Thursday, September 13, 2018

September 13. Day 257. Home is where the heart is

 Think about the things that mean the most to you.
Think about where many of those really significant things happened.
Think about where the people you most care about live. There's no place like home.
Your home isn't just the four walls and the roof. It's the emotional attachment we have to the place, not the things.
That was what Home at QPAC tonight was about. It was an extraordinary production where a house actually materialises on stage.
There was music, conjuring and audience interaction.
It was a production with incredible warmth, generosity and enormous creative flair.
It's so exciting to see productions different from anything you have ever seen before which is the beauty of the Brisbane Festival.
Exciting stuff.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

September 12. Day 256. Keep it nice

What exactly would make you think that is okay?
Scenario 1. Pictured is Emma Mary Hall. She's a performer and her one woman show Ode to Man is on at The Brisbane Festival this week. It's a personal walk through of what she has learned about men through her failed relationships and associated research. In the show she reflects on an email from a venue manager who wondered if it was okay to ask how she justified a show with such a visceral hatred of men with taking one home that night. Um what? In what universe would a question like that be okay?
Scenario 2. Another performance space just across from where Emma performed. It was the two-man show Bali. A group of women come in late after the show is underway. It requires them to walk across the front of the stage. They are drunk. They talk loudly. One of the performers stops mid performance, steps forward and addresses them directly. He tells them he can hear every word. He tells them it is very distracting. He asks them to stop. They do - until about 20 minutes later when one gets up and walks out - again across the front of the stage. About five minutes later another one does the same.
This is never okay. It is rude. It is ignorant. It is disrespectful of the performers and the other audience members. This is a 60 minute show which presumably you paid for. What would make you think this is okay? What would be so urgent you had to leave? After the show I see them at the bar. I feel like saying something but my mother taught me that if you can't say anything nice don't say anything at all. The world would be a better place if other people also learned some manners.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

September 11. Day 255. Wishing and hoping

 It's weird isn't it, the things we tell complete strangers?
Popular culture will have us believe that for some reason sitting on a bar stool or in the hairdresser's chair is something akin to being in a confessional. Sure the bar has the added "incentive" of the notion of in wine truth. But the hairdresser? The smell of bleach has weird impacts on my sinuses but has never acted as a truth serum. Perhaps it is just being forced to sit still for a bit with someone in close proximity who appears willing and able to listen. In any event, the greater the emotional distance the easier it is to spill the beans - at least that's what I think. Tonight at the Theatre Republic - a precinct of the Brisbane Festival - I entered the House of Common Hopes. Here visitors were offered pieces of card and invited to write a hope and thread it to a strong hanging from the roof.
 As is the way with these things, there were a variety of responses to this invitation. Some people were obviously playing it for laughs. Others had taken a more deeply considered approach. One caught my eye "I hope I can one day come out ... 💛"
That is so sad. It should not be a thing that anyone can feel they can write that and hang it on a card for strangers to read and yet not tell people that matter.
We like to think it's progressed beyond that and for many people it probably has. But many people isn't everybody which probably only makes it worse for those who don't feel in a position to be honest with others.
Whoever you are I hope you can too.

Monday, September 10, 2018

September 10. Day 254. Laser vision

 For many Brisbane residents the Brisbane festival is a one night fireworks extravaganza. Forget the fact that the festival runs for three weeks involves something like 600 performances, 70 shows, 17 venues and 1000 artists.
I get it. There is something Bloody amazing about fireworks. But at the same time I don't get it. Of those 600 performances something like 100 are free. Come on people. This is the Brisbane Festival - it's for all of you not just the tragic arty types like myself. And even if bright colours exploding into life on the river is what floats your boat, there's more than one game in town this year. #CELEBRATEBRISBANE River of Light is a water and laser extravaganza that explodes on the river each night.  It's the story of the serpent that created the river which now snakes its way through the city. And it's one of the free events. It's 10 minutes of pure magic. No-one is too poor or too time poor for that.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

September 9. Day 253. Birthday girl

"How old is she?" I'm asked regularly when anyone meets Winkle. No-one can believe that my baby girl is three. Her tiny size is part of the issue but it's not just that. Winkle is still a puppy at heart. She is playful and mischievous. She has a winked grin and really looks like there should be a compartment somewhere to put the batteries.
That pint-sized Energizer Bunny has brought so much joy into our household. She is the perfect yin to Rumple's yang - seemingly opposite and contrary forces that are actually complementary, interconnected and interdependent.
So it is only right that Lady Winkle must have a birthday party. This year we went to Margaret's aged care facility so she could join in the fun. A good time was had by all especially my little furry party animal.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

September 8. Day 252. Trivial pursuit

 Trivia nights are an exercise in contradiction. Why? Stay with me. Trivia has more than one meaning depending on its use.
It can mean trite, commonplace or unimportant. If that is the case whether or not you win or lose a trivia competition should surely be also trite or unimportant. Try telling that to the competitors. Today trivia, when paired with the word competition is a celebration of who can recall the most obscure or arcane fact under pressure. The facts may be unimportant, the competition is not. Rarely is the prize of any actual value but the bragging rights are priceless.
We may not be playing for sheep stations - no it's far more important than that.
Tonight we were at a Redland Rhapsody Choir trivia night to raise funds to send the singers south to a choral concert.
Money was raised. This is good. We didn't win. This is bad. I could say that it doesn't matter if you win or lose it's how you play that counts - but when it comes to trivia competitions everyone knows that is a big fat lie. The company was good. The result wasn't.

Friday, September 7, 2018

September 7. Day 251. Home sweet home. Part 2

Before pitching the idea of respite care to Margaret, I did a reconnaissance mission. I reported back. Of all the words that came out of my mouth there were three phrases that hit home
1. My dogs could come and visit
2. "Everyone" watches The Bold and the Beautiful in these facilities and
3. She could feed the birds. Now that the short stay has morphed into ongoing care, a bar fridge has been installed in her room and a stock of mince has been acquired.
It didn't take long for the birds to get the message. The magpies, noisy miners, butcher birds and crows are already at her fly by window. The bush turkeys gather at ground level. Only the kookaburras remain elusive. Given she has only been here three weeks and the meat safe installed for only a few days that's quite the achievement. It's clearly beginning to feel like home.