Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Divinity in marble.

A few years ago I was extremely fortunate to be able to wander around Europe for a few months on my own.
One of the places I visited (and highly recommend the next time you're in Rome) was the Galleria Borghese.

I had read that it housed some of Bernini's * sculptures and I was very interested to visit the gallery.
What I had failed to completely understand however, was that when you went to visit, you had to visit at very specific hours.

The gallery only allowed 360 people in, once every 2 hours for ONLY 2 hours at a time (with a mandatory exit at the end of time slot).

Well! I didn't read the small print so when I arrived I thought that the 2 hour count down started when I entered the building.
Not so!
After 45 minutes everyone in the gallery (including uninformed me) was rather unceremoniously ushered out of the building.
I hadn't even had time but to run past the statues I had so longed to see on my way out the door; I was so disappointed!

I wandered morosely around the gift shop, finally settling on some magnets with photos of the statues in lieu of actually seeing them.
The gift shop clerk asked me how I had enjoyed my visit and I explained sadly that I had missed the very things that I had come to see.

"Well-a, we will-a see-a what we canna do for you." He smiled, suggesting I go buy a coffee while he finished up his duties.
Abandoning his post a few minutes later, he joined me for a coffee and quizzed me on my life, Canada, and what a lovely young girl such as myself was doing all alone in Italy, "The country of love-a."

We talked a while, until he suggested for me to follow him.
Not being one to worry about common sense or the wisdom of following strange men in foreign countries, I trailed behind him as we left the building and went around to the back of the gallery
There, a guard stood waiting at a back door.
My shop keeper (I had already taken to considering him in the possessive) said a few words to the guard who smiled, laughed and nodded, holding the door wide open for me.

I turned back, "Grazie, molte grazie!" I called to him as he walked away.
"A beeyooteeful woman-a, she must-a always get her-a weesh!" He grinned at me, turning back for a moment.
The guard chuckled and beckoned me in.

And so.
I was back in, with all the time in the world to re-explore the most amazing collection of art in a sumptuous and intimate setting.
All the art was truly inspiring, but it was the statues that held me.

Rape of Persephone

Apollo and Daphne
Bernini's sensual awareness of the surface textures of skin and hair made these statues truly come alive for me.
In the 'Rape of Persephone' (1621 or 1622 AD), you can see Pluto's fingers biting into the tender flesh of Persephone's thigh leaving cruel indentations as she struggles to escape.

The 'Apollo and Daphne' shows Daphne's slim toes turn to roots; her slender fingers give way to laurel stems and leaves in her bid to evade the dogged Apollo.
It's not discernable in this photo, but here too, Bernini captures Apollo's fingers digging into Daphne's belly in an attempt to restrain her; to stop the metamorphasis.

I was loath to leave that gallery
Blissful days could have been spent amongst its treasures.
But, I am again fortunate.
Next year I shall be returning to Rome, and I will most certainly revisit that divine space.

*More about Bernini and his work here.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Tee hee!

I found this delightfully fun site the other day...self driven entertainment, it's the best kind!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Look at me! Look at me!

I had been trying to decide for some time now, if it would be okay to post some pictures of myself on my lil' blog.
Initially, I suspected it might be slightly vainglorious of me...but as my dear friend Spider pointed IS my blog!

Besides, I thought it might be nice for people to put a 'face to a blog'.

I'm particulary fond of that blurry, unfocused picture of me at the top there...I suspect it's the best one yet!

(Nonetheless, it still seems very strange to me. Posting ones own image for the world to view. I feel both exposed, and oddly okay with it.)

Friday, March 24, 2006

Cliched terms.

Well, this morning as I was driving to work through the heavy low clouds, I could see across a flat plain of farms to a ridge in the distance.

The grey parted and I could see on the horizon, tall buildings.

The only thing I could think was "Great ghostly images of civilization cut through the gloam."


I need to read my thesaurus more, I think.

The problem with cliches is that they are fairly accurate.

"White as snow"

"Strong as an ox"

"Hard as a rock"

What, exactly, is the point of this post?

