Saturday, July 22, 2017
Friday, July 21, 2017
We devoured a banquet and washed it down with Turkish apple tea ... and wine. My appetite for Turkish food has not diminished at all in the intervening years but the older, wiser me now avoids raki. Some things improve with age ... at least a bit.
Thursday, July 20, 2017
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
I rather like it when life takes me out of my crazy routine and into places not on the normal route. The road less travelled, if you like. It actually gives you time to "see" things. So I was dropping off the photos as discussed in yesterday's blog. In my naivety, I thought that a parking spot would be available somewhere in the same suburb. Not so much. So I walked with a great big folio of photos under my arm which I had to try not to crush. But it did allow me to have a look. A real look. I love the old museum. It felt so sad when it stopped being the museum but small things such as fire risks and complete inadequacy to safely and appropriately display things apparently ruled it out. Anyway we now have a wonderful new museum and a beautiful old space. And my photos are in. Winning.
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
It was a case of deja vu, all over again (yes, yes I know). This will be the third year in a row I have entered photographs in the Ekka fine art competition. Let's just say, I'd better be more accomplished with a camera than I am at entering competitions. Third time lucky? Not for me. Practice is not making perfect. It goes like this. You have to enter and pay in May but the actual exhibits are not due until now. Actually they were due at the end of last week. Did I remember? No, I did not. I received a courtesy call today asking about my entries. Audible expletive. Had, I delivered the entries? No, I had not? Had I actually chosen my entries, or printed them, or mounted them? No, I had not. I was given until tomorrow. So bring on super thrust mode. I selected some shots, submitted them online for printing and went off shopping for such things as mounting boards.Then I did what any sensible person would do. I delegated. My lovely niece Scarlett was recruited to carry out the mounting. Against all odds, the whole process was completed in a matter of hours. Am I a happy with them? Honestly, not entirely. Some of the prints are not awesome. If I had more time I would have either chosen different photos or had a couple reprinted. But you can only do what you can do and at the end of the day you have to be in it to win it.
Monday, July 17, 2017
Sunday, July 16, 2017
My mother cries at weddings. I don't but I am endlessly fascinated by them even when I know neither the bride nor the groom. So when I saw a wedding party rock up at the Botanic Gardens this afternoon, I was drawn to go take a closer look. Rumple and Winkle made friends with one of the bridesmaids so I struck up a conversation and found out the happy couple are Kaz and AJ. As I watched I also noted how wedding photography has changed. No more superimposing faces in champagne glasses (although why that was ever a thing I don't know). The camera crew was circling the bride and groom, doubtless collecting 360 vision. And the final observation? Soft pastel dresses don't always survive well in a garden photo shoot the day after huge storms.
Saturday, July 15, 2017
Friday, July 14, 2017
Listen to the podcast here.
Thursday, July 13, 2017
One of the tales that is on repeat in my mother's Same Story playbook, involves a walk with the dog when my two sisters and I were very young.
According to the story, we were dressed identically for this walk because why wouldn't you dress your daughters like living Babushka Dolls? But that's not the scary bit. An older woman stopped for a chat. Mum, who thinks baby babushka is an attractive thing, expects the lady to comment on how adorable we looked. Instead she admired our pound dog. She said she'd rather raise nine dogs than one child. At that moment, the dog spied and ate poo. I now have a version of this story for my own repertoire. The dogs were beautifully clean and shiny after their regular groom. We went to visit Margaret next door to show off the beautiful hair cuts and bows. Winkle disappeared and had been quiet for too long. She was discovered in the bathroom where she had raided a bin of incontinence pads. It was gut-churningly disgusting. I cleaned her up. Then she did a wee on the floor. We left with our tails between her legs. But would it stop me raising dogs? Not in a million years ... And will it stop Margaret from welcoming the dogs? She'd rather welcome nine dogs than one child
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Since he won the Media Alliance award for the best emerging artist in the early 2000s, Bryan has been a regular on the Brisbane stage with a list as big as a phone book of performances for our major theatre companies including Queensland Theatre, La Boite and shake n stir. But the winner of the 2012 Gold Matilda Award for his contribution to theatre in Brisbane is a relative newcomer to Opera. Two years ago he debuted for Opera Queensland in Candide and last year backed up in the semi staged concert of Kiss Me Kate.
