Sunday, 2 August 2009

trails of entrails

i'm in the national capital this weekend...unusually not for work but in order to celebrate the semi-centenary of a very dear friend.
wandering about this morning trying with no little difficulty to navigate the labyrinth of convoluted paths that encircle the city it came to me that not many people really know the true story behind the designing of Canberra.

dear friends, i'm here to enlighten you.

Canberra is popularly believed to have been designed by Walter Burley Griffin.

i'm inclined to think the true story goes more like this. Mrs Burley Griffin [well, actually the architect Marion Lucy Mahony] had a large Persian cat called Pinky. one day when Walter had wandered into the kitchen in the middle of a tricky session of designer's block to fetch himself a calming cup of tea Pinky strolled into the studio in search of amusement.

she sat up on the drawing table and enjoyed a quick wash. regrettably her tail rested on Walter's watercolour palette [remember these were the days before CAD when plans and elevations where all rendered by hand]. just then Pinky espied a sparrow through the window. morphing instantly into killer-cat slink mode she swivelled across the page and hurled herself at the offending avian.

moments later the drafting assistant entered the rooom, spied the watercolour swirls on the paper and decided to ink them in. and there it was, cat-made marks in psychotropic swirls , just waiting to be embellished with trees,parks and houses.

thank goodness it was only a cat's prints and not the soothsayers casting of the entrails of a sheep....our demented deviations might have been a lot longer


  1. what fun considerings. cats are bent on architecture...and only party to the divinations. at least i have noticed that about our feline. i like this.


  2. pet paws, as pets in general, softens straight lines.
    I like those legends.