Thursday, 24 February 2011

Earthquake and volcano events

The earthquake disaster in New Zealand's South Island raises many questions about the fragility of human settlements in places which seem idyllic but, every so often, remind everyone that THIS place or THAT place is liable to big shifts of condition (inundation, fire, 'quake) every generation or so. And at times the intervals are shorter, bearing in mind that Christchurch  - sitting on the Pacific Ring of Fire - was badly shaken six months ago. I am without answer, just pointing to a circumstance.

Until a few years ago I owned a house in Stratford, Taranaki, on the North Island, on the slopes of Mt Taranaki itself. It was worth a pause for reflection that Mount Taranaki (Mt Egmont if you grew up with older atlases) is a nicely conical,  geologically recent, volcano. It last blew its top at the end of the seventeenth century - and is reckoned well overdue for its next big event. If it does, and in our lifetimes, nobody should act surprised.

This Sunday I have my ticket for the evening concert in the performance space of the Art Gallery of South Australia. It is part of the Festival Fringe. Adelaide soprano and harpist Emma Horwood will sing her program entitled Songs of Middle Earth, drawing on compositions (by Donald Swan and others) inspired by Tolkien's imagined world. The earlier performances received the rave reviews we hear about and which, no doubt, the artists like to hear.

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