Blogging

  • 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
  • Wendy’s Secret Garden - “Oh look, there’s Wendy, doing the washing up…”, my friend Sue commented, as she pointed towards the upstairs window of the house Wendy Whiteley has lived in for almost fifty years. Downstairs, at the entrance to the house, a number of women had gathered to read the sign declaring the NSW Government had promised to keep the garden open to
  • Upcoming Rixon / Goodwin Family Reunion - Through my mum’s side of the family, I’m a descendant of the convicts, James Rixon and Amelia Goodwin, who came (were sent) to Australia in 1798 and 1800 (respectively). For many years, James was buried in an unmarked grave at Windsor in the (now) western suburbs of Sydney, until a couple of years ago when a plaque was placed on
  • Eurovision / Melodifestivalen Moment #8 : Petra Mede and Måns Zelmerlöw - Having been a fan of Petra Mede from Sweden’s Melodifestivalen, I was so pleased when she got to host Eurovision in 2013, and then in 2016, she co-hosted with Måns Zelmerlöw, the previous year’s winner. Together, they were awesome in the half-time act which (in a loving way) took the piss out of Eurovision, by explaining “the secret” to writing
  • Eurovision / Melodifestivalen Moment #7 : Petra Mede - Following on from yesterday’s awesome half-time moment from when Norway hosted Eurovision comes another awesome half-time moment. This time it’s from Sweden, and it’s one of two (or maybe three) moments I’ll post featuring the awesome Petra Mede. Petra is a Swedish comedian, performer, television presenter etc. She’s super-talented, super-funny, and IMHO has been the best host of both Melodifestivalen
  • Eurovision / Melodifestivalen Moment #6 : Half Time Act from Norway - The half time act in Eurovision can often be quite boring. Riverdance from Ireland set the standard, prompting a global phenomenon. When Norway came to host Eurovision in 2010, they were already behind the curve with “flashmobs”, but they did an awesome job “uniting Europe”. I wanted to be there with them. As part of these “moments”, I’m sharing in
  • Eurovision / Melodifestivalen Moment #5 : Shirley Clamp - There are so many occasions when Shirley Clamp SHOULD have been Sweden’s entry for the Eurovision Song Contest. Of all the times she’s entered, this is probably my favourite. Min kärlek (Aha) Ska brinna (Aha) Så klar som en stjärna i natten Min kärlek (Aha) Ska finna (Aha) Sin väg i det djupaste vatten Min kärlek till dig (Min kärlek,
  • The Real Full Monty - A mate and I went to the recording tonight of the finale of a forthcoming Channel 7 TV series. It’s all about men’s health. It’s based on a popular movie. It has a confidential spectacular, ending. We had to hand our phones in to keep it all very confidential. We’re not allowed to say who the final eight are. However,
  • Surry Hills on a Sunday Afternoon - As if we don’t already have enough construction underway in the neighbourhood (eventually it will be awesome, but for right now, the light rail is a pain in the arse) they’re building a new apartment block on the corner of my street. Though I mostly use the back lane-way to enter my building, I thought I’d go for a walk
  • Eurovision / Melodifestivalen Moment #4 : Nanne Grönvall - In 2005, in controversial circumstances, Sweden chose Martin Stenmarck with his song “Las Vegas” (which I liked a lot) over Nanne Grönvall with her song “Håll om mig” (which I liked a lot more). Nanne had the popular vote (chosen by viewers), but was trumped by Martin who had the jury vote (chosen by a group of experts). There was
  • Eurovision / Melodifestivalen Moment #3 : Molitva - Continuing my “Eurovision Countdown” and highlighting another wonderful song and performance. And highlighting something which I wish there was more of in modern Eurovision: songs in languages other than English. This song is awesome, and was easily my favourite from 2007. Marija Šerifović from Serbia. There’s an English language version, too, but in my opinion, it lacks the passion of
  • Eurovision / Melodifestivalen Moment #2 : Loreen at Gay Gala - Initially I was a little “ho hum” about Loreen’s entry in Melodifestivalen (the contest which leads to Eurovision) in 2011, “My Heart Is Refusing Me”. It kinda sounded like someone had put Swedish lyrics into “Google Translate”. I have since come to love this song, thanks largely to seeing her performance at the Swedish Gay Gala in 2012. The song,
  • Eurovision / Melodifestivalen Moment #1: Loreen at Melodifestivalen - As it’s now exactly one month until the Eurovision Song Contest final, I thought I might start sharing each day some of my favourite moments from Eurovision and Melodifestivalen (the Swedish contest). This is from Loreen from Sweden who won with Euphoria in 2012. Interestingly, the first Indigenous woman to win the contest (Berber from North Africa). The year afterwards,
  • Lismore Floods - It’s about a year since the last big floods in Lismore (my home town) in Northern NSW. My sister’s house is on the left in the featured photograph, and the house on the right is one I considered buying a couple of years ago. I suspect the value of the property is a fair deal LESS, now. My family still
  • The Eastern Suburbs G&L Choir - A couple of years ago, I wrote the following: Twenty five years ago (or thereabouts) I remember attending the National Choral Championships in Wagga Wagga. Although it sounds fairly tame, the championship organisers found themselves the subject of national media interest, as they asked the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Choir to change their name to the “Eastern Suburbs Choir” (or
  • Quiet Easter - There was a moment the other night, Good Friday night, at around 11.00pm, when I stopped for a moment and marvelled at how quiet it was. Though there’s normally a low level traffic rumble where I live, it was almost eerily quiet. Though other people like to leave Sydney for the Easter Weekend, the peace and quiet is one of