Back in Los Angeles, things at home started on a rather pleasant note. I went out into the garden and picked four nice ripe figs off one of the trees, still warm from the sunlight. (Hmmmm… My nemesis, Fluffy, must be napping. Or planning something very subtle.) You can see three of them in my hand to the left. A fourth did not survive the wait period while I got my camera out of my luggage.
Sunday in Vienna was as interesting as Saturday, with more outdoor components than indoors since it was a lovely day, weather-wise. I wandered the city streets a lot, and spent a fair amount of time getting a feel for them, occasionally hopping on the subway (U-bahn) or a tram to nip over large distances, or to rest my feet. Other rest stops involved cafes for a beer, or a cup of tea, and a bit of people watching, reading, or other pleasant sitting activity.
Like Saturday, I saw a lot of art on Sunday, focusing again on Austrian artists primarily, and learning about the Secession movement in particular, and several of the characters associated with it. Fascinating.
I’ll do a post or two more on Vienna later on, I hope.
I left the city in the evening, heading for a brief stop in London before setting my sights on Los Angeles on Monday. Found myself in the amusing position of watching (again) some of Iron Man 2 at some point (on the giant screens United have installed in parts of their newly kitted out 777s – there’s been a makeover on lots of them, and the whole plane looks even better than before…), looking over to see if all the bright flashes and so forth were carrying over to my neighbours, and seeing that the little girl sitting next to me was engrossed in a film called Einstein and Eddington, with Andy Serkis somewhat oddly cast as the former, and David Tennant as the latter. I stayed in this strange and slightly ironic configuration for a while until just before my movie degenerated from fun dialogue into a orgy of battling metal suits and then switched over to start the E+E film. I found myself a bit put out by the weird voice Serkis was doing, not to mention the unnecessarily over-affected eccentricity given to the Einstein character (at least in the early parts of the film) but persevered for a bit, nodding about 50% of the time in understanding of the compromises made to balance drama, fact, and accuracy, an wrinkling my brow at other times. I went along like this for a bit, deciding from what I saw that it was nice that they’d made this film at all, and that it was actually being shown as part of the in-flight movie menu. Having seen enough, I returned to reading Aimee Bender’s new novel.
I overheard the girl telling her mother that she loved the film, trying to convince her to watch it, which I thought was just great to hear. Later, I broke cover and gave them my contact details for them to write to ask for recommendations for more material (reading, film, etc) if she was interested later on. I’d mentioned a nice complement to the film, the two hour documentary on the same scientific period (development of General Relativity right up to its testing with the eclipse expeditions in 1919) made by Phillip Shane for the History Channel a couple of years back. (I had the honour of helping out a bit on the production of that work. See e.g. here.)
It is good to be back. It’ll be so very good to sleep in my own bed again*.
*As soon as I stop blogging at 2:30 am…
Some Related Asymptotia Posts (not exhaustive):