Sunday, May 28, 2017

May 28. Day 148. Trip down memory lane

It's true that I am child at heart. It's also true that for three hours this afternoon my head was back in childhood too. And it happy place. I was in our family's lounge room. It was winter. The fire in the fireplace was burning and the four children were sitting on the floor huddled around the big gold arm chair. My father was holding court reading from Kenneth Graham's Wind in the Willows. Dad loved that book. He loved sharing the tales of Toad of Toad Hall, Mole, Rat and Badger. We hung on every word. We begged him for just one more chapter when he said it was time for bed. Of course there is no actual going back but in my head there is still a little corner where Toad, Rat, Mole and Badger live. This afternoon in the packed Yeronga State High School auditorium, Villanova Players brought those characters out of those deep recesses. It was special watching the children (including the big ones like myself) in the audience also hang on every word. The production wasn't perfect - a big red pen dramatically reducing the length of the first act would have reaped great rewards - but it was thoroughly enjoyable. I loved listening to the children in the audience laugh, I loved listening to the adults laugh at the priceless reactions but mostly I loved the love for the story.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

May 27. Day 147. Everybody needs good neighbours

Winkle escaped today. I wouldn't have known if it wasn't for the bloke two doors down coming and knocking on the door to alert me to Houdini's antics. He'd tried to grab her but she'd given him the slip. (Of course I would have realised eventually except for the small technical fact that she came home and was crying to get back in before I could even get my shoes to launch the search). She knows there's no place like home. It was something I thought about in the afternoon when I saw Detroit by final year QUT acting students. This was part of the Contemporary America Theatre season. Set post global financial crisis, it was all about the decaying American dream. But over and over again it talked about how people don't know their neighbours any more. How no-one would knock on the door next door to borrow a cup of sugar because we probably don't know our neighbours and wouldn't want to disturb them if they did.

Well, let me tell you something. In my neck of the woods we talk to our
neighbours. The women up the road this morning dropped a handyman's card in my letterbox because she knew I was in the market for a few odd jobs . On a walk with the dogs to the UQ lakes, I ran into another couple from up the street with their dogs and we had a chat. I probably would drive down to the Nite Owl if I needed sugar but when the chips are down - like when one of my precious dogs escapes - I know my neighbours will have my back.

Friday, May 26, 2017

May 26. Day 146. The Beat goes on

There is this sweet spot, it exists somewhere between "if you are on to a good thing stick to it" and "same-old, same-old".  Lady Beatle sits sweetly on that spot. The Little Red Company has already achieved much critical acclaim for Rumour Has it (based on Adele) and Wrecking Ball (the Miley Cyrus story). The creative team of Adam Brunes and Naomi Price have developed a part juke box musical, part cabaret, part tribute show formula that works. It works because because the writing is smart, it works because the production values are spot on but mostly it works because of the music. And it works in no small part because of Naomi Price. Not only does Price have the voice of an angel, she is an extraordinary performer. She can channel the essence of Adele or Miley or the mysterious Lady Beatle. With the runs on the board and a star at the microphone it would be tempting to do just more of the same. And they probably would have got away with it. But Lady Beatle takes you to a place you think is familiar and then takes a sharp right turn. Right on that X Spot, is the real magic. Right there all the re imaging of the Beatles' music makes absolute sense. There is the moment that lifts it right out of tribute band material to a story of humanity. This is a show that will go places because you can't really fail with Beatles' music done well and nor can you fail with a great story. Lady Beatle continues as La Boite until June 3.                     

The encore
The opening night speeches

Thursday, May 25, 2017

May 25. Day 145. If you lie down with dogs

 The saying goes "If you lie down with dogs you wake up with fleas".
By this reckoning I should be flea infested.
 It's a sacrifice I would happily make.
My dogs go where I go and this week that has been bed more than is normal, even for me. They like to get up close and personal ... and that's in the good times.
It's even more so when I'm not well.
Dogs have a sixth sense. They are known for it. They may not diagnose. They may not dispense medication.  But they are very much part of the package that makes me feel better. While I'm pretty sure licking my extremities or lying on top of me has no therapeutic value as such, the presence of the canine care crew brings a smile to my dial. You can't argue with that (especially as I happen to know both dogs are up to date on their flea treatment. I look after them. They look after me).

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

May 24. Day 144. Birthday boy.

I do like to turn birthdays into a production. It's a gift. But it was a gift that this time wasn't giving. Being quarantined is a bit of a dampener. Also it's a bit hard to throw a party for a person in a different part of the State. Work commitments saw Charles in Biloela this morning. This meant that I couldn't provide the traditional birthday breakfast of kippers. I'd be lying if I described this as a negative. I hate the fishy stench that lingers for the whole day. But birthdays allow you to indulge your inner passion no matter how stinky and disgusting that might be.  The only option was to find a more palatable way to mark the day once the birthday boy flew in tonight. We went out for supper. And there were gifts and sparklers because you have to try to throw in a bit of theatre. It may not have been the "regular" birthday but it's the thought that counts. Right?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

May 23. Day 143. Spanner in the works

The universe doesn't like me today, it just doesn't. I mean it's one thing to be thrown out of a pub at closing time but to be removed from a GPs' waiting room because you sound disgusting, that's not supposed to be a thing. Well not in my experience until today. I coughed. The nurse appeared from nowhere and ushered me to the back treatment room. She issued face masks to all the staff. Nasal swabs, a TB test, chest X-Ray and drugs normally used to treat emphysema followed. As long as it stops the paralyzing cough which has a significant side effect: feeling-sorry-for-self-itis. And just when I thought it could get no worse I get this text from my cleaner telling me water was dripping through the light fitting of the downstairs bathroom. That can only mean two things - lots of $$$ and inconvenience. In all honesty the mere thought of having to engage tradesmen makes the tightness in my chest tighten further.
By late afternoon, Tom was on the job. He found the problem but not yet the solution. The dishwasher is leaking but my new buddy Tom will get the the appliance man here in the morning. At least that's something. Right now I don't have the energy...or the dishwasher ... or the lung capacity. The good news is I don't have pneumonia either.

Monday, May 22, 2017

May 22. Day 142. As the crow flies

 All my life, I've been sold a lie. We all have, and I for one feel cheated. We talk about "as the crow flies" as the most direct route from A to B without having to worry about pesky little things like roads. So I will stand on my back deck and point at the University of Queensland remarking that "as the crow flies" it's just over the river but to get there the route is much longer, especially if you can't take the pedestrian bridge and go by car. But I've been watching the crows outside my house as they come in to feed on the mince supply from next door. They don't seem to be all that concerned about a straight line at all. So I looked it up. According the Phrases.org "The allusion in this expression is obviously to the ability of crows to fly directly from A to B, without the encumbrances of roads and landscape features that restrict man. Crows are perhaps an odd choice as, unlike many birds that migrate over long distances, their flight isn't especially straight. Crows normally fly in large wheeling arcs, looking for food." WTF. So even the crow doesn't fly as the crow flies? This is most disconcerting and confusing.
But then again I'll go in a large circle looking for food. I'll also make a beeline for it should that be more convenient. Please don't tell me that a beeline isn't a direct route. My world view can only take so much of a shattering for one day.