Sunday, April 30, 2023

Goddess: Power. Glamour. Rebellion

 The Exhibition: Goddess: Power, Glamour Rebellion

Where: Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Federation Square

Until: October 1

She's sitting on my fridge now. She spoke to me yesterday. 

And it's not the pout or the sadness behind her eyes, or the fact that she looks tired and a little unkempt. I love this shot for its unpredictability. You don't know where she's going to go, or what she's going to do.

She is a woman to be celebrated - like all women. And this is what I loved about this exhibition. It's a celebration of women in their power on screen. 

Was this what I was expecting? No. Did I enjoy the exhibition. Yes. 

I joined my friend Elle and her wonderful daughter Haylee for the afternoon. Haylee's eight-years-old and a little dynamo. Sweet, cheeky and the best of what eight-year-old girls can be - and it was wonderful to see the exhibition through her eyes as well. 

This well curated exhibition looks at the"... characters and moments from over 120 years of moving image history, Goddess celebrates the women and gender-transcending superstars who shaped their own roles, took creative control and fought a system that tried to exploit them."

There's a lot to see and think about. The Marilyn Monroe story looks at how she took on studio executives in various acts of defiance. She was a gutsy woman. Stories like this, from icons like Josephine Baker, Mae West, Joan Crawford just a name a few. Through the display of costumes, photos, film clips and other artifacts, you're taken on a ride with a plethora of strong, powerful and defiant women. It's amazing who's represented in this exhibition. I was mesmerised by some of the film clips showing on the big screens. 

Even better, on entering the complex, we were issued with a disc. At each information point you can tap the disc to download the information you're seeing. No need to take photos of everything, you can download the exhibits onto your own device. 

We spent about an hour and a half meandering through this wonderful exhibit, time we spent. Haylee was kept occupied looking at the number of interactive displays. Elle and I took in the incredible costumes on display - Marilyn Monroe's dress from Some Like it Hot and Mae West's shoes were standouts for me. 

Another thing I liked about this exhibition was that it wasn't too busy, nor too noisy. It's early in this exhibition's run. It's also a must for lovers of good film. 

A testament to women's empowerment, tenacity and audiacity, Goddess: Power, Glamour, Rebellion is worth a look. 

Today's song:

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Sunday Stealing: League

 I'm currently being the designated adults for Blarney and Barney's nearly thirteen-year old twins. I'm the designated adult as they are too old to have a babysitter, but just that little too young to be left at home alone at night. We went to see Dungeons and Dragons: Honour Among Thieves, which was just as good on the second viewing. 

So, this is a good time to get the Sunday questions done, which have been provided, as always, by Bev at Sunday Stealing

1. My favorite sources for delicious recipes

The internet. A lot of my recipes come from, and Nigella Lawson - she's great for really decadent stuff. 

2. If I had to repeat a day over & over, how I’d want it to go

A great day to be repeated would have lots of friends, films, yummy food and cuddles. And cats. We need cats. Cats are great. 

3. Who or what has saved my life


4. Something I can never seem to start or finish

My novel. I really want to get back to that. I definitely have a book or three in me. 

5. How my taste in food has changed over the years

I'm a really adventurous eater. Happy to try most things, but I think I'm a lot more in awe of the subtleties of food. 

6. The last time I cried

Yesterday. I binge watched that last series of Firefly Lane and was ugly crying. It's a fun series, but the last few episodes are really sad. I cried watching CODA too.

7. The best parts of human nature

Kindness and tenacity. 

8. Concepts and ideas that bend my mind

Kindness and tenacity. 

9. What I’m most likely to ask for help with

All sorts of things, when I finally give up and admit that IU need help. I get it. I'm seeing a dietician at the moment because need help.

10. The story behind one of my scars

I have a scar in one of my eyebrows. It's not really noticable unless you look for it. I got it when I was eleven years old. My sister clunked me over the head with a five iron. It was an accident.  

11. I’ve never said this out loud...

There is a hell of a lot that I don't say out loud. I try to keep my judgements to myself. Gets me into less trouble. 

12. Times I’ve been the leader/the one people count on

The job I had this time last year I had a team of six under me. It was pretty full on, but they said I was a good leader. 

13. Whenever I see these people, my heart lights up

My friends. They're good. 

14. With my financial needs met, here’s how I’d spend my time

I'd be travelling all around the world. And maybe living in Europe. 

15. The people I talk to when I want the truth

That depends on what truth I want to hear. I know I don't go to the internet when I'm looking for truth. 

Today's song: 

Friday, April 28, 2023

Movie Review: Polite Society

 Movie Number 21 of 2023

The Movie: Polite Society

The Cinema: Hoyts Victoria Gardens

Stars: 4

This is something different, and this is something else. 

After seeing some great reviews, I coerced Jay into seeing this, saying it looked fun.

It's fabulous - and like nothing you've seen and nothing you would expect, such is this funny, unexpected tale of sisterhood, family and karate is a near perfect mix of English wryness and Bollywood glitz with a bit of a caper movie thrown in for good measure. It really doesn't fit neatly into any genre. 

Oh, did I not say that this is an English film?  It's an English film with a mainly Asian cast. 

So, what's this about? 

Ria (Priya Kansara), a West London school girl wants to be a stunt woman. She loves her karate and stunting as much as she loves her family. When her sister Lena (Renu Arya) becomes engaged to this posh git, Salim (Akshay Khanna) a doctor and a Mummy's boy, alarm bells start to ring in Ria's head. describes the plot as follows: 

"Ria Khan believes that she must save her older sister Lena from her impending marriage. After enlisting her friends' help, she attempts to pull off the most ambitious of all wedding heists, in the name of independence and sisterhood."

I'm not going to tell you much more than this, other than I though this is one of the freshest films I've seen in ages. 

Polite Society provides a lot of things.

First up, a different view of West London. These girls have balls and attitude. They're tough. And unexpected. Ria and her friends Alba and Clara are misfits in a posh school.There are some fights. Lena is a washed up arts student. Again, unexpected for nice Asian girls from good families.

Then there's the action scenes. Ria, in her desire to become a stunt woman practices her trade, from her regular karate lessons, to the odd bit of parkour as she breaks into her inlaws place. I loved the action this provided, as it wasn't too stylised - actually, many of the scenes were downright hilarious. 

And the humour in this is spot on. Writer/Director Nida Mansoor does a fantastic job of both the screenplay and the direction. Her ascerbic wit runs through the film. 

And that is all I will say, other than if you're after something funny, colourful and unexpected, this is your film. 

As it was pointed out to me, it's not a Bollywood film, mostly because the cast is of Pakistani extraction, but it lacks the big ticket numbers found in Bollywood films. The scenes at the wedding are fun. 

Really, give this film a go. Thank me later. 

Today's song:

Thursday, April 27, 2023

What I'm...


I'm currently listening to Richard Armitage read Charles Dickens' David Copperfield. I'm over two thirds the way through and doing this on the back of reading Barbara Kingsolver's Demon Copperhead. A book based on the former, I'm loving have somebody tell me this long and involved story. Armitage is a master story teller as he takes on all of Dickins's characters - and you can hear in his voice that he's having a blast. I used to have an English lecturer who used to bring Dickins to life. There should be more of it. 

On paper/ kindle, I'm just between books, having just finished Clare Keegan's amazing All The Small Things. This was only 80 pages long, but Keegan's words pack a punch. This one comes highly recommended. 

And so I'm trying to decide what read next. Our book group book for next month is Jane Harper's Exiles. I've still got about half of Sally Rooney's Beautiful World, Where Are You? This one has been very slow going. 

Maybe I should pick up something else from the To Be Read pile. 


Wednesday night is Ted Lasso and Sanditon night. I love both for very different reasons. 

After the gym, I put on a movie. CODA, on Apple TV. 

This film is incredible, and it deserves the Oscar attention it received, where Troy Kotsur won the gong for Best Supporting Actor. Kotsur is the first deaf actor to win this award. 

