Sunday, September 18, 2005

Dutch Masters

Today I went and saw the Dutch Masters Exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria. An incredibly popular exhibition, most of the pieces were on loan from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam while they under refurbishment.
There were some spectacular pieces of art there, it made the existing Rembrant pieces that the gallery owns, look small amoungst many many other dutch masterpieces.
Of most interest I found was two paintings of a waterwheel almost the same and most likely of the same scence, one by an art tutor and one by his student. It was interesting to see the differences in the two, but what I found most amazing was one painting was from the NGV's existing collection, and the other from the Rijksmuseum being placed together. Kind of like a reunion of two artworks.

I also had the opportunity to see the revamped Shrine of Rememberance. I was quite impressed with what they have done in the new visitors centre. Entering the Shrine through the Crypt is a little different. It would be nice to see a little more about the history of the building, and of the people it represents - it looks if they plan to do this.

And another thing, what a great idea the Sunday Saver metcard is, $2.50 for all travel, all day. The train was packed! (mainly with people going to the show, but I'm thinking more today because of the cost of the ticket). Perhaps reducing the prices of tickets will encourage more use of public transport, particuarly with the cost of petrol.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Loss of the Ashes

I'd be guessing the majority of the English will be delighting at the opportunity to give Australians some stick as to their loss in the Ashes test series.
For many of us, myself included, seeing the English team win was probably not seen as such a bad thing.
  • Watching Australia play has become terribly boring over the past 5 years. Gone are the days when the Aussies aim was to beat the all mighty West Indies. There was just no challenge. To the point where it was being televised on the least watched network, SBS. I bet the commercial networks are kicking themselves.
  • The Australian team has become somewhat arrogant about how good they are. I was very annoyed at Ricky Ponting stating that the Australians didn't need to improve their performance after the first test. Well it was the only one they won, and they were bloody lucky not to lose another in the 3rd.
  • Australians like seeing the underdog win. Tall poppies are not popular.
So I expect to be heckled at the end of the year on my return visit to the UK, the favorite topic for conversation previously by the English is to joke at the poor state of their cricket team and their inability to win the Ashes.
England winning the Ashes is not only a win for them, it's a win for the competition, I can't wait to see the match at the MCG, Boxing Day test 2006. I'm predicting a massive crowd.