Brisbane Roma Street, Australia
I went to the museum. The Queensland museum; I didn’t make it to the art museum which is next door. It’s a free museum but with paid-for exhibits. At $25, that jars against the free entry for the Queensland bit, so I left the Treasures of Afghanistan exhibits alone.
The rest of the museum is a nice introduction to the state. I learned why the type of house I am in is unusual; Queensland houses have a space underneath, largely fenced in, which is used for storage of objects and cars, and often for kids to play in. Certainly the case here, there is all sorts of stuff down there, and a couple of cars gently rotting by the side. Exhibitions of flora and fauna show just how big a turtle can get, with a collectors’ exhibition giving some local colour.
They also talk about the economics; plenty of sheep and coal, it seems. Meanwhile, I was listening to the BBC’s Science Hour podcast. “The Germans are quite weird actually,” it said in my ear – commenting, in fact, on the prosaic subject of their changed attitude to nuclear energy, removing their own reactors, importing from France and switching to coal and gas instead. Which is nuts, of course. The next thing I saw in the museum was a timeline of Australian settlement; 25% of those shepherding in Queensland by 1856 were Germans. Their weirdness was uncommented upon.
I headed out into the sunshine and rode the riverboat back to Hawthorne, where my local cinema is, to be one of three people catching the 4.30 showing of Gravity. The first film I’ve seen that makes really good use of the 3d, it’s mesmerising and life-affirming.