Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Notes from Today

 Today was a meh day. 

I have 8 working days left at my current job, starting a new one on 17 March, after the long weekend. 

So, I'm doing clean up duties at work, which isn't that much fun. Oh well. 

And being a meh day, it means that I've got what I had to done, then found other things to do. 

I've noticed the following things:

1. There are roadworks all over the city at the moment. Going into town to collect my mail, what should have been a 30 minute round trip took me an hour. On the good side of things, I got to finish my audiobook. 

2. Sriracha and honey make a good glaze for chicken. 

3. Trying to get into bed by midnight for me is hard - but in March, I'm going to try to be in bed by midnight and get up a bit earlier. 

4. I used to do monthly goals. I want to get back to that again. Got more done. 

5. There's another knitting camp in May. And I'm fretting. Notification came through today I want to go to knitting camp. But I also want to go to Paris. And I'm going to be doing quite a bit of traveling for work in the next 8 months, so my poor darling boy is going to be spending a lot of time with other people. I don't think it's going to be feasible. And I want to go to Paris. Argh - too many things to do, not enough time, money or friends to look after my cat to do it. I can't make the August one as it's my birthday weekend. I can't do the October one as I'll be just back from Paris. 

6. Is it daft to be getting excited about travelling to work. To like Darwin, even. 

7. My cat keeps wanting me to move off my office chair so he can go to sleep. 

8. Tomorrow is Kombucha Day. I've been making my own kombucha for years. Call me a hippy. 

9. I still love Louis de Bernieres as an author. I loved The Dust that Falls from Dreams. I cheered when the reference to the title came up in the book. This was one of the characters describing dust motes. 

10. I'm definitely starting up the monthly goals again. I need a solid arse kicking at the moment. But at least I've secured a new job. Thank goodness for small mercies. 

Today's song: 

Monday, February 27, 2023

Take Five Books

 The March Gunnas Writer's retreat is happening this weekend, to which I'm going with mixed emotions. Going to the retreats is making me happy. It's a brilliant weekend. My reticence is more in that I've not done any of my own writing for what feels like eons, and I want to get back into it. Hopefully, the retreat will bring this joy of writing back. 

I'm looking forward to one aspect of the retreat, that being the swap rack. What we are doing is bringing along clothes and shoes which are in good condition and placing them on the rack. Things change hands among the 40 odd women going. I came home with a very nice Gorman scarf, a pair of sparkling pink rubber boots and a few other things. 

These items are moved on to other people at a nominal cost. You pay what you want - but the money, at the end of the day, is going to a Domestic Violence Charity. Last retreat we sent on over $1000. 

I'm taking along for trading five pairs of winter boots, all of which I haven't worn in years, most of which have heels which are beyond me now, none of which I will ever wear again, as well as a few pieces of clothing which haven't sold on Facebook, all in great nick, and hopefully will be moved on for a few dollars for the charity. 

This time, we're having a book drive. Nobody may bring more than five books along - again, so these can be moved on at a cost of a $5 donation to the domestic violence charity. 

My problem is what books to donate. 

I've been trying to make a bit of space of late and I've been leaving books at the street library near the gym of late. Things that I've read but not overly enjoyed or have no emotional connection with. 

Now, I'm looking at what five books I'll be taking to Gunnas for moving on. 

I've got the following in the pile.

Michelle de Kretser's Life to Come. It's a good book, but one of the characters drove me up the wall. 

Sofie Laguna's The Choke. Another great book, but so, so, so sad. Laguna does this sadness well, but I'm not sure I want this hanging around the house. 

Ruth Ozeki's My Year of Meat is on the pile, but it might be put back in the bookshelf. I remember it being there for around 20 years, when it hit home. It's old, but good. 

Then there's Jeanine Cummins American Dirt. A contentious book, but a page turner. I had my misgivings about it, hence away it goes. 

And lastly, there's Ella Baxter's New Animal. We've got lots of diverse people going to this - a book about S&M in Tasmania might be a welcome addition to somebody's library. 

That I've started to pack for a weekend away on the Tuesday - it's a bit sad. But I like the process. 

Today's song: 

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Sunday Stealing: Compassion International

 I've had a weekend on the couch. Just feeling off colour - but I'm perking up. And at least it isn't COVID - don't want that again.

Anyway, let's get on with this week's questions, bought to us by Bev at Sunday Stealing

1. Do you ever have funny dreams at night?

Rarely. I don't dream often, but when I do, they tend to be funny - or disturbing. 

2. If you could make a law for your country, what would it be?

Be kind. Always. How hard can that be.?

3. What would you do if you were invisible for a day?

Probably sneak into movie theatres and catch up on everything I've missed in the last few months. 

4. If you could be someone else for a day, who would you be?

This is a daft question. I'm just good being me. Being somebody else would be hard. Mind you, I'd like to be a man for a day, just to see what it is like having a penis. 

5. What would you like to change about yourself?

I'd love a much faster metabolism allowing me to eat what I want without putting on weight. 

6. What is your daily routine.

I wake at around 7 a.m, normally getting up around 8 a.m. Feed the cat, feed myself and make a coffee, then on weekdays,  I set up my computer and go to work. After work I will go to the gym, do some writing, make dinner and go to bed around midnight. It's normally a variation of this. 

7. What would your perfect day be like? What would you be doing?

A perfect day would involve a lot of writing, a lot of reading, a great movie and dinner with friends at a fabulous French restaurant. 

8. How old were you when you learned to read?

About 4. I know I got to school and had some reading already. I was always really curious about reading. 

9. What is the most interesting thing you know?

I know how to knit cables. I always thought it would be hard, but it's not.

10 What makes you nervous?

Conservative politicians and people who stick to your back bumper when you're driving on the freeway. 

11. What is your favourite flower?

Roses. Sunflowers come a close second. 

12. Have you ever ridden on a horse or any other animal?

Yes. We had a pony when I was a child. I've also had an elephant ride when I was in Thailand one time. 

13. What time do you go to bed?

Around midnight. 

14. What time do you get up?

Around 8 a.m. but I've been awake for around half an hour by then. 

15. What is something that is always in your refrigerator?

Pick from the following: 

  • Home brewed kombucha
  • Fizzy water
  • Eggs
  • Pickled ginger
  • A plethora of Asian sauces and condiments.
  • Half a block of butter.
  • A packet of smoked salad
  • Various vegetables in the crisper in various states of expiration

Today's song: 

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Movie Review: Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania

Movie number 12 of 2023

The Movie: Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania

The Cinema: Reading Cinemas, Altona North

Stars: 3.5

Ah, Marvel, you've done it again. 

Milked something that maybe should be put to bed ages ago - but then again, maybe not.

In the latest foray into the Marvel Cinematic Universe gives up the somewhat hapless Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) going back into battle as Ant-Man, bringing his family along with him. 

IMDB.com describes the movie as such:

"Scott Lang and Hope Van Dyne, along with Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne, explore the Quantum Realm, where they interact with strange creatures and embark on an adventure that goes beyond the limits of what they thought was possible."

And that's all you need to know about this. In some ways this film is a bit of a hot mess, but with a lot of redeeming qualities.

The best thing about this movie is the special effects and the action. They are great and make up for the fact that this is a very silly movie when you think too hard about it. 

It's got all you need for an action movie. An omnipotent baddie named Kang (Jonathan Majors) who's hell bent on destroying everybody around them. There's one of the henchmen, MODOK. aka Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) who's a hoot - much like the Black Knight in Monty Python. There are also some great cameos. Bill Murray always makes a good cameo as does William Harper Jackson, although with the latter I keep thinking that Chidi from The Good Place would never do stuff like that. 

