Friday, August 16, 2019

August 16. Day 227. Night rider

Back again. Ekka Day 2.
Would you believe the reason I returned for a dagwood dog? Well, if you did you are crazy. But it did have to do with dogs. Random fact.
One of the main reasons I go to the Ekka every year is to buy new outfits for my dogs.
The ones I bought yesterday were exceptional but Rumple's one didn't fit.
I could exchange it at a shop but why not just go back ... and take Oliver with me.
So off we went
And today's visit was at twilight which was kind of awesome.
And an opportunity to eat dagwood dogs.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

August 11. Day 222. Birds of a feather

Bird brained - an insult.
But really, can you fly?
Birds can make annual navigations across the globe. Can you (without the assistance of a jumbo jet).
Well of course you can't. So who's the smart one now?
But it's the little things too.
Little things such as the water bubbler.
I love that the birds know that it is a water source although that would seem far from obvious.
I see them land on them.
I see them press their beaks into the nozzle.
I'm pretty sure they are rewarded for their endeavours.
That is quite a leap in logic, if you ask me.
I can't imagine what things from the avian world I could learn to operate efficiently and effectively.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

August 10. Day 221. Game on

I was a netball legend, where legend is defined this is the only sport I vaguely tolerated and which vaguely tolerated me.
I played goal keeper, because it was the place that was easiest to hide a crap player and involved less running. Also less throwing tended to be involved. Mostly it was all about using your body as a shield. That I could do, well to a vaguely acceptable standard.
But with the right team it was okay. With the wrong team, it was torture. Eventually I retired, admitting defeat.
But the complete lack of netball ability prowess does not run in the family. My nieces seem to have embraced it well . Today it was Amelia's turn. She's a Blue Jay and he's fierce.
She was all over the court and all over the opposition. The only similarity with me was that she was playing a defensive position - well for half of the game.
Clearly she is an all rounder. I was just all round. You get that.

Friday, August 9, 2019

August 9. Day 220. Cock fight

Paddy Farrelly, Julian Curtis, Derek Draper and Ashlee lollback  in action
There's no-where to hide in the script. The stage directions are as follows "There is no scenery, no props, no furniture and no mine. Instead the focus is entirely on the drama of the scene." In fact, only one of the four characters, John, even gets a name. The others are M, F and W. Playwright Mike Bartlett puts all the work on the actors and director. Cock is very much a play about people and relationships and nothing will stand in the way of that. It's noon in the Gaelic Football Association Grounds at Willawong. Here the fields are home to intense football battles but today the action is in the clubhouse where rehearsals for Cock are well underway. Director Helen Howard says she is excited to bring "this amazing play" to life. The title, she admits is deliberately provocative saying Bartlett is an extraordinary wordsmith.  "It's in the punctuation and the pauses and the gaps and the silences,'" she says of the writing. The taunts and the rhythms of words - at time sparse and at times poetic - have intense power, Helen says. Cock is the story of a young man torn between his long-term male partner and a new female love interest. The father of one of the men completes the cast.  Cock is about the fight between the characters. "It's a bit like throwing a drop of acid into some lives to take away all the shit .. and reveal the bones of the relationships underneath," says Helen. Derek Draper, a co-producer of Cock who also plays M, agrees while the title of the play may be an euphemism. But he says he believes Bartlett was fascinated with the fight for futures and emotions are played out in an arena.  This is not about winners or losers because any victory will be pyrrhic. "He goes quite literally into the cock ring," says Derek. "People can assume anything whatever they like about that term but it basically means there is a ring of drama which Bartlett has drawn our attention to and I think he was thinking as much about cock fights as any part of the male anatomy." Helen adds that it is refined rather than in-your-face or vulgar. "It is refined. It is shocking in tis emotional story rather than any references to sex. Though, I must tell you it's got the best sex scene I've ever read." Both agree that it is the job of the independent sector - such as Bosco productions to present works like Cock. Audiences who give it a go will not be disappointed, says Helen. "When you get a play written by a writer like Bartlett, do you dare stay away?" Helen asks. "Because you will be changed by it."
Cock will be performed at Metro Arts August 21-31. The full interview with Helen and Derek can be heard here.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

August 8. Day 219. Let them eat cake

It may be that there really is no such thing as a free lunch. That is probably true. There's always a pay back.  But there are many meals in a day (for most people three but you can't have too much of a good thing. So just because lunch isn't free ....  Today it was afternoon tea that was on the house, literally. Margaret threw half of her cake out on to the deck so the noisy miners "Tweety, Tweeties" could have their fill. The larger birds prefer protein such as mince, apparently. That's where the mince comes in. Although, I will eat most things I have not yet reduced myself to eating cake off a wooden deck. My free feed came later that night. It was Opening Night of L'Appartement at QPAC and that means we are fed and watered. I like that, rather a lot as it happens.
And it's free. So there you have it.
Free, as a bird.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

August 7. Day 218. Cloudy night

Rain. I remember that thing. I think. It's when wet stuff falls from the sky. Clouds are part of the deal. Rain clouds. Today, we we got the clouds, low hanging clouds. When you looked up to the mountains they were engulfed in clouds creating quite the mood. It should have meant proper rain but it didn't - but all it gave us was a reminder of what we've been missing. I guess something is better than nothing. It's not like you get a choice.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

