Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Canberra - land of two shadows

This morning flying into Canberra, all the trees had two shadows - the usual black one, and a slightly offset white one, from the thick frost that had not yet melted.

I am writing this in Sydney. My work colleague Ben and I are here for a couple of hours on our way home from Canberra - which is like going from Paris to London via Rome. The sun has just set over the immense airport with planes, terminals and blinky lights as far as the eye can see. And also a control tower with a twisty spiral staircase. Nice. I am in the Virgin Lounge trying to use up as much as possible of the $35 I paid to get in.

We have just had a meeting at the National Museum of Australia (with six ladies)which went well. This is for the Sunshine Harvester interactive. Walking in from the distant reaches of the NMA car park at 11.00, there were still ice-crusted leaves here and there on the grass. It was sunny and bright but the wind was penetrating. Canberra is way inland, essentially sheep country that has been turned into a capital city. Every now and then I think it does our politicians good to be forced to spend part of every year in the freezing/burning interior with its plagues of cockatoos/moths and its essentially permanent drought.

As we had a rentacar and no time pressure, I suggested we go see the Sunshine Harvester in storage. I'm glad I did, as a) the NMAs got a warm fuzzy feeling that I might be as interested in the harvester as they are and b) Ben and I got to rubberneck at a couple of dozen other famous or notable vehicles in storage, mostly in inflatable "carcoons". The harv was just under a drop sheet. A beautiful thing, corroded to a standstill. I am going to enjoy making an interactive about it though. We ended up all squeezing into one of the curators' cars, and had a jolly outing and all got to know each other better.

Hmm. Time for another complimentary beverage.

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