Michael Douglas (Hank) and Michelle Pfeiffer (Janet) reprise their roles from the previous movies. Michelle Pfeiffer is amazing, more for the fact that she's so gorgeous - nothing changes. Kathryn is also solid as Scott's daughter, Cassie. 

But here's the thing. If you're a Marvel fan, of which I am, you'll like this. If you're new to the Marvel Universe, you're probably going to struggle. 

And I did fall asleep for a little bit at the start. 

It's a silly film. No doubt about it. But the effects are great and it's fun. I took my friend's 12-year-old sons along with me and they enjoyed it as there were lots of things blowing up. 

It is what it is. It's not one of Marvel's best films, it's not one it's worse ones either. 

And there's a part of me that wants to go back and watch the previous Ant-Man films to remind myself of a few things. 

It was a nice diversion for a Saturday night with friends. 

Today's song:

Friday, February 24, 2023

Theatre Review: Prima Facie

 The Play: Prima Facie by Suzie Miller

The Space: The Fairfax Studio, The Arts Centre

The Company: The MTC

Stars: 5

Until: 25 March - however tickets are like rocking horse poo - The show is basically sold out. 

I love it when there's a whole audience standing ovation. 

This performance deserved every last clap. 


This is the second performance of this year's MTC season, and it seems it high standards have remained. This, however, is a superlative performance or a very timely, and very important play. It's also a one hander. One woman and a chair onstage. That is all.

It's mesmerising. 

So, what's it about? Tessa Ensler (Sheridan Harbridge) is a hot shot barrister. She loves her work as a defense barrister, cutting down her opponents with her obvious brains and outer suburbs pluck. She's the kid from the Western Suburbs made good and works her guts out to stay there. She also one for playing hard, as many people in their thirties are prone to do. 

One night, Tessa is sexually assaulted by a colleague. 

And the obvious grey areas start to show themselves. Tessa knows the system. She knows how to play the system. But can somebody, even with this detailed knowledge of the law and it's pitfalls, come out on top in a system which is deeply flawed, and which sets up for women to fail. The name Brittany Higgins was running through my mind, especially in the last half hour of the play. It was brutal. 

Sheridan Harbridge is going to be one to watch. She's exceptional as she takes us through every one of Tessa's emotions as she goes on the journey from carefree lawyer to rape victim. The last half hour of the play has you on the edge of your seat. I was near tears in her final moments. 

One in three women will be sexually assaulted in some way in their lifetime. There is little justice in a system that's rigged in favour of the male perpetrator who doesn't even have to give evidence. It's the victim who is put on trial. There is little justice. 

The Fairfax Studio lends itself well to this one person play format. On stage, there was a single office chair. And the firebrand that is Sheridan Harbridge. 

I've just read that Harbridge won a best actress gong for the Sydney Theatre Awards for her role in this in Sydney. It's deserved. She's fantastic. 

Lee Lewis's direction is assured. She allows Tess to punch through, while allowing her the vulnerability and anger to manifest during the last 20 minutes - the part which deals with the trial.

This is originally an English play. For those who wish to hunt it out, Jodie Comer plays Tess for the National Theatre in London. Her performance can be viewed on the National Theatre Live website. 

It has been said that Harbridge is even better than the original.

I'm very glad I got to see this. 

The standing ovation was well deserved.

Today's song:

Thursday, February 23, 2023

The Witch Hunt

The post came up on Facebook today. I posted it a few years ago. "Who knows why we were taught to fear the witches, and not those who burned them alive?"

It's so true. 

And as a practicing witch, albeit a good witch on a very small scale, I still find I have to hide my practicing of the craft. Of course, I have a core group of people who know of my skills. My family are aware of the stuff I can do. Workmates barely hear about this stuff, unless it's my talent for removing neck cricks by playing with their thumbs for a minute or so (but that's reflexology, not witchcraft). 

Anyway, today, I went shopping for witchy stuff after work. 

Not that it's that witchy - but a mate has asked me to give them some tips about space clearing, so I've got them a space clearing kit. 

Where do you get this stuff?

At the witch shop.

There is a witch shop. Down the Royal Arcade. It's called Spellbox. It's my witch shit shop.

I knew what I was after. I float around this store with great confidence. I've been coming here for a very long time. 

First stop, incense. I wanted frankincense, but I was out of luck. This wasn't the main goal of the trip. But frankincense is great for regulating breathing - it's so good for putting you in a meditative state. However, there was patchouli, which is also good for clearing and cleansing, so I grabbed that. 

Above the incense were the candles. Next on the list was a black candle. Why a black candle? Well black candles are good for taking away hard energy away. Different candles have different functions. I'm sitting here with a green candle burning to help bring in the money - as I'm looking for a new job, it's a good way to bring in that energy. Red candles are for passion. White candles for energy. 

For space clearing, you need a black candle. You can toss the bad energy into the flame, and it burns it all away. 

The last item on my list was a sage brush. A little one. 

A sage brush you ask.

Sage brushes are also used to burn away the energy - it's a bit harder core than the black candle, but it's great for clearing a room. These are mainstream now - many people when moving into a new place will run a bunch of burning dried sage through every room to burn away the bad energy. 

And coming in the mail are some temple bells. Small, Tibetan chimes which sound a high, clear note. It cuts through the atmosphere and can be used to read the room. 

If you're doing this properly, you'd also have a pile of salt nearly (earth) and a bowl of water nearby. The incense brings the air, the candle and sage brush the fire. 

Then you clap out the corners and smoke out the bad energy and throw it all into the flame. 

The temple bells are there to set the intention - and to read the energy. 

It works.

I paid for my goods at the counter. The person at the counter, patchouli scented, heavily tattooed and encased in vegan leather looked at my lot. 

"Doing some work?"

"Indeed. Giving some instructions on clearing space."

"You know what you're doing." It was a statement. 

"Indeed. It's fun to share one's knowledge."


The credit card rang through. I took my goods. "Blessed be," I said, as I always do when I'm around others of the craft. 

"Indeed, blessed be."

We gave each other a quick smile. 

And this white witch walked herself to the tram stop, happy with the little bag of seemingly innocuous items which may heighten my friend's practice. 

Now to work out how to make this a more earthbound, practical lesson which can be easily and quietly into a performative space to help with their own energetic practices. 

I've missed this side of me. 

Today's song:

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

I've given up ice cream for Lent

 That's it. Yesterday was Shrove Tuesday - or Pancake Day - not that I had pancakes. 

Today is Ash Wednesday. And I've not had any ash clad goat's cheese.

I've just given up ice cream for Lent. 

And I'm not a Catholic. I'm not even a Christian. 

But I like the thought of spending 40 days and nights giving something up. 

And I'm wondering how I'm going to do this. 

Ice cream is the sixth food group after all. 

I interviewed today. I want ice cream now. Alas, no. 

Too tired to write tonight. 

Today's song: 

Tuesday, February 21, 2023


 As a child, one of my jobs of the evening was to polish my school shoes. I'd dutifully lay down some newspaper, get out the tin of polish and the shoe brush. If it was winter, this would be done in front of the fire, sitting on a foot stool. 

I'd rub the brush in a bit of polish, then run it over the shoe leather. Often, you'd let the shoes rest for a few minutes, sometimes because you had something else to do, other times because dinner was ready. Then you'd go and brush them to a shine. 

This was done daily. Often, I had to do my father's shoes too. And of course we were never allowed to use the liquid shoe polish. Always, it was a tin of Nugget or Kiwi, applied with an old brush. 

We don't do that any more - polish shoes that is. Unless you're in a job which needs polished shoes, like you're a soldier, it's something people just don't seem to do any more. 

