Sunday, June 25, 2017

June 25. Day 176. A little bit of theatre

Sunday is the day of rest - if you have no imagination. Personally  I like a bit of theatre in my life. Today I found myself at Gardens Theatre for Mr Stink. Based on the book of David Walliams, this was children's theatre at its best. it managed to combine jokes about bums, poo, farts - and even better farts in the bath - with some pretty worthy themes. This show takes on bullying, homelessness, political expediency and more. That's pretty impressive in an hour. And it does so with a huge amount of humour a high standard of acting and theatrical design. The flyer  said this was theatre for children aged 6 to 12. It's true that the excited laughs, cheers and boos proved it hit the mark. Indeed, I might be a tiny bit older than that but I enjoyed it just the same as did by theatre buddies for today Tiania and Molly neither of whom fall in the target demographic (hear the podcast). Then after the theatre we moved next door to the Botanic Gardens where the weekly markets were underway. Even though I can walk to the markets I have not yet made it there. This is a tremendous oversight. I picked up a few hand-made fashion items and a delicious bowl of noodles. But best yet I was on hand to watch Molly meeting the face painter. It was the second piece of theatre for Miss Molly today which makes it just about perfect for  Sunday.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

June 24. Day 175. 21 Candles

If you spend even a second thinking about it, you realise just how anachronistic the 21st birthday is. Do not get me wrong. I fully endorse 21st birthday parties and as a Party Mamma look forward to many a sleepless night planning Drama Teen's birthday bash when the time comes. But what's the great, big key-of-the-door birthday about any more? You can get the car keys at 17. At 18, the doors to the democratic process, the pub, the strip club and the locked cabinet at the supermarket where the smokes are kept (should you be crazy enough to want any) are unlocked. The 21st birthday is a thing of the past. It was, of course, already a thing of the past when I was 21. Its significance is in tradition and that in itself is a fine, fine reason. So it was with great pleasure that tonight I entered the 21st birthday phase of my life for the seocnd time. In round one, the parties belong to you and your friends. Second time around, it is your kids and their friends. It does make me feel old to be at the 21st birthday of someone I have known since he was a toddler. But it is also special to be part of a celebration that marks the ceremonial coming of age of a fine young man. So congratulations Daniel and congratulations to your mum and dad for raising such a gentleman.
(The YouTube videos of the speeches are dreadful because of the light but they are included for the public record)

Friday, June 23, 2017

June 23. Day 174. Pounding the pavement

The global corporate challenge has me pounding the footpath rather a lot these days. It has taught, or reminded me, of many things:
a) I am very unfit
b) Brisbane is every beautiful, especially at night at this time of year
c) I really lack commitment to any cause. Just about everywhere I go there is chalk art on the footpath advising carnivores (such as myself) that eating meat is cruel and a vegan lifestyle is far preferable to all creatures great and small. I imaged there was a large band of vegans with chalk (quite a good name for a rock band). But on tonight's walk I saw the artists in action and they assured me there was just the two of them
d) Ibis and magpies get all the bad press for being avian annoyances but the noisy miners give them a run for their money. They really are little bullies sticking their beaks in just about everywhere. They have little bird syndrome, overcompensating for their lack of size in attitude. Perhaps if I walked faster I might have less size, more attitude.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

June 22. Day 173. Life imitating art

Okay, disclosure. Half of these photos were taken yesterday. But yesterday my focus was clearly on the once in a lifetime balloon trip over the Gold Coast hinterland. My brain and my blog has no room to process any more than that. But you know what it's like? You can wait two hours for a bus only to have three come at once or your only six social invitations for the year are all for events on the one night? Life is a bit it never rains but it pours. Today was a bit like that. Balloon ride in the morning. Theatre in the evening. Anyway this is my Project 365 so I will do with it as I please. The rules are one photo a day for a year. Now clearly there is always more than one photo a day and the year was up on December 30, 2012. I'm not much one for following rules. So if as well as today's photos I choose to mix in a gallery from yesterday this is my right. I call it art with nature photos from today strategically selected to mimic theatrical photos from yesterday. Let's call it overachieving rather than cheating. It sounds much nicer.