It's as dry as toasted rice cakes!
As boring as ummm...something really boring!

I gotta go.
I'm making myself as crazy as a loony person!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Art where ever you may be.

I spent beautiful sunny Saturday last, at the UBC Botanical Gardens here in Vancouver discovering many lovely and interesting things.

One of the things that REALLY fascinated me was the way in which the gardeners had created complicated geometric designs out of their fruit trees.

You can see the amazing shapes they've managed to configure; in one area they had a whole 'fence' made from intertwined trees.
It was nice to be able to take these pictures before the foliage came out as it gives an excellent view of what they've done.

This PINK magnolia was astounding, as well:

It was part of several trees that were framing an interesting architectural design that lead to a viewing area: out there in the blue distance, the ocean.

One of the things that I loved so much was discovering another statue by Sophie Ryder.
I first saw some of her work her in Vancouver in 1998 in Stanley Park.
A year later, during Spider's and my trip to the UK and Ireland, we found her home base in Bath and I was amazed again by her.

I stumbled on yet another of her works,
quite by suprise in the gardens.

As his feet lay a lovely turf labyrinth, which I took the time to walk.
I'm sorry I don't have a picture of it, but alas, I had no where high enough from which to view it.

And, for your final viewing pleasure, a picture of English Bay, Vancouver B.C.

*My apologies if this looks crappy on your didn't seem to want to fit together the way I wanted, and as a result it may appear a bit choppy.
Hope you manage to make heads or tails of it some how!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

So That's Who I Remind Me Of.

When I consider men of golden talents,
I'm delighted, in my introverted way,
To discover, as I'm drawing up the balance,
How much we have in common, I and they.

Like Burns, I have a weakness for the bottle,
Like Shakespeare, little Latin and less Greek;
I bite my fingernails like Aristotle;
Like Thackeray, I have a snobbish streak.

I'm afflicted with the vanity of Byron,
I've inherited the spitefulness of Pope;
Like Petrarch, I'm a sucker for a siren,
Like Milton, I've a tendency to mope.

My spelling is suggestive of a Chaucer;
Like Johnson, well, I do not wish to die
(I also drink my coffee from the saucer);
And if Goldsmith was a parrot, so am I.

Like Villon, I have debits by the carload,
Like Swinburne, I'm afraid I need a nurse;
By my dicing is Christopher out-Marlowed,
And I dream as much as Coleridge, only worse.

In comparison with men of golden talents,
I am all a (wo)man of talent ought to be;
I resemble every genius in his vice, however heinous--
Yet I write so much like me.
~Ogden Nash

I love this poem.
I can feel the corners of my mouth curling up in a smile as I read it!

Sunday, March 19, 2006


Looks like I missed wishing everyone a Happy St. Paddy's Day. Always a day late and a dollar short!
To make up for my faux pas, I tell you about my favorite Irish Castle.
Fair enough?

In 1999, Spider and I decided to embark on our first trip overseas.
As neither of us had set foot much further than Disneyland, we were understandably exhilarated.

Spider was always more adept at 'planning' than I, so she took charge of the itinerary.
First stop, London.
From there we jumped on a direct train to Edinburgh...a few nights there, including an 'under the city' ghost tour and then off to Glasgow.
A mere day in Glasgow, on to a speedy trip south through Carlisle and Chepstow, over to Holyhead in Wales and THEN!


We had spent so much time in castles through out England and Scotland that by this time the trip was in danger on turning into an ABC trip; you know, 'Another Bloody Castle' tour.

But there was one castle I hadn't counted on...Blarney Castle.

Yes, I know...a complete and unmitigated tourist trap if there ever was one!
But I managed to find something really magical there.

We climbed around the base of the castle first, exploring the damp caves under the castle and pitch black hidey-holes with slick stairs leading nowhere.
And then up we went.

Up circuitous narrow stairways where only the goat-footed could go, and the elderly tourists in high heels feared to tread!

On to the RAMPARTS!

