July got off to a lovely, peaceful start with an impromptu dinner out on the Friday night with J and A to Sprout dining at the Crown and Anchor hotel, and a laid back birthday lunch for K with V and N at Milanos on the lake at Pelican on the Sunday.
In between I headed to Sydney to participate in Marina Abramovic in Residence. J and I took an early train down on a lovely sunny day, had brunch at Circular Quay, and a wander and shop around the Quay and at The Rocks Markets before parting ways. You can read about my experience at Marina Abramovic in Residence here.
After a month of ups and down mental health wise, it was nice to have a fairly grounded month, with minimal issues, lots of time to contemplate and meditate, and to just try and get my mojo back, and I am pleased to say I feel better than I have in a long while. Don't get me wrong, there were still moments, but they were few and short stayed.
I do think the Abramovic experience really set the tone and helped me immensely. I've also gotten back on track to a small schedule of exercise (my foor is raelly on the mend but not quite there), and trying to be as healthy as someone who loves food and hates exercise can be.
I've managed a lot of lunches and catching up with wonderful people this month. My friends and family really help ground and grow me, thank you everyone, you know who you are. J and I had lunch at Cafe 56. Talulah, as always, was the backdrop to out fabulous bookclub. R, C, and I indulged at Coco Cubana, highly recoomend if you haven't experienced it! C and I had morning tea at Qs. B and I had lunch at the Jones Sisters. A was in the city, so C, J, L, and I caught up with her for breakfast at The Locale. J, C, and I had a great meal at Pippys prior to seeing Love and Mercy at Lake Cinema.
Love and Mercy is part of the Brian Wilson story and it was magnificent. It mostly covered the Svengali part of his life with flashbacks to the Pet Sounds/Good Vibrations recordings. None of this was news to me, but it still broke my heart. Brian was a genius, and like most geniuses he could be a little difficult, and had some mental health issues but people kept pushing and pushing, no one helped. And then the wrong kind of people take advantage (think Cobain, Winehouse, Elvis, and many more) Why does this happen?
My only minor issue with the film was John Cusack - who I love - played him in the later stages, he was very very good, remarkable in fact, BUT you always knew it was Cusack, which was a bit of a shame. Paul Dano as the flashback Brian was a revelation, he became Brian, I believe a lot of the singing was Dano too. Elizabeth Banks - who has always irritated me - was stunning as Brian's savior - it's always an amazing woman who saves the hero, this I love! And Paul Giamatti as the evil Dr Landy was deliciously bad.
And then there was the music, and you got many, many scenes about the behind the scenes creation of those glorious sounds, I revel in this sort of thing, the scenes and music brought tears of joy to my eyes. Watching songs like God Only Knows and Good Vibrations take shape was one of the most glorious things I have ever seen on film. As a music geek this rocked my boat more than I can say.
The films concentrates on the late 60s and the 80s, and there is much much more to the story than that, but it works and I think adding in more would have blown the movie out too much. Whilst there are some deep dramatic parts to this movie there are also great highs and joy. You don't have to be a Beach Boys fan to love this movie, but if you are you will love it as I did.
A, L, and I ate at the French Market and watched the fabulous Me, Myself, and Mum at French Friday.
Me, Myself, and Mum was a wonderful film about a very feminine boy and his relationship with his family and all the boys he had crushes on, told as a one man show, with flash backs to the times he acted out. He also played his mother. It sounds a little contrived and complicated but it was not. It was very funny with a couple of dramatic bit and a huge twist at the end. Well worth looking out for.
C and I took time to head to Caves Beach for a High Tea/Fundraiser to help N and J and Life Project Cambodia.
J and I supped at McGrourty's (without incident!!!) and saw the wonderful play, Seminar.
Seminar is a Pulitzer Prize nominated play about 4 young writing students who hire an ex professor to help them with their novels. He is a dubious character and factions start to form within the group. It was funny, modern, and on topic, with excellent acting, especially from Carl Caulfield as the professor.
And for something different, J, C and I met up with L and S at The Newcastle Museum for University of Newcastle Professor's talk on The Earth. This was a fascinating, intellectual lecture that showed us how The Earth was measured over the centuries and how the changes to The Earth are effecting us now - which is rather scary indeed.
Work was busy, I'm working on a few interesting projects and slowly progressing all of them, plus some physical changes to the library had me flat chat and happy, we ended the month with East of Eden as our After Hours Movie.
As always I spent time at the Lake Macquarie Farmers Markets, and walked at Green Point.
Finally, some photography