The film tells the story of Ruby, the only hearing person in her deaf family. Ruby is trying to get on at high school, as well as working with her family on their fishing boat and acting as the family translator. But Ruby wants a life of her own, and Ruby wants to sing. Helped by a teacher, Ruby begins to see there is a lot more to life. 

Hunt out this film if you haven't seen it. I cried off and on for the last half of it. 

Emilia Jones, who plays Ruby, is wonderful. She's also in one of my favourite English films, What We Did On Our Holiday, where her relationship with her grandfather, played by Billy Connelly, is thoroughly joyful. That she can sing. tThis isn't suprising as her father is Aled Jones, the Welsh singer who was huge in the eighties and 90s - but she is no nepo-baby. Emilia Jones is going to be one to watch. 

Her family is rounded out by her mother, played by Marlee Matlin and brother, played by Daniel Durant. It was great to see another view point. 

If you've missed this, do check it out. It's a warm fuzzy of a film with a great script and an interesting point of view. 

And now the cat is sitting next to me demanding I get off my office chair and play with him, before he takes up his bed, on said office chair.

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Life Skills

 A question was asked the other day as I was around at Blarney and Barney's place, can of beer in my hand, shouting for Collingwood to win the game that was playing on the telly. 

Before you click away, I barrack for the Crows and whoever is playing Essendon, hence shouting for Collingwood for a match. 

The question. Can I tie a tie?

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"Can you tie a man's tie?" asked Blarney. 

"Of course, I can. Can't you?" was my response. 


"What about Barney?"

He can't tie a tie either. 

Hmm. I thought. Okay, We're all kids of seventies, teenagers of the eighties. Barney and I went to high schools with dress codes which demanded you were neat and tidy and possibly in a school pullover if you were lucky. Blarney went to a Catholic School in Ireland. 

"Didn't you have a tie with your uniform?" I asked her. 

"Yes, but it had the same knot in it for the years I was at school."

Hmm. Okay. 

Thinking back on it, my father taught me how to tie a tie when I was about ten-years-old. It was one of those life skills fathers seemed to pass on. My dad also taught me to tie my shoelaces, ride a bike, drive a tractor, check the oil and change a tyre. All useful life skills that dads appeared to impart on their children. 

I thought everybody could tie a tie. 

"Why do you ask?"

The boys now have a winter uniform at their new school. Part of this uniform was a tie, which needed to be knotted - not one on a piece of elastic. 

"I can teach them how to tie a tie. Easy."

"They won't be interested. Can you just knot them, they'll be right from there."

Hmm. Okay. 

So, my challenge to myself over the next five years will be to teach these guys how to tie their own ties. It's not that hard. A bit

I asked for those pesky strips of fabric, which most men see as a bit of a noose. 

Before starting on the task, I had the next question. 

"Windsor knot or normal?"

"There's more than one knot?"


"What's the difference?"

"An extra loop. I'll do a normal knot. "

Dad taught me the Windsor knot first. No idea why. Probably because they sit flatter. 

30 seconds later, crisis averted, I handed over two knotted school ties, still shaking my head that this was one of those life skill that I thought everybody knew how to do and with the certainty that I will be giving these boys a lesson in how to do this for themselves one day. 

Today's song: 

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Baguette Bisous

 J'aime rencontrer de nouveaux amis. 

Aujourd'hui, j'ai rencontré un nouvel ami. Il s'appelle Baguette.

Baguette est un Groodle dont les parents possèdent un café à proximité.

Baguette comprend le français et l'anglais.

Je parlais à la mère de Baguette de leur café, quand il a franchi la porte.

J'ai dit, "Bonjour".

Il m'a tout de suite aimé.

J'ai dit, "Assis"

Il s'est assis. 

J'ai dit, "Bisou". 

Il m'a donne un bisou.

Cela a fait ma journée.

And the thing that gets me most is that I get to practice my French on a local dog. 

And get Groodle kisses (bisous). 

It's the little things. 

(and though I wrote most of this off my own back, it did get run though Google Translate. The daily French lessons are paying off). 

Today's song: 

Monday, April 24, 2023

The Accountability Monitor

It was a frustrating day. After having thought my internet was fixed, I had a day of the WIFI going in and out like a spoiled cat at the back door. It wasn't fun. Half an hour on the phone to Telstra, a credit for the full amount of my bill for the last month (as this has been going on for the last few weeks) we came out with the resolution that NBN had to come and look at this. As tomorrow is a public holiday and I'm working from the office on Wednesday, the first time NBN can come look at this is Thursday morning. If they deign to come at all. Intermittent problems aren't their jam. 

In the meantime, I will keep losing work because the VPN is compromised. Joy.

Oh, and I booked myself in for a mammogram. Joy. Another life admin task as the reminder was received that morning. That we live in a country which insists you have routines checks for breast and bowel cancer is a good thing. That you have to go through the ignominy of having to shit on a mat and get your boobs squashed is another matter. Ah well. 

The high point of the day was the meeting with my new accountability monitor, Alecia. 


The dietician.

What can I tell you about Alecia?

Well, she appears to be very nice. And realistic. And she appears to listen. She might be a bit dim because she thinks I'm funny and intelligent.

I like her. And when I told her to not feed me fucking bananas, she said that's fine. 

I don't like bananas. 

We had a good chat about all sorts of things. What I eat. What I like to eat. How ice cream is the sixth food group. How a lot of my eating issues are because I eat for comfort and boredom - and that I'm hopefully getting in to see a psychologist soon to start dealing with all this. We talked about the fact that I'm menopausal and my metabolism has bottomed out. And that I'm doing a lot of travel at the moment which takes some control away from what you're eating (again, this is a conscious bias of mine - you can make anything happen if you want it bad enough). 

And we talked about the way forward. 

It's baby steps. 

I have three tasks to do before our check in next Monday. 

The first is eat consciously and photograph everything I eat (and take note of everything I drink) There's a program app, so she can see what I'm doing.

The second thing is to up my exercise. Since having COVID late last year my walking isn't what it was. I want to get a couple of decent walks in during the week on top of the three gym sessions I've been doing. 

And lastly, eat a piece of fruit a day. 

This is the biggest challenge for me. I'm not a fruit eater. The only way I like fruit is when somebody else cuts it up for me. My grandmother used to do this - peel and core and apple, cut it into quarters and put it on a plate. 

I did a supermarket trip after the gym tonight. My basket was filled with fruit, and veggies, and a brick of almond milk. 

And it all starts tomorrow. Working at this for myself. And my accountability monitor. 

Wish me luck. 

Today's song: 

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Sunday Stealing: Pinterest

 Ah, bless. I'm writing this with the news fresh that Barry Humphries - also known as Dame Edna Everage, has passed away. We've had a bad week for celebrity death's this week. Father Bob, a local Catholic priest, known for his good deeds and plain-spoken charity, passed a few days ago. Now this. Mind you, like Father Bob, Barry Humphries' medical condition was leaked to the press, so it wasn't that unexpected. And like Father Bob, he was in his late eighties.

My question is who is next? Celebrity deaths come in threes. 

This week's questions have been provided by Bev at Sunday Stealing

1. Would you rather trade some intelligence for looks or looks for intelligence?

Neither, thank you. I'm good just as I am. 

2. If everything in your house had to be one color what would it be?

I really don't like the thought of everything being one colour, but if it could be any colour, that wouold probably be a lovely colour of teal green. I love bright red, but not for household items. 

3. What animal would be the most terrifying if it could speak?

Cats. They know and see anything. Most people who have a cat would be in prison or dead if their cats could speak. 

4. How do you procrastinate?

Me, procratstinate? Choose one of the following: 

  • Iron
  • Watch telly
  • Read
  • Go for a walk
  • Do anything other than what I'm supposed to be doing.
I'm very good at procrastinating. 

5. If you had a warning label, what would yours say?

Mad, bad and dangerous to know. Allegedly, I've had this label for a while. 

