Monday, 26 June 2017

'He's more Greek than Italian'

A brilliant line from 'My Cousin Rachel' which I can see myself using with a twinkle in my eye.

If you can't guess the line's meaning then I'll whisper it to you in the comments.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

My Cousin Rachel

Philip (Sam Claflin) an orphan who grows up to inherit his cousin's estate becomes infatuated with the latter's widow Rachel (Rachel Weisz).

'My Cousin Rachel' is a period thriller with an open ending. Was she or wasn't she malevolent? C who knew the story well felt there wasn't much edge to the suspense but he enjoyed the interpretation nonetheless. I knew nothing of the story and was more intrigued than C as to where the plot was headed.


Saturday, 24 June 2017

Easy Reader

I'm enjoying this book.

It is easy to read. The language is not overly academic. It is not set at intellectuals. It is warmhearted. It is honest. Chapters are introduced with an interesting photograph. The writing varies from narratives to jottings.

A bit like a blog really.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Strangers in Paradise

I enjoyed dinner and an evening with friends this week including M who lives in what might be called a designer suburb of Sydney.

Breakfast Point

Breakfast Point has arisen from the metaphorical ashes of an old gas works site. A new suburb of perhaps 3,000 residents in just under twenty years. The residential complexes are built around a number of community facilities including a sports oval and its adjacent sparklingly clean and organised Country Club.

M took us on a tour of the club before we moved on to a restaurant in a nearby 'non-designed' suburb. Each Friday evening the Country Club hosts nibbles and drinks for residents and their guests. Without any reflection on our good friend M it all felt a bit like stepping into the cinematic town of Stepford.

The Country Club

There were about thirty others in little groupings. One couple joined us, glasses of red wine in hand. He was particularly vocal dominating the conversation over his wife who remained mute, not lifting the glass to her lips.

'We couldn't wait to downsize' he informed us. 'Push the kids out and get our lives back' he continued. The 'kids', now aged in their thirties, live respectively in Canberra and Darwin, he said. One has provided a grandchild. The couple is estranged from their children and don't get to see the grandchild. 'Good riddance to them' was the unmistakeable unspoken summary.

This and other tidbits of sensational insider information was imparted to us - complete strangers to the couple - within minutes of meeting. Putting a final stamp on the conversation, the wife finally joined in. Lifting her glass to take an earthy sip of her wine she informed me in confidential tones, 'If I'd known how much trouble children are, I would never have had any'.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Route 389

I think bus route 389 in Sydney must be one of the city's most interesting services. It used to operate between Circular Quay in the city and North Bondi in the eastern suburbs but nearly two years ago the city end of the route was changed to the Maritime Museum on the western edge of the Darling Harbour precinct.

At the time I thought that the change was not particularly convenient for we eastern suburbs residents who more usually head for Circular Quay than for Darling Harbour.

This week I travelled that changed route for the first time and it proved an eye opener for me. Traversing Darling Harbour in itself is quite interesting visually but the real treat is passing through the village and cafe atmosphere in Jones Street Ultimo and the delights of the waterfront at Jones Bay and White Bay.

I tried hard to find a full map of the adjusted route to post but the best I could manage is the western half with the new Maritime Museum destination included.

The full route passes through, or close to, numerous village and cafe locales. Off the top of my head they include Bondi Beach, North Bondi, Dover Heights, Woollahra, Five Ways, East Sydney, the Central Business District, Darling Harbour and Jones Street.

It provides a great opportunity especially for holders of Seniors Opal Cards to use the service as a hop on/hop off service sampling various precincts along the way. I'm going to suggest that friends and I try it ourselves one day.

No wonder our Prime Minister called Route 389 his favourite bus service.

Travelling the full route, according to the timetable, takes around an hour and ten minutes at most times during the day.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

The State

For someone who attends the cinema as often as I do it must be a surprise to others that I have never attended the Sydney Film Festival. Until this year, that is.

I booked to see five films but dropped one because of weather and transport difficulties. I enjoyed the four films I did end up seeing and am inspired to attend again next year.

Three of the four screenings I did attend were at Sydney's magnificent State Theatre. I sneaked a few snaps whilst there none of which does full justice to the venue. The link above has some lovely and better images but here are a few of mine taken whilst waiting for sessions to commence.