I should observe a successful weekend. I spent Saturday night alone as my flatmates disappeared to a concert in Central Otago overnight. Being left alone to my own company only improves my mental balance. So Saturday night I went out to watch a movie: a five hour recording of the 2008 New York Metropolitan Opera Season Tristan und Isolde. What a night! It was a marathon, but definitely worth it. There are two more operas left to play in this season. I should try and see La Boheme at least. These recordings have not attracted audiences in New Zealand. Apparently in Australia they have attracted a new generation of people to going to the opera.

Sitting through act II, where Tristan and Isolde get to hold hands, I keep thinking if Hayden Christiansen and Natalie Portman were saying these lines instead of the shit that George Lucas wrote for them, then Attack of the Clones would have been more bearable.

I walked into town on Sunday afternoon to visit the art gallery and the Settlers’ Museum. The art gallery had an exhibition of Rita Angus’ painting. I found seeing the range of her opus very inspiring — the imagery she incorporated into her work. I would like to go back and buy a copy of the exhibition book so I can keep those images as a memento.

I thought I was going to see the Polish heritage exhibition at the Settlers’ museum. It was ‘lovely’ in an earnest auntie-ish sort of way. What caught my eye was Shopkeeping, an exhibition of photos of Dunedin identities standing in their shops. It deserves a second look, along with narratives provided on a computer. Dunedin readers, I encourage you to go see this. Remember, entry to the Settlers’ museum is now free. Since the photos were taken in 2006 seven of the forty-something businesses in the display have closed. Fortunately the display will be archived at the Hocken archives. It is a shame this collection of images is not online.

I am already looking forward to the second half of this week. Nicky Hager, author of The Hollow Men, is talking at the Archway lecture theatre on Wednesday. I missed his lecture the last time he was in Dunedin as I got the day wrong. Then the next day my brother is travelling through Dunedin to Invercargill for the Burt Munro races on Oreti Beach. This means I will get a bike ride down to Invercargill and stay for two nights. Southern Dave, you have been warned. I should remember to pack my Weet-Bix.

Tenders close for the renovations of the new archives offices on Friday.

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