But it's meditative. It's a repetetive action which gives you a sense of pride. You end up with shiny shoes and a little bit of self-respect. Just as I iron most of my clothes after washing (Yes, I iron t-shirts and jeans and all of my bed linen). It's a sense of pride. 

So, my shoes are ready for tomorrow, so I can put forward my best foot. Of course, I'll dress up, and put on a bit of make up, and give it my best. 

It's all a part of the game. 

Today's song:

Monday, February 20, 2023

When you don't want to read the book

 It's book group tomorrow night. 

I don't want to finish the book. I don't like the book. But I am a bloody minded fool who sticks to her guns. After being in this book group for around 15 years, there have only been two books I haven't finished. Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Nagozi and Brendan Cowell's Plum. Of the former, I was in Europe when book group was held. Of the latter, I was working stupid hours and I couldn't gel with the book, so I gave in. I don't want to make this one the third book I've missed. 

Like it's a classic they say. And sure, I can find some redeeming qualities in this 70-year-old book which is an American Classic. 

But it's a slog. I mean it's a book about these horrible people who do horrible things to each other and then go pray all of their sins away. Great. None of the characters are particularly likeable. I find the tone quite drony, and bland. 

And yes, I know that James Baldwin is an American national treasure, and yes, I know that Baldwin is documenting his life in Harlem, within the realms of the Pentecostal Church, in the Jim Crow era and he's giving insight into a world I will never experience. 

And the worst thing - I've got Peter, Paul and Mary's version of the song in my head. 

It doesn't mean I am liking the book. I can appreciate it to a point, but I don't have to like it. 

I've got about 80 pages to go.


Today's song: 

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Sunday Stealing: The Birthday Meme

 I'm just home from a lovely barbeque at Blarney and Barney's place with Norty and her parents. Aging parents are an intersting fact of life. It was great having them about. They're a good laugh. 

Talking of parents, I had a quick chat to my mother while I was there. She told me she's found all of her diaries of her time when she lived in Saudi Arabia in the 1980s for a year working as a nurse in an American Eye Hospital. One of her friends has convinced her to ask me to turn these artefacts into a book. I'm a bit gobsmacked over this one. And what would it be like to convert your mother's life into a book. Is it creative non-fiction (a genre I actually love writing) Or does it get fictionalised? or does she just want a straight tidying up of the material, and a translation. There are some big questions in there. 

Anyway, on with this week's questions, supplied as always, by Bev at Sunday Stealing (Happy birthday, Bev, by the way.)

1. What is the best thing about your birthday?

My birthday? You mean the week-long festival of me? I like that some people make a little fuss over me. It's nice they remember me. In Australia it's at the end of Winter. 

2. What is your favorite thing to do for your birthday?

Something fun. I went to Bali and had a joint party with Alice for my 50th birthday. For my 45th, we all went on Puffing Billy, a local steam train. That was great too. As this year is a semi-big birthday, will have to have a think. 

3. What’s one thing you learned in the past year?

I've learned a few things:

  • Internet dating is okay as long as you keep your boundaries solid. 
  • Born out is awful
  • Having nothing to do at work is okay for a little while, but not for the long term
  • There is an arrow on your dashboard, under the speedo, which shows you what side the petrol cap can be found. 
  • Red pandas put up their hands to make themselves scary to opponents. 

4. What do you wish for in the next year?

Happiness, stability, love, good health, and enough of everything I need. 

This last bit comes from a Paulo Coehlo. I love the sentiment of this. 

"Recently I overheard a father and daughter in their last moments together at the airport. They had announced the departure.

Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the father said, ‘I love you, and I wish you enough.’

They kissed and the daughter left. The father walked over to the window where I was seated. I tried not to intrude on his privacy, but I could not refrain from asking:

‘When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, ‘I wish you enough.’ May I ask what that means?’

He began to smile. ‘That’s a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone.’

He paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail, and he smiled even more.

‘When we said, ‘I wish you enough,’ we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them.’

Then turning toward me, he shared the following as if he were reciting it from memory.

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear.

I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more..

I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.

I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.

I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting…

I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.

I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good- bye."

Good, eh!

5. What’s the best thing about turning a year older?

Not much. I'm going up a judgmental bracket on a form this year. Not happy about this. 

6. What was the most fun thing you did in the last year?

I started travelling again. And I went to see The Pixies twice. And I went on two writer's retreats. And I did some painting classes. These were all fun. Okay, not as fun as being set into a pen full of golden retriever puppies, but it's a start. 

7. If you could understand any animal, which would it be?

My cat. I love the passive-aggressive prick, but I'd love to know what he's thinking half the time. 

8. What is something that used to be hard, but is now easy?

Saying no. I've got a lot better at this. 

9. If you could only keep one thing in your room, what would it be?

What room. That could be a very loaded question. 

10. Which person makes you laugh the most? Why?

One of my colleagues is a bugger for Dad jokes. I roll my eyes a lot, but I giggle on the inside. 

11. If you could go back in time, when and where would you go?

I would love to do London in the 90's again, knowing everything I know now. I'd be doing it very differently. 

12. If you were to bury a secret treasure, where would you bury it?

It wouldn't be a secret then, so I'm not telling you. 

13. What is your favorite memory?

Being able to spend time in the Edward the Confessor chapel, on my own, in Westminster Abbey, for about an hour. It's a terribly spiritual place. 

14. How have you helped others lately?

I help others in all sorts of ways. I'm currently doing some mentoring with one of my colleagues. And after yesterday's Sound Session, I'm going to pass over to my friend a few tips on space management. Next weekend I'm taking Blarney and Barney's boys to the movies while their parents go out. I like being useful. 

15. If you had to repeat a day over & over, how you'd want it to go?

Quietly, smoothly, with lots of fun and laughter. 

Today's song: 

Saturday, February 18, 2023

The Sound Bath

 The Event: Drone

The Venue: Tempo Rubato, Bresse Street, Brunswick.

Tickets: Online $10

My arty-farty, witchy, spiritual crone needs to be fed regularly with events that nourish the soul. Once a fortnight you find me sitting in a closed kabbalah meditation session, chanting in Hebrew. I've been doing this for years. This is necessary for the world - a happy Pandora is a sane Pandora. 

And when I can get my hands on it, I like to go for a sound bath. 

A sound bath?

Yep, exactly what it sounds like. You let yourself be bathed in sound. I've been doing this for years too when I can find it. I have a marvelous friend, Shervin Boolorian, who I met in Bali. Shervin is a sound healer of the highest order. An earthbound angel, he can magic your torments away with his Sound Medicine sessions using natural and indigenous instruments, such as digeridoos, bells, drums, whistles - you name it. A one-on-one healing session with him is possibly the most potent healing I've ever had the fortune to receive. 

Regardless, I resonate with sound bathing sessions, and when my friend Anthony Artmann advertised he'd be doing a session, I was up for it. Besides, we need to support our friends. 

I've bore witness to Anthony's sound meditations before and they've been good, but I had a feeling this would be next level. 

Arriving bang on time, thanks to Metro Trains, I took my seat in the circle, saying hello to some friends in the room. 

And then we started. 

Anthony, with the help of some friends, took us on a wonderful sound journey. Using a synth base, the hour session was peppered with other sounds and music to help take you to a state of real relaxation. 

The tenor saxaphone, a guitar, a ukulele, and a double bass melted with some human voices. We were told, but not encouraged to add to the sound cloud with our own voices. There was some humming and a bit of Tuvan throat singing around the place. I found myself giving voice to a note now and then. Having participated in voice clouds in the past, I know how powerful these can be. As this was a first session, it was good to see it happening. 

