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Sunday, August 20, 2006

Two weeks of events and then going up in a balloon

The last couple of weeks have been so full of events -

30th July – Julia took me to see the Korean film '3 iron' - one of the best films I have seen in years about a man that breaks into houses, repairs broken things for food then moves out. Have a look on IMDB!

4th August - Hard candy at the Dendy cinema

6th August - I watched 'the Graduate' with Julia; a film we both roared at - Dustin Hofman is painfully funny.

7th August - A crap film at the Dendy, this time: Jindabyne, a film with a great story which was badly made. You leave the cinema thinking "?". Don't waste your money.

8th August - Art gallery of NSW: adventures of form and space near my office at Hyde Park. Julia had helped erect one of the pieces of art herself. Imagine a sea of coloured balls floating in mid-air, moving almost like water. There was a piece of art made from neon kitchen bulbs, another piece of art that reminded me of Mary Magdalane as she bent over to wash Jesus' feet. Yet another was carved to look like it had been grown.

9th August - Opening of the Mori art gallery. Julia and I managed to track down one of the artists at the Mori and get him to explain what his art meant. It was very interesting.

11th August 2006 – Opera House: Julia took me to a performance piece by the pianist Tomoko Tukaiyama. Rather hard to explain! I am still thinking about it, even now!

Then there was the balloon ride. My diary entry for this is below:

Julia and I have just been in a hot air balloon and in the words of Lester Burnham from American Beauty it was 'Spec-tac-ular'. This has been the best bit of my trip so far (bar landing back in Australia in April).

We were picked up at 3.30 in the morning and driven to the ‘balloon base’. It was pitch black and blisteringly (is that a word?) cold. We were all given cups of tea and told about the course of events: blow up the balloon, fly the balloon, land the balloon then eat champagne breakfast… and we followed that plan. Blowing the thing up was the only remotely arduous task, as Julia found. She and two or three other people volunteered to hold the neck of the balloon open while huge fans blew cold air into it. I was standing some way away and I could feel little bits of who knows what hitting me at speed on my cheeks. Heaven knows how it must have felt for Julia, but she stood there, tough, hardly flinching. Once the balloon was full of air, huge flame guns (for want of a better word) were turned on to heat the air. Within minutes the balloon (with a little help) began to sit upright. We (15 of us) were yelled at to hop in the balloon before the bloody thing took off!

And then we were away into the open sky. It was all a bit Wind in the Willows. It is unsurprising how pretty the world looks from a hot air balloon. If you have ever had a flying dream you will have some idea what it is like – quiet and peaceful and clear. The world looks so clean from up there. The little toy cars make no noise, the houses look big enough for dollies. I was pleased Julia was there. There was fog, there was a lovely sunrise and, not wanting to harp on, silence!

We are up for about 45 minutes all told (maybe an hour – you lose notions of time a bit up there) and when we finally landed, it was a soft and gentle one. Almost no bump at all. Then it was back to the range for bacon, eggs and all the trimmings (tally ho!). The journey back was a quiet one. All of mulling over what had just happened. If I every get the chance I will repeat the experience.

I spent the rest of that day in a drugged up haze – 3.30am really is far too early!! I wrote a bit and chilled back on the ground. There is little else to say.

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