Monday, October 2, 2017


Well, things started to get hectic in August. Work became increasingly busy with my various projects heating up AND an exhibition space near to the library coming together very quickly. This has taken up a lot of my time, recruiting volunteers, helping with the set up and looking towards the next few exhibits. It's a really exciting time and whilst it is a lot of extra work I am loving every minute of it.

We also had book week, and the girls did a great job working on a show that about 10 classes saw. The week prior was Science Week and my bestie brought her best Science to Storytime and of course was a hit.

On top of this, I still had anemia and headed in for some exploratory surgery to get to the bottom of it. They found nothing sinister which was great but no real reason why which is annoying. 

My choir participated in the One Song Sing at The Edwards again, this time attempting Sia's Chandelier, and it was glorious.

Earlier in the month I saw The Trip To Spain with the hilarious Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan, it is pretty much the same at the other movies they have done, but I do not mind. I love the travel stuff, the food, and their odd friendship. They truly make me laugh.

Mid month as part of L's birthday celebrations we headed to the Sunset Studios to see Keegan Joyce sing. Keegan will be known to most as Arnold from Please Like Me or Fuzz from Rake. He is a blues/roots singer, and was a utter delight, musically and in person.

My friend V has been getting out and about and performing his original material at open mic gigs, so I headed along to support him at the Lass and it was great.

Bookclub this month read the latest Haruki Murakami, this time short stories and they were great.

I also popped briefly into C's art exhibition which was amazing as usual.

Spent a bit of time with the family, my nephew's soccer team got into the semi's and A had her birthday celebrations.

The month ended with a massage, which I really needed!!!

Here are my reviews of music, books and film.

And some pics:

Monday, September 25, 2017


What I’ve Been Reading
East West by Mohsin Hamid - this is one of the best books I have recently read. A young man and woman meet and try to strike up a relationship in an unnamed city overrun by war. Hamid paints a vivid picture of an ever changing world where things are not always as they seem. When the couple are given a chance to escape we are taken on a extraordinary journey that makes you stop and think. Nominted for the Booker this year, Hamid's refugee story is more than we could ever imagine. 

Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami is the latest from the Japanese master. It is short stories with similar themes of men and how they cope without women in their lives. At first i wasn't so sure as they felt a little misogynistic which is unlike Murakami. Possibly it was the translation.  But once i warmed to the premise I really warmed to it. 

Frank/Them/Out of the Ordinary/What I Do – Jon Ronson  I am a huge fan of Ronson and our bookclub is featuring him next month so I have been reading the titles I have yet to read. Frank is a short essay about his time in a avant garde band with a lead singer who wore a large plastic animated head over his own head. The story was turned into a great indie film with Michael Fassbender. Them is a collection of his encounters with extremists. The other two are collections from his various columns and other articles. Most are earlier work and I found him a little grating at times.  You can see his evolution over time in his work. 

Ghost Empire by Richard Fidler – I listened to Richard read his magnificent book on talking book in the car over a few weeks and what a delight it was. It is the history of the Byzantium Empire, a period in history he is fascinated in and one I knew pretty much nothing about. What a story it was!!! But it was more than that as Fidler interweaves a father/son discovery throughout the book. As he tells the history of this amazing period he is sharing the stories with his son and then takes him on a holiday to discover the places they were reading and learning about. So whilst he has showcased this history in the most easiest ways to learn about and understand, there is his underlying plot of his relationship with his then 14 year old son. It is truly a thing of beauty. I loved this book and never wanted it to end.
The Dry by Jane Harper – this is Australian Author, Harper’s debut novel and is a crime novel. Crime is a genre I rarely read, I find them too formulaic. But this has been winning awards everywhere and the talking book came through at work so i gave it a go. A small town is broken apart when a farmer kills his young son and wife and then commits suicide. But did he, because some things just don’t add up. An old friend returns home for the funeral and gets caught up in the investigation, that not only looks at this tragedy but at the death of a childhood friend from their teen years. The story moves in time and is beautifully constructed. Great characterisation and a believable story that has you guessing until the very end.

