mockturle06: (Lewis)

I was interested to read that Patty Jenkins was leaning on John Singer Sargent as one of the main visual influences of the film (again, completely ignoring the photographs of Australian Frank Hurley which the film apes so convincingly – has anyone told them that those photos were composites?).

Well, I don’t mind if she’s referenced Singer Sargent as well. He’s one of my favourite artists (I last saw a work of his in the touring Scottish National Gallery exhibition). 

I do remember that time I tried to find the Singer Sargents at the Met in New York, and was finally directed to the basement, and there they were, on a rack you had to pull out so you could only see half the painting in dim light. Okay, so I’d flown all the way from Sydney, I hadn’t even checked into my hotel yet, I hadn’t eaten or slept in over 24 hours, so I lost it. Completely lost it, demanding to know, out loud, what the fuck they thought they were doing keeping a highly revered American artist in the basement when I’d flown all that way to see him in situ, as it were, instead of paying $40 for the privilege of peeking over a scrum of desperate masses like I do at home.

These days I’d get shot for a meltown like that, but by the end of my rallying cry most folks were nodding and agreeing with me. I like to think it was my small part I played in bring Singer Sargent out of the basement and back on the walls.

Certainly I can’t think of a time, except maybe the mid-20th century, when Singer Sargent wasn’t a big deal here. Patty Jenkins will hate this (in her strident airbrushing out of Oz influences) but there was never a painter more influential, especially maybe Whistler, than Singer Sargent on his contemporary Australian artists.  I’m talking Rupert Bunny, Hugh Ramsay and E Phillips Fox, just off the top of my head, but you could probably count the entire Heidelberg camp, if you wanted to, and not be wrong. I’m totally on board with the Singer Sargent style. Probably because I see so many ‘in the style of’ works on the walls of local galleries. Like I said, a big deal. Here, at least.

Anyways, enough of that. Back to the mean streets of Edinburgh, or rather, the city where I live, and the city where I work. In both locales I was lucky enough to have tickets to a talk by Ian Rankin as part of the Sydney Writers’ Festival (some wag pointed out that it’s sometime misprinted as the Sydney Writer’s Festival, as in a writer, who lives in Sydney, who is feeling a bit festive).

So I went to see Mr Rankin, author of my beloved Rebus books, and they are beloved by me now. The tipping point happened when I was retrenched, and by some luck I’d bought a whole pile second-hand from an Amnesty stall at the fete only weeks earlier. So, alone, fucking miserable, terrified by hourly thunderstorms, I sat and worked my way through several Rebus books, and it kept me together, just. So Rebus, somewhat ridiculously, is where I go when I’m flat out miserable. Small surprise I’ve been keeping company with Rebus lately, a lot.

Maybe it reminds me of the Scottish books my grandmother used to send me via brown paper parcel when I was a child. Mythical Edinburgh is my safe place, my childhood space. Even Rebus’ Edinburgh.

The City Recital Hall was the locale for the first talk. It was ok, though crowded and snobby, and the cloakroom guy was a real fascist (after letting me breeze through on Wednesday) – it wasn’t for nothing the cloakroom line was longer than the book-signing line at the end of the evening.

Mr Rankin was very funny, but the ‘host’ kept cutting across him and interrupting anecdotes, which really started to annoy me, but there was nothing to be done. I did get to hear about the Belle and Sebastian story.

Maybe I was just tired, it had been a very long and frustrating day, and I’d had to run across town to get there.

Saturday and Mr Rankin was appearing in my very own hometown, which thrilled me no end as I’d been muttering to myself about having to miss the Rebus-fest in Scotland.

It was supposed to be a perfect day, but these things never are – my favourite restaurant let me down really badly – it was bloody awful. But I did get my usual glass of flat sticky wine at Riverside, and they had political cartoons on display on the walls for my pre-show entertainments and the seats I bought were top notch front and centre.

Of course I’d left my camera behind after the hullabaloo at the recital hall on Friday, never mind that it had been the first night of Vivid as well, so of course we were allowed to take photos this time. This is my life. At least I’d remembered to bring an armful of books to be signed, though, as I lamented on Twitter, I’ll not be able to read them on the bus anymore because they’re all signed now and they’ll get rooned if I try.

This, I felt, was a much better talk. More die-hard fans, better host, better questions. I enjoyed it very much, and it’s fun to hear about the influences and circumstances behind the stories and characters. He even teased there may be a Siobhan Clarke book one day – I hope so, as Shiv is a fave (even though she hates people calling her Shiv).

So, I met Ian Rankin, favourite living author (there’s only a handful now), and got my old battered books signed on my home turf. A moment of squee, there, then.

Obligatory Chris Pine reference: well, I did waste some precious time trawling around Tumblr. He was looking very dashing and being quite funny at the various premieres and promo interviews, more funny and dashing than he’s been in a while. So I was happy. The faux Victorian/Edwardian suit he wore at the LA premiere gave me the vapours, and I liked the pinstripe, too, though I still can’t see a pinstripe suit like that without going to the G Addams place (which isn’t a bad place as far as I’m concerned but probably not what he was shooting for). In any case, I wasn’t short of Pine pics for ogling over.

I was very lazy (or completely burnt out, take your pick) but Sunday did prove to be the premium washing day, if only for when the neighbourhood cat, who usually gives no fucks, decided he did not like the large shirts blowing and flapping and twisting towards him in the wind with their empty sleeves reaching for him. The unhappy kitty pretty much commando crawled all the way to the safety of under the house. I fell about giggling, so I’m in the doghouse again.

Of course, this means the new evil neighbours must be having a go at him when I’m not there (my yard is usually a sanctuary where all the neighbourhood cats and lizards and birds, etc. come to sun themselves - sometimes it looks like a battlefield with sleeping animals strewn across it) like I know they’ve been having a go at my parrots. Harumph. So yeah, sorry, cat.

That poor much put upon cat. I do not know why he keeps trying to be my cat. One, I’m a dog person. Two, I’m allergic. Three, I’m night blind so I keep tripping over him in the dark, and four, that time I accidentally locked him in the laundry and he’s damn lucky I forgot something that day (I’ve since learnt to check for cats that aren’t mine curled up on the washer before shutting the door). Took him several months to forgive me for that one, and I can’t blame him. Didn’t stop him curling up on the patio seat though, I just got the evil eye as I went past.

Anyway, that was the weekend. Not much pop productive wise, but I got my books signed. That made me happy.

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mockturle06: (Lewis)

So, Melbourne. It was just a week away, me trying to cheer myself up, a consolation prize to myself, because I can’t afford overseas holidays any more.

Also, tiny bit inconvenient, with the family situation and all. You know, that line in Hamlet, ‘When sorrows come, they come not single spies. But in battalions’, I always thought it was over-egging the plot a touch by having misery upon misery, but as my family has taken a turn for the gothic, it really does go like that, I’ve discovered.

Anyway, much like my anglophile trip to NYC (saw James Corden and Andrew Garfield on stage, and an exhibition on Mary Shelley, and I went to the cloisters to see the Lewis chessmen, etc.) I decided to do a faux-euro trip to Melbourne, seeing European art in galleries and sitting in French, Italian and Greek cafes. Catching trams. Stuff I can’t do here.  It sounds stupid and pathetic, and it is, but my Italian colleague gave my valiant attempt the thumbs up for trying, so there’s that.

So I went and saw the Van Gogh exhibition at the NGV. I wanted to see some VVG in Europe, so this would have to do. Maybe that’s why I was disappointed. I mean, I know they usually only send us the stuff they don’t care if it drops into the Indian Ocean, and quite right, too, (irreplaceable plant specimens from France destroyed in Australian quarantine blunder) but this was stuff they didn’t care if it fell down a volcano. Early juvenilia sketches and depressing scenes from when he was locked up in the loony bin. Exciting if you were a scholar, but it really wasn’t…there wasn’t anything to show you why people make a fuss about the man. So I was angry, because it’s crap shows like this that made me take a lifetime to understand why Vincent is considered a big deal. Because these muddy sketches in no way demonstrate it.

Also, it was far too crowded to properly look or consider, as each painting was surrounded by a deep scrum of tourists. Which was also annoying as I’ve had rooms full of Van Gogh to myself overseas (and I have the photos to prove it). Why should I have to pay a mighty fee to be jostled like I’m on my peak-hour bus, all to see a work nowhere near as luminous as the ones I’ve had all to myself to admire overseas?

Ah, well, if it was the bliss of solitary contemplation of great art I was after, I was right in my choice of the Hellenic Museum. The ticket price was off-putting to the same noisy tourists, so I had a room of ancient masterpieces all to myself to swoon over. And swoon I did. It was just a tiny room, with only a handful of statues, cups and the odd bit of bling to consider, but I prefer that, just one piece, one on one, to look, to study, to contemplate. To imagine if this was something the artist laboured over in tears, or something he knocked off before lunch? Ah, there was a lovely old pot I saw once at the Ian Potter museum that had clearly been started before lunch, but finished afterwards, because the careful lines became noticeably wobbly and skewed after a bit. So, that was me, chillin’ with Aphrodite, Paris and Hercules. Loved that.

And I loved the Love exhibition at the NGV. This one was free, uncrowded and full of treasures and delights from the NGV’s Europhile collection. The only time I grew cranky here was my outrage on the part of Aphrodite, whose statue was broken apart and stuck back together with plaster by so-called Edwardian gentlemen to better emulate their fashionable ideas of beauty. Yep, being a goddess wasn’t good enough. So they hacked her to bits and glued her back together like rough-handling Pygmalions. Because blokes.

The other one was my favourite print of Regency era dancers, arms upright and curved, no sharp-angled elbows akimbo like you see so often in period bonnet-pieces. I used to be (still am, a bit) an extreme nerd for that period and it annoys me when they don’t get the details right when it’s so easy to just look at the print and there it is, you can see how they danced, no need to guess.

Yes, you might have noticed that I don’t like huge liberties taken with history. Mainly because it’s just lazy and sloppy, but also because it’s unfair (as I don’t have access to see the real deal, be it costumes, mode or location), and it’s also bloody dangerous (to put misinformation out there).