"It's terrifying. I don't often venture into singing," Bryan admits. But sitting on a couch in the closed Russell Street Bar outside Playhouse at QPAC, Bryan looks relaxed and says he's enjoying the challenge of Opera, admitting that mixing it up guarantees against becoming bored or complacent. His lead role in Opera Queensland's Ruddigore, or the Witch's Curse will leave no room for complacency. His character is the Baronet of Ruddigore who has dodged the witch's curse by disguising himself as a shy law-abiding gentleman farmer Robin Oakapple. But he is exposed and the curse dictates he must commit a dastardly crime every day. Almost as dastardly as the crime is that the role charges Bryan with delivering almost all of the infamous Gilbert and Sullivan rapid-fire, tongue-tripping patter songs in Ruddigore. Despite the demands, Bryan says the rehearsal period was less onerous than he expected coming from straight theatre. "I find it's a bit more casual. The hours are a bit more truncated. Sometimes you might have a day off because they are rehearsing the chorus whereas in the theatre if you have a a five and a half week contract rehearsing a show you are there pretty much all day, every day sometimes six days a week."
Not that anyone is taking it easy. "In the hours we are allotted, we go pretty much hell for leather."
He says audiences can expect a wild ride, adding that Ruddigore is one of G&S's "sleeping treasures". "It's very clever. The writing is very witty. It's Goon Show meets Monty Python, meets Spike Milligan. It's very left of centre."
Bryan says Ruddigore has been designed with a cartoon-like feel, is performed in English and is aimed at everybody.
"It's very accessible and not staid or traditional. It's fun. It's cutting edge."
Ruddigore by Opera Queensland opens at The Playhouse at QPAC on Friday and runs until July 29.
You can hear the full interview with Bryan Probets on our podcast.
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
Listen to our discussion with David Berthold at the launch
Monday, July 10, 2017
Lunch time. I found myself at South Bank and decided to buy fried rice. It came with salad on top. SALAD. On fried rice. There was mayonnaise and all. On the fried rice. Seriously. I ate the rice. I left the salad. The noisy miners hovered and helped themselves to the greens, yet more proof that I never eat like a bird. I walked home. Margaret was sitting at the window watching the street. The birds were hovering. It turns out she wasn't big on her greens either. The meal delivered by Meals on Wheels included broccoli. Margaret suspects Meals on Meals has a deal with a broccoli supplier as just about every meal has broccoli on it. Like President Bush in 1990, Margaret has declared that she will never eat broccoli. She throws it out the window. Funnily enough that's exactly what my younger sister Lisa did with her peas for years. She would smuggle them from the table in her pocket and tip them from the window. My mother only found out when she fessed up years later. As there was never a pile of peas under the window at our place, nor a broccoli heap at Margaret's I presume someone eats their greens. Not us.
Sunday, July 9, 2017
Smile. You've got this. The show must go on. No matter what happens, no matter what plans fail to materialise, no matter what equipment fails, you can't let the audience down. You push on. This is show business. So it was today. It was a charity performance by Fame Theatre Company at a family fun day aid of Mater Little Miracles. The performers were out of bed on a Sunday morning. They were warmed up and ready to go. The audio equipment, not so much. It started briefly, then stopped. Then it played at a very random speed. Did it throw the performers? No it did not. These pint-sized performers, some of whom were in a group for kids aged from Prep to Year 2, took it in their stride. They rocked it
Saturday, July 8, 2017
Elmo sang: "Everyday can't be Christmas. That wouldn't be such a treat. You can get tired of chocolate candy. When that's all you eat..."