And then it was over. What was an hour felt like about 15-20 minutes. It was most wonderful. 

Being the first public session of Drone, there were one or two things that could have made this even better, such as giving an instruction to bring a yoga mat. I reckon I would have got even more out of this lying down. This small adjustment would have upped the sessions power even more. 

And ten minutes later, my restored soul walked out into the Brunswick sunshine. 

I'll be going to future sessions as I find this one of the best ways to relax. And you're in good hands with Anthony. 

Today's song:

Friday, February 17, 2023

Film Review: Women Talking

 Film Number 11 of 2023

The film: Women Talking

The Cinema: Village Cinemas, The Rivoli

Stars: 5

This film is up for the Best Film Oscar. 

This should win the Best Film Oscar. It won't. But it should. 

I've seen some excellent cinema over the last few weeks. The Whale. The Banshees of Inisherin. This matches both of these films for greatness. 

It's an important film. It's a relevant film. In its own way, it's horrific. 

And it's utterly compelling and thoroughly brilliant.

The premise is quite simple really. The women of a religious community in America, set around 2010 have been left by the men of the community, who are trying to get one of their brethren out of prison for raping other members of the community. The men are complicit in hiding the attacks. 

The women left behind have to vote as whether to stay and forgive the men, stay and fight, or leave. 

The women cannot read or write. Still, they vote. 

The ballot comes to a tie between staying and fighting or leaving. 

A group of women affected by the actions of the men sit in a barn to discuss what to do to come to a decision on their plight. The schoolteacher, August (Ben Whishaw) has remained behind to take an account of the women's conversation.

What ensues is an hour and 45 minutes of electric cinema as the women work through their situation. There's Mariche (Jessie Buckley) who's all for staying for the sake of her children. Ona (Rooney Mara) who's carrying her rapist's child but wants to leave for everybody's sake. And there's Salome (Claire Foy) who's halfway in between. There are older women, such as Janz (Frances McDormand, in a small part), who can't see why they should go, save they be cast out of heaven at their time. Judith Ivey plays Agata, Salome's mother, who feels guilty for allowing her daughter to marry her brute of a husband. And most poignant, is Greta (Sheila McCarthy) who is still suffering the fate of the younger women. The women know they are chattel, good for nothing but breeding and working. You get a sucker punch when you see Salome carry her daughter 2 days to the nearest clinic to get her daughter antibiotics. 

Sarah Polley is a Canadian national treasure. She both directed and helped to adapt the screenplay, making the adaption from Mirian Toews book of the same name. Polley is for an Oscar for the latter. The film has also got a nod for the best film, as I said before. Both nods are well deserved. 

What I loved about this - it's an intelligent film. Not much is spelled out, most things are implied. The film is tense - oh so tense. You really can't say where this will go. 

And you have to feel for the women of the community, none of whom read or write, or have any idea about the world outside. 

It's a good testament for educating women. And how religion, and faith, and lead people to make some pretty daft decisions. 

Hunt this one out. More people should see this. It's a very timely, and timeless film, with pitch perfect performances and an unwavering moral compass. 

I'll be thinking about this film for days. It is truly excellent. 

It's a pity this one won't have the audiences. It's amazing. 

Today's song:

Thursday, February 16, 2023


The last time I interviewed face to face was in February 2020. COVID was just starting to make its presence felt in the news. Things were in a strange place. It was a quick interview. I was in and out in 25 minutes. I fit the bill as to what they needed exactly. 

The last time I had an online interview was last June for the job I'm in now. I had a chat with my wonderful manager. I didn't dress for the role - I thought it was going to be a phone interview. They didn't have any make up on. I didn't have any make up on. We got on well and I had the job at the end of the interview. 

Now, with my current job coming to an end I've been in the hunt. And I've managed to secure two interviews. 

Tomorrow's interview is being done online. There's a panel of three. Most of the panel are in Darwin. 

This means getting up tomorrow, dressing like I have an interview. I have to wear makeup at home. 

It will be weird. 

I've got another interview next week too, but this one, shock horror, is face to face. What am I going to wear?

Regardless, I'm just glad I have opportunities and options - even if I may have to go shopping on the weekend. 

Today's song:

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

What we talked about at work today

We talked about one thing. 

We only see each other once a week on a designated Wednesday or Thursday, so there's a bit to catch up on. 

But today we talked about only one thing. 


Or Married at First Sight to the uninitiated. 

We were wondering the following things: 

1. Where do they find these manipulative, narcissistic arseholes? Case in point. Harrison. 

This dweeb could give masterclasses in gas-lighting. Gaslighting. Yeah. 

He's got the DARVO method down pat. (DARVO - Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender) It's all we've seen of this guy. 

In the words of his "wife" Bronte, he's so transparent, he's bathing in windex. I rather liked that line. 

2. Shannon. 

Oh, we have lots to say about Shannon. Awful creature who came out and said that he was still in love with his ex. Great. You get chose out of 10,000 people to come on a show to find love and you're still in love with your ex. His experiment 'bride', Caitlyn seems to be a lovely girl who's been insulted, victimized and told it's her fault he's not into her because she's not attractive enough. She got her shit together after this, packed her bags and gave him the dressing down of an age. There was a lot of fist pumping last night when she took him out. She's great. He's a gronk. 


But there's a bigger question at play - and it's not the awful haircut or his super bogan parents or the fact that he's brutally 'honest' with his truth. 

I look at him and I reckon he's on meth.

3. Melissa

I feel for Melissa, the 40 year-old-nympho.

I also really feel for her "husband" Josh, who just wants to get to know somebody and not be seen as a sex object. 

What sort of fucked up existence has this woman had to make her so sex mad. Most of us like sex - but most of us know the best bit about a relationship is the getting to know somebody, the finding out stuff, and the cuddles. She seems to have missed the part that relationships are not just sex. 

Josh, the Disney and Marvel loving advertising executive wants something normal, chill. Melissa is none of these things. 

I just find her sad, which is a pity. If only she would learn. She's been given a good one. 

And this is what we talked about at work today.

We're thinking of getting a MAFS teams chat going. 

Seems I'm not the only one who has this as a guilty pleasure. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Of Tarot and Yoga

 Today's set task was to go to yoga at lunchtime. 

As somebody who's hips get a bit sore, yoga is a good thing. Also, as I'm job hunting at the moment, it's good to take myself out of my head space and do something in with my body that doesn't involve hoiking weights over my head. 

The class was at the gym at 12.15. The time was blocked in my calendar. I wore my gym clothes to work for a change. 

And the class was really enjoyable. What gets me with yoga is you have to remind yourself that you don't need to be the bendiest person in the room. You just go at your own pace. I'm not a fan of downward dog - but I've finally got Child's Pose under control. A quick chat with the instructor, Frank, and he said that there were always options - and to listen to him, he'd help me out.

It was wonderful! I'll never be graceful. I doubt I'll ever be able to touch my toes, but my hips feel great now and the break in the middle of the day was wonderful. 

Then there's The Cat Tarot. 

It's been sitting in my bag for a week. I finally cracked it open. 

I love it. 

78 cards with different cats on them. 

The spot cards are a bit different:

  • The Swords are Claws
  • The Wands are Cat Toys
  • The Pentacles are Cat Treats
  • The Cups are Cat Water bowls.
Then there's the Major Arcana. 

They're a hoot. 

I particularly love the Death and The Devil. 

The Star and the Tower are pretty good too. 

As are The Hermit and The Hanged Man. 

It's been keeping me amused, I'll give you that. And it's so apt. 

It's the joys of being light on work. May as well enjoy it while it lasts. I'm interviewing for a new role on Friday. It's a matter of finding the right role - not taking the first thing that comes my way. 

