Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Modern Art, Harness Racing,

Well I have just discovered I have absolutely no taste. We went to the gallery as I told you and had to wait a while for the owner as we were early. We therefore spent our time wandering around looking at all the paintings for sale, anything from $2,000 to $11,000. To us, we could have given a 5 year old some paints and achieved similar results. One picture which was of a room with chairs and tables etc. which were all vaguely represented, lopsided, with no proportion, was apparently a minimalist painting. Two or three others were of bright daubs of colour in paintings called Silence and then numbered. Silence, if that was silence I want ear plugs. The colours were, I admit, bright and appealing in a way, but the paintings were basically scribbles on the wall except they were on canvas. There were one or two I might have given $10 or $15 to own, might I say. Gyni would probably have appreciated them, but what she draws is recognisable (see her blog link this page) most of these were not. On the left there is a painting called Four and Five by Bruce Gray which I at least see some point to, on the right the painting is called Snap #2 by the same artist. It looks like coloured barbed wire to me, which is something, I suppose. I am sure you all know what I am talking about anyway. I just emailed our son-in-law and suggested he should change his style. I mean you can recognise what he is painting, that is obviously not right. Mike's stuff doesn't go for thousands of dollars, so he's obviously gotta change. Anyway, the upshot of the whole trip, my painting, it was, as I guess I knew deep down, a print, albeit at least 65 yrs. old, but a print nevertheless. We had a nice trip down to London and did NOT call at the cheese shop as some idiot forgot to take the address with her. Grrr. We stopped at Mandarin's which is a Chinese buffet where the food isn't bad and as always I had a bowl of hot and sour soup. Theirs is particularly good, I have never really duplicated the taste. I was wondering if it would freeze so I could bring some home, but with tofu in it, I am guessing not. Near Woodstock which we drove past (and where the cheese shop is!!!) we saw someone practicing with a trotting horse, known as harness racing over here. I had forgotten there is a track near Woodstock. We used to go to the one at Flamboro Downs which is closer to us. They have a restaurant there and you can sit and watch the racing whilst you dine. I know they have a similar set up at Woodstock where we went once quite a few years ago. However, since those days, I gather they have all installed dozens of slot machines. I would hope they are away from the dining area otherwise the noise would drive you insane. We went to the old casino at Niagara Falls a few years ago and the whole place was full of slot machines with the odd baize table thrown around which you couldn't get near anyway, and if you did probably couldn't afford the table limits. It was awful, plus the fact that you could smoke in the building at the time made the atmosphere almost unbreathable. I have never been back and I am supposed to be a gambler. It wasn't even remotely fun to me. Often thought I would like to go to Las Vegas, glad we never spent the money. I have been to several casinos in England and Europe, even the one in Monte Carlo, but I have a nasty suspicion that they, too, are probably full of slots these days. It makes money after all, and that's what its all about, depriving us suckers of our hard earned cash. I used to like slot machines when there used to be the odd one or two in the local pub or something, but not with hundreds of machines all clanging away at a rate of knots. I guess if I owned them, I would be laughing and absolutely love the sound. The pic on the left is the Monte Carlo Casino. Last night we watched a programme put out by Nova which I have mentioned several times. This was one of the scariest programmes I have seen for a while and it really makes me glad I will not be here by the middle of the century. The show, which can be obtained on video, is called Dimming the Sun and can be checked out by clicking here I do hope you will look at this web page, particularly if you will be here by mid century, you should know what you are likely to be facing. They have a lot more information these days and greenhouse gases are not the only problem facing the earth in the near future. There are slide shows you can look at, but I wish you could see the actual programme. This morning I saw an amusing ad put out by Paris Hilton in response to the ad by McCain. If you get a chance to see it, do, it was fun. Apparently McCain used her in one of his campaign ads. I am assuming even non-North Americans have heard of Paris Hilton. Read all about it she certainly had a viable energy plan. Although I have never made these, I have certainly eaten something similar. If you don't want to buy a big buttermilk, you could use cream for this recipe I would think. I cannot imagine why they don't sell buttermilk in small sizes. Buttermilk Eggs in Tomato Shells Serves: 4 Source: About Home Cooking 4 medium large ripe tomatoes (5 to 6 ounces each) 1/2 cup buttermilk 4 extra large eggs Seasoning Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut a very thin slice from bottom of each tomato so that it won't wobble. Do not cut into the liquid part of the tomato. Cut a 1/2 inch slice off tops of tomatoes and scoop out seeds and pulp from cavity, leaving the shell of the tomato intact and being careful not to penetrate the bottom. Sprinkle insides of tomatoes with salt and freshly ground pepper. Put 1/2 tablespoon buttermilk in bottom of each shell. Fill each shell with a raw egg, which will come almost to the top of tomato. Carefully spoon 1 tablespoon buttermilk on top of each. Sprinkle with salt. Place in shallow baking dish and bake 25 minutes, or until eggs are set but not overcooked. Have a great day.


  1. i'm adopting the egg on the tomatoe without butter ^^

    oh well, i'm not going to start in a comment about actual art you can find as minimal art.1rst of all it's from the 60's and so hasbeen for me even if people do love this 'heritage', 2ndly i dislike really the minimal art. All you have to do to be in an actual museum is to do some manipulations never done before, just as chewing chewing gum and sticking it as a spider on a ben (political aim uh !) or drawing with your bottom, or the elephant as an instrument (already done by some 'artist', and learned in serious university, don't you laugh).

    There is no shame to dislike. And that doesn't mean you don't have taste. i dislike minimal art, just as much as fractal art in a sculpture once seen on ru's blog. They are only talking about concept, when using some materials achieve like an idea of an idea of material. It's just as if they never read Platon, more than 2000 years in vain, what's the 'new' thing in it ? lol !

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  3. Second try - me and my typos again:-)

    Oh dear, Jo, that Global Dimming feature is a worry! I was interested to see that they prepared two versions of the show: one for Brits and one for Americans. We think we are all the same because we all speak the same language (well, more or less!) but in fact there is a different Zeitgeist in operation in each English-speaking country. Or maybe it's the same Zeitgeist but it has different manifestations.

    I like my pictures as I like my writing - straightforward, please, with no arty-crafty gimics! Draw me house that looks llike a house: write me a story with a beginning, a middle and an end.

  4. I hadn't realised there were two versions of the programme, will check it out to see what the differences were.

    You and me both with art and stories. That's why we love Mike's art so much, his birds are almost ready to fly off the page.

  5. Yes, I checked out Mike's web site once when you first told me about it. he is obviously very gifted.

  6. He updates his website all the time. It is incredible what he can do with a common house sparrow, let alone a majestic eagle.

    Do you have harness racing (or trotting) in Oz?

  7. Let's have Mike's URL again, Jo. I've lost a lot of my old bookmarks.

    Yes - Harness Racing is the formal term but no one calls it that. It's gnerally called "the trots", which is also a euphemism for diarrhoea. I'm sure that's pure coincidence:-)

  8. The link for Mike is on my blog Satima. Wildlife Art.

    The same euphemism is used in the UK. Not sure if it is here, never really noticed.

  9. OK, got it, Jo:-)Mike is incredibly good.