Today in Spain

Capital life and random beauty…

Scenes from Malaga on this supremely hot afternoon. The cathedral, the Pompidou Centre, the port.

The horses are outside the bullring, being prepared for the fight tonight. They’re beautiful animals, but I don’t want to think about what comes later. One of the greys has a stitched-up wound. The bigger horses are ridden by the picadors, and they face off against the bulls during the fight.

I am in the red in one of the pictures.

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On this day: the Thredbo Landslide

In Times Gone By...

1997 Thredbo Landslide

At 11:35pm on the 30th of July, 1997, a landslide hit the ski village of Thredbo in New South Wales, Australia.

Eighteen people were killed as two ski lodges were destroyed by over 1000 tonnes of earth and debris.

Famously, ski instructor Stuart Diver survived in the freezing conditions of a collapsed building until his rescue on the evening of the 2nd of August. His wife Sally was beside him in the wreckage but drowned when she became trapped in a depression that filled with water.

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Apologies!

I am flying to Spain in a few weeks, and will be gone a month, so I am rushing to schedule posts for August and September.

HOWEVER, that means I’ve been making a bit of a mess of this blog! I’ve accidentally posted half-finished, unedited, gibberish-filled things. I’ve accidentally put up half a dozen blog posts on one day. If you’re online at 4:30am Canberra time (that’s the time I schedule my posts for), you’ve probably seen a few Big Mistakes on here!

I’m having trouble keeping up with my review books, but hopefully I’ll get things sorted soon. 🙂

On this day: the death of Winnipeg the bear

In Times Gone By...

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Winnie in 1914 X

Winnipeg (or Winnie), a female black bear from Canada and the inspiration for Winnie-the-Pooh, died in London Zoo on the 12th of May, 1934. She was twenty at the time.

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Winnie and Harry Colebourn X

Winnie was purchased as an orphaned cub at a train stop in Ontario in 1914. She was bought for $20 by Harry Colebourn, a twenty-seven year old veterinarian who had volunteered for World War One and was on his way to report for duty. He named her after his hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

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Winnie plays with Canadian soldiers during WW1.

Winnie, who became a military mascot, was kept in London for the years Colebourn served in the war, and he eventually donated her to the zoo.

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Winnie-the-Pooh makes a debut on Christmas Eve, 1925. X

The inspiration for Winnie-the-Pooh came after creator A. A. Milne’s son Christopher Robin visited the bear at…

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On this day: the death of a prima ballerina

In Times Gone By...

Maya_Plisetskaya_-_1974Plisetskaya performing in Carmen (1974)

As Carmen in 1974.

Soviet ballerina Maya Plisetskaya, one of only a handful of dancers in history to hold the title of Prima Ballerina Assoluta, died on the 2nd of May, 2015.

Born into a prominent family of Lithuanian Jews, Plisetskaya completed her ballet training in Moscow, first performing at the Bolshoi Theatre at the age of eleven.

Maya Plisetskaya Grand Jete Ballet Vintage

Despite being one of the most respected dancers in history, she was treated badly by the anti-Semitic Russian authorities. For her first sixteen years of her career she was banned from leaving the country.

Her father was executed during the Stalinist purges, and her mother, a famous Lithuanian film actress, spent several years in a gulag in Kazakhstan.

Maya Plisetskaya Ballet Vintage

Plisetskaya followed in the footsteps of another great Soviet ballerina: Galina Ulanova, and took over her position as the Bolshoi’s star dancer upon Ulanova’s retirement. Plisetskaya was a member of the…

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