John Dryden

August 9, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | HISTORY, Poetry, WRITING & LITERATURE |

Dryden (born 9 August 1631), England’s Poet Laureate before that office was fairly soon debased, you can set aside his works that tediously extol public virtue and look instead at his poetic struggles between Religion and Reason, or Now and Then: “Dim, as the borrow’d beams of Moon and Stars To lonely, weary, wandring Travellers, Is reason to the Soul; And as on high, Those rowling Fires discover but the Sky Not light us here; So Reason’s glimmering Ray Was lent, not to assure our doubtfull way, But guide us upward to a better Day. And as those nightly Tapers…

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Izaac Walton – The Compleat Angler

August 9, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Books, LIFE, WRITING & LITERATURE |

Izaak Walton (born 9 August 1593) wrote one of the best goofing-off books ever.  First published in 1653, the full title was: The Compleat Angler or the Contemplative Man’s Recreation, divided into two parts: I, “Being a Discourse of Rivers, Fish-ponds, Fish and Fishing”; II, “Being Instructions how to Angle for a Trout or Grayling in a Clear Stream”. As Walton confessed in a preface, “…most Readers may receive so much pleasure or profit by it, as may make it worthy the time of their perusal, if they be not too grave or too busie men…I have in several places mixt…

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“Utter Carnage”

August 7, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Australian History, AUSTRALIANIA, HISTORY, LIFE |

7 August 1858: The First Game of Australian Rules Football is played. Victoria’s Cricket Captain, Tom Wills, is credited as the main inventor, developer and driver of the Australian Game. (He wanted something to keep the cricketers fit during the winter off-season). On 7 August 1858, the first ever recorded match was played between Melbourne Grammar School and Scotch College, held (appropriately) at the Richmond Paddock. The game ended in a draw (a goal apiece). One hundred and fifteen years later, of course, the ne plus ultra of the sport would play out in Adelaide… It has become something of…

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Don’t Cook Tonight, Call Chicken Delight

August 6, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | AUSTRALIANIA, LIFE |

Glenelg Tigers v North Adelaide Roosters at Prospect Oval, 5 August 2018 If only we’d won a couple more close ones. Be that as it may, the Tigers are still a Very Silly Chance for finals, and perhaps more sensibly (and more importantly), seem to be developing the cohesion and application that all good sides have. In wet and windy conditions at the notorious lop-sided ground, Glenelg held its nerve and out-lasted a more fancied opponent by maintaining consistent scoreboard pressure, a factor lacking in previous years. The Milera boys were up and about, but Lachlan Hosie, on a bad…

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Act III From “Meistersinger” – Mastered!

Come blow your horn

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Act III, Adelaide, 4 August 2018. The ASO and State Opera triumph again!  Our slate is free of crosses!  A dramatic version of Act III of Wagner’s magisterial comedy was beautifully presented on Saturday night, with Nicholas Braithwaite and the ASO, having had about 5 minute’s practice, fully on top of Wagner’s complex, rich sonorities, polyphonic master-touches, and yes, humour, and humanity.  Whilst The Varnished Culture overheard one dowager claiming afterwards that Hitler used to turn up for Act III alone (to absorb the finale’s Message about the retention of Pure Germanic Art), we have always considered…

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