Thursday, March 30, 2006

With a Blessing

For the future of the world...

On a more positive note, some friends of mine have announced that they are expecting their first baby. Hurrah for the Bevises, well done.

I wish you three much joy, happiness and health.

And I must be allowed to babysit if only so that Logan can learn to change a nappy.

Boo, thanks for the memories. You know how Mum said that Kate Wis was her "practice baby", well, I got my practising in at seven years old when you were born.

For the future of the world is inside of me...

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Should I forget

But if I could, then would you see...

I have been expecting a new cousin this month.

He was due to be born on the 6th of March.

His Mum went to see the doctor on her due date and was told that the baby was, unfortunately, deceased.

He had been alive the previous day but was now gone.

I will not be able to give my baby cousin Riley Victor a cuddle.

I will not be able to change his nappy.

I will not be able to hold his hand and help him walk.

I will not be able to make him smile, kiss his feet, blow raspberries on his tummy, sing to him, teach him to love musicals as much as his Dad would teach him to love cars...

Or watch him grow up.

To my Uncle and his partner, I hope you had the chance to cuddle him, put on his nappy, hold his hand, kiss his feet and tummy, and take a picture of his perfect baby face before you said good-bye.

My heart is sad and my eyes cry for you all.

I love you.

...Or would you go away... from me...

Saturday, March 18, 2006

I like Aeroplane Jelly

...Aeroplane Jelly for me...

After seeing my baby sister, Boo, off at the airport this morning, Logan and I headed to the Melbourne Museum in the Carlton Gardens.

As part of the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival (which has been somewhat disrupted by the arrival of the Commonwealth Games) there was a Victorian Producer's Market in the plaza outside at what is currently called the "Melbourne Museum LiveSite". It is thus named because they have a large screen on which is showing Channel 9's presentation of the Commonwealth Games. Presumably this is to encourage people to congregate in the space in large numbers to watch what they can also see on their televisions in their home/hotel/local shopping centre. How nice of the city to provide television for the homeless.


Logan and I wandered around the various stalls. I was working out which things we would have to put off buying until the end because they needed refridgeration, listening with half an ear to te food preparation presentations on the main stage, and trying to sort out what to have for lunch.

I steered Logan towards tasting some apple cider from the Henry of Harcourt stand. The verdict was that it was very nice and we would come back later.

I spotted the Red Hill Brewery stand and after tasting the three ales on offer, Logan went with three of the Scottish Ale and three of the Golden Ale. There was also a Wheat Beer but the other two were more to Logan's taste. (He's doing well for my birthday, isn't he?)

We were starting to get hungry but close by were a few winery stands and Logan sampled from one of them their six wines and decided to pick four to take home. The lovely people at this stand also offered to tape up the bottom of the box holding the Red Hill Brewery six-pack so that we wouldn't have an accident as it was looking a bit precarious.

At this point we decided that we did need to eat something so we took our precious cargo back to the car and followed our noses to the hot food.

We shared a Buffalo-meat sausage (garlic) to start with. Yummy. There were vegetarian options at other stalls - felafels and the like - but Logan and I are omnivorous and the sausages smelled delicious.

I had a sit down while Logan walked around taking photographs of the outside of the Exhibition Buildings. There was some entertainment (for me while he did this) in the form of small children (and adults) being chased around by a couple of puppeteers dressed as, rather convincing, dinosaurs. Smaller children were just being chased by their parents. There were other performers from the Museum strolling around, as well as Games spectators with patriotic flags stuck to their cheeks, Commonwealth Games volunteer staff and Security, dogs and a green tomato.

Our next stop was for another sausage but from the ChoriOz stand. This company was rapidly running out of bread rolls and I think we timed it perfectly. The sausages were beautiful. There were tiny bits of chilli in the sausage and it was topped off with a fresh tomato relish. Beautiful!

I felt like having a drink after that so found the ginger beer and lemonade stand. My chilled lemonade was poured out from a barrell into the bottle I requested. Fabulous. Not too sweet, this was REAL lemonade with a fresh, slightly tart, crisp flavour.

Then it was my turn to buy stuff to take home and, of course, I've headed for the fudge. Then the cupcakes (too gorgeous for words). (And I'm having trouble loading a picture so you'll just have to visit their website instead.)

There were biscuits, preserves, natural cordials, dukkah, olive oils, salad dressings, other sweets, and I was having difficulty deciding where to go next. I spotted the Lindt chocolate fountain and bought myself a strawberry skewer dipped in the chocolate from the fountain.

Logan then said that it was coffee time so we headed to the Bean & Ground stall where he had a long black with his usual many sugars and I had a dark hot chocolate with marshmallows.

