Weekend Coffee Share- 23rd September, 2018.

Welcome to Another Weekend Coffee Share!

How was your week?

Every week when I sit down to catch up with you over coffee or whatever your preferred beverage might me, I have to switch on my thinking cap and try to reconnect with the week that was. What on earth happened? Do I really do all of that in one week? Or, more distressing…where did that week go? I’ve done nothing at all.

However, last week was more special than most because both my kids were in the school musical, Alice in Wonderland Jnr. Our daughter was on stage as one of the three Cheshire Cats who were the narrators in the musical and our son who has been on stage in Scout gang shows for the last three years, was actually backstage doing the lighting. However, although our daughter spent most of the show on stage and I was clearly besotted, I loved the show as a whole. Indeed, I thought it was an excellent choice for a school production as it allowed so many kids to shine. While Alice clearly played the lead, there were three Alices as well as the Queen of Hearts, White Rabbit and the Mad Hatter. A surprise character, at least for me, was the caterpillar, which I’ve never really taken much notice of in the book. The caterpillar was one cool dude. I was so impressed with the production, that I decided to go to the second performance and I’m so glad I did. I absorbed so much more the second time and I also managed to get a seat on the other side of the theatre right under my daughter’s nose.

The downside to enjoying the musical so much, was that it ended and I clearly know that I’ve fallen off the mountain top into a sense of “panging after the fjords” to quote Monty Python in a rather bizarre and twisted way. While well aware that the cast can get a sense of “grief” when the show is over, I haven’t really heard much about the audience or the parent of a performer going through this. However, I did. Yet, I make no apologies. It was such a great production and so upbeat, funny and entertaining. Moreover, I’ve known much of the cast and the audience for many, many years. Indeed, I’ve known middle Alice since she was one. Being a school of local production has that intimacy over something professional and it really was fantastic.

Amelia Ballet audition Sept 21 2018

Our daughter at her ballet audition.

However, there was no time to rest on our laurels. The musical was on Wednesday and Thursday nights and then on Friday afternoon, our daughter had an audition to appear in a local production of Madame Butterfly with the Melbourne Ballet Company. Normally, this would’ve been something we would’ve been well and truly prepared for and given such an audition it’s due. However, being the day after the bigger than Ben Hur school musical, we just couldn’t get into gear properly. No chance of getting organized the night before and I picked her up early from school and found myself driving like a maniac to the dance wear shop with quite a shopping list. Indeed, we were so short of time, that we rang ahead with our list and I was so grateful. They had the lot and had it waiting on the counter. We weren’t the only ones doing the manic pre-audition dash either. It was just crazy and I was under phenomenal pressure. We got there with about ten minutes to spare. Unfortunately, she wasn’t selected. Last year, nine people auditioned. This year there must’ve been 80 and I think about twenty kids were chosen. She was quite philosophical about it afterwards. “It was good experience”. With all that stress, I couldn’t bite my tongue. I had to disagree. Then, I remembered that it was my job to be the motivational coach, even when I wasn’t feeling motivated. That was when I remembered a pearl of wisdom I’d picked up during the week while watching an interview with former Australian 60 Minutes reporter, Ray Martin on Ahn’s Brush With Fame. Ray Martin had taken his son along when he’d interviewed Australia’s last ANZAC Alec Campbell. Ray hadn’t been able to draw much out of him, however he’s son had struck up quite a conversation. When Ray asked his son what he’d said, he’d said: “to have a go”. Have a go…it sounds too simple and yet that’s what lets me down time and time again. I’m so needing to be perfect and to get it right the first time and not make a mistake, that I don’t even try. I don’t have a go. I think I need to write that up and stick it on my desk where it stares me right between the eyes. Get on with it! Just have a go!


Ahn Do pictured with Professor Fiona Wood burns specialist.

By the way, speaking of Ahn’s Brush With Fame, I’ve actually been doing a bit of binge watching this week. This show seems to be into its third series and I only watched it for the first time a week ago on what’s referred to as “Catch Up” on our TV.My daughter thought it was disgusting that an almost 50 year old woman could go binge watching and she thought this was something reserved for the teen. However, I had great delight in bursting her little bubble. Binge watching is suitable for all ages. However, at least in my case, the choice of subject matter was entirely different. I’m going to write something more detailed about the show once I’ve caught up. However, just to put you in the picture, Ahn Do is a lawyer, comedian and author of numerous books including: The Happiest Refugee. He is also an incredible artist and interviewer and that’s what Ahn’s Brush With Fame is all about. He invites a smattering of people he finds interesting onto the show which is set in his art studio. His subject takes a set in a really striking canary yellow arm chair and they just begin chatting while Ahn starts working away on the canvas with lashings of paint mostly applying the paint using cake decorating spatulas or knives. To be perfectly honest, I find it hard to believe anyone could create any kind of realistic portrait using these things but he does. He also tends to use the brush more for female subjects and he frequently uses his fingers. On the surface of it, it’s all anarchy but he’s one of those truly clever people who appear chaotic when there’s actually a surprisingly amount of order beneath the surface. He also sends the subject out for at least 15 minutes at the end of each session so goodness knows what he does then when we’re not watching, although I wouldn’t be surprised if it involved a magic wand. His portraits are incredible and each of the sitters I’ve seen have commented on how he’s not only captured a physical likeness, but he’s also brought out something of their inner being. He’s a very clever, and incredibly intuitive man from what I’ve seen. I think he’s also very curious and fascinated by what makes people tick and what’s to know what we’re here. Indeed, that’s what he asks at least most, if not all, of his subjects. You can watch the episodes online so just because you don’t live in Australia, it doesn’t mean you need to miss out. You can click Here.