Especially when folks take most of their history from the screen these days. Not just dangerous, but rude and insulting, too. Like, because America erases Australian forces from every single war film, despite having served alongside American troops for a hundred years, I get ignorant comments from so-called friends like ‘oh, were you guys in WWII?’ and if we hadn’t been on the freeway right then I’d have told her to pull over so I could get out. Harumph.

But enough about that. Back to love, and this exhibition covered it, from the sublime and the pious to the darn silly, filthy, dirty and dangerous, from Pamela (ah, to think I’ll never see the full set of Pamelas) to the cards pointing out the lewd imagery within symbols to cads and trollops and sweet pics of people and their pets. Love in all its forms and guises, good and bad, love gone bad and outright misogyny and yet also innocence and sacrifice. Fashions, flirting and faith. 

It was a small and eclectic collection and I loved it. Again, because it was small and uncrowded I had time to pause and consider, admire and appreciate.

Pausing even more (I’m old, and my knees are gone) in a café crawl across Melbourne, but they have so many, and they’re so nice, and kitted out to an almost but not quite Euro-Disney way, like super concentrated Euro café vibes, but that’s exactly what I wanted and needed. Unfortunately, one is paying for the vibe, because the food was awful, but, as I reminded myself, that was authentic, too (I did break down and go the nasi lemak at the Malaysian café round the corner, on my last day).  Still, I got to curl into various corners with my increasingly battered Rebus book, and order a coffee or three.

Trawling around Fitzroy was a bust. I thought it was because I was doing it sober and in daylight, but the problem was I was doing it years too late. All the cool ugly-beanie people have been priced out (they’re even being shifted/shafted out of Reservoir, so I hear now) and it was all ladies-who-lunch.

Who alas spoiled what had been shaping up to be a good time in a heartfelt parody of a French café, with their reeking perfume and painted faces and they went on and on like the real housewives of Melbourne over whose husband was cheating and/or beating. It was so horrifying it made me happy to be ugly and alone and forget my shameful tears earlier in the week. Good lesson. 

Theatre was ripe, but I’d seen most of the shows already in Sydney, so I saw The Book of Mormon, because it’s supposed to be a big deal. I didn’t mind it. I was just there mainly because I love Melbourne’s old theatres, though I loved it slightly less when the queue for the loo stretched out into the road (male-designed architecture vs women’s anatomy and fashion – discuss).

I had a wildly overpriced cocktail and spotted friends of my happy-clappy rellos sitting in the row in front of me – mutually busted, but oddly I get on better with them than the rellos so it wasn’t as awkward a meeting as it might have been.

That wasn’t the night I ended up in Little Bourke Street, though. Meant to, but decided on a burger and a night in front of the box watching Jude Law instead. Because Jude (and as I was missing him live on stage, watching the SBS screening of Young Pope would have to suffice).

Between Young Pope and Book of Mormon there was a lot of faith-based viewing going on, but there’s no escaping it these days, even if I take it no more seriously than a statue of Hercules. Besides, both kind of offered insights into the psychology of believers, scary and unsound as it appears to me. Sorry, I’m a rational humanist and will be until the day I die.

But anyway, yes, Little Bourke Street, in the rain, with all the neon dragons flickering in the puddles and bike couriers flashing up and down. Yep, totally a Blade Runner vibe there, damn shame I didn’t have my camera on me. The gongbao chicken was pretty great, too, though I had to settle for Tsing Tao to wash it down with.

Ah yes, my great White Rabbit crawl across Melbourne. I just cannot get dark ale in Sydney. They sell me these funky pale ales that always taste like possum pee. I lurve White Rabbit. They had it at Jackson and Young, in Chloe’s bar, where the famous/infamous painting of Chloe resides. It’s a landmark. It’s a lovely pub, too. Shabby genteel.

I also popped into the Melbourne Museum to see the WWI: Love & Sorrow exhibition. This was so distressing, and I was still fuming over Patty Jenkins’ comments about no-one knowing about WWI.  She meant Americans, though, as Mechad explained at the con, they don’t do remembrances there (he’d seen an ANZAC day service and was still affected). We do two a year, once on ANZAC day (25 April) when we wear rosemary for remembrance, lest we forget, and once on Armistice Day (11 November) when we wear poppies. We will remember them.

So I get there and there’s a packet of tiny souvenir playing cards like my Great Uncle had. I just reeled on from that, past the photos, drawings and casts of men without limbs and faces missing, past the letter from a child to her daddy, and the telegram that arrived instead, past the story of the soldier who came home, drank and beat his wife, then drowned himself. Past the wife who sent baby shoes to her husband from their newborn son, only to have them returned, unopened. Past the mother who waited two years to find out what happened to her son who was MIA, and when finally told he’d been blown to bits, drowned herself in the dam on the family farm. Past the mower that belonged to a blind soldier, who tended his garden by way of guide lines.

We remember them. I don’t know what the Americans do. Make cute adventure films sans ANZACs, I should guess.

So then I rambled about through the anatomy wing, where there were cases upon cases of 18th and 19th century bone saws, which is why most people (unless you make American movies) know that’s where the slang term ‘sawbones’ comes from.

Also hit the dinosaurs (just casts, but they’re always visually so cool) and the geology section (I’m from a family of geologists so I still know my igneous from my metamorphic). Zipped through the ocean and wilderness sections, because it was too much like work (my brain started pulling up work files, so no).

Café trawl was ok, I found a few nooks to hide in, and most made an effort with atmosphere. Weirdly, almost entirely staffed by French waiters, to add to the authenticity of the experience. I don’t know what France is doing for waiters. Maybe they’re all Australian? I never did get back to the café that had the absinthe, though, damn.

The con was more fun than I was expecting. Caught the 57 tram out to the showgrounds every day, past delightful but soon to be demolished heritage buildings, and Jude Law glaring at me from various posters, just to remind me I didn’t go see him in London. It wasn’t at all as bad as the set up in Sydney or that awful one at the Gold Coast, so I zipped from building to building, using and abusing the priority pass I’d bought (just because I thought I’d be way more concussed than I was) so I didn’t have to queue quite so much. There was still queueing though.

Ok, highlights: Me, making Tom Hopper nearly cry by questioning Billy’s actions in the last couple of seasons of Black Sails. Billy’s been hurt and betrayed by those he trusted most, poor wee orphan, and I ought to know that. Consider myself told. Pretty young Mr Hopper also seemed confused why his costumes never included sleeves. I didn’t burst his bubble on that one.

Natalie Dormer revealed herself to be a hardcore history nerd and passionate advocate for Anne Boleyn (all those uncharacteristic talky bits in the Tudors were her idea). So I kind of love her now.

Mehcad Brooks was a total sweetie, talking to all his fans at eye-level, and being very gentle with the tweenie Supergirl fans. It sounds creepy but it was really just him being a really nice guy. Cory Michael Smith from Gotham just about ran off with my passport, because he wouldn’t, couldn’t believe it. And the pic I got with Lee Majors was as awful as always, but the squee going on there could power my laptop for several hours (childhood hero). Besides, he’s pretty much the last of the TV cowboys (Big Valley) and, you know, living history. I honestly didn’t mind him letting a little light onto the magic of my childhood shows. As always, the never meet your heroes edict applied to Buffy more than any other show I’ve ever been a fan of (besides Trek in its many incarnations) but there always has to be one.

Oh and the swishy dress with the huge petticoats I bought on a whim was worth it for the smile it evoked from young Mr Mitchell. Well, that and he was desperate for a signing. That, too, but, oh, such a smile. I shall remember that smile.

That was Melbourne: food, coffee, history and squee.

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mockturle06: (Sherlock)

Anyhoo, the exhibitions. First stop was Nude at the Art Gallery of NSW (and stop sniggering up the back). That was okay. Actually, I kinda loved it, the first few rooms anyway because it had a few nice pieces from the Tate (it was all from the Tate) , including a few I confused myself as having seen recently before remembering, oh yeah, back in ’15, in situ. Love the lush high Victoriana. I know it’s uncool, but I can’t help myself. I love a fine bit of vaguely homoerotic classicism on a summer’s day. I love a Fred Leighton (Have you seen his house? If that’s the house, imagine what the parties must have been like?).

Then we moved onto Modernism, and that was pretty cool, too (though you have to ignore the cultural misappropriation of all that African and Islander imagery). Abstraction, not so much. Here, women are just reduced to the Republican ideal of a woman: all fanny and no head (see also that Chris Pine photo, tsk).

Finally got to see The Kiss, and that was a bit meh, mainly because they had it positioned wrong and the proportions were all off. And I did snigger, at the David Hockney, which was such a bad look, because I do really love them, but the line drawings of the blond and the brunette in bed with their 1966 aesthetic was so much like a certain tumblr feed o’mine I couldn’t help myself, dammit. So much like that series of Academy drawings I can’t even.

Also got to see some OMFG surviving examples of Turner’s hardcore hand drawn porn. Oh, to have seen Ruskin, the world’s greatest prude, discovering his worshipped hero’s secret smut stash of shame, oh, to have seen his little face, heh heh heh.

The modern stuff was meh meh meh, though I did finally see a Freud I didn’t loathe, and they had Bacon.

Also popped in to Manifesto again (with all the angry Cates), and then a small room of Japanese art, containing a wall of blinking numbers by Tatsuo Miyajima, which had me entranced.

So it was over to the MCA for the Tatsuo Miyajima exhibition, which was quite wonderful. Who knew you could make numbers so pretty, or mean so much, or nothing. Loved the goldfish pond one, and the rooms of blue and red. The train set with the coal was upsetting though.

more: The Canberra Exhibition Expedition )
mockturle06: (Avengers)

Just back from Melbourne. My first trip anywhere in a year, so that was special. Less special was the state I was in (food poisoning with virulent rash, worst camps ever, coming down with flu) but somehow I made it through the working day, made it onto the train to the airport, made it onto the plane, made it onto the bus, and the other bus, and finally the very lovely hotel with the soft fluffy robe, squishy bed and stacks of T2 tea. Oh yes, it did very nicely.

So I was right to pay up for a nice hotel room. This is how one survives travelling while unwell – a little bit of comfort.

