Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Greenish Questions

It will be interesting to see if anybody takes over Sunday Stealing, as the present person running this is signing off. It has been a great few years of doing these quizes. Thanks Sunday Stealing.

I'm writing this from my mother's kitchen table in Country South Australia.

1. What is your current obsession?

Probably Orange is the New Black.

2. What’s your go-to coffee place?

Depends on the day of the week. Weekdays it's either Dom in the foyer of the building, or Andrea a Foccacino for my coffee. On weekends, it's Cafe Krifi near the gym.

3. Who was the last person that you hugged?

Mum. She and my step-dad left on a bus to go out to lunch. I have to lock up when I go soon.

4. Do you nap a lot?

No. Rarely sleep through the day.

5. Tonight, what’s for dinner?

No idea. Probably nothing as I get back to Melbourne mid-evening. They might feed me on the plane - so plane food.

6. What was the last thing that you bought?

I bought some Farmer's Union Iced Coffee at the service station when I filled up last night on the way to a friend's place. Manna from heaven that stuff.

7. What is your favorite weather?

Cold, slightly damp, with a bit of sunshine - like it is now.

8. Tell us something about one blogger who you think will play this week?

Bev is really cool.

9. If you were given a free house that was full furnished, where in the world would you like it to be?

Hampstead, London.

10. Name three things that you could not live without.

Friends, coffee, sleep.

11. What would you like in your hands right now?

A kitten, a decent book and a gin and tonic.

12. What’s one of your guilty pleasures?

Tattoo shows. They fascinate me.

13. What would you change or eliminate about yourself?

I'd love more time to get the body I really would love to have again. Love to be thinner. Just have to work at it.

14. As a child, what type of career did you want?

I wanted to be a doctor or a writer. I am a writer.

15. What are you missing right now?

I could use a day at home to do some cooking and cleaning, but I am interstate. Missing having the time to potter.

16. What are you currently reading?

Just started Liane Moriarty's "Truly, Madly, Guilty" for book group.

17. What do you fear the most?

Falling. Commitment. Open water. One of those. Depends on the day.

18. What’s the best movie that you’ve seen recently?

I adored Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume II. I also loved Their Finest. Very cool English film.

19. What’s your favorite book from the past year?

Hanya Yahanigara's "A Little Life". It was a slog, but it was brilliant. Just finished Zadie Smith's "Swing Time". Really enjoyed that too.

20. Is there a comfort food from your childhood that you still enjoy?

Too many of them. Beans on toast. Chocolate donuts. Fish fingers. They all still rate highly.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Ginormous Questions

As these are questions mostly about relationships, and I really, really don't like answering questions about relationships this will be a quick week. There are some things I don't need to talk about much. Relationships are one of those things.

On the good side of things, I had a lovely time at a friend's 40th yesterday out in the Yarra Valley, went to a party for a book launch and journal launch in which I have two stories placed, then went and saw Alan Cumming sing Sappy Songs in the evening. He was awesome. He also sings in a Scottish accent which was really cool too.

A great yesterday has let me exhausted and happy. Happier than these questions have made me. But you have to take the good with the not so good. Ah well.

Questions, as always, from Sunday Stealing.

1. Are you single? 


2. Are your parents still married? 

My mother has been remarried for over 25 years. Father died 20 years ago.

3. Are you in love? 


4. Do you believe in love at first sight? 


5. Who ended your last relationship? 

He went back to his former girlfriend. It was a good thing.

6. Have you ever been hurt by a break up? 

Of course.

7. Have you ever broken someone’s heart? 

No idea. maybe.

8. Have you ever had a secret admirer? 

How should I know?

9. Prefer love or lust? 

Love, but lust is fun.

10. Prefer a few best friends or many regular friends? 

A few good friends. I'm lucky, I have a wide circle of acquaintances.

11. Wild night out or romantic night in? 

Romantic night in.

12. Back in the day: Been caught sneaking out? 

No. Too much of a goody goody and lived in the country.

13. Ever wanted something/someone so badly it hurt? 


 14. Who are/is your best friend(s)? 

I'm not 13. Next question.

15. Ever wanted to disappear? 


16. First attraction: Smile or eyes? 


17. Prefer intelligence or attraction? 

Intelligence wins over every time.

18. Last phone call you received? 

It was a work call on Friday afternoon. Fun.

19. Last thing you drank?

Iced Turkish Apple Tea with some lime and soda water.

20. Before your current one, when was your last relationship? 

Eight years ago.

21. Do you and your family get along? 

For the most part. They live interstate so that helps.

22. Would you say you have a "screwed up life"? 

No. It's busy and varied but not screwed up.

23. Have you ever gotten kicked out somewhere? If yes, do tell. 


24. Do you trust all your friends? 

Yes, but there are definite boundaries about who knows about what.

25. Who knows the most about you?  

Probably Jonella and Blarney. They see me the most.

Monday, June 12, 2017

The High School Questions

I blame the new season of Orange is the New Black for the lateness of this.

But I have binge watched it all and can get on with other things now.

Questions, as always, from Sunday Stealing.

1. Did you date someone from your school?

Yes. That's all you need to know.

2. Did you marry someone from your high school?


3. Did you car pool to school?

No. A bus picked us up at the front gate every morning.

4. What kind of car did you have?

A 1966 EJ Holden. They are very cool now.

5. What kind of car do you have now?

A red Mazda CX3.

6. Its Friday night...where are you now?

Home watching telly. That is most Friday nights.

7. It is Friday night...where were you then?

Home watching telly. That is most Friday nights. That's always been my Friday nights.

8. What kind of job did you have in high school?

Worked in the local store.

9. What kind of job do you do now?

Writer. Corporate fixit person.

10. Were you a party animal?


11. Were you considered a flirt?

No. I still don't know how to flirt.

12. Were you in band, orchestra, or choir?

Yes. I played flute in the school concert band.

13. Were you a nerd?


14. Did you get suspended from school?


15. Can you sing the fight song?

I'm Australian - we don't have stuff likes that.

16. Who was/were your favorite teacher?

My French teacher was awesome.

17. Where did you sit during lunch?

Again, not American, we don't have a cafeteria, but I was often found in the library.

18. What was your school's full name?

Willunga High School.

19. Where did you party the most?

I didn't party. No friends and I lived out of town.

20. What was your school mascot?

Again. I'm not American, we don't have that stuff in Australian public schools.

21. Would you do it again?

High school? No way. It was awful.