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent - I really struggled with this one. I found it slow and boring and i just didn't care about the characters. It's won loads of awards so I guess it just wasn't for me.

After by Nikki Gemmell - I love Gemmell's first book,  Shiver, but have found her subsequent titles narcissistic and vacuous. This non-fiction title about the death of her mother exposed a lot of herself and quite possibly why her works came across as they did.  After tells of a strained mother/daughter relationship with a particularly narcissistic mother. It's a very open book and I found it a fascinating read.

NIght Circus by Erin Morgenstern was a work bookclub title and was an utter delight. The story commences in the late 1890s with a magical travelling circus. Initially we meet key players in and behind the circus and the story moves back and forth through the decades. As we get to know the characters we realise there is more then meets the eye with the circus and it is part of an elaborate and dangerous game. 

Are you Anybody by Jeffrey Tambor - Jeffrey Tambor has been in two of my all time favourite shows, The Larry Sanders Show and Arrested Development. I also love him in the beautifully melancholy, Transparent. This is a well written memoir about his late start as an actor and all he has learnt. I particularly loved the parts where he describes his lovely relationship with Garry Shandling. It made me smile. 

Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham - Graham is not a great writer, she's a great talker but that doesn't quite translate to the page. She was at her best describing her Gilmore Girls time but even then I wanted more. 

The Secrets of My Life by Caitlin Jenner – Bruce Jenner was always my favourite character when I chanced upon The Kardashians, so this book intrigued me. What she had done is rather impressive and it is interesting to see her own take on her life and it’s impact on those around her. This isn’t the best written book around and at times a little trashy, but it was interesting.

What I’ve Been Watching
Embrace the Serpent is a magnificent black and white film, shot in the Amazon about the last Amazonian Shaman and two scientists over a period of time who have his help to find a special healing plant within the Amazon. Show in two timelines it feels like a documentary but these are indeed actors playing out a real life story based on the diaries of the scientists involved. It was a zen-like film where things loved slowly with some action here and there. It was sad to see how the Shaman’s tribe met their end, but there still felt like hope within the movie. I guess this is not for everyone, but I really loved this.

Truman is a Spanish film about a dying man who is unsure what to do with his beloved dog. An unexpected visit from an old friend, helps him start to put his life in order. Now this sounds rather dreary but in fact it was not, it was quite funny in parts, the actors are superb and the dog gorgeous.A few unexpected plot twists and a movie I thoroughly enjoyed.

Les Biches - is a new wave 60s film by Claude Chabrol. Not much of a story, about a younger and older woman and a man and their affairs. More sensuous than sexy, stylised than substance. It was a bit light.

La Belle Saison - is a French film set in the 1970s. Delphine is a farmers daughter who ends up in Paris studying and falls in love with abeautiful feminist.  When her father has a stroke she returns to look after the farm and her lover follows her.  But this is rural France in the 70s, will their love survive. This was a beautiful film. 

Pawno is a low budget but quite good Australian film, set around a Pawn shop in the suburbs of Melbourne. An ensemble cast including Kerry Armstrong, Maeve Dermody, Malcolm Kennard and many more, all the characters intertwine around the Pawn Shop. It is funny, dark, sad, and romantic. An underdog film that is worth seeking out.

The Family Fang is an odd film about a very eccentric family. Camille and Caleb Fang (played deliciously by Maryann Plunkett and Christopher Walken) are performance artists and at young ages include their very young and very precocious children, Annie and Baxter in the contrived performances. The Family fang become quite infamous, for their performances of course and the fact the children participate. The children, now adults, (played with conviction by Nicole Kidman and Jason Bateman) are estranged from their parents. Both are obviously still affected by their crazy upbringing, Annie is an actress with a bad reputation and Baxter wrote a best selling book but is struggling to follow it up. After a bizarre accident, Baxter winds up in hospital and the family is reunited against the children’s better wishes. From here pathos and black comedy ensues, with weird twists and turns. I really enjoyed this very different film.

Edge of Seventeen - was a fun but really good coming of age film. Highly recommend.

