Thursday, May 28, 2009

Just finished reading...

Brunelleschi's Dome. Its a short, enthralling story about architecture, design, and competition to construct the top of the Duomo, during the renaissance in Florence, Italy.

When MrLaurie and I were recently in Europe, one of our most challenging activities was climbing to the top of the Duomo - it is huge. Huge. Even more amazingly though, the dome part was built without internal scaffolding, and with amazing innovations in crane-type machines to move the massive pieces of marble into place.

(view from the top of Duomo - its a long, long way down) (image credit moi)

I don't usually read books on architecture... but a few years ago, I decided to 'just buy' books that caught my eye, and not to think about whether or not it fitted into my ideas of 'good books'. So after several years of confining myself to purchasing only lit-er-a-ture dahling, I expanded my reading, and my bookcase. So now I have biographies, and histories, and strange little items - a book on using physics to understand crowds (and other things...) - Critical Mass. I also have a book on IVF and the history of assisted reproductive technologies, and a history of prohibition in the US.

Reading in this way has expanded my interests, and knowledge... and my ability to be a pain at trivia nights :)


When putting a little desciption of this wee blog, I included flowers. To date? No flowers!

So here's a cute litle picture of waterlillies for the internet, taken on a recent trip north to Kakadu.

Just gorgeous.

Image credit - moi.
Grey skies gathering.
City blocks disappearing into the mists.
Winter gently encroaches.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

tram views

Daily, I pass by the East Melbourne day procedure facility. That anodyne name somewhat undersells its primary purpose - its an abortion clinic.

Every morning as I pass by on the tram - long before the clinic itself is actually open - I observe the small group of people who wait outside the gates, armed with three dimensional posters showing fetal development, pamphlets, and scowls.

The group is small - the recent law change in Victoria showed that while there is a group of people deeply against abortion, the majority see it as a necessary evil at least, and certainly a private matter not to be interferred with. Most Victorians were glad to have abortion out of the criminal code.

Usually, the group consists of about four people. Sometimes only one, sometimes as many as seven. Yesterday, I noticed a different composition to the group - they were mainly women. Almost always the group is made up of elderly men, in about their sixties or seventies - probably retired, and with time to hang around and bother perfect strangers about their life choices.

What is the point of this ponder? I don't really know... perhaps the fact that it is mainly older men trying to police young women's choices. Perhaps the fact that the group is so small compared to what I see of the situation in America. Perhaps just the fact that the group is even there, and so persistently. It is just so odd to me.

Surely, if you're really against abortion, you should be spending your time lobbying the government to increase the single parent's pension? Making childcare affordable, and accessible? Looking at contraception access, so that unwanted pregnancies happen less?

It seems to me that if you truly believe abortion is murder - which I do not, but semantics - if you do, surely you should be trying to make both not getting unexpectedly pregnant less common, and - once a woman is pregnant - making the choice to keep the pregnancy easier, by creating the social environment which is supportive, rather than shaming?

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Things driving me crazy today:
* The Monash freeway - will they EVER finish the roadworks?
* The non-delivery of my dining table chairs
* Telstra and their definition of 'service'.
That is all.