Wednesday 30 March 2022

Fingers crossed!

 Every year I wait for clear weather and then buy tickets to the Opera on the Harbour - I've been lucky enough to have perfect nights for La Boheme (which was delightfully stunning), West Side Story and La Traviata this way. But with the current weather, and constant rain, I'm not feeling certain I'll get to Phantom of the Opera this year. 

However, one can but hope!

I really feel for the people of Lismore. I can't imagine what they are going through, having only just begun the clean up from the last floods. And my heart goes out for the organiser of BluesFest if he is affected for the third year in a row. So my irritation with the rain is merely that and I should probably count myself lucky!

Back in February, a kind friend took me to the Cinema on the harbour, which I'd never been to before. We had a perfect night and saw The Good Boss with Javier Bardem, which is great. Dark comedy, well done and left me thinking about it.

As always though, it's the scenery that steals the show. Seeing the light change as the sunset and the city lights up is always breathtaking.

So while I'm not the biggest fan of that musical, I've got my fingers crossed I get to see it!

And Sydneysiders, if you didn't know 'The Phantom of the Opera is here!' (see what I did there? Hope you sang it...ticket website is linked)

Linking with #LifeStories #Allseasons  #KeithsRamblings #PicturePerfectLinky #WWOT  #ThruMyLens  #BlueMonday  #WordlessWednesday and #FridayBliss 
Pieni Lintu - MakroTex challenge
(The blue sky and harbour - both of which I haven't seen for awhile!!)

Saturday 26 March 2022

Gum Nuts


A few overseas people asked about the gumnuts in this post so when I saw these, I climbed on top of the brick fence to take closer photos. While standing on the wall, it did occur to me that if one of the residents of the complex called the police, I was way too old to talk my way out of it. Old enough to know better. And if I injured myself when I jumped off the high fence, I'd be too embarrassed to tell the paramedics what I was doing, so I'd have to make something up. 

See the things I do for you, dear readers?

These were made very famous by children's author May Gibbs last century, when she gave them personalities in the stories of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie.

You can see the spindles bursting out of the pods.

And then the blooms below.

Linking with

Friday 25 March 2022

Taking Stock - March


I felt like I just did one of these posts, but realised it was 2 months ago. The blog definitely makes me see the march of time!

Sipping: I've gone Euro mad and sipping on Tallinn. It's the perfect 'dessert'. Just a little shot to sip on....(from Eurodrinks - not an ad, I just buy from them).

Wearing: Jewellery made from recycled plumbing bits that I got in Hobart last week at the Salamanca Markets.

Wanting: The election to be called so they can start promoting policy. This bombardment of personality is insulting. These people are not our friends. We aren't meant to like them. We are meant to respect them and have faith they will look after the best interest of the population. This has been sorely lacking since before the last election. We need a federal ICAC to make sure, regardless of party, these people are accountable to us, the taxpayers, whose money they spend. Come on, Australia. We need to be smarter than this.

Spot the #WeekendReflection (hint table) and #RubyTuesdayToo

Loving: That the Biennale has started. It's free so I can pop in on the way to other appointments if I'm organised. Discovered the Marys diner in the Cutaway so will try to time my return visit better for lunch/dinner or a drink at the bar. The Animal Orchestra is great but I only had the time for one location. Want to pop back and experience the ocean one at least, if not manage all of them over the next few months.

New Shoes. Nonsensical sensible shoes.

The Wes Anderson-esque travel photography exhibtion and bar at David Jones Level 8. Use it or lose it people.

