It’s been a funny sort of year so far. There haven’t been many musicals, films, art exhibitions etc and l miss them like an ache. Part of that has been financial and part has been life in general. I’ve been busy with other things, just not art things and l’ve missed them.
The good news is l started a new job last week and that means the budget is back on track. I still believe that you can enjoy the arts on a budget and l’m itching to dip a toe back into the arts, heck, l want to immerse myself in them.
to audio books. So much so, l don’t want to sit with a book in my hands anymore.
This does upset me a bit as l have always loved reading and loved sitting in my favourite chair with a gin & soda and opening the cover of a new adventure. Am l missing something by listening rather than reading a book? Is anyone else like me??
I’m currently listening to all the J.D. Robb books. Honestly l could start a J.D. Robb appreciation society l love the books so much. Just this morning l downloaded my favourite book of all time, Asta’s Book by Barbara Vine.
Audible does cost money, but, you receive a free credit each month and l also use Borrow Box which is the free service from my local library. The only problem with Borrow Box is l have to wait longer for the books. There are currently close to 3000 books and only 5 or 6 are available. I have my name down for a book that becomes available on August 5 . Not long to wait and l have 2 other audio books to listen to.
I still sit with a gin & soda in my favourite chair but now have my phone near me, relax and listen. Will l ever go back to physically reading a book again, who knows.
I’ve been neglecting this website lately. No excuse, just that it’s winter and l’ve been nesting with books at home.
A few weeks ago l did venture out to see The Victorian Ballet’s performance of The Beauty & the Beast. Have l told you how much l love ballet; l adore it. In Australia we have the National Ballet, which is called The Australian Ballet and then each state has their own ballet company, ours being Victorian State Ballet. We’re very lucky to have so much ballet.
When l have the money (and when they are touring) l see Russian Ballet. To me those dancers are the pinnacle of perfection. Victorian State Ballet are not to the same standard, but, their dancing is still very good. The dancing in this production was good overall, the choreography good and the costumes were beautiful. I think part of the problem was choosing Beauty & the Beast to perform. It doesn’t do much for me as a ballet and don’t think l will see another production of it.
I will definitely see more shows by Victorian State Ballet as l believe in supporting local artists and they are worth seeing and,l saved the best until last.
Straight after the performance ended the dancers came out in full costume to let the crowd take photos and speak to them. Several ballerinas stood right next to me and l told how graceful and beautiful they danced. Lucky, lucky me.
Don’t they looked gorgeous and l love the way they’re standing; typical dancer poses.
In a near empty cinema early one Saturday afternoon l sat and watched the horrors of the Somme come to life.
I have always thought that The Lord of the Rings was based on the second World War. Reading it l could see the spread of Nazism across Europe; silly me. J.R.R Tolkien was in the first World War. I know he said that the books were not based on his war experiences, but, being in the horror that was the Somme, l wonder.
The film shows his early life. I didn’t know that he and brother lost both parents young and were sponsored through school. That’s what brought him to Oxford, a scholarship and it was at Oxford that he met the friends with whom he would form a fellowship.
I now see The Lord of the Rings as more than a quest, it is also a story about friendship. Of the four friends who went to war two were killed, one returned much damaged and Tolkien returned to Oxford, where he wrote about fellowship, quests and the misery of Mordor.
Nicholas Hoult does a good job in the main role of Tolkien. He is supported well by the remaining cast. I thought the misery of war was brought to life. Is it a good film? Not a classic, but good enough. I watched it mainly through the prism of the books. It is currently showing in cinemas. Go along and see it and decide for yourself.
The Lost Man is the third novel by Jane Harper and l have now read all three. Starting with The Dry and then moving on to Force of Nature, l have been blown away by the great storylines, quality of writing and brilliant use of the Australian landscape. The landscape is integral to each story and Jane Harper uses it with the same skill as Tim Winton (another Australian writer whom l admire).
The Dry introduces the reader to Aaron Falk, a Federal Police Officer who returns to his hometown to investigate a multiple murder. This was the standout first novel by Jane Harper and it’s a great read.
Force of Nature is another crime that involves Aaron Falk. It is completely different from the first story, but, again, a real page turner. A group of women are missing in a National Park and Falk is sent to help find them.
The Lost Man is a stand alone novel that involves the death of a man from dehydration in Central Queensland. He is the middle of three brothers and the circumstances of his death are mysterious. Another great read.
I will keep reading Jane Harper books. She is a very talented writer who comes up with original ideas and turns them into well written books. The storylines flow with ease, her use of language and sentence structure sound and the story keeps the reader engaged until the very end.
I highly recommend all three novels. Start as l did, with The Dry and then Force of Nature before reading The Lost Man.
Rocketman is the story of Elton John’s life. This is an authorised version of his life, so it is told from his point of view.
Back when he was Reggie Dwight he showed great musical ability. The young actor playing him, Kit Connor, is good as is the actor who plays him in later life, Taron Egerton. Stephen Graham plays Dick James to a tee and Bryce Dallas Howard also shines as Sheila Eileen. In fact, the performances overall are good and yet, l have to be honest and say l didn’t enjoy it as much as Bohemian Rhapsody.
If you love Elton John’s music this is the film for you. It is the music that is the stand out star of the film. Elton John and Bernie Taupin created classics that still sound great today. Listen to the man himself sing Rocket Man at Royal Festival Hall back in the 70’s.
I’ve been missing in action from this site for quite a few weeks.
The past 7 weeks have been go, go, go with work and training and l’ve been tired. Not much good for the arts loving life, but hey, l have to pay for all those tickets somehow. That’s not to say that l haven’t been reading and l’ve also been catching up on some great tv series from Russia and Germany.
More on all that in the coming weeks, and, my first show is next week, plus l’m seeing a film this weekend and l have discovered a brilliant new ( to me) author. I’ll be telling you all about Jane Harper next week.
It’s cold, miserable and dark by 5.30pm and my 3 month feast of the arts is about to begin.