6. Would you rather go 30 days without your phone or life without dessert?

I'm not sure I could go without my phone. I know I can go without dessert with a bit of trial. 

7. If one animal was made the size of an elephant, which would be the scariest?

The house cat. Can you imagine the damage they would do jumping on the furniture. 

8. If you were reincarnated as a famous landmark, which would it be?

That's a strange question. I have no idea. 

9. What celebrity chef would you like to make you dinner?

Heston Blumenthal - more than anything to see what he comes up with. If not, Nigella Lawson or Anthony Bourdain, bless him. 

10. How much would someone have to pay you to eat a spider?

There is no amount of money available to get me to eat a spider. Nup. No thank you. 

11. If you joined a circus, what would your circus act be?

The Fat Lady? I'm not a fan of circuses. I've always had a hankering to be a lion tamer, though. 

12. Do you have any superstitions?

I avoid stepping on cracks and walking under ladders, more for the safety aspect. And if anybody gives me a knife or blade for a present, I'll give them some money - even just a few coins, to 'buy' the knife off them so it doesn't cut the friendship. 

13. What cheesy song do you have memorized?

This. Great song. 

14. What’s something weird that you recommend everyone try at least once?

Oh, I have so many of these, including:

  • Going skinny dipping in the Southern Ocean in the middle of winter
  • Tasting a food you're scared of.
  • Travelling alone
  • Going to the Deckchair Cinema in Darwin
  • Eating smelly cheese
  • Riding on the back of a motorcycle in a city in Europe
  • Public speaking

15. What do you think is the most unpleasant sounding word?

Hands down, it's Moist. Followed by Utilised. I hate the latter, dislike the former. 

Today's song: 

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Theatre Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

The Play: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

The Theatre: The Princess Theatre

Until 9 July. 

Stars: 4

Yes, this is the third time I've seen Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, but in my defense, this is the first time I've seen the new version, shortened from two three hour plays to this abridged version, which was made necessary by the pandemic. 

I also got this ticket for $40 on Tix, a ticket app. I put myself in for the cheap seats lottery and was offered a single ticket for this matinee performance. I was thrilled to see the seat was in the third row of the stalls. 

Not bad for $40. 

So, how does the shortened version compare to the longer two play version?

Very well. 

I loved the longer, more involved productions when I saw them in 2018 and 2019. But it was a big commitment of time and money.

This was tight and slick. It's managed to keep the context of the two plays while upping the anti on the humour and pathos.

What came across to me most was the relationship between Albus and Scorpius, which was always one of the best things about the plays, but the shorter format put more emphasis on this. Gone were a lot of the overly long choreographed dances, replaced with small flourishes, which worked really well. For me, the actor who played Scorpius stole the show. 

Is anything missing from the longer versions? Not that I can think of or remember. The cast are still on point. The effects are still wonderful - and the shorter version means that some of these effects aren't laboured (The flue network comes to mind - people were coming in and out like an aged cat). The dementors, which fly about at the end of the first act are still terrifying. 

The other thing the shorter version provides is a performance that younger kids would be happier to sit through - at half the expense to the family. 

As this is going to be leaving the Princess Theatre on July 9, it's time to make those bookings and get to see this before it goes. The half-priced ticket apps and the $40 Friday lottery mean there are a lot of options to see this at short notice. It's worth investigating if you've been putting off seeing this because of cost. I hope to see it again before it goes. 

Then again, we can always wait for the movie...

Today's song: 

Friday, April 21, 2023

Welcome Home

I spent the day trying to stay awake. 

After the 1 am red-eye back from Darwin, to arriving at Melbourne Airport at 5.30 in the morning, to driving home in real peak hour (as opposed to Darwin peak hour which lasts about 15 minutes) to spending the rest of the day attempting to work and stay awake, it was a LONG day. 

Making it longer, Lucifer was still to come home. 

I'd arranged with his aunt, who took him on for the week, to pick him up after work. I've had daily reports of his behaviour. Most said, "He's eating and drinking and pooing where he's supposed to but I haven't seen him for dust." 

This is similar behaviour to what he displays when he goes to visit Aunty Blarney, but there he sits in a cupboard and hisses at her when she goes in to feed him. 

Anyway, this friend was warned - just let him come to you, don't try and pick him up and he'll thaw. 

By yesterday she's barely seen him. She said she'd enjoyed having him about, but it would have been nice if he was a bit more interactive. 

I rocked up tonight to collect my cat. 

I walked in the door and went into the kitchen. 

Out he comes, tail in the air, purring. He gave me the obligatory cuddles - because I'm allowed to pick him up and kiss his head. This was the first time he'd deigned to be in the room with his minder in the last few days...

Once I put him down, he wanders over to my friend and give her a couple of big leg rubs as a thank you. It was wonderful to watch - and rather gratifying. I gather this is the equivalent of having a child with manners. 

We popped out to get some fish and chips for dinner. We came back to him baying at the door - after a week of not hearing a peep out of him. 

We ate dinner at the kitchen table with him sitting down the other end watching proceedings. 

And I managed to get him into his carry cage and bring him home, so all is well with the world. 

He's now on his blanket on the bed, licking himself clean and purring softly. 

We're a family again. All is right with the world. 

Today's song: 

Thursday, April 20, 2023

The Dark Side of the Day

 This trip has been a bit of a revelation. I've really enjoyed myself.

So, I sit in my hotel room, basically packed, knowing in about three hours I'll head to the airport to get the red-eye back to Melbourne. I'm okay with the flight. I'm not sure I like the thought of taking the ring road at six in the morning after a night on the red-eye, but such is the flights that go in and out of Darwin. 

Today was a bit trippy. There was an eclipse. Here, in Darwin, the sun was obfuscated by about 80%. Over in the West, in Exmouth, they were plunged into complete darkness for a couple of minutes. 

I was working out of an industrial office in the suburbs. There are some war games going on in the area, so we had a a good audience with a number of fighter jets that were doing the rounds. 

Then there was talk of this eclipse. Something strange was in the air. Some would call it a bad case of the CBFs (Can't be fuckeds). Others would say that the humidity, which had backed off for the last few days, had come back to bite. Or maybe it was the eclipse working its voodoo. 

The time came for the eclipse to start kicking in. With the rest of my team, and quite a few others, we went out to the car park to try and have a look, being careful, of course, to stare into the sun. 

Of course, there were clouds, but we got the gist of what was going on. 


It is strange to see the shadows falling in crescents. 

What was even stranger was seeing a group of men, most of whom were dressed in high vis, trying to work out just what was going on and why all of these office workers were looking at the sun. 

It was a strangely bonding experience. 

And now my time in Darwin is coming to and end for another trip. 

The highlights for this trip included:

  • Going to the opening night of the Deckchair Cinema's season. See yesterday's post. 
  • Of course, the eclipse. 
  • The fact that some of the humidity had left the place. It was as hot as Satan's armpit last trip. This time things were quite pleasant. 
And most strangely, and delightfully, I caught up with my high school PE teacher. 

Eh? You say. 

Okay, some context. We have been friends on Facebook for years - and as with most people in Darwin, they're very willing to meet up, show you around and touch base. We also have some matching hobbies, being crafts, books and gyming. 

It was wonderful to catch up. She hasn't changed. I have, but I'm probably just bigger and a bit more confident. We happily chatted about all sorts of things - from what when on with the Class of 1985 - from who's dead, who's been in prison and who's a grandmother. (I have to keep reminding myself that I am well old enough to be a grandmother. Oh well.)

She amazed me. As somebody in her mid-seventies, she's still able to bench press a couple of short sets of 35 kilos. (I'm amazed - I'm on about 30 kg bench presses at the moment). 

And we made a pact to meet up again, but these sorts of catch ups are good. 

I also spoke to my other friend I met up with last time. I'm made a promise to get in contact to sort something out earlier when I'm up in June. 

So the day might have been a bit weird. The end of it may have had us looking around an industrial workwear shop in the outer suburbs - as you do.

But I'm liking it up here.

