Sunday, August 20, 2017

JULY ROUND UP

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:








JULY REVIEWS

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 project...it 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 ROUND UP

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.









Sunday, July 9, 2017

JUNE REVIEWS

What I’ve Been Reading
 
The Philosophy of Andy Warhol: from A to B and Back Again by Andy Warhol – riffs, reflections and advice on love, sex, beauty, food, fame, New York and his work. -  I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this little book by and about Andy. I read it many years ago and listening to it was equally delightful. It is basically Andy riffing on his likes and dislikes as listed in the title with little philosophical thoughts.
 
Himalaya by Michael Palin – I could listen to Palin’s voice read the phone book. He’s my favourite Python and just perfection in my mind. I love his travel stuff, and this was a talking book of his Himalayan trip from almost 20 years ago. Even without the visuals (which of course I had seen) I was transfixed.
 
I haven’t been reading much, lost my reading mojo, thank goodness for talking books!
 
What I’ve Been Watching
 
Getaway of love- cute little French film where a middle aged married woman falls in love with would be assassin and they take off with the police in pursuit!

Rosalie Blum- loved this French film that starts with a middle aged man who keeps running into a middle aged lady, she never notices him, and he becomes a little obsessed. The Lady is Rosalie Blum, with a shady past. When her young niece tracks her down a friendship is formed and she gets the niece the track this strange man who keeps following her. The film is told from different perspectives. It twists and turns, and is funny and poignant. I really loved this.

The Banksy Job – this is a bizarre little doco, about a dude who steals a Banksy sculpture in London and appropriates it as his, only to have it stolen off him.

Fantastic Beasts -  oh, how I loved this Harry Potter spin off. Beautifully shot and directed, set design phantasmagorical, great acting, great beasts. I want more!!!!!!

Nocturnal Animalsthis was a spooky tour de force. I felt very uncomfortable watching this. Amazing acting.

Sully – I really loved this, even though you know the story. It was well shot, and left you on the edge of the seat. Can’t say I want to fly anytime too soon after this. Even Tom Hanks was bearable!

Doctor Strange – I did enjoy this new take on the super hero, especially with Cumberbatch. But ultimately it left me a little meh, and I think that has to do with not seeing it on the big screen.

Tony Awards – always enjoy The Tonys.  Bette MIdler in Hello Dolly seemed to be the big winner this year, I reckon it would be quite amazing to see!

Genius – I have been enjoying this National Geographic series about The Man, Albert Einstein. Geoffrey Rush plays him as the older Albert. What a fascinating life, especially his younger years, and it is well filmed and acted.

Doctor Who – loving the new series much better than the last series. The addition of Nardole and Bill is most welcome, but they still are not giving Capaldo worthy material, and that makes me a little cranky.

Shots Fired – this was a great series shot in the south, racial tension, bad cops, the whole deal. I really enjoyed this.

Veep S6 – this show just gets better and better. It takes place a year after Selina lost the presidency and she is hell bent of securing some kind of legacy, and has a book and a library on the go. Still funny, still relevant!

Orange is The New Black S3/4/5 – I binged these seasons back to back and loved every minute of it. Wonderful writing, superb acting, funny and heart breaking. S3 was a continuation on S1 and S2, looking more closely at the girls and why they were there. S4 shows changes within the system for the worse for the girls, with a rather confronting main storyline that ended with a great tragedy and then a huge riot in the complex. S5 is very different to previous seasons, I won’t say why (spoilers) but it was edge of your seat watching, extra joyous and funny, and extra heart wrenching. The creators really took it up a notch and I believe this has divided the fans, but I was super impressed. You really really got to know the girls and the workers from a whole other range. The writing was top notch and the acting was our of the park.

Kimmy S2 – Kimmy Schmidt is lite fun, it’s not the best thing on tele, but it’s a harmless palette cleanser after watching so much drama. It is funny and cute and with Tina Fey behind the creators turns out some great lines. I recommend it!

Twin Peaks – is continuing to amaze and delight. Truly THE best thing I have ever seen on television. I am highly impressed. Yeah, not all of it makes sense, but that is Lynch and indeed Twin Peaks. MacLachlan is outstanding in his multiple roles. Halfway there and looking forward to the second half!

Leftovers finale – Wow, this series has been a wild ride. The first season, based on Tom Perrotta’s book, has the world coming to grips with 2% of the population disappearing. No one knows why, and a few years after the event, the world is struggling to come to terms with it. S1 is set in a small town where Justin Theroux is the cop. It shows various families and their loss, also a group of isolated people, who are really unravelled by the events. The vibe is not great. It was an up and down season, difficult to watch, with tips into fantasy, but totally worthwhile. Damon Lindelof (Lost) with Perrotta worked on all three series, which takes the story beyond the book.