22. Did you have fun at Prom?

Again, Australian - when I went through school we didn't have a prom culture - I believe that has changed.

23. Do you still talk to the person you went to Prom with?

See above.

24. Are you planning on going to your next reunion?

We had our 30th reunion late last year. Once was enough.

25. Do you still talk to people from school?

There are one or two people I am in loose contact with.

26. What are/were your school's colors? 

Royal blue and gold. I didn't wear blue for a decade after school.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Random Questions Part 683

Here you go - let's get through these quickly. I have a Branagh Hamlet to get to.

Questions, as always, from Sunday Stealing.

1. How old do you look?

I'm told I look like I'm in my late 30s / early 40s. I'm 48. Good genes.

2. Where do you live?

Melbourne, Australia

3. Are you waiting for something?

The washing to finish so I can go out.

4. What’s one pet peeve of yours that is not common?

People who don't put the weights back in order after pump class. They're just lazy.

5. Do you want/have kids?

No. There are enough kids in the world. Too old to have them anyway.

6. Have you ever thought about converting your religion?

Occasionally I think about converting to Judaism. It sits will with me.

7. Last shocking news you heard?

I'm watching what is going on in London as I write. Awful stuff.

8. What was the last thing you drank?

Water. About a minute ago.

9. Who do you most look like in your family?

Strangely, my mum - with elements of my dad. i'm a mix of them both.

10. If you could have something right now, anything, what would it be?

A house in my own name.

11. Where does most of your family live?

Adelaide, Australia

12. Where did you grow up?

Myponga, South Australia

13. Where do you want to go on vacation?

I'd love to go back to Ubud in Bali, now. I'm also looking at walking across the top of Spain next year.

14. Have you ever had a panic attack?

Yes, they are not nice.

15. What can’t you wait for?

World peace - I;m over all this crap on the telly.

16. When’s the last time you told someone you loved him or her and meant it?

I tell Maow Maow every time I see him. Of the human variety, about eighteen months ago.

17. Have your parents ever smoked pot?

I think Dad tried it once or twice  - but he really only smoked tobacco.

18. Want someone back in your life?

I'd love to see Reindert more.

19. What do you order at the bar?

Hendricks and tonic in a big glass with a slice of cucumber.

20. When was the last time you cried really, really hard?

Eighteen months ago. Lost a niece and got dumped within weeks of eachother. Not fun.

21. What are your nicknames?

Pand. Late for Dinner.

22. What is your favorite thing to eat with peanut butter?

Fresh bread and raspberry jam.

23. Where were you on July 4th, 2008?

As I'm not American, I have no idea. July 4 has no value other than it being a friend's son's birthday.

24. If you could go foward in time, how far forward would you go?

No - don't want to do that.

25. If you could go back in time, how far back would you go?

About 30 years. I'd love to go back and do uni again knowing what I know now.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Two Bad Films

The Zookeeper's Wife - 2.5 Stars

Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Men Tell No Tales  2 Stars.

I've been holding off on writing these reviews as In don't really like writing things about films I don't like. To be honest, neither of these films floated my boat.

So in dot points:

The Zookeeper's Wife

  • Could be known as Schindler's List with Animals
  • You get to watch Jessica Chastain cuddle a lot of baby animals and over act
  • There is a baby camel
  • You get to see Jessica Chastain put on a dodgy Polish accent
  • You get to see a lot of animals fake shot
  • And you get to see Jessica Chastain cuddle more, but less exotic animals and over act
Very disappointing.

Then there is Pirate of the Caribbean - Dead Men Tell No Tales.

My kid brother and I went along on tight arse Tuesday. I had a freebie ticket - and I am glad I used it, because any film this dodgy should only be seen for free.

Okay, the effects are good.

But as a fan of the first and second movies in the franchise, this one really ran out of puff. How and why Geoffrey Rush and Javier Bardem allowed themselves to grace the screen with a script that is holier than the Vatican, I will never know.

Johnny Depp is just a caricature of his former character - just gracing the stage and going through the motions. 

It is said that they started filming this before the script was finished. It shows.

Corny, cliche and basically unfunny, there are some good action scenes - and that is it. They have spent all of their money on the effects at the expense of the story. 

Don't bother seeing it on the big screen. I wouldn't even dodgy download it. It's dire.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Procrastination Questions

I free day - yay. Second to last Masters subject starts tomorrow, I have nothing to do and all is well.
And these are fairly funky questions, which have been supplied, as always, by Sunday Stealing.

1. What is your favorite sit-down restaurant?

I had a glorious night at Vue de Monde a couple of months ago. For a less glamorous experience I really like some of the dumpling spots in Chinatown. Also, there is this French place on Swan Street - Noir. It's fabulous.

2. What food could you eat for 2 weeks straight and not get sick of it?

Ice cream. I'd be happy with Mum's lamb roast two weeks straight too.

3. Have you ever had anything removed from your body?

A growth from my fallopian tube. Thankfully nothing nefarious.

4. What is the last heavy item you lifted?

I lift heavy stuff at the gym all the time. 32 kg kettlebell from memory.

5. Have you ever been knocked unconscious?

No. Only by an anesthetist.

6. If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die?

No. That would be too much of a mind fuck.

7. If you could change your name, what would you change it to?

Trellawney Tom. It has a ring about it.

8. What’s your goal for the year?

Lose some weight, stay employed and get my blood pressure under control.

9. Last person you hugged?

My friend Teddy, last night after I went to visit her kittens.

10. First place you went this morning?

The gym.

11. Do you always answer your phone?

No. If I don't want to speak to you I let it go to voicemail.

12. It’s four in the morning and you get a text message, who is it?

No idea. I have my phone set to 'do not disturb'. If it was anybody it would probably be numb-nuts in England - who never got the idea of time differences.

13. If you could change your eye color what would it be?

I like my eye colour. It's a bit different.

14. What’s on your wish list for your birthday?

A trip to Bali would be nice.

15. Does the future make you more nervous or excited?

A bit of both.

16. Do you have any saved texts?

Yes, but I am dreadful at removing texts especially as I have an iPhone.

17. Ever been in a car wreck?

A very minor one with my sister in about 1991. Thank goodness it was minor.

18. Do you have an accent?

Yes. A moderated Adelaide Australian. As Australian accents go, it's really mild. Long As (Fr-ah-nce, Pr-ah-nce, Ch-ah-nce) When in England I go a bit cockney.

19. What was the last song to make you cry?

This. Always this. Doesn't matter what version.