Saturday it was up…just a few minutes more…up…just a few minutes more…well, I eventually wrenched myself out of bed and soft fluffy robe and staggered out into the bracing winter air of Flinders Street to wobble my way down Collins to spencer St, where I found the charming 1932 Café open, as Art Deco as. Here I feasted (made a pig of myself) on the veggie breakfast (I’d have taken a photo but I was too busy eating, due to an ick factor I’d not eaten/kept anything down in days). Delish.

Ok, yeah, there was an ick factor later but that was the evil hormones (still giving me grief). Kicking in so hard I had to give up my planned round of the shops and race back to soft bed and soft rob and lie down and go urgh for a couple of hours until I braved the world again.

I’d not been idle though – I’d picked up a What’s On mag and had identified the likely location of the poster of Greek pots I’d seen while circling the city multiple times on the hotel transfer bus. Turns out it was Gods, Myths and Mortals at the Hellenic Museum , and it, I think was my favourite. They should have called it Bad Boys, because we started with some stunning statues of Herakles and Paris, and ended up with a painting of Byron, no less. Troublesome lads, to a man. It was very small, only a few rooms, but each piece was a cracker, and I had the place to myself, so I could study every piece in quiet, meditative detail, without being jostled by a busload of tourists like at a large European gallery. Lovely.

Next up it was a walk down the street to Inspiration by Design: Word and Image from the Victoria and Albert Museum at the State Library Victoria which I’d been looking forward to, but I think I was a bit tired, and upset over losing my glasses, so it wasn’t as wonderful as I’d hoped. Also crowded.

The glasses, oh yes, on my way back to the hotel I’d lost my reading and sun glasses, expensive prescriptions all, so I was very upset with myself and buying a new bag, while blaming the old one and it’s lack of zips, didn’t help, nor did the chai tea.

Anyway, tram up the hill to the exhibition at the Ian Potter Museum of Art (as opposed to the other Ian Potter art gallery) and more old pots (what I will put myself through for a peek at an old pot, eh?). Anyways, some really nice pieces, again, all to myself, again. Very much a gentlemen’s collection of ephemera, but I liked it.

Then it was a quick stop in the nearby garden and I finally contact my friend who says they’ll be picking me up in an hour so it’s on a tram! And another tram! Which stops, turns, and goes back so off the tram! And run! And change! And Phew!

We ended up, eventually, after a car ride that felt like three hours but must have been minutes as we were only going as far as Fitzroy, in this Asian Fusion joint with many lanterns called Rice Queen. After more back and forth the banquet was finally decided upon, which I enjoyed immensely, the parade of mystery dishes, all delicious, including Korean fried chicken (the best) and the Earl Grey infused gin cocktails, which I kept lining up. I’m sure they think I’m a lush but I needed some nerves deadened and it worked a treat (I have also discovered a Hogarthian Darwinian inheritance which means I can put away buckets of gin with no ill effects whatsoever. Yay).

After dinner we walked the wild crazy, colourful streets of Fitzroy at night, I bought the most outlandish shirt of primary coloured parasol print ever, and ended up in an ice cream shop with one of the guys from Real Life. Melbourne enough for ya? The ice-cream was delish too, an Argentinian caramel.  

The next day, ok, yes I sleep in a bit long but I had the blast curtains closed, and anyway, I could see the NGV from my hotel. Off I trotted to see the main attractions: Exquisite Threads English Embroidery 1600s–1900s which had enough sprigged muslin to fetch Mr Tilney all a quiver. Then Medieval Moderns: The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhoodmy boys, my boys, my beautiful boys. The PRB, the original bad boys punks, givers of gloriously twee paintings and lurid wallpaper, but I love them so. It was mainly prints and studies, but I saw a few new pieces, and I’m always happy to see my beloved, actual red flag waving socialist, William Morris so enshrined.  

Funnily enough, later, at dinner, they plated Roxy Music’s Avalon, because I hadn’t had enough Arthurian themes for the day – grin.

Last, and sadly possibly least and they didn’t have all the cool stuff out that they used to, was Nordic Cool: Modernist Design: From the NGV Collection but it was still pretty cool and I love me some mid fab 20thC gear (especially as I was still all a jingle jangle from seeing the very promising Man From UNCLE trailer).

Then it was a quick trot back to the hotel to change into the exquisite Art Deco-esque cloak I’d bought (more than pushed into the purchase by watching Phryne on IView and the Art Deco gowns in the V&A exhibition at the NGV) and up Spring Street (huff huff huff) to sip luridly pink cocktails in the bar at the Princess Theatre to see Anything Goes.

Well, original book by Wodehouse, songs by Cole Porter, you knew I would. I must. I did. Aside from the couple we were all hoping would go home and finish their domestic, it was brilliant. Very, very silly (pure Wodehouse, even though it’s been so re-written) and, well, I never knew how much I’d wanted to see a tap-dancing chorus line of sailors, but apparently I did, and I’m so very pleased I have now done so. Tick.

So that was great. (Later I was describing how they finished with the Chinese version of Anything Goes, like from Temple of Doom, which Himself dismissed with a withering, shrugging critique of ‘Short Black, Flat White, whatever he was called’). Snort.

Then dinner, not at my favourite Chinese (still roiling from my other favourite Chinese) so I went to this Thai fusion place, where they played Roxy Music, ordered the specials (char-grilled king prawns in red curry, mandarin sorbet), rolled back down Spring St.

Last day and breakfast in my favourite café, then six and a half hours to get home, only one of them on the plane. Grrr. I tell ya, I was bearing up on every challenge thrown at me, until I got back to Sydney. I’d even found my glasses, hooked to the back of my jumper, of all places (but phew). But then Sydney. Defeated, again, ground down and smeared like paste. That’s Sydney.

mockturle06: (Avengers)

Still on Russians, apparently, I went to see the Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Yes, the reviews have been poor, but as I’d been watching the Girl From U.N.C.L.E. the only way was up, oh dear, yes. And I was a properly official and ticketed card carrying fan. Why, I still have an old Man From U.N.C.L.E. car sitting atop my bookshelf, next to the Tardis.

So, off I went. It wasn’t too bad. Not at all. It ticked the Man From U.N.C.L.E. trope boxes: camp villain, ex-Nazis, some ‘innocent’ they co-opt into their adventures (more often than not, not so innocent) and the exotic locales (for reals this time) and even near as dammit a volcano lair.

What really amused me though was it seemed Guy Ritchie wanted to make a 60s film, got the rights to Man From U.N.C.L.E., but, to these eyes, seems to have made a massive love letter to ITC. It was so very, very The Protectors, The Saint, The Thunderbirds, Callan, The Persuaders, Department S and Danger Five. So very Danger Five. So Danger Five I was disappointed when the swarthy villain didn’t die with the words ‘two parts vermouth’ on his lips. Nor did Mr Waverley fetch the sit-down gun. But it did have Nazis and euro-tropes, so I think my Danger Five comparison is more than valid. (Oh, and I’ve not seen the Sandbaggers for years, but maybe a bit of that, too).

Anyhoo, quite unfairly, since it was evoking my ITC tropes so hard, I was mildly annoyed there wasn’t speed boat chase down the Venice canals, or fights atop alpine cable cars, but that’s just me, perhaps going a little too far with the flow (did I mention I was in Gold Glass and had ordered a couple of glasses of an Italian red, because Man From U.N.C.L.E.).

As for the boys, don’t mind ‘em, bit of a fan, though in truth I’ve mainly worked my way through their back catalogues on planes. As for the romance, and I’m talking the boys here, well, I’m wondering what they were trying to do here, I mean, it was so obvious I’m not sure if I was supposed to be offended and laugh like it was some off-colour joke or wait for a happy announcement.

Still, despite thinking it was being played cruelly for laughs, as per both Sherlocks, by bully writers, I found it rather sweet. Certainly the rather sociopathic Solo (who seemed much more Neal Caffrey than Napoleon Solo, and yes, that bothered me) seemed to find himself surprised that he was fond of Illya, and the saving of Illya from drowning, not to mention the gift of the watch when Illya had come to kill him, they weren’t just literally disarming scenes but the biggest most purple pieces of romance I’ve seen on screen all year. Hell, I’ve sat through four to five series supposedly hetero couples and seen way less romance than that. Swoon, in other words.

And what’s with making Illya a psycho all of a sudden? Not happy about that. Yes, he used to be callous and strange, but he was being played by a Scot – grin. (Have you ever seen McCallum in any of his 50s films like Violent Playground? I suspect Guy Ritchie has). So I can see where they fetched the idea from, but I’m not happy. Bit of a trope and exactly the sort of thing my younger fan-ficcy self would have written, so I sneer on it a bit now (not that I ever write now, nor did I ever write well, which is why I sniff at anything that whiffs of something I might have written, as in not good and extremely amateurish and obvious).

But overall, yes, the standard Man From U.N.C.L.E. plot didn’t quite stretch to movie-length size, but it looked good, the guys were cute and well cast (well, they didn’t cast The Rock as Napoleon, so anything other than that is a bargain, in my shattered by shocking casting opinion) and I’m not too fussed about getting The Protectors served up instead of Man From U.N.C.L.E.. Not really. Maybe the nazi dinosaurs will show up in the sequel?

Then I went to see the V&A Julia Margaret Cameron exhibition at the gallery. She of the wistfully high Victoriana photos. Lots of people posing in drapery. It was all very, very Pre-Raphaelite, and hardly surprising as a Rossetti (not Dante or Christina) popped up, as did Tennyson. In fact the photos for Tennyson’s Idylls of the King were very, very like drawings by Rossetti, and I’m not just saying illustrating the same scene in the same poem the same, but the exact same costumes and poses, including that rather unique and exotic helm. It made me think anyways. Not the curators, though, who couldn’t even tell there were two different coloured roses in one photo, or seemed vaguely aware of the different processing techniques. Ah, well, just look at the pretty pictures.

So I did, and I enjoyed it.

It’s fun, running away early/on-time and instead of sweating for hours in unpaid overtime, seeing some art, or the Man From U.N.C.L.E.

