September 2, 2014
As many of you will be aware, here in Vienna we’ve had the kind of summer that makes umbrella vendors happy but everyone else miserable. Last week, though, there were two whole days of glorious sunshine, so I decided to seize the opportunity and go for a walk in the park, knowing that the lovely weather wouldn’t last (and, indeed, it didn’t).
Those who know me and/or have been following this blog for a while won’t be surprised to hear that when I say park I really mean cemetery. But as you can see in the photos, Vienna’s Zentralfriedhof [Central Cemetery] really is both and it has long been one of my favourite hangouts.
I dare say that by now I know the cemetery quite well, but it’s actually so large that I still discover new things on almost every visit. For instance, until last week, I’d never really noticed this particular tomb monument, sculpted by one Georg Burgstaller at the beginning of the 20th century:
To be honest, from today’s point of view this monument seems almost absurd, ridiculously Victorian in a way, by appearing to give a practical demonstration of the desired behaviour in a grieving widow. But while the sculpture itself seems terribly dated, I believe the nice art-nouveau lamp next to it holds up pretty well.
Another, perhaps even more fascinating sighting was this:
I knew, of course, that there was a considerable population of deer in the cemetery and on previous occasions I had sometimes caught a glimpse of deer from far away, but this was the first time I saw these fine creatures from such vicinity. I have to add, though, that the above photo was still taken with a zoom lens, so they weren’t actually quite as close as the picture may suggest. And soon enough they trotted off among the tombstones and the undergrowth…
August 27, 2014
This coming weekend, I will attend my first real American baby shower. [L], one of my PhD colleagues, is expecting a baby girl in September, and one of her friends is hosting an evening which, according to the invite, will be full of cocktails, games, gifts and other unspecified entertainment. Where I come from, the whole baby-gifting usually happens after the tiny human has been safely delivered into the world, so this should be fun also from a cultural and anthropological point of view. In any case, the occasion gave me the perfect excuse to finally lay my hands on this particular pattern I have been eager to knit for quite a while now:
It’s one of those patterns that look extremely complicated and difficult, but which, actually, are really easy to knit and produce a great end result. I am particularly happy with how the cool greenish pastel colour contrasts with the lacy front panel [it works even better than I thought].
London is really cold and rainy at the moment, which makes for the perfect knitting weather. I have already a new project on the needles, about which I will tell you more soon. But now back to some art historical writing…