City of Angels by Beenleigh Theatre Group

The play within a play is a dramatic device used so frequently it has almost become cliched. Shakespeare used it (at least three times in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Love's Labours Lost, and Hamlet) and so have countless others since. A movie within a play is a variation on the theme which runs the risk of being same but different. City of Angels is anything but. in the play we have an author whose novel is being turned into a Hollywood blockbuster with all the trimmings of film noir - guns, dames and hats. His colourful life is reflected in the lighting, the costumes and the characters. The film scenes are all black and white like the films of the period. Clever both artistically and as a visual clue to where we are as the cast slide between play and film. Throw in a revolving set that moves through three different scenes and accommodates oh so many prop changes. It is extremely ambitious. But no amount of clever lighting, costuming or set design is worth a cent if the script, acting, musicians and score aren't up to the task. Fortunately this production excelled in these areas too. It was a rollicking good time from beginning to end. Do you want to see or movie or a play? why don't we have both? 
City of Angels continues at the Beenleigh Theatre Group's Crete Street Theatre until July 8. You can hear our podcast here.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

June 21. Day 172. Up, up and away

Look closely. That's Brisbane on the horizon
Remember that Monty Python sketch? The one where one of the fourth of the Four Yorkshiremen alleged he "had to get up in the morning at ten o'clock at night half an hour before I went to bed"? That was how I felt this morning. When the clock reads 02.30, more often then not I'm going to bed not waking up. But this morning, 90 minutes or so after I went to sleep, I was up and ready to fly. Literally. This ungodly hour is what is required to be at the Gold Coast to meet the 4am balloon bus. The destination is determined by the winds and today we headed to somewhere near Witheren in the hinterland. It was a bumpy, slightly vomit-inducing bus ride. Indeed buses scare me much more than balloons. In a balloon's basket, the gentle waft is beautiful. The view is sublime. The serenity is unmatched. It is pretty much everything a bus is not. Today was my fourth balloon ride having previously flown over Brisbane twice (something air traffic control restrictions now makes impossible) and the Sunshine Coast. I don't have a favourite. Each is beautiful in its own way. Today's balloon was by far the biggest with a basket carrying 24. You might think that would have everyone fighting for the balloon equivalent of the window seat. In fact not. The basket has four separate compartments with six in each and everyone has a front row view. And what a view it was. My balloon buddy Alison and I had flights cancelled multiple times because the weather was against us but today was balloon flying gold star conditions. If you look closely you can see Brisbane. That early morning mist just added to the impact. Balloons only take off at sunrise and as today was the winter solstice today's departure was as late as it gets. Had we left it a month, I really would have been getting up half an hour before I went to sleep. But it would have been worth it. Who needs sleep? Well me obviously but not today

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

June 20. Day 171. Sunrise. Sunset

The winter solstice is tomorrow and thank God for that. These early sunsets are killing me. I've barely arisen from an afternoon nap and it's too dark to take pics on an afternoon walk. Woe is me. As a person who has lived in places much further from the equator I am fully aware just how sooky this is. I still remember walking home from primary school in the dark as a child living in England. We only lived there for a couple of years so it was an adventure for a little Aussie kid. I liked the seriously short bleak days far less during my mid 20s heading out to work in the dark in the UK. Honestly, most of the world would think this is pretty okay for winter. And those who don't really don't know what they are missing. Still I shall whinge because if you can't whinge about the weather what topics are left?

Monday, June 19, 2017

June 19. Day 170. A birdy with a yellow bill

A birdy with a yellow bill, hopped upon my window sill. Cocked its shining eye and said. 'Ain't you shamed you sleepy head. So asked Robert Louis Stevenson in Time to Rise. Am I ashamed of an inability to wake? Am I ashamed of being a sleepy head? No. Frustrated, exhausted and frankly totally p*ssed off, but not ashamed. Being ashamed of pathology is kind of pointless. Sleep apnea may be part of the problem but even my sleep physician thinks the numbers don't reflect the level of exhaustion. The second most likely cause is depression. That would explain a lot. Of course many people will say, go to bed earlier... or drop the afternoon naps. If only it was that simple. No-one who is not a shift worker or a teenager chooses to go to bed at 2am. Bloody annoying is my official diagnosis. So birdy, mind your own business. I saw you bullying just about every other avian species at South Bank this afternoon. Who are you to lecture me?