Hoping: People pay attention to the policy platforms. Was complaining to Mum about the $2500 we are going to have to pay for a colonoscopy this week, that was previously covered by Medicare and she was shocked the rebates had been gutted. Morrison was upfront before the last election that he wanted a health system more like the American one, so how did she not know that? She reads a newspaper every day (albeit The Australian). I am stunned people vote without understanding the most basic part of the platform. How did I know and she didn't? How can we make policy clearer to people prior to the election? Sadly, whatever has been cut - cardiac, hip, shoulder and hand surgeries among others, will probably never come back regardless of who gets in, but I'm sincerely hoping I'm wrong on that. Realistically, start saving. I also did a comparison of my private healthcare because I think the one I'm with is hopeless and after 25 minutes on the phone, the health check guy came back and told me that the one I'm with, and the policy I'm on is actually the best for my family. I can't imagine how this is going to effect people because ours covers barely anything. Yes, it gives you something back but $25-$73 back on a $300 bill is useless. 

Cooking: Not much. In fact, going to great lengths to avoid it. Lockdown really killed that for me....but I did get my daughter this Gudetama macaron in Galeries Victoria. 

Reading: Still reading Violeta and Queer Stories discussed here. Prior to that, I listened to All Saints Hotel and Cocktail Lounge, read by the author (who is neurodivergent and uses minimal editing in the audio). It's an entertaining book but a real insight to see the world viewed through the millennial lens. You can see why they are angry and lost faith in society (and expectations). Parents should read it because the world we see is not the world our kids are seeing. As an aside, my youngest started talking about interstate housing prices yesterday (she knew the average in all the capital cities) because she's never going to be able to afford Sydney. She's 13. How do you deal with that? Apparently, her friends all talk about it. This world weighs heavy on the young.

Thinking: That this formatting glitch needs to fix itself soon because it's doing my head in. Apologies for the visual mess.

Listening: To the happiest beat you'll here at the moment from the ever fabulous Max Frost - and if you aren't following him on Facebook (Insta?) he regularly does songs by one artist in the style of another artist - it's AMAZING. There's no one cheerier on SM to follow! 

Wishing: Covid and the war would go away. Want to stop thinking about it. 

Watching: Sextortion on SBS. Funny comedy out of NZ and feels pretty applicable in this election time....And also Our Flag Means Death is kooky and gorgeously funny. A cast of who's who of the acting world as a bonus.

Appreciating: Being out of lockdown.

Walking: Not as much as I should. But I did get out to my old lockdown 5km radius walk on the weekend and it felt good to see the people about and businesses buzzing. 

Hearing: A lot more F1 talk now that this podcast has appeared. Good to get more in-depth sports chat than I get off the socials. Looking at booking Singapore this year but still waiting on the whole COVID fiasco to decide...If you are wanting entertainment in the Sydney traffic now that Coronacast is weekly, check out the Idiots of F1.

Considering: An OS trip. Thinking Iceland or Japan, trying to work out the when, and just worried about the covid implications if one of the kids gets COVID there - will we be split up? What happens? Husband off to Boston for the marathon so won't do anything until after that, in case that reveals some unexpected hurdle to be managed.

Feeling: Confused about Covid. Going out and doing a lot of stuff but still masking in crowds. Nearly everyone I know has had it or their kids have had it. It seems to be ripping through schools which means it's only a matter of time before it walks in our door. I am very nervous about seeing my nieces' little babies at Easter. I will RAT beforehand but still. It's a concern.

Pining: for my camera to be repaired. It's been 2 months. I really want it for the school holidays!!!

Saving: For the aforementioned colonoscopy. Thanks, Australian voters. Well done. 

This post has turned into yet another downer. Really hadn't intended that. Got a few treats in store this week so I hope my next posts are less angry and gloomy...what's that saying? We can't expect to go through life unaffected by the world?

*I did tell her not to worry about it yet and just enjoy being at school and all the fun things offered, and that things will be different by the time she leaves. But really, I suspect that all fell on deaf ears. What a world we have created. Shame on us (and our parents).

Linking with 120f12   and #YourMoment

Friday 18 March 2022

Share Four Somethings - March


Well, that month rolled around fast. How time flies, as they say....

Something Loved:  I went to Hobart with my bookclub. First time away from my family in over 2 years. First time since 2019 when I only had me to look after and only had to think of myself. It was rejuvenating. 