I feel a bit blessed. 

Better get ready for the airport. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Movie Review: Ennio - The Maesto

 Movie number 20 of 2023

The Movie: Ennio - The Maestro

The Cinema: The Deckchair Cinema, Darwin

Stars: 4.5

Anybody knows I'll go to the opening of an envelope. I'll also give new experiences a try. So, when my colleague, a Darwin resident, said that I'd probably like the Deckchair Cinema, and that it was opening night tonight, and there was a documentary about Ennio Morricone playing, of course I jumped at the chance. 

Of the things to do in Darwin in the Dry Season, this has to be top of the list. 

My colleague picked me up from what I call home (the hotel next door to work) and we made our way down to the Waterfront cinema. 

This has to be Darwin at it's very best. We got there an hour before the 7 p.m. screening, reserved a deckchair with a cushion, bought a beer and some food (they have different catering companies come in every night to feed the masses) had a chat with some of my colleague's mates, then after eating and drinking and slathering ourselves in the natural bug repellent available, we settled in to watch this fabulous documentary about the legendary Ennio Morricone, prolific composer and genuine genius. 

Morricone passed away in 2020, but his legacy is immense. 

Providing a view of his life, from his humble beginnings in Rome, to his first jobs as a trumpet player, to his learning composition at the local conservatory, to him starting to work on films, writing the scores, this documentary gives a great run down of his life.

It's fascinating. 

For movie lovers, this is a must watch. For all of the Morricone scores you know, there are hundreds you won't attribute to him. He was a humble man. Prolific as much as he was generous.

The movie interviews many of the great directors he worked with in his time, along with many of his contemporaries.

You don't need to know more than this. It's fantastic. A touch long, but the movies and the music take you along with the ride. It left me wanting to go back and revisit such films as The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, The Mission, The Untouchables and Cinema Paradiso - among many others. 

For me, however, it was the joy of watching a movie, in a deckchair, in the warmth of the Darwin night, with the sun going down behind the screen, and the geckos scurrying amid the film, as the constellation of Orion slowly disappeared into the horizon, along with a couple of hundred other film lovers, which really made my night. 

I can see the Deckchair Cinema becoming a regular feature on these work trips to Darwin.

It's a national treasure. 

Today's song:

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Sunset Musings

 As humans, we hunt out things in the sky. 

Sunset is one of those things we seek out, partly because you don't know what you're going to get on any given day. I love this unknown element the evening (and for that matter, morning) can bring. 

I didn't want to go for a walk after work. I had book group at 7.30 p.m. The humidity has backed off a lot meaning it's a lot more pleasant to go for a walk - but still. I wasn't in the mood. 

Regardless, I talked myself into going for a walk, mainly to get some dinner from somewhere quick and easy. Instead of doing a lap of the Waterfront I went to the end of the road and looked over the Bay. Half an hour wasn't going to kill me.

On reaching Bicentennial Park, I was greeted with this. 

Calm water in the bay. A watercolour sky. 

I walked for about 15 minutes, walking along the cliff top, remembering that this place was bombed 70 years ago. There are memorials along the way. I found the outdoor gym equipment that could make for a decent workout, if I had the energy or impetus.

The dragonflies were out in force. I overheard somebody say that the dragonflies hail the start of the dry. I think they're gorgeous, even if they freak me out a bit. 

Then, as the sun was about to set, I found the USS Peary memorial. There is some history to be investigated here. I was more interested in the people watching as other had the same idea. People were waiting for the sunset. 

They didn't have to wait long. 

The colours up here are amazing. There's a touch of Turner mixed with the ochres of Drysdale - not that Russell Drysdale ever painted Darwin.

The sunsets can be dramatic. But not tonight. 

There was beauty in its subtlety.

One could say that there is always something magical about the sun rising or setting over water. 

The sunsets don't last as long up here. it gets darker far more quickly. 

Once the sun had dipped below the horizon, I started on my way back, dodging the dragonflies and bats, jumping out of the way of the nutters on scooters and the equally barking runners. People start to bring their dogs out for a walk at this time. 

People generally move more slowly up here. It's too hot to rush about. 

So I ambled back home, stopping every few minutes to look at the light and colour over the bay.

It was an absolutely, ordinary sunset, on an absolutely, ordinary evening. 

It still felt blessed. 

Today's song:

Monday, April 17, 2023

Merv Hughes

Monday night is steak night at the Cavanagh Hotel

It's a Darwin tradition. And it's good. The steaks are superlative. 

So, we turn up at The Cav, after going for a walk around the waterfront and having a quick shower. It's not as humid as it was the last time I was here - it's actually quite nice. Still hot, but the humidity has backed off a bit. 

I decided against a steak, going for the barramundi. They had this rather lovely alcoholic ginger beer on tap, so I had a pint of that to wash down my dinner. 

I will say this for the crew I work with. They are lovely and they are inclusive It's great. 

During dinner, it was noticed that we were in the presence of greatness. 

Merv Hughes was at the next table. 

Merv Hughes?

If you know, you know. If you're over 40, you'll know. If you like the best of Australian Cricket, you'll definitely know.

The man is a bloody legend. 

Something people don't know about me. I used to be a cricket tragic. Not so much now, but when you're a child of the seventies, teenager of the eighties, you used to be all over the cricket. None of this 20-20 big bash crap. Give me test matches or 50 over one-day games. 

Games that our illustrious Merv used to bowl in. 

Some 30 odd year later, I find myself in a pub with Merv Hughes, a pint of alcoholic ginger beer in my hand and some very funny fan boy workmates going nuts. I would share the photos with you. Needless to say, these guys have huge grins on their faces as if they've met the Messiah. 

I'm far too shy to go up and say hello. I left him to his rib-eye. Many others in the pub, resplendent in their shorts and t-shirts and good thongs, didn't feel the same and went up to shake the great man's hand. 

On posting a remark on my Facebook page, some 25 odd people liked the remark. 

Dead set legend. He's been in a good paddock. The iconic moustache is still there. 

Me, I was ready to move on to the next phase of dinner - an ice cream from Johnn Johnns. Another Darwin institution. This ice cream shop is the bomb. I tasted some Black Magic (Vegan dark chocolate and coconut - tastes like an adult lamington) as well as some Baileys and Caramilk (more Baileys than Caramilk) before settling on an old favourite - Green Tea. 

My Wednesday night is set now, as I head to the Deckchair Cinema for its opening night. Tomorrow night is book group over zom. Late Thursday, I fly back to Melbourne. 

My lunch date on Wednesday is my old P.E. Teacher from Year Eight. We're friend on Facebook with some similar interests. It'll be lovely to see her. 

Life is good. Especially when you've been in the presence of greatness. (I would feel the same if I was in the same pub as Dennis Lillee, Rod Marsh (Bless him), Greg Chappell, Viv Richards, Ian Botham, or anybody else from those legendary cricket teams of the mid-80s. It really was the best time for cricket.)

Today's song: 

Sunday, April 16, 2023

Mummy Guilt

 The flat feels empty. I've hoovered, and though I don't really feel guilty because the house is actually empty, I still got the pangs of despair knowing how my little lordship hates the hoover. 

But he is not here. 

He's hiding out somewhere at Aunty Deb's place. 

He was dropped off a couple of hours ago with his tucker, his sleeping bits and pieces, his stick and ribbons, some treats, a new scratching post to save Aunty Deb's furniture. There's also a Feliway diffuser, which is there to help him calm down. 

It's worse than dropping off a child.

After being let out of his travel cage, he had a look around and then found somewhere to hide. 

He'll come out when he's ready. 

And I'm back in my empty flat about to go on a full flight back to Darwin for a few more days. 

The flat feels empty. For a six kilogram lump of fluff he really does make his mark. 

He will be fine. Aunty Deb will love him. He has big picture windows to look out of. 

I just have the most dreadful mummy guilt. 

I'm glad I never had children. I'd be a wreck leaving them. 

