Tuesday, October 27, 2009

solar light

It is true. Despite the countless un-PC jokes told in primary schools across Australia concerning solar-powered torches, there is one available now. The Cateye solar-powered bicycle headlight charges an internal NiMH cell during the day, so that you can spare it from using standard AA cells at night. Alternatively, buy rechargeable AA cells for your usual headlight and switch to solar powered home energy. This lamp is a bit gimmicky... and ugly. Did I mention it is ugly? :-( It ain't going near the handlebars of my bike but perhaps I could use it to light the driveway if I attached it to the front fence.

Monday, October 12, 2009

sunday climbs

A chilly Sunday morning in early Spring. The sun is still low over the distant hills, its warmth not yet able to penetrate the fog. Mist sits idly in the valleys that stretch out in a fading, pale sequence of ploughed fields, some neatly striped with the greenery of market gardeners. The road plummets into the frosty air. At 85 kilometers an hour I dive. My freewheel is not buzzing – I am pedalling like fury. The air is tearing the warmth from my grimacing face and howling through the slots in my helmet. Below me, two white, red and grey streaks clear against the black bitumen, are my companions. They vanish into the trees that surround a gully creek. I swoop past them in an aero-tuck as they sit up to catch the air. Stand and power up a short rise, then ease off. The incline brings me to a gentle glide. Downshift, then soft-pedal in the little ring to the top, coasting to a halt at a deserted junction.

A stream is trickling through the undergrowth. Magpies tunefully call to one another from the canopy above the way. In the ditch beside the road a small but cheerful chorus of froglets is chirping. Horses stand silently under musty green jackets, their heads lowered to the due laden grass. I hear the quiet buzz of the gears as first one, then the other of my friends approaches. We all stop and listen to the morning.

Where would you rather be?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

len lye

I went along to see the Len Lye exhibition at ACMI last Friday... I'm glad I didn't miss it. The kinetic sculptural works in particular are fantastic, amongst my very favourites. There was also a large collection of his sketches and screenings of his innovative scratched film works which are fun to watch but not amongst my favourite pieces of cinema. All the same, for the sculptures – I find them completely mesmerising, in particular Grass (1961-1965, photograph by Nolan Bradbury / ACMI above left) – I highly recommend this exhibition!