Hello Stranger! I know you have all been wondering where we have been these last few weeks and to be honest, all I can say is that I have been up to the elbows in candle wax and Amber has been painting her house. All by herself. The OUTSIDE.
So lets get into it!
From My Bookshelf:
Kitty Flanagan: Bridge Burning and Other Hobbies
Someone said to me recently when we were talking about which Aussie comedians we liked: “Except for that bloody Kitty Flanagan…god, she’s annoying”. I don’t remember who said this, but the point is I obviously don’t speak to them anymore because I bloody LOVE Kitty Flanagan!
I am only halfway through this book and I am regularly doing the whole tears streaming down the cheeks, huge grin, shoulders shaking which happens when you read something very funny. And this is funny. I’ve long been a fan of her dry wit and self-deprecating cat-lady talk, and I’ve loved watching her perform on TV. So much so that I’m going to see her perform in Wagga in couple of weeks. It’s a gig that my husband actually wants to go to, not because he is being dragged along by me (begrudgingly but with a smile on his face, bless him). I wont attempt to relay any of the stories in the book because that would be stupid and there’s nothing worse than some bozo trying to retell a funny lady’s jokes. So just read it, OK?
I’ve somehow managed to get through a few of the (mostly) excellent books stacking up on my bedside table over the past few months. How Do You like Me Now? Holly Bourne’s debut adult novel was a rollicking read that I knocked over pretty quickly in the holidays. Basically it’s the story of a beautiful young author having a bit of a crisis over turning 30; stuck in a (revoltingly) toxic relationship, obsessed with portraying her ‘best life’ on social media , her weight, her looks and feeling like her friends are growing up and leaving her behind. There’s nothing terribly deep here but it’s witty, honest and entertaining. It did feel a like it was more Young Adult lit to me (which makes sense after I googled her to find that her background is in youth literature) but that could also just be because I am so far past my 30’s that anyone writing anything about that decade of life feels so foreign, and youthful, to me now.
My Dad gave me these pigeonholes because he and Mum are moving off the farm soon into town and Dad is cleaning out his workshop. Score! I have a thing for rough old bits of timber, especially shelves and pigeonholes, mainly because they are good at holding all my accumulated crap and I can’t be putting it in a shiny new piece from IKEA. That would just look weird. When I got it, there were about 600 hornets’ nests in it but after a bash with the broom, and a once over with the Dyson, it was ready for faffing (Faffing adj: To Faff. Moving objects, furniture, or trinkets around one’s home and then placing them back where they started). Mum has also given me a few of her old inkwells and medicine bottles to add to my collection. The kids have also added the odd memento that doesn’t go with anything, but I don’t care. I loved looking at tiny little things in shelves and pigeonholes as a kid, and if they’re special to someone in the family then hey, this is the stuff of memory making.
Cricket season is upon us and I am thankful my children have shown no signs of wanting to participate in the game. I have memories, none of them very fond, of having to spend Saturday mornings watching my brother play cricket followed directly by Saturday afternoons watching my father play cricket. It wasn’t fun. At one moment in time I decided if I couldn’t beat them I would join them and put myself on the other side of the rope. That lasted all of 2 games until I realised that cricket balls are hard and fast and that I had given very little consideration to this fact and, ultimately, decided that neither side of this fence was for me. The best part of those days –of which I do remember very fondly- was going to the café afterward and getting a Pluto Pup slathered in tomato sauce and a slushee to wash the last of my boredom down on the way home. My Grandfather was a keen cricketer too but his days on the pitch had passed by the time his grandkids came along so he spent his weekends scoring for local games and following his grandsons around the countryside offering tactical “advice” over the course of their innings. The only fond memories I have of those cricketing days are of sitting with him while he scored - the most excitement I ever saw was being allowed to pencil in the sundries every now and then. I found some of his old scorebooks and amongst one of them the record of a match my father and grandfather played in together for Quandialla Cricket Club in 1955 (and a little trivia insert here- Sarah’s father played against them for the Bland cricket team) Dad had just turned 12 and was playing with the big boys already! It was actually his very first game with them. (Did I ever mention my dad was a talented cricketer?) I am not sure if scorebooks have changed much in the last 60 years, and I don’t really care to find out, but I always loved my grandfather’s writing and I thought he was super important scratching out dots, dashes and squeezing numbers into tiny boxes for tallying up (cricket loves a good statistic, doesn’t it!) I actually really do enjoy cricket, I just don’t miss the long lonely days of watching schoolboy and middle aged man cricket desperately wishing I was at home watching Mr Squiggle and his friends. Shout out to all those mums I know that do spend their weekends patiently (?) watching their children standing in the sun for long periods of time from the sidelines. Respect.