Today's song: 

Monday, February 13, 2023

Movie Review: Babylon

 Movie Number 10 of 2023

The Movie: Babylon

The Cinema: Hoyts Victoria Gardens

Stars: 3.5

The easiest way to get me to a movie is to say I'll hate it. 

Jay saw this a few weeks ago and loathed it. Despite her repeated comments that it was a load of tosh, I was still keen. But rather than pay cash for this, I used movie points so that if I walked out - and plenty of people allegedly walked out of Jay's session, then I wouldn't be upset because no money changed hands.  

Well, I didn't hate it. 

But this is a problematic movie. 

Damien Chazelle is a polarizing writer and director. Okay, Whiplash is incredible - and if you missed it, hunt it out. Superb stuff. La La Land had audiences loving and hating it in equal measure. I saw it twice - had no idea about it the first time, loved it the second.

Babylon, I won't be seeing again. But, I do appreciate it for what it is. And what it is not. 

Babylon is not: 

  • Short - at three hours and nine minutes it's probably an hour too long. 
  • Subtle - nah, none of that. 
  • Particularly tasteful - from the first scene, which is just gross, there are many other tasteless scenes peppered throughout. Full frontal, vomitous, drug infused and shit stained. You've been warned. 
But, and this is the big but. This is a movie about excess. What do you bloody expect?  IMDB.com describes it as "A tale of outsized ambition and outrageous excess, it traces the rise and fall of multiple characters during an era of unbridled decadence and depravity in early Hollywood." 

Yep, that's about it. 

If you've ever seen Singing in the Rain, you'll know that the movie is about the change in movies from silent films to talkies. However, you can let your kids watch Singing in the Rain

And not so strangely, there are a number of scenes which play direct homage to this wonderful film. If I'm not mistaken, the film has a very similar scene on what looks like the same sound stage. 

Starting during the excesses of the twenties, we find the three main characters going through journeys.

Brad Pitt is Jack Conrad, king of the silent films who transitions to the talkies, only to find himself aging out of the system. 

Margot Robbie is Nellie LaRoy, a starlet from New Jersey who's trying every method under the sun to get herself into the pictures. She spends most of the film high and in some sort of trouble. 

And my favourite of the pack, Diego Calva as Manny Torres, a studio executive's Mr Fixit, who makes his way up the pile to Studio director being somebody who can fix anything. For me, he was the absolute standout as he straddles the many worlds of film making. I particularly loved the very last bit of the movie where Manny returns 20 years later. It's wonderfully nostalgic.

Jovan Adepo is also excellent as Sidney Palmer, a trumpet player who starts off doing parties but ends up in the films. His story is particularly poignant in places. 

For a film about excess, it's just this feature which detracts from the film. There's almost too much to take in, particularly in the raucous, Bacchynalian party scenes, which are as exquisite as they are grotesque. But this is the point of the film. It's just as much a commentary on the unrealistic nature of the movie industry as it is of the times it represents.

There's also some very sly digs at events and people over the time. Fatty Arbuckle being one of them. Hedda Hopper, the gossip columnist being another. 

I also like the cameos that are peppered throughout. Lukas Haas, Tobey Maguire, Olivia Wilde, Eric Roberts just to name a few. 

Another thing to remember about this is that its up for three Academy Awards - for production design, costumes and original score. For these elements, and the cinematography, this film is a winner. 

Summing this up, it's probably more a film for the movie junkie, the aficionado of film, rather than those looking for something easy to watch. It's deeply unpleasant in places, but utterly thought provoking in others. It holds up a very dirty mirror to an industry which eats people up and spits them out without a care. And in an odd way, this is a bit of a love song to this strange, vital, weird and powerful industry. 

See this at your own peril. It's probably one for the purists. 

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Movie Review: The Rocky Horror Picture Show (with the Shadow Show performed by the Pelvic Thrusts)

 Movie number 9 of 2023

The Film: The Rocky Horror Picture Show

The Cinema: The Astor

The Shadow Show: Performed by the Pelvic Thrusts

Stars: 5

Alice called the other day. Was I doing anything Saturday night? No. Did I want to come along to a session of The Rocky Horror Picture Show? Yes. 

I haven't seen The Rocky Horror Picture Show in a cinema for I reckon thirty years. I remember going to one of the late-night sessions in one of the Art House cinemas in Adelaide while I was at university. In the meantime, I've seen productions of this on-stage numerous times. I've seen Robin Givens (the skater), a well-known Kiwi actor, Craig McLaughlan and Todd McKenny play Frank. I'll probably go along with friends to see a cleaned-up Jason Donovan in the role. He was allegedly pretty good when he was in London, even if he was drugged up to the eyeballs. 

But I haven't seen the movie on the big screen in years. And the Astor's screen is big. 

So, I braved the 78 Tram down Chapel Street and took myself down to the wonderful old cinema on the corner of Chapel Street and Dandenong Road. 

I was greeted by a mob of crazies. 


If I had the gumption, I could have fished out my pyjamas, find those Micky Mouse ears and would hve been a perfectly fine Columbia. 

I've also been tempted to get some scrubs, a pair of marigolds and a string of pearls and go as Frankenfurter. 

Or there's the thought of getting a lab coat, put a petticoat underneath and go as Janet.

Regardless, half of the audience was dressed up. The other half not. 

The floor show was best viewed from the ground level of the cinema. We were told to go upstairs (where they were sending all the non-costumed folk) while the crazies were in the stalls. 

The show at the front, from what I could see, was crazy. A mix of burlesque and rip of. Mind you - they've been doing this since the seventies, so what do you expect. It would have been nice to see more of it, but thems the breaks. 

As for the movie, seeing it on the big screen again was wonderful. What you miss seeing it on television is all the fine details which make this so fun. And subversive. 

Remember, The Rocky Horror Picture Show came out in 1975...

On the big screen, all of the little things you have missed for years come out, and it's glorious. The pubic hair, the nipple slips, Christopher Biggins, the fact that the male cast members didn't remove their chest hair...these sorts of things. 

Of course, the songs haven't changed in 47 years. Nor has the hilarity.

What makes going to a session of The Rocky Horror Picture Show at this old cinema, with a heap of strange, well tattooed, body positive nutbags, is that it's sooooo accepting of everybody. 

And it's not a polite audience. They yell, scream, interject, sing along, throw rice at the wedding. You name it. You do it. The sessions was sold out. 

Alice and I sang along with the best of them. 

Of course, with today's gender politics, there are parts which haven't aged that well, but a disclaimer was provided after the Acknowledgment of Country. If you're coming to one of these sessions, it's taken as given that you're not overly PC. 

And at the end of it all, Alice and I were feeling most wonderful and we've vowed to go to another sessions - which the Astor holds fairly regularly, but next time, we'll dressed up. 

And with that, I hopped back on the 78 Tram and went come with all the drunkies and slutty teenagers and the rest of humanity found down Chapel Street on a Saturday Night. It was almost as fun as the Astor had been.

So, who's coming with me next time? 

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Sunday Stealing: The 7 Layer Meme

 Hmm - I like it when quick questions are posted for the Sunday quiz. I've got to go out and buy a pair of marigolds (rubber gloves) as I'm off to see Rocky Horror at an old Art House cinema tonight - and I'm not in the mood to go full Rocky. Pity I don't have some scrubs about the place. 

Questions, as always, have been provided by Bev at Sunday Stealing

 LAYER 1: Tell us your...

* Eye color: Dark green. Some would call then hazel. I think dark green suits them better.

* Hair color: It's a golden brown at the moment, but I have no idea what my natural hair colour is at the moment. Probably has a lot more grey than I will admit to. 

