Category Archives: Entertainment

Back again

A short holiday interstate with DD proved that it is not entirely possible to have a holiday that involves relaxation with a four-year-old. DD is still behaving, um, like a four-year-old with all her cheekiness and boundary-pushing, plus extra stuff which I rather think is related to grief and working out things like that.

She seems to need more sleep at the moment but that may well be due to the cold and the long nights at this time of year. She was particularly peeved to be woken up this morning but cheered up a little at the thought of going to preschool where she loves the teacher and has a jolly good time with her little friends in the playground. All the same, I had to help her get dressed. No way was she going to actually peel off her warm PJs and get into a fleecy tracksuit – what if she was exposed to the cold air? (There’s a heater in her room but the way she carries on, I think she has her father’s thin blood.)

Circus Oz (see photo gallery here) was an absolute hoot. I can highly recommend it. We were all enthralled and amazed at the strength, flexibility and daring of the performers. Their fast reflexes were amazing! Gotta add, the musicians were very good. Best performance I’ve been to for ages. If you ever have the chance to see them, get tickets as quickly as you can!

It felt absolutely freezing this morning. The lowest temperature was -5 Celsius and as we drove into town, the car’s thermometer had -1C showing as the temperature. Brrrrr! I am a total wuss. I have managed to peel off my hat and woollen coat, but I’m still in a long jacket while I’m in my office.

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Posted by on June 28, 2010 in Entertainment, family


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What I’m listening to

Old Time Radio Free Podcast and Download Blog has a fascinating array of audio treasures from decades past. Let me give you a few examples:

  • The Goon Show – The Spanish Suitcase
  • Django Reinhardt
  • Ella Fitzgerald
  • Maxwell House Coffee Time
  • Jeff Regan Investigator

I also enjoyed The Ark, which was a show on Radio National in Australia presented by the delightful Rachael Kohn. I was interested particularly in the show on the Templars. Bet you didn’t know there is a link between the Templars and the University of Sydney. 🙂

The Spirit of Things is still running and one interesting show was on who was Saint Paul.

And then there’s The Music Show from Radio National. On 9 May Annie Lennox was interviewed.

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Posted by on May 30, 2009 in Blogs, Entertainment, Music, Radio


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Caring for Kids

Who gets to look after the baby? It’s not always the mum, though I have to say I am still to see any couples in my neighbourhood doing the “Dad stay home and Mum go out to work” thing.

BBC program on women’s issues in the workplace sounds interesting. Hope it is shown on Australian TV.

While on the subject of the BBC, I’ve been *loving* Life on Marsh. I got both series on DVD for Christmas – a fabulous present since it had been hard for me to see every episode when it was on TV. Honestly, some TV shows are made to see again, including Life on Mars, whereas others shouldn’t be seen in the first place.

I have had other things on when the US version of Life on Mars has been shown here, and now, since the series is being cancelled soon, the channel that shows it is playing around with its screening time. Might be 9.30 or 10.30 or who even knows which night!

I watched Inspector Rex last night. Yeah, plotlines so thin you can see their knickers but what the hey. It had Gedeon Burkhardt in it (my favourite of all time). It had a gorgeous German Shepherd Dog. And Wurstsemmeln. What more could a shallow woman want? 🙂 Not much. Oh well, maybe the chance to go to Vienna more often. That would be nice.


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Still thinking about Susan Boyle

I posted about this a week ago, and here I am still thinking about Miss Susan Boyle, singer.

Article here from the BBC’s website on 22 April 2009.

So has she changed the way society views beauty?

Don’t bet on it, says Ellis Cashmore, author of Celebrity/Culture […]

“The astonishment we feel re-enforces the belief that there exists not only a correlation between looks and success but a causal relationship. One causes the other.

“The Hollywood movie industry figured that out in the 1940s, that you don’t need to act that well as long as you look good. The very fact that we are astonished by Susan Boyle makes it an oddity, so it won’t break down barriers, it will have the opposite effect.”

I wonder if Ringo Starr or Mick Jagger or Pete Townsend would have made it in a boy band.

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Posted by on April 24, 2009 in Entertainment, Music, Television



Am I that shallow, too?

Think about it. How often do you make a decision about a person based first upon their appearance? It takes a fraction of a second to sum up a person, to think “yes, this is a winner” or “no, this is a loser”, or “yes, this person might be my friend.”

Like many thousands of others, I have seen the performance by Susan Boyle, a talented Scottish singer, who was on the tv show Britain’s Got Talent 2009. This is the YouTube link. The reason I’m linking to this particular clip is because it includes the encouraging words of Ant and Dec (do I have their names right?), the gasps and sneers of audience members, and the plastic faces of the judges trying to not pre-judge on appearances.

