Friday, July 22, 2016


There's a Hair Pin Banksia (Banksia spinulosa) and a Grevillea strategically planted right outside the window by the dining table. They're for the honeyeaters, and the watching of them.

The other day this Little Wattle Bird, over an hour or two, performed quite a showy show in presumably what to him/her was a mirror. With repeated tapping at the glass, preening, head twisting, wing flapping, upside down tumble turns, loop-de-doops and sideway stretches, the whole routine was not only tireless, but tinged with a twinkly sense of humour.

Needless to say, all the best fun stuff escaped the camera, and finally I left him to it. As my mother was wont to say, 'I'll know who'll get sick of it first, and it won't be the (in the case of dog chasing ball), the dog'.

Know what I mean?

Wednesday, July 6, 2016


There's a cold wind blowing today. The winters here I like: respite from summer worries (water, fires, snakes), time to cook, time to read, to slow down. And some binge viewing - we're currently hooked on Broadchurch - an improbable soap opera crime thriller with some very good performances, and some pretty bad ones. But it is well produced and good to look at. That marvellous actress who was in The Night Manager is the star (I can't be bothered to look her up at the mo) but now joined by Charlotte Rampling who costarred in '45 Years', which helped pass 20 hours in a plane, god it was miserable, the film I mean, the plane was fun, but I didn't expect to meet those hooded eyes quite so soon. She depresses me. I'm wondering if I've ever seen her smile.

Anyway - winter in the country works. The city is for summer, and shows. I had lunch at the Rocks last week - a rare day time visit - and quite frankly, at the ripe old age of blaahdy fukn blah, I am still gobsmacked by that sculpture, here in the low mid-winter northern midday sun.

So - we went to All My Sons (Sydney Theatre Company) - a fine night out and a play I've heard much about but hadn't ever seen. Nope, never. Very American I thought. I remember John Howard's John Proctor (drama theatre in that sculpture there) blowing me away (and up to Salem a year later, actually, to see for myself), not to mention catching Mr Hoffmann's Willy on Broadway, though I was way too (theatre) young to appreciate what I was experiencing.

And last Friday it was back to the Opera House for the SSO for popular programming: "Romantic Fantasies." (I'm a bit over these noms des concerts). Comparisons are inevitable after the European experiences. We now sit mid-stalls. The sound wasn't great. It's clouded, or muddied, or whatever verb I can't find. They are playing on the flat again, after the (successful) trial of raised rear platforms for all but the strings. I understand that the Hall will close soon for twelve months for a refit, and hydraulics will be installed so that these elevations can come with the press of a button to two. Brilliant.

The Korean Shiyeon Shung conducted, debuted, and while she held it all together, and they played well, I found it all a bit stiff. Vadim Gluzman's violin was another matter altogether - stunningly beautiful.

Meanwhile, front of house, the catering has changed. You can no longer buy drinks where you can buy light food so that means schlepping across to the bar balancing food (or vice versa) to get a glass of house bubbles for *eleven* (11) dollars. What? Give me a break. I saw J clutching a glass of red. She's always clutching a glass of red. It cost *fourteen* (14) dollars. I seem to remember alcohol and soft drinks being free at intervals at the Concertgebouw.