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Columbia South Carolina

 

As already mentioned Columbia is the State capital and second largest city in South Carolina.  But we were only staying one night and it was Saturday.  The markets had taken over the down-town area so we went for a wander.  The town was pleasant but our combined memory is more of the comfortable Home Towne Suites out on Columbiana Dr and the nearby shopping mall that provided food than of the City itself.

 


Saturday Markets Columbia - Click on this picture to see Meet Your Cremator and more
 

Most of the stalls were selling local produce like honey, cheese or jam.  A number had handcrafts. 

But the most innovative was Meet Your Cremator.  This guy is a ceramic artist who makes personalised ceramic mugs that are caricatures of the client.  He was chatting up some potential clients so I could only go by what he was saying to them. As far as I could work out he takes their photograph and possibly makes a sketch of what they might expect, then during the week in his studio/pottery he crafts a mug of their 'mug' and brings it back next week. They're a sort of modern Toby Jug.

It seemed to have a lot of downsides.  Did they trust him enough to pay upfront?  And if so what if they hated the thing?  If not, does he trust them to turn up next week?  Has he got a shed full of unsellable mugs?  And how many people want a ceramic caricature of themselves anyway? 

It was the stall's name that initially caught my attention. It seemed to suggest a change of business direction.  Did he start out making crematory urns?  I can see why that might've been an even harder sell than personalised mugs: 'It's the latest thing: an amusing caricature of your loved one to keep their ashes in... Got a photo of your mum on you?' 

 

 

 

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Travel

Burma (Myanmar)

 

 

This is a fascinating country in all sorts of ways and seems to be most popular with European and Japanese tourists, some Australians of course, but they are everywhere.

Since childhood Burma has been a romantic and exotic place for me.  It was impossible to grow up in the Australia of the 1950’s and not be familiar with that great Australian bass-baritone Peter Dawson’s rendition of Rudyard Kipling’s 'On the Road to Mandalay' recorded two decades or so earlier:  

Come you back to Mandalay
Where the old flotilla lay
Can't you hear their paddles chunking
From Rangoon to Mandalay

On the road to Mandalay
Where the flying fishes play
And the Dawn comes up like thunder
out of China 'cross the bay

The song went Worldwide in 1958 when Frank Sinatra covered it with a jazz orchestration, and ‘a Burma girl’ got changed to ‘a Burma broad’; ‘a man’ to ‘a cat’; and ‘temple bells’ to ‘crazy bells’.  

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Fiction, Recollections & News

Remembering 1967

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1967 is in the news this week as it is 50 years since one of the few referendums, since the Federation of Australia in 1901, to successfully lead to an amendment to our Constitution.  In this case it was to remove references to 'aboriginal natives' and 'aboriginal people'.

It has been widely claimed that these changes enabled Aboriginal Australians to vote for the first time but this is nonsense. 

Yet it was ground breaking in other ways.

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Opinions and Philosophy

Holden - The Demise of an Iconic Brand

 

 

I drive a Holden Commodore.  It’s a nice shiny black one.  A Lumina edition.

I have owned well over a dozen cars and driven a lot more, in numerous countries, but this is my first Holden.

I’m starting to think that I can put an end to any car brand, just by buying one.

Holden is to cease manufacturing in 2017.

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