August 6. Day 217. New directions

Joanna Murray-Smith
Joanna Murray-Smith is looking remarkably calm considering what she's got on this month. The screen writer's new Australian flick Palm Beach opened on cinema screens across the country the same day as she made her directorial debut at the Queensland Performing Arts with Queensland Theatre's L'Appartement. It's probably just as well she survives on very little sleep. "Because I'm an insomniac, I sort of have about four hours of unconsciousness and otherwise I'm thinking and immersed in the play."
Although L'Appartement is Murray-Smith's 23rd play, this is the first time she has donned the director's hat at the "slightly audacious" invitation of Queensland Theatre's Artistic Director Sam Strong.
"I've been kind of motivated since my mother died a few years ago to sort of seize the moment," she confesses.
Andrew and Liz Buchanan
And seize it she did. L'Appartement is smart, slick and captivating from start to finish.
It's set in a swanky, perfect Paris AirBnB , an aspirational house just like the beach-front mansion in Palm Beach.  With just a touch of irritation, Murray Smith observes she is often pilliaried for writing privileged, urban educated people while others such as Edward Albee is celebrated.
But while the houses and the people may appear picture perfect, Murray-Smith is interested in scratching to see what is under the surface - the fracturing relationships of people staying within. She found inspiration in a recent Paris holiday with her daughter.
Pacharo Mzembe and Melanie Zanetti Andrew and Liz Buchanan and 
"I began to think about the interaction between aesthetics and comfort and people who live their life according to the structure of beauty and those who are more inclined to the mess of human life."
In L'Appartement, this is explored in the interplay between the Australian parents of three-year-old twins (played by real life couple Andrew and Liz Buchanan) and their French hosts (played by Pacharo Mzembe and Melanie Zanetti).

Monday, August 5, 2019

August 5. Day 216. Guttered

I'm used to staring out of my living room window and enjoying the view.
Given it's on the second floor, what I'm not used to looking at is a man's legs.
So, as undignified as it sounds, I took advantage of the guttering work going on and enjoyed what was on offer.
I also enjoyed the fact that the guttering, which fell victim to storm damage about three years ago, was being repaired. It's part of the great repairs and renovations of 2019 - a little bit new, a little bit remodelled. It will be good not to have water pouring through the guttering when it rains. I do like the sound of rain on the roof. That's how it's meant to be. Gushing through holes not meant to be there is something else. And soon it will have a new colour as well. Yay.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

August 4. Day 215. Flock on

Given it's August, it was rather amazing to see people swimming at the artificial beach at South Bank. I mean, I love that beach even though I never swim there and I never swim at any beach in winter. But people do. Weird people such as tourists and children, neither of whom seem to have an internal thermometer. Both groups also seem to love our beach that isn't actually a beach probably because it is a good approximation; water, sand and even seagulls. The gulls were sure putting on a show today, flapping around and diving right on in. The humans were doing much the same thing but with a little more trepidation. In bird world, it seemed to be grooming hour when I got there, with much self care on display. It was a good look and I was happy to be there to see it even if it was from dry land.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

August 3. Day 214. Ball games

The ball was on its first outing today. It was nearly its last. The dogs were really enthusiastic, probably too enthusiastic. And my throw was as crap as always. The combination was never going to work so well. The dogs went into the creek. The ball went into another part of the creek. They seemed reluctant to go fetch. It really, really looked like I would be playing fetch myself. As I started preparing myself for the climb down Winkle came up with the goods and collected the ball. And then it was came on, again, still.

Friday, August 2, 2019

August 2. Day 213. Be my guide

I'm not the only one who's dog crazy. Margaret loves dogs and she has had today marked off on her calendar for some time. Today we were off to visit the Guide Dogs headquarters. Today was the opening of a memorial garden at the Bald Hills centre, a space to remember those who have requested money in their wills and dogs who have given their service. As someone who  has donated to the Guide Dogs Margaret was invited and the promise was THERE WOULD BE PUPPIES. Who could turn down an invitation like that? Not us, that's for sure. So off we went. It was a beautiful day and not only was there the puppies as promised but also a chance to reconnect with Hilde. We me Hilde when the original donation was made. She took a shining to Margaret, resting her head on her foot. And today, she did it again. Margaret was thrilled. She beamed like a Cheshire Cat (perhaps not the best word to use in a dog training centre). Sometimes when you are really looking forward to something it an never live up to expectations. That wasn't today. It was everything she's hoped for and more.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

August 1. Day 212. Art imitates life

Crying in  commercial art galleries isn't new for me. But I'm not sure eyes watering at the price tags actually counts. Tonight was something else. Tonight was in a space upstairs, above the art, in a performance area. Here in this tiny space was a one-woman show about a woman dealing with her mum's dementia. It was beautiful and took me straight back 15 years to my dad and his battle. It was told with such beauty. It was in itself a work of art. And  because I needed time to personally debrief I walked past the old shops in The Gabba peering in for a glimpse at what was inside.