Sunday, 22 June 2014

You read my mind!

My friend Dawn and I went to the ballet last Tuesday and saw Bodytorque DNA.

It was beautiful. And incredibly graceful. Young dancers with the most incredible physiques - they were mesmerising.

It consisted of five separate pieces. The first featured a troupe of seven or so dancers in varying partnerships and combinations which got me thinking. As the curtain went down and the lights came up, I wondered to Dawn why there aren't any boy-meets-boy romantic ballets. Much of the audience is women and gay men and to my observations, the older crowd at a modern ballet is like the theatre crowd - very open minded. And for goodness sake it is 2014 - keep up people!!

Dawn thought perhaps tradition has gotten in the way.

Two dances later and there it was: an entire piece with just two boys. It was romantic, moving, beautiful and graceful - but I could now also see why it's somewhat problematic.

When it is a guy and a girl, he manages to lift and place her... say 48kgs?.... with what appears to be effortless ease. Not quite so with two extremely muscular men. They managed it well but it was apparent that lifting closer to 70kgs was tricky. They were well matched, equally powerful and able to move each other, but there was much more effort involved. Not that that's a bad thing or it should be discouraged!!

In fact, I reckon there should be more of it! (And girls as well - let's not discriminate.)

Sunday, 15 June 2014

The Party

Some years back, there was a spate of home parties here in Melbourne that got completely out of control, requiring police attendance. The main issue was open invitations on Facebook, leading to gate crashers and that combined with excessive alcohol led to violence and vandalism. Media attention was rife and the messages were clear - if you're having a party, ensure it has a closed guest list, alert the local police and for the young ones, make sure you have security.

So we were having a party at home about that time. Being the conscientious citizen I am, I felt it right and proper to let the cops know. I rocked up to the police station and the conversation went something like this:

Hi, we're having a party and I thought I should just let you know.
Yes, said the constable on duty, always a good idea. Let me get the book.

He dug out some beaten up book from under the counter and picked up a pen.

What date? he asked.
March 19th.
He wrote that down.
I gave him our address.
Number of people?
About 100.
By post.
That's good, he assured me.
My 40th.

He put the pen down and closed the book....looked me in the eye and raised an eyebrow.
We're really only concerned about teenage parties - but thanks anyway. 
I was dismissed.

How embarrassing.

However, I would like to add that on the night in question, the police did turn up twice to tell us to keep it down - so there - put that in your book constable!!!

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Condiment Queen

Do you like a condiment? Someone in this household says condiments are for people who don't like the taste of their food - but I don't see it like that. I view them as they're meant to be - enhancers. But how many enhancements can you handle?

I had this conversation on the weekend with my friend Sally, who is trying to bring some order to their collection. She's suggested to her husband Andrew that he uses one until it's finished, and then another. I don't like her chances. The whole point of the condiment is variety. But how much variety do we really require?

Here's a selection in my fridge - it's not an exhaustive list, merely an indication:

  • Mustard: Dijon, Hot English, grain, American, Dijonnasie and American & Tomato sauce (yes, together, quite good on a kransky!) 
  • There's beetroot chutney, my mum's chutney, mango chutney and tomato relish
  • Sweet chilli sauce, chilli jam and hot chilli paste, fresh chillis and chilli flakes in the pantry - and we're not huge chilli fans! 
  • We have preserved lemons and capers (in brine and packed in salt); 
  • There's  mint sauce, apple sauce, cranberry sauce, seafood sauce, tartare sauce and redcurrant jelly
  • Jams of every flavour including pear, red wine and rosemary to go on roast lamb
  • Buckets of marmalade and plum paste that I made
  • There's fish sauce, soy sauce, tamari, tamarind, hoi sin, san choi bau sauce, oyster sauce, teriyaki sauce, etc
  • Dressings for salads - Thai, creamy, lemon myrtle and a variety of home made ones
And that's without what's in the cupboard, like vincotta (plain, fig and orange), raspberry vinegar, balsamic vinegar, balsamic glaze, lemon scented olive oil, four kinds of salt (Murray River pink, Maldon, regular table and rock to go under oysters - so that's not a condiment!), seeds, dukkah, spices - oh, sorry, I said I wouldn't go on with the cupboard.

No wonder the cupboards and fridge can be full and there's nothing to eat!

I'm not going to include the selection of olives (although I do like to toss them over my spag bol with chilli flakes), sun dried tomatoes and other pickled things (although I did mention capers....) 

They seem not to have use by dates either - or if they do, they're well past my expiry date!

So, come on, confess all - am I a lone condiment freak or are things just as out of hand over at your place?

Monday, 9 June 2014

The Leenane Trilogy

Geoff and I spent an amazing afternoon at fortyfive downstairs yesterday. I have posted about this hot house of live theatre before but just when I think it couldn't get any better, it does!

Yesterday we saw The Leeane Trilogy, three seemingly separate plays over an entire afternoon and evening - seven hours in fact, but it was so engaging and enthralling it barely felt like two.

We arrived about 12.45pm, mingling with a glass of red until we were ushered into the theatre for the first play - The Beauty Queen of Leeane - with breathtaking performances by all four actors including Noni Hazlehurst and Michaela Banas. Like all my favourite kind of plays it had moments of humour through its emotionally harrowing roller-coaster ride. It was so good I wondered how the others could possibly measure up.

After this we were directed upstairs for lunch (included in the $85 ticket price and provided by the Spud Bar - hot, filling and tasty if somewhat pedestrian) which was served by Ally Fowler of Sons and Daughters/Chantoozies fame - what a bonus! We shared a table with a lovely, lively couple of elderly ladies and had another glass of shiraz.

Back downstairs for A Skull in Connemara, starring an almost unrecognisable Marg Downey and Christopher Bunworth and another probe into the human state, with plenty of laughs and few unresolved mysteries thrown in. Clever too, were the references to some of the characters from the first play.

Afternoon tea was served upstairs before the final play, The Lonesome West which equalled the first two. I couldn't possibly have a favourite - they were all so good.

Leaving the venue at 8pm, I was reminded how spoilt we are here in Melbourne to have such a high calibre of accessible theatre. 

It's playing until June 15th so I've deliberately not revealed any of the stories because if you get a chance, I couldn't recommend it more highly. Get along.

The Moroccan Bath

The girls and I have come up to Dubai for a few days to escape the Melbourne winter. It's in the 40s so we've thawed out - quickly. ...