cold like working outdoors through an English winter, both of which I am fully familiar with. No, though it's officially winter here now, I still haven't used my electric blanket, and have yet to get through a whole evening without whingeing about how uncomfortable it is with the heat pump on, and turning it off. And I really enjoyed walking along the Viaduct last night after the rain had stopped, when it was calm and mild and all the lights were reflected off the harbour and the wet ground. Shiny!
I'm preparing for a story about Auckland for a national magazine, as a sop to its non-JAFA readers, and my qualification is that I am a Mainlander who has just realised that I've lived here now for as long as I did in Christchurch. So I really need to get to know the city properly, instead of hovering on the fringes, and scoffing.
So far I've been trying to get a bit arty, with a visit to the Art Gallery, and to a new theatre for a local play. The play was a wee bit rough around the edges, but it was the opening night, so I'll be generous - and it was certainly local, with a big Maori element plus mince pies and Ten Guitars, and humour as well as violence and a whodunnit element. It was 'When the Sun and Moon Collide' since you ask.
The Art Gallery, though? Sigh. It's very hard to break away from my prejudice towards representational art - or, at the very least, pleasing combinations of colour and shape that show some actual skill. It's hard for me to look at something deliberately ugly, that is "making a statement" and get past my hobbling mindset that art should be decorative. I know. So unsophisticated, for someone with a post-graduate arts degree. More work needed. But really? These torn diamonds of polycotton? Really?  But I did like the gallery itself...

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