Season 2 moves some of the main characters to a different town – a ‘magical’ town where no one disappeared – the only town in the world in fact, which means many are flocking there. Again, it dips a little more into fantasy with a storyline around Theroux that is to be seen. During S1 Theroux falls in love with Nora (the brilliant Carrie Coon), sister of the local preacher (Christopher Eccleston), and this season has them together, and there is a very odd extended family between them. New characters are introduced, more spiritual, more fantastic, more out there, but a little less of the up and downs of S1, it was settling a little, but still mind blowing stuff.

Season 3 was outstanding and the finale, one of the best finales I have ever seen. It almost (almost but not quite) made me forgive Lindelof for the appalling ending of what was, at the time, my favourite show ever, Lost. The series moves to Australia this season, again the key characters from S2 are in it, and new ones added. This is a much more laid back season, yet it covers the most ‘out there’ material, but by now, it seems normal. It is beautifully shot, and acted, and produced. The finale is something all together. I do not want to spoil anything, suffice to say, the performances of Carrie Coon and Justin Theroux are beyond outstanding. It is equal parts heart breaking, and uplifting. It answers some of your questions, but not the ones you’d expect. It was completely satisfying, and made me cry like a baby. I’d love to say more, and I know this is a clumsy description. The show is very intricate and detailed, but entirely worthy of a watch. Truly one of the best things I have seen. I cannot stop thinking about it, weeks after it was shown. It’s been described as the best show on television that no one is watching...let’s change that, go and check it out!

What I’ve Been Listening To

Mark Vincent – A Tribute to Mario Lanza – spectacular voice spectacular songs. I’m a huge Lanza fan, and often get a little put off by those attempting his work, but Vincent it outstanding.

Madeleine Peyroux  - Secular Hymns – a little more laid back than usual, but still stunning. Peyroux has the most beautiful, almost Billie Holiday style voice. Been a fan for years, and whilst this is less jazzy than usual, it is still great.



Sunday, June 25, 2017

MAY ROUND UP

May continued to be busy, especially at work. Loads of things going on there. Plenty of meetings, training, courses, events. Library and Information Week is towards the end of May, we always invite the schools up for National Simultaneous Storytime and do a Biggest Morning Tea, this year we added a visit from the high school and we also had the 3D printer going. 

But the highlight was the amazing Doug Cunningham, Swansea local hero and 100 year old man. Doug was in conversation with Carol Duncan as part of our Share the Story program. We had a huge turn up and a lovely morning one Saturday late in May!




I tried out a new (to me) South American joint, Barcitos, on Beaumont Street. Amazing food, band, atmosphere and of course lovely friends and chatter.




I had my yearly eye check up and all a-ok, no changes, which is great!

I had dinner for one at Foghorn, before meeting A at The Towers for the Brett Whiteley doco. It was a good film, but didn't really tell you anything you didn't know already.

I saw my lovely niece play soccer at Speers Point, then headed up to Largs, to The Bushrangers Bar for lunch with J, we had an excellent meal and a great catch up. Afterwards I headed to Maitland Art Gallery to look at their always excellent collections and a little bit of afternoon tea on their back veranda.









Mid May also means Pint of Science and The Edwards, C and I had dinner then met a bunch of people for a scientific evening, including robotics, which was amazing.



J, L, and I headed into the Spiegletent in Civic Park to see Velvet. What a grand and joyous experience. Velvet was acrobatics, dance, disco, and the amazing Marcia Hines. 








The last weekend in May was crazy, I headed down to SWF on the Friday and had a great albeit rushed time. You can read about my day at the festival here.

I took a mid afternoon train back from Sydney to make it to the Symphony at Town Hall. The evening was Double Delight: The Sydney Symphony Orchestra plays Haydn and Mozart, and it was divine. I always go to the Symphony alone as no one ever seems interested, and that is ok by me. They don't know what they are missing out on. Live Classical music is possibly the most sublime musical experience you can have. Listening to that beautiful music is very therapeutic, relaxing, and zen.




After a big rest I headed to my Bibliotweeps Bookclub, where we discussed Helen Garner's Everywhere I Look.

That evening I headed to The Edwards with friends to see Tim Rogers. We had a wonderful meal, and then enjoyed the concert, which you can read about here.

And the month ended with the annual APIA Tour, with  E and C, which you can read about here.

Plus the usual reviews.

And some pics