Sunday, July 28, 2019

For the Queen's Curiosity Questions

It's all a bit sad. I've just come back from having a pedicure with a friend. We stopped for coffee at my local cafe, and was welcomed by the news that the cafe is closing and the manager, who I've known for over ten years, will be not working from there from later tonight. I'm very sad about this. This is my cafe. It may not be the best cafe - but the coffee is constant and the eggs are good and it will be closing on 1 September. Will have to find somewhere else to go after the gym on Sunday morning. It's most sad.

I'll concentrate on the positives - this time next week I'll be sitting in a theatre seeing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Yay.

I'll still miss Adrian, the cafe manager. It's big news.

Right, things to do, so best get on with these questions, supplied, as always, by Bev at Sunday Stealing.

1.  What is the nearest book to you?  Your Kindle does not count.

I have a bookcase filled to the brim with books about a foot behind me. The first title I can see if I turn around is The Museum of Modern Love by Heather Rose. It's an incredible read. Won the Stella Prize. Love it.

2.  When was the last time you took a "me" vacation

Last year I went to Bali for my birthday. That was eleven months ago. That was a part of the festival of me. I did a bit of yoga and a lot of gin drinking. It was awesome.

3.  How many telephone numbers do you have?

Technically three, but I only use one. I have a land line that I never use. I've got a mobile (cell) and I have a spare cell in my drawer which I should hand into the mobile muster. I haven't used it in ten years. It's a pay as you go. The number is probably defunct.

4.  If you could fix one thing in the public school system, what is the one thing you would do immediately?

Bring back the arts - more art, music, writing. I'd also bring back more technical subjects where kids who aren't academic could get on the apprenticeship path.

Oh, and this:

5.  Are you a big tipper?

I'm Australian. As a rule, as we pay our serving and wait staff a proper wage, we don't tip. If the service is out of this world, you might get 5-10%, but we, as a rule, as a country, don't tip. It's not a part of our service industry - people are not at the behest of the tips they make to feed themselves or pay the rent - and long may that remain.  (Wait staff make around $20 an hour - yeah..., plus leave loadings)

6.  Do you watch reality shows?

Sort of. I have a few that I do watch - Married at First Sight, sometimes I'll look in on The Block, and I'll watch the odd episode of Masterchef, but that is about it. Oh, and Ninja Warrior - but technically that's not a reality show.

7.  Who is your favorite sports team player?

If I have to say one person, probably Eddie Betts of the Adelaide Crows. Good bloke. Little and fast.

8.  If you could travel in a spaceship to any planet, which planet would you like to visit and why?

I'd love to go to Saturn, just to see the rings and the moons. They look amazing from here.

9.  When was the last time you sat in a church?

Oh gawd, I really don't have an idea. I think I popped into a church into St Francis's Catholic Church in Adelaide in October when my friend Geetangeli was over from New Zealand. I'm not a Christian, but I do love the feeling of peace I get sitting in churches. The last time I went voluntarily to a church service for myself was when I was 16. And I know I popped in on the last half of my cousin's Anglican service in Sydney a few years ago. He's an Anglican priest. I walked in as he was giving the sermon. He winked at me and made mention that we should be grateful the building was still standing.

I slept in what was a confessional, in what was a chapel, in what was a monastery a few weekends ago when I was on retreat. Does that count?

10.  Are there any aspects of blogging that annoy you?

As a weekly blogger it's just a fun thing to do on Sunday. I don't like those spamming commenters who try and sell you fake luxury goods.

11.  When someone follows you on their blog or subscribes to your Facebook page, do you automatically follow and subscribe back?

Sorry, no. But I think about it on Twitter.

Today's Song:

Sunday, July 21, 2019

The Book of Questions Meme

Ah, another weekend, another airport. though this weekend was a bit different as it was a day trip away. I can't say much, but I have a lot of writing fodder from the day. What I can say is:

  • Two flights in a day is very tiring
  • Mumm champagne is still glorious
  • Nothing beats an airport Whopper with cheese and extra pickles when you've been running around all  day
  • It still takes a few hours to calm down after such a trip.
But it was a good day. 

Questions, as always, come form Bev at Sunday Stealing.

1. Do you think the world will be a better or worse place 100 years from now?

I would hope it will be a better place, but I'm not so sure it will be.

2.  Would you accept $1,000,000 to leave the country and never set foot in it again.

No. $100,000,000 maybe, but not a million. You can't even buy a house in Melbourne for a million dollars.

3. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the body or the mind of a 30 year old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?

Oh, could I please have my 30 year old body back. This one two decades on takes too long to heal. I'm fortunate that in my family, we tend to keep our marbles up until the end - I hope it is the same for me.

4. What would constitute a “perfect” evening for you?

Some great Shakespeare, a lovely meal, good company and a long bath - maybe throw in a gin and tonic for good measure too.

5. Whom do you admire most?  In what way does that person inspire you?

My friend Reindert is amazing. A great person. Very driven, but still has a life. He generally lives a good life as a great person.

