Ephemeral

As I’ve been starting work early the last two days, I’ve been coming home mid-afternoon. Well, not exactly mid-afternoon, more like four o’clock, which is still a fair bit earlier than when I arrive home most days. It’s been great to get home while it’s still daylight, to wander around the house wearing just my shorts, and to commune with nature, as spring has well and truly arrived in Sydney.

I also had a chance to do it briefly on Saturday when I had to go to Macquarie University. While waiting to do what I had to do, I found a quiet, sunny courtyard, and while lying down on my back, enjoyed some great views of the sky. Magic stuff!

Of course, my friend Patrick was here on the weekend. And while he and mate, Sam were wandering around Sydney, including paying a visit to the new mega-Ikea at Homebush (I still miss the old Moore Park Ikea), I went about my business in a part of Sydney I really don’t know all that well.

Indeed, the first thing I noticed when I got off the train at Epping was the large photograph of John Howard, leading to one of his nearby electorate offices. It was then I reflected on some of the various articles I’d read recently about how the seat of Bennelong had changed somewhat, in particular the increasingly large Asian population. It’s all true…

Later in the evening, Pat and I caught up back at my place. We decided on dinner at the nearby Il Baretto, an Italian bistro we had dined at previously. As they don’t take bookings, they have an arrangement with the nearby Carrington Hotel which was full of potential Il Baretto patrons with plastic numbers awaiting their call.

Happily, we chose to sit at one of the benches along the window rather than a table down the back which was a little claustrophobic. Enjoying our meals – fettucine with duck and a veal roll (both excellent), followed by tiramasu and pancetta (both excellent) – we chatted happily, drank wine, and enjoyed the view as people walked down Bourke Street, presumably on their way out for a night on Oxford Street.

We decided, however, to come back home to watch Pat’s DVD of Melodifestivalen, the annual Swedish contest leading up to the Eurovision Song Contest. As usual, it was great fun, though disappointing that, once again, some of our favourites including Nanne, Magnus Carlsson and Andreas Lundstedt failed to make it through. Poor Magnus had a look on his face as if to say, “Well that’s it, I’ve tried a few times, I’m never gonna represent Sweden at Eurovision, so what’s next?” Well, that’s what I take was going through his mind. I could be wrong…

The only other social highlight of the last few days was heading off down to Sydney Theatre on Hickson Street last night to see a screening of the new documentary In The Company of Actors. Introduced by Robin Nevin and Andrew Upton, the documentary is a behind the scenes look at the Sydney Theatre Company’s production of “Hedda Gabler” which played successfully in New York a couple of years ago.

Amongst those in the cast were the well known actors Hugo Weaving, Aden Young and Cate Blanchett who all bravely revealed a little of themselves as they sometimes struggled to achieve their artistic goals. Weaving comes across as a really nice affable kind of guy and Blanchett comes across as a really committed actor whose goal is to make truly memorable theatre. Well, actually, they all do that, one of the most memorable lines from the movie (for me at least) also has relevance to my own career.

Although my own industry is sometimes criticised for being merely ephemeral, because the actual art and craft lives and dies almost instantly, there was a terrific line in the movie about how important theatre was because it created something which lives on in people’s memories.

A good thought, and a good film.