fringe: shadows of angels

shadows of angelsI don't think I've EVER been as affected or moved by a piece of theatre as much as I was tonight by Shadows of Angels.

And I can't even exactly say what buttons it pushed, but I did find myself crying on and off during the drive home. So clearly it hit close to the bone.

It's an incredibly simple piece of theatre. Four interconnected monologues of four women whose paths cross and who are bound together by a common event during a hot Summer afternoon in 1929.

Director, Chris Saxon makes great use of the highly intimate nature of The Bakehouse's Studio stage, which is a tiny space. Although it's always a little bit confronting to find actors already on stage when you enter a venue, especially one so small, but it helps immerse the audience into their world immediately.

Speaking of their world, there's nothing on stage beyond a chair and scarcely any props to speak of, but the four actresses create a world on that stage with the help of some amazing lighting design is surprisingly real and incredibly vivid.

I also love the small moments of interlap as the next "Femme" (as they're described in the program... four Femme Fatale) appears on stage before the previous character's story ends. The new character never speaks until the previous one has finished and in all but one scene the two characters don't even acknowledge each other, but it's a beautiful way to move from one scene to another.

If I'm being honest, the one part of the play that didn't work for me was the character of Old Femme played by Rosemary Johns... not because it was somehow lacking, but the other three characters had some degree of sympathy to them, whereas I couldn't find that with her.

While the piece that opens the play, Good Femme, played by Kara Stacey Merrin is a brilliantly written piece, wonderfully acted by Merrin with an amazing rapid fire delivery and could easily exist as a tiny play in it's own right, it was the monologues by Man Femme (played by H. Clare Callow) and Pretty Femme (played by Erin Dewar) that set this piece of theatre apart.

Callow's woman posing as a man is masterfully done... in fact, if I hadn't double checked the program I may have convinced myself that she was actually playing a man instead of a woman surviving by passing as a man. There are also some beautifully poignant moments in that monologue.

But it's Dewar's unfortunate prostitute that is Shadows of Angels' crowning glory. She starts out bubbly and amusing, but as her piece progresses, she starts to unravel before your eyes and I think it's her final scene that affected me so much.

It's not a show that's going to send you out into the night feeling elated and upbeat about life, but it is a compelling piece of theatre, and one I highly recommend.

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#febphotoaday

#febphotoadayMy slight obsession of January has carried over into February and looks like it's going to continue into March... maybe for the whole year in fact.

The photos I always find the most challenging are the "self portrait" type ones... but I still love the fact that some of the photos just appear to me out of nowhere... like the final day... I'd originally planned something else, but then the weather turned to rain and gave me new inspiration.

And Day 4 is probably my favourite shot from not only our Melbourne trip at the beginning of the month, but also possibly my favourite of my Instagram shots to date.

February Photo-a-day Challenges
  • Day 1: My view today
  • Day 2: Words (Words about words about words)
  • Day 3: Hands (from the Melbourne trip)
  • Day 4: A stranger (Strangers to me and to each other... from the Melbourne trip)
  • Day 5: 10 am (from the Melbourne trip)
  • Day 6: Dinner
  • Day 7: Button
  • Day 8: Sun (There was no sun at all that day)
  • Day 9: Front door (Not mine)
  • Day 10: Self portrait (for the purposes of this shot, I am my clothes)
  • Day 11: Makes me happy (that moment when you open the package and know you've got the right one)
  • Day 12: Inside my wardrobe
  • Day 13: Blue
  • Day 14: Heart
  • Day 15: Phone
  • Day 16: Something new
  • Day 17: Time (Haircut time!)
  • Day 18: Drink
  • Day 19: Something I hate to do (cutting all the little birdies out by hand!)
  • Day 20: Handwriting
  • Day 21: A fave photo of me
  • Day 22: Where I work
  • Day 23: My shoes
  • Day 24: Inside my bathroom cabinet (my hotel toiletries collection obsession)
  • Day 25: Green
  • Day 26: Night (