I've kept this blog, on and off, since 2006. In 2015 I used it to chart daily encounters, images, thoughts and feelings about volcanic basalt/bluestone in Melbourne and Victoria, especially in the first part of the year. I plan to write a book provisionally titled Bluestone: An Emotional History, about human uses of and feelings for bluestone. But I am also working on quite a few other projects and a big grant application, especially now I am on research leave. I'm working mostly from home, then, for six months, and will need online sociability for company!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

It's Always Like This

So, yesterday was a GREAT work day. I got to the library at 12.00 and didn't leave the building till 7.30 (there's a little cafe downstairs), when I sent off to my co-panellists my revised talk. That left today to sort out my talk for NYU on Thursday, and Wednesday morning to sort the powerpoints.

In this talk, I'm ambitiously trying to skip through the preface and the first two chapters of the Garter book, to produce what I hope will be a coherent thematic thread about the "mythic capital" that circulates around the Garter story. There is plenty to do. And so by contrast with yesterday, I dithered and dithered, and finally took myself out of the apartment at lunchtime and ended up doing a tour of the Philadelphia City Hall, which took an hour and a half.

I may have to buy a camera in the end (I found this photo on the web), but I remembered the little camera in the phone, though I still haven't worked out how to get a decent sized image. The sky was blue all around, so the view from the top, from the 360 degree gallery just under William Penn's feet, was pretty nice. This picture shows Penn's shadow on the roof of the amazing masonic temple, whose tower you can see to the left, above (that's next week's tour).
The City Hall is truly monumental: the tower is built on solid granite foundations. For many years, it was the tallest building in Philadelphia. Then they built this beautiful building — Liberty Place, which is just a block from my apartment:

And the legend has it that it was because it reached higher than Penn's statute, that was why no Philadelphia sporting team ever won a national contest. They then built the Comcast centre which is even taller, but apparently they put a little statue of Penn on its very top, and after that some team won something. Nice story, though.

OK, now back to this paper. After all these years, I kind of know not to worry too much if I seem to be delaying the completion of something like a paper: it's a sign that I really am in control of the material, and that maybe it's going to be better if I don't have a complete script for performance. We'll see...

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