Monthly Archives: November 2012

The weekend treat – browsing through the paper……

I really need another day in my weekend. I have finally finished reading last weekend’s Age and thoroughly enjoyed  the content & the quality of the journalism.

I have heard Christos Tsiolkas speak at a Melbourne Writers Festival & enjoyed reading ‘The Slap’ for bookclub before it became trendy as a television mini series (which, incidentally,has been nominated for an Emmy this coming week). I am now looking forward to viewing the movie ‘Dead Europe’ thanks to an excellent & insightful review. (1)With two talented actors ( Ewen Leslie & Kodi Smit- McPhee) and topicality – Henson’s art/photography, the plight of Greece, anti semitic feeling – to name just a few, it was always going to be interesting. But the review really struck a chord of recognition with me & I want to follow through by seeing the movie. 10/10 to the reviewer for a successful job! I love lines such as ‘Part of the impact of Tsiolkas’ novels stems from his willingness to enter imaginatively into unpalatable points of view’. Hence the furore over the ugliness of human behavior after ‘The Slap’ was screened! Can’t wait to head to the Nova soon for a dose of thought provoking reality…

Next weekend I have my last MTC play, ‘Music’ with Richard Piper & Janet Andrewartha amongst others. I am eagerly anticipating the experience thanks to a great review. (2) The review was full of lines which I found myself nodding ‘Yes!’ to over & over. ‘There is nothing secret about the power of music. From the moment of birth it forms a soundtrack to our lives.’ Or ‘Grief keens his senses like steel blades: when time reveals itself to be in short supply, there is no room for synthetic sentiment: it is the raw, tattered edges of real emotion he craves.” And ‘ The emotional gauge veers crazily from moments of euphoria to deep despair & utter sadness, with a heap of anger thrown in..” Who would not look forward to a play supported by Brahms, Debussy, Beethoven & Schubert?

Robbie Williams suddenly seems a whole lot more intelligent than I have previously given him credit for. Or it could be that the favourable review of his recent history is more flattering than it should be. (3) Either way it is nice to hear good things about a pop star whose ballads I have absolutely enjoyed. ‘A Better Man’, ‘Feel’ & ‘Angel’ have always struck me as above the run of the mill pop ballads, sung with a voice which summons both the pain & joy of life. It used to be more of the former but could it be that marriage & fatherhood have weaved their magic yet again? It would certainly be nice to think so.

‘Horn Please’ in North Fitzroy is a new Indian restaurant which I recently had the pleasure of dining at…The review is slightly flattering but the ambience & service are worth experiencing even if the dishes did not quite live up to their zesty descriptions. (4)

And my favourite piece of examination of Colm Toibin’s new novel – The Testament of Mary. (5) Not only does it sound intriguing to one who finds spirituality more interesting than religion usually – the wars, corruption  & abuse of power are a complete turn off – but the clarity with which the reviewer captures Toibin’s thoughts on who writers write for was magnificent…‘ His mother was what most writers long for, and what most of us still write for: the ordinary reader, curious & intelligent and demanding, ready to be moved & changed, and believing still that the written word has all the power to make the deepest imprint on the private self. He still carries her example with him and still writes for someone like her, someone who actually feels that the next paragraph could change their life; that books are really important.’  Hoorah! And Toibin still writes in longhand.

The paper this weekend was chock a block with reasons to love living in Melbourne including references to ‘our’ Kylie – a lady who really knows how to take a good picture using her many assets to advantage (in a fun, nice way), the upcoming Queenscliff Festival – bring on Sunday 25th Nov. when Jeff & I will be driving down the highway for a day of great music and finally, a review of the new Kerry Greenwood murder mystery novel starring Melbourne & Phryne Fisher.

Hats off to Jake Wilson, Jason Steger, Larissa Dubecki, Kathy Evans & Bernard Zuel for enriching my weekend with a description & explanation of the wealth of creative events I can look forward to.

1. (actual article not available from ‘The Age’ !!!)

2. (actual article not available from The Age!!!)





Leave a comment

Filed under Ideas Discussed

Ballet and Fashion meet Rowing on the Yarra

I enjoyed a stimulating half day in Melbourne’s CBD today.

The city was busy with pre-christmas shoppers, picnickers and sports people of various ilks. After catching the tram down from Carlton to Fed Square and dodging joggers & skateboarders as I walked to the NGV,  I was able to watch a rowing regatta unfold on the Yarra. There were boats galore and the rowing sheds were a hive of activity.

The Yarra, 17/11/2012, rowing regatta

At the gallery, I headed for the exhibition ‘Ballet & Fashion’, which was a small collection of costumes & sketches used by the Australian Ballet Company over the years.

Contributors included Collette Dinnigan, Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino, Christian Lacroix and Akira Isogawa. It was particularly enjoyable to watch video of dancers wearing costumes displayed.

My favourite was an exquisite & instantly recognisable Colette Dinnigan tutu and matching shoes.

Colette Dinnigan

Most fascinating was a Dutch design by Viktor & Rolf of a hooped burqa which lit up!



Leave a comment

Filed under Art Viewed, Melbourne

Melburnians…the luckiest diners.

I have been fortunate this week to enjoy two meals filled with fine food & good company.
The end of year dinner for my Bookclub – POIR – was at a small local Malaysian restaurant in Newmarket. The establishment, Chef Lagenda, was buzzing, even on a Wednesday night and we had to work hard to complete our discussion of our most recent book – The Constant Gardener – by John Le Carre.
The book is highly recommended for followers of Le Carre who don’t mind a diversion from spy thrillers to a very relevant commentary on the pharmeceutical industry in Africa & its less than ethical dealings with the local population. The accompanying film of the book – with Ralph Fiennes & Rachel Weisz in the lead roles – is also excellent & closely follows the book.
Our meal included gado gado, spicy spinach, a chicken curry, sizzling hokkein beef noodles & spicy chilli chicken and was served efficiently, given that we were a large group with a self defined banquet order. It was outstanding value at $17 per head! Highly recommended for any casual occasion.

The next evening I headed off to an art exhibition opening night followed by an Indian meal in North Fitzroy at ‘Horn Please’.

The art was by a friend of mine from hockey, with hidden painting & weaving talents I feel honoured to have viewed at the exhibition opening. A collection of 40 odd paintings & tapestries were displayed in her Richmond home – an amazing space in itself –  and it was thrilling to see what she had achieved. Several works were already sold & all were both pleasant to look at & technically accomplished.

 “Licorice Allsorts” – Cristina Doyle 2012

The restaurant has been open for less than a month and was extremely busy – we had to wait about 10 minutes for a table.  This was probably because they had been given a very favourable review in ‘The Age’ last weekend!It was worth the wait for an interesting array of dishes such as goat curry, eggplant pakoras, rice with cumin & lemon plus old favourites such as butter chicken. The taste was a little mild for me but none the less the service was friendly & efficient. The owners also run an Indian restaurant in Kyneton & the wine list included many wines from the Macedon region.
If we had ‘lucked out’ here we could easily have gone a couple of doors away to the ‘Morrocan Soup Kitchen’ which also looked to be very popular. We are so lucky in Melbourne to have many restaurants, cafes etc catering to an eclectic range of tastes & budgets…

Leave a comment

Filed under Food Tasted, Melbourne