I am just going to list 5 creative or arty accounts that I follow. Go check em out, you wont be disappointed.
- @melinda_hayter Divine photos of travel, flowers, food. Every shot is a winner.
- @greenpeasforbreakfast Awesome graphic design work with a great use of bright colour.
- @theshadyfarmer Married to @theshadybaker, this bloke makes life on the land funny with his gorgeous photos and excellent captions.
- @swallowsanddamsons The best flower photos there are. Full stop.
- @penguinthemagpie If you haven’t heard of this you must be dead. Total magpie love.
Chat 10 Looks 3 with Leigh Sales and Annabel Crabb. I love these two. Listening to the banter between these two is like listening to you and your best mate having a conversation only they're a tad more professional and informed (I speak only for myself, Sar) These two journos are witty, honest and I just love that there’s no bullshit with them. They don’t jump on bandwagons and like stuff just because they're meant to and they're unapologetic about liking things that may be considered - in some circles- uncool. I’m a recent enthusiast so I haven’t listened to a whole heap of their podcasts but they are full of great recommendations (books, shows, recipes, podcasts etc) and there are lots of laugh out loud moments. Crabb can even be heard eating her way through a muffin in one episode I’ve heard, it’s that casual- it’s almost like they have forgotten there’s a microphone in front of them.
THE ADAM BUXTON PODCAST
Kind of cheated with this one as Amber put me onto this a little while ago. Very funny conversations with various famous folk and some hilarious chats with his mate Louis Theroux, the documentary maker. One of my faves though was his very funny chat with Caitlin Moran, author of How to Be a Woman (which I highly recommend to any lass). She is super funny with a down to earth approach to feminism. The highlight is when she tells Adam about the time she interviewed Lady Gaga. Priceless. I was in awe, especially now that I have seen A Star Is Born (see Random).
I am only three eps into Jim Carrey’s latest TV show Kidding, but I am really liking what I am seeing. Carrey plays Mr Pickles, a lively children’s performer with his own TV show (owned and operated by his family) and very much loved by the nation’s young and old. When he isn’t playing Mr Pickles, Carrey is Jeff; a father struggling to come to terms with the loss of a son, navigating his way through life as a newly single man very much still in love with his wife and devoted father to his remaining son, all in the fog of grief. Despite his pain he continues to see the magic and joy in the everyday, bolstering those around him as he seemingly starts to come undone. There are moments where you think “This is it! He’s going to lose it completely” but he muddles on…somehow. A black comedy, equal parts heartbreaking and hilarious with a great cast; Katherine Keener plays his sister with her own shocking problems and Frank Langella plays his straight talking father and the driving force behind the Mr Pickles multimillion dollar empire. If you loved Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (one of my favourite films and Carrey at his greatest IMO) you’ll definitely enjoy this. Kidding is available on Stan TV.
A STAR IS BORN
Right, firstly I am not going to critique or summarize this movie as that’s what everyone is doing at the moment and you will find much better reviews of it elsewhere. I have never seen any of the other versions so I was going in blind. I really did love this movie and just wanted to say that a good old fashioned love story that makes you cry is never a bad idea. Bradley Cooper is really amazing as the gravel voiced rocker (I thought he was destined to play charming bad boys in expensive tailored suits for the rest of his life), and Lady Gaga is spectacular. My god she can SING. I admit I never was that into her as a pop artist, and that meat dress, yikes. But I was loving her throughout this movie. I kinda found the soundtrack a bit corny (even though I have had it on high rotation since Monday and I sing it really loud when nobody’s home) but it suits the theme of the movie. One last thing: did anyone else have flashbacks of Whitney singing I Will Always Love You when Ally sings “I’ll Never Love Again”.
I’ve been hitting the podcasts hard whilst painting the house but now school is back in music has made a comeback around ‘Clearview’.
High Five tracks at the moment:
- The Gardener – Tallest Man on Earth
- Bang Bang My Baby Shot Me Down - Nancy Sinatra
- Rattlesnake – King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard
- Queens – The Blaze (these guys know how to make a beautiful film clip too)
- Pumped Up Kicks – Foster The People (my girls just love this song. I’d hate to burst that little singalong bubble I hear floating down the hallway at bedtime- when they think I can’t hear them- with the dark meaning behind the lyrics. Ignorance is bliss and all that…)