Crazy About Tiffanys - wonderful documentary about the legendary New York flagship. It's history, the designers, the jewels, Tiffany blue, and the celebrities.

Joan Baez Concert - was simply wonderful. Celebrating her 75th birthday with fellow musicians like Paul Simon, David Crosby, Emmylou Harris, and Judy Collins. But the highlight for me was the flawless cover of Dylan's Don't Think Twice with The Indigo Girls. If folk or quality music is your thing, this is a must.

Game of Thrones - what can I say without too many spoilers. Best season ever and easily one of the best episodes within it. Everything is coming together, much quicker than I anticipated. Let's just say it's all about the dragons.

Peaky Blinders - got  off to a blinding start with Tommy marrying Grace in a very posh society wedding. And you know things aren't going to remain so posh and perfect, especially with The Russians involved. What happens next turns Tommy more feral than he's ever been.  This was a great series.

Orphan Black - the final season was a bit boring. It seemed to lose it's edge as things unravel for our clones.  I will miss it's kick arse feminism but was disappointed with this season.

Twin Peaks - this has been without precedence THE BEST television I have ever seen.  Did I understand it all? No. Was everything resolved? No. But that didn't matter. The journey was a Lynchian mix of mind-fuck and sheer joy. And Kyle McLachlan was a revelation. Playing multiple versions of Cooper, he was having the time of his life, playing the role/s of his life.  I'm going to blog more about this in time. 

OJ Made in America - this is the Oscar winning 8 hour documentary about OJ Simpson and it's an outstanding masterpiece. It traces his history before and after tree infamous trial. With unprecedented access to people and footage this had me completely and utterly entranced. Horrifying in parts too. This is a must see.

What I've Been Listening To
Cannot recall. 

Sunday, August 20, 2017


July started with a dash into Cooks Hill Books to secure a rare copy of Nirvana's Nevermind with blue vinyl!

The following weekend, C and I had a girlie day at Olive Tree markets, brunch on Darby, Art Gallery exhibit, a little shop, then drive around the beaches whale watching. We saw some, but too far away to photograph.

Work was busy with school holidays, staff on leave, many extra projects, and a special staff planning day.

We celebrated Bastille day with French Cuisine, and a screening of Contempt at the Towers.

Our Annual Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Day came around again, and with a new red dress and very tight red tights, I tried my very best to dance like Kate with many others at King Edward Park.

Game of Thrones returned mid month, so along with Twin Peaks, Mondays have become mind bending days, thank goodness I get every second Monday off!

I did something rotten to my neck at the beginning of the month and have been seemingly living at the Osteo and Remedial Massage. Getting there, but not a quick fix, getting old sucks!

At Bookclub we discussed Stan Grant's amazing, Talking to my Country.

J and I had a lovely meal at The Clarendon before seeing the play, The Age of Consent. This was a wonderful production, two characters doing 10ish minute monologues, about 4 or 5 each. The woman, a stage mother who may or may not be inadvertedly putting her child at harms way. The man, in jail since 12 for murder and about to be released as an adult. Both gave upbeat stories but sinister and murky lay beneath the surface. Compelling and chilling.

I ended the month with a long weekend - between my anemia and neck/knee issues - I needed rest. I started by heading up to Lochinvar for a Kinesiology session, had a drive through the vineyards and finished with a massage. In between I napped, read, daydreamed, caught up with friends for lunch at Awaba House and visited the amazing Diane Arbus exhibit at Lake Macquarie Art Gallery. Hence I started August feeling rather zen!

Here are my usual reviews.