Today's song:

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Sunday Stealing: Mantelligence

 Ah, what a day. Out early, meditation, breakfast, a hair appointment, back home, then off to a 50th barbeque, and now back with my cat, making sure he's okay before I take him to a friend's place before I go back up to Darwin tomorrow night. Oh, what fun. 

Questions, as always, have come from Bev at Sunday Stealing

1. If you had the world’s attention for 30 seconds, what would you say?

Be kind to each other. Nobody gets out of of this life alive, so make the best of it by being kind. You can't take material stuff with you. 

2. If your food is bad at a restaurant, would you say something?

Absolutely. But there are ways and means about going about this. If it's just one element of the dish, then leave it to the side. If it's the main part of things, or something is really wrong, then yes, I'd say something. There is also a difference between ordering something you don't quite know and not liking it and something being off. If the food is cold, raw when it's not supposed to be or just bad, then I'd politely question it. 

3.What is in your fridge right now?

Not that much as I'm heading to the Northern Territory for a week tomorrow. There's a bowl of soup that I made earlier in the week (for lunch tomorrow) kombucha, a few bottles of various tonic, lots of condiments, half a dozen eggs, half a brick of almond milk and a back of grated cheddar cheese. There are some ready meals (Americans read TV dinners) a loaf of bread and some chicken breasts in single serves.  No point restocking the fridge until I have spoken to the dietician the week after next and I'm back from Darwin. 

4.What are you freakishly bad at?

Lots of things. Relationships, singing and putting up with stupid people come to mind. 

5. Where do you not mind waiting?

I'm good waiting at the airport for a plane to be fixed if there is engineering issues. Would much rather be on a working plane. 

6. What’s something you’ve tried, that you’ll never, ever try again?

Here are a few things: 

  • Dating boys from Coburg (Melbourne thing but iykyk)
  • Esctacy / illicit drugs
  • Going blonde
  • Wearing stiletto heels

7. If you could dis-invent one thing, what would it be?

Automatic guns. Do they really have a reason to be around? Really?

8. If you could be a member of any TV-sitcom family, which would it be?

I'd love to be part of the Addams Family. I think I'd fit in quite well. 

9. What would be the best thing about not having a sense of smell?

I lost my sense of smell and taste for a few weeks when I had COVID. I do not recommend. However one good thing was not being able to smell cigarette and vape smoke. Still, your sense of smell is very important. 

10. Would you rather live (permanently) in a roller coaster park or in a zoo?

Give me the zoo any day. I love animals, even if they smell a bit funny. 

11. When scrolling through social media, do you prefer posts from celebrities or from your best friends?

Friends - although it feels like some bloggers, like B Dylan Hollis and Jesse Crosson have become friends. 

12. What makes someone a hero?

Somebody who selflessly gives of themselves for the good of others. Not football players.

13. What is the stupidest thing you’ve done because someone dared you to?

I can't remember because I think alcohol was involved. Watching the first series of Game of Thrones? Reading Fifty Shades of Grey. Both stupid moves. 

14. What is the stupidest thing you’ve done on your own free will?

Too many things to mention here. Drinking too much Malibu is one of those things. Ignoring my gut is another. 

15. Would you rather have unlimited sushi for life or unlimited tacos for life?

Unlimited sushi. I love sushi - good sushi that is. 

Today's song: 

Friday, April 14, 2023

From today

 My NBN service is shite. It's normally not bad at all, but today, it's been going out like a teenage boy losing his virginity. 

I lost all of the work I did today, my spreadsheet not saving. Exceptionally irritating. Thankfully, I'm in Darwin for most of next week where I can blame the work network for such drop outs. 

It's also making streaming telly rather annoying.

Or writing anything. 

I'm making roasted potato salad for tomorrow's party. Barney turns 50 next week and there is a gathering of the clan. 

At least the oven doesn't need the internet to function. 

The tatties are roasted. They will be warmed up tomorrow before the spring onions, seedy mustard, chopped gherkins, sour cream and mayonnaise are mixed in with them and taken over to this shindig.

My hair is being cut and coloured for the occasion. 

And the highlight of the day is winning a $40 ticket to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Chile next weekend. Matinee session. Happy about this - I've wanted to see the abridged version since it came out (I saw the long form of this twice already - as this is leaving in July, it's all worked out well (and better than paying $250 for the ticket. )

The jack rabbit internet is doing my head in. 

I'll be off. 

Today's song: 

Thursday, April 13, 2023

I don't get it

 I'm Australian. I'm glad I'm Australian.

I keep my eye on world news, as you do. My cheap subscription to the New York Times gets used every day. I like to pay a little for my journalism. I used to buy a paper every day, why wouldn't you contribute a dollar a day for the news. (I must say, I have been thinking about ditching my subscription to The Age. That paper has turned into a rag with it's affiliations with the Nine Network)

Regardless, I can't get over the fact that Texas is banning the abortion pill - or at least trying to ban it being sent through the mail. 

I mean, seriously. A woman's body. A woman's choice. Piss off and go bother your god for yourself, leave other people to their own choices. 

Medical abortions, those done by taking this and another pill, before 12 weeks gestation, are effective and safe. And if a woman deems they want an abortion, for whatever reason, this pill is an effective way of doing this. 

But no. Some super-religious, entitled arsewipe says because he doesn't believe in it, nobody should be able to do this. 

I don't get it. 

Sure, having an abortion is taking away potential - but it's just that - potential. Who's not to say that the child will survive. 

News came though today that this baffling ruling had been overturned for now. But this won't be the end of it. 

This is from the country where one state tried to make it legal to implant ectopic pregnancies in the womb. 

I cried when the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs Wade last year. I cried for the women who's lives would be destroyed by this. 

I don't get why more women aren't protesting - and protesting loudly. Do what they did in Poland. 

I don't get why these fuckwits are making these rulings. 

Like, if you don't like abortion, don't have one - but don't stop others from doing what is right for themselves. 

Nobody likes it. But it is necessary. 

Too many women have died over centuries. 

It's time for this lunacy to stop. 

Today's song:

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

I love Wednesday nights

 I love Wednesday nights because:

  • A new episode of Ted Lasso comes out
  • And a new episode of Sanditon comes out. 
It's my telly night. 

There's the every wonderful repeats of Travel Guides on Channel Nine. Those guys make me laugh. I adore Kevin and Janetta. They put ordinary people in extraordinary places and they're funny - and strangely respectful for Australian Tourists. 

So, as it's telly night, I'm going to give myself a night off. I was out late after a lovely quick dinner with Jonella for a catch up, but there is plenty of time to get these two new episodes in.

And also, thanks for the support after last night's post. Seems I've touched a few people. And thanks to those who've reach out. 

Just so it's on the record: 
  • I've got a meet and greet with the dietician tomorrow night. 
  • A doctor's appointment for the Mental Health Plan is set for early next month.
  • I might have to find somebody to help me with how to sell my photos - but there's been some support for this. 
  • And if anybody can tell me what an EFT IS, I'd appreciate it. 
Things always feel a bit better when you've started top put a plan in place. 

But thanks for being there. Thanks for listening. 

I'm going to make myself a gin and tonic and settle into my telly shows. 

I love it when they slow drip the episodes. It's almost nostalgic in the way it feels. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Asking For Help

“Life is always a matter of waiting for the right moment to act.”

― Paulo Coelho, Veronika Decides to Die

Is this the start of a spiral? Or me facing up to the multitude of issues in my life which have been giving me the absolute shits for years. And before I start tackling all of these things, I tend to fall down in a bit of a heap and let myself stew a bit. I hide away. I shove The Great British Bake Off on the telly and let myself be lulled into a false sense of security. Maybe it's Paul Hollywood's steel blue stare that brings you back. I don't know. 

Anyway, I've started to ask for help. 

I hate asking for help. It's against my nature. I'm far too independent for my own good. It's not something I have ever done before. 

Well, in my limited capacity, I'm asking for it now. 

Not sure what's got into me, but I've started the ball rolling on a few things. Or at least I'm seriously thinking about it. 

