Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It Gets Better

I have seen things about the It Gets Better/Trevor Project on a few blogs floating around and I think it is just the most important and wonderful thing. For any young person to feel there is no solution to their problems is utterly tragic and for LGBT teens this is such a problem, particularly in America, at the moment. I have some wonderful gay and lesbian friends who lead fabulous and happy lives and I think it is the most tragic thing to think that some people are so marginalised and bullied that they can't see into the future and realise how magical and wonderful life should be. For everybody. There are hundreds of moving videos on youtube at the moment bringing the message "It Gets Better".

This one I found particularly moving:

Monday, October 25, 2010

Les Miserables 25th Anniversary

On the 3rd of October the O2 Arena in London hosted the 25th Anniversary Concert of Les Miserables, one of the greatest musicals ever!! Some fabulous people filmed it and it sailed its way across the ocean to my local cinema where I went to watch it last night. Wow. Amazing.

I have seen the real live show twice, once here in Brisbane and once in London and each time was devastatingly wonderful. I saw the 10th Anniversary Concert on DVD and was very excited to see this concert, as 15 years on things would inevitably be larger and brighter than they were on my old TV from my scratchy DVD. It was such a privilege to be able to see this on the big screen and such an absolute delight from beginning to end.

Just when I thought that the magic was over and that there could be nothing more wonderful that what we had already seen, the most magical thing happened! The cast all stood to the side... and in, from the dark and smoky back stage, walked... the Original 1985 Cast. And then, this happened:

I think that may be one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen or heard.

Count Down To Speak Now

Some of you might be aware that I completely love Taylor Swift and have been hanging out for Speak Now. Now for those of you living in America, the album is available NOW. You lucky devils!! For those of us on the other side of the equator we have to wait for the actual CD to hit stores on Friday, and I'm not sure when it'll his Aussie iTunes (I'm obsessively checking approximately every 15 seconds, that's right).

So from now until then this blog will probably be bombarded with posts about the wonderful Taylor. I just can't help myself. Her music lifts me up... And on Friday there will be a very positive review of the album, I'm sure of it!!

For those of you out there who aren't as enamoured with Taylor, I apologise for excessive Taylor wonderfulness this coming week. For those who love her, yay!! And for the rest of you, go and buy her album and have a dance in a sparkly dress for me!! I'll join you on Friday.

Quote of the Week

"To me, Fearless is not the absence of fear. It's not being completely unafraid. To me, Fearless is having fears. Fearless is having doubts. Lots of them. To me, Fearless is living in spite of those things that scare you to death."

Taylor Swift

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay Read-along

Ash over at English Major's Junk Food is holding a read-along for The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. What fabulous timing! I have wanted to read this book for ages, I can't remember what really sparked my interest, I suspect it was the use of the words 'amazing adventures' in the title, and perhaps the Pulitzer Prize mention!!

So I have decided to finally read it. Yay. I'm currently approximately 150 pages into my 636 page edition and am loving it so far. I think this is one of those books I never would have picked up if I didn't have a push in the right direction. It is so beautifully written, very atmospheric. We're aiming to be finished by the beginning of November.

To join the read-along see Ash's blog here.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Chortle Chortle

This was an email sent to me by a friend. One of those ones that go round and round. But I really really loved this one.

Bob Hill and his new wife Betty Hill were vacationing in Europe... as it happens, near Transylvania .  They were driving in a rental car along a rather deserted highway.   It was late and raining very hard.  Bob could barely see the road in front of the car. Suddenly the car skids out of control! Bob attempts to control the car, but to no avail!  The car swerves and smashes into a tree. 
Moments later, Bob shakes his head to clear the fog Dazed, he looks over at the passenger seat and sees his wife unconscious, with her head bleeding!  Despite the rain and unfamiliar countryside, Bob knows he has to get her medical assistance.Bob carefully picks his wife up and begins trudging down the road.  After a short while, he sees a light.  He heads towards the light, which is coming from a large, old house.  He approaches the door and knocks. 
A minute passes. 
 A small, hunched man opens the door.  Bob immediately blurts,"Hello My name is Bob Hill and this is my wife Betty Hill.  We've been in a terrible accident, and my wife has been seriously hurt.  Can I please use your phone?" 
"I'm sorry," replied the hunchback, "but we don't have a phone...
My master is a doctor; come in and I will get him!" 
Bob brings his wife in.
An older man comes down the stairs.  "I'm afraid my assistant may have misled you.  I am not a medical doctor; I am a scientist.  However, it is many miles to the nearest clinic, and I have had a basic medical training.  I will see what I can do. Igor, bring them down to the laboratory." 

With that, Igor picks up Betty and carries her downstairs, with Bob following closely. 
 Igor places Betty on a table in the lab. Bob collapses from exhaustion and his own injuries, so Igor places Bob on an adjoining table. 