How my sister remains upright after losing a child three years ago, I will never know. That is inspiring.

6. Do you prefer being around men or women?  Do your closest friends tend to be men or women?

I have more women friends than men friends, and my closest friends are women - but I have some close men friends too. They have different roles in my life.

7. If you could use a voodoo doll to hurt anyone you chose, would you?

I don't like the thought of hurting people, but if I did, Donald Trump, Scott Morrison (Australia Prime Minister) and Peter Dutton (a god-awful Australian politician) would be up there.

8. What is your most treasured memory?

I have a few, but I think one certain night at the Shangri-La hotel in Sydney a few years ago comes to mind. It was just perfect.

9. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?  Is there anything you hope to do that is even better?  (Let’s exclude raising children, if you have them)

Probably obtaining my Master's degree. That was pretty good. I'm still tossing up doing a doctorate.

10. If you went to a dinner party and were offered a dish you had never tried, would you want to taste it, even if it sounded strange and not very appealing?

More than likely I'd try it - I'm an adventurous eater.

11. Do your close friends tend to be older or younger than you?

Most of my friends are 1-3 years younger than me - though I have friends of all ages.

12. How do you feel when people sing Happy Birthday to you in a restaurant?

Very embarrassed. It hasn't happened for a while.

13. When you tell a story, do you often exaggerate or embellish it?  If so, why?

I try to stick to the facts, but as a writer, I'm prone to embellishing things a bit.

14. If a friend were almost always late, would you resent it or simply allow for it?  Can you be allowed to be on time?

I'm the friend who's normally a few minutes late, but not dreadfully late - though I do try to be on time. And yes, you're allowed to be on time. It's good manners.

15. If you could have free, unlimited service for five years from an extremely good cook, chauffeur, housekeeper, or personal secretary, which would you choose?

Oh please can I have a housekeeper. Please.....

Today's song:

Sunday, July 14, 2019

The Sad Sleepy Rambles Questions

Ah, another late blog after a very lazy day and a lovely weekend filled with a movie (Booksmart - my first five star movie for the year) and a musical (Come From Away - who knew a musical about 9/11 could be so wonderful - seriously awesome)

Questions, as per normal, come from Bev at Sunday Stealing.

Have you ever been teased because of the things you like?

Yep, regularly. You try be a Shakespeare nerd in a world full of magazine readers.

Do you hold grudges?

No. Pointless waste of energy.

Were there any classes you enjoyed because of the teacher?

I've had classes I've hated because of the teacher. I remember having a really good maths teacher in Year 12 (I think it might be called Senior Year). He brought the subject to life.

Was there a dress code at your school?

Sort of. Unlike now, where most schools have school uniform, we just had school colours - blue, yellow and white - and you could turn up in anything. Jeans and a sweatshirt were the way to go back then.

Have you ever been a bad friend?

Yes, but I hope it's been forgivable when I have been a bad friend. It normally entails not contacting people soon enough when I'm busy or going to ground when I'm stressed.

Has a friend ever replaced you with somebody else?

Back in childhood. It often happens when your friends find a new partner. Oh well.

Have you ever disliked something just because it was popular?

More back when I was a kid, and sometimes because I'm known to be a bit of a snob. Things like The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo books and the Fifty Shades of Grey books - tried and failed to read them - they were rubbish - and popular.

Have you ever watched a movie just because it starred an actor you liked?

Yes. I tried to watch Sin City because Clive Owen was in it - awful film. But Clive Owen was in it. I persevered for about 45 minutes before walking out.

Are there actors/musicians you have met?

I volunteered as a driver at the Melbourne Writer's Festival many years ago - I met all sorts of local celebrities then. I also pinched a cigarette of Jeremy Clarkson at a restaurant in London. That's about it.

Do you ever judge people based on the music they listen to?

Not really. I'm more likely to judge them for what they aren't reading. I have such eclectic music tastes I can't judge - tough I did used to rib my niece for being into K-Pop.

What about your top five music albums?

Ten favourites in no real order as I can't do just five:

  • The Pixies - Doolittle / Surfer Rosa
  • Alanis Morissette - Jagged Little Pill
  • Portishead - Dummy
  • Alt-J - An Awesome Wave
  • Fun Lovin' Criminals - Come Find Yourself
  • Hoodoo Gurus - Stoneage Romeos
  • Talking Heads - Stop Making Sense
  • Violent Femmes - Violent Femmes
  • Searching for Sugarman - Rodriguez
  • The Pogues - Rum Sodomy and The Lash
  • Peter Gabriel - So

Do you remember the first album you ever owned?

I think that as Abba Arrival. I was about six.

Do you still use an mp3 player, or just your phone?

Just the phone.

Do you like Elton John?

Yes. I've remembered how much I like him after seeing Rocketman a few weeks ago - but I've got some of his early stuff on high rotation.

Have any celebrity deaths hit you hard? Which one(s)?

