Friday, April 2, 2010

Things of Beauty

Ah.. we've had a sparkling day weather-wise this week..
And as usual it gets me thinking about things and places of beauty.

View Larger MapTop of the list comes SWMBO (she who must be obeyed - my smarter cuter half, the perfect compact package of Ordn√ľng, Sweetness and Sudden Death with Frozen Fish) she's  valiantly enduring Frankfurt weather and we would spend a day such as we had here this last Thursday  with a newspaper, thermos of coffee a blanket and possibly an ipod and speaker, soaking in the sunshine under a tree somewhere here in the Darling Gardens in Clifton Hill opposite my place.

The park's big enough to largely deaden traffic noise and while browner than usual these days due to the drought that's hit Oz for the last few years, it's still a lovely place to go to get away from the Keyboard.

"..the  world is an arch."   "ssh, that is a secret"

Objets also of note are possibly the only RPG is achieve Clarke-like levels of what J.R.R. Tolkien ("On Fairy Stories, 1938) called "sub-creation", presenting fantasy with "an inner consistency of reality", "as if it were true"

That RPG is Chaosium's Ringworld, based on Larry Niven's  Known Space novels, novellas and short stories.

This RPG is the Silmarilion to Larry's vision and John Hewitt,  is the collato, preserver and dare I say weaver bringing the worlds of Man, Kzin, Pak Puppeteer and Dolphin together in an unparalled whole.

Admittedly, the vastness of the subject, when you consider only the Ringworld, its size and the deep contemplation and purpose of the Pak project underlying it, shows a panache, elan and arrogance that you simply don't see in SF these days. It is a tour de force.

Hewitt's done an amazing job creating a Billions of years long Tapestry from Niven's threads and the Cover Painting by Ralph Mc Quarrie, who brought you the Sky mines of Bespin, matte work for almost every significant genre film youve ever seen, conveys the majesty of the artefact that, Wu, Speaker, Nessus and Teela explore and that they only explore a chasteningly small portion of.

You walk away knowing reverently without doubt that in Sagan's words,  we "live on a pale blue dot".

All roads lead back to SWMBO an as far as Frankfurt goes a hot day  shoes off dangling or walking in the Fountain outside the Alte Oper   is superb and refreshing.

The Germans keep the  fountain beautifully and the fountain is clean and free of debris.

I'd have proposed to her there but for the irresistable temptation to drag her under the water curtain, in which case it would have been a combined funeral.

An Army marches on its stomach and I'm no exception.

The exquisite  and simple pie floater.

I've only ever had one a few years ago  at Pie in the Sky at Olinda on Mt Dandenong outside Melbourne and it was heavenly.

And lastly the thing of beauty is the look on SWMBO's face when she reads this (in which case its been nice knowing you all)

if you waste 5 minutes of your life today, waste it here at

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