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Spent part of a very wintery afternoon yesterday in the NGV International taking in the last day of the Bugatti show and the early days of the exhibition of embroidered Chinese robes.

Firstly, Bugatti.  As an old car nut from way back, the chance to see a couple of examples of these amazing cars was too good to pass up.  Combined with the amazing bronzes of Rembrandt and the inspired furniture of Carlos, it made for interesting viewing.


The experience was spoiled by the constant ‘requests’ by the gallery staff not to use flashes when taking photographs – signage at the door may well have alleviated this issue.

The viewing experience in “Dressed to Rule” was an entirely different kettle of fish – quiet and uncluttered; atmospherically lit to highlight the amazing embroidered silk robes from the Imperial Courts of Peking, it was a pleasure to view.

I had a minor disagreement with my camera – digitals can be great but when they have a mind of their own and won’t respond to you turning off the flash… gggrrrrr!!

Dragons featured on many courtly robes... usually nine at a time... there is one hidden on the inner lining of this garment.

Dragons featured on many courtly robes... usually nine at a time... there is one hidden on the inner lining of this garment.

Anyway –  I resorted to the trusty camera in the mobile phone and captured a couple of shots of the dragon robes…..there were several more robes in the collection featuring dragons but I thought these would suffice!

A less colourful design but the nine dragons are featured - including the one hidden!

A less colourful design but the nine dragons are featured - including the one hidden!

Two samples of uncut robes were amongst the collection – all the embroidery had been completed on the lengths of silk fabric however the garment had never been completed.  This enables us to see and appreciate the manner in which these garments were constructed and to admire the amount of hand work required for such delicate and complex embroidery.

There are floor talks, films and lectures associated with this exhibition – one of which is highly recommended to embroiderers.  This is to be held in June.


It is amazing how insidious the manner in which the mobile phone has become such an integral part of our lives in such a short period of time.  We cannot live without them, it seems, yet we find them a  proverbial pain in the neck a good deal of the time.

Forgetting them, having to pay the bill, listening to other people shout into them when all you would like is a quite cup of coffee or whatever…. they are meant to make life easier yet they seem to be forever a nuisance.

I was a CDMA phone user for many years as I travel into country areas and wanted the best signal and coverage I could get.  I was driven quietly spare by the harassment of my service provider trying to get me to change to a NextG phone well before the closure of the CDMA network.

They couldn’t offer me any deals or upgrades that were advantageous to me as I owned my phone and there was no existing contract to buy out.  I stuck it out until there was a phone on the market with NextG capabilities that I, with my failing eyesight and limited digital dexterity, could handle.

I acquired this new phone in January.  It took some time to get it organised and functioning as I liked it… it was tuned in to talk to my computer and to the hands free unit in the car without too much drama and I was happily settling in to using it.

Last week the battery went flat. I recharged it.  It went flat again in less than 24 hours.  I recharged it again.  Same thing.  I checked that none of the bluetooth devices were on and causing it to search unnecessarily … nope… everything was fine except it would not hold a charge.

I could not believe that the battery had failed in such a short time…. I have never used a mobile phone to the extent that I wore out a battery and some of my phones have lasted me four years or more!  I checked the warranty – wouldn’t you know it?  The battery is only covered for 6 months!

However, I wandered into town to the dealer where I bought it and asked them if they could test the battery.  It appears that they can’t but directed me to the brand new two story all singing all dancing store a couple of blocks away.

I went up to the second floor to the service area, joined a queue to the service desk to wait to ask for technician. Whilst waiting in the queue, I was greeted by the floor supervisor who asked what help I needed, I explained, he showed me to a chair and went to get a customer liaison person to help me.

Two hours later I was on my way…. it appeared there was nothing wrong with my battery –  what was the issue was that the phone needed a software upgrade.  They recharged the phone, they upgraded the software and they restored all my pictures and phone book.  They provided me with a storage micro chip so that next time it happens it won’t take so long.  They did all this with a smile and for free.  I was impressed.

I have been struggling to get the phone to work again as all the other set up and functions preferences have been lost…. new bluetooth connection, new ring tones to be allocated, every time I do something that I have done before, I find that its not as it was and i have to reconfigure….can I please have a phone that just makes callls?

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