And some pics:


What I’ve Been Reading
All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doeer –  I listened to this on spoken word and loved it. Ultimately a holocaust story, but more in the vein of The Book Thief. It follows two youngsters at the edge and during World War II in France. Marie-Laure is the blind daughter of the locksmith at the Natural History Museum in Paris. Her father is widowed and makes small to scale models of the town to assist Marie-Laure move around outside without getting lost. Werner is an orphan in Germany and has an amazing mind and ability with electronics. The third storyline is the fable of an important stone that brings great luck to it’s owner but awful happenings to anyone the owner cares about. Locked away in the Natural History Museum, when the war breaks the original and three replicas are given to key people at the museum to look after. Marie-Laure’s father gets one. No one knows who has which stone. Marie-Laure and her father escape Paris to the coast to stay with her great-uncle and hopefully wait out the war. Things do not go according to plan. Meanwhile Werner is a youngster in the Nazi Military Elite training school. Add in a Nazi Gemmologist tracking the rare stone – because he has to and because he is very sick and thinks it might heal him. And of course, at some point, all of these story lines meet...spoilers...

All The Light We Cannot See is a beautifully written and interwoven story about war, love, mythology, and being brave. I was absolutely transfixed the entire time. It was never heavy handed or too brutal, and yet you fully understood the awfulness and despair of war. I loved the teeny details, the braille books Marie-Laure read and how they almost followed her real life adventures. The house by the sea she was staying in, I can see this clearly in my mind. The training of poor Werner and his cleverness never really seen to his potential. The mythology of the gem and the stories that followed it. Anthony Doeer has written a modern classic that will stand the test of time and enchant readers continually.

Hunger by Roxane Gay -  See my full review here

Cheech is not my real name...but don’t call me Chong by Cheech Marin – this is another spoken word, read by the man himself. I came across it at work and it was like an old friend stopping by to say hello. As a teen I loved Cheech and Chong, so I decided to listen to Cheech cheekily read about his life. And what a life he’s had. Highly intelligent, musical, and simply a nice guy. He really isn’t Cheech. His life prior to fame is fascinating. He was a smart kid, and grew to love pottery. As a young adult he dodged the draft and escaped to Canada to make pots. This is where he met Chong, a musician writing songs for Diana Ross. He goes through the rise and fall of Cheech and Chong with good grace, humour, and honesty. So much of it was a blast from the past, it was fun. Then his post career in film and television has been remarkable. The book covers politics, war, and race quite seriously too. It’s an outstanding read.

Foreign Soil by Maxine Beneba Clarke – I read this great book of short stories when it first came out, but couldn’t pass up Maxine reading it herself. Foreign Soil is short stories about indigenous women in various situations in different countries. Sad, funny, terrifying, uplifting, and simply amazing.

If I understood you, would I have this look on my face? My adventures in the art and science of relating and communicating  by Alan Alda – This was interesting, but not as funny as his other books. It focuses on his interest in Science and his science shows.
What  I’ve Been Watching
House of Cards S4 – and the drama escalates, Spacey is getting nastier and with his wife ‘missing in action’, one wonders where he will go next. Oh my, you won’t believe it! This show is something else!

A Place to Call Home S1-3 – I ‘discovered’ this great Australian series recently. I never really give Aussie dramas much thought, but this is really quite good. It has a Downton Abbey feel, set in the early 50s with the war very much still on every ones minds. This is probably just a step up from soapie, but the stunning set design, costumes, and intriguing storyline for the main character (played wonderfully by Marta Dusseldorp) give it a little edge. There is romance, intrigue, humour, and many themes that make you think. Noni Hazelhurst is also excellent as the sour mother of the dashing George Bligh (the gorgeous Brett Climo). I watch a lot of darker shows, so this has been a nice palate cleanser. One of the best Australian shows in a long time, if you haven’t watched it, give it a go.

Bojack Horseman – what a crack up this is. Starring the great Will Arnett at the horse and Amy Sedaris (a pink persian cat) as his ex lover and agent. Bojack starred in a popular sitcom in the 90s and is now trying to get back those heady days to no avail. It’s pretty funny and subversive as all good animation should be!

Mirage – This was a very odd classic film I hadn’t seen before. Gregory Peck wakes up one day and has no real idea what is going on in his life, except it appear some people are after him and he may have murdered someone. He is vague about his life and may have lost his memory, as things come back to him he sees they make no sense. He hires a private detective (Walter Matthau) to assist him find the truth.