We had time then for Logan to notice another winery's Kleanskin nudie label (clever marketing tool) and want to have a tasting before buying two bottles. He was then inspired to go back to the Cidery and buy two bottles of their cider.

I purchased a small tub of raspberry ice-cream (delicious) and then we visited a stall selling Farmhouse Cheese to taste and buy a round of a melt-in-your-mouth soft cheese.

We then decided that we had had enough, we weren't going to try to go around the Museum (even if it did have the flying tram from the opening ceremony of the Melbourne Commonwealth Games sitting in the entry) but that we were going to try to make the effort later on this year, and it was time to go home.

...I like it for dinner, I like it for tea...

Drowning, not breathing

On Monday evening I drove into Melbourne city. I was attending the Victorian Arts Centre's Fairfax Studio to see the Melbourne Theatre Company cast perform Ray's Tempest, written by Steve Rodgers after an original idea from Richard Roxburgh and Justin Monjo.

On a stage without curtains the set design can be made out and I first noted that there were no "wings" for the actors to use as entry and exit points. A staircase on my left led to the top of the construction. On my right, hung a looped structure resembling a roller-coaster with an end curled over and pointing into a bathtub on the upper level. Bar stools stood against a keyboard. A bed and a wheelchair were nestled beneath and to the side of the set, and there was an odd piece of sculpture in the centre of the structure which turned out to be a "fountain" set over a grating so that water would not leak onto the rest of the stage when it was turned on.

The main character, Ray Brink, is an alcoholic who is diagnosed, after some sort of seizure resulting in a fall down the on-stage stairs (and nearly into my lap), with a heart condition and problems in his "plumbing" that are inoperable. He is then advised that he has possibly six months to live.

What do you do when you find out you are dying?

We find out that Ray once was part of a nuclear family unit - married with two children - and from whom he became estranged after the death of the youngest child, a girl. His (former?) wife, Ruthie (Genevieve Picot), struggles also to remain sober while furthering her University studies/career and his son, Frog (Hamish Michael), rages against guilt and the impact that his father has had on his life. Ruthie has, after eleven years, found a partner, Boris (Alex Menglet) who takes care of her and loves her as much as she will let him. Frog's girlfriend, Jasmine (Alexandra Schepisi) is a fairly self-absorbed and insubstantial character who does not appear to understand exactly how much Frog is troubled by the past.

Ray is also an advertising salesman although with a steady decline in his sales figures his supervisor, Isabel (Caroline Brazier), is not impressed and is about to fire him unless he improves. News of Ray's new sales technique reaches Isabel and she is made aware of Ray's medical condition. Salvation for Ray and the advertising company he and Isabel work for appears in the form of a new reality television show where applications are invited from the terminally ill who will be voted off each week until the winner is granted their Last Wish. Isabel sees it as a career opportunity for herself and, after pushing him into applying, appoints herself as head of his promotional portfolio in order that the advertising agency will benefit from the deflected media exposure.

I have read that Ray's Tempest was originally conceived as a musical. Music was still incorporated into the performance whileRay's friend Duffy, played by Kim Gyngell of Col'n Carpenter fame, sweetly played keyboard in several places during the show and Ray Brink, William McInnes from Blue Heelers (among others), pours on the charm while singing for his adoring public on the Big Brother-style reality television show "Last Wish" and I can see how the introduction of further musical numbers might have added depth to the play or accelerated the narrative.

Still struggling with his grief and his guilt (as well as his alcoholism and his medical condition), Ray uses his Last Wish in an attempt to put things right in his world and make peace with his family.

Ray's Tempest is depressing, emotional and superbly acted. The water motif and use of the element on stage was very well done. This play is for a mature audience as there is some violence, nudity (tasteful but emotionally distressing), and a sex scene (comical - you'll know what I mean if you see it). William McInnes, Genevieve Picot, Kim Gyngell, Hamish Michael and Alex Menglet are brilliant.

It is a play that will stay with me for a while - there was a lot to think about and digest. I give it three and a half stars (out of five).

Friday, March 17, 2006


If this isn't love it's very close...

I'm touched. Thank-you everyone who stopped by, emailed, SMSed or sent me a card to wish me a happy birthday yesterday. That also includes Boo who managed to message me at midnight thereby just getting in on time. She has special dispensation due to her current circumstances so she was forgiven even before I switched my phone off as I went to bed on Thursday night.

Yes, I'm now, as Ms Tania D puts it, "Dirty Thirty". Why it is "Dirty" is beyond me but I'm sure someone helpful will explain. A special thank-you to Ms Tania, who is extreeemely well-organised but mildly technologically challenged, for SMSing me to apologise that my card would be late. (!) She is too beautiful. The sort that makes you want to be a better person... or just more organised.