Something Gleaned: We went to Bruny Island, which was fabulous. I learnt that it is half the size of Singapore with only 800 inhabitants! I also enjoyed learning our history with a bit of a new slant on how we tell it (compared to I was a kid and it was VERY whitewashed). Most of what we were told was from the Indigenous viewpoint of that historical experience, of Truganini and the Black Line and dispossession. Having listened to Debutantes, I became aware of how distorted our 'knowledge of history' is.

These 2 trees are in the paintings made when Cook was there.
I learnt that there are 12 species of bird only found on Tasmania - I also learnt they are called endemic birds - given how much we use that word at the moment, I didn't realise it applied in this sense too. My favourite line was when the tour guide was talking about the flora and fauna on Bruny, and Joseph Banks. "I know there's a lot of shade on Cook but when you look at Banks, what he did was amazing.  He took back 12000 new species of plants and shared this with the European Scientific world. He incomprehensibly altered their knowledge". 

Something Braved: Going solo to a nightclub where I was at least 30 years older than everyone...discussed in detail here and here.

Something Achieved: I don't feel I've achieved much this month. I hope my Furious Fiction story did ok, then I can amend this. Didn't write as much as I should. Didn't exercise as much as I should. Did manage to get tickets into Phoenix which I've been dying to see since it was built so very excited about that. So not so much as achieved as got lucky. But let's go with that.
You can see the two trees in the top photo and the 4th photo here, in the George Tobin painting of 1788.


Thursday 17 March 2022

What's on my bookshelf

This month I finished Before I Go to Sleep for bookclub. It's really good until the ending, which is bizarrely out of step with the quality of the rest of the novel. I had low expectations when I saw we were doing it, but couldn't really remember the film. The book is extremely clever and I really enjoyed the journey (as you are led along in the confusion of the narrator).

I chose Jon Ronson's What I Do - More true tales of Everyday Craziness for the plane. I kept giggling and laughing uncontrollably, annoying all the passengers near me, but it's that sort of book. It's not his best but it is enjoyable. It's the second in this collection of his magazine stories, however, if you haven't read Ronson, I would start by listening to Last Days of August and The Butterfly Effect - and then devour all the others like I did. He has an odd voice initially but it becomes part of the charm, so stick with it. I am desperate for him to write more books, and was devastated when COVID cancelled his trip here for FODI.

I got Growing Up Queer from the Dymocks Mardi Gras display in part because I want to make my fiction less hetronormative (and less white & ableist but that's another story). I'm only a third of the way in. There have been two excellent stories by authors I don't know, so I will be tracking down their work. Cindy Zhou was one, so if anyone knows where to find her work, let me know. I am aware I am reading these stories incorrectly, but as a mum, I just find them so sad. I grew up in the 70's and went to a private school so I am aware of how backward my societal view of LBGT people was (hushed whispers, slurs etc were normal behaviour). What makes me sad is the discomfort and bullying the authors experienced in these stories, even those that grew up in the 90's and 2000's. I know I'm meant to see these stories as growth or positive change but all I see is how backward we still are and how little has changed in 50 years.  Australia needs to take a long hard look at itself. It's embarrassing. Good book for writers to see different styles. As an aside, I wrote a Mardi Gras themed (sort of coming out to oneself) story for Furious Fiction this month. It's not great due to lack of time but hopefully it was executed well enough. We shall see.

Lastly, just started Violeta by Isabel Allende. So far, so good. As I'm only in Chapter 2, I can't recommend it but it's opened with the Spanish Flu, so at a guess, it will end with COVID. I have written a story with that structure (it came fourth in a Canadian short story competition), so I'm curious to see where she goes in the middle of it....(My writing got infected by COIVD over the last two years so I am pleased to see I'm not the only one!).

That's what's on my bookshelf at the moment, and thanks to the hosts for the link up. I do love talking about books!

