Saturday, April 28, 2012

The true cost of the Dark Side

My horror just now on realising I’d thrown my favourite cream silk shirt into the wash with my dark socks gave me a sudden vision of a typical laundry day on the Death Star.

I can just see some poor minion in the steam filled bowels holding up a murky grey storm trooper’s uniform and muttering in disgust “How many times have I told Vader? The robes go in the DARK laundry basket!!”

(And thankfully my shirt survived the wash…the Force must be with me...)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Mad Men, Bad Girls and the Guerilla Knitters Institute

Book review: Mad Men, Bad Girls and the Guerilla Knitters Institute
by Maggie Groff

I’ll be honest, I picked up this novel thinking the Mad Men and Bad Girls might make up some salacious stories of the 1960s advertising industry.

I was surprised then when I turned it over and realised it wasn’t set in New York at all but on our very own Gold Coast. At first I was disappointed, tales of the era’s hanky panky are riveting. Then I realised the book would qualify for my next review of the Australian Women Writers Challenge, so I took it home and, although it didn’t have tales of martini fuelled shenanigans in advertising offices, I am very glad I did.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Titanic reunion

I was very excited to receive my first writing assignment earlier this week. I’ve been writing for HerCanberra for a few months now, contributing reviews and opinion pieces as they occur to me. And at the start of the week my editor Amanda asked if I was interested in going to the final dress rehearsal of Titanic the Musical to review it.

I jumped at the chance, a few years ago my friend Daniel and I were discussing what was the least likely subject for a musical and both agreed the sinking of the Titanic was it.

Always up for a challenge, our thoughts next turned to penning the score, culminating in our showstopper number “There’s an iceberg, there’s an iceberg, DEAD AHEAD, DEAD AHEAD!”

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wide awake in Lala Land

Despite being a couple of wholesome, well-behaved gals, Matty Hari and I do tend to get ourselves into some odd situations. Quite often these situations have involved the seemingly glamorous world of film. While neither of us has even been seen on the silver screen we’ve played our small roles off screen, promoting or helping films being made.

Sometimes though all that glistens is not gold.

So, much like Alice through the looking glass, let’s hear the story of Matty Hari in Lala Land…

Monday, April 9, 2012

Book review: The Imaginary Gentleman

Review: The Imaginary Gentleman
By Helen Halstead

Adelaide author Helen Halstead’s second novel, The Imaginary Gentleman (Random House 2006), follows her self-published sequel to Pride and Prejudice, A Private Performance.

This is mentioned in the author’s blurb at the end of the novel, and if I’d read that snippet of information first, I would have put this one down with haste. I can’t abide authors trying to don the mantle of Jane Austen and write sequels to her novels. I don’t care if it’s PD James with Death Comes to Pemberley, if you’re going to write fanfiction then publish it in online obscurity like everyone else.

With her second novel Halstead hasn’t re-cycled an Austen plot or beloved characters, this is an original story, and I give her points for that.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

It is a truth universally acknowledged…

Being voiceless this Easter with laryngitis, I’ve had plenty of time to wander down Memory Lane.

In particular I’ve been remembering the wonderful Easter weekend I spent in Bath four years ago. Easter was early that year, around the 24 March, and in the UK brief glimpses of spring vied with the remains of winter. One of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen was a flurry of snow falling amongst cherry blossoms in Bath’s Georgian gardens.

I’ve found the email I sent off to friends that weekend, my way of making sure my loved ones were with me on my travels.

It is a truth universally acknowledged…

...that a woman who is an ardent admirer of Jane Austen, Roman history and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, must sojourn in Bath. 

For when a town boasts attractions that includes Roman baths and famous residents such as Jane Austen and Buffy cast member Anthony Stewart Head, who can be in doubt that a weekend of delight is sure to follow? 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Of flappers and flights of fancy

If I could be transported in time to any era, I would want to be in a smoky jazz club, dancing the Charleston in a dress dripping with crystal beads, my eyes rimmed with kohl and my lips bright red.

So I was very excited when I read the ABC was running a competition to launch their new Phryne Fisher murder series, based on Kerry Greenwood’s novels set in the 20s.

The competition was to write the opening paragraphs of a mystery set in the 20s, entries to be judged by Kerry Greenwood. The winner was to receive high-tea for two at Melbourne’s art deco hotel The Windsor, and a 1920s makeover courtesy of the ABC’s costume department.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Titan’s wrath is nothing compared to mine

My friend Simon Weaving summed up my feelings about Wrath of the Titans beautifully in his Canberra Times film review last weekend.

“Once again the half god Perseus is played by the half actor Sam Worthington, who grunts and grimaces his way through the physical role, covered in dust and in desperate need of a voice coach.”

I can’t bring myself to go see this one, I sat through the previous film, Clash of the Titans, tragically sober. There are certain films that shouldn’t be reviewed on a star rating, there should be cocktail glasses lined up to show you how many drinks you need under your belt first.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Here's to all the Girls on Film and Wild Boys!

Many thanks to Amanda at HerCanberra for publishing the story of my Duran Duran adventure last week, you can read all about it here,

In honour of the boys from Birmingham, I’ve written a list of my top 10 favourite songs, and a list of the top 10 reasons why it’s better to see them in your 40s rather than your teens. 

And of course there are pictures courtesy of my camera-phone, enjoy!