Saturday, 1 May 2010
I have had dizziness three consecutive morning. The first time it was only for a few moments, as I arose from the floor after doing some exercises. The next day it lasted longer, but I recovered quickly. Yesterday was worse, and it took a couple of hours before I was able to stop clinging on to the furniture. This is not at all like me, and I feel somewhat indignant. My blood pressure is perfectly normal. The dizziness has diminished considerably, although I still feel woozy, and am creeping around rather carefully. Dr P is a bit concerned. We can't have both of us incapacitated. There is not much food in the house. We will have to use up whatever is in the freezer.
On Friday I'd intended to do the grocery shopping. Instead of whipping out early, I hung around because Dr P wanted to get his hair cut. However he has had a few bad days and nights with nerve pain in his leg, and did not feel up to an expedition. This has been happening more frequently, which is a worry. He is very stoical about it. I'd probably be writhing around moaning and groaning, but he doesn't. Just the occasional gasp, poor love.
So instead I did some ironing, and then went off to meet my friend M the bell-ringer at the Art Gallery for lunch. She told me all about her holiday with her family in Queensland, where they were to look at fossils and other pre-historic wonders, but instead, being near the Diamantina River and its catchment areas, they found themselves unable to get to practically anywhere because of the huge floods caused by torrential rain. Most roads were cut. These rivers, or their dry beds, flow through the dry centre of Australia, and eventually reach Lake Eyre in South Australia, which is about 15 metres below sea level, and is a desert. Aeons ago these rivers drained into the sea. Although Lake Eyre is a dry salt pan, it has had water in it temporarily in recent years, such as in February 2009. Travel companies are busy advertising trips to see Lake Eyre in flood, as well as all the bird life and the sudden flowering of the inland. I am so tempted to go! It may never happen again in my lifetime. To see some photos, go to http://wrightsair.com.au/floodwaternews.htm
A BBC programme was re-broadcast here recently, Britain from Above, which was fascinating. I'd seen it before, but sat there riveted for each episode. All the footage from the air was fantastic. Even Dr P, a global-warming sceptic, was impressed by the sight of part of the coast of Norfolk being washed away at a very rapid, measurable and visible rate. One part of the programme discussed the huge floods which occurred not all that long ago (vague-speak for can't remember when and cannot be bothered to look it up). It made the point that so much of Britain is covered by houses, buildings, roads, carparks etc that natural drainage cannot happen as it did in the past. Here, we have a lot more space, but it is extraordinary to see the extent of the floodwaters when heavy rain does occur. We are not exactly complaining, as we have had such severe droughts. However, when we all visited Sister 1, M, in early March, there was extremely heavy rain that weekend, which washed away and damaged the railway track, as well as many concrete railways sleepers, waiting to be installed, which each weigh about 400kg, and this disrupted the return trip to Melbourne. The dams filled up overnight, and lots of fences were damaged as the water could not get through the foundations.
After our lunch, I went to the Archibald Prize exhibition, which, for some strange reason - on a Friday afternoon - was just packed. I squeezed my way through all the crowds, dodging from portrait to portrait, and found most of them disappointing. There is a great passion or fashion for huge heads, and it seems that very many artists work from photos. In my view it does not generally make for good art. The winner of the Archibald Prize, Sam Leach, also won the Wynne Prize, which is for landscapes, and his winning picture is substantially a copy of a work by a Dutch artist Adam Pynacker, with various details omitted. I happened to know this painting, as it was shown and discussed last year in the art history lectures I attend at the Galllery. Leach calls it 'referencing', and is open about this habit, but the description beside his painting seemed to me fairly coy about the copying and not truly open. Once the 'similarity' between the works was given publicity, there was a bit of a stink about it, but the judges decided not to change their decision!