20. What did you do last night?

Cursed my doctor for the horrid drugs she's trialing me on. Plus my food shopping.

21. Have you ever felt like you hit rock bottom?

Yes. But I always have bounced back.

22. Current hate right now?

I don't hate, but Donald Trump and most of our current Federal Front Bench in Australia (Peter Dutton in particular) are getting close.

23. Met someone who changed your life?

Numerous people, but I have a lot to thank Leon the Hypnotherapist for. Life changer that one.

24. How did you bring in the New Year?

I'm pretty sure I had a quiet night and went to bed. Like most New Year's Eves. Most over-rated evening of the year.

25. What song represents you?

This song has a lot of meaning to me.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Q & A Questions

It feels a bit strange not having any study. Very strange indeed.

Ah well, plenty of other things to do, like make saurkraut. Never done that before.

Questions, as always, come from Sunday Stealing.

1. where is your significant other?

No idea. Never had one. No idea who they are. No idea what they might be doing. No idea where they might be.

2. your favorite thing?

Sitting at home on Sunday night with a gin and tonic in my hand watching telly.

3. your dream last night?

I don't dream much. Didn't dream.

4. your goal?

At the moment, to stay gainfully employed, finish my Masters and walk the Camino in Spain next year.

5. your hobby?

Writing, knitting, going to the gym.

6. where do you want to be in 6 years?

A successful author. Solvent and happy.

7. where were you last night?

Round at Blarney's watching a movie with the Blarney, the boys and Maow Maow.

8. what you're not?

Overly emotional, mean spirited, grudge holding. I'm also not a Victorian even though I live in Victoria.

9. one of your wish list items?

A freehold apartment. Money to travel two months of every year.

10. your pet?

Don't have one. Borrow other people's cats when they go away.

11. missing someone?

Not really.

12. your car?

A Mazda CX3. It's red so it goes faster.

13. something you're not wearing?


14. love someone?

Lots of people.

15. when is the last time you laughed?

This morning at breakast. And Friday night at a play.

16. last time you cried?

Yesterday - I saw "Their Finest" again. It has sad bits/

17. favorite past time?

Reading and going to the movies.

18. are you a hater or a lover?

Lover. no energy to hate.

19. any vices? 

Gin and tonic.

20. favorite questions blog other than Sunday Stealing? 

What is the favourite compliment you've every received? / What was the nicest thing anybody has said to you?

Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Getting to Know You Questions

Just back from a very relaxing weekend away, hence this is a bit late.

Questions, as per usual, from Sunday Stealing.

1. What is your occupation right now? How long have you been there?

I'm a technical writer / process analyst / project analyst. I contract and have been doing this for about six years. Been technical writing for ten or so years.

2. Favorite rock band. Ever.

The Pixies

3. What are you listening to right now?

The loaner cat playing with it's toys and the telly. Music wise, I'm still into Tash Sultana and Alt-J.

4. Last person you spoke to on the phone. What was it about?

My sister. It's Mother's day. She lost a child eighteen months ago. I always call her on Mother's Day to tell her she is in my thoughts.

5. How old are you today? Or make up a question. This one bites.

As old as I feel - so mid 30s.

6. What is your favorite sport to watch on TV?

Probably cricket - so I can ignore it. or Australian Rules football, so I can half ignore it (depends on who is playing)

7. What is your favorite drink?

Gin and Tonic.  I have a Turkish Apple Tea with lime and soda in front of me at the moment.

8. Have you ever dyed your hair?

Regularly and often.

9. Favorite food?

Ice Cream. Healthy food - Mum's roast lamb.

10. What is the last movie you watched?

I saw The Zookeeper's Wife today. It was meh.

11. Favorite day of the year?

Most weekends

12. How do you vent anger?

Go off in a huff and stomp around for a bit. Or go driving playing The Pogues really loud.

13. What was your favorite toy as a child?


14. Living arrangements? (Of course your pets count. Geez!)

Alone. With the occasional loaner cat.

15. What was the last thing that you cried about?

I watched Freehold earlier today. Bawled at the end

16. Who is the friend you have had the longest?

All of my uni friends I met around the same time, My friend Bernadette I met in our first year English tute.

17. What did you do last night?

Slept, watched movies and enjoyed my hotel room.

18. What are you most afraid of?

A lingering painful death and another term of the fucking Liberal National federal government. They could acquaint to the same thing.

19. In how many areas of your country have you lived? What's your favorite?

Three. Adelaide as a young child, Myponga (country South Australia) as a teenager and Melbourne as an adult
. All three have their good bits.

20. What is your favorite flower? (Ugh. Quite the note to go out on. But hell, we steal the questions. I guess you get what you pay for.)

I love roses and lillies.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

The Crazy Chicago Questions

Papers are nearly in. I have nearly finished the 10th subject of my Masters. (YAYAYAYAYAYAY)

All if have to do now is take all the typos the cat has put in the paper from sitting on the keyboard. Still very proud of myself.

Questions, as always, from Sunday Stealing.

1) What was your dream growing up?

To be a writer or a doctor.

2) What talent do you wish you had?

I have always wanted to play the piano. I never got lessons as a kid. On the 'one day' list.

3) If I bought you a drink what would it be?

Gin and tonic. Preferably Hendricks.

4) What was the last book you read?

Paul Beatty's The Sellout.

5) Worst Habit?

Sucking my thumb when tired. And I have to shower twice a day or I feel awful.

6) If you saw me walking down the street would you offer me a ride?

Maybe. Friends have seen me walking down the street and offered me a life. It's nice.

7) What is your favorite sport?

Australian Rules Football. Quite partial to cricket too.

8) What would you do if you were stuck in an elevator with me?

Sit on the floor, drink the coffee I had to hand and talk nonsense - that's what we did the last time I was stuck in a lift.

9) Worst thing to ever happen to you?

I can't think of anything - things might be hard, but you learn from them.

10) Tell me one weird fact about you.

I was brought up in Myponga. You don't get much weirder than that.

11) What if I showed up at your house unexpectedly?

You'd probably get a cup of tea.

12) If you could change one thing about how you look, what would it be?

I would love to be 30 kgs lighter. Working on that.

13) Would you be my crime partner or my conscience?

Partner in crime. Far more fun.

14) Ever been arrested?


15) If you won $10,000 today, what would you do with it?

Pay off my car and book a holiday.

16) Favorite thing to do in your spare time?

Read, walk and go to the movies.

17) Biggest pet peeve?

Rude people - especially people who are rude to serving/waiting staff.