The view was commanding from there; golden green swaths of field cut by low gray stone fences and lush trees.

We wandered all over that to climb where ever we chose; nary a velvet rope in sight.

Then back down to the surrounding grounds, well kept and vastly amusing.

Little signs showed how to get to the 'Witches Kitchen', and where the 'Fairy Glen' was.
The 'Wishing Steps' were fun, down them forward first, the back up to the top you went (backwards!) repeating your wish as you went.

I even found a fine tree to climb, but alas, we were not digitally set up back I have no pictures to share.
(But I'm pretty sure you believe I ended up in a tree, right!?)

I adored all of Ireland...did I mention that I had my first Guinness there?
(I also had my second, third, fourth...!)

There's no doubt in my mind that I'll go to Ireland again.
There was just too much happiness there and not enough time to explore it all.

(Oh, and the old guy dancing a jig in the pub? That was very cool. Did I mention the Dingle Peninsula? Breathtaking! Grab a bike and go for a ride! Cork was lovely too. Did I mention all the sheep?)

Thursday, March 16, 2006

I love Pippi Longstocking!

There was something mentioned about the author (Astrid Lindgren) of those fabulous children's book on the CBC today and in a flash I was 10 again, reading all about Pippi's amazing house, Mister Nilsson the monkey and the horse that lived on her porch.

This very interesting article talks about Pippi as a role model for young women.
Ms. Lindgren changed a potentially helpless little 'orphaned' girl into a self-sufficient, fun loving and capable person.

Interestingly, Pippi wasn't approved by of by adults when she first showed up some 60 years ago.
Some how, shooting revolvers and sailing pirate ships on the high seas* just didn't seem like a great thing to encourage in children, and particularly NOT in girls.

As it was to be expected, Pippi rebelled against the stern and disapproving adults so that she might still be enjoyed today.

I'm so glad for it.

Pippi really was a very influential character in my life growing up.

She truly did teach me that 'despite' being a girl growing up in the still gender-biased world of the '70's**, I could do whatever I wanted!

If in fact I felt that I needed to climb trees and lift horses, then I bloody well would.
(Truth be told, I still climb trees today! Never did get the lifting horses thing though.)

So HIP HIP to Pippi Longstocking; thank you for being the strongest little girl in the world.
Oh, and thank you for helping the rest of us girls learn and remember that we really CAN do what ever we want in this big old world.
And thank you for showing us that we can be anyway we want with humour, joy, our hair in pigtails and hanging upside down from a tree!

*So, ever wonder where my pirate fascination came from? Wonder no more!

**Who am I's not all that much better these days, but it is improving (I add grudgingly).

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

It's all in a name.

Because I've been so slack in the blogging arena as of late, I thought I'd just write about something simple.

Like why my lil' blog is called "delusion of tai".

First of was supposed to be delusionS of Tai. But yeah, I mistyped and forgot the 's' at the end of delusion.
Amusing little tidbit of blog trivia, no?

And the "Hello? Is this thing on??" That just speaks to my general computer illiteracy.

So just where did Tai come from?

It's a very long story, but it involves a book, a language my dear friends and I made up when we were young, and dash of pure whimsy.
....from my 'full' nickname Deirdrea-Tai; pronunciation DEAR dree ah TAY.

Yup, it's pronounced TAY, not TIE.

And it's stuck ever since.

In fact, I'm more likely to respond to Tai than my real name* these days, and truth be told...I much prefer it!

OH! and uh...GNOMES!

(gracious, I'm lacking inspiration these days!)

*my real name? you really want to know?
It's Laurie.

Monday, March 13, 2006

May I proudly present...

...Little Ms. Zoe Ophelia Pigott!

Kim and Shawn will be fine and loving parents to you, so here's lookin' at you kid!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Hooray!! HOORAY!!!

My darling friend just had the most beautiful little baby...and I want to shout it to the roofs tops, but what's the blog protocol?

I think I will refrain, and allow her and her dear husband to post the grand announcement and beautiful pictures themselves.

