Edinburgh National Museum

November 3, 2014 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | THUMBNAIL REVIEWS, TRAVEL |

(2013) In sweet, windy Edinburgh, a revelation was the new National Museum, beautifully done, no expense spared by the look of it. An old fashioned Anglophile collection, all over the shop, with a refreshing lack of ‘unifying themes’ so one could enjoy the diversity. Dolly the Sheep, Lewis chessmen, the tomb of Mary, Queen of Scots, a fractured Meisson lion, Ching Ching the Panda (a childhood friend) a pavilion packed to high rafters with enough stuffed animals for an ark. And a corker of a restaurant on the 5th floor*. A nice way to keep out of the paint-stripping breeze….

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Bluesfest

(2014) Touted as Australia’s premier blues and roots festival, Bluesfest is really an eclectic gathering of the available great and good. The Varnished Culture only made Monday’s gig and a list of acts enjoyed will give you an inkling of the variety: Joss Stone, Michael Franti & Spearhead, War, KC & the Sunshine Band, Booker T Jones, the Beards, Chain and climactically, Elvis Costello & the Imposters. When Booker T recalled how young he was in 1962 when he wrote ‘Green Onions’, it occurred to the V.C. that he was not only older than most of the crowd but most…

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The Big Air Package

November 3, 2014 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS, TRAVEL |

(by Christo) (2013) We all went to the gasometer near Duisberg to check out Christo’s installation, ‘Big Air Package’. We were sceptical about this Bulgarian wrapper but it was wonderful, a 90m high white balloon that cast an eerie, snow-like glow inside. Afterwards, we had German super-hospitality at dinner and beyond, salted with pessimism about Ms Merkel and the future of the Euro.

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Tranquility in Sorrento

Sorento

I essentially completed my novel, Tranquility in Sorrento, Tasso’s town, circa April 2013.  Unlike Joseph Conrad, who, when finishing Lord Jim one early morning, shared a piece of chicken with his cat, I couldn’t hear my cat’s insistent calls to breakfast: he was thousands of miles away.  Moreover, there was no feeling of triumph, merely relief floating in a sea of fatigue and alcohol.  I started this thing in 1979, ignorant of vast swathes of modern fiction, an ignorance that cannot be overcome, perhaps only palliated, by reading 24/7.  By 2013, having worked on it in time to spare and short periods…

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