Sunday, December 6, 2009

Wonderful Weekend

Snow at American University*

I had a wonderful weekend. It snowed all day Saturday. (It snowed for us in Canada, but this was our first snow of the season at home. It came much earlier than usual this year.) It was the perfect kind of snow too—lots of big, fat flakes that fell slowly so you felt as if you were in suspended animation looking at them. It was also perfect in that it was sticking to the trees and cars, making everything look lovely and frosty, but wasn’t sticking to the roads or sidewalks, making it easy to walk and drive.

Chuk and I have been really into learning more about Australia lately since listening to Bill Bryson’s brilliant In a Sunburned Country on one of our road trips this fall. So Saturday we headed off to Chuk’s alma mater, American University, to see a gallery exhibit of contemporary Australian art and a film festival, both solely made by indigenous Australians (which is what I think, based on usage, is the P.C. term for Aborigines.)

I loved Vernon Ah Kee's large portrait of his grandfather.*

While the gallery exhibit was impressive in its scope, many pieces in lots of different mediums, much of it was in the primitive style, which, though I generally like modern art, is not one of my favorite art movements.

Three paintings by Julie Dowling*

The film festival was also very good. We watched five short films all of which dealt with indigenous Australian subject matter and were directed and produced by indigenous Australians. Some were fiction and some were documentaries. After the films, there was a Q & A with filmmaker Pauline Clague who had produced one of the films, directed another, and was featured in and produced a third, a documentary about her parents, an interracial couple who have fought for the rights of indigenous Australians since the 1960s. It was very interesting.

Then there was a reception, which was awesome. The food was great (very fancy too) and there was an open bar. Chuk and I turned it into our dinner. All of it was free! Parking, the gallery show, the film festival, the food and drinks.

We went from the university to Old Town Alexandria to watch the Potomac River parade. It was still snowing, but we stayed out for a while and watched all the boats decorated with lights. Then we went home and I made scones and apple cider. It was so cozy.

Today, we headed back to Old Town to watch an a cappella show (also free!) with our friend. I just love a cappella music. The performance wasn’t the best I’ve ever been to, but it was also the youngest group of a cappella singers I had ever seen, and as our friend pointed out, their voices probably hadn’t fully matured yet. Then all three of us came back to our house for more scones and apple cider and lots of gossip.

It was the best weekend I had in a long time. I got to do lots of fun things, but it was still relaxed and casual. I love this time of year when there are lots of free cultural activities going on.

*Forgive the picture quality. I took them with my phone. I don't know what's up with the white spaces on the sides of the pictures.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome FREEKEND, Meghan! I'll be sure to include it when I do the bigger post to share everyone's good times in the beginning of January :) And, yeah. I'm aware it kind of sounds like "freak-end" . . . hahha. Now back to the work-week. Ugh.


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