I will only allow myself to say:

You've been born into a wonderful home; your parents will love you and cherish you for all of your days!

(I'm SO HAPPY, I just can't wait to met her!!!)

No wonder inadequacy issues amongst women are rampant!

Check it out.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Wine is my friend.

The "Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival".

Starring: "FRANCE"!

Wow, where does one start??

The festival was completely sold out.
Given the jostling elbows and slightly tipsy crowd, it was surprising that I didn't end up stained head to toe by the end!

Fortunately the crowd, while eager to get their fair share in, was also relatively polite.
Many a murmuring of "Excuse me", and "Please, go ahead" could be heard sifting through the noise.

Mimes, Can-Can Girls and happy-hearted accordion music were visible and audible throughout the 3 hour affair.

(I ran away from the 'Mimes'.
I suspect I'm not the only one they creep out.)

Like any good mime however, they hunted me down and forced me to participate in a one way, stilted bizarre conversation.
(And why, exactly, was I indicating things with my hands and not just speaking to the pale face in the black and white tight shirt? Ugh. Apparently it's contagious.)

Almost every wine producing country was represented that night.

There were 60 producers from France alone!

But from Australia to the United States, they all showed in fine form.

As France was the star of the show, though, that's where my group of friends and I began.

Off to Champagne...what better way to begin than with the delights of Moet & Chandon. The Brut Imperial n/v (non-vintage) was divine.
"Full and rich, hints of warm brioche."

I also tried their Brut Imperial 1999 which was lovely, but I did prefer the non-vintage. *

On to Maison Michel Laroche, and to some VERY good Chablis.
I've never had many experiences with Chablis, but that's going to have to change as they presented several fine examples.
I was particularly fond of their Chablis Grand Cru Blanchots 2003 & Chablis Laroche 2004.

Over there is Baron Philippe de Rothschild! Must go!
Their Mouton Cadet Blanc 2004 was okay...but I wasn't surprised by it. I uttered no cry of glee.

I tried Serame Viognier 2004 and was pleased, but not thrilled.

I have to say the star of the whites for me was the Laroche Chablis.

And now?

More whites and more champagne and watch the dancing girls with their flounce and legs kicked high into the air; grab some french bread to chew on, a few pieces of aged white cheddar and back at it.

Time to switch to reds though, before the palate is demolished!


This post is entirely long enough, and I'm a red wine FAN, so I'll save it for another day.

I'm sorry, I don't have any prices for those wines...I was to busy drinking them to even begin to note cost.

After all, when you're getting pours off of $100+ bottles of wine, stopping to look at the cost seems time consuming and counter productive!

*no...I don't know what that means. But DAMN it was good!

I'll never catch up at this rate.

Well, I didn't post anything about the Olympics.

I'm not planning on posting a single thing about the Academy Awards.

And I haven't even SEEN "Brokeback Mountain".

Hmmm, modern life seems to be careening along quite nicely without me!

I'm working on a post about all the delicious wines I tried at the Vancouver International Wine Festival to share with all of you.
But I'm at work and I left all my precious notes at home, so I may end up doing two posts today (though I would hardly call this a real post!).

Friday, March 03, 2006

Now where's my glass?

If anyone's looking for me...I'll be over here, at the Vancouver International Wine Festival.
The feature country this year is I ever looking forward it!

(Oh, and don't you dare call me any time before noon tomorrow!)

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Yeah, that sounds about right!

You Have a Sanguine Temperament

You are an optimistic person who is easily content.

You enjoy casual, light tasks - never wanting to delve too deep into anything.

A bit fickle, it's easy for you to change plans or paths when presented with something better.

You enjoy all of the great things life has to offer - food, friends, and fun.

A great talker, you can keep the conversation going for hours.

You are optimistic and sure of your success. If you fail, you don't worry about it too much.

At your worst, you are vain. You are obsessed with your own attractiveness.

A horrible flirt, you tend to jump into love affairs and relationship drama easily.

You're very jealous - which just magnifies the craziness around you.