The first thing. Weight loss. I'm heading off to Europe in six months. I'll be seeing friends I haven't seen in ten years. Menopause means weight loss is bloody hard. Excruciatingly hard. 

So I've signed myself up to work with a dietician for the next six months. It's something I haven't tried. There's something good about having somebody to tell you what to eat. The dietician also acts as a life coach. I'm starting the week after next, once I get back from Darwin. 

Second thing, Get my finances in order. Well, they are in order, but there has to be some ways of making some passive income. What does this look like? I'm looking for ideas. 

Do I put some of my photos out there for sale on websites? 

Do I self-publish a small coffee table book with the photos of Maow Maow? 

I know there's a book in me, or three - it's time to shed the self-doubt. 

Again, any ideas would be appreciated. I'd like some guidance. 

And talking of finances, I need to find a competent, qualified financial planner. I've never had one. Working in banking for so many years has scared me off. I trust nobody. But again, if there are any recommendations, please send them my way. No wide boys or arseholes - mind you, to be a financial adviser, you need to be a bit of an arsehole. 

And the biggie. It's probably time to go back for some counselling. I've started discussing with my GP about the possibility of going on a mental health plan, seeing a psychologist and ascertaining exactly which spectrum I'm on. I know I'm on one of the spectrums - but being a woman, and being high-functioning, it's a wonder why I'm doing this. But the anxiety is starting to wake me up at night. I don't like it.

So, it's time to get some help. 

There are plenty of other things that need fixing in my life, but this is a start. 

I hate all of this. 

But it has to be done. 

Today's Song: 

Monday, April 10, 2023


One of my most favourite things about living in London was Sunday mornings. I'd get up, put some clothes on, run to the corner shop and get a copy of the Sunday Papers (The Times, The Guardian and The News of the World). Then, I'd go a few shops down to the bagel bakery and collect breakfast. This was in the time before coffee was a thing. 

My standard order was two smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels, freshly made, readily stacked and wrapped in cling film. From memory, this cost me about three quid. Then I'd traipse home, make myself a cup of instant coffee and go back to bed with the papers. 

I still dream about these bagels. They were the right texture of crispy and glossy on the outside, yet just chewy enough on the inside.. The smoked salmon was always perfect, and there was just the right amount of cream cheese (or schmear, if you're from New York). The bagels were just a little bit sweet. They were perfection and they always made my Sundays. 

I crave a good bagel. I'm heading over to London in September - and as the bagel bakery is still there, I'm thinking of making a quick trip to my old stomping group to see if they are still as good. 

Since being back in Melbourne, until recently, and unless you were in certain areas of town, good bagels were hard to find. Sure, if you're around Elsternwick, there's the wonderful Glicks. I'm known to pick up good bagels at Cafe D'Lish, a Jewish Cafe in Caulfield, which brings its bagels in from one of the local bakeries. And at a push, the Coles sesame seed bagels are great toasted. But not quite the same. 

Driving home from the gym today, after picking up some petrol, I spotted this new place on Burnley Street - Mile End Bagels. 

Bagels! Yay. 

Having driven past this place, I did a blocky, found a park and took myself in there. It was breakfast time (okay, it was nearly midday, same same). 

I was greeted by a stark, almost industrial space, which a heap of hipsters behind the counter. Hipsters are big in Richmond. My favourite eatery is around the corner. Hector's Deli is fantastic - but full of hipsters, and people queuing for their fix of hipster food.

Also, knowing hispsters, the coffee was going to be bang on and although expensive, the food wasn't going to skimp on quality. It was worth a try. 

After a quick chat with the girl behind the counter, I found out this place has been there since August. I never noticed it. I drive down Burnley Street a couple of times a week - but rarely during the day. The industrial space is pretty non-descript. 

Then I saw the bagels on display. 

They've kept it simple. Sesame Seed. Poppy Seed, Rye, Oats, or Everything (which is a mix of all the seeds and grains). All the bagels are baked fresh that day. 

I was in. After perusing the menu I ordered a smoked salmon, caper cream cheese, red onion, and tomato in an everything bagel. Along with my wanker coffee (Almond decaf latte). 

At $16 for the bagel, it was a bit more than the ones I used to get down West End Lane. 

It's also more than the ones I make for myself with ingredients from the supermarket - which I do regularly. 

The service was quick. After a few minutes I was taking my precious home. 

And this is what I got. 

Sixteen bucks for a smoked salmon bagel. Well, we are paying the Richmond Hipster tax.... The same goes with other hipster eateries. Expensive, but good. 

I have to say, there was no way that you could eat this monster politely. As with Hector's Deli, they don't scrimp on the ingredients. And it was bloody delicious. 

The coffee, as expected, was well above average. Being a decaf drinker, I'm pretty picky as I know how diabolical it can be. This decaf tasted like regular excellent Melbourne coffee, so they get extra points for that. 

So, will I be back to this little gem I didn't know existed? Yes. But as a special occasion. It's a bit expensive. And really, I do a pretty good job making my own version of this using the Coles bagels (which are great toasted) and supermarket or deli bought smoked salmon. I also don't make them that messy. 

You gotta love hipsters. Take a classic and make them their own. 

Today's song:

Sunday, April 9, 2023

Movie Review: Air

 Movie Number 19 of 2023

The Movie: Air

The Cinema: Hoyts Victoria Gardens

Stars: 3.75

Were we really that daggy back in the 80's? That's the first question I asked myself while viewing this film. 

The second thing I thought to myself was that the 80's really did have the best music ever.

This was an enjoyable diversion for many reasons. It's got everything Hollywood can provide, including star power and a killer soundtrack. It's also deals with a period in my living memory, which is fun. 

"Air reveals the unbelievable game-changing partnership between a then-rookie Michael Jordan and Nike's fledgling basketball division which revolutionized the world of sports and contemporary culture with the Air Jordan brand. This moving story follows the career-defining gamble of an unconventional team with everything on the line, the uncompromising vision of a mother who knows the worth of her son’s immense talent, and the basketball phenom who would become the greatest of all time." That's how describes it. 

What this doesn't say is that collaborative piece, with Ben Affleck at the director's helm, feels like a bit of a buddy movie. 

Most of the film focuses on Sonny Vaccaro (Matt Damon), a basketball talent scout for NIKE, who comes up with the idea of signing on Michael Jordan to be the face of their basketball shoes - this is before this was a big thing. 

He comes up against his colleagues - Rob Strasser (Jason Bateman) the marketing guy, Howard White (Chris Tucker) the talent minder, Peter Moore (Matt Maher) the shoe designer and Phil Knight (Ben Affleck) the CEO of the NIKE. 

He also has to win over Jordan's mother, Deloris (Viola Davis), negotiating with her instead of the Sports Agent, David Falk (Chris Messina). It's his interactions with Falk which draw the most laughs. 

The other thing this film does really well is to capture the 80's as they were. Seeing this all took place in 1984, when I was sixteen, everything was relatable, from the green screen computers to the brick sized mobile phones that nobody had to all sorts of other things that were instantly recognizable if you were around in the 80s. 

Ben Affleck's direction is assured and fun. For what is ostensibly a story about a corporate deal, this is engaging stuff. 

The other amazing thing is the statistics displayed at the end of the film. Do we, as humanity, really spend THAT much on sports shoes? It's astounding. 

This film is worth a viewing. 

Today's song: 

Saturday, April 8, 2023

Sunday Stealing: I've come to realise

 Happy Easter to one and all. I'm having a nice, quiet weekend now it feels as if winter has really hit Melbouurne. 

So, let's get on with the weekly questions, provided, as always, by Bev at Sunday Stealing

1. I've come to realize that my chest-size ......

Is above average, but I'm used to it. I also wish I wasn't so barrel chested. Just is. 

2. I've come to realize that my job(s) ... 

Is a bit unique in that there is a lot of need for it around the place. Long may this continue. 