* Height: 166 centimetres, or 5'5 and a bit in the old language. 

* Righty or lefty: I'm ambidextrous with a leaning to the right. I write with my right hand. Do lots of things well with my left. I can only use scissors with my left hand. Weird. 

LAYER 2: What's...

* Your heritage: I'm fifth generation white Australian. Cornish and Welsh on Mum's side, Southern English with a bit of Scottish on Dad's side. 

* The shoes you wore today: Birkenstock Mayaris. It is summer. 

* Your weakness: ice cream. And Clive Owen. 

* Your fears: Huntsman Spiders and Conservative politics. 

* Your perfect pizza: Mexican Hot or Meat Lovers. I'll just eat pizza - prefer the Italian style without too many toppings. 

* Goals you’d like to achieve: Get a book successfully published. 

* Your first waking thoughts: I want a cuddle and where's my cat. 

* Your best physical feature: Eyes and ankles. 

* Your most missed memory: How do you miss a memory? I don't get this question. 

LAYER 3: Do you...

* Smoke: Not anymore. I haven't for about 15 years. 

* Cuss:  Selectively and sparingly. Very careful about who I swear around. 

* Sing:  In the shower. 

* Do you think you’ve been in love: I'm not sure about this one. Maybe. 

* Did you go to college: Yes. A few times. I have a Master's Degree. 

* Liked high school: No, I hated it. The classes were fine. The rest was awful. 

* Believe in yourself: I do now. 

* Think you’re attractive:  No, but I'm not as ugly as I think I am, and I'm lovely on the inside, which is what matters. 

* Think you’re a health freak: No, but I do look after myself. 

* Like thunderstorms: Love them. 

* Play an instrument: I used to play the flute at school. I can still get notes out of it. 

LAYER 4: In the past month have you…

* Drunk alcohol: Yes, but not to excess. 

* Smoked:  No

* Done a drug:  Only the prescription ones I take - noting illicit. 

* Made out:  No, unless kissing the cat on the top of the head counts. 

* Gone on a date: No

* Gone to the mall: Yes - but that is where the supermarket can be found. 

* Eaten an entire box of Oreos: Hells no. Ew. And Oreos come in a rolled packet here. 

* Eaten sushi:  Yes

* Been on stage: No

* Been dumped:  No 

* Gone skating: No - it's Summer here, and besides, I don't skate. 

* Gone skinny dipping: No but ask me this next month and the answer will probably be a bit different. 

LAYER 5: Have you ever…

* Played a game that required removal of clothing: Many, many years ago. 

* Been trashed or extremely intoxicated: Of course. I went to university and lived in residence. 

* Been caught “doing something”: And what is something? If you don't define what something is, I can't tell you if I've been caught doing it. 

* Been called a tease: Yes. I'm not, but things are changing, thank goodness. 

* Gotten beaten up: No, thank goodness. 


* Age you did get/hope to be married: I'm not actually certain I wanted to ever get married, if I'm completely honest. Never been in the type of relationship which would ever lead to marriage. 

* How do you want to die: Quietly, in my sleep, surrounded by friends. 

* What did you want to be when you grew up: A doctor or an astronaut or a writer. I became a writer. 

* What country would you most like to visit: At the moment, it's France and Japan, but I'd like to spend a lot more time in the United Kingdom. I still miss it. 

LAYER 7: Now tell...

* Name a person you could trust with your life: A couple of my good friends. I won't name one. 

* Name a favorite CD that you own: Stings, Ten Summoner's Tales. It's a great album. It still gets played regularly. 

* Number of piercings: At the moment, two - both ears. They were done twice, but over COVID the second holes have closed over. 

* Number of tattoos: One. It's very small and out of the way and I've had it since the late nineties. 

* Number of times my name has appeared in the newspaper: Twice. there was a birth notice and I think I was mentioned in my father's death notice.

* Name a past experience that you regret: Regrets are wasted emotions. There are a few things I'd do differently given the time over, but it's not worth dwelling on. 

Today's song: 

Friday, February 10, 2023

Movie Review: The Whale

 Movie Number 8 of 2023

The Movie: The Whale

The Cinema: The Rivoli, Camberwell

Stars: 4.5

Disclaimer: I love Brendan Fraser. I've loved Brendan Fraser forever. He's a bit dippy and all sweet and Canadian. He's also one of the best actors I've ever had the privilege to see on stage. It was over 20 years ago. He was in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, along with Ned Beatty as Big Daddy and Frances O'Connor as Maggie the Cat. The second act was incendiary. It's still up there with the best theatre I've ever seen. And if you've never seen Gods and Monsters, it's worth looking that one up too. He's great in that too. As a young man he was just my type. Now, as somebody my age, he's still my type... ah well, we can dream. 

So now we come to The Whale

Brendan Fraser plays Charlie, a morbidly obese reclusive college professor, who's coming to the end of his life. As the film goes on, we find Charlie on the path to redemption, reconciling with himself, his daughter and the circumstances that lead to the situation in which he finds himself. 

This is a close, almost claustrophobic film, using a shortened screen, rather than the whole screen to add to the feeling of closeness. The film is based around Charlie's apartment, and other than a couple of shots outside, the action does not stray from this dank, over-run space, all of which adds to the tone.  Darren Aronofsky has done well on this. Unlike Black Swan, which I found a heap of pretentious wank, this was beautifully pitched mixing both the pathos and horror of Charlie's situation. 

Over the course of the film which takes place over a week, he is visited by a number of people. His estranged daughter, Ellie (Sadie Sink) who plays the angry teenager to the max. There's a missionary kid, Thomas (Ty Simpkins) who tries to redeem Charlie. 

And there's Liz (Hong Chau) who is Charlie's primary carer and, yes, enabler. This performance has earned Chau a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination. It's well deserved. She runs the gamut of every emotion as she watches the self-destructive Charlie destroy his life. 

This is Brendan Fraser's film. He is sublime as this tortured man who only wants the very best for his daughter. He's encased in a fat suit and works the physicality of the this to the hilt. He tends to every nuance of Charlie's condition. At times it's hard to watch. But no matter what you may think - Brendan Fraser is seriously underrated and deserves every accolade thrown his way. 

My only real criticism of the film is that as an adaption of a play, this keeps one too many of the theatrical elements. One too many of the supporting characters come crashing through the front door. This is what knocked it down to 4.5 stars. This is my only real misgiving of the film.

It's a great movie. You'll need tissues.

And I'm very glad Brendan Fraser is getting the roles and the recognition he deserves. I will always sing his praises and I'm half tempted to put five bucks on him winning the Oscar. 

Today's song: 

Thursday, February 9, 2023


 I'm aware that the 50 days are going to be a bit of a rollercoaster. I'm also aware that because I have not that much to do, I will have some time on my hands.

So, what to do with this time?

Firstly, COVID knocked out my habit of going for a walk every day. COVID squeezed the stuffing out of me for a few months. That's over now. Time to get back the five kilometre walk a day. That or an hour of exercise a day. My energy is back. My lung capacity is back. There's no excuses. 

Secondly, time to get doing my writing.

Sitting in a team meeting today, notepad in hand some words came out. Some actual fiction words. It was a lovely feeling. 

So, while I'm in this hiatus space, it's time to write. Maybe a trip to IKEA is needed to get that swivel desk. Unfortunately, I can't write on my work laptop and send words to myself. Part of the company email rules. But this might work. 

So, what did I write?

Another jumping off point for the novel. 

 The unassembled boxes lie against the big windows which overlook the city. A roll of tape and a pair of scissors rest on the coffee table waiting for use. These items have been here a month, a constant reminder that the day is nearing when I'll have to stop procrastinating, but as with most thing cardboard or paper with an official use, I like to ignore them. 