The Sea of Trees – this was a Gus Van Sant film...say no more. A very haunting yet odd film about a man (Matthew McConaughey) who has lost everything and reads of a mystical forest in Japan where people go to commit suicide. With that in mind, he heads off but meets up with a very lost man (Ken Watanabe) and is torn by his own needs and helping the man.

Keeping Up With The Joneses – this was a fun film with Jon Hamm and Gal Gadot as the strange new neighbours of Isla Fisher and Zack Galifianakis. I’m not normally a fan of this type of movie but Jon Hamm!!! ANd you know it was ok!

Up For Love -  this was a sweet French film about a beautiful woman who falls in love with a very short man...eventually. It is an odd premise, that only the French can pull off, Jean Dujardin is the man.

Joe Cinques Consolation – this was only ok. The actual story and Helen Garner’s book were stunningly horrific. I can see why a film would have been appealing, but it lacked the weight of the book and came off just plain silly.

I Smile Back – this is the get Sarah SIlverman an Oscar nom didn’t work. Look, this film really shows she can act, but it was so self aware I could not stop thinking this is Sarah Silverman. It is about a woman, married with children, with mental health issues. It is very dark, humourless, and disturbing. She IS amazing, but it just came across too try hard and a little clunky because of that.

I Daniel Blake – I am not a fan Ken Loach, never have. I find his style of documentary/film (in that it is not a documentary but not really a film as he often uses non actors) heavy handed and annoying. ANd way way way too depressing to watch. This is not so bad, and definitely one of his better films, but I still didn’t love it.

Sing – what a joy this kid’s animation was. Great music, funny characters, and a good story. Highly recommend to all, young and old!

Le Tour – loving Le Tour as always, Gabriel Gate, those mountains, the castles, the countryside, France, France, France, oh yeah, and the boys!

What I Have Been Listening To
Songs Of The Latin Skies by Katie Noonan and Karin Schaupp – this was a very classy and sharp album. Thoroughly enjoyed.

Heartworms by The Shins – a few months late, I finally got to listen to the new The Shins. It is a great album, much as you would expect. Easy to listen to pop.


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

HUNGER: an extremely important book by Roxane Gay

It's been a month since I finished Hunger by Roxane Gay.

It has stuck with me the entire time, not a day has gone by where I haven't thought about something within it.

I do not normally do book reviews here on my blog, I do potted reviews of books (and music and tele and film) in my monthly review. It's funny, as a Librarian you'd think I would do more lengthy reviews...

I discovered the author, Roxane Gay, a couple of years ago and immediately loved her honesty and humour. The book was Bad Feminist, a collection of essays about all sorts of things. This is one of my favourite genres of books: the essay. What struck me about Roxane was her incredible intelligence and her amazing gift with words. She just strung a sentence in such a way you knew exactly what she meant, could see what she meant, smell it, feel it. Not many writers do this well. They was no flowery carry on, no pomp, just brisk truth. 

And she was funny.

It's rare to find true comedic writers, and I just soak them in when I do.

But she could turn on a dime, one moment you have tears running down your cheeks from laughing, the next the tears are from crying.

I loved that too.

I spruiked Bad Feminist to everyone I knew.

Not long after, Roxane toured the country promoting that book and I got to see her intellect in full form, writing is one thing, but she spoke as well as she wrote, if not better.

I just loved her, and not least, she was no super model. She was an overweight Haitian, and her attitude was a little bit punk.

I followed her on Twitter, read her other works, and finally got to see her in person this year at the Sydney Writer's Festival.

I was second in line, I waited over half an hour, even though I had purchased a ticket. I managed a seat in the front row of the large area set aside for the talk.

A couple sat next to me, he started, oh my god, she is soooo fat, I mean, she is huge and on it went, not once but on and on. His wife just nodded in agreement. What cunts! We were very close to Roxane, surely she heard it. I was pissed off for her and for myself, being overweight myself. I felt like saying to him, you know we can lose the weight, you will never not be a cunt! Instead I gave him my very best fuck off and die look.

They moved.

Another couple, easily in their 70s, scrambled into their spots, they turned to me beaming, we just got in from seeing her in Melbourne, she's a fucking rock star. I wanted to hug them, these were my people!

