Sunday, April 30, 2017

April 30. Day 120. Baby steps

There is nothing, nothing, more adorable than a sleeping baby. A new-born is a pink, kissable, squeezable bundle of cuteness. Those chubby fingers, those tiny toes - it is just too much. But let's be clear about one thing ... I don't want one (which is just as well given my age). But even if biology wasn't destiny, I still wouldn't want one. I am more than happy to cuddle, to babysit to love from a distance but just watching my friend with a three-year-old and a three-week-old is frankly exhausting.  And I'm already exhausted. And then when I hear about the nocturnal activities at their place I need a little lie down. And there's the problem. Because we talk about sleeping like a baby as though that's the best, most peaceful thing in the world. Sure in short, often very short, stretches. I am fond of saying laughingly "I slept like a baby ... I woke every two hours screaming". Not all that funny if that's the reality in your house. Of course, you blink and they're teenagers. But I've already taken those baby step and I have no desire to retrace them, thanks very much.

April 29. Day 119. Take a big breath in

 I've been watching 13 Reasons Why. That implies it gives 13 answers. Perhaps, but it raises about 13 billion questions. For those who have missed the memo, this is a Netflix teen drama about the suicide of a teenager. It's controversial. It's smart. It's powerful and it makes me feel ill and angry and sad and helpless often all at the same time. I don't know whether to send a thank you letter to Jay Asher who wrote the book or protest outside  Netflix. Youth suicide is a tragedy that can not be ignored. But youth suicide is also a contagion and anything that could "promote' it to vulnerable youth can not be tolerated. Which is why I am so conflicted. Because what I see is a program that rips at my heart because I see the pain in those left behind. No mother of a teenager could watch this and not be shattered by it. Others may take home something else. What it does scream at me loudly is that we need to take better care of each other, we need to reach out to our young people. We need to look after ourselves. I do not pretend for a second to even start to know how you address these things. I do know, however, that many are turning to Eastern traditions  and practises such as yoga, mindfulness and meditation to help relieve stress and find direction. Certainly there seemed to be a great willingness to join in a mindfulness and meditation session as part of the annual Buddha's Birthday celebrations at South Bank today. I didn't join in. I probably should of but I felt I didn't have the time. My mind has already moved on to what I needed to do next. In short I just failed Buddhism 101. We should live in the moment and not in the past or the imagined future. These would be things worth trying to teach teenagers. Calls to ban the drama or even ban talk of the drama as some schools have done seems to miss the point. This is not someting you can hide under a Bandaid and if you don't see it then it's not a problem. Wouldn't it be better to try and equip teens to better cope with the sh*t life throws at them? Techniques such as mindfullness sure as hell can't hurt. So let's all take a big breath in .....

Friday, April 28, 2017

April 28. Day 118. Old enough to know better

 Ok, I'm not one to talk and no-one should take dietary advice from me. In fact poor diet resulting in excess weight is almost certainly behind my chronic fatigue and the need for a sleep apnea study today. Bizarrely that is also the reason I had to have the gel nail polish painted on for the Logies a week ago, ground off today. I'd even managed to keep it looking awesome but the finger sensor needed for the study is impacted by the polish. So off to the nail salon. But back to the diet. I may not eat what I should and certainly not in the quantity I should but at least I know what s good diet would be. My neighbour Margaret is frustratingly different. She has Type 2 diabetes. Her diet should be quite restrictive. As the person doing her shopping, I know she is largely restricting herself to things she shouldn't be eating. Today's list included a large bag of Allen's mixed lollies, Iced Vo Vo biscuits. There was also mince for the birds (which I'm almost certain they shouldn't be eating either). As I was about to leave she mentioned something I might look out for when next at the supermarket. She was in the market for those biscuits that were half topped with chocolate. I normally bite my tongue but I really thought I should say something. "Should you be eating those?" I asked. "I only eat one at a time," she said. Yeah, one at a time, 24 times a day I thought channelling my inner glutton. She then told me that a Tommy Turkey (her name for the scrub turkeys that live in our street) had quite rudely come in her front door. Well, who could blame him? All the other birds in the street treat Margaret's house as a fly through restaurant.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

April 27. Day 117. Three for the price of one

The opening night celebrations of Once in Royal David's City
 It's a review time. I don't have any steak knives to throw in but you will get three reviews, three podcasts AND a bonus video all for one very low price of - nothing. I know, right? How does she do it for the price?

