Roman Guide – Pierfrancesco Vecchio

January 9, 2015 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | HISTORY, TRAVEL, Ulalume |

If you are new to Rome and can’t stay for more than several months, you would do well to see the Vatican chambers and the Forum Romanum (at least).  Best to do that with a learned guide.  TVC was lucky enough to have Pierfrancesco Vecchio, art historian and archaeologist, from Imago Artis. Francesco, who wears his deep learning lightly and with his trusty tablet at hand, knows just what to cover, what to pass by and he made our experience easy and fun as well as instructive.  Our concierge had recommended him to us and we thank him for that…

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Aida

January 9, 2015 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | MUSIC, Opera, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

 (Opera Australia, Melbourne, December 2009) (DVD, San Francisco Opera, 1981) You can’t miss with this one, although it does play a little like a Pharaoh’s Royal Command Performance; numerous parades, for example.  This production touched all the staging bases, which it must, and then some, which you’d expect from Graeme Murphy. Well performed by all, particularly Warwick Fyfe as Amonasro.  Jennifer Wilson looked the part more than Margaret Price (who, while singing well, played Aida like a worried little thing in a cafe from ‘Neighbours’ in the 1981 San Francisco filmed production) and the gentleman playing Radames managed to avoid…

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2015 : The Year of Teacosies?

Wishing everyone a Very Happy New Year. ♥♥♥AN UPDATE – INSTRUCTIONS FOR THIS TEAPOT CAN BE FOUND HERE AND HERE♥♥♥ I have made a floral teacosy for my friend L – it was to be a Christmas present.  But…..so now it will be a birthday present for February. The basic pattern for the teacosy came from Crochet by Raymond, a fabbie site (Raymond is a cat, BTW).   I found patterns for the flowers and leaves from all over the place. For more SENSATIONAL teacosies, do have a look at my Pinterest board, “Crochet and Knitted Teacosies”  (Should that be “crocheted”? …

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Larousse Gastronomique

Image courtesy of Booktopia

TVC embraces cuisine as a necessary element of culture but has hitherto been rather an ignoramus in the field. Not any more. This Christmas treasure, a gift from good (culinary) friends, was originally devised by Prosper Montagnè, with the first edition in 1938, as a comprehensive guide to matters gastronomic, a serious counterweight to Alexandre Dumas’ Grand Dictionnaire de cuisine. A skim of the contributors to this (2009 English edition, based on the French, 2007) and earlier versions reveals a pantheon of cordon bleu chefs, restauranteurs, academics, scientists, critics, writers, oenologists, sommeliers, confectioners, etc, etc. From recipes to history to…

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The Elgin Marbles

January 7, 2015 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, HISTORY, LIFE, TRAVEL, Ulalume |

Image courtesy Andrew Dunn

‘And so this is Christmas and what have we done?’  Have we been friends of the earth and enemies of the people; open to change and closed to knowledge; fighting for peace and appeasing terror?  Tu se’ pagliaccio! The squabbles over the Elgin marbles continue.  There are many arguments pro and con; some ingenious, some tosh.  Legally, you can paraphrase Mr Gutman from the ‘Maltese Falcon’ and say clear title rests with Pheidias, so how can another claim prevail except by right of possession? The only edifying aspect to squabbles over title is that it reveals a hitherto latent love…

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