18) In one word, how would you describe yourself?


19) Do you believe in/appreciate romance?


Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Unknown Author Questions

Supposed to be writing assignments for uni. Slightly daft questions this week so mainly monosyllabic answers.

Questions, as always, from Sunday Stealing.

1.      If someone wanted to really understand you, what would they read, watch, and listen to?

Read: Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Slaughterhouse Five, The Moor's Last Sigh
Watch: Six Feet Under, Orange is the New Black, the Harry Potter Movies
Listen to: Doolittle and Surfer Rosa by The Pixies

2.      Have you ever found a blogger who thinks just like you? if so, who?


3.      List your fandoms and one character from each that you identify with.

No idea what a fandom is. Next.

4.      Do you like your name?  is there another name you think would fit you better?

Being so banal and boring it allows for anonymity in an anglo-saxon world. I write under Pandora Behr and Trellawney Thom.

5.      Do you think of yourself as a human being or a human doing? do you identify yourself by the things you do?

Human being. You finish doing after a while. I write and read. Yay.

6.      Are you religious/spiritual?

Spiritual. can't see a point in being religious. Too many wars have been faught in the name of religion - like the one going on now in America - and don't try to tell me it's not.

7.      Do you care about your ethnicity?

Not really. White Anglo-Saxon of Cornish, Welsh, English and Scottish extraction - nothing exotic.

8.      What musical artists have you most felt connected to over your lifetime?

The Pixies and Alt-J

9.      Are you an artist?

I write. does that count?

10.   Do you have a creed?


11.   Describe your ideal day.

Lots of sleep, sex and ice cream - and throw in a great meal a good movie and some reading that is not uni work.

12.   Dog person or cat person?

Love both, but I identify with cats more. More independent. Less allergic to dogs too.

13.   Inside or outdoors?


14.   Are you a musician?

No. I can sing and play the flute - but not terribly well.

15.   Five most influential books over your lifetime.

Who Moved My Cheese by Dr Spencer Johnson.
The Secret History by Donna Tarrt
Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres
The Harry Potter Books by JK Rowling
The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood (The book I would like to write)

16.   If you’d grown up in a different environment, do you think you’d have turned out the same?

There would be some differences, but generally I would be me.

17.   Would you say your tumblr is a fair representation of the “real you”?

What is tumblr?

18.   What’s your patronus?

A cat.

19.   Which Harry Potter house would you be in? or are you a muggle?

Probably Griffyndor, but maybe Ravenclaw.

20.   Would you rather be in Middle Earth, Narnia, Hogwarts, or somewhere else?

Hogwards - haven't read Narnia or the Lord of the Rings.

21.   Do you love easily?

I fall in love with every dog I see in the street.

22.   List the top five things you spend the most time doing, in order.

Today: Procrastinating, cleaning, writing assignments, walking, drinking.

23.   How often would you want to see your family every year?

I see them 2-3 times a year. They live interstate. That's enough.

24.   Have you ever felt like you had a “mind-meld” with someone?

Yes, and it's scary.

25.   Could you live as a hermit?

Very easily. Some say I do in some ways.

26.   How would you describe your gender/sexuality?

That's a bit personal. Female, cisgender, 95% hetero. The other 5% is up for discussion.

27.   Do you feel like your outside appearance is a fair representation of the “real you”?

No. But there are good bits and I'm not ugly so I deal.

28.   On a scale from 1 to 10, how hard is it for someone to get under your skin?

Depends on the day but normally a 6-7.

29.   Three songs that you connect with right now.

Where is my Mind? The Pixies

Hooked on a Feeling - Blue Swede

Reckless - Australian Crawl

30.   Pick one of your favorite quotes.

Be the change you want to see - Gandhi.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Part 2

Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2 - Four Stars

Okay, action is not my genre, but strangely, I can do the odd bit of Marvel. Yes, I'm hooked.

See, I am Groot..

A bit like Deadpool, I can do these strange, fun, featherweight action movies. They're fun. Take  out the brain at the car park and go and go enjoy them for what they are films.

I am Groot.

So, when my Punjabi kid brother (and everbody needs a Punjabi kid brother) said lets do Tight Arse Tuesday movie night and I asked if he wanted to see this, he was thrilled. After all, it's a movie you'd take your kid brother aged 12 or over to quite happily.) First of all, I needed to catch up on Guardians of the Galaxy  - the first part. A little bit of downloading and I hit pay dirt. What a great film!

I am Groot.

Guardians of the Galaxy Volume Two takes off a couple of months after the end of the first movie. Peter Quill / Starlord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Baby Groot (Vin Diesel) continue their adventures out in space, where Peter's parentage is explored.

I am Groot.

There are plenty of explosions and fights for the boys to enjoy (and the girls too). The CGI and special effects are fantastic. The script is tight and funny, even if it lacks the 'road movie' feel of the first movie.

I am Groot.

The soundtrack is equally as awesome as the first movie as it is based around the Awesome Mix Tape #2 - and as a child of the seventies, I loved every minute of the music.

I am Groot.

This is a silly, funny, action-packed movie. The characters are lovable as they are flawed. Baby Groot is one of the highlights. There are also cameos from some pretty famous actors, including Sylvester Stallone, Kurt Russell, Elizabeth Debicki and Glenn Close, among others.

I am Groot.

As somebody who is quite averse to violence, I sat through this with a smile on my face and a level of comfort that  the violence is what I call "Bang-bang you're dead" violence and thankfully nothing too malicious (says she who got freaked out over last night's episode of Law and Order: SVU).

I am Groot.

I think Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 is my new happy place movie. There are purists who say that you have to know about the Infinity Stones. I don't think so. If you're looking for two hours of fun an entertainment, not requiring a brain that is very funny in places, this is your film. It delivers.

Also, Baby Groot steals the show.

I am Groot.

Oh and I have to put this here too: Ouga chaka, ouga ouga ouga chaka... bet you're singing this for the next two days.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Film Review: Their Finest

Their Finest - 4 and a bit stars

Okay, I am a sucker for English films. A big sucker for English films, but if all films were a bit like this, I think the world would be a much better place.

So Their Finest (released in Britain as "Their Finest Hour and a Half") is a historical comedy set during The Blitz. One Mrs Catrin Cole, from somewhere deep in the valleys of Wales is called up by the Ministry of Information to assist in writing the scripts for their "Keep Calm and Carry On" propaganda films. The film tells the story of a British Ministry of Information film team making a morale-boosting film about the Dunkirk evacuation during the Battle of Britain and the London Blitz.