Yes, Miss Boyle is not draped in haute couture or slinky lycra. Her hair hasn’t been teased by a hairdresser into the latest look. She is not exotically stunning like Penelope Cruz, and she isn’t young like Sienna Miller. But she has an inner strength to be able to perform confidently and perfectly in front of a huge, judgmental crowd and three tough judges, and she has the singing talent that makes her shine brighter than anyone else there on the day. Her voice and her demeanour have touched people, not just those who were in the theatre that day, but people all over the world.

Perhaps even though I’ve learned through years in singing, teaching, and attending eisteddfods that the most beautiful voice and the best stage presence isn’t necessarily in the prettiest or youngest package, I might have still been looking a bit surprised as Miss Boyle came on stage. Initial reactions are hard to surmount. Even if I know that larynxes, training, lungs, strength, determination, musicianship, sensitivity and practice practice practice are what counts, not to mention the guts to grab opportunities to perform when they arise. If you don’t have the gift and the training of that gift in the first place, you will be a plasticky wee girlie or lad in a pop band or an Idol show and may perhaps get well known, but that’s it.

After writing this, I came across this entry by Angela Gunn.

When I replay the video, I’m listening to Miss Boyle, but I’m watching these three plasticky judges go from condescension to surprise to bated-breath joy in under five minutes. Even Simon Cowell, that bitchy gym-ratty thing, can’t manage to do much more than grin by the end. And it feels good to see — to watch the judging stooges having a genuine experience, and to have it ourselves, and to feel that the homely-but-talented people we are all inside are being, for a few moments, less oppressed by figures of beauty.

Smart woman. Go and read her entry.

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Posted by on April 17, 2009 in Entertainment, Music, Television


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New Year’s Resolutions

I’m not making any.

It was such a success last year, not having any of those resolutions that come into force on 1st January, that I have decided to continue this year.

In 2008 I decided to make ‘resolutions’ during the year if I find that there’s something that would make a good difference in my life. One such thing was to not watch television episodes that I had already seen. There are heaps of new books, films, tv episodes etc. that I haven’t experienced yet. Honestly, half an hour spent with The Nanny is half an hour that I could spend with The Yiddish Policemen’s Union. I should add that my copy of that book, a birthday present to myself, has been read by DH and my good mate and I am now waiting for it to return so that *I* can read it.

Books seem to have won over films in 2008 and probably will continue to do so in 2009. A book can be read sneakily in between doing chores, out in the garden while pretending to weed the vegie patch, while waiting in a queue at the post office, at lunch, while waiting for lectures, and more. This, of course, is quite apart from the luxury of reading a book in bed of an evening, or deciding to read in bed instead of doing housework while DD is having a nap. She’s resting, and so am I.

More on my list:
On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan.
The Mitfords: Letters Between Six Sisters
The Letters of Noel Coward

As part of my wish to use my time better, I have started slowly, slowly downloading podcasts to my MP3 player. I love A Prairie Home Companion which my mother used to make us listen to when it was broadcast on ABC radio in Tasmania. Tales from Lake Wobegon can be downloaded from here.

ETA: I found my post from last year here. I’m still working on decluttering.

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Posted by on January 3, 2009 in Books, Entertainment, Radio, Television, Theatre


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TV is boring me and thousands of others

I’ve been offline because of a shocking chest infection and being very sick with asthma. I don’t know where the days went to but they were only manageable with the help of friends who kept DD entertained and fed. I’m at work now but I feel completely drained.

There’s an opinion piece in Herald Sun today by Kerry Cue. Smart, funny and observant lady. She writes that “TV bores intelligent women”.

As she puts it so neatly:

Dear free-to-air producers and advertisers, I’m writing on behalf of myself and – ummm – around five million other Australian women aged over 40 to say: GOODBYE.

It has been fun, but it’s over.

We’re not going to watch your prime time programs or put up with your ads much longer because, basically, we’re bored witless and we’re not going to take it any more.

Women over 40 are proud of their achievements but rarely see women of the same age or older on prime-time (or non prime-time!) tv programs on free-to-air channels. All we get is more of the same. More crime, more trash, more sport, and more pathetic sitcoms.

So, what will the smart woman do after she turns off the tv and bids adieu to mind-numbing, insulting repetition?

We’ll read. Newspapers, for instance.

We have brains. We’ll socialise. We have friends. Well engage in the new media.


Posted by on July 31, 2008 in Entertainment, Television


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