Bopping with Niall JP O'Leary

Niall O'Leary insists on sharing his hare-brained notions and hysterical emotions. Personal obsessions with cinema, literature, food and alcohol feature regularly.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

End of Days at Christchurch

We had a fine dinner of steak and crayfish that night. I tried to play cricket with the kids afterwards. It might be nice to say I let Jonathon win by 50 runs. It would be nice to say that, but the truth is he trashed me and Sam. However it was fun to see me hop around on the gravel and hide shamefacedly while the kids went next door to recover the ball.

Next day I got to the Giacometti exhibition. Existentialism had been mentioned in connection with his work, so it is possible that put me in that frame of mind, but looking at each of his works it is hard not to see the loneliness of the human condition. There were those tiny walking figures I had seen in Europe, here writ large, very large. It hit me forcefully how no figure is looking at another, how they stare purposefully (or purposelessly) straight ahead of themselves. No figure ever looks at the viewer either. They are frozen in time, or in themselves, trapped inside and forever isolated from the rest of humanity. Even the sketches manage to have characters whose eyes do not follow you around the room (something about the pinhole nature of the pupils, I think). There were some earlier pieces, from Giacometti's surrealist phase. One of the most famous of these, 'Spoon Woman', made it very clear where Giacometti placed a woman's chief attraction, and as far as I could see, this shape was replicated even in his later 'Women of Venice' stick women. A French woman gave a short talk while I was there on one of his few animal works, 'Dog'. Apparently it's a self portrait!

I got my hair cut too. For the first time in years, I had my hair cut by a female hairdresser. I felt like Jean Rochefort in 'The Hairdresser's Husband'.

I had wanted to take Sandra and Grant out for dinner, but Grant had a lot of sport planned for the evening. Instead then Sandra, the kids and I went to 'Happy Feet'. There is a lot of 'by-the-numbers' stuff in it, but it is entertaining and has its heart in the right place.

We met for a pub meal afterwards where I did my best on two lamb shanks. I got my New Zealand lamb in the end.

Next day I was to fly away. I have suspected my walking shoes of causing my repeated in-grown toenails, so today I bought a new pair. Bussing it back to the house I waited for Grant, who was to give me a lift to the airport. However, I had given back the key to the house, so I got a bit worried when the phone rang inside and I could just about hear Grant's voice on the answering machine. Could he not make it afterall? My mobile wouldn't work, so I was starting to create Doomsday scenarios when up drove Sandra, with Grant not long after. I made my goodbyes and Grant drove me to the airport.


Post a Comment

<< Home