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.

My pics: https://www.instagram.com/mockturtle06/

My links: https://plus.google.com/u/0/113197665355692280218/posts

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: 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.


more...photos )
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.

mockturle06: (mr flibble)
So I did the whole Hugo A Go Go thing on the weekend. We were studying Les Misérables in philosophy class as part of our examination of what is a 'good man' and I heard about the exhibition, so, ticking the 'educational' box, off I went.

I think it's really cool, these cities that tie together exhibitions, in this case, Les Misérables, the musical, was playing down in Melbs, so the library down there is hosting an exhibition on the man, the manuscript and the musical.

Yes, the actual manuscript of Les Misérables (gosh and golly!) with scribbles, and the inky quills used to write it, and photos of the man bent over his desk. Wow (though my favourite photo was of M. Hugo straddling a chair ala Christine Keeler, it bemused).

There were also old maps of Paris, photos taken by the Hugo family, books of like minded contemporaries (Dickens, Dumas, etc.), posters of film and theatre versions (the drawing of the 1920s Japanese actor as Jean Valjean will be haunting my nightmares for days to come), copies of international editions, a really cute mashup of all the various film versions to make a ten minute movie in the theatrette, costumes from the film and stage productions, videos, music, props, more posters. Yep, everything you ever wanted to know about Les Mis and then some.

I thought I'd have to elbow people out of the way to get a glimpse of the cabinets, but no. How sad. People, they have the frickin manuscript there. The Actual Book.
more: elementary )
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: (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: (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 )
mockturle06: (matt)
That was fun. Once again Melbourne has proved itself to be the most magical city on earth.

By happy accident rather than good planning, it so happened that my trip to Melbourne coincided with White Night, and I'm so glad it did. Best night ever. So much to see and do, and I never even made it to dawn (I blame the twelve hour day I was flogged through on Friday). But it was so delightful, so magical, so wonderful.
more: a night to remember )
mockturle06: (Neal)
So I ran away from home. Well, just for a little bit. Just for the weekend, really. Work, as always, made the leaving fraught and far more difficult than it should have been, and the exhibition I actually went down there for was complete pants, and my favourite hotel has declined so suddenly it is now a scary chair against the door bedbug ridden dive, but aside from that, it was completely marvellous and wonderful. I love Melbourne so much. I'd move there if I didn't think I'd break the magic.

So, onto the good things. Trams. I love trams. Trams are good. Everyone should have trams. Trams take you up hills so you don't arrive at your museum of choice already footsore and blistered. Trams have old world charm. Trams run frequently and go where you want to go. Not sure about the Myki though. It didn't boop on and off like the old Oyster. Turns out, you have to hold it in place for about 15 minutes before it boops, which is bad news if you're only going four blocks uphill cause you're a lazy sod with sore feet. So, trams for free, then. Even better.



Cafes. Melbourne has cafes. I was going to wander and take some photos, but there were several impediments to that. One, even though my Olympus has decided to play ball and take the odd photo rather than being chucked in the bin, I still don't trust it. Two, the weather, though it never actually rained, kept on with the threatening opening the Lost Ark of the Covenant type clouds that disiclined one to striking out across open country and third, I'm just lazy and I really was coming down with a spot of plane flu* and had a bit of the wobbles. So cafes it was.
more: trams and cafes, sage and chocolate, bones and Bondi )
mockturle06: (Avengers)
It's oh so quiet. Or it was. Just got overflown by a half dozen planes all at once. Which caused a sudden downpour and a hasty decamp indoors. Damn, I was enjoying myself, typing out in the quiet, with falling petals and brightly coloured parrots. It's still sprinkling, but from a clear blue sky. Harumph.

It's especially quiet as my ears are still blocked up. I do not know why my ears only block up when landing at Sydney, the only airport in the world where this happens, but there it is. Maybe I'm just miserable to be landing back in this hellhole, the only city on earth engineered to be soul-sucking misery and torment.

Anyways, painful, but at least I can sleep because as far as I'm concerned it's quiet. And there was no ten forty to Tokyo last night to rattle the windows and bookshelves.

Not that I was asleep, mind. I'd flicked around the channels in search of Fassy and found him. Hunger again, but it was still Fassy and it'd be churlish to refuse this gift of the ever capricious scheduling gods, so I watched. Besides, I like it. It's a bastard story but the film has an odd dreamy quality that sucks me in every time. I try to remember the news stories as I remember them, but mainly I'm just watching Fassy, being mesmerising.

Also watched Fish Tank again. Still mesmerising.
more: zippers, honey prawns, bananas and silly hats )

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mockturtle06

June 2017

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