Roxane was amazing, she spoke so coherently, with extreme intelligence and super humour. I was mesmerised by such beauty. 

And yet, her face told a whole other story, it was the face of a woman, continually harassed, it looked cranky, tired, done.

I do not blame her.

I knew her 'memoir' was coming out soon and it had huge buzz. I knew it was devastating and would deal with her being gang raped at 12.

So I got to read this amazing book. It defies categorisation. It is part memoir (but only part), it is self help (sort of), it is about health, it is about loving yourself, it is about the world, it is about everyone.

And it broke my heart.

She wrote so many truths within, there were moments like she had dipped into my head and heart and soul and pulled out the very words that have been sitting there unsaid, but most definitely thought.

Whilst her story is not mine, hers is far worse, there were elements of similarity that brought me to my knees.

Her story is she was gang raped at 12 by a group of boys, led by the boy she loved. She told no one and continued (against her better judgement) to spend time with this boy.

She turned to food for comfort and to turn her body into a fort that could not be taken like that again. And so beginning a love/hate relationship with food that has broken her body so badly...but yet not!

Her story is one of the intellectual versus the emotional, she knows intellectually what the deal is, but emotionally cannot reconcile. Or at least that is my interpretation.

And I guess I interpret her words that way from my own experience.

Without making this about me and going into too much detail. As a much thinner and younger girl I received a lot of inappropriate attention from men, mostly via words and touch. And whilst nothing horrid happened to me, I knew it was sexual, and as a young, shy, introspective girl I just didn't know how to handle it. So I slowly put on a bit of weight, but of course that took me from being skinny to curvaceous. This made matters worse.

I had a long term relationship in my 20s, it started wonderfully, but ended quite badly. He was not a nice person, and treated me quite badly. Physically but moreso mentally. I left that relationship a broken person who was so broken they didn't even know they were broken. It took me a good year to realise this, and close to a decade to work through the hurt. 

I was hibernating from life, and unintentionally rebuilding my body into a fort.

I didn't realise this until some years later and well before Roxane articulated it similarly. Although hers was intentional, I had no idea what I was doing, I was just in a big big fog.

In time I pulled myself out of the hole and rebuilt my life and it is divine.

To turn my mind and heart around from that experience was huge, it is my past and 
I have well and truly come to terms with it. But in the meantime, I am still wearing my armour of fat. I no longer need it, but just cannot shake it. 

Like Roxane I try and like Roxane, it is two steps forward and five steps back.

I have not suffered as she has, but I have had my fair share of embarrassment for not being a size 10.

She writes about doctors appointments, going to the gym, buying clothes, having people think they are helping you by offering you advice as if you had no brain in you body at all. Just navigating the world at her size when the world in made for those much smaller is devastating.

People can be arseholes.

It is an important book that everyone should read. To realise those of us who do not have the body of a supermodel are human too, we have needs and thoughts and hearts. The weird looks, the rude comments, and so on and on do not help but only push us back into ourselves.

And what I loved most about her book was she had no solutions, I do not think there are any. Just try and be the best you can, be kind(er) to yourself and to others.

My theory on people is to get to know them, find out their inner workings, love them for who they really are rather than how they look. Cause regardless of size, all our looks are going to fade, or drop or whatever...and then what are we left with?

She writes similarly, about good friends and family and lovers who have helped her in a positive way.

It might be an early call, but I am putting this up there with the books that shaped my life. The Diary of Anne Frank  and I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou. (The other two are Just Kids by Patti Smith and A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway - but for more artistic reasons).

Roxane's writing has never been finer, just when things are getting too much, she turns things around, sprinkles some humour or adds a lighter touch. There are passages that hurt and make you weep, and passages that make you soar and smile. It is remarkable, and yet, I feel at times she was holding back a little. That there is more to her story. This is not a definitive memoir, so I guess maybe in time we will find out more.

I cannot recommend this amazing book highly enough. Yes, it is rough going at times, but you know what life is rough, we all need to embrace that. But you will learn from this book, and you will be lifted by this book, and you'll fall in love with Roxane a little.