It’s been a while. A year in fact, since the great retrenchment. I figured I needed to, I don’t know, celebrate, ease of the pedal a bit, just for a bit (though the larger part of me always thinks knows that the moment I relax for a second, that’s when they’ll get me. Because they do. They did).

mockturle06: merlin in a hat (Default)

Of course, if there had to be one kookaburra with a sweet tooth, he’d end up in my yard. We have been rinsing the dregs of honey and jam jars out for the lorikeets (who usually aren’t that appreciative, to be honest), but the day Himself put out the left over icing, well, somebody went nuts for it.

Now, whenever I’m in the garden, I hear the low trill of a kookaburra letting me know he’s nearby and waiting. Oh dear.

The other poor animal I’ve ruined is the little scalped lorikeet. I’m not sure how he ended up so thoroughly scalped, but scalped he was, but aside from that he seems fine and happy, it’s even growing back, a little, at the back, like an odd bright blue mohawk. The only changes to that wee critter is that he’s tamer and fatter than his brethren, because somebody was all sooky with him when he really did look quite dreadful.

Parrots come and go, the table service is never to their satisfaction, but I did see a bearded dragon sunning itself by the banks of the river on the way to the theatre.

It was supposed to be a wet weekend, as advertised, when I booked my tickets, but no, the most perfect day for weeding ever (and I’d already been rebuked over the grass in the front yard so it needed doing). Ah, well. I did see a Globe screening of Antony and Cleopatra, or Clony, as I kept calling them, and it was fabby.  I know some folks take issue with all the romping and cavorting at the Globe, but I’d rather that than some of the dread earnest pieces I’ve sat through. Himself didn’t snore, which I take to a solid indicator of entertainment value.

It’s really Cleopatra’s story, from start to finish, which is probably why you don’t see it performed a lot, and never in film (not properly), and I liked the human moments taking precedent over the big off-stage battles (lack of CGI FX means ye olde playwright had to actually develop character – discuss) and I still such a Shakespeare fan. He writes the best roles for women.

The other great play with a strong woman demanding and taking centre stage was Venus in Fur at the Darlinghurst Theatre, and this I loved. I’d not been to the Darlinghurst Theatre before (though it’s closer to work than the Belvoir) and it was a lovely little theatre, with the nicest front of house staff (the guy who made my cocktail, yes, they had Venus in Fur cocktails and I’d had a day, also took my ticket and asked how I’d enjoyed the drink – I like that attention to detail).

Before that they’d had a dinner deal with a nearby restaurant that I signed on for out of expediency (figuring I’d not have time to wander the streets aimlessly, nor did I) and it was a bit meh, and omfg, that loud, loud drunk lady at the next table you could hear from the street, but the food was nice, and if you ever want to pretend you’re in an episode of Number 96, then I’d recommend it. But it very much added to the flavour of the evening.

Anyways, I’d wanted to see the play, having read about it performing elsewhere, and from what I’d seen and read, this appeared to be a very faithful staging, and that’s exactly what I wanted. And it was good, the acting was great, fantastic, and even though I could see where it was going a mile off, and the sex games seemed to rather overdo the whole discussion of gender roles, I did like it. Very much so.

I’ve also seen the Belvoir’s Seventeen, it of the viral Twitter campaign that managed to secure the rights to a Taylor Swift song – and it was worth it, the dance was hilarious. What was Seventeen? Well, it wasn’t complex, it wasn’t deep, and yet it was. It was a cast of older actors playing teenagers, getting drunk, dropping truth bombs. That was it, pretty much, but it’s simplicity, it’s joy, it’s sadness, it was a delight.

Thus proving, dear Belvoir, that not everything has to be avant-garde, enfant terrible, obtuse, abstract and just plain awful to be art. A simple tale, well told and well acted, is a thousand times more memorable and enjoyable.

But you know me, I go to the theatre to be entertained, not lectured to, so I’m weird that way.

Which is probably why I didn’t enjoy NT Live’s Everyman that much, as it was, well, a morality play, so it was nothing but lecture, but honestly, it was a bit 80s, no, make that way too much 80s, and the synchronised coke snorting, well, yes. I’m surprised nobody was wearing red braces. So yes, it was big on the Christian themes, but to be honest, the whole ‘don’t be a dick’ thing is very Aristolean, and while I’m totally on board with that, there was just too much gold and fluro for me to cope with. Also, Himself snored all the way through, so that’s a low score on the snore index.

I did enjoy NT Live’s Man and Superman though, just to be difficult, as it was nothing but lectures about morality and gender roles, but as I’m a massive Shaw fan, and it was Ralph Fiennes at the height of his powers, it was just so bloody wonderful. I loved every minute of it (alas, it suffered a middling score on the snore index).

And am I right in thinking the devil in Man and Superman was far more entertaining, and thoughtfully provocative than god in Everyman. It must be true what they say, the devil really does get the best lines – grin.

Less concerned with gran themes, but still on redemption and what it is to be a good man (or good dog/cat) was Brendan Cowell’s The Dog and The Cat at the Belvoir. This was downstairs in the broom closet and so I was lucky to get tickets because it was so very wickedly funny.  Oh so Sydney and very autographical, Brendan even castigates himself in the script as only being able to write what he knows, but what he does write is so acutely observed for all its absurdity. Brendan is a funny, funny man, and stamps his works so completely that even when the male lead is being played by someone else (here and in the film he’s got out) you’re still watching Brendan Cowell. And I don’t have a problem with that.

I also went to see Of Mice and Men at the Seymour Centre, mainly because I’d missed the NT Live screening of the Broadway production, and it was niggling at me and so off I went. And, oh my, that was a night. Firstly, I walked there because I thought I ought, and it was a lovely evening, and then they had mulled cider for sale, which made me very merry indeed, and I’m kind of fond of the Seymour, even though it still screams university property (there are so few English speaking students now the drama club has folded).

Anyways, what a production. Even though I vaguely knew the plot (spoilers) and it was very much foreshadowed with the mouse and the dog, it was such a tight twisting turn to the very end, and it such a small stage, it was magnificent. So visceral and raw, so simple in setting and telling. There was a review about casting the perfect old dog for the first act, and they had – either the reviewer went the night I did or audience members sob into their scarves every night. Whoops, spoilers.

So, yes, the cast was amazing, right down to the dog, and Sport For Jove always do amazing, faithful, versions. (Honestly, you don’t need fluoro lights to zing up a play, you just need smashing actors). Loved it.

In fact, I’ve enjoyed this year. I missed out on the usual subscriptions, but I like it better this way. Instead of having to bundle shockingly awful plays with the good ones I’m instead picking and choosing what I want to see from all over the place.

Which is why I went to see the Bell Shakespeare Company’s Hamlet down in Melbourne.

Because Josh.

I’d never been further than the foyer of the Melbourne Arts Centre before, and let me tell you, the fake brass and fake red velvet go all the way down, well, until you go even further down and then it’s wall to wall aubergine and steel. It looks like a large suburban RSL (oh dear). The effect was to have me quaffing a large glass of red even though my recent heightened allergies make such an action questionable in the extreme. Fortunately, no such after effects, and my seat, purchased only a fortnight before, wasn’t that good, but, ah, the play’s the thing.

I heard grumblings on the way out (and I wasn’t with Himself but still somehow expected to elbow the snorer beside me, a complete stranger), but I loved it. I liked the vaguely modern, vaguely not indeterminate setting, I loved the rather obvious references to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, and I loved Josh. Josh McConville, best Hamlet I’ve seen yet. Angrier than Tennant, more present than Law, even better than, yes, way better than Schmitz. My boy Josh, he kept it real.

So, yes, I was down in Melbourne. Again. Because Bowie.

Yes, the V&A David Bowie Is exhibition, or some of it, at least, had made it as far as Melbourne, and oh yes, another pilgrimage was called for. Demanded.

So off I set, to the Friday night session (having been up since ye gods early in the am and still having to wait three hours for my flight so it paid to be prudent) in a special occasion dress I’d bought that afternoon (because there was no morning in Melbourne, grumble) to wait in the Bowie bar. This was my plan. As they had timed tickets I figured I go the night they had the bar going, hoping it be more fun and mean no pram – yes and yes. In fact the bar, which I think they were hoping to be a sophisticated affair, devolved into a school disco by the end of the evening. Best ever. Still, Bowie, I hope, would have enjoyed the crowds as just about everyone had carefully curated their outfits and there were some amazing looks –outstanding. So waiting in the bar was definitely a great entrée to the night (not an American entrée, because that just makes no sense).

And I did enjoy myself. Not quite the same as seeing it the first time, in London, but the wine buzz was happening, the crowd way way, way, way groovier and friendlier, and they only thing that made my smile turn upside down was how small it was (two rooms as opposed to the V&A labyrinth) and how ACMI had insisted on organising it objectively rather than subjectively, as Australian museums will insist on doing, so it lost all context, and it a Bowie show, that’s just so not right, as the original show took in the many ages, phases and faces of Bowie as he changed from one creation to the next, lived one moment to the next, and it was like a journey, An odyssey.

Here instead we had all the lyrics in one cabinet, so you couldn’t watch and sign along with the video, while admiring the video costume and album cover work.  Nope, costumes all against one wall, so Ashes to Ashes was standing shoulder to shoulder with Life on Mars, and all the videos wee against the other, on a loop so you couldn’t see them all, ditto the films.

So that was a touch annoying and disappointing, as discovering he’d actually written down the ‘beep beeps’ and singing along to Starman had been highlights before. But the crowd was fun, the bar was fun, and I did really enjoy myself, more than I feared I would, second time around.

So there I was, walking back with my Bowie bag of loot (exit, through the gift shop), like a salmon swimming upstream against the be-scarved hordes of the football stadium which had just got out (no idea, Victorian teams are more foreign to me than UK teams). But the hotel was close (my favourite, I even had the same room) and they had cheese toasties on the late night menu so I sat at the bar devouring that, and then everyone came in and ordered one (my, I was popular for that one, as the night-kitchen wasn’t prepared to make a dozen, all at once).

A grand night out. It truly was. I’m so glad I went.