Linking with #UnlimitedLinkUpParty  #WhatsOnMyBookshelf, 

bookworms monthly linky

“All problems are illusions of the mind.” Eckhart Tolle

I'm not sure I fully agree with the title quote but for this post it's apt. I really let my insecurities run wild here. I even went so far as to get the wording of the legality if they refused me entry (while 100% sober). I know. How old am I??

Well, that's the big problem. I am old but mentally I'm still that teenager who felt they never quite fitted in. 

Dealing with the two points individually:

Linking with #RubyTuesdayToo
30. Get into a nightclub with 'a strict dress code'.

I just wore a black dress and red jewellery (which I normally wouldn't have bothered with at a festival or gig) and my disco kicks, hoping that the sequins made them dress shoes not sneakers. When I arrived, I looked at the men in the queue and realised there was no problem at all. Most of the women were in heels but a few had 'appropriate' footwear to jump in, so I relaxed. I was indeed allowed in with no issue. 

31. Go to a gig that starts after midnight.

I had dinner with the family and watched a movie and then my husband dropped me off. I wasn't drinking but I didn't like the idea of being in the carpark by myself in the wee small hours. I was tired. Fortunately, Sam Feldt came on first and his set finished at 1am. While it was not ideal timing for me, it was easy and doable. And didn't interrupt 'family time' so even good, in a way.

As for the whole vibe, I took one look at the crowd and put my mask on. For once people didn't make comment on my age but they did make comment on my mask. One guy even yelled at me "Why would you wear a mask??" Then came back to yell it at me again, weirdly hostile - or just an entitled male dickhead, who knows?. Why would you care? On the plus, I'm guessing I look younger in my mask than I do normally. Ha!

The whole entry experience was longer than expected, I turned up at 11 not understanding there were three lines I had to shuffle through even with a ticket. It was weird and took an hour. So had I arrived later I would have missed the whole thing. The crowd was terrible. They didn't seem interested in dancing but jammed on the dancefloor and took photos of themselves all squashed in there. It was very hard to really dance because you couldn't move much and I seemed to be constantly pushed about letting people in and out fo the crowd. When Sam Feldt yelled jump, usually the whole crowd does in unison. This time, I almost headbutted the guy in front of me because I was expecting the crowd to lurch up and it didn't.

I couldn't deal with it anymore so sadly missed Joel Corry - I left when he came on. Had he come on at 1am or 2am, I'm not sure I would have maybe a midnight start is my latest! Long time readers might remember I was once shamed by theatre-going friends when I assumed their age meant the late show start time was too I've at least rewired that thinking for a bit since then.

So while Sam Feldt was fine, the crowd was terrible and so was the overall energy. Glad I went, even more glad I didn't get COVID and made it to Hobart unhindered. I also didn't get nits, which was my other concern, and I think is the most 'mum' statement I've ever made.

Torshlusspanik List:

1. Shooting (check)
2. Fencing (check)
3. Play croquet at Croquet Club
4. Laser skeet
5. Off road buggy driving
6. Play Assassins Creed
7. Jetpacking (check)
8. The Color Run (check)
9. Invent something
10. Cooking Masterclass (check)
11. Master a Masterclass (check)
12. Perform a rap song (check)
13. Trampoline adventure (check)
14. BMX Riding (check)
15. Do a cart wheel (check)
16. Ride an Electric Bike (check)
17. Astonish Myself
18. Write a book.
19. Participate in a distance event (check)
20. Climb Sydney Tower (check)
21. Dance in a dance class (check)
22. Trust a stranger
23. Get a truck for the Landmine Museum and Relief Centre in Siem Reap
24. Paint a picture
25. Go Rollerskating (check)
26. Do Chinese Square Dancing
27. Do some life drawing
28. Make something on a pottery wheel (check)
29. Try Axe Throwing (Check)
30. Get into a nightclub with 'a strict dress code'. (check)
31. Go to a gig that starts after midnight. (check)

Linking with #LinkupPotpourri


Wednesday 16 March 2022


 Very last pictures from the zoo. Not the greatest photos but probably the closest I've been to a koala in a long time.

Linking with #AwwMondays