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  • Writer's pictureNigel

🛠️ Men at Work

2024 年 2 月 14 日

".......And she said > "Do you come from a land down under...?....."

When I see men at work today......

..........I can't help but think of that eponymous Australian rock band who surfaced suddenly in the 1980's. All part of the background to my drifting life in London at the time. If you look at the video now in 2024 you have to laugh : it alI seems so boyish, funny and free of cynicism.....


At the time I was sharing a house in Stockwell (Victoria Line) with Rob, a physicist; Kate, who worked in a photo agency; Sue, a pyschotherapist doing her Phd. at Imperial College, and Simon - training to be an architect. It was Simon who introduced me to Men at Work and Bob Marley, also to the the Society of Friends (Quakers). There was a lot wrong with society at that time. Racism was prevalent, although you could easily turn a blind eye to it. In 1981 pent up frustration boiled over just down the road from us in Brixton, when mainly black youths clashed with a mainly white police force. Youths who were probably not at work for one reason or another. The road was blocked for days.


Here are more men at work.....removing our paper once a fortnight........

(I have had a few packages this week. Which means cardboard. Which means cutting it up and putting it in the blue bin. Which means the men in orange have to pick it up. But that is only me. If everybody had as much as me that is an awful lot of cardboard. The people, the machines, the effort that keeps our daily lives running......."Für eine saubere Umwelt" For a cleaner einvironment.)

And here is a man who combines work and play. One of those craftworkers who lurk in quiet corners of Japan and produce astonishigly high quality work....(Thank you John for the link....)

The bamboo dragonfly maker - 竹とんぼ



Who reads newspapers any longer? I don't. I get my news from apps on my smartphone. But these last couple of days The Frankfurter Allgemeine has been delivered to our house, although nobody has ordered it...


So today I spread one out on the table and started to read.....

l learnt that an Israeli judge had been shouted down at a University event in Berlin; that the famous conductor Seiji Ozawa had died last week......


........that the old established commission which oversees the ship transport on the Rhine have thrown out Russia (a founding member in the 19thc.), and that Japanese anime films , synchronized into German, are being shown in Frankfurt cinemas......


Thanks to a cooperation with Nippon Connection

It was a very different experience reading printed matter as opposed to looking at my screen. What is this difference? Nobody has coined a term for it yet as far as I know.

I own a Kindle. Marvellous for reading a novel in bed, and ordering a new title is done in 30 seconds. But something is missing. It is not the same as a real book printed on paper.



Cat and there a connection? One is nervous but wants to play.....

...the other swings gently in the wind and heralds a new season.......



Over the last couple of posts I can't avoid mentioning our pilgrimages to Wiesbaden to hear the Ring Cycle from Richard Wagner. This week it was Siegfried. Oh my......I'm going to suggest they copy my summary and slip it into the programme booklet:


Siegfried: The Plot. Nigel Version.

For some reason, the young man Siegfried has been brought up by a dwarf in a cave. Naturally enough, he wants to know why. I mean, didn’t his mum have any friends who could adopt him? Maybe it was just too much to expect – especially as his Dad was his Mum’s brother. ……….Er.....

He makes a magic sword. Now if you are thinking of Harry Potter at this point you are at the wrong show.

It’s really all about the gold – and the ring thereof. As Siegfried doesn’t know what fear is (Wagner nicked that idea from the brothers Grimm), his dwarf “father” brings him to another cave (lot of caves in this opera) to meet the most terrible dragon 🐲 (Wurm in German) who has the gold. Other are interested in the gold of course, including the dwarf’s brother and Wotan. He's the guy with the eye patch - but let's not go into that. These two bump into each other at the cave and share a beer.

So. Siefried kills the dragon with his super sword 🤺 Wham!💥 and perchance tastes the dragon’s blood. Aha! Now he can understand what the little birdie nearby is saying to him, which is useful because:

1. His dwarf “father” wants to poison him so he can get the gold💰 .

2. There is a top celeb. beauty 💃 lying on a hill surrounded by a ring of fire somewhere, but she's not on Google maps.

He finishes off his “father” with his super sword and stomps off.

He finds the spot and walks through the fire. He thinks he sees a man (well, why not?) but then exclaims "That is not a man!" Das ist doch kein Mann ! (here the audience isn't suppose to laugh but does). However, this is a real woman, and for some reason she scares the shit out of him (How she felt is not explored in depth here). But they fall for each other and walk off into the sunset. Happy Ending. Little do they know that has already taken Valhalla off it's listing due to imminent Götterdämmerung. Wotan is left with a broken spear and goes off to think about things..

There will be two intervals, and you will be here from 5pm to 10pm - so get yourselves organized.

So we did.

I drove the car, Julia bought the wine and Ron and Dörte made some food.......Here we are in one of the many mysterious passages of the Hessisches Staatstheater.....


Photo: Julia Sigwart

It's all very..........Fin de siècle.......😶


Yes, so it has been another week in the company of Wagner's strange myths and fantasies. However, he wasn't the first.....This swan could almost come into a Wagner opera. A mischievous suggestion from the Dept. of Digital Humanities of Göttingen University. Honestly, these scholars......😄

🛠️ Thank you for reading "..Men at Work .."

 "...Men at Work..."を読んでくれてありがとう

 🛠️ Feel free to share the blog with friends.


🛠️  And and I enjoy hearing from you...!





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