Winter Sunshine

“What are you doing, and what are your plans for the afternoon?”, my friend Sue asked me on the phone around lunchtime. “I’m sitting on the couch watching Youtube and that was my plan for the afternoon”, I told her.

Even though it’s mid-winter in Sydney, the weather’s terrific. A little bit chilly at night, but late teens most days. Today it was 23 degrees, apparently.

So a walk around Circular Quay, taking in the gardens, a visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art (to see the Shaun Gladwell exhibition), and an ice-cream turned out to be a perfect way to spend the afternoon.

Wattle in bloom at Sydney's Botanical Gardens
Wattle in bloom at Sydney’s Botanical Gardens
Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, as viewed from near Lady Macquarie's Chair
Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, as viewed from near Lady Macquarie’s Chair
On the way home, I called in to Vinnie's on Oxford Street. Though the visit was on spec, in the back of my mind there was a desire to buy a couple of pairs of shorts I can take with me to Darwin next weekend. As I'll be working there for a few weeks, I've been on the hunt for some clothing that's suitable for work, but is also mindful of the expected thirty-three degrees temperature I can expect every day.
On the way home, I called in to Vinnie’s on Oxford Street. Though the visit was on spec, in the back of my mind there was a desire to buy a couple of pairs of shorts I can take with me to Darwin next weekend. As I’ll be working there for a few weeks, I’ve been on the hunt for some clothing that’s suitable for work, but is also mindful of the expected thirty-three degrees temperature I can expect every day.

The walk today was a nice bit of “fresh air”, as I’ve spent most of the weekend not far from the couch. In contrast, it’s been a fairly busy week, with something happening most nights. On Friday night, I attended “Christmas In July” for our work social club, which was loads of fun. On Wednesday night, I went to a talk at ACON by Anthony Venn-Brown, about his ongoing work around the “Ex Gay Therapy” movement. And on Tuesday night, I attended a play at Sydney’s Kings Cross Theatre.

Omar and Dawn Photograph: Robert Catto
Omar and Dawn Photograph: Robert Catto https://www.robertcatto.com/

The central premise for “Omar and Dawn” is the relationship between an eighty year old woman and her foster child. Since the death of her husband, Dawn has been taking in young people in need, and caring for them until they’re able to get on their own feet. Dawn’s brother thinks she’s far too kind, though he eventually comes to realise Omar is “worth it”. Meanwhile, Omar has a friend, Ahmed, who is also gay, who is homeless and makes ends meet through sex work.

In some ways it was also a story of “modern Australia”, touching on issues of sexuality and multiculturalism. Both Omar and Ahmed come from Lebanese Muslim backgrounds, and face difficulties with their families. So just when you think homosexuality is “no longer an issue” because of marriage equality etc, the play reminds you it’s still an issue for lots of people in many communities.

I really enjoyed the play. It’s about 80 minutes long, though it didn’t feel that way. Highly recommended.

2 thoughts on “Winter Sunshine

  • Visited the Shaun Gladwell yesterday at lunch time and (a little to my surprise) adored it – I especially delighted in the capoeira at the Woolloomooloo servo.

    There was barely anyone there – so it was really peaceful and I could appreciate the scale of the works.

    Will definitely go back.

    It’s amazing working down the “good” end of the city for the first time – so much to do and see at lunchtimes, it almost feels like being on holiday (if you discount the work bit).

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