Selasa, 31 Agustus 2010

Last Day in Rome

Our stay in Rome was coming to an end and quite frankly we were most excited with the prospect of a week in Toscana but more about that in a week or two.
With only four days in Rome it was a matter of packing as much time into each day and our second last day was no exception.

Truly amazing, it was one of the things I most wanted to see in Rome – the hub of political and commercial life in ancient Rome. Excavations are still in progress today unearthing the secrets of Rome. Many of these ancient structures were first excavated in the 18th Century. We really needed more time to appreciate the full enormity of the Forum.

As we entered the Forum, our path was blocked by a swarm of tourists but as we ventured further into the Forum we found ourselves alone and able to absorb the many ancient structures and the amazing architecture.
The Temple of Antonius and Faustina is a more recent building (1601) but built on foundations from the 1st century AD. I wish we could have taken a full day to wander the Forum. I was so captivated by it all, that I forgot to take more photos.
So here's one I stole from Wikipedia.

Caesar’s body was cremated within the Forum after his assassination in 44 BC and we walked by the very spot, not to mention the house of the Vestal Virgins and the temples of Romulus and the sights of several Basilicas. It really was too much to absorb in one short visit.

There was to be some form of "appearance the following day and chairs were being set up in front of Saint Peters in the Piazza San Pietro as we passed by on our way to the Vatican Museum.

Now, I’m not catholic, I’m not even religious. I do however live by the ethics of certain life rules and the treatment of fellow man. I do however question why there are so many riches within the Vatican Museum. It’s difficult sometimes to judge who really were the biggest looters of the world’s greatest treasures, but at least these treasures are preserved for us to admire, however they are still looting us with the admission fees. Oh well, it was worth it to see Michelangelo’s “the Last Judgment” in the Sistine Chapel. And the ceiling – no words can describe his work, you need to be there.

Marble statue of the Tojan Priest Laocoon and sons in battle with 2 serpents.
1st Century AD 

As romantic as it was, what amused me about the Trevi Fountain was the crowd of tourists there (and we were part of it). Yes, I took pictures of the fountain but I found the gathering of people and their antics more interesting. People enjoyed the sunshine while eating Gelati and throwing coins into the water. I’m glad we experienced the Trevi Fountain and now four years on and reminiscing of our 2006 trip, I ask myself, would I return to Rome. With some trepidation, I say yes, but I would be more prepared to enjoy the history of ancient Rome while trying to ignore modern Rome.

The Trevi Fountain
And the crowds of tourists.

Maybe I will never return to Rome as I didn’t throw any coins into the fountain but many do as it is estimated that 3000 Euro end up in the fountain every day. It goes to help the needy of Rome I’m told.
Rome for me was a bit of a Love/Hate thing in many ways. I loved its history but couldn’t understand why someone would want to deface the historic architecture with graffiti. The city was too frenetic and we were looking forward to the rural Italy.

That would only be another 24 hours away, not without some drama – next Wednesday all will unfold.

Graffiti Alphabet Letters "YZ"


Graffiti Alphabet, Graffiti Alphabet Letters

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Senin, 30 Agustus 2010

It's our Birthday

Today we turned 175 years old.
I thought I would do a quick post drawing some quotes from the Internet news today. It's amazing to realise we as such a young city, now have a population of 3 million people of many different cultures. These cultures give Melbourne a rich choice of cuisines that Melbourne is famous for.

The Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Robert Doyle was reported as saying,
"I think I would be really happy if people stopped for a moment and thought what is it that makes our city great," he said.
"We're one of those rare cities who can actually name the real date. That's when we can actually nominate the moment when white settlers stepped onshore and started construction of some small huts."

From the website - "Melbourne today" announced the following,
Monday August 30, 2010, represents a milestone in Melbourne's history, marking 175 years since the city's founding - the day the first European settlers landed on the north bank of the Yarra River from the schooner Enterprize in 1835.

The Enterprize lands on the banks of the Yarra River, 1835
This pioneering group was led by Captain John Lancey with Launceston builder George Evans and his servant Evan Evans, carpenters William Jackson and Robert Hay Marr, ploughman Charles Wise and blacksmith James Gilbert and his wife Mary making up the party.

Founding fathers of Melbourne - John Batman and John Pascoe Fawkner

It was on 30 August 1835 that these first settlers landed and commenced with the building of a thatched storage hut and the clearing of land along the north bank of the Yarra River. This location today is known as Enterprize Park where Williams Street and Flinders Street meet near the old Customs House.
The people of the Kulin nation are the traditional owners of the land that became Melbourne, including the Boonwurrung, Woiwurrung, Taungurung and Djadjawurrung people, who gathered in this place for ceremonies and cultural activities.
Melbourne Day celebrates more than just the day the city was founded. It represents the point at which the proud community of Melbourne began.
And it is a day to celebrate all that makes Melbourne one of the world's most liveable cities.

