Blogging

  • Tim Minchin and Ben Quilty - In the (probably) fifteen years I’ve been going to Art After Dark at the Art Gallery of NSW, I’ve never seen a crowd like this before. My colleague Jo (who is a big fan of Tim Minchin) and I agreed we needed to leave work a little early today to make sure we could grab a seat. And just as
  • Indonesian Earthquake - My friend Damien and his wife were on Gili Air when the recent earthquake occcured. Damien spoke on ABC Radio Hobart about the experiences they encountered.
  • Camera Roll Catchup - Though I have some other stuff I’ll blog about later, here’s a few of the photographs I’ve taken in the last week, and the stories behind them.
  • Waverley Cemetery - A friend and I went on a walk this morning, hosted by the Friends of Waverley Cemetery, which was excellent. We were the only two on the tour, so it was very personalised, and our guide, who was passionately interested in history, even helped find the grave of one of my ancestors. Awesome waterfront views, also.
  • Camera Roll -
  • White Rabbit Gallery - I was half expecting to see a new exhibition at Sydney’s White Rabbit Gallery when Sue and I popped in there today. Instead, it was the same exhibition I saw a couple of months ago, which I thought was okay, but didn’t really love with the same amount of passion I’ve felt for previous exhibitions at my favourite Sydney art
  • Mamma Mia : Here We Go Again - Hardly a day goes by without a newspaper report about the forthcoming “ABBA reunion”. There are two new songs to be released over the next year; there’s a major TV special coming up around Christmas; there’s a “virtual reality” tour on the way; and of course, there’s the latest “Mamma Mia” movie, released this week, which I saw last night.
  • The Sports Gene - As this is my second sports-related post in a row, you might be thinking “What’s happening with James? Where are the show tunes and theatre reviews you’ve come to associate with me and this blog?” The truth is I don’t really have much of a sports gene. As a child I was never naturally gifted in that area. As well
  • Sweden v England - About a decade ago, probably much longer, I remember a friend, Declan, declaring he was supporting England in the World Cup. He was a born and bred Irishman, who concluded that, since Ireland had been eliminated from the World Cup, he should probably support England instead. “Don’t you remember what the English have done to us over hundreds of years?”,
  • Black and White - I’ve been feeling slightly restless in the last few days, and so have been wandering a fair bit, taking a few photographs here and there, a few of which looked better in black and white than colour, so I thought I’d share them. Nothing special, all on my camera phone, with a black and white filter.
  • Camera Roll - Some recent photographs.
  • Recent Views - Though it can sometimes be cold, wet and miserable in Sydney during winter, it can also be totally awesome. And yesterday, in the midst of our visit to the NAIDOC Week Arts Festival, I took a brief walk out in the sunshine. I sat down, I closed my eyes, and just enjoyed the awesomeness of a clear winter day. And
  • Lots Of Art and Music - As we headed towards Sydney’s Tom Mann Theatre on Friday night, we ran into a colleague of mine. “I need to warn you, there’s no bar”, he told us. And so with half-an-hour to go before the band was due to perform, we headed to the nearby Royal Exhibition Hotel. It seems as though a lot of other people responded
  • Theatre Weekend - Though I’ve been an ardent theatre-goer since high school days, I haven’t been going as much lately as in previous years. Working in the media, I have often received free review tickets for many, many productions, including quite a few memorable opening nights. But as my job has changed, they’re less frequent, and I’m mostly paying for my own tickets
  • Mardi Gras Re-enactment - Heading home this afternoon, I faced a dilemma. With a fifteen minute wait for the bus I was planning to catch, I couldn’t decide whether to stop in to a nearby pub for a quick beer, or wait in line. In the end, my choice was made for me, as I saw a group of people walking up Oxford Street,
  • Winter Nights - As we sat and waited for the performance to begin, I had little idea of what to expect. My friend invited me, on the recommendation the work had been curated by a colleague at the ABC, Daniel Browning. Daniel presents “Awaye”, a weekly program about Indigenous arts and culture. And one of the most awesome segments on that program is
  • Blessed Are The Cheesemakers - It was a beautiful day in Sydney, and so absolutely awesome to hang out with two of my oldest friends (forty years), Sue and Paul, as Paul and (newer friend, fifteen years) Kerry sold their cheese at the Kurrajong Kitchen Cheese Lovers Festival 2018 at Centennial Park. Paul and Kerry run Nimbin Valley Dairy http://www.nimbinvalley.com.au/. “Are you really from Nimbin?”