Okay, Dunkirk, the Battle of Britain. Romantic Comedy. Well, yes - and it works delightfully as we embark on a two hour journey into what it was like to live in through the Blitz and be a part of the spin machine that operates during wartime (Funny, it feels a bit like that now).

The cast are excellent. The film's prtoagonist, Catrin Cole, played by Gemma Arterton is just the right mix of plucky, resolute and fragile and the rather downtrodden screen writer. Her love interest, Buckley, is played with ablomb and a stunningly awful moustache by Sam Claflin - who seems to be doing a great line in playing redeemable arseholes of late (Think Me Without You and The Hunger Games Trilogy.

Stealing the show, in his own inimitable way is Bill Nighy, who plays Bill Nighy. Other notable mentions include Eddie Marsan, who plays Nighy's crotchety manager, and Helen McCrory, who ends up being his manager. Lovely cameo parts which bring warmth and humour into what could have otherwise been a heavy film.

The direction of the film is another of its strengths. Lone Scherfig, who is responsible for wonderful British Films including An Education and One Day. She has a steady hand and knows how to milk the British psyche for its wonderful nuances and failings.

Part farce, part romantic comedy, part look at the horrors of war and just what the British put up with during world war two, I will be recommending this movie for a long time.

I also love it when you have a film that has you doing spit-takes for most of the film only to have you crying buckets for the last ten minutes. (I haven't sobbed like that in ages)

Set in the back streets of London as well as somewhere concocted as "Devon" (it was filmed somewhere off the Welsh Coast) this is a film which you can take your Mum along to and know she's not going to be offended. I know I got out of the cinema and called my Mum, telling her to go and see it.

This is a marvelous film, with just enough lightness to make a war story very human and very enjoyable. It's also a fantastic insight into the propaganda machines which drive our world today.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Mommy Time Questions

Despite the dodgy title of these questions, they are not too bad.

I'm in assignment mode - for which I am not doing too badly. 2000 out o a 3000 word story is complete and the planning is done for the monster 5000 work paper due on 8 May.

So I'm not in a bad place, but I have a LOT of work to do - thank goodness for ANZAC Day on Tuesday.

Questions, as always, from Sunday Stealing.

1. What are five passions that you have? (If you have less than five, tell us what you do have interests.)

  • Writing
  • Travelling
  • Cinema
  • Movies
  • Reading

2. List up to ten random facts about yourself.

  1. I topped my school in Chemistry and French.
  2. I have webbed toes on my right foot
  3. The scar in my eyebrow comes from when my sister donged me over the head with a golf club when I was eleven.
  4. I lived in London for eight years
  5. I love the smell of dog's paws first thing in the morning.
  6. I would love to run a writer's retreat one day.
  7. I have a birthmark on the back of my left calf - my niece had the same birthmark.
  8. I have never worn my hair shorter than a bob.
  9. I am a passionate fifth-generation South Australian.
  10. I am VERY proud of my five uncles who participated in the trenches of World War One (Gallipoli, Alexandria and the Western Front - all support crew - drivers, ambulance men, signalmen and a bugler)

3. List five people (personal, historic, living or dead) who have had a major impact on your life or the way you think.

  • JK Rowling
  • Dr Spencer Johnson - author of "Who Moved My Cheese"
  • Thomas a Becket
  • Leon the hypnotherapist
  • Shakespeare

4. List 5 things you'd tell your 15 year-olds self, if you could.

  1. Things ARE going to get better.
  2. Exercise more - you will learn to love it.
  3. Just shut up - pick your battles - there are some not worth fighting.
  4. You are not fat. Seriously.
  5. Learn to let go with grace. It is a skill you will learn to love.

5. What is a major strength that you have? (You can list more than one. Staying with our no rules approach.)

I am loyal, kind and tenacious. I think these are wonderful strengths.

6. What is a major weakness that you have? (You can list more than one. STILL staying with our no rules approach.)

Other than ice cream?  I get bored easily - and it can get destructive.

7. Describe the family dynamic of your childhood versus your family dynamic now.

Passive-aggressive. It wasn't a particularly happy home.

8. What popular notion do you feel that the world has most wrong?

Other than that trickle down economics works (For fuck's sake, it doesn't) Conservative values are really not a good thing at all - they're a crock of shite - particularly where it comes to women's and reproductive rights. Get your hands off my ovaries and go find something of your own to fuck up.

9. Name three things that always cheers you up when you are down.

  • Cuddles
  • Ice Cream
  • Movies

10. Name three things would you like to be remembered for?

  • The fantastic novel that I will write
  • My kindness
  • My sense of humour

Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Place for Pumpkins Questions

Happy Easter / Passover / Insert your public holiday here.

I'm trying to have a nice and peaceful Easter, but the hacking cough going on at the moment is not helping matters. After a week, I think it's time to go see a doctor.

Anyway, no idea why these are called "The Place for Pumpkings" questions but I will give them a go.

Questions, as always, from Sunday Stealing.

1. If "happiness" was the global currency, what kind of work would make you a gazillionaire? 

Probably being a fiction writer. I do like the thought of that. Breeder of Bernese Mountain Dogs - that would be very cool too.

2. Would you break the law to save someone you loved?  And, if so, how far would you be willing to take it?

Probably not. I'm not made up that way.
3. Is it possible to really know the truth without questioning it first?

I think so. Some things you just know. Matters of the heart you have to trust your gut. Everything else, question it. Especially the news.
4. Do you remember that one time . . . oh, about 5 years ago or so . . . when you were really, really upset?  Does it really matter now? If not now, then when?

No, it doesn't matter. I've moved on.

5. Is it possible to know, without a doubt, what is good and what is evil?

No. As somebody who is not a Christian, with the possible exceptions of Hitler and maybe Donald Trump ( who's ignorance is evil) I'm not that sure. Not sure I believe in good and evil.  The goalpost move too much.
6. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?

Nothing. I really don't give a crap what people think.
7. Would you rather have less work to do, or more work you actually enjoy doing?

More work I enjoyed doing. I don't mind work, but I like to be productive.

8. Would you rather be an anxious genius, or a tranquil fool?

Rather be a tranquil fool. Anxious geniuses are very, very concerning.

9. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?

Much prefer to do the right thing. Doing things right is good, but it is always better to do the right thing.
10. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?

