Monday 27 April 2020

and so it continues

The lockdown continues. In Australia the arts, and book , industries are decimated. I feel so much for all the performers, singers, writers and everyone who is suffering because of this.

I feel desperately sad for all those around the world who have died; it is too sad.

I had so many plans to see so shows this year, but, it pales into consideration for all that has been lost. Singing musicals in my mind and hoping that this will abate soon.

Friday 24 April 2020

Vivian Maier

She was an American of French and Austrian descent and was born in 1926. She spent most of her working life as a nanny, giving care to others. She also had many storage lockers.

In those lockers were photos, many, many photos. She took photos on the streets of Chicago and New York mainly through the 1950's to the 1980's. In the '70's and 80's she took coloured photos, but, it's the black and white photos in the 50's that l love.

Vivian Maier passed away in 2009 and it was only after her death that this all came to light. She was a street photographer, and a very good one at that. I prefer black and white in photography and her shots of everyday people doing everyday things are a study of place and time.

Definitely planning to buy one of the prints.

Wednesday 22 April 2020

Les Petits Meurtres d'Agatha Christie

Do you like Agatha Christie novels, have you seen the tv productions or any of the films??

I'm not a great tv watcher. I don't sit for hours or watch anything so long as the tv is on. That's not to say there are good programmes on tv. Instead, l tend to watch only what l want on one of the two free tv streaming shows. In Australia we have I View, which runs ABC programmes and On Demand, which runs SBS programmes.

Anyone can watch, you just have to sign in. On Demand also have Nordic Noir; that's all the crime shows from Scandinavian countries, and let me tell you , Scandinavian countries make great crime shows. They are also running Les Petits Meurtres d'Agatha Christie.

SBS have translated it into Agatha Christies Crime Games, but if l remember my school French correctly it translates into The Little Murders of Agatha Christie.  The title may give you a clue. This is the French take on Agatha Christie.

There's no Poirot, and no Marple. Instead you have Superintendent Swan Laurence, his secretary Marlene Leriox and reporter Alice Avril. Now try saying those names with a French accent.

Do they follow the books, yes and no. Both come to the same ending, but, get there in very different ways. I have always thought the Agatha Christie books to be very English and these shows are very French.

If you are a purist and only want faithful reproductions then these shows are not for you. For the rest of us they're fun and, as l said, very French.

SBS On Demand.

Monday 20 April 2020


The libraries and bookshops are closed. I feel for all those employees who have been let go, so was l. For all those of us who love reading this is a tough time. I don't like ebooks. They do not replace the feeling of holding a book in my hands, sitting in a comfortable chair and getting lost in another world.

I don't buy many books, nor do l keep books. Those l buy, once finished, are left in public somewhere safe in the hope that someone picks them up, reads them and then passes them on to others. I love the thought of a book travelling around the city ( although it might not be good to do this at the moment) I'm a great supporter of public libraries. I think they are a vital cog in any society, but, even they are closed at present. So now l am listening to audiobooks. I loved being read to as a child and have easily slipped back into that happy place.

The J.D. Robb series, Jane Harper, Rachel Lynch and Chris Hammer books have all been wonderful audiobooks. I have recently finished listening to Blackberry Wine by Joanne Harris and have a book by Rachel Abbott waiting to be downloaded.

Much as l have enjoyed these, l feel that some books are not designed to be read aloud. I know a lot depends on the narrator; Blackberry Wine was brought to life brilliantly by Derek Jacobi and Susan Erickson shines in the J. D. Robb series. With the Barbara Vine novels l have not enjoyed the audiobooks much at all, and they have been read by different people. I don't think it's the narration, rather something in the text itself. I read these books a while back and liked the books. I just think they work better when read as a novel when you have that internal dialogue running.

What about you, do you think some books are not suitable for audio form??

Thursday 16 April 2020

A man walked into a bar....

and started to play the piano.

Terry Miles is a boogie woogie piano player. I found his videos on youtube and what a find.

Have a look yourself.

Look at the people who are drawn by his playing. There is no audio manipulation or air brushing of Terry to make him look perfect. Instead, there is a very talented musician coming in off the street to sit down and play ( not that he sat down ). I challenge you to watch him play and not have your foot tapping by the end. It's that sort of music.

There are so many talented artists in our cities and towns who are not world famous, but, deserve to be. I'm a great supporter of Community Theatre. I love a big splashy production like everyone else, but, l also know that the quality of our suburban artists can be just as good as any large production.

True talent doesn't need 'fixing'. It shines through like the man who walked into a bar.

Friday 10 April 2020

A life in the arts

We are all at home self isolating. For someone like me who loves the arts it's a bitter pill knowing that everything is closed.

No live shows for the foreseeable future. I love musicals, theatre, ballet, recitals, art exhibitions, books and, now, cabaret.

Last night l saw a show by Michaela Burger streamed live from the Geelong Arts Centre. She's coming to The Drum Theatre in Dandenong later in the year and boy, do l hope the arts centres are open again.

What a voice, singing live and playing a mean ukulele. Storytelling and even an Edith Piaf song.  A great show to start dipping my toe into cabaret.

I may miss the buzz of being in a crowd, but, this is as good as it can be. Thanks so much to all those performers putting their shows online.

As that famous line says, " the show must go on ".

Who wrote the book?