too busy to post

well, just checking in before i go…
off to europe for 6 weeks come monday.
mainly to follow him indoors about the UK as he squeezes as many conferences into a month as he can. as for me, i have one in sweden next week, then spend time with fellow appraisaler who lives in the same town (vaxjo) before heading to the UK to meet up with P there.

colleague in sweden and i did a co-analysis of 20 wine tasting notes by the same critic, and using the appraisal framework. she was doing her phd on this wine critic, and wanted to see whether her idea that wine tasting notes needed to have further semantic categories used in order to fully analyse the texts would be borne out. i thought it would, so volunteered to undertake this small research project.

last year i presented the results at a local conference, but this time, i will be presenting it again in lisbon, where the annual SFL gabfest is taking place at the end of july. my colleague can’t come, as she is still on leave after being treated for cancer, but it would be good to refresh memory of the work, and also to discuss potential publications arising from it.

meantime, i have not completed the presentation for next week’s iconicity and intermediality conference there, but i’m almost done. i have all the ppt slides i think, but i need to organise them better, add a bit here and there.
and, for lisbon, i have also to complete the analysis and ppt for the 2nd paper i’ll be presenting there as well as the one of the wine appreciation… but i will have some time between conferences to get that into shape.

apart from the wine language presentation, the other two are based on my earlier netdynam list analyses. oh yes, we live on in conference papers and the occasional publication i manage to get together.

and then there’s NEXT year’s SFL conference. being held in sydney. so i am part of the gang helping to prepare for that. for example, the organisers should make some sort of presentation at the previous year’s conference to advertise the next year’s… so there has been some mad flyer designing happening so that we can all take some with us to distribute at conferences.

what i have done is to make a basic blog for the conference organisers to use for announcements and updates. all but one of organisers do not work at the designated university. so, getting stuff onto the official uni-run website (which we need for registration and payment purposes) will entail going through a middle man. hence i thought best to have one where we can all contribute various items that do not need to go past the scrutineers etc.

and i have blogs to mark as well – i mean posts to the media industry contexts blog site. this is their final assignment for the course, so a lot of reading for me.
anyway, please see my relative silence as sign of need to be distracted by other matters.
will try to post updates of my progress during my travels.
[taking the dslr too!]

growing australian plants conference – geelong trip1

i just returned from a long drive to geelong to attend the association of societies for growing australian plants (ASGAP) biennial conference there. the drive itself takes about 10 hours or so straight, so i did it in 2 days, leaving about 11am each day and arriving for the evening about 4. the conference was held over 5 days, monday to friday, with 3 days of talks and presentations and 2 days of excursions to local reserves and gardens. on the way back i stopped in at seymour to visit my old school friend, and then we took a 2 day loll about to beechworth and rutherglen. victoria – the place to be!

anyway, of course i took some pics. the themes of plants and railways were prominent… in this post, a selection of plant-oriented fotos…

view west from trig point at royal botanic gardens cranbourne

view west from trig point at royal botanic gardens cranbourne

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trees east and west on same longitude

tree in grounds of shrine, yufuin, kyushu, revered with shimenawa and white paper
pine in grounds of shrine, revered with shimenawa and white paper, yufuin, kyushu, japan

eucalyptus in rightful place, left alone in a vineyard landscape, barossa valley, south australia
eucalyptus in rightful place, left alone in a vineyard landscape, barossa valley, south australia

italy trip, instalment4

I continue at last my account of our short trip to Italy earlier this year. All these observations were written quite soon after the days to which I refer, but now, when i re-read them, each seems impossibly remote, and one day is blurred into another in my memory. The entry takes up where i last left off – our overnight stay in the medieval town of Mantova. ….

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space for plants 2 – another country

those three weeks travelling about in my second home recently, got me noticing things i’d already known but hadn’t seen as a thread before that.

people often asked me how it felt to be back in japan after a ten-year gap, and it was hard to explain. it was not like what i was told was the rip van winkle experience of suddenly waking up in the same place and not remembering the time having passed… i was aware that many of my memories of place had been erased – and mainly because when i saw them again i remembered them anew… thus the time having passed was highlighted for me. but at the same time, i felt at home – at ease, not worried – i knew how to get about, how to get things done, everything seemed second nature to me. although i had often felt that i had forgotten how to speak japanese, as soon as i got out of the plane, japanese came out of my mouth unbidden. for me, amusing and very useful.

One thing that i began to notice differently was the presence of plantlife. the attitude or orientation towards plants is not the same as in the west. i do not know how to describe ‘from the inside’ what i feel is this peculiarly japanese orientation, but i did start to observe elements of the urban streetscape in japan, notice relative differences, and then started trying to account for them in my own mind – as maybe related to constraints on space in japan – or at least urban constraints of various kinds.

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under re-construction

i have an architecture jinx. it started in 1998 i think, when me and a friend from art school days went on a european jaunt for a couple of weeks. it seemed as if every church and monument we attended to view was in the process of being reconstructed at some level, and all of them had some sort of scaffolding over part of the structure. here in japan, the jinx has not been thwarted. i offer a recent photo from kyoto when i made the effort to get out to ryoanji again….

[note row of red buckets perpetually filled with water]

the sign outside the entry for ryoanji, kyoto, june 2009

the sign outside the entry for ryoanji, kyoto, june 2009

last week in finland

My last week in Helsinki, and I’m not ready to go. Spring is in full swing,  and everything looks different.  The temperatures are up in the mid-teens and there’s a warm earthy scent in the air. People are out  on the streets in droves, the sidewalk cafes are like vases full of multi-coloured flowers, the heads and arms of many persons chatting away and gesticulating in the sun. The day is long and the afternoons seem to go on forever. When we go indoors to have an evening meal, it is still sunny when we emerge, the crisp creamy afternoon light on the façade of the building still picking out every bump and colour when we come out  again an hour or so later. The horizon is still light even at 11.30pm—daylight saving has no real meaning here, except maybe to keep pace with the rest of Europe. The horizon with the night sky behind it reminds me of a Magritte painting.

tram stop mannerheim street, spring

tram stop mannerheim street, spring, late evening

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