Two celebrity deaths which really got to me were Philip Seymour Hoffman and Alan Rickman.

I've always loved Alan Rickman - I've loved him since Truly Madly Deeply, I cried when he passed. The loss of Philip Seymour Hoffman was just a tragic waste.

Today's Song:


Sunday, July 7, 2019

The I Love Questions Questions

Having a quiet weekend at home - and it is awesome. Lots of cleaning. Lots of writing. And a couple of movies for good measure.

Getting the blog out early.

Some good questions here, Bev. who, as always, is doing a stirling job over there at Sunday Stealing.

1. Are you satisfied with the way your life is right now?

Pretty much. I wish I had the opportunity to travel more and not have to worry about work or money.

2. Do you drink enough water?

Nearly, but not quite. I drink about two litres a day - I should try and incorporate another litre of fluid into the day.

3. When was the last time you ate at Burger King?

A couple of months ago I had a Whopper on the way home from the airport. It was late, I was hungry. It was on the way. And nothing beats a Whopper with Cheese with extra pickles.

4. Do you prefer the beach or the mountains?

I like both of them, but I think the beach wins out here. I feel very peaceful when I'm at the beach.

5. How do you usually feel when you wake up on a morning?

I feel like I could use another hour in bed. I like my bed.

6. Would you rather take someone on a date, or be taken on a date?

As an Australian, we don't really do dating. I can't remember the last time I was taken on a real 'proper' American style date. I know it was a couple of years ago and we went Dutch.  It would be nice to know what it feels like to be taken out again.

7. When was the last time you wore high heeled shoes?

Thursday. To work. I wear low heeled pumps to work Monday through Thursday. Friday has a more casual dress code.

8. Vodka or wine?

Vodka. Has fewer consequences. I can't drink red wine anyway so vodka it is.

9. How often do you cry?

Not very often - maybe once a fortnight, normally at something on the telly. I've grown a lot less emotional in my old age.

10. Ever had a crush on a teacher?

Yes. I was a teenage girl once. Doesn't everybody.

11. Can you wire a plug?

If I have to. I used to wire plugs when I lived in England, but in Australia, plugs come with appliances. My stepdad is an electrician. If I have work like that I tend to take it over to him now - which is rare.

12. Do you wear socks to bed?

Never, I run hot as it is.

13. What is currently bugging you?

Our f*cking useless, cold-hearted, cretinous Federal Government. It's nothing a revolution of the sensible wouldn't fix with a bit of arsenic and flame thrower.

15. Can you change a car tire?

Yes. Again, something I haven't had to do for a very long time. Last time I needed a tyre fixed I called the RACV (Auto Club) who did an internal patch and fixed the tyre that way. (Note, it's spelled tyre over here. )

16. Have you met more than ten celebrities?

Umm, in passing, yes. I was a driver at the Melbourne Writer's Festival. I met a lot of local celebrities. I think my best celebrity meets were scumming a cigarette off of Jeremy Clarkson and standing behind Emma Thompson in the supermarket queue.

17. Do you sleep naked?

Yes. Always, all year round. Saves on washing. I only wear pyjamas when I'm staying at somebody else's place.

18. What was the best music gig you’ve ever attended?

Okay, I have to name a few

  • David Byrne at the Brixton Academy London in 1993 - that was amazing.
  • The Pixies at the V-Festival, The Gold Coast, 2006
  • David Byrne's American Utopia Tour, Melbourne, 2018 (If you in or around New York in the coming months, all I can say is beg, borrow, steal or buy a ticket - it's phenomenal.
  • Hunters and Collectors at the Tivoli, Adelaide, 1990

19. Have you ever had sexual feelings for anyone you follow on line?

Does Clive Owen count?  :)

20. Who is someone who has changed your life positively.

My friend Reindert. He's a most wonderful man, who I was hoping to go over and see in Colorado later in the year (but I'm going to a wedding in India instead - next year I say). He got me running. He taught me a lot about myself. He's a great friend.

21. Favourite city?

Oh don't do this to me. Can I do this by continent?

  • Europe - London (though I have soft spots for Toledo, Athens and Utrecht.
  • Asia - Hong Kong (with a soft spot for Bangkok)
  • America  - Boston. I could live in Boston. 
  • Australia - Melbourne. it's cool, it's hip, it's not too humid and the coffee is good. 

22. Can you drive?

Of course. I'm an Australian raised in the country. I've been driving since I was 14 - had a licence since I was 16.

22. Cigarettes or alcohol?

Alcohol in moderation. Gave up smoking over ten years ago.

23. Favourite and least favourite accents?

Favourite accent - I love a good French Accent
Least favourite accent - I'm not fond of bogan Australia a la Pauline Hanson. I'll attach a clip for reference.

24. Did you play Red Rover when you were a child?

Yes. I was never any good at it.

25. Do you like 1980s fashion? 

Not really. I'm still to work out the reason leg warmers came into being.

Today's song: