Eurovision Song Contest

May 21, 2015 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | LIFE |

The Varnished Culture cites this as exhibit ‘A’ in our defence against a charge of snobbery. L introduced P to it some years ago and ever since, every late May, we settle down to score the finalists. TVC scores each song but has a separate scoring system we call The Euro Points System, in which extra points are given for: 1. Dry ice 2. Contortionists 3. Bad Dancing 4. Any item of Clothing being Torn Away 5. Dwarves 6. Angel Wings or Mock Flying 7. Clowns 8. Piano as Furniture 9. Bearded Ladies 10. Puffs of Smoke. Euro Drinking Game # 1: Every…

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Time Slip

"Let's Meet at Biba!"

  I once thought I would like to wear a graceful chiton draped over one arm and ascend the shining steps to the Parthenon in Athens’ Golden Age.  Certainly some of that sentiment has inspired my choice to learn Ancient Greek.  However, when I thought a bit more about the role of women at that time I imagined that I might do better nibbling on pastries as I am fitted for wardrobe by  Marie-Antoniette’s couturiers –  but that time had its problems too. You will note that my historical imaginings are far more concerned with the fashion of the time than any…

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Bitings on a Complimentary Basis.

February 11, 2015 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Annabel Lee, FOOD, LIFE, Restaurants, TRAVEL |

Get your bitings here

In 2004, while staying in a converted monastery in wild, windy, Avignon,  we read an invitation to “bitings on a complimentary basis” at 7pm . In some trepidation we donned evening garb, strung garlic around our necks and descended to  the ancient hall for what turned out to be “free nibbles” and not of the flattering, cannibal sort. The European grip on English translation had not improved by 2013, when, in the train station at Sorrento we read a sign which frightened and confused us.

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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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The Athenaeum Library – Melbourne

First Floor, 188 Collins Street, Melbourne. Literally a Melbourne Institution, the Athenaeum Library is an oasis among the desert of commerce in the heart of Melbourne, a quiet place to sit, read, reflect.  More power to it!

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