Young enough to have fun without knowing better.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

The Sassiest Questions

Well, I am quite proud of myself - I have done my two tutorial responses, I'm about to do my ironing and make my lunch for the week - and even better - I'm off to see Book of Mormon tonight. Yay. I feel like I've done some stuff this weekend.

Questions, as always from Sunday Stealing.

1. If you could say anything you wanted to say to Donald Trump, what would you say?

Resign, NOW. Before you lead us into World War III, you orange fucktard.

2. If you had to be the mother of Britney Spears or Lindsay Lohan, who would you choose and why?

Britney Spears. Despite some very hard years and some rather awkward decisions, she appears to have turned into a reasonable human being.

3. You get to be Queen for a day. The kids are all taken care of, and you can spend as much money as you want. What do you do all day?

Probably go and have a massage and spend a lot of time (and money) in a book store. If not that, buy a last minute First Class Ticket on Emirates Airlines - and go somewhere for a few hours that way. That is supposed to be amazing.

4. Is there a song that brings tears to your eyes every time you hear it? If so, which one?

This. Every. Freaking. Time.

5. A fairy taps you on the shoulder and tells you that you can either have a perfect face or a perfect body for the rest of your life. Which do you choose?

A perfect body. One that doesn't break down and get old and cranky. I don't mind a few wrinkles but I would love to be as flexible as I was in my 20s. I promise I'll look after it.

6. If you could live any place in the world and money was no object, where would you live and why?

Probably London. I love London. But you need money. Rome would be great too.

7. What is your biggest regret in life?

Not getting therapy sooner.

8. If you could go back and visit one person in your life who is now dead, and ask one question, what would that question be and why would you ask it?

I would love to talk to my paternal grandfather - who has been dead nearly forty years. I would love to get his perspective on things. There were always a lot of things never said on that side of the family. Lots to talk about.

9. If you had the choice to age forward (like we are now) or aging backwards (think Benjamin Buttons) which would you choose and why?

Age backwards - and get all these middle aged grungy thinks I'm feeling over and done with. Middle age is not for sissies.

10. What will the epitaph on your headstone say?

Nevertheless, she persisted.  (It's a bit of a feminist battle cry - and I do live to persist) I doubt I will have a headstone as 1) I want to  be cremated and 2) I want my ashes scattered somewhere where a headstone would look out of place.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Film Review: Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast - 4 Stars

Okay, so I must be the only one on the planet not to have seen the original Disney “Beauty and the Beast”. Seeing that it came out in 1991 when I was moving myself to London, I like to think that I had better things to do at the time. Besides, I was aware of the general story, why did I need to see it?

So this new Disney live action film come out and I’m a bit interested. I do like Emma Watson. It’s been great to see her grow out of Hermione Granger’s shadow and into a decent actress. I’m rather fond of Luke Evans. I sort of like Dan Stevens even if he will never come out of Lady Mary Crawley’s pall after that car crash on Downton Abbey – besides, he has lovely blue eyes.

Sam and I took ourselves off to see this on our semi-regular girls night out – not the animated version, but the 2017 Emma Watson, “gay-scandal in Malaysia” version. 

And we loved every minute of it.

The story is quite simple. Belle, a bit of a misfit in her village is the daughter of a local merchant. The Merchant goes off to Paris to sell his wares. Belle asks him to bring back a rose for her. On the way back from the trip, the merchant strays off course where he ends up at the castle of a once handsome prince, who having pissed off a local witch.  The witch has turned him into a beast – and quite a gnarly one at that. He has until the last petal falls off of a rose to find somebody to love him as he loves her back. (Yeah, not the greatest feminist message out there and as I have written this word thirty times today it is front of mind) While picking said rose for Belle, the Merchant the beast captures him – he’s not very happy about his roses going missing – even if nobody has been around the place for years.

Back in the village, a vain git called Gaston is trying to win Belle’s hand. She sees him for the rubbish suitor he would be and tells him to go get stuffed. When her father’s horse returns without him, Belle goes to search him out. Finding him inprisoned, she takes her father’s place. You'd think he'd like a visitor.

Okay – they you have the middle bit of the movie, the Beast and Belle fall in love, Gaston comes to search her out, but not after being rebuffed by her father. There is a big fight scene and then the witch reverses the spell and they all live happily ever after.

Okay, you don’t think about the slightly creepy through that there is this bloke – turned into a beast, who is keeping a woman against her will (though thinking about it, he does treat her well in captivity). You also overlook the fairly bad case of Stockholm Syndrome which Belle appears to procure. And you can forgive the overacting by most of the cast as this is a Disney Musical.

We loved it. It was a fanstastic film to just sit back and enjoy. Emma Watson is the quintessential Belle. Kevin Kline is both believable and fun as her father. I was quite taken with Luke Evans as the dreadful, arrogant and redemption-less Gaston. He was superb. And Josh Gad was brilliant as Le Fou, Gaston’s sidekick.

Much has been made of the homosexual overtones from Le Fou’s admiration / love for Gaston. Malaysia banned the film because of this. In my honest opinion, stupid move. There is nothing to it. It’s very fun to watch, completely inoffensive and could happily be construed as one many admiring another, if you wanted to. I was shocked at Malaysia’s over-reaction to some fun scenes.

Other cast members who provided voices, Ewan McGregor, Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci and Ian McKellen, to name a few, were great as the CGI furniture and cutlery who keep the beast company.

This is a fabulous film to take kids to, or bigger kids. It’s great fun. There isn’t an over commitment to the songs and you leave with a big smile on your face, even if you do wonder why Malaysia was having such a hard time with the fact that two guys are dancing on screen. And they weren’t even twerking. 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

The Cannon Fodder Questions Meme

I should be studying.  At least it's a short list today.

Questions, as always, from Sunday Stealing.

1. Is there someone you'd like to be kissing right now?

Yes, but I'm not going to tell you who that is.

2. When you're being extremely quiet, what does it mean?

I'm either tired or thinking. Both states are a bit dangerous.

3. What are you listening to right now?

The cat talking to me and the morning news.

4. Are you a big fan of thunderstorms?

Love them - a long as they aren't right over me and lightning isn't striking within 100 metres.

5. Do you believe in perfect?


6. Are you a jealous person?

No. Pointless emotion.

7. What was the first thing you thought this morning?

Where is that duvet - the cat had stolen the covers.

8. What do you think about when you are falling asleep?

Can I go to sleep now? Side or tummy.

9. Are you satisfied with what you have in life?

Yes. I am very lucky.

10. Do people ever think that you're either older or younger than you actually are?

People tend to think I'm about ten years younger than I look. Thank goodness.

