This slightly delayed post covers Canberra. Delayed mostly from not having very much computer time over the past few days to reconnect back into the geeksphere.
Have now done a lot of the tourist things in Canberra – National Carillion, National Portrait Gallery, National Library, Old and New Parliament Houses, Royal Australian Mint and the very solemn Australian War Memorial. There are still a few left like the place with the miniature things.
Enjoyed wandering around the Parliament Houses and looking at the architecture. Shall have to visit again when the House of Representatives is sitting.
Rung for service at St Pauls in Manuka. Nice bells and a sociable bunch of ringers, including a Canberra chorister that I already knew.
Went with S and L to a bonfire over the border in New South Wales for Sunday night. Was a fun experience on a cold winters night and had lots of yummy Vegan food.
Organised a dinner gathering on the Monday night at a cafe called Cream. N, K, A, C, G, M, R, P, S, D, L, S all turned up throughout the course of events. Introduced M to P and I’m sure they’ll enjoy going for motorbike rides and honing their ninja skills. S came with myself, L and S to get soy fried ice cream elsewhere in Canberra. It was a great experience to introduce completely (for values of Canberra) separate friends to each other and have them get along.
Departed Canberra and headed off to Jindabyne. Saw snow again in the distance (I’m progressively getting closer…) and caught up with D. Had some excellent Indian, chatted about life, IV and floristry 🙂 Continued heading onwards to Sydney but that is for another post….
Continued travel up from Melbourne through Albury, Gundagai, Yass and onwards to Canberra which is where I am currently writing to you from.
Having lived all my life effectively on the coast, inland population centres both fascinate and confuse me. Why would anyone life so far from the ocean? What do you do with the extra land that is in one of your four compass directions?
From this visit to Canberra, in comparison to previous ones, the place seems to be going through a bit of a growth spurt. Talking with the lovely P last night, I was amazed at the comparatively low housing costs compared to Perth. This is probably making the place attractive to live for some.
Didn’t do as much tourist stuff as I had hoped today. Was a bit sad when I visited the Telstra Tower to hear that the museum that was there is no more.
Notable achievement for the day was organising a catch up with all my favourite Canberra folk on Monday night.
This was about my eight visit to Melbourne (as far as I can remember/work out) and I’ve finally worked out the zen of the city. This time was different, I had a car and was able to drive around the city.
Melbournians seem unware of the impact that geography has on their perceptions of their own city and desire to look outside it. One thing I noticed was that the distances that I was travelling were tiny by Perth comparisons but similar travel times. Everything seemed close and easily reachable. Melbourne being a large city also has everything.
Being able to see this is difficult if you are only travelling on foot or public transport. It is reflected in the nature of the roads and traffic of the city.
I’ve got a lot more rants about Melbourne driving, but I’ll spare you ..
I left today and drove to Albury. Saw the cultural change the moment I crossed the bridge over the Murray.
Really enjoyed my time at IV. The Berlioz was special, the Brahams a wonderful challenge. Looking forward to AIV and the Rachmaninoff Vespers.
I’m onto the next major phase of my trip – the meandering via Canberra and Sydney up to Brisbane. Looking forward to that too. Need to catch up on some of the administrivia of life over the next couple of days post IV.
Had the concert for the 63rd Intervarsity Choral Festival peformance of the Berlioz Requiem on Saturday night. It was a great sing and it did literally feel like I sung my lungs out. It will go down in my memories as one of my favourite concerts ever.
Dragged C along to the PCP where he provided medicinal cider for my vocal chords and was told to join MonUCS by one and all.
Attended the AIVCC meeting on Sunday. Why do I keep doing this to myself? Apart from that, the meeting went well.
Monday, I, like the rest of the choir, have hit the wall of exhaustion. Rehearsals for the Brahams is going to take a lot of willpower to climb that next mountain. I’m knackered so I’m going to try and get what little sleep I can.
Had the first orchestral rehearsal with the orchestra for the Berlioz last night.
At one point, the hairs on my neck stood up and my knees began to melt. A truly special musical moment.
Any folk in Melbourne who miss the performance tonight in the Town Hall are going you feel sorry fit themselves. (More details about tickets at http://www.miv.aicsa.org.au/
Anyhow, off to the dress rehearsal.
Currently sitting here whilst people sing pub songs (one of the great intervarsity traditions). Currently they are singing Gaudate, it may go on for hours. For the non-choral folk, think like “….. Best” but a bit more educated.
My two other favourite IV traditions have just passed – the film night and the revue night.
The film night is where old film and video recordings are shown of the previous festivals. The earliest films date from the 1960s. Seeing bits of Australia reminds how quintessiantly cities don’t change. The usual most important film is of the previous festival. This years was great. I’m part of that tradition
as I’ve edited several, I didn’t do this years but it is great to see the tradition continue.
The Revue night is a typical camp revue, but with people who can sing and have a tendancy for filking choral works. I like it because it is very much a community thing.
Anyhow, I should go to bed as I need sleep … more updates from IV later.
Have arrived safely at choir camp for the Intervarsity Choral Festival. The drive out of Melbourne from Caulfield was not as complicated or as stressful as I had anticipated. It was very strange having passengers in the car again. The back seat was packed tightly with people making corners and potholes fun 🙂
The welcome party for the festival was in the costume theme, “Ice Age”, and there were a few good outfits. Lots of people struggled with the theme to get a good outfit. I came wearing a wolfs mask, the anonymity of the mask was fun although it did freak folk out a little bit.
It was cold overnight and below zero outside. My car had not just frost, but a layer of ice on the outside.
It is being a very different IV for a few reasons, all positive. I’m reminded of the Sydney University motto (roughly translated as “Stars may have changed but we remain the same”) on their crest, however, this time it is me that has changed and it is good.