  • Wedding Rings - “I’m not sure how I feel about gay weddings”, a friend told me yesterday. He and his male partner have been together for forty years. My friend is now retired, and his partner is not far off it, and they come from a generation where expectations about marriage for same sex couples were not on the radar. Hey, back in
  • The higher view of Vivid in Sydney - Most years when my friend Sue and I visit Vivid, it’s either cold, or wet, or overly crowded (or usually all three at the same time). But tonight was different: the weather was fine (in fact, warm enough to take our jackets off), and things weren’t overly crowded. Oh, and we did the “VIP Tour”. Well, not actually: we caught
  • Born Into Existence - I went to an exhibition opening tonight at Sydney’s Boomalli Gallery, featuring female artists called “Born Into Existence”. Marlene Cummins (who paid a beautiful Sorry Business tribute to her mother who died this morning); the always amazing Bronwyn Bancroft, Euphemia Bostock (who performed an amazing acknowledgement of country), and Dame Marie Bashir (who spoke beautifully about the importance of Aboriginal
  • Camera Roll -
  • Genealogy Rant - I have been active genealogist for most of my life. Early in the piece I would use all manner of software, including Family Tree Maker etc. But as my interests moved on from compiling extensive lists and gedcom files, to being more about the story, I haven’t bothered so much with that kind of approach anymore. Oh, and I absolutely
  • Family Reunion - It’s so funny meeting people who know people you know, but who not so many people know anymore. Below, you’ll see the black and white photograph of my mum and my granny I showed to an older, family member I met at yesterday’s Rixon-Goodwin Family Reunion at Windsor in Sydney’s West. Both mum and granny died back in the 1980s,
  • Catching Up - “How old do you think Tony Sheldon is…?”, we asked each other during half-time yesterday in the latest production of “Priscilla, Queen Of The Dessert”, currently playing at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre, which I attended with my friend Sue, and her mum, visiting down from the country. It turns out he’s 62, and in remarkably good shape as a performer, playing
  • Surry Hills Laneway - One of the great axioms I follow while travelling, but never nearly as much at home is : take the path less travelled. When I’m travelling, I’ll often change my travel route at whim, because something looks more interesting. But tonight, as I was heading towards the bus-stop on Crown Street, I diverted from my intended route, in favour of
  • Sunrise at Sydney Opera House - Staycation (Day 3) started early. I woke at 4.30, and thought “I don’t feel like going back to sleep”, so I hopped on a bus to Circular Quay, to enjoy the sunrise, and to take some lovely photographs.
  • Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens - There’s something really terrific about being a tourist in your own town, especially on a weekday. On weekends, the area around Circular Quay is full of both tourists and locals enjoying the space. But on a weekday, most of the locals are still at work, so it’s just you and the tourists. The only locals you’ll see are retired people
  • Stay-cation - “Oh, it’s two-thirty, it must be time for a nap”, I thought to myself a couple of hours ago. On a Monday? Yes, because it’s Day 1 of my “stay-cation”. The last time I had a “stay-cation”, this blog tells me was almost exactly five years ago. Before that, and ever since, my time off from work has always involved
  • Camera Roll - Here’s a bunch of photographs I’ve taken over the last few weeks, which I thought might interest. There’s no coherent theme, just stuff I’ve noticed recently, or which gave me a smile, in the neighbourhoods around inner-city Sydney.
  • Friday Night Art Bar - When you’re invited to a night at the Museum Of Contemporary Art in Sydney, you should never refuse the invitation. Unless there’s a cruise ship in port at the Overseas Passenger Terminal, the upstairs cafe at the MCA enjoys spectacular views of both the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. And the MCA has an awesome collection of