11. Do you think men truly understand women?

Of course not.

12. How about women understanding men?

Do you really want to?

13. Did anybody ever call you handsome or beautiful?

Yes, but it was a long time ago. I'm lovely on the inside.

14. What is one fact about the last person that called you?

She's my mother.

15. Other than your current one, tell us about the longest relationship you have had either a romance or a particular good friend.

I'm still great friends with a couple of university friends. We don't see each other often, but it's like old times when we do meet up. It's great.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Kathy Ann Questions

It appears Kathy Ann is Sunday Stealing's wife. I've just come back from a Short Story Bootcamp hosted by Maxine Beneba Clarke. Awesome and thought provoking weekend.

This will be a quick one - I want to get short story writings seeing that I've just got the lunches ready for the week and watched Married at First Sight (Susan, Susan, Susan....)

1. What is the meaning of your blog’s name?

Denial is a big river in Egypt... and I am its princess.

2. Why did you start your blogging?

I wanted to chart my path to a marathon. I've run five half marathons, but the big one is fifty pounds of weight loss and a year of training away (and I'd rather train for the Camino now)

3. What’s your usual bedtime?

Somewhere around 11 pm. Rarely earlier, sometimes later.

4. Are you lazy?

At times, but generally now.

5. Do you miss anyone right now?

I'm pretty good at the moment.

6. How would you describe your fashion sense?

Melbourne black with a few quirks. Lots of stripes and a bit of Adelaide navy for good measure.

7. What are your nicknames?

Panda. Dory. "Leave the cat alone."

8. Are you a patient person?

To a fault for the most part - then I snap and walk away.

9. Are you tight-fisted or frivolous?

A bit of both. I wouldn't say I'm frivolous, but I do consider what I'm spending my money on.

10. What magazines do you read?

NY Times magazine. Sometimes overland, Sometimes Marie Claire. I do most of my reading online.

11. Are you stubborn?


12. When is your birthday?

In August. Winter baby.

13. What book are you currently reading?

Maxine Beneba Clarke's "Foreign Soil".

14. What phone do you have?

iPhone 6.

15. Do you have any pets?

No, but I borrow cats when their owners go away. I seem to have a cat in my flat about half the time.

16. Do you have siblings?

One sister, one step-sister.

17. Any children or grandchildren?

No. Not that silly.

18. What do you order at Starbucks?

Nothing. The coffee is crap. I live in Melbourne where you only go to Starbucks if there is a gun put to your head. At normally coffee shops I have a large skinny cappuccino.

19. What did you do for your last birthday?

Went and saw Matilda with some friends and ate a lot of meals out.

20. What’s your occupation?

Currently I'm a technical writer / process analyst / project dog's body.

21. Do you live in the country or the city?

Inner city, though I come from the country.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The TV Show Questions

I am supposed to be studying. But no. one tute paper is in, the other is looking at me funny, so I'm giving up for the night and doing my questions.

Questions, as always, come from Sunday Stealing.

1. Name a TV show series in which you have seen every episode at least twice:

There are quire a few of these, including:

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • The West Wing
  • Six Feet Under
  • Outlander
  • The Affair (though I still haven't seen the Third Season)
  • The Hour (Love English drama)
  • The Dr Blake Mysteries

2. Name a show you can't miss:

Currently, I'm a little into Married at First Sight. It's train wreck telly, but I love it.

3. Name an actor that would make you more inclined to watch a show:

I do love Mary Louise Parker. Also having love Quantam Leap all those years ago, I rather like Scott Bakula. Dominic West and Romola Garai are great too.

4. Name an actor who would make you less likely to watch a show:

I don't get Will Ferrell. I he were on telly I'd turn it off.

5. Name a show you can, and do, quote from:

The Young Ones. Ra ra ra, we're going to smash the oiks. I still quote The Young Ones.

6. Name a show you like that no one else enjoys:

I get a lost of stick for watching really bad reality television - like Bondi Ink, Ink Master Embarrassing Bodies and Random Breath Testing. I have truly dreadful taste in bad telly. I do love a good/bad tattoo show.

7. Name a TV show which you've been known to sing the theme song:

The Addams Family and the Muppets.

8. Name a show you would recommend everyone to watch:

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • The West Wing
  • Six Feet Under
  • Outlander
  • The Affair 
  • The Hour
  • The Dr Blake Mysteries
9. Name a TV series you own:
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • The West Wing
  • Six Feet Under
  • Outlander
  • The Affair (though I still haven't seen the Third Season)
  • The Hour 
  • The Dr Blake Mysteries
10. Name an actor who launched his/her entertainment career in another medium, but has surprised you with his/her acting chops in television:

Kylie Minogue can act when she puts her mind to it. So can Snoop Dogg.

11. What is your favorite episode of your favorite series?

Other than the Outlander episodes with all the gratuitous sex. Probably an episode of Frasier called "Moondance". It's delicious.

12. Name a show you keep meaning to watch, but you just haven't gotten around to yet:

With the advent of streaming, there are a lot of them out there - but I would like to see This is Us - have heard good things about it. As I love Paul Giamatti, I'd also like to see Billions. And The Gilmour Girls. (I know of it but have never seen it all)

13. Ever quit watching a show because it was so bad?

Ummm, other than Game of Thrones, because it is too violent - I used to love Grey's Anatomy. That jumped the shark a while ago

14. Name a show that's made you cry multiple times:
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • Six Feet Under
  • The Hour  (NOOOOOO, Freddie!)
I'm also not allowed to watch animal shows as they make me cry. I just have to hear the Lassie theme and I dissolve into tears.

15. What do you eat when you watch TV?

Dinner. And sometimes icy poles as I am off ice cream for Lent.

16. How often do you watch TV?

Daily. Well it is on in the background most of the time.

17. What's the last TV show you watched?

I watched When We Rise this evening.

18. What's your favorite/preferred genre of TV?

Good drama or comedy - and thrown in some dodgy tattoo shows for good measure.

19. What was the first TV show you were obsessed with?

I used to LOVE Santa Barbara. But my mother will tell me that as a kid, our home grown music show Countdown was a must see, much to her chagrin.

20. What TV show do you wish you never watched?

I don't have regrets like that, but I do advise everybody not to watch Antiques Roadshow under the influence of strange tobacco. It's hysterical.

I actively change the channel when "The Footy Show" is on on a Thursday night. That should be driven off the telly.