In terms of my posts this week, there was a post inspired by Ahn Do’s interview with burns specialist Professor Fiona Wood. I participated in Friday Fictioneers again with a comic piece referring to cupid’s frustrations with us humans. Lastly, I participated in Thursday Doors and posted about Penguin Gaol, Tasmania. Indeed, the gaol was so small it did seem better suited to penguins than humans.

Lastly, I’ve just started reading Tree: A Life Story, by David Suzuki and Wayne Grady, which extends that celebration in a “biography” to the tree. “A story that spans a millennium and includes a cast of millions but focuses on a single tree, a Douglas fir, Tree describes in poetic detail the organism’s modest origins that begin with a dramatic burst of millions of microscopic grains of pollen. The authors recount the amazing characteristics of the species, how they reproduce and how they receive from and offer nourishment to generations of other plants and animals. The tree’s pivotal role in making life possible for the creatures around it;including human beings;is lovingly explored.”- Goodreads

We now have one last week of term before the school holidays begin. One term left before the end of the school year. Where has this year gone? No doubt, you are just as baffled.

Anyway, I’d better get cracking. I’ve actually had a very quiet day and a big rest to catch up today. However, it time to carpe diem with whatever’s left. This has been another Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Eclectic Alli.

Best wishes,


11 thoughts on “Weekend Coffee Share- 23rd September, 2018.

  1. merrildsmith

    Hi, Rowena! I thought I’d finally stop by again, since you visited me recently. 🙂
    I’m so glad your daughter (and you) had a good experience with her musical. Our younger daughter teaches eighth grade English and runs a drama club at the school. The principal decided this year, that my daughter should do a musical. The principal has no idea about what is involved. . .anyway, daughter is planning on doing Lion King (Jr.). It will be very bare bones. The school year is just beginning here, and it won’t be performed till spring.
    Hope all else is well with you and your family!

  2. scooj

    Lighting is a noble art and somewhat overshadowed in a production (no pun intended there). I was in the ‘proj box’ team at school and lit six years worth of plays – I cannot go to a theatre now without looking up at the lighting rigs, although it has all moved on a bit.

  3. Gary A Wilson

    Hi Rowena, this piece brought back so many memories of our gang of 3 and their friends doing theater or classical dance or even (to a lesser degree) speech and debate as a hoard together. Their mom and I loved being in audience to their shows, recitals, or even just their rehearsals or after-parties. For many years, we gently annoyed the neighbors by hosting summer dance nights at our home that somehow grew to 25-40 teens each Tues. evening for classical dance out in our back yard. It became quite the community event where we watched as shy, “not sure I want you touching me…” types grow into fully mature confident dancers who were comfortable dancing even with strangers who showed up to check out the action. Many of them became part of a group we affectionately named, the semi-siblings. It’s hard now watching college and young adult life scattering them, but we know they are better for our passing love – as we are for the time they were here with us. Great memories – as are yours going to be. Well done mom and dad!

  4. gaiainaction

    Hello Rowena, my what a busy week you have had! And a great memory for all the detail. I think that you book you are reading and describe will be very interesting, it sounds it anyway.
    Kind regards from Ireland 🙂

  5. Rowena Post author

    Hi Agnes. Your packages arrived yesterday and I can’t wait to read through it. It was so special to actually receive something from Ireland. I find it difficult to think of anyone actually believe alive and not dying from the famine in Skibbereen. There were those classic sketches which appeared in the Illustrated News which were absolutely shocking. I will be sending you a little piece of Australia shortly.
    Best wishes,

  6. Rowena Post author

    Gary, those summer dance night sound almost magical and I remember being that awkward teenager myself. It must be hard having the kids scatter to go to college in USA. Mostly, at least our city kids stay at home or might move out to a nearby uni but they don’t scatter to the four winds, which is hard on families but also that sense of local community when there’s a mass exodus of that age group.
    I realized that when it came to the school musical I knew probably a good half of the people on stage and in the audience and that made for a really great night. I was delighted to see so many young people shine and perhaps even find parts of themselves and abilities they didn’t know they had. I sure had a lot of fun watching.
    Best wishes,

  7. Rowena Post author

    Lighting is an intriguing art. It usually passes right under the radar. However, I’ve been to a few shows and auditions where the lighting was really good and it made such a difference. It is also something which can become a career as well. You never know where your kids are going to end up.

  8. Rowena Post author

    Great to hear from you again, Merril.
    That’s a great opportunity for your daughter and the students, even if she’s feeling dumped in the deep end. I went from living in Sydney where we had a lot of resources to being in country areas where we had to make do and it’s challenging and rewarding in different ways. Some of the kids adapted their characters and added little parts of themselves like the caterpillar had his gold electric guitar which he also played at one point. They might not have the polish your daughter is used to, but there’s still so much beauty in a rough diamond!
    Best wishes,

  9. Sagittarius Viking

    One thing that always hits me when I read your posts is that there is an abundance of art and culture in your life. It’s a wonderful thing, and how sweet for your children to be in that kind of environment. I hope you’re having a blessed, beautiful, amazing week.

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