No Bull by Vika and Linda Bull

I have long been a fan of Vika and Linda Bull. Of course, there’s the Black Sorrows and their extraordinary backing vocals for Paul Kelly, but it was their self-titled debut album in 1994 – and particularly their song, Sacred Things and the incredible rendition of Many Rivers to Cross – that cemented it for me. Continue reading

Tacky by Rax King

There was a line in Rax King’s memoir (organised as essays), Tacky, that immediately reminded me of a night out with a dear friend. We had a loose plan to see the movie Black Swan. I called her to fine tune the plan, and she intimated that she wasn’t feeling up to something as cerebral as ballerinas’ doppelgängers. “Okay”, I said, “What about Hall Pass?” She agreed and said that I was the only person she’d see that movie with. I took this has a huge compliment.

“You’re seeing that? Like in theaters?”
“Well, yeah,” I said. “I don’t anticipate remembering that Ghoul Clinic exists when it’s time for the DVD release.”
“Why are you seeing it if you don’t think it’s going to be good?”
Some people. Continue reading

Things That Are Making Me Happy This Week

01. Spice World at the Lido. I had no memory of all the insane cameos, or just how bananas the whole thing was. But the best lines went to Roger Moore and in particular his sage pronouncement, “It’s time to hang your pants on the hook of darkness – whether they are clean or not…” (Plus it was so much fun to go to a movie where the audience cheered and clapped). Continue reading

Things That Are Making Me Happy This Week

01. Morning walk was accidentally interrupted by breakfast at Cumulus Inc. (BTW that’s a smoked trout frittata with crème fraiche, and madeleines with bergamot curd in the background). Continue reading

7 1/2 by Christos Tsiolkas

Is the most ‘Tsiolkas’ of all of Tsiolkas’s books? The very fact that the main character, an author, renounces writing about race, class, religion, and sexuality, and instead wants to write about beauty (which turns out to be a story about retired porn-star, Paul, and of course slides into all sorts of commentary on sexuality, money, loyalty and self-image), allows Tsiolkas to tackle all of his favourite subjects by default. Because of course, no matter how hard we try to get away from politics, race, class, religion, and sexuality, we can’t – that is life.

And so, since the fire and the pandemic, reminded again of the meaning of labour – for it was the firefighters, nurses, doctors, cleaners who sacrificed – it is any wonder that my notions of how to write and what to write have changed? No more screeds to capital-J Justice and to capital-S Society and to capital-L Love and to capital-E Equlity and to capital-R Revolution: how can those of us with soft hands even contemplate such forgery? Continue reading

Things That Are Making Me Happy This Week

Remarkably, I’ve been a COVID-dodger until this week. Two of my adult children were in isolation earlier in the year, but I was away at the time, so avoided having to isolate. Alas, it’s caught us, and all six of us are confined to the house. This week’s update was going to include Admissions at the MTC and a gin festival… but instead, it has a 2020-vibe (i.e. what I’m watching/ eating/ drinking/ listening to).

01. A win against my least-liked team to open the 2022 season. Continue reading

Things that are making me happy this week

01. I was supposed to be at Philip Island this weekend… which would have meant I missed out on the Yarra Valley Writers Festival – so the silver lining of Lockdown 5.0 is that I got to ‘attend’ (virtually) the Festival (and my trip has been rescheduled). I’m classing it as a win, okay?!

02. Related: When Meg Mason was talking about Sorrow & Bliss, she said that in the first version the story, Ingrid was going to be in Martha’s imagination i.e. how Martha might be without her mental illness – WHAT?! I’m glad she made Ingrid a real person. Continue reading