After a brief examination, Igor's master looks worried.
 Things are serious, Igor. Prepare a transfusion."  Igor and his master work feverishly, but to no avail. Bob Hill  and Betty Hill are no more. 
The Hills' deaths upset Igor's master greatly. 
 Wearily, he climbs the steps to his conservatory, which houses his grand piano.  For it is here that he has always found solace...  He begins to play, and a stirring, almost haunting melody fills the house. 
Meanwhile, Igor is still in the lab tidying up. His eyes catch movement, and he notices the fingers on Betty's hand twitch, keeping time to the haunting piano music. 
 Stunned, he watches as Bob's arm begins to rise, marking the beat!  He is further amazed as Betty and Bob both sit up straight! 

Unable to contain himself, he dashes up the stairs to the conservatory.
He bursts in and shouts to his master:
 Master! .....
The Hills are alive with the sound of music!" 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Quote of the Week

'There's only us
There's only this,
Forget regret,
Or life is yours to miss.
No other road,
No other way,
No day but today.'


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Things I Love

Saturday, October 16, 2010

[title of show]

Earlier in the week I went to this FABULOUS musical called [title of show]. My friend David (who conducts my orchestra) was musical director and played the keyboard on stage. Has anyone heard of this musical? I feel that it needs to be a priority that people find out about this because it is a sensation.

So the idea behind [title of show] is that two New York nobodies (as they define themselves), Jeff and Hunter want to enter a musical into the New York Music Theatre Festival but they have no ideas. However they decide that their lack of inspiration may actually be the key to creating a hit musical. Far fetched, yes, but they decide to write a musical about two guys writing a musical about two guys writing a musical. They exploit the talents of two actress friends, Heidi and Susan and create their musical. Basically they're three weeks leading up to the closure of entries IS their musical. If that sounds a) confusing b) boring or c) ridiculous, don't be put off because it is in fact a little bit of genius.

I laughed so hard I had tears streaming down my face, I didn't notice the minutes go by, I was inspired, thrilled, and loving every minute of it. I will admit that I initially only went along because David was in it however I am now telling everyone I know that they MUST make it a priority in their life to see this show. Unfortunately closes here in Brisbane today, but if you are somewhere in the world that you can see this show you absolutely should.

Here in Brisbane it was put on by Oscar Theatre Company, which is a Brisbane theatre company which is run by the brilliant Emily Gilhome, and they do wonderful theatre type stuff here in Australia. This was the first production I had seen by Oscar, however it was so utterly professional that I will now be going to everything I can.

So I suggest, simply because it is FUN, that if you are somewhere that [title of show] is currently playing you should go and see it. If you aren't, go and see a local theatre production of whatever you like. It will lift your spirits and broaden your horizons. I promise you.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Booker Prize Winner

I haven't read it, have you? What did you think? Did it deserve to win? I will try and read it over the coming months and see what I think.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I Love Pink

Here is a musical moment that took my breath away. I went to the Pink concert on a whim last year because I'd heard that she was a 'good performer'. I consider that the greatest understatement of 2009!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Quote of the Week

"Promise me you'll always remember
You're braver than you believe
and stronger than you seem
and smarter than you think"

Christopher Robin

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Book Review: The Sweetness At The Bottom Of The Pie by Alan Bradley

The Sweetness At The Bottom of the Pie is a very endearing mystery set in England in the 1950's. It's heroine, Flavia de Luce (such a fabulous name) is a precocious eleven-year-old chemistry enthusiast with a dazzling intellect which she puts to use when her father is accused of murder. It all begins when, upon hearing a raucous in the cucumber pit below her window in the middle of the night, Flavia goes down to investigate and discovers a very nearly dead man who breathes his dying breath right into her face. Well far from being horrified, this is by far the most interesting thing that has happened in Flavia's life and she is determined to solve the mystery of who he is, why he is here and how he died.

This book was no work of genius but I loved it just the same. The character of Flavia, though annoyingly bright, is so likeable and very clever for an eleven-year-old. The plot of this book has lots of delicious twists and turns, lots of interesting trivia and delectable language. There are old-fashioned English policemen, secret identities, custard pies, stamps, King George, picturesque scenery (so I imagine), a character called Mr Twining (my favourite brand of tea) and a lot of general English delight.

I haven't read a lot of mysteries. My favourite series of mystery books are the Thursday Next books by Jasper Fforde, I love mystery when mixed with humour. This book is often humourous, to me simply the premise of it was humourous!! This is the first in what promises to be a simply delightful series.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Book Posters

My friend informed me of this fantastic website that creates posters from famous books, they are very simple and creative. And exciting. Here are some of my favourites:

The War of the Worlds


Pride and Prejudice

Jane Eyre

Moby Dick

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

All images are from here.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Quote of the Week

"There are some days when I myself think I'm overrated... but not today!"

Meryl Streep

Friday, October 1, 2010


Is everyone up with the wonder that is Glee? The second season has been on for two weeks here in Oz. I was super late in catching up with the craze but boy am I glad I have!! I love it!! Yes it is cheesy, but in the very best way. Here is the finale of Season 1.