3. I've come to realize that when I'm driving ...

I love to have an audiobook playing. Currently I'm listening to a very good version of David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. 

4. I've come to realize that I need .... 

A lot more than I let on about. 

5. I've come to realize that I have lost .... 

the will to please people all the time. I'm getting a lot better about this. 

6. I've come to realize that I hate it when ... 

people are rude. People who are rude to waiting staff (without provocation) are scum. 

7. I've come to realize that if I'm drunk ... 

I'm normally pretty happy and I'm probably singing. Not that I've been drunk for a long time. 

8. I've come to realize that money ... 

comes and goes. Having enough money is good. Having too much or too little is not so good. 

9. I've come to realize that certain people ... 

are going to annoy the crap out of me and there is very little I can do about it. 

10. I've come to realize that I'll always ... 

look for the good in people. 

11. I've come to realize that my siblings ...

are both very strong people in their own ways. 

12. I've come to realize that my mom ... 

is human. Wish I'd let myself know that sooner. 

13. I've come to realize that my cell phone ...

is normally attached to one of my hands. I feel lost without it. 

14. I've come to realize that when I woke up this morning ...

I had to drink a hell of a lot as I was off to donate blood early this afternoon. I was pissing for England for a while. Thankfully the blood came out easily. 

15. I've come to realize that last night before I went to sleep ...

I should have gone to bed an hour earlier. 

Today's song: 

Friday, April 7, 2023

Movie Review: Allelujah

 Movie Number 18 of 2023

The Movie: Allelujah

The Cinema: Village Cinemas, The Rivoli, Camberwell. 

Stars: 3.5

Allelujah is not a perfect film, however, it has enough going for it to keep you amused, entranced and to have your thought processes kept engaged for the hour forty of the film. 

The RottenTomatoes rating has this down in the ditch. 

Don't believe the reviews and judge for yourself. There's a lot here if you forgive the sometimes messiness of the plot. 

What it does have is: 

  • A stunning British cast
  • An excellent script
  • A huge heart
  • And it gives you a lot to think about. 

Allelujah takes us to a small, publicly run geriatric hospital in Yorkshire, The Bethlehem. The staff to their very best under the strict but loving watch of Sister Gilpin (Jennifer Saunders). Doctor Valentine (Bally Gill) ensures the patients are cared for medically, while the nursing staff ensure the wellbeing of the patients. Despite the threats of closures, the staff, and the patients soldier on. In the background, a group of well-meaning volunteers is trying to keep the hospital open, and a film crew are present to try and help this cause along. 

Of the patients, we see old age at its best, and its most brutal. There's the Earnshaw's who are trying to keep her mother alive for reasons that are revealed in time. Then there's Ambrose (Derek Jacobi), and old teacher who's trying to escape the clutches of one of the other patients. Mary (Judi Dench), a former librarian uses her research skills to assist the documentary makers. 

Most fun, and poignant of all, is Mr Colman (David Bradley) who has been admitted to the hospital for the short term from his nursing home. His son, Colin (Russell Tovey) is worried about his father, but is also a consultant to the NHS, advocating the closure of the hospital. Their relationship is fun to watch as we see the indignities of old age rage against the practicalities of modern life. 

As a lover of screenwriter Alan Bennett's work, there's a lot to appreciate. As expected, there's a lot of spit take moments which take a humorous look at the ageing. Bennett is also great with character and this is seen in spades. 

What doesn't work so well is that this was adapted from a stage play and you get the feeling more could be done to translate this over. The play originally staged in 2018. There was a small add on at the end of the film to bring this up to post-COVID times, with good effect. 

I'll also say we should keep our eyes out for Bally Gill, who played Doctor Valentine, is somebody to watch out for. Classically trained, he really kicks some goals in this.

This film resonated with me, as I'm watching many of my friends deal with the challenges of elderly parents (I'm thankful my elderly parents are running very well indeed). This film asks a lot of question of our society on the topics of how we care for our ageing folk in a caring, compassionate and human way. 

Today's song: 

Thursday, April 6, 2023

Don't joke about working Easter

 I nearly went full Roy Kent in a meeting earlier today. 

I've got a lot on my plate at the moment at work. It's managable, but a lot needs to be done. 

One of the team, in the open forum of the meeting suggested I work over Easter. 

My first desired reaction was as follows:

I was in a meeting. I'm better trained that that. My second desired reaction was this:

My third reaction at the thought of working Easter was as follows: 

I managed to keep the expletives out of my reaction in the end: 

I had my camera off so they couldn't see my hand gestures. 

See, last Easter I worked over Easter. I managed to rack up 34 hours over the four day break. I took Sunday off. Yes, that's over 11 hours a day on a public holiday. 

They didn't even pay double time. It was a bit of a miracle they paid the overtime at all. 

So you don't joke about working Easter with me. 

And I will swear and growl like Roy Kent if you even suggest it to me. 

It's Easter. I want the break. I need to keep my strength up for the months to come. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Saying Hello to Thomas

 The most wonderful thing to happen to me today was over a message app. 

My friend Lainey is over in Britain, having taken herself over there for a big birthday. She's staying with a friend in Canterbury. 

The message read, "I'm waving at Thomas for you."

Some of friends just get you. 

When I Lainey told me about her trip, and how she was staying in Canterbury, I gave instructions. Go into the Cathedral. Pay the entrance fee. Head off to the left of the nave and go down the small staircase. Sit in front of the sculpture of the swords and commune with Thomas a Beckett. 

She got it. 

And today, she wrote to me from Canterbury Cathedral. 

I have a strange relationship with this Twelfth Century saint. 

Like the pilgrims from The Canterbury Tales of Chaucer, I have this near cellular draw to go to this spot while I'm in England. Though not like I'm a Catholic - I'm not religious at all. Yet there is something about this man, who can from reasonably humble beginnings, who rose to the top of the King's favour, only to taken town by some of the King's men in the Cathedral over which he presided. 

There used to be a large memorial to him in the Lady Chapel. This was destroyed by Henry VIII, as he destroyed so many holy sites. 

Now, a single candle stands vigil over the site where his bones once lay. 

The candle is never extinguished. 

So, the pull to go to Canterbury continues. 

And I have friends who know about this and message me from Canterbury to say that they're sitting with Thomas and having a chat - which is what I love to do when I'm in Canterbury. 

It meant a lot. 

Also, I might have to see if I can take a day trip down there when I'm over in September. 

Today's song: 

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

The Second Audition

 Jay and I gave Saxon a second audition tonight.

Finding a new trainer, especially after such a long stint with Cleo, is hard. We've been seeing Cleo for well on seven years. She's part of our lives. Finding another trainer is hard. Finding somebody who will take us on, two ageing women who can get a bit lippy - well, who's going to do that? 

We have some criteria in taking on a new P.T. 

They must:

  • Listen when we say we won't do something - normally something hurts. 
  • Keep us moving.
  • Be reliable
  • Work in with our schedules. 
I met up with Saxon two weeks ago. He seemed to fit the bill. Tonight, it was Jay's turn to see what she thought. 

It went well. I'm not sure that poor Saxon knew what was coming. I'm not sure he was used to two older women telling him, "Keep us moving. No resting."

He started us off on light weights. By the end of the sets I was pumping 190 kilos on the leg press machine. He put us through our paces on the sled. We pointed out equipment we liked using - no aquabag for me, as many battle ropes as he likes. No jumping. All of the stuff he needs to know about. 

45 minutes later, we had the talk.

"Well, these are our hours, if you can fit us in. Mondays, and either a Wednesday or Friday. You have to keep us moving. That's what you're employed to do. We pay on time and give you lots of notice if we can't make a session. In other words, we're reliable."

I think he likes us. 

Jay and I talked about it on leaving the gym. He should be a good replacement for Cleo. He's shown that he can listen. He let us work within our boundaries, whilst pushing just a little. He seems reliable.

Okay, he looks 12, but that is happening more and more.

Monday, April 3, 2023


I'm not sure what I'm more excited about. Going overseas in September/October, or transiting on the way home in, of all places, Helsinki. 