Hmm, speaking of which, my sisters want to know what I want for my birthday. They were thinking maybe a ticket (or tickets?) to see Jamie Cullum at The Palais and were really excited that they hit on something I might like but I had to say no, thank-you. I did ask for his albums at Christmas, I know, but I've not had enough exposure to the music to really want to go along to a concert and have good money paid for it. I'd rather have a ticket to The Lion King instead except that I want to go with Al and I don't know when she's free yet to be able to organise it. (Honey? How's the schedule looking?) I also feel maybe that I've grown out of concerts. Sad, I know. I've decided that I don't like being deafened or not able to see the people I've paid to see perform because my seat's up in the gods or so far away that the performer/s are miniscule. I have a hard enough time trying to see things in everyday life without straining my eyes in a darkened room/hall/stadium. I know, I'm an old married woman. (But with not too much emphasis on the "old".)

Boo leaves for Germany tomorrow and I said that I'd try to find something that I wanted by the end of the day and let her and EHG know but there's really nothing on (apart, maybe, from The Boy from Oz which is waaay too expensive and I dislike "Arena Spectaculars" anyway) that I want to spend my money on just yet. Boo did suggest Hello Again at Chapel Off Chapel but I have issues with seeing that one (which I have promised to write about and will do shortly) that I don't think I will be able to get over.

I saw the latest offering from MTC on Monday night and will write about that one too - Ray's Tempest.

More sleep, that's what I need. Can I have some sleep for my birthday? Less Commonwealth Games and more sleep. (Games stuffing around with my television programs - thank goodness for Channel 2, that's all I'll say.)

...I can make the world safe for you, come and live over here...

Monday, March 13, 2006

All That Jazz

I'm gonna rouge my knees and pull my stockings down...

I went to a 1920's party last night. Boo is going overseas for a while so we were having a bit of a 'do' to farewell her. I watched Chicago for some inspiration.

Chicago is actually the first musical I performed at University. I made a great bunch of friends even if I didn't fully understand the show. (I am a naive person at times, although a friend has just admitted that she didn't know what Mimi's candle in Rent was going to be used for and I did know about that one.) As
Bevis will attest, I manage to say things without knowing that there is a double entendre, but then that may say more about the people I hang out with... (?) I understand more of the subtext of the show now that I have seen it (with Bevis pre-Wifey, Al and Burkealot, Greggles and maybe Juicebox? I can't remember, oops, sorry) done professionally, and not just the movie (which I saw with Noshie and Bevis' Wifey as well as Al and Juicebox).

When I got to the house EHG was in the middle of straightening her hair so I helped with that while Boo was putting her makeup on and helping a friend create a hairstyle more in keeping with the 1920's look. (It's a good thing Mum & Dad built that bathroom big enough for three sisters as having four girls in there craning for the mirror was getting a little crowded.) Once her hair was straight, EHG was trying to decide which outfit to wear and came back to the first one she tried on which was the type that needed double-sided tape to keep the plunging neckline from sliding off course, if you know what I mean. I pinned her hair into place after her hair clip slipped, she pulled on her feather boa (which covered up the plunging neckline anyway) and was ready to face her public.

I had tried to style my hair but ended up having to wind it into ringlets (few instead of the regular many - see Bevis' post showing our pictures) and wrap a crochet-style black scarf around my head. I did better with my sisters' hair. Boo had straightened hers and managed to crimp two front sections into that "permanent wave" style that was fashionable (see Renee Zellweger's do in the movie). Her hair (much like mine) was too long to do all of it in that way so I looped it up at the back and with the help of a few hundred bobby pins and some tassel left over from the work she had done creating her dress, we were in business. Then all she needed to do was pop on those fake eyelashes - very classy (no, really) - pull on her fishnet tights, hand me my feather boa and we were done. Mum didn't recognise me initially. My husband, Logan, didn't recognise me for a minute or two either. I am still trying to decide whether or not that was a good thing...

The parents served cocktails, pina coladas (from that new bucket arrangement you can buy now to put in the freezer), dips and crudites. Mmm, love that salmon log.

I was going to go all out and buy a whole outfit but, as the party was on a Sunday night and I had to work the next day, I decided that for an hour of party, $100 of dress wasn't worth it.

I just accessorised and spent a little bit more...

I'm really going to miss her while she's gone but hopefully we'll manage to keep in touch as well as I'm doing with
Adie and Noshie.

...It's just a noisy hall where there's a nightly brawl and All... That... Jazz...