And if you don’t know by now I’m a mad keen Bowie fan, well. Not that I have the albums. I bought one, once, as a kid (I never had pocket money but my Dad taught me to pick up loose change in the lane behind the pub and I managed a nice little nest egg, let me tell you) and was dragged by my ear back to the shop by the auld harpy and made to exchange it for a lesser work by lesser artists (let’s not compare the prices on ebay, lest I get my blood pressure up again). But yeah, going to the Bowie exhibition is always a revel in what I enjoy, illicitly enjoy, and a big FU to the auld harpy, so win/win all round, in my book. And I had fun, real, proper fun.

Ah, but it wasn’t all Bowie and the Bard. Oh no. The other big ticket item on the agenda was catching the tram out to Rippon Lea, a grand old estate, and going to the Phryne Fisher exhibition. That was also big fun. Once again, Melbourne did itself proud. The front of house staff were so very friendly and helpful (unlike the National Trust nazi I was accosted by up here) and Rippon Lea is the best and the exhibition was so much fun. Not just room after wonderful room of fabulous costumes from the series, but they’d also set up a murder mystery, with clues and props hidden in every room. Groups were going through in costume! Ah, Melbourne, so not Sydney (and thus all that it needs to be). That was so much fun. I went around twice, once to ogle the costumes and once to solve the mystery.

Then I had tea and sandwiches in the shed/stables, which looked like it had been set decorated especially for the exhibition, and then a wander around the grounds in the wintery sun (when the sun vanished it was colder than Glamis castle in the snow, I kid you not). That was also quite nice. I saw spring blossoms and ducklings.

I also stumbled across a book fair, featuring every book I’ve ever wanted (oh dear, lugged back a suitcase full of books) and I took in the wartime art exhibition, which featured emotional blackmailing WWI posters, even stranger WWII filmed propaganda, embroidery from Changi and a tracing of the nose cone of Enola Gay. All very strange, horrible, funny and moving. Yes, funny, the small sculpture of the two American sailors rolling drunk was a lark.

So that was my trip to Melbs. Magnificent moments from start to finish. Even a walk through a mad Blade Runner-esque art nouveau laneway in the rain was magical.

Couldn’t live there, though. I’m worried the wonderful would become ordinary. Can’t have that. I need somewhere to runaway to (somewhere that isn’t Adelaide).

More Sydney theatre in the form of the STC’s The Present. Check out the cast: Cate Blanchett, Richard Roxburgh, Toby Schmitz, Eamon Farren, Jacqueline McKenzie–on stage, all at the same time! Well, mostly, you know.

And it was great, very, wickedly funny, even if it was a bunch of bored middle-class white folks bitching and moaning and waving guns around – because it’s Chekhov. Someone always waves a gun around during Chekhov. By heck, Toby even grabbed a guitar and sang A New England (one of my so very favourite songs) for reasons not entirely clear but not caring. (A thought occurs, if Toby’s here, should I expect Black Sails spoilers?).

Richard, as ever, was in his element with the drunk acting and aging lothario bit (basically, as the Herald rightly observed, turning Rake up to eleven), Cate ran from bored to brittle to wild and back again, and Eamon’s eye rolls could be seen from the back row (where I was, or near enough). 

On the snore index, high marks indeed (i.e. no snoring, and guffaws, even).

Also, there was a Q&A with the cast, alas high-jacked by budding actors putting themselves forward 9the bane of all Q&As) but still pretty interesting (and Richard was taking this performance very seriously, whereas others he’s been more light-hearted in the Q&As). Cate meanwhile singled out a member of the audience for their particular laughter (oh, she’s a wicked one).

And still more, the sponsors threw on a soiree so there were packets of gooey macarons (due to my dear coat’s  capacious pockets I ‘accidentally’ acquired two packets), nibbles including sliders to die for and goat cheese tarts and free drinks, oh man, the drinks – they kept refilling my glass (at least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it).  That was dinner (and morning tea).

A grand night out indeed. And I didn’t spill anything down my beloved green spotty dress. Yay.

Reading? A couple of Rebus novels in-between my harder going tomes. Just dragged myself through through the Divine Comedy, and now onto Scott’s Waverly. I was hoping it’d be at least a bit Outlandery, as it seems to share an awful lot of similarities in plot, but I tell ya, if it doesn’t kick off soon I’m going to lose my patience with it (never mind the misogynistic intro by some puckered old Oxford queen, I mean don, who railed against female novelists of the 19th century, including St Jane, while praising Scott; a very shaky premise imo on what I’ve struggled through so far).

Telly? Enjoying Humans at the moment. Colin Morgan notwithstanding, I just like the slow burn plot. Lots of interesting ideas and philosophies are woven through the narrative without being particularly shrill (like Doctor Who tends to be these days, yes, I said it).

Ditto loving Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. I know it wasn’t well received but I like it very much. It reminds me entirely of the creepy, weird and off-kilter British shows I used to watch as a kid in the 70s (usually featuring those harbingers of doom, morris dancers). So I like it, I really do. I think the actor playing Jonathan Strange should be the next Doctor, and I just love the weird.

Penny Dreadful, of course, continues to be a lurid dark fairy tale, and I’ve no problem with that (I even ended up watching the League of Extraordinary Gentleman, my other dose of Rox this week).

mockturle06: (Avengers)

Just back from Melbourne. My first trip anywhere in a year, so that was special. Less special was the state I was in (food poisoning with virulent rash, worst camps ever, coming down with flu) but somehow I made it through the working day, made it onto the train to the airport, made it onto the plane, made it onto the bus, and the other bus, and finally the very lovely hotel with the soft fluffy robe, squishy bed and stacks of T2 tea. Oh yes, it did very nicely.

So I was right to pay up for a nice hotel room. This is how one survives travelling while unwell – a little bit of comfort.

Saturday it was up…just a few minutes more…up…just a few minutes more…well, I eventually wrenched myself out of bed and soft fluffy robe and staggered out into the bracing winter air of Flinders Street to wobble my way down Collins to spencer St, where I found the charming 1932 Café open, as Art Deco as. Here I feasted (made a pig of myself) on the veggie breakfast (I’d have taken a photo but I was too busy eating, due to an ick factor I’d not eaten/kept anything down in days). Delish.

Ok, yeah, there was an ick factor later but that was the evil hormones (still giving me grief). Kicking in so hard I had to give up my planned round of the shops and race back to soft bed and soft rob and lie down and go urgh for a couple of hours until I braved the world again.

I’d not been idle though – I’d picked up a What’s On mag and had identified the likely location of the poster of Greek pots I’d seen while circling the city multiple times on the hotel transfer bus. Turns out it was Gods, Myths and Mortals at the Hellenic Museum , and it, I think was my favourite. They should have called it Bad Boys, because we started with some stunning statues of Herakles and Paris, and ended up with a painting of Byron, no less. Troublesome lads, to a man. It was very small, only a few rooms, but each piece was a cracker, and I had the place to myself, so I could study every piece in quiet, meditative detail, without being jostled by a busload of tourists like at a large European gallery. Lovely.

Next up it was a walk down the street to Inspiration by Design: Word and Image from the Victoria and Albert Museum at the State Library Victoria which I’d been looking forward to, but I think I was a bit tired, and upset over losing my glasses, so it wasn’t as wonderful as I’d hoped. Also crowded.

The glasses, oh yes, on my way back to the hotel I’d lost my reading and sun glasses, expensive prescriptions all, so I was very upset with myself and buying a new bag, while blaming the old one and it’s lack of zips, didn’t help, nor did the chai tea.

Anyway, tram up the hill to the exhibition at the Ian Potter Museum of Art (as opposed to the other Ian Potter art gallery) and more old pots (what I will put myself through for a peek at an old pot, eh?). Anyways, some really nice pieces, again, all to myself, again. Very much a gentlemen’s collection of ephemera, but I liked it.

Then it was a quick stop in the nearby garden and I finally contact my friend who says they’ll be picking me up in an hour so it’s on a tram! And another tram! Which stops, turns, and goes back so off the tram! And run! And change! And Phew!

We ended up, eventually, after a car ride that felt like three hours but must have been minutes as we were only going as far as Fitzroy, in this Asian Fusion joint with many lanterns called Rice Queen. After more back and forth the banquet was finally decided upon, which I enjoyed immensely, the parade of mystery dishes, all delicious, including Korean fried chicken (the best) and the Earl Grey infused gin cocktails, which I kept lining up. I’m sure they think I’m a lush but I needed some nerves deadened and it worked a treat (I have also discovered a Hogarthian Darwinian inheritance which means I can put away buckets of gin with no ill effects whatsoever. Yay).

After dinner we walked the wild crazy, colourful streets of Fitzroy at night, I bought the most outlandish shirt of primary coloured parasol print ever, and ended up in an ice cream shop with one of the guys from Real Life. Melbourne enough for ya? The ice-cream was delish too, an Argentinian caramel.

The next day, ok, yes I sleep in a bit long but I had the blast curtains closed, and anyway, I could see the NGV from my hotel. Off I trotted to see the main attractions: Exquisite Threads English Embroidery 1600s–1900s which had enough sprigged muslin to fetch Mr Tilney all a quiver. Then Medieval Moderns: The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhoodmy boys, my boys, my beautiful boys. The PRB, the original bad boys punks, givers of gloriously twee paintings and lurid wallpaper, but I love them so. It was mainly prints and studies, but I saw a few new pieces, and I’m always happy to see my beloved, actual red flag waving socialist, William Morris so enshrined.

Funnily enough, later, at dinner, they played Roxy Music’s Avalon, because I hadn’t had enough Arthurian themes for the day – grin.

Last, and sadly possibly least and they didn’t have all the cool stuff out that they used to, was Nordic Cool: Modernist Design: From the NGV Collection but it was still pretty cool and I love me some mid fab 20thC gear (especially as I was still all a jingle jangle from seeing the very promising Man From UNCLE trailer).

Then it was a quick trot back to the hotel to change into the exquisite Art Deco-esque cloak I’d bought (more than pushed into the purchase by watching Phryne on IView and the Art Deco gowns in the V&A exhibition at the NGV) and up Spring Street (huff huff huff) to sip luridly pink cocktails in the bar at the Princess Theatre to see Anything Goes.

Well, original book by Wodehouse, songs by Cole Porter, you knew I would. I must. I did. Aside from the couple we were all hoping would go home and finish their domestic, it was brilliant. Very, very silly (pure Wodehouse, even though it’s been so re-written) and, well, I never knew how much I’d wanted to see a tap-dancing chorus line of sailors, but apparently I did, and I’m so very pleased I have now done so. Tick.