The spot where the Enterprize sailed up the Yarra River and founded the City of Melbourne.

Happy 175th Birthday Melbourne

Graffiti Alphabet Letters "VWX"


Graffiti Alphabet, Graffiti Alphabet Letters
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Minggu, 29 Agustus 2010

Don't you love weekends? Just bits & Pieces.

Not far off entering September and spring, Sunday offered us clearing skies but later this week the rains will be back, but that's OK coz we will get to wash our cars again. But just with a bucket only!!!!
We can water our gardens but not the lawns. Sue says we can start on the veggie garden soon.
The water reserves are improving after Australia and our part of the country emerge from a few years of drought.

I had a small ride this morning as my back is improving with still a little niggle down the left leg. One of my training partners, Paula is a masseuse and she said it was time for some real pain. After the ride I was on the massage table and giving the occasional yelp. Ouch!
Feeling pretty good after that, I said to Sue, "Let's grab a quick lunch and then go shopping."
Food and wine shopping that is. Other than the chocolate I bought, I have no idea what else was in the trolley. The wine included some Montepulciano D'Abuzzo from Italy, some white wine and some raisin port.
Should last us until the end of the week.
Mow the lawns and some weeding saw me relaxing with our first Rosé for Spring.

I saw this bus pass me and I thought, there's a great blog piccie of Lizzie in rollers.
Sue decided she needed some tea at Tea Too........
I was really impressed with their innovative display though.
I'm about to start on painting the interior of the house, starting with the study. The colours have been selected by Sue. I'm a bit out there but Sue prefers subdued colors so that she can add light and shade later - maybe she's right. The subdued white is for the walls, and the grey is for the cornice.
The cornice is the bit between the ceiling and the wall - that picture on the wall is a poster from Albi where we visited my favorite artist's exhibition - Toulouse Lautrec.
A very casual dinner on a Sunday night -
(Sue speaking now) One of my favourite shops here is called T2.  It's all about tea.  Anything you can think of regarding a cuppa is there. From teapots to fabulous cups to strainers to tea blends and's there. All presented beautifully by someone skilled at making you want to spend money!
I'm not a fan of herbal teas. In my opinion most taste like dirty's where the big but comes in, can you tell?
This weekend I bought a tisane of lemongrass and ginger which can be mixed with another of Turkish apple and cinnamon....and it is very nice indeed. Subtle but feels like it's doing you good and tastes great as well.  My son smells it and to him it smells like apple, where to me it smells like ginger. Go figure.
I also bought one called French earl grey, which is a lot more subtle than the Twinings one I know. It is still aromatic but a lot less bergamotic (if that's even a word).
Anyhow, they cost a bomb, but I reckon it's my treat for the month and a lot more healthy than the multiple kgs of chocolate that is Leon's habitual treat! So tell me what's your treat?  Chocolate, tea, or something different?

Graffiti Alphabet Letters "STU"


Graffiti Alphabet, Graffiti Alphabet Letters
Graffiti Alphabet Letters "STU"

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Sabtu, 28 Agustus 2010

Graffiti Alphabet Letters "PQR"


Graffiti Alphabet, Graffiti Alphabet Letters

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Jumat, 27 Agustus 2010

Graffiti Alphabet Letters "MNO"


Graffiti Alphabet, Graffiti Alphabet Letters

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Kamis, 26 Agustus 2010

Torquay and the Great Ocean Road

I’m sitting in the restaurant of the Crowne Hotel in Torquay overlooking Bass Strait. It brings back memories of surfing here in the mid 70s. Other than some puffy little white clouds, the sky is blue as the waves flow in to the beach. I'm down here for for a work conference and decided to duck out for a bit of a squizz. It's a bit of a sleepy beach town at this time of the year. When summer comes, the population of 10,000 will double with holiday makers and the surfing crowd.

Torquay is the home of Ripcurl

And Quicksilver - renown the world over
In our mid-20s we would put the surfboards in the car early in the morning and drive down to what now is well known as the Surf Coast and the start of the Great Ocean Road. Bell's Beach is down the road a piece, venue for many world surfing titles. Today its the home of the famous surf gear, Quicksilver and Ripcurl.
To my surprise, I've seen these labels being sold in the middle of France - do they surf there?

The morning sun rises over Bass Strait as I arrived in Torquay.
And at mid-day, the sun had warmed the day enough to walk out towards the beach.
I just had to get the Aussie flag in the picture.
These are about the only waves that I would ride these days, if any!!!
There are creepy things out there that I don't care to meet.

