Sometimes we do something or visit somewhere and it is fairly straightforward to write about it; travelogue style pieces that essentially say we went here and saw that. However occasionally we do or see something that provokes a deeper response in me and I then find it quite hard to think about how to write about it to the extent that I wonder whether I should or not. That is because my response will mean that I have to share something about myself and my feelings and opinions with the “world” that I may not think is entirely politic. Even writing this paragraph falls into that category and leads me to ponder what exactly is the purpose of the blog and why I am writing it. When I am “stuck” over a post in this way I always know as I will often start it and then scrap it; write the first paragraph and decide it is not right; give it one title and then change it and sometimes abandon it altogether. All of this except the abandoning have been true of this post.
Sorry about the pun in the title, breaking my own rule regarding punning headlines but actually it does capture what we felt after our visit during our recent trip up to London. There is something about these old industrial buildings that makes them work for contemporary display spaces. Sydney has its own Powerhouse Museum which is a museum of Applied Arts & Sciences and the old Balmain Powerhouse at the entrance to the peninsula is scheduled to be converted to retail, business and community use which one hopes will include some “arts” space. The scale of them just seems to work and they remain as reminders of our industrial history especially as they are often located in places where all other signs of industrial activity have long since been removed in our post-industrial urban centres.
Recently it was time once again for Castle Reunion drinks at the Counting House in Corn Hill followed by dinner. As with last year my Suffolk chum from Durham University days rounded up ten alumni, as the term is, to assemble and swap stories about their careers, offspring and in some cases grandchildren. The difference this year was twofold – we were requested to find the dinner venue and, owing to my error in asking, to come up with this year’s “Big Question” to the assembled company designed to elicit deep, meaningful and philosophical conversation. The latter, I can reveal, was “What are you personally optimistic and/or pessimistic about?” while the former was La Sauterelle at an unassuming little place known as the Royal Exchange. Continue reading