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The television versions of Big Little Lies are set in Monterey, California. But the original setting for the book by Lianne Moriarty is a fictional town she called Pirriwee.
It's a seemingly ideal but somewhat self-entitled, post-bohemian beach-side community.
Even as an avatar of Pirriwee, Monterey is real. So, is there a real-world equivalent of Morriaty's fictional Pirriwee?
The 250th anniversary in 2020 of Captain James Cook's landing at Botany Bay seemed restrained. The limitations imposed by the prevailing COVID 19 crisis dampened it further.
In comparison, the 200th anniversary of the same event in 1970, was the highlight of a joyous year-long jamboree that was nothing short of a ringing national validation. At the outset Robert Askin, then Premier of New South Wales, boasted that Australia would put on "one of the greatest pageants ever held in the Southern Hemisphere." The glorious day, April 29th, featured a costumed re-enactment in front of Her Majesty the Queen, accompanied by a flourish of national dignitaries and 50,000 super-proud Aussies.
The actual event—the first contact between the existing inhabitants of the continent and the British—was one of complete incomprehension; with ominous portents for the future.
In 1970, the bicentenary of Captain James Cook's landing at Botany Bay, most Australians accorded Cook a near-mythic status. He, along with Governors Phillip and Macquarie, once provided an unshakable base for the foundational story of modern Australia. Fifty years later, at the time of the 250th anniversary of Cook's landing, that firm base is eroding.
A new national story is unfolding, appearing at times confused and conflicted. It's a multilayered narrative that is still in flux and is yet to settle. Writing at the time of the 250th anniversary, Cook biographer Peter FitzSimons, lamented, "...here we all are, 250 years later, still not sure as a people what to make of it all." That wasn't always the case. In 1970, Australians were very sure.
In and around Rome are any number of sites related to art and architecture; history and religion (pagan and Christian)—all interwound in Italy. There is so much "lying around"; Rome appears to wear its endowment with nonchalance.
Many gems lie happily below the radar of the voracious tourist hoards... Some sites offer the ultimate luxury of time and space to better savour and comprehend just how and why they came into being and their purposes.
Milan magnificently exemplifies the possibilities of a fully modernised Italy. What is plain to see in Milan is exactly what all Italy could achieve if only more of its people were as comfortable in the 21st century as the Milanese obviously are...
Milan is a city that presents as totally at ease with the present, and with itself…