So that was great. (Later I was describing how they finished with the Chinese version of Anything Goes, like from Temple of Doom, which Himself dismissed with a withering, shrugging critique of ‘Short Black, Flat White, whatever he was called’). Snort.

Then dinner, not at my favourite Chinese (still roiling from my other favourite Chinese) so I went to this Thai fusion place, where they played Roxy Music and Bowie, ordered the specials (char-grilled king prawns in red curry, mandarin sorbet), rolled back down Spring St, past the Burns statue.

Man, Melburnians are no respecter of the little green man, as I nearly had my arse taken off again crossing the road, on the lights. Sheesh. To drive far more aggressively than your average Sydneysider is a sure sign you’ve got problems, buddy. Deep, deep problems.

That was the only thing that bothered me about Melbourne. Well, that and the feeling that the whole trip was a test of some kind. I lost my glasses case, with my very expensive glasses inside, only to find them a day and a half later (In the place I’d looked, half a dozen times). Then the lock on my luggage jammed up completely and after jiggling, twisting, begging and pleading with it to no avail I’d made a hot cup of tea and rehearsed how I was going to call down to the desk and ask if, by any chance, they had the tools to break into luggage. Before that I went to the loo and gave the bag a kick as I went past, just ‘cause. Well, you can all guess what happened, can’t you. Pop, open, all innocence, like, was there a problem? Hmmm, such moments are sent to try me.

Last day and breakfast in my favourite café, (because I felt like I’d been cheating on it, seeing other cafes, all weekend) then six and a half hours to get home, only one of them on the plane. Grrr. I tell ya, I was bearing up on every challenge thrown at me, until I got back to Sydney. I’d even found my glasses, hooked to the back of my jumper, of all places (but phew). But then Sydney. Defeated, again, ground down and smeared like paste. That’s Sydney.

Anyways, that was a lot of fuss and bother to see a few old pots. That’s me, completely mad.


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Knickers!

Jun. 23rd, 2015 07:39 am
mockturle06: merlin in a hat (Default)

It was a week about knickers. First there was the 70+ hours of unpaid overtime and no time-in-lieu that meant I was spending my precious Saturday as washerwoman. Which I duly did, but even having the clothes out on the line all day, they still came in damp. No worries, I thinks to my self, I’ll just stick ‘em in the dryer.

Ker-klunk, ker-klunk, and silence. Nothing more was to be heard from the dryer. It had gone gently into that good night. On a long weekend with no bus or train service. Fuck.

Fortunately, it’s the 21st Century, and while I rarely get to partake of the fruits, living in the wastelands as I do, this time, yes. Turn on tablet, go to Appliances Online choose dryer, order dryer. Then there was the hullabaloo of actually getting a day off work (involving two levels of management) and yea, verily, on the appointed day, at the appointed hour, the dryer arrived. An hour later the knickers were dry.

I also made six jars of cumquat marmalade and teleconferenced a meeting. My most productive day all week.

The other knicker themed event was a quick trip to the Powerhouse Museum to see the V&A’s Undressed: 350 years of underwear in fashion exhibition together with the Powerhouse’s own Recollect: Underwear exhibition. The V&A one was only a third of the catalogue, as always, but what there was I found intriguing and surprisingly educational, learning the names of under-things. The local one was even more amusing via the archival advertising from Berlei.

I’m not sure which video was my favourite; the silent 20s one that was oh so Art Deco, the 30s one with the comically bad acting, or the one from 1966/67 that was so freaky and spaced out and why, oh why isn’t Doctor Who like this anymore.

The other exhibition we saw was the Powerhouse Museum’s A Fine Possession which included things, wonderful things, including jet mourning jewellery, necklaces made of shimmering blue beetle legs, political badges, talismans, mementos, made of precious metals, jewels, feathers, claws, glass, hair, and anything else you could think to use. Much oohing and aahing ensued.

Finished off with a quick romp around some old trains and a bountiful yum cha at the old Marigold (exactly the same as it was twenty years ago) and home.

With a new bag and a V&A inspired Chinese robe (100% rayon) from the markets.


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mockturle06: (boyfriends)

Just back from Melbourne. My first trip anywhere in a year, so that was special. Less special was the state I was in (food poisoning with virulent rash, worst camps ever, coming down with flu) but somehow I made it through the working day, made it onto the train to the airport, made it onto the plane, made it onto the bus, and the other bus, and finally the very lovely hotel with the soft fluffy robe, squishy bed and stacks of T2 tea. Oh yes, it did very nicely.

So I was right to pay up for a nice hotel room. This is how one survives travelling while unwell – a little bit of comfort.

Saturday it was up…just a few minutes more…up…just a few minutes more…well, I eventually wrenched myself out of bed and soft fluffy robe and staggered out into the bracing winter air of Flinders Street to wobble my way down Collins to spencer St, where I found the charming 1932 Café open, as Art Deco as. Here I feasted (made a pig of myself) on the veggie breakfast (I’d have taken a photo but I was too busy eating, due to an ick factor I’d not eaten/kept anything down in days). Delish.

Ok, yeah, there was an ick factor later but that was the evil hormones (still giving me grief). Kicking in so hard I had to give up my planned round of the shops and race back to soft bed and soft rob and lie down and go urgh for a couple of hours until I braved the world again.

I’d not been idle though – I’d picked up a What’s On mag and had identified the likely location of the poster of Greek pots I’d seen while circling the city multiple times on the hotel transfer bus. Turns out it was Gods, Myths and Mortals at the Hellenic Museum , and it, I think was my favourite. They should have called it Bad Boys, because we started with some stunning statues of Herakles and Paris, and ended up with a painting of Byron, no less. Troublesome lads, to a man. It was very small, only a few rooms, but each piece was a cracker, and I had the place to myself, so I could study every piece in quiet, meditative detail, without being jostled by a busload of tourists like at a large European gallery. Lovely.

Next up it was a walk down the street to Inspiration by Design: Word and Image from the Victoria and Albert Museum at the State Library Victoria which I’d been looking forward to, but I think I was a bit tired, and upset over losing my glasses, so it wasn’t as wonderful as I’d hoped. Also crowded.

The glasses, oh yes, on my way back to the hotel I’d lost my reading and sun glasses, expensive prescriptions all, so I was very upset with myself and buying a new bag, while blaming the old one and it’s lack of zips, didn’t help, nor did the chai tea.

Anyway, tram up the hill to the exhibition at the Ian Potter Museum of Art (as opposed to the other Ian Potter art gallery) and more old pots (what I will put myself through for a peek at an old pot, eh?). Anyways, some really nice pieces, again, all to myself, again. Very much a gentlemen’s collection of ephemera, but I liked it.

Then it was a quick stop in the nearby garden and I finally contact my friend who says they’ll be picking me up in an hour so it’s on a tram! And another tram! Which stops, turns, and goes back so off the tram! And run! And change! And Phew!

We ended up, eventually, after a car ride that felt like three hours but must have been minutes as we were only going as far as Fitzroy, in this Asian Fusion joint with many lanterns called Rice Queen. After more back and forth the banquet was finally decided upon, which I enjoyed immensely, the parade of mystery dishes, all delicious, including Korean fried chicken (the best) and the Earl Grey infused gin cocktails, which I kept lining up. I’m sure they think I’m a lush but I needed some nerves deadened and it worked a treat (I have also discovered a Hogarthian Darwinian inheritance which means I can put away buckets of gin with no ill effects whatsoever. Yay).

After dinner we walked the wild crazy, colourful streets of Fitzroy at night, I bought the most outlandish shirt of primary coloured parasol print ever, and ended up in an ice cream shop with one of the guys from Real Life. Melbourne enough for ya? The ice-cream was delish too, an Argentinian caramel.  

The next day, ok, yes I sleep in a bit long but I had the blast curtains closed, and anyway, I could see the NGV from my hotel. Off I trotted to see the main attractions: Exquisite Threads English Embroidery 1600s–1900s which had enough sprigged muslin to fetch Mr Tilney all a quiver. Then Medieval Moderns: The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhoodmy boys, my boys, my beautiful boys. The PRB, the original bad boys punks, givers of gloriously twee paintings and lurid wallpaper, but I love them so. It was mainly prints and studies, but I saw a few new pieces, and I’m always happy to see my beloved, actual red flag waving socialist, William Morris so enshrined.  

Funnily enough, later, at dinner, they played Roxy Music’s Avalon, because I hadn’t had enough Arthurian themes for the day – grin.

Last, and sadly possibly least and they didn’t have all the cool stuff out that they used to, was Nordic Cool: Modernist Design: From the NGV Collection but it was still pretty cool and I love me some mid fab 20thC gear (especially as I was still all a jingle jangle from seeing the very promising Man From UNCLE trailer).

Then it was a quick trot back to the hotel to change into the exquisite Art Deco-esque cloak I’d bought (more than pushed into the purchase by watching Phryne on IView and the Art Deco gowns in the V&A exhibition at the NGV) and up Spring Street (huff huff huff) to sip luridly pink cocktails in the bar at the Princess Theatre to see Anything Goes.

Well, original book by Wodehouse, songs by Cole Porter, you knew I would. I must. I did. Aside from the couple we were all hoping would go home and finish their domestic, it was brilliant. Very, very silly (pure Wodehouse, even though it’s been so re-written) and, well, I never knew how much I’d wanted to see a tap-dancing chorus line of sailors, but apparently I did, and I’m so very pleased I have now done so. Tick.

So that was great. (Later I was describing how they finished with the Chinese version of Anything Goes, like from Temple of Doom, which Himself dismissed with a withering, shrugging critique of ‘Short Black, Flat White, whatever he was called’). Snort.

Then dinner, not at my favourite Chinese (still roiling from my other favourite Chinese) so I went to this Thai fusion place, where they played Roxy Music and Bowie, ordered the specials (char-grilled king prawns in red curry, mandarin sorbet), rolled back down Spring St, past the Burns statue.

