Sunday, June 05, 2011

Another Quiet Weekend

We had a fairly quiet weekend but exciting in another way. We spent some time planning for Sue's 60th Birthday trip to France next May. The plan is to have her birthday dinner at L'escargot on rue Montoguiel where we ate last year and we both loved it. We'll spend two nights in Paris before hitting the TGV to Marseille for a couple of nights and then off to Saint Remy de Provence via the Luberon.
We hope to float up to the Loire to say hello to friends and pop into Chinon for a few nights before heading back to Paris and back home. This was inspired by having dinner with friends Friday night to chat about their impending adventure of living in France next year for six months.
So you can see, although the weekend was quiet, we have some future excitement on the way.

Planning for a holiday is very exciting.
RETRO RIDE on Saturday
I did get out for a ride on Saturday (doesn't he always, did I hear someone say) but this one was rather special. It was a RETRO RIDE. Now these days we have all sorts of modern lightweight bikes. My latest one is a carbon fibre frame with an 11 speed rear cluster giving me 22 speeds with the two front chain rings. Really this just confuses me sometimes but that's the way of the cycling industry marketing department these days.

THA BOYS with TOYS. Jet (on the left) has this pristine early Italian Colnago road bike from before clipless pedals and brake and gear shifters. Just lovely to another enthusiast.

My OLD bike that has taken me 1000s of kilometres of racing and training is now my single speed fun bike. It's been to France twice has been a wonderful travelling companion.
What really excites me are the older bikes and this was what our Retro Ride was all about. We dragged out our old bikes and our old cycling clothes - mine was from the late 70s. It was a mild winter morning with a low of 10 degrees, warming to about 17 and a clear sky over the Bay. What more can you expect on a winter Melbourne morning?

The brown artist I call him............
With such a quiet weekend I wondered what we could post and as I did some surfing on the net and reading other Blogger's posts, I remembered John Bracks, an Australian painter who passed away before the year 2000. As an art student who was taken to the gallery with the class, I was intrigued by the Bracks paintings. They have an irony about them that appealed to me. Later I worked in the city at the Myer Emporium as a Display Assistant and later a Window Dresser, I think we call them a Visual Merchandiser these days.
Anyway, as I part of Melbourne city life, I saw a lot of what Bracks painted in the daily goings on in Melbourne.

Collins Street 5PM - 1955
I remember scenes like this from my first job. Rushing from the job and down to the station to catch the train.

The Bar - 1955.
Can you notice a similarity to a scene from a French Ipressionist's painting?
This was in a time when Melbourne had the 6 o'clock swill. The pubs closed at 6 PM and the workers would try to get as many beers in before they wandered off home for dinner.

Two Typists - 1955.
I get the impression that the feet above the heads of the Typists belong to the people in "Collins Street 5PM" with the men going off to "The Bar" for the 6 O'clock swill. Can you see the relation between these 1955 John Bracks works?

Self Portrait - 1955
Latin American Grand Final - 1969
Bracks later finally came out of his brown phase and started to add more colour - well it was the 60s and the 50s were so brown anyway.
Maybe the reason that Bracks appeals to me as an artist is that he painted everyday scenes that were from my growing up period of the 50s and 60s.
I don't claim to know a great deal about John Bracks (a real Melbourne boy), I just liked his work so I suggest if you'd like to know more, follow this link.

Having finished the weekend blog, I now need to pop off to mow the lawns and I think I heard Sue say something about vacuuming. See you on "Wednesdays in France".


  1. What fun, planning your trip to France next year!
    I absolutely love the art by John Bracks - wonderful!
    I wasn't familiar with him so thanks for the introduction.

  2. We learn a lot from our fellow bloggers don't we Craig?
    This will be our 5th trip to France since 2006. Friends don't even ask where we are going anymore.

  3. Another great artist you are introducing us to. I particularly love the last one.
    Have fun mowing and vacuuming.

  4. Mowing and vacuuming are good mindless therapy.

  5. L'Escargot on Rue Montoguiel - what a great place to celebrate your 6oth Sue!! Paris is wonderful in May and then down to the beautiful South of France just as the weather starts to warm up - I really am quite jealous!

  6. And how about a field trip to Brussels in 2012, while you're in Paris!? My American freinds who came over last Saturday loved every minute of it!

  7. Great post! Thanks for sharing. I'll be back to visit.

  8. Dianne, I know. We can't wait. We had a lovely meal there last year, and the surroundings are very art nouveau and luscious.
    We'd love to hop over to Belgium Martine...but...won't have enough time this trip. It's going to be a short one.
    Thanks Christine. Just had a look at your blog, and now I'm heading back for a long read, I think.


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