I've never been to Helsinki before. 

I'll probably never go to Helsinki again. 

But I'm going to be in Helsinki Airport for two hours and I think this is really cool. 

On the weekend, I spent some time with the mob from the Writer's Retreat. We discussed the Gunnas International, on which a few of my favourite Gunnas are going along. I'm quite excited about this. I mean, I've been to Paris twice before, once on my own where I was backpacking, the other time I was there with a friend - and I remember not having fun as my friend and I weren't really compatible travel companions.

So, this time, I'm spending ten days on a writer's retreat in France. Five days in Paris, five days in Provence. It's costing an arm and a leg, but as I haven't travelled in three years, it's worth it. Sometimes you have to do something which nourishes your soul. Spending ten days in a glorious place with some of my favourite people sounds pretty good to me. It's also one of these trips where you can opt in and out out of activities as you see fit - which means I get my day roaming around the Pere Lachaise Cemetary in Autumn again. I love that. 

So today, on a whim, at lunch, I looked at tickets. I used Frequent Flyer Points. It ended up costing me $750 for the taxes on the return trip. 

Going across, I'm leaving Melbourne stupid early in the morning, heading out on an Emirates flight and landing in Stanstead 22 hours later. 

Three weeks later, I'm heading home from Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, flying Finnair to Hong Kong via Helsinki, then catching a Qantas flight back into Melbourne. Yes, it's a bit around the houses, but for $750 return, I'm not complaining. 110,000 airmiles used. I still have enough left for another trip to Europe at some time in the future. 

This is happening! I'll get to see some friends. I'll get to see some new places. And I'll get to hang out with a lot of people I rather like for ten days. 

But the thing I'm most excited about at the moment is transiting through Helsinki. 

It's the little things. 

Now to make the rest of the stuff happen. 

Today's song:

Sunday, April 2, 2023

March Check In - April Goals

 I'm a day late with these, but I do find them useful. Just having some goals is never a bad thing. Also, with normal time resuming today, it means I have got a good time to mark the time. It's also six months until I go to Paris. I put down $1000 on the ten day writer's retreat part of it - now to make the rest of it happen. 

So last month's goals went like this:

1. An hour of exercise every day. 

This didn't quite go to plan, but I did remain active. Things did get out of whack with my trip to Darwin and starting a new job. But we managed this at least have the month. 

2. Read four books over the month. 

I did this - I did better than expected. Over the month I read:

  • Women Talking by Miriam Toews
  • Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
  • Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver
  • So Much Life Left Over by Louis de Bernieres
  • The Autumn of the Ace by Louis de Bernieres
Challenge complete. 

3. Save $2000.


4. No ice cream.

Yeah, didn't happen. Time in Darwin means ice cream was required. I have cut my ice cream consumption down a lot. 

5. Write some fiction at least 20 days over the months. 

Also didn't happen. On the good side, I did get a solid 3000 word draft of an article out, and I'm thinking of writing a historical piece over Easter for BackStory Journal. They have taken everything I've submitted to them - no idea why. Just need an idea. 

6. Get to bed by midnight. 

I've been pretty good with this one. Although not perfect, I've been getting to bed a bit earlier - and I'm pleased about this. 

And my April Goals: 

1. An hour of exercise every day. (for at least 20 days of the month)

Since I had COVID last year my exercise has slacked off a bit. I'm back feeling fine so there is no excuse. And I know what to expect in Darwin, even if this is a long swim or walk in the evening. 

2. Read four books over the month. 

I'll keep this one too. I like getting through books and this keeps me accountable. I might even finish that dreadul Beautiful World, Where Are You?...

3. Save $2000.

I have to keep doing this (even if the funds go directly into paying for holiday stuff. 

4. Write some fiction at least 20 days over the months. 

I feel like it is time to get back to this. I feel like my next novel push is about to come on. Let's hope so. 

5.  Have somebody over in my flat. 

The other thing that rarely happens around here is having somebody over - even if it's carrying out a reflexology treatment. It also gives me an excuse to clean up more thoroughly. 

I'll let you know how I get on at the end of the month. 

6. Stretch more

I am really not very bendy. It's time to stretch more. This morning, at the gym, I took myself through a good 20 minute stretch session. I should be doing this daily. I won't put a number on it, but if I could stretch a few times a week, I'd be in a better position. 

Today's song: 

Saturday, April 1, 2023

Sunday Stealing: The Tuesday Four

 I spent part of the afternoon at a friend's place with one of her foster kittens asleep on my chest. I renamed the cat Belly - short for Beelzebub. I can't take him home as Lucifer would eat him, but gee it was a near perfect afternoon. 

Anyway, because of this, I'm all dopey and happy and don't feel like writing. 

But I will do this. Questions, as always, have been provided by Bev at Sunday Stealing

1.Are you currently reading a book you'd like to tell us about? Maybe a TV program you can recommend to us?

On audiobook, I'm listening to Charles Dickens' David Copperfield. On paper, I'm still slogging through Sally Rooney's Beautiful World, Where Are You, but I also need to start Song of the Sun God by Shankari Chandran for book group soon. 

2. Are you a Jane Austen fan? So many seem to be. If you are what is your favorite book and who is your favorite character.  If you aren't a fan, is there an author you especially like to read? Favorite character..etc?

I love Jane Austen. Pride and Prejudice is my favourite, followed closely by Sense and Sensibility. I feel for Eleanor in the latter and of course I love Elizabeth Bennet. But I also like Anne Elliot out of Persuasion. And don't get me started on Sanditon. Yes, it's an adaption, but Sidney Parker. oh, my...

3.  How do you spend your time during the day?  Do you set apart time to read, watch TV, study?

I work office hours during the week. I also try to make time to exercise, and read, and knit, and watch telly. I like keeping busy. 

4. Have your beliefs changed in your life time?

Not really. I'm still a big lefty. The big change in me since childhood is that I'm no longer a Christian. I believe in an overarching God, or Gods - but not the sanctity of Jesus. That never really made sense to me. 

5. What are your interests and hobbies? .. reading? writing? collecting?

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Cinema and Theatre
  • Cuddling cats
  • Planning holidays in my head
  • Politics
  • And I do the Wordle every day. 

6 How much time a week/day/month do you devote to your interests?

A good hour a day on any given day. 

7. Do you share your interests with anyone?

I'm always up to talk reading, writing, films, plays, books and politics. I'm known for it. 

8.Tell us why you enjoy your hobby, pastimes or interests.

I like having my mind stretched, which is what reading, writing, films and books tend to do for you. 

9. What emotions and feelings does summer conjure up for you?

Fear - I hate the heat - which is a bit ironic since I'm spending a lot of time in Darwin over the next few months. I was up there last week. 33 degrees Centigrade and 95% humidity. It was truly awful. 

10. What's summer weather like in your neck of the woods?

An average Summer in Melbourne is rather nice. Dry, sunny days that sit around 30 degrees Centigrade, with a sea breeze cooling things off in the evening. The last few years, the Summer has been milder and more humid thanks to La Nina. I prefer Adelaide Summers which are hotter and drier. I love that in Adelaide in summer you can get your sheets dry on the clothesline in around 30 minutes. 

11. Got some special summer meals you and your family enjoy?

No. I just eat more salad in Summer. And cold meat. 

12. What do you enjoy doing in summer? Sports, trips.. do you go on vacation?

I really don't like summer that much - prefer Autumn (Fall) and Winter. I'm that sort of person. 

13. Did your parents have things better than you today?

In some ways yes. In some ways no. I'll leave it at that. 

14. What time period would you rather live in.. or are you okay with today?

I'm okay with today, but it would be good to go back to the seventies and try and make some better environmental decisions that could mean we weren't in the predicament we're in now. 

15. What changes would you make for our time to make it nicer/better to live in?

Oh, that is a difficult question. How can you teach respect and decency, and that we're all in this together? Surely it can't be that hard. 

Today's song: