It's a completely cool, multi-purpose blog.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Still going...just

Thursday: The beautifully written, excellently performed Faith Healer

Friday: Gorgeous Bon Iver gig at the SpiegelTent. As a weird festival event, the understatedly wonderful show started at 5.30pm and was done and dusted by 7pm, giving us plenty of time for dinner and a few too many drinks with Nick, Lou and Sam.

Saturday: M had lots of stuff to do so I was in charge of the kids for the day. Friends from Blighty were in town, so we all trotted over to Bondi for lunch at a crap cafe.

Sunday: Barbecue at Dani and Todd's. Ate food, drank beer, found a babysitter. Dani thoughtfully branded lunch as an official Sydney Festival event, which is the last one for this year.

Monday: Barbecue at our place with our neighbours Paul and Monica. Australia Day is not my favourite occasion, so a low-key do with fellow ne'er-do-wells was the way to go.

Things should be quieting down now, I fervently hope.

Monday, January 19, 2009

atp etc

I am writing this with matchsticks propping up my eyelids. Here's the schedule from last week:

Thursday: Lou and Bruce over for a quiet dinner. Lots of wine, uproariously good company, a ticking off from the neighbours for swimming after hours.

Friday: A screening of The Wrestler (ace) followed by beers in town with the GLB girls (that stands for Gill, Laura and Boo, obviously). Thrown out of The Wynyard Hotel, which I had previously considered impossible.

Saturday: The astonishingly good All Tomorrow's Parties. This was a pop festival curated by the mighty Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds on Cockatoo Island, an old industrial site in the middle of Sydney Harbour. The location provided an ideal backdrop for a great line-up, plus a cool crowd, minimal queuing, top company and grapes in a bag. More photos in the usual place.

Sunday: A screening of Fantastic Planet with live musical accompaniment at Darling Harbour. Like ATP, this was part of the Sydney Festival. The film is a beautiful, inventive, hippy-ish and barking mad bit of sci-fi animation from the 1970s. They rolled them strong back then, I tell you.

I've no idea what my children were up to in this period.

Why does everything good in Sydney happen in January?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Arts and graft

M and the Bs went up to Avoca Beach for a few days, leaving me free to do as I would. Obviously, I have spent the last few nights snorting coke from a hooker's tits. No, hang on, that's not right. I spent them playing idiotic computer games and watching DVDs.

I have done some fun stuff too. I went with Lou to the always ace Franz Ferdinand on Tuesday, and got to hang out backstage and stuff afterwards thanks to Michael the sound guy from my hometown. It was a cracker of a night, quite rock'n'roll in a mid-thirties kind of way.

On the weekend the Sydney Festival started, so I went to see the War of the Roses on Saturday (alone) and Robert LePage's Lipsynch on Sunday (with M, Carla and Helen). The salient point here is that WotR lasted 8 hours and Lipsynch about 9, giving me a 17 hour stint of theatre over 2 days. Fortunately, both productions are highly entertaining, full of both spectacle and intellectual chewiness, so it was a marathon well worth completing.

Plenty more festival stuff to come too, but right now I am just looking forward to seeing the kids.

Monday, January 05, 2009

The Year of Reading Dangerously

(Cross-posted from the book blog - whatever)

Enough already! Despite ploughing through about 100 books a year for the last 3 years, my "to read" shelf is now actually shelves and 2 deep at that. My pledge for 2009 is that I will borrow nothing from the library, nor buy any new books, but confine myself solely to items from this collection.

I allow myself a few exceptions:

1) Gifts gratefully received and added to the collections
2) I can continue any series I have already begun, e.g The Chronicles of Barchester
3) I can cheat if something urgent comes up
4) I can cheat if I'm bored

Christmas Catch-Up

I was away for a while there, so here's a quick summary of our festive season.

1) Mum is staying with us, spending lots of time with the Bs. All good.

2) Simultaneous to my mum's arrival, the housework fairy has evidently dropped by, cleaning, tidying and ironing furiously while we weren't looking. Result!

3) 3 nights at the Hunter Valley wine region. Food, wine, sleep.

4) Christmas with M's family at Tanglewood. Food, wine, gifts.

5) New Year at the Q Station. Food, wine, fireworks.

6) Fleet Foxes at the Metro.


Sunday, January 04, 2009

Books Read in 2008

(Cross-posted from the book blog - deal with it)

102 this year, including some very long stuff and some very short stuff so there you go. For me this goes down as the year of A Dance to the Music of Time - sublime stuff and well worth the investment of time and valuable thinkiness.

Best Books: A Dance to the Music of Time, The Moonstone, Arthur and George, I Claudius, The Power and the Glory, On Chesil Beach, Oliver Twist, Brideshead Revisited, The Secret River

Worst Book: The Subterraneans

Longest Book: Les Miserables

Shortest Book: Ruth

Non-Fiction Books: 29

Australian Authors: 5

Female Authors: 15

Resolution for 2009: See the next post. Eek!

1 Barnaby Rudge - Charles Dickens
2 Piccadilly Jim - P.G. Wodehouse
3 The Selfish Gene - Richard Dawkins
4 Park and Ride - Miranda Sawyer
5 Author, Author - David Lodge
6 Continent - Jim Crace
7 The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Mark Twain
8 State of the Nation - Michael Billington
9 England Made Me - Graham Greene
10 Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency - Douglas Adams
11 What’s The Matter With America? - Thomas Frank
12 In A Free State - V.S. Naipaul
13 Fireworks - Angela Carter
14 A Buyer’s Market - Anthony Powell
15 Rip It Up And Start Again - Simon Reynolds
16 The Damned United - David Peace
17 The Moonstone - Wilkie Collins
18 Miami - Joan Didion
19 The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul - Douglas Adams
20 Arthur and George - Julian Barnes
21 Towards The End Of The Morning - Michael Frayn
22 Jilla and Me - Diane Cameron
23 The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner - James Hogg
24 Joshua
25 The Fall of Troy - Peter Ackroyd
26 Hellboy: Seeds of Destruction - Mike Mignola
27 The Demon-Haunted World - Carl Sagan
28 The Second Plane - Martin Amis
29 Hellboy: Wake the Devil - Mike Mignola
30 The Acceptance World - Anthony Powell
31 The Lambs of London - Peter Ackroyd
32 The Missionary Position - Christopher Hitchens
33 Judges
34 Ruth
35 Day of the Triffids - John Wyndham
36 Last Chance To See… - Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine
37 Lost in a Good Book - Jasper Fforde
38 I, Claudius - Robert Graves
39 Frost On My Moustache - Tim Moore
40 Divisadero - Michael Ondaatje
41 Lady Susan - Jane Austen
42 Gentlemen of the Road - Michael Chabon
43 The Power and the Glory - Graham Greene
44 Against Nature - J.K. Huysmans
45 Bone: Out from Boneville - Jeff Smith
46 The Ballad of Peckham Rye - Muriel Spark
47 The Wisdom of Father Brown - G.K. Chesterton
48 Confessions of an English Opium-Eater - Thomas de Quincey
49 On Chesil Beach - Ian McEwan
50 The Beggar’s Opera - John Gay
51 London Voices, London Lives - Peter Hall
52 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
53 At Lady Molly’s - Anthony Powell
54 She - H. Rider Haggard
55 Swearing - Geoffrey Hughes
56 Casanova’s Chinese Restaurant - Anthony Powell
57 From Russia With Love - Ian Fleming
58 The Twelve Caesars - Suetonius
59 Me - Katharine Hepburn
60 The Tin Men - Michael Frayn
61 The Kindly Ones - Anthony Powell
62 Maigret and the Ghost - Georges Simenon
63 The Book of General Ignorance - John Lloyd and John Mitchinson
64 Around the World in 80 Days - Jules Verne
65 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
66 Clear Light of Day - Anita Desai
67 The Gathering - Anne Enright
68 The Porn Report - Alan McKee, Katherine Albury & Catharine Lumby
69 My Friend Maigret - Georges Simenon
70 Mimi and Toutou Go Forth - Giles Foden
71 The Valley of Bones - Anthony Powell
72 Monkey Grip - Helen Garner
73 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
74 House of Meetings - Martin Amis
75 The Well of Lost Plots - Jasper Fforde
76 The Subterraneans - Jack Kerouac
77 The Soldier’s Art - Anthony Powell
78 Bone: The Great Cow Race - Jeff Smith
79 A Short History of Nearly Everything - Bill Bryson
80 The Secret River - Kate Grenville
81 The Military Philosophers - Anthony Powell
82 Under The Volcano - Malcolm Lowry
83 Newton - Peter Ackroyd
84 Books Do Furnish A Room - Anthony Powell
85 Stranger in a Strange Land - Gary Younge
86 Temporary Kings - Anthony Powell
87 Hearing Secret Harmonies - Anthony Powell
88 The Canterbury Tales - Geoffrey Chaucer
89 Stranded - Clinton Walker
90 Doctor Thorne - Anthony Trollope
91 Josh Hartnett Definitely Wants To Do This, and Other Lies from a Life in the Screen Trade - Bruce Beresford
92 Thames; Sacred River - Peter Ackroyd
93 The Abbess of Crewe - Muriel Spark
94 Notorious; The Life of Ingrid Bergman - Donald Spoto
95 The Elephant Man and other reminiscences - Frederick Treves
96 Angel - Elizabeth Taylor
97 The Incredulity of Father Brown - G.K. Chesterton
98 Gilgamesh - Joan London
99 Making Movies - Sidney Lumet
100 The Ghost Writer - Philip Roth
101 Classics, a very short introduction - Mary Beard and John Henderson
102 The Adventures of Augie March - Saul Bellow