The Great Ocean Road was built after WWI as away of offering employment to the returned soldiers. This piece of scenic road takes in magnificent views of the southern coastline where many early ships were dashed upon the treacherous rocky cliffs. In fact it also goes by the name of the ship wreck coast.

Wikipedia has a good historical account of the Great Ocean Road - better that I can explain.

As I sit here Thursday night writing this, I wonder what the weekend will bring - the wind is howling outside and it looks like the rains will continue - we can still use a bit more to fill the reservoirs. With only a few more days left of August, daylight saving and spring are just around the corner.

Graffiti 6 - Combination of Music and Painting

Graffiti 6
Graffiti 6
Graffiti 6
Graffiti 6 is a group band consisting of three persons. They love the art of music and other arts such as graffiti. Merging their music with album cover art in the design and appearance when they are filled with art valued the great and beautiful. They know how to exploit the sense of art and art in order to become a beauty that can be enjoyed by many people.
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Rabu, 25 Agustus 2010

Guitar Graffiti Emo Rock Music Band for Postage Stamps

graffiti emo
Guitar Graffiti Emo Rock Music Band for Postage Stamps

Guitar Graffiti Emo in a stamp design is an interesting idea. This proves that the art of graffiti widely accepted everywhere, could even be used as a promotional thing. If you want you can view a complete product and designed in
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Selasa, 24 Agustus 2010

Scenes from Rome

Rome could thrill you, impress you with its rich history, while depress you with its scenes of poverty, graffiti and frenetic pace. We didn't realise the serenity that we would experience in Tuscany, but that was still a few days ahead of us.

Andrew I decide we needed some exercise, so a run thru the streets of Rome was in order.
Many huge monuments of ancient Roman times make you gasp, but this was a memorial to some local person. A family member possibly, but no less important to those of history.
My son Andrew and I ventured out for a run through the streets of Rome and as we left the apartment, there was an old man collecting discarded fruit and vegetables from the bins of the morning market. His take home basket was probably no less impressive as our own and a lot cheaper.
Our run took us up towards the Colosseum and along the Tiber where we came across more homeless people. It was unnerving to see the poverty of Rome, not something that we often see at home. It is there but we don't often see ourselves amongst it as we did in Rome. As we ran up towards the Colosseum we saw people dressed as Gladiators being photographed with Tourists willing pass over a few euros for the privilege.
The Gladiators would take turns of being photographed while the other would take the opportunity for a "smoko". Not sure if the Romans had a "ciggie" in those days.

The Ponte Fabricio built in 62 BC is still in use today.

The run took us to the oldest still used bridge across the Tiber.

While the remains of an earlier bridge stands in its shadows.

But below were some homeless that had taken up residence with their dogs.
Yes, we saw some sad scenes during our run but the most impressive scene to me was one that you couldn't see but had to visualise. The Circus Maximus was the scene of chariot races and I had read about it before we left Melbourne. I needed to see it.
No more than a a parkland these days, I sat there for some time while imagining the races that took part there. From 400 BC to 549 AD when the last chariots raced, it was the largest spectator arena holding up to 500,000 people.
This grassy area seems not to be held in awe by the locals as there was rubbish and the remains of small fires littering this famous location.

Circus Maximus - Today!

The Circus Maximus then.

Our run then took us further along the Tiber towards the Vatican and back to the Campo and a cool beer.

We would return to the Vatican and the museum with Sue but on our run we passed by Piazza San Pietro on our return to the Campo de Fiori.

But of the many scenes of Rome, I think the Fiat Bambino and the Vespa say it all for me!!

Our afternoon run offered us scenes of Rome that we may not have experienced on a tourist bus or guided tour. It was an experience of mixed emotions. One one hand you see fashion conscious women walking in high heels on the cobble stoned piazza while the homeless sleep under bridges of the polluted Tiber. Such extremes, such contrast but such memories running through the streets with my son. I'm sure in many years to come we will discuss that run.

Declaration Love Graffiti Art on Mural Wall Street

Love Graffiti,Freestyle Graffiti Murals
Love is a feeling that is very difficult to described in words but can be felt by our hearts are soft. Love has a negative and positive effects, but if someone has a love so often times love can make even the insane can be someone different. More daring, creative because it is an expression of the feelings of their hearts. And one of the declarations made by some people is the express feelings in a graffiti art displayed on wall street.

Love Graffiti,Freestyle Graffiti Murals
Love Graffiti,Freestyle Graffiti Murals
Love Graffiti,Freestyle Graffiti Murals
Love Graffiti,Freestyle Graffiti Murals
Love Graffiti,Freestyle Graffiti Murals
Love Graffiti,Freestyle Graffiti Murals
Love Graffiti,Freestyle Graffiti Murals
Love Graffiti,Freestyle Graffiti Murals
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