Procrastinating is my superpower. It's a part of why I'm in this situation. Not that I'm a rarity. A middle-aged single woman. Spinster of this parish. Feme Sole. Spouseless. On the shelf. Mr Roget's master book is damning of single women of an age. I could add to this words like Crone. Bedlam. Witch. 

My generation is the last to know how to use a thesaurus. Modern generations don't know the joy of thumbing through a dog-earred Roget's. My copy has pride of place on my worktable. It was bought when I was doing English at university. It has that familiar, must smell of a well-loved tome. Shift-F7 doesn't have the same feel about it. "

Well, it's a start. 

The things that come out of your brain when you're in a pointless meeting. 

My other thing for my downtime - the other day I did a set of feet again. Feet? Reflexology. It was the first time in over a year I cracked open my massage table. I had an interesting client. We had things to work on (I'm wondering if the treatment helped). But there's something about getting out your bells, broom, black candles and cranking up Lou Reed's Transformer album to get some energy moving. 

In the words of The Pixies, 'I wanna be a singer like Lou Reed...." Lou Reed is great to work feet to. Nice and mellow. 

Anybody want a reflexology treatment in this downtime hiatus?

Today's song:

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Just breathe

 The confirmation came today. My contract is not being extended at the end of March. 

And I'm good with this. 

There's a couple of things in my feeling okay with the knowledge that I don't currently have an income after the first weeks of April. 

My headspace looks like this:

  • As much as I love my manager and my current team, and I like working in this company, I'm bored in my role. It was good when I was getting over burnout, but now that's over, I want to feel like I'm contributing more. 
  • There is a good eight week run up to needing to get a job. The more notice you get the better. 
  • My manager has been great about this. They're okay if I need to be released earlier with some notice. 
  • And I have to keep reminding myself that I get jobs. I'm good at getting jobs. 
I know I'm being a bit of a worry wart about this. I'm more concerned about the possible trip to France in October. I really want to do this but need to be in constant employment for it to happen. 

I also know that rather than taking just anything, I want something which will do me well. 

My criteria include: 
  • A daily rate around where I am on now. 
  • A hybrid working model (2-3 days in the office maximum.)
  • Interesting work. 
  • A good business day's worth of work to do, but with little expectation of overtime. 
  • Preferably on a transformation program - I've worked on lots of these. 
  • In a larger company - minimum 1000 people in the company. 
  • I'm not fussed about the sector. 
  • Preferably not at the companies I don't want to work for. 
  • Preferably a contract which lasts around a year.
  • Good people
  • Preferably in the city centre or at worst, in the inner suburbs, if I do need to go to the office. 
  • Must be accessable by public transport - bugger driving to work. 
  • I'm not opposed to a bit of travel for work - just not too much. I have a dependent. 

Yes, I've got some time up my sleeve. I've also had a couple of leads. 

My referees have been hit up, making sure they're okay to give me a reference.

Now, I just have to get myself out there.

And remember to breathe. 

Today's song: 

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Vet Night

I like to think that I'm a pretty good cat mummy. I might not be, but I think I'm okay. I've managed to keep Lucifer alive and healthy for the last three years. Long may that remain. 

So, today was vet day. Lucifer's annual check up.

I have dreamed that when I take my cat to the vet, all goes well. In my mind, he easily slips into his carry cage and goes into the vets without a whimper. Then he's nice to the vet. He's given a once over. The vet trims his toenails, places him gently on the scales to weight him, and then, he gets his annual vaccination. then he slips into his carry cage and comes home without a peep.

Well, some of this happened. 

He was corralled into his cage easily. I didn't give him a chance to complain - he was scooped up and put into the cat box without too much fun. Not being given the any inkling of this happening was a good thing.

He was fine in the car. He's always fine in the car. The odd cry, but that's it.

Then we parked just up the road from the vet.

I got him out of the car. 


The 100 metre walk down Church Street was peppered with his cries. It sounded like I was slitting his throat. 

We made it into the vet's reception area. 


He was asked to keep it down as we sat down in reception. Or more to the point, he was placed on a chair in his carrier, and I sat on the floor so he could see me, which seemed to calm, him down a bit. Well, that and the very large pitbull who came out of the office kept him in line, going up to his cage for a good look. That shut him up. 

After a few minutes, the vet came out to get us. 

"Are you Lucifer's Mum?"


The vet was lovely. She also looked like she was twelve. 

We had a chat about what the lad needed done. I said that he needed his annual shot, and if she could, maybe trim his front toenails. He's also been losing a bit of hair on his tummy. 

I'd taken a couple of photos of the area, in preparation for the fact that the vet would have no chance of having a good look at the area without sedating him. As I told her the area wasn't red, raw or bleeding, she wasn't too worried. Keep an eye on it. It might just be a bit of stress. 

So, she took him in his carrier to do the work. No need for me to fret over his bad behaviour. The vet said she also had a salty cat - sometimes it's easier if you don't know what they get up to. 

They came back 5 minutes later. She managed to give him the injection. No nails. No weighing. No check up. No look at his bald tummy. 

It appears his notes read, "The cat is an arsehole. Very salty. He will take off your arm. "

Somehow, she'd got him back in his cage.

He looked triumphant. 

Ten minutes later, after a quiet trip, we got home. 

He was fed his dinner, and for a treat, some cat pate, which is the equivalent of cat crack. He rewarded me for the trip by upending half of his litter tray onto the tiles while taking a dump. 

As he's now asleep on his blanket on the bed, it can't have been that traumatising. 

Thank goodness that's over for another year. 

Today's song: 

Monday, February 6, 2023

How do you break up with a book?

I think I need to break up with the book I'm currently reading. 

I'm not somebody who deserts books. I can only think of a handful which I've not completed. 

My rule is if I'm not engaged by page 30, I will throw it against the wall and pick it up when I next clean. (The Hobbit and The Great Gatsby were on this pile - I've since read and enjoyed the latter - but I've still not read The Hobbit.)

But this book I'm currently reading is not playing ball. It passed the 30-page test, but the reservations were starting to fire. 

The things I don't like about are the HUGE paragraphs which give me the irrits. One, two page paragraphs. It's annoying. The chapters are bit long too. 

I'm also not liking the characters, who all have sob stories and are also plain annoying. 

I suppose I'm waiting for something to happen. Not much has happened. 

It sort of reminds me of an Irish book based on the American series, Girls - which also pissed me off no end. Self-absorbed 20-somethings who were utterly clueless. 

The book is Sally Rooney's Beautiful World,Where are You?  I really liked her Normal People. This isn't as good. 

I will persist a bit longer.

Call me a sucker for punishment. 

Sunday, February 5, 2023

Sunday Stealing: Three Things

 It's been an interesting day. I've been to the gym. I've given a reflexology session while listening to Lou Reed. I've binge watched about half of the series The Bear (and it's excellent). 

Now, it's a matter of ironing one piece of clothing which has been washed and dried today, then doing a question, while trying to keep my cat off of my office chair. I feel so bad when I have to turf him off. 

Questions, as always, have been provided by Bev at Sunday Stealing

Three names you go by, other than your given name:

  • I was known as Skip or Skippy to my workmates in London.
  • Most people call me Panda.
  • My family call my Pandy, but I don't like that.

Three things you like about yourself:

  • I'm reasonably smart (certainly not stupid)
  • My ankles are pretty skinny
  • And I like my eyes - they're dark green - some would call them hazel. Regardless, I like them. 

Three things you don't like about yourself:

  • My propensity for putting on weight
  • I can be judgmental if I don't keep myself in check - thankfully I manage this most of the time. 
  • I can be lazy. 