Once in Royal David's City by Queensland Theatre

At the opening night celebrations of Once in Royal David's City, Queensland Theatre's Executive Director Sue Donnelly  (left) described the play Sam Strong has chosen for his directorial debut for Queensland Theatre as "a word of mouth" piece. I suspect what she meant was that playwright Michael Gow could not have chosen a title more ambiguous or difficult to market had he tried. Given that Gow, a former Queensland Theatre Artistic Director was in the audience she may have thought it best left unsaid. But I'll say it: The title tells you nothing and not in a click bait kind of way more in a click off kind of way. It doesn't tell you that it's the kind of production that will make our eyes leak. It doesn't tell you that it's the kind of production that will make you want to hug your nearest and dearest and ponder what you hope will never be left unsaid. There's nothing in there to suggest Brecht or staring death in the face when the rest of the world is looking at the Christmas turkey and wondering if it is possible to eat one more roast potato. Nor does it tell you that you just might snort with laughter or wonder whether God exists or the class war is over. And that's all in 100 minutes (although the processing will doubtless be with you for a lot longer than that). So the word from my mouth is stunning. 4.25/5 stars
Once in Royal David's City Continues at The Playhouse QPAC until May 14
 Listen to our podcast here
Or watch a scene from the media briefing

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

April 26. Day 116. The white sheep of the family

 When Rumple was being puppy trained and he did something well I would say "Yes. Advanced." It was a standing joke based on the fact that every proud parent thinks her little one is gifted. Of course, I was right. Rumple graduated top of his puppy class. Winkle was a puppy school drop out. She's also a pretty smart puppy but she's determined to use her power for evil not good. She's everything Rumple is not.  Today I was outside and Winkle was cross she wasn't with me. She had most of her body out under the balcony rails to prove her point. We went in. She stole a roll of toilet paper. Seconds later she was executing one of her signature moves - launching herself on Rumple. He is so patient with her. They adore each other but I'm pretty sure there are times when he wishes she'd just take a chill pill. She really is a little miss. To be honest, I think that's why they are so perfect together and so perfect for our house. They could be described as chalk and cheese but in fact it's more cheese and crackers - very different but a perfect combination. One is dry and serious the other full on. I love them both even if I swear the white sheep of the family will drive me into an early grave.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

April 25. Day 115. Don't judge a book by its cover

They say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. It may be good advice but let's be honest, you have to make a decision on the basis of something and a cover isn't such a terrible place to start. The problem is it's not an exact science, far from it. Today I was reminded of this in the Queensland Performing Arts Complex. I was there for the media preview of Queensland Theatre's Once in Royal David City.  I knew this was by Australian playwright Micahel Gow. I knew this was the Queensland Theatre directorial debut of new Artistic Director Sam Strong. But that was pretty much where my knowledge ended. The picture in my mind decided it was either something biblical or perhaps an English period drama, all corsets and wigs. I'd been in The Playhouse for about 1.7 seconds when I realised I'd got it all totally wrong. It was all T shirts and jeans. The position of chairs at the sides of the stage and the clothes racks screamed ensemble piece. And then the cast acted an excerpt. Oh My God. Bring your tissues.. And this was a segment Strong assured us was spoiler free. I can only imagine what's in the rest. The website says "Faced with the loss of a parent, do we rage against the universe, search for connection or hope for an epiphany? On the beaches of northern New South Wales, theatre director Will has planned to share a restful, halcyon Christmas with his recently-widowed mother. But then she falls ill. During a bedside vigil, Will is forced to piece together the splintered shards of his own life, questioning his role as an artist, as a son, as a citizen of the world".  Now while you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, you shouldn't judge a play by a segment of a few minutes. So I'll reserve final judgment until after opening night on Thursday. But those few minutes were a wild ride - from a cafe to an airport to the beach. Happy, sad, flippant and deep. Just take tissues

Monday, April 24, 2017

April 24. Day 114. I Wake Up with Today

 The morning after the night before. Without doubt there is many a secret from the Crown Palladium last night. Well here's a couple from the foyer this morning. If you had been watching The Today Show you would have seen a Logie's-weary Richard Wilkins deliver a piece to camera in front of a Coffee Club cart. Disposable coffee cup in hand he told viewers it was only thanks to Coffee Club coffee that they were able to power through. Not thanks to that cup, Richard. There was not, and never had been a drop of anything in there. He'd grabbed an empty cup from the cart as he prepared for the cross. Then just before they went live decided he's best put on a lid to complete the illusion. Just across the way on The Today Show couches, the rest of the team were grabbing a quick bite to eat or having hair and make-up fixes before the camera turned on them. Next up was Kerri-Anne Kennerley,who last night was inducted into the Logies Hall of Fame. I must say she was looking far too amazing for a person aged 63, especially as it was the morning after the night before. Perhaps there was something in her Coffee Club mug. Looking not so glam were comedy duo Hamish and Andy who "surprised" KaK by gatecrashing her segment still wearing bathrobes and looking very much worse for wear. Will someone please give those boys a coffee? Still one wonders why anyone would be surprised by the appearance of Hamish and Andy given they had all been in the Green Room together moments earlier and of course Hamish and Andy were all mic-ed up and ready to go. Still it made good TV and the crowd of onlookers didn't seem to care. After TV's night of nights a morning of a couple of liberties may have been forgiven perhaps everyone was too tired to notice.
*this is slightly different from the original published version which Blogger decided to delete  **Not happy Jan