Susan says: "Okay, perhaps not every day. But twice a year should be fine. Bring on Christmas in July (also, would I doubt I'd ever get tired of chocolate).
Shirley Conran said: "Life is too short to stuff a mushroom.
Susan says: It's my life. I'll stuff a mushroom if I want to ... and a pumpkin. Turkey is fine for the carnivores but the vegans deserve something special too.
Margaret says: "Help me Sue. Please help me."
Susan says: "I'm coming Margaret. I'm coming."It was a night of highs and lows. We invited the family over to dinner neglecting to mention it was going to be a Christmas in July. Surprise. I'm a girl who loves a bit of theatre. Real life drama, not so much. The main meal was over when my mobile phone rang. Margaret was pleading. I grabbed the spare keys and went to her rescue taking Charles as muscle. Even after I was in the house and I'd turned the lights on, she was still on the floor, grasping the phone repeating "help me Sue. Please help me." She's slipped in the bathroom and crawled into the lounge to make the call (no, she was not wearing that panic pendant... sigh). Before we did anything we had to calm her, a job made more difficult by the absence of hearing aids. So I sat and held her hand and when her breathing was controlled we lifted her to her walker and walked her back to her chair. And again I waited. Soon she was bossing me around. Clearly she was back on form. After she's use the toilet and was back in bed I returned to my party. That seemed like reason enough for a dessert wine .. or two. It was Christmas after all.
Friday, July 7, 2017
Thursday, July 6, 2017
I did not make this up. There's a Spanish proverb "Avoid a friend who covers you with his wings but destroys you with his beak". This makes me think of my neighbour Margaret. I know she doesn't mean it. I know she considers she has taken me under her wing but sometimes the things that come out of her mouth bite. It's that beak I should be avoiding. Today it was mandarins. I do Margaret's shopping and her list said mandarins so I bought mandarins. They were "disgusting" and "really dry with no juice". What did she think should happen to this hideous fruit? She gave it to me and told me to eat it. Yes, because I love dried out fruit. But it gets worse. She told me Woolies has big, juicy mandarins on sale. Clearly my bad for shopping at Coles ... except for one small detail. The reason I shop at Coles is because Margaret demands it. The birds in our street apparently only eat Coles mince. Groan. Of course, I could refuse. But that's not my style. I whinge
Wednesday, July 5, 2017
Ants, apparently, know when it is going to rain. Susan does not despite having the advantage of radio, television and online forecasts and the BoM app on the phone. These things are only an asset if you use them. I did not. Nor did I bother to actually look up and look at the sky. Those clouds would have been a bit of a giveaway. Indeed the small drops of wet stuff just after leaving home should have been a hint. I am not much good at taking a hint. I pressed on and got completely and absolutely soaked. And while I am not a witch (some may dispute that) and water will not melt me, I do not enjoy it very much. The dogs didn't seem to worry too much. However wet dogs stink and while they are okay with rainwater they seem to object at bath water. Crazy kids. Crazy Dog Lady for ignoring the bleedingly obvious.
Tuesday, July 4, 2017
Ah Queensland. Beautiful one day. Perfect the next. So says the one time marketing slogan. I say, define perfect and further ask "perfect for what"?
Those months of stinking hot, sweaty humid days are not everyone's idea of perfect. And then there's winter. If you like snuggling in front of a fire, if you like a clear change of season, if you like snow sports, Brisbane is not your kind of capital city. Of course, we can pretend. And so it is in King George Square this week where there is an outdoor ice skating rink. The school holiday crowds were having a pretty good time but on a 24 degrees winter day, the ice was struggling. There were many many wet bums but no-one seemed to be complaining. After all, after 10 minutes in the sun they would be warm and dry again, Serious skaters would doubtless have been horrified but for novelty value it was hard to beat. Sometimes there are worse things than skating on thin ice.