Three parts of your heritage:

  • It's boring. As an Australian I'm a mix of these three regions of England. Cornish/Welsh (they're only a few miles from each other. 
  • Southern English
  • With a bit of lowlands Scottish just out of Edinburgh thrown in for good measure. 

Three things you are wearing right now:

  • A long sleeved stripey top
  • A pair of cotton wide leg trousers. 
  • My Apple Watch.

Three favorite bands/musical artists:

  • The Pixies
  • The Hoodoo Gurus
  • Portishead
(This is a very truncated list). 

Three favorite songs:

  • Reckless by Australian Crawl
  • Under the Bridge by The Red Hot Chilli Peppers
  • Sympathy for the Devil by The Rolling Stones. 

Three things you want in a relationship:

  • Loyalty
  • Fun
  • Laughter

Three of your favorite hobbies:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Knitting

Three things that scare you:

  • Neo-Liberalism (Ultra Conservatives)
  • Climate Change Deniers
  • Huntsman Spiders

Three of your everyday essentials:

Three places you want to go on vacation:

  • Paris and France
  • Tokyo
  • The South of England. 

Three careers you have considered/are considering:

  • Doctor
  • Astronaut
  • Systems Test Analyst

Three things you want to do before you die:

  • Walk the Camino de Compostella di Santiago
  • Get married (or at least happily shacked up)
  • Publish a couple of novels

Three things you want to do really badly right now: 

  • Find a new job (This is a must do, but I don't like looking for work, but it will turn up)
  • Save lots of money so I can go to Paris in October
  • Travel more

Saturday, February 4, 2023

Movie Review: The Banshees of Inisherin

 Movie Number 7 of 2023

The Movie: The Banshees of Inisherin

The Cinema: The Sun, Yarraville

Stars: 5

I have a very difficult relationship with the McDonagh Brothers. Martin McDonagh, who also directed one of my favourite movies, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, had me so deeply affected that I still talk about that film some five years later. His brother, John Michael McDonagh wrote and directed Calvary, another film that I still think about, even though I saw it in 2014.

Well, Martin McDonagh has done it again, writing and directing and incredible film, which has left me emotionally bereft and in a bit of a puddle. After the film, I went back to Blarney and Barney's to have a beer and talk about it some more. 

In the Irish vernacular, JAYZZZUSSS, what a film. 

In many ways, this is a small film. Set on an island off the Irish Coast in the early 1920s, Inisherin is a place where little happens. You get that feeling. Everybody knows everybody's business. Island time is kept by the post office bell which sends out the call for the men to go to the pub. 

RottenTomatoes.com provides the following plot. 

"Set on a remote island off the west coast of Ireland, THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN follows lifelong friends Pádraic and Colm, who find themselves at an impasse when Colm unexpectedly puts an end to their friendship. A stunned Pádraic, aided by his sister Siobhán and troubled young islander Dominic, endeavours to repair the relationship, refusing to take no for an answer. But Pádraic's repeated efforts only strengthen his former friend’s resolve and when Colm delivers a desperate ultimatum, events swiftly escalate, with shocking consequences."

I can't say any more about the plot. To say more would ruin it for anybody seeing it. 

This is a gutwrenching film. But it's also darkly funny. And wise. And bleak, yet hopeful. And it shows what can be the relentlessness of island life. It's also beautifully shot, showing the fictional island of Inisherin at its rugged best. The movie was filmed on Inishmore, one of the Aran Islands, off the Irish West Coast. The cinematography is amazing. 

To give you and inkling about how good this is, it's up for eight Oscars this year. Best Film, Best Original Screenplay, Best Direction, Best Actor (Colin Farrell), Best Supporting Actor x 2 (Brendan Gleeson and Barry Keoghan), Best Supporting Actress (Kerry Condon), Best Original Score and Best Editing. 

Good enough for you?

As I said, I won't put in spoilers. It's too good to give too many spoilers. But some of the things that just made this for me include the following things. 
  • Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson are back at it again. After being in In Bruges, together, they're back. It just works. Both Farrell and Gleeson are a huge part of the McDonagh brothers' stable. 
  • Barry Keoghan's role of Dominic is utterly heartbreaking, He's earned the Oscar nod. 
  • Kerry Condon is similarly wonderful as Siobhan, Padraig's long-suffering sister. I found myself fist pumping when we found out her plight. 
  • And a huge nod to the donkey. Again, I won't spoil this for anybody, but the donkey (and Colm's dog) are scene stealers. 

My only recommendation with this - if you're squeamish, don't go or be prepared. It not hugely violent, but what happens is affecting, and to be quite honest, a bit gross - and not in a funny way. 

This is going down as one of my favorite movies of the year. 

If you want to see something that isn't mainstream and utterly excellent, this is your film. 

It's on at the more art house cinemas around town. 

Do yourself a favor.

Today's song: 

Friday, February 3, 2023

Theatre Review: Sunday

 The Play: Sunday

The Theatre: The Sumner Theatre for the Melbourne Theatre Company

Playing until 18 February. 

Stars: 4

Sunday provides an imagined history of Australian art luminaries Sunday and John Reed and Sidney Nolan during the Heide years. I say imagined as nobody will ever know what went on at Heide all those years ago - we can only make suppositions and enjoy the outcome. Nobody can be sure if Sunday and Nolan had an affair. Nobody can know what was actually said and done. 

But this play gives it a crack. 

Having a rudimentary knowledge of the Heide School helped to gain a bit of ground on this play - although going in cold would be find. John and Sunday Reed were arts patrons from the forties onward. They were the patrons of many artists including Joy Hester, Albert Tucker, John Perceval and most notably Sidney Nolan, who did, indeed, paint most of his Ned Kelly series on their dining room table. The Heide Art Museum is testament to the movement. Indeed, taking a tour of the house gives you a good appreciation of the Reeds and what they did for Australian Art. 

So, the simple premise of this play is to look at the dynamics of the relationships between Sunday and Nolan, and how this impacts all in their orbit. It's really that simple. 

The play uses an effective stripped-down arena to do this justice. A table brought in here and there bed and a lounge room on rotation for some scenes. In the end, there's a bit more going on, and that is fine. 

This is wordy play. Running at just under three hours (with a 20 minute interval) you do need to keep awake to stay on top of what is going on. Time did not drag either. There's one speech of John's which has the audience clapping at one stage. It is also a very Melbourne play, poking fun at a lot of very in Melbourne standards including the weather, the "what school did you go to" conversations and a lot of other Melbourne standard tropes that nobody can escape from. 

This is Nikki Sheils play. She's wonderful as the complicated, contrary, passionate Sunday. I've seen here in three things over the last few years and she's luminescent in everything she's done (Particulary in Girls and Boys and The Picture of Dorian Gray.) She's a joy to watch and she goes from taking Sunday from a young, recently divorced twenty-something to a woman in her forties struggling with some unidentified mental illness. 

Matt Day was great as the long-suffering John Reed, although, for me, he's forever Harry-Sorry-David in Rake. Josh McConville is also solid as Sidney Nolan, his levelness and ambition is a decent foil for Sunday's bohemian nature. Ratidzo Mambo and Joshua Tighe round out the cast. Mambo's casting was interesting as she played Joy Hester. On discussions with my theatre companion, they found her inclusion difficult (Black actress playing a white woman). For me, her casting was not worth thinking about - blind casting is all over the shop now - it's not worth thinking about and Mambo did a great job in her role. 

In all, this is a solid start to the MTC's 2023 season. Is it the best thing I've seen them produce? No. But it is a quality play which contains quality performances, and it was very enjoyable.  It's well worth a look.