Man, Melburnians are no respecter of the little green man, as I nearly had my arse taken off again crossing the road, on the lights. Sheesh. To drive far more aggressively than your average Sydneysider is a sure sign you’ve got problems, buddy. Deep, deep problems.

That was the only thing that bothered me about Melbourne. Well, that and the feeling that the whole trip was a test of some kind. I lost my glasses case, with my very expensive glasses inside, only to find them a day and a half later (In the place I’d looked, half a dozen times). Then the lock on my luggage jammed up completely and after jiggling, twisting, begging and pleading with it to no avail  I’d made a hot cup of tea and rehearsed how I was going to call down to the desk and ask if, by any chance, they had the tools to break into luggage. Before that I went to the loo and gave the bag a kick as I went past, just ‘cause. Well, you can all guess what happened, can’t you. Pop, open, all innocence, like, was there a problem? Hmmm, such moments are sent to try me.

Last day and breakfast in my favourite café, (because I felt like I’d been cheating on it, seeing other cafes, all weekend) then six and a half hours to get home, only one of them on the plane. Grrr. I tell ya, I was bearing up on every challenge thrown at me, until I got back to Sydney. I’d even found my glasses, hooked to the back of my jumper, of all places (but phew). But then Sydney. Defeated, again, ground down and smeared like paste. That’s Sydney.

Anyways, that was a lot of fuss and bother to see a few old pots. That’s me, completely mad.

Knickers!

Jun. 20th, 2015 07:26 am
mockturle06: merlin in a hat (Default)

It was a week about knickers. First there was the 70+ hours of unpaid overtime and no time-in-lieu that meant I was spending my precious Saturday as washerwoman. Which I duly did, but even having the clothes out on the line all day, they still came in damp. No worries, I thinks to my self, I’ll just stick ‘em in the dryer.

Ker-klunk, ker-klunk, and silence. Nothing more was to be heard from the dryer. It had gone gently into that good night. On a long weekend with no bus or train service. Fuck.

Fortunately, it’s the 21st Century, and while I rarely get to partake of the fruits, living in the wastelands as I do, this time, yes. Turn on tablet, go to Appliances Online choose dryer, order dryer. Then there was the hullabaloo of actually getting a day off work (involving two levels of management) and yea, verily, on the appointed day, at the appointed hour, the dryer arrived. An hour later the knickers were dry.

I also made six jars of cumquat marmalade and teleconferenced a meeting. My most productive day all week.

The other knicker themed event was a quick trip to the Powerhouse Museum to see the V&A’s Undressed: 350 years of underwear in fashion exhibition together with the Powerhouse’s own Recollect: Underwear exhibition. The V&A one was only a third of the catalogue, as always, but what there was I found intriguing and surprisingly educational, learning the names of under-things. The local one was even more amusing via the archival advertising from Berlei.

I’m not sure which video was my favourite; the silent 20s one that was oh so Art Deco, the 30s one with the comically bad acting, or the one from 1966/67 that was so freaky and spaced out and why, oh why isn’t Doctor Who like this anymore.

The other exhibition we saw was the Powerhouse Museum’s A Fine Possession which included things, wonderful things, including jet mourning jewellery, necklaces made of shimmering blue beetle legs, political badges, talismans, mementos, made of precious metals, jewels, feathers, claws, glass, hair, and anything else you could think to use. Much oohing and aahing ensued.

Finished off with a quick romp around some old trains and a bountiful yum cha at the old Marigold (exactly the same as it was twenty years ago) and home.

With a new bag and a V&A inspired Chinese robe (100% rayon) from the markets.

mockturle06: merlin in a hat (Default)

So I did finally get to see a bit of Vivid. Of course, as nothing is ever easy in my life, the very, the one night I’d put aside for my own entertainments, for once, was suddenly mightily impinged upon by work demands again. Oh well, I had until dawn, right?

So it was a late start to the evening a rushed tea, but oh so nice and spicy in the Thai café around the corner (I had the larb, of significant spiciness compared to what the local place, long since burnt down in suspicious circumstances, one fatality, used to offer).

Anyway, we caught the train to Circular Quay, which solved half the problems from last year (me being knackered by the time I’d walked there) but not the fact that the Olympus, which, to be honest, had never really worked properly had chosen today, of all days, to not work at all or ever again. No, off to the festival of lights, with no camera.

Fortunately it’s the 21st Century and even my humble phone offered a camera of sorts and I think I managed a couple of not too wobbly shots. I was also saved by this year’s Vivid, if one was only wandering about the installations and not attending a ticketed event, was somewhat meh. When the light installations are less inventive than the window of a convenience store, I think you’re in trouble.

So no giant glowing bunnies or anything of that ilk. I did get to see the Customs House illuminations from the train platform, which was the perfect viewing platform, upon exiting the train, and that, I think was the highlight.

The Opera House was lit up with hand dawn illuminations, giving it a very Tom Tom Club or Machinations feel.

Nothing else really did it for me (oh, how jaded) except the weird late 70s/early 80s jaggy looking animations on Cadman’s Cottage, that looked exactly like something from a Baker or Davis era episode of Doctor Who, the ghostly dresses down in The Rocks, and in Martin Place, which was mostly dead and dull, there were some weird plant looking things that made bubbly electronica sounds, so they looked and sounded like they should have been in a Hartnell or Troughton era Doctor Who story.

Ok, yes, you can see what I like, and why isn’t Doctor Who like that anymore, I wail. Still, wasn’t it nice to see the Skaro regeneration project coming along so nicely.


More...photos )
mockturle06: (Avengers)

So I did finally get to see a bit of Vivid. Of course, as nothing is ever easy in my life, the very, the one night I’d put aside for my own entertainments, for once, was suddenly mightily impinged upon by work demands again. Oh well, I had until dawn, right?

So it was a late start to the evening a rushed tea, but oh so nice and spicy in the Thai café around the corner (I had the larb, of significant spiciness compared to what the local place, long since burnt down in suspicious circumstances, one fatality, used to offer).

Anyway, we caught the train to Circular Quay, which solved half the problems from last year (me being knackered by the time I’d walked there) but not the fact that the Olympus, which, to be honest, had never really worked properly had chosen today, of all days, to not work at all or ever again.  No, off to the festival of lights, with no camera.

Fortunately it’s the 21st Century and even my humble phone offered a camera of sorts and I think I managed a couple of not too wobbly shots. I was also saved by this year’s Vivid, if one was only wandering about the installations and not attending a ticketed event, was somewhat meh. When the light installations are less inventive than the window of a convenience store, I think you’re in trouble.

So no giant glowing bunnies or anything of that ilk. I did get to see the Customs House illuminations from the train platform, which was the perfect viewing platform, upon exiting the train, and that, I think was the highlight.

The Opera House was lit up with hand dawn illuminations, giving it a very Tom Tom Club or Machinations feel.

Nothing else really did it for me (oh, how jaded) except the weird late 70s/early 80s jaggy looking animations on Cadman’s Cottage, that looked exactly like something from a Baker or Davis era episode of Doctor Who, the ghostly dresses down in The Rocks, and in Martin Place, which was mostly dead and dull, there were some weird plant looking things that made bubbly electronica sounds, so they looked and sounded like they should have been in a Hartnell or Troughton era Doctor Who story.

Ok, yes, you can see what I like, and why isn’t Doctor Who like that anymore, I wail. Still, wasn’t it nice to see the Skaro regeneration project coming along so nicely.

Knickers

Apr. 16th, 2015 07:22 am
mockturle06: merlin in a hat (Default)

It was a week about knickers. First there was the 70+ hours of unpaid overtime and no time-in-lieu that meant I was spending my precious Saturday as washerwoman. Which I duly did, but even having the clothes out on the line all day, they still came in damp. No worries, I thinks to my self, I’ll just stick ‘em in the dryer.

Ker-klunk, ker-klunk, and silence. Nothing more was to be heard from the dryer. It had gone gently into that good night. On a long weekend with no bus or train service. Fuck.

Fortunately, it’s the 21st Century, and while I rarely get to partake of the fruits, living in the wastelands as I do, this time, yes. Turn on tablet, go to Appliances Online choose dryer, order dryer. Then there was the hullabaloo of actually getting a day off work (involving two levels of management) and yea, verily, on the appointed day, at the appointed hour, the dryer arrived. An hour later the knickers were dry.

I also made six jars of cumquat marmalade and teleconferenced a meeting. My most productive day all week.

The other knicker themed event was a quick trip to the Powerhouse Museum to see the V&A’s Undressed: 350 years of underwear in fashion exhibition together with the Powerhouse’s own Recollect: Underwear exhibition. The V&A one was only a third of the catalogue, as always, but what there was I found intriguing and surprisingly educational, learning the names of under-things. The local one was even more amusing via the archival advertising from Berlei.

The other exhibition we saw was the Powerhouse Museum’s A Fine Possession which included things, wonderful things, including jet mourning jewellery, necklaces made of shimmering blue beetle legs, political badges, talismans, mementos, made of precious metals, jewels, feathers, claws, glass, hair, and anything else you could think to use. Much oohing and aahing ensued.

Finished off with a quick romp around some old trains and a bountiful yum cha at the old Marigold (exactly the same as it was twenty years ago) and home.

With a new bag and a V&A inspired Chinese robe (100% rayon) from the markets.

mockturle06: (Avengers)
It's supposed to be super hot today, and I'm still cosplaying the Crimson Horror from last week. Well, of course I forgot my sunscreen when off to Sculpture by the Sea. Remembered the hat, but not the sunscreen. No worries, I'll pick some up on the way, right? Nope. None to be had, for love nor money. So, ignoring my sizzling skin (where my 90% redheaded DNA will out) I trooped around the cliffs in bright sunshine.

It was quite nice, despite the difficulties in getting there (the promised public transport was a lie), and while a good two thirds of the show were same old, same old (a frequent complaint I overheard, and not just on the day), and, really, a couple of artists need to try stepping outside their comfort zone. I don't know why, but sculpture seems to be the most samey of the arts, and the one branch of the arts where you don't want samey. Especially in a forum like Sculpture by the Sea. It should be big, loud, silly and surprising because it's a walking picnic, with art. No message, no metaphysics, just something that delights the senses, full of whimsy. Not too big an ask, is it?