21. What's the weirdest show you enjoyed?

Probably Six Feet Under. Who enjoys a show about a family of undertakers, with a death at the start of each episode?

22. What TV show scared you the most?

Any episode of Q&A with any dreadful right wing politician being buoyed by a Murdoch stooge is dreadfully scary.

The news scares me a lot too.

23. What is the funniest TV show you have ever watched?

Hands down, Fawlty Towers. 30 years on and it still has me laughing.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Movie Review: Jasper Jones

Jasper Jones: 3 Stars

I write this with a bit of a heavy heart. See, we did Craig Silvey's "Jasper Jones" in book group a couple of years ago and it was one of the highlights of the year. It's a young adult book which looks at themes of country towns, outcasts, racism, family violence and growing up. It's a fantastic book.

Then last year, the Melbourne Theatre Company put on "Jasper Jones" as a play - and did a fantastic job of it. Atmospheric and edgy, it caught these themes of he book very well indeed.

In Rachel Perkin's film of Jasper Jones, I came away both disappointed and a little bemused. How could they take my most wonderful book and play and sanitise it with the vengeance of a bleach bath. This was not my Jasper Jones. This was pretty much Jasper Jones for 12-year-olds - which is what I think the director and the screenwriters might have been aiming at.

Okay, the story in brief. Misfit, Charlie Bucktin, is woken in the middle of the night by Jasper Jones, a half-aboriginal youth, who is the town scapegoat and tearaw. Jasper needs Charlie's help - something that Charlie could never envisage. Going with Jasper, they walk to a nearby billabong where they find a local girl hanging from a tree. Jasper and Charlie, after some discussion, place the weighted body of the girl in the billabong.

The next day, we find out that a girl is missing (said girl now at the bottom of the billabong) and the town is on high alert. The town of Corrigan, just out of Perth, is in a state of disarray.

Add to this, Charlie's parents marriage is in its death throws, there is a mad old hermit who half-terrorises the neighbourhood and the dead girl's sister has a bit of a thing for Charlie. Oh, and this is set in 1969, so add to this a Chinese / Vietnamese family into the mix with all the Vietnam War tensions.

Yeah, there should be a lot of tension.

Well, sort of. They've turned my wonderful and edgy book into a coming of age movie. This is not the worst thing in the world, but it's not the same as the book.

Levi Miller plays Charlie - and he is excellent. Aaron McGrath is similarly great as the misunderstood Jasper. Angourie Rice makes a very fetching Eliza, sister to the dead girl. Hugo Weaving is also great as Mad Jack - a pivotal role in the book which misses the mark despite the great performance. Dan Wyllie and Toni Collette are very credible as Charlie's parents.

And somebody who I loved more in the film, than in the play, Kevin Long was great as Jeffrey Lu, a 13-year-old Vietnamese cricket tragic and Charlie's mate. They got him right. He also provides some light relieve among the darker themes.

But this films falls short of the mark. The tension is not there. It feels more like  a coming of age story than the edgy social commentary which is provided so well by the book. They only touch lightly on the racism that is set towards Jasper and the Lu family. The family violence theme is only lightly handled. The sense of being an outcast isn't as pronounced as it could be. At the end of the film, you feel this is more a film about Charlie and his journey to becoming a man and falling love, where Jasper's role is played down. How Mad Jack and Jasper play out is also not shown, which is more the pity. There is a lot of the small town dynamics which could have been handled better.

There are some terrific lines and scenes in the film, as well as a number of great laugh out loud moments. (What would you rather, a hat made of spiders or have penises for fingers?). Also, the town of Manjimup, playing Corrigan, is perfect in it's role as every country town in the Australia in the late sixties. The soundscape, the caw of the magpies and the hum of V8 engines is fantastic.

But this misses the mark.

With the themes of suicide so prevalent, I wouldn't be taking anybody under the age of twelve to this (Saying this, the once scene is brief and very well handled), but this is a film for young adults, sanitised to the point of the Australian Public Service Political Correctness with an injection of fairy floss.

I did enjoy the film. I just reckon that this could have been a lot better given a bit of courage from the director and screenwriters.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Movie Review: Saint Joan

Saint Joan: 4.5 Stars

A free afternoon in another city. Seen everything in the movies that I want to see. What do I do? Go to the Arthouse cinema and hunt out a film which is showing a play which has recently been on the London Stage. George Bernard Shaw - how wrong can you get?

I love Gemma Arterton, I have done ever since she was in "Tamara Drewe". The timings would mean I could get to the airport with time to kill. Why not?

This was a great decision.

The National Theatre in London has a number of spaces. The Donmar Warehouse is their theatre in the round space. The stage goes back four rows - it's tiny. And in this space, this band of players puts on George Bernard Shaw's "Saint Joan". Written and first performed in 1923, the play has a timelessness which is both unsettling and uncanny.

I won't go into the story of Joan of Arc - it's a well known story - and the play / film takes this on board. Why labour a story you already know. What the play does well is move this to modern times.

Director Josie Rourke has taken Joan from the farms of the East of France to a modern boardroom, giving this production extra clout. Adding to this an element of the 24-hour news cycle, social media and the BBC Newsnight and you have a thought provoking and timely production of this Trump era.

I loved this production. Not being able to go to London to take this in, the film version is a great  - brilliantly filmed and very, topical. With a  cast of "Oh, yeahs" (Those English actors whose faces you know, but you can't name them) Gemma Arterton carries off the lead role of Joan with ease - from the fervent farm girl, to the soldier, to the Christian martyr, betrayed by everybody and left to her fate at the stake.

What takes this play to the next level is the setting. All of the action takes place on a revolving stage around a board room table. All of the men in the play are dressed in modern day suits - sharp, corporate suits. Joan is left to her peasant, soldier and prisoner clothes. This juxtaposition is stark and telling. What is most disturbing, from the modern angle, is how Joan, once her mission is completed , is thrown out with the trash. In this corporate setting, the message could not be more unsettling or clearer.

Gemma Arterton steals this production. Eminently watchable, she's a force of nature, channeling Joans fervour and resolve. The "Oh, yeahs" do a great job too, though with the exception of Niall Buggy (you will go, "Oh, yeah" when you google him) most relatively unknown, but excellent  jobbing English stage actors all the same - you will have seen a few of them on Midsummer Murders. My favourite kind of actor.

Look out for this film of this play. It's great.

I'm looking forward to the National's season which will be filmed and shown in arthouse theatres around Australia in the coming months. It's a way of making the London Theatre accessible. I wish it happened more.