Sunday, July 16, 2017


June, whilst still busy, was a little quieter than May. Whilst I love getting out and discovering things and being with my friends, I am an introvert at heart and need my down time, my alone time, time to think and dream and meditate and recharge, so I slowly made my way back to a little winter hibernation.

Health wise my anxiety was on the rise, though not so bad, and I had some moments of feeling low, but the bounce back on both was pretty good, so that is always important. But I have done a real number on my right knee. My poor ole right knee has always been a problem since my gawky pre teen age where i fell over a lot, and has moved to a bit of arthritis and other things. Nothing sinister or too painful, just always not quite right, and sometimes a little more than not quite right. I twisted it and one half of my leg went with the twist and the other stayed, urgh. That was a few months back and because I was busy I was slack on getting it looked at. My Osteopath is a genius, but this is taking some time to mend this time. Plus the more I hobble on it, the more it puts other joints out. I feel old and horrid, it is not great, but I am managing and it is very slowly getting better. I suspect the cold weather is not helping.

But enough of the whinge, what have I been doing?

I started the month with the exceptional indigenous play, The 7 Stages of Grieving, written by the magnificent Deborah Mailman and Wesley Enoch this is a wonderful shortish play about place and family. It gave you pause for thought and a little bit of sadness that in the decade or so since the play was written not much has changed.

I caught Daniel Champagne at The Commons, with A and L. What a charismatic performer and unique guitar player he is! I didn't know much about him, but was pleased I went along. It was a great little mid week injection of original music.

A, L and I had the extreme pleasure of seeing Sarah Blasko at 48 Watt Street. I had not been there for a concert, but what a special venue. L and I had dinner there prior and it was amazing, the back hall set up beautifully and we were fed good solid, winter food. We then took front seats in the church for the concert. What a stunning setting. The only annoying thing was the crowd was very disrespectful to the musicians, talking rather loudly throughout the concert. Sarah had to ask them to be quiet on more than one occasion, it was terribly embarrassing. But she was outstanding, singing a mix of new and old, just her, a guitar, a uke and her keyboards. Plus the most striking outfit that worked wonders in the eerie reflective setting.

Choir continues to amaze and delight me. I was saying to a friend, in life you are never really sure of your path, but sometimes things happen and you just know this IS the path to be on, with choir that is the most certain I have ever been about anything. I am so glad I found it. 

Our choir teachers are in a duo called Jack and Jel and they performed with friends at The Sunset Studio in Mayfield. So one cold, rainy night J and I headed there, bought some yummy pasta from the takeaway within the complex, took a bottle of red and settled in for a night of folky jazz, mostly originals, and much laughter. They are stunning multi instrumental musicians and singers with a casual, cabaret feeling to their performance. We left feeling warm and happy.

The choir also participated in Newcastle's first One Song, One Sing. We joined other choirs and singers at The Edwards on a chilly Sunday afternoon and lifted the roof with our rendition of The Church's Under The Milky Way. Given we had an hour to get it together, with complicated harmonies and parts, I think we did well. The video of our performance, whilst great, doesn't really show the joy and excitement (and nervousness) of such a performance.

M and I saw the French play, Therese Raquin mid month. We had a lovely meal at the Clarendon prior and were really looking forward to the play. But rather than being the drama we thought it would be it played out more like a Russian melodrama, with many laughs. It wasn't bad, just not that good. Them's the breaks!!!

Work seemed to involve a lot of meetings this month, being on a few projects will get you that I guess. I will be involved in the new LMS which is exciting and scary. Learning a new system, and teaching my colleagues how to use it, will keep me (and others) out of trouble for the next year or so! Mostly things are moving well, busy, productive, and happy.

Have had some lovely family gatherings, to see my niece and nephew play soccer, and to celebrate Mum's 70th this month.

And C and I saw Wonder Woman, what a great film. As a huge WW fan, I was very impressed, and I do not impress easily!!! PLus always fab to spend time with my bestie, having had yummy Thai prior!
Here are my reviews for the month.

And some pics.