There was some cute, like the papier-mâché bugs on the cliff wall, and creepy, like the enormous faceless brass babies climbing up the hill - good use of site. I just loathe artists who don't take into account the site. It's like doing a Tropfest film without the theme item, in other words, pointless and lazy and speaks of trying to shoehorn something they had lying around in the back of the garage into the exhibition with no sense of context. It's Sculpture by the Sea, everyone should know what to expect, and what's expected. I always like the ones that make the fact that they're on the ocean walk as part of the art experience somehow, whether it's reflections, tones or cheesy seaside imagery (cheesy is allowed, what part of seaside picnic with art do some of these serious beret wearers not get?).
more: photos within )
mockturle06: (Dean sad)
A friend was still bemused at my great disappointment at having braved cyclonic winds on Monday (Auntie Em! Auntie Em!) on various errands, and bringing back some bananas to take into work, the weather still so fiesty it blew several branches in through the door after me, I went and done forgot them. I thought 'I'm feeling a touch peckish, I'll go get that banana I...left on the kitchen table'. Apparently my disappointed face is still giving her mirth at the memory of it nearly a week later.

I did make some friends here. I'll miss 'em when I'm gone. Yep, they finally, finally, finally gave me my exit date. Shit just got real. I told another friend and they burst into tears. It's not too good.

So yesterday I just hit a wall, couldn't write a job app, though researching some of the jazzy jargon they used in the ad wasn't entirely a waste of time, I just couldn't get it going, aside from the old routine jobs that I apparently can do sleepwalking. Ah, I'll miss that, knowing the job so well I can do it on low battery power if need be.

So I took myself off early and went to see the exhibition of prints at the art gallery I'd nearly missed. Oh my gosh, that was excellent, an amazingly cool selection and all hits, no misses. I mean, I've been to print exhibitions before but they tend to err overly on the side of architectural plans or be way too baroque and there's a limit to the number of cherubs I can endure. But this was great. The span from 1500 to 1900 meant every half dozen or so prints (it's a local gallery, our exhibitions are tiny and could fit in the loo of an international gallery) you were onto another century, but I liked that, because I was on the clock and I was very much in the mood for a general oversight rather than in-depth examination, and it was entertaining without being exhausting, and, as I was very satisfied to see, essayed the passing fashions and issues (even if that wasn't the intent) in ways other disappointing exhibitions I've been to this year have really not.
more: Hammer horror )
mockturle06: (Dean)
This morning I woke to the news that both Homer Simpson and William Shakespeare were now following me on Twitter. The very idea of it just made me smile. Clearly I preach to a broad church - smirk.
I think it was just cause I posted an article on Simpsons quotes as memes (thus telling the age of writer and reader, and a tweet on going to see the STC briefing for the Scottish play. Alas, I was really tired and kind of fed up so I don't think I got as much out of it as I usually do, but Hugo Weaving was there, right in front of me, and that has to count for something.

What can I say, the moment I realised I was in for another extreme re-imagining of Shakespeare, my heart just sank and everything else was just mechanical listening, though the ghost story was cool (well, somebody had to ask about the 'curse' and at least it wasn't me).
more: full of sound and fury, signifying nothing )
mockturle06: merlin in a hat (Default)
That guy was smiling at me oddly (no one ever, ever smiles at me) and it caused me to think, with sudden alarm: he didn't see me the other night? He doesn't have photos?

Nah. Never gonna happen. Mercifully, I never run into anyone I know, anywhere, ever. Unlike Himself, where it doesn't matter if it's an exhibition, play, band, film, talk, whatever, he'll always run into someone he knows, and pretend like I'm not there. Le sigh.

Just goes to show, though, how I'm stuck riding life's bus with folks with whom I share absolutely no common interests at all. Which is kinda sad, a bit, and it's not like my interests aren't wide ranging. Which is another word for common. Don't care. It's why I love my philosophy prof, who is always willing to reference the Nietzschean themes in Groundhog Day.
more: war and piss )
mockturle06: (Dean)
Disorders of macadamias, it sounds like some fiendish Booker prize baiting wankery, soon to be adapted by S. Stone for the stage, a bare stage, with lots of shouting.

Sorry, another Sisyphean task of indescribable soul sucking repetition and pointlessness, and thus my mind wanders. Why, I ask, again, am I always the one to be stuck with these jobs. Always.

Dear Past Me, thank you so much for remembering to buy the box of peppermint tea I totally forgot to buy this morning, and for putting it away properly so I wouldn't find it until I was really desperate and scrabbling away in darkest cupboard corners. What a treat, surprise tea. Most excellent, dude.

Ah, senility, every day is like Xmas. I'd like to say it's just chronic lack of sleep, but no, I'm probably dribbling out grey matter onto the pillow every night.

It probably explains all the trash tv I've been watching lately. I should be so ashamed. And yet, and yet, on the run through the tunnels this morning (actual subterranean malls I run through to cut a few corners off my 2km walk from where the bus dumps scum like us, on the city limits, lest we rabble sully their hallowed halls, and where I actually work, within the gleaming citadel) every other shop, still shut up but nevertheless blaring out the MOR pop and rock, all of it from the 70s today (one day it was 1982 from point to point and I was totally having an Ashes to Ashes experience), and, anyway, I smiled. Just a little smile.
more: )
mockturle06: (Avengers)
Before I get dragged down by today, I have to tell you about last night. Rotten day, but, oh, the night. Ended up at The Spiegeltent in Hyde Park (our one, not their one) to see the one and only Amanda Palmer, who only just made it, having been snowed in oop north. For a girl who just got off the plane she was rather glam and very nice. She even came out to sign the merch, barefoot and in a yellow silk dressing gown. Gotta love her.

It was grand, too. Himself even broke out the red velvet jacket (how very Pertwee of him), the one that stopped traffic in London, but which I'd not yet seen, and the red embroidered waistcoat (whereas I was making do with my M&S dress, the one I loved but was put down so thoroughly at that other place, being told that if she wore it, the little miss, it'd be much too much and attention grabbing with her good figure and posh shoes and perfect hair, but scruffy old dowdy me dressed it down so much it was barely noticeable and very ordinary. Thanks for that).

So, red velvet, circus tent (eventually, and fie and fie on that ridiculous old woman who let an entire bus load of people in front of us in the queue, who'd never even heard of AP and would be better off sticking to box seats at the opera, harumph, but at least I could bitch and moan and talk Sherlock and Who and Hobbit with the girls I was squashed into behind me) and Amanda Palmer. On stage. At last. (well, it seems an age though it really isn't).

In she walked, just in yellow silk, ukulele in hand, to knock us back in our seats for a (mostly) one woman show with just a keyboard and the ukulele. What a set! What a performance! Sad songs to break the heart, silly songs to smile over, lots of Australian songs from her Australian set (she does seem to love it here). Himself hurf derfing over the Vegemite song, me nearly breaking down during the really downer song.

It was just a magical moment. Back in time for tea and Jack Whitehall on the telly. Ok, that was the best birthday treat ever.
more: magic, rubber ducks, dwarves and dragons )
mockturle06: (Dean)
Well, it wasn't a disaster in the rational scheme of things, but it did feel like a rolling comedy of unfunny errors. Having to change the dates was my fault. Everything that happened after? Well, that was probably my fault, too.

Decided to go down to Melbs to see the world's most miserable and depressing Monet show. Seriously. It was just (as always, never the good stuff) the last works of the last years, when he was mostly blind and distressed over WWI. I've always wondered why the five hundred (or seems like) paintings of his pond, and now I know. World War One was raging outside, pretty much on his doorstep, and instead of engaging I guess he retreated, which is a valid response, imho. Especially when you're old and tired. I can see it now. It's all too horrible to deal with, lookit, waterlilies, so tranquil, so constant. I get it, but it's effing sad.

Then it all gets smeary and ugly as he seems to just melt and bleed all over the canvasses. Pretty awful, I thought, watching the man disintergrate before my eyes, canvas by canvas. Like I said, a wretched exhibition.

Much better was the accompanying Australians In Paris exhibition, because all Australian artists between about 1880 and WWI had to go to Paris. And so they did. So here are the usual suspects (Condor, Preston, Ramsay, Fox, etc) painting in France instead of what are now outer suburbs of Melbourne (then, rolling hills of semi-rural wilderness). I liked. Because it was my usual crew of favourites, and whle I prefer their Oz paintings (because the light is right, I can never get over the dimmer ASA 100 light in Europe, even though I know it's true) I didn't mind the odd peasant, the obligatory haystacks, and those wonderful, wonderful flower gardens and Chinese lanterned parties. Why do Parisian parks always look so good on canvas, and are so drab in reality?

So, that was fun, and surprisingly well attended. Put on some Aussies and no one will go (cultural cringe), but mention Paris, and you'll scoop up a few punters. It's a shame they're not more highly esteemed or well known (I was the only one who didn't need to read the bios, and I got some odd looks cause I didn't) in their home country (as opposed to country of origin, the question of what qualifies an artist as 'Australian' is vexed, but as an art historian put it bluntly 'if they've pissed here, they're Australian', which is the test I use for the British Actors list, if you're interested) because those Aussies, they were mixing with Monet, Van Gough, Toulouse-Lautrec, etc. Right in it, in other words. As you'd expect from an Australian abroad - grin.

The other exhibition I saw was the Hollywood Costume one at ACMI, a cut down version of the V&A exhibition. I assume it was cut down as it only went for one room, and I remember reading quite a few key pieces did not travel. I think it was my abiding fed up-ness, and the crowds, because even though I saw Audrey's black dress from Breakfast at Tiffanys, Marilyn's infamous rayon-y thing, Tippi's green dress from The Birds, Kim Novak's green dress from Vertigo, I was all very meh, especially as it was mostly Depp, Di Niro and Streep, actors I do not care for.

One thing that did bemuse me, and I'm sure there must be a proper term was it, was the period costume paradox. That is, when a designer tries to evoke another age, they tend to scream the era in which their outfit was made. Thus the very Thirties outfits for Cleopatra, the oh so Sixties dress for Camelot, and Sean Young's Oh My God It's The 80s dress from Bladeruuner that was supposed to be evoking the 40s.
more: monkey god and godot )

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