Tuesday, December 21, 2010

money askers

Today is a day of having no money. Last week just before the book launch it was a surprise to discover the venue would not take a cheque and so we had to collectively (including but not to any great extent our host institution) get together some money to have our launch. I ended up contributing $250 and it's now two days from pay day and we have not had any money much since Saturday. The money was to be refunded today but it has not been because someone in the chain of duty didn't do what they should have. I will say no more about that. Anyway I am sure there is a way to be sensible with money and still have it at least a day or two before you get paid again but I haven't found it yet.

So for the first time I can ever remember I was asked for money on the Craigieburn line today, by a woman who was clearly quite deranged and wanted $2 from everyone (she asked me once on the train and once when I got off at Jacana, as did she - I later saw her confusedly going back down the ramp). A huge guy asked the young man in the seat in front of me for some money too and then instead of going down the carriage he just sat down. It was troubling for a while because I thought he was talking to the young man in threatening-hushed tones but later I decided he was just sitting there.

I spent the day at the State Library looking through 12 boxes of lantern slides from the collection of Frank Heath. Heath was a planner and architect who also lectured in Town Planning at the University of Melbourne 1948-54 so in that regard he is a predecessor of mine. To a certain degree the collection is a little disappointing, because so much of it just replicates the well-known images of early C20 town planning, but on the other hand, that it is all collected in this way is interesting and revelatory of what was on Heath's agenda as a lecturer in the early 50s (that said, there is no indication that these were his lecture slides - I'm just assuming).

Lantern slides are pretty nice. Compared to what we would now just call slides - I mean, the little squares of pos film, not the powerpoint slides - they are satisfying to hold and examine. It was pretty good in the Pictures Collection too. Very quiet.

By the way the image above is not from a lantern slide - it's a beautiful original drawing also at the SLV. Click on it for a larger view