Wednesday, 11 July 2018

My night on the Seine

Andrew has written about his lunch cruise in Paris which reminded me of my cruise on the Seine.

I was travelling with two friends, sisters, and our stay in Paris was at the tail end of a month visit to Europe extending from Prague overland to Budapest then by rivers to Amsterdam and overland again to the French capital. I suspect the two sisters were thoroughly sick of each other's company by then even if I was still having a ball.

One of our last touristy activities was billed as a romantic evening dinner cruise on the Seine. We piled onto the river boat with high expectations. The evolving coolness between the sisters was now so evident that no-one else in our touring party sat anywhere near we three.

The cruise got underway in summer's bright late afternoon light. Dinner was served as we puttered down river; afternoon light still blazing. The sights were indeed splendid, if not yet romantically lit, but with two companions no longer speaking the general mood had turned decidedly chilly. After a time the riverboat turned about and headed back the way we came; still in bright light.

As we approached the wharf where we had boarded I assumed we would continue up the river in the other direction. After all the day, although late, was still bright. The romance of evening, I felt, might thaw the sisters out and lift the mood.

Not on your life. We tied up at the wharf and were quickly shuffled off to allow the next load of tourists to have their romantic cruise. No doubt their's, unlike our's, was eventually an evening cruise.

Beware the 'romantic evening' promises when travelling at the height of Europe's summer daylight saving hours.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Flinders Street Station

Andrew recently made mention of the new lighting of Flinders Street Station in Melbourne and I had the chance to see it myself last weekend. It is indeed an impressive sight.

Sunday, 8 July 2018

The Eastern Suburbs

A view of Sydney's eastern suburbs shortly after take off from Sydney Airport on a sublime winter's day.

The green area upper left is Centennial Park. The green area to its right is Queens Park. The beach at lower right is Coogee with Coogee Oval the green circle to it's left. The long street running down the middle (with an angled left twist midway) is Carrington Road.

Friday, 6 July 2018


Two Jewish themed films in two days. Coincidental.

'Foxtrot' is an Israeli film in three sections. In the first section, the parents of an Israeli soldier are visited with the news that their son has been killed in the line of duty. The father is initially stunned by the news and then suspicious about what actually happened to his son.

In the second section, the film reveals the nature of the duty the soldier was engaged in and in so doing portrays the wasteful, demeaning and destructive impact upon not only the soldiers but also the civilians with whom they come into contact.

The final section of the film shows the ironic and tragic truth of what has happened.

Slow and often static but worth the effort.


Thursday, 5 July 2018


Ronit (Rachel Weisz) returns to London from her workplace in New York following the death of her orthodox Rabbi father. Her reappearance sparks antagonism and suspicion amongst her friends and associates in the tight orthodox Jewish community which flares into outright anger when she is drawn into a forbidden relationship.

'Disobedience' contains excellent performances but it is a slow burn which won't appeal to everyone.


Wednesday, 4 July 2018

‘Saint Joan’

(Sydney Theatre Company)
My previous exposure to George Bernard Shaw's plays has been of furtive glances to my watch as hour after hour of dense dialogue passed by. Concentration and patience waned through plays seemingly intended to outlast time.

Against this background of experience I ventured to 'Saint Joan' with some degree of reluctance. In the event this adaptation considerably shortens Shaw's work and, I gather, considerably tightens the traditional staging.

The settings may be a bit static but the performances are powerful with Sarah Snook exceptional in the title role.

I enjoyed it.