Friday, January 29, 2010

On Swimming

I love swimming. I love swimming enough to wear dorky uncle goggles frequently.

I love that my wonderful aunt and uncle live right next to my favourite beach in the world and that I'm able to escape to this incredible other world almost whenever I like.

On Fruit and Happiness

A big part of what I've been trying to do in bettering my existence is to do with food. As an eating disorder sufferer, I've always had a difficult relationship with food, especially since I've regained a healthy weight, and choosing and eating food can be incredibly stressful for me.

Part of this stress is striking a balance between eating healthy and eating at all. A diet that involves lots of fresh fruit and vegetables is great, but it can be a bit of a slippery slope. The great thing about this time of year (summer!) is that there is so much beautiful fruit and veg to eat, I eat enough to be healthy without feeling the kind of debilitating guilt that comes with the kinds of rich, starchy things we generally reach for in the winter.

This has turned out to be a bit of a negative post, and I'm sorry about that. I do genuinely love food, and cooking, and eating, and that's why it's quite difficult to talk about these things, because whilst my "episode" is more than five years in the past, it is impossible to get rid of the feelings and thoughts entirely. The best way of dealing with it is to really enjoy your food and lead as active a lifestyle as you can.

.. and you really can't be grumpy when there are fresh figs in the house, can you?

On Joanna Henderson

I was directed to this amazing photography by Jennifer at Simply Photo. I love the interior shots particularly, especially that clock!

See Joanna Henson's website for more lovely pictures.

On Looking Into the Past

Isn't this the most wonderful gallery?

My Darling Annie


It's been quite a while since I've written here, and there's really no good reason for it.

I've been feeling a vague but pervading sense of unease. I'm tired, anxious, and self-loathing all the time. I'm lethargic and devastatingly lacking in creative drive.

So here I am, back again, looking to this happy, safe place to pt my thoughts down in hopes of rehabilitating my soul. Right now it's late, and I've spent a little too much of this evening fiddling with photos on my computer, so I'll bid you goodnight, until tomorrow morning, when I will return to share some of the things I've been doing, thinking, and enjoying.

I'm also considering a new layout...

Anyway. Goodnight.

p.s. That's my new camera in that photo! It's a Nikon D3000 and I adore her. I've named her Annie for a large/embarrassing list of reasons. She cheers me up - you'll be seeing a lot of her work around here from now on.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Travel Board

I'm getting the itch to travel travel travel at the moment. It's probably going to be years before I jet off again, but I will spend the meantime dreaming up some travel dreams...

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Top 5 People to get stuck in an elevator with

I've talked about my fascination with people and the cults of personality that pervade the lives of many a young person. Here is the list of personalities that pervade mine.

5. Annie Lennox
Annie Lennox has been an idol of mine since I was very young. Aside from having an incredible, unique singing voice, she's a passionate activist who has spent much of her life travelling and experiencing different cultures and communities, often lending her voice to those who suffer in silence. It would be wonderful to talk to someone who has had a life like that.

4. David Bowie
Yeah, another rock star. But wouldn't he have had the most incredible experiences? David Bowie was part of a crowd of young musicians in the 60's and 70's that included Iggy Pop, Mick Jagger and Lou Reed. He played at Live Aid, collaborated with Queen, and constructed multiple identities that went perfectly with his incredible music. Oh, and he was in Labyrinth.

3.Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Hugh Fearnley-Eatsitall is my current personality obsession. In fact, as I sit writing this post, I am watching River Cottage Road Trip, in which Hugh is currently fishing in the Lakes District. He is a pretty admirable human being, a chef who has spent the last ten years becoming an exemplar of seasonal and ethical cooking and eating. His tv programs and books have inspired me to eat better, more interesting and more sustainable food in my own diet.

2. Stephen Sondheim
I think this is somewhat self-explanatory considering my last post. Sondheim, simply, creates music and poetry that affects me. He has had a long, rich life (he's eighty!), has been instructed by Oscar Hammerstein and Leonard Bernstein, and has written for Ethel Merman, Mandy Patinkin and countless other amazing performers. I would unashamedly pick his brains for hours and hours.

1. Stephen Fry
Well, he's not eighty, he's not a great musician and he's not known for being an activist, but I think having a conversation with the hyper-intelligent Stephen Fry would be just incredible. He's so smart, so funny, and probably full of conversation starters thanks to his role as Quizmaster on Qi.

Well, that's my 7x5 project finally over (very belatedly, please excuse me), thank you for reading, and I hope it's got you thinking about the art, writing, and personalities that intrigue and inspire you.

Top 5 Musicals

If you're familiar with this blog or with me in general, you're probably very aware of my love for musical theatre. This list is not ranked from 5th favourite to 1st favourite as most of my other lists have been, but rather in the order they "happened" to me.

5. Les Misérables - Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg
Ah, my first love. I associate Les Mis with a lot of "firsts". It was the first stage musical I was introduced to, the first ticket I bought with my own money... I sung "On My Own" in my first singing lesson, "I Dreamed a Dream" in my first public performance, and later got to play Fantine in my first lead role. It might be a little populist, but I think every musical theatre fan still loves Les Mis deep down, often because they've enjoyed performing it so much!

4. Sweeney Todd - Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler
Sweeney kind of goes here, and kind of goes in the number 1 position. It was the first Sondheim show I got into, largely thanks to the Tim Burton film (my opinion of which as an adaptation I will keep to myself...) and got me interested in Sondheim's other works (see the rest of this list), but right now Sweeney is also at the top of my list: I'm producing a performance of it for March this year. It's such a wonderful, funny, dark, romantic show that it's perfect for a student production.

3. Into the Woods - Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine
One of the next Sondheim shows I discovered, and my all-time favourite book of a musical. In my opinion, Into the Woods is about the most perfect story, or collection of stories, ever set to stage. It all looks as though it's going to be horribly childish and moralistic, and then... act two happens. Into the Woods is right at the top of the list of musicals I need to perform in before I die.

2. West Side Story - Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim
I've never seen West Side performed live, I've only seen the film and heard a couple of cast recordings, but the reason this hits so high on the list is because it is completely badass. The incredible, complex score, the innovative use of movement and dance, and the beautiful, tragic story at it's core has made West Side Story a classic, a pivotal point in the history of musical theatre, and the platform on which the world was delivered a very young Stephen Sondheim.

1. Sunday in the Park With George - Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine
This is my favourite musical. This is my favourite work of art. The team from Into the Woods perfect the artform with Sunday. It's so perfectly romantic and sad, it makes me cry and cry and cry every time I listen or watch it. I've never seen it performed, but I am on my toes waiting for a production to hit Sydney or Melbourne so I can go see it. And oh my goodness, I would die to play Dot. Or direct it. Or just listen to the original Broadway recording every day until I die.

So... that's a snippet of my musical theatre journey. A journey which, thanks to Sweeney and all the things that I'm sure will come after it, is far from over.