Summer time and the living is easy .........
Well, I hope it is for you and if you want some ideas on how to spend the beautiful days of summer in Melbourne, here are some suggestions.
Six Square Metres – reflections from a small garden
By Margaret Simons
Published by Scribe Publications. RRP$24.99
I have fond memories of being tutored by acclaimed journalist and author Margaret Simons when I was working at News.
She is an excellent tutor and I tried to sign up for every course that she taught.
Needless to say, she is a wonderfully talented writer and this book is entertaining, insightful and useful.
It is not a "gardening book" that just advises the reader on when to plant the strawberries and tomatoes and what to do when the weeds run rampant on the front lawn, but more a journey through the seasons, through her life and the tiny patch of inner urban earth that is her garden.
As in everyone's life, there are births to celebrate, deaths to mourn, periods of great happiness and times of quiet reflection.
As Meg says, "Sometimes you reap what you sow. Sometimes you reap what other people sowed. Sometimes you don't have a clue what you are sowing and sometimes you just get lucky, or unlucky.
"All these things are true of life, as of gardening."
Six Square Metres is a great read, anytime.
The Lady in the Van
By Alan Bennett
Published by Profile Books and Faber and Faber. RRP$$16,99.
The wonderfully witty and sometimes acerbic Alan Bennett recounts how he became the somewhat reluctant landlord to Miss Shepherd, the lady who lived in her van in his driveway for 15 years.
Deeply eccentric and stubborn, Miss Shepherd was not an easy tenant.
Alan Bennett's account of those years was first published in 1989, became a play in 1999, starring Dame Maggie Smith, and is now a film, soon to be released in Melbourne.
Reading of Miss S's antics is quite entertaining, though not lacking in pathos at her predicament.
I can't wait to see the film, but do read the book first.
Andy Warhol – Ai Weiwei
National Gallery of Victoria
Until 24 April 2016
This blockbuster exhibition features more than 300 works and brings together two great artists, Andy Warhol who represents 20th century modernity and the "American century." while Ai Weiwei creates art of the contemporary life in the 21st century, also known as the "Chinese century" to come.
Give yourself at least three hours to enjoy every facet of the exhibition and while at the NGV, revel in the musical sounds on Friday nights, check outthe abstract sculptures and more.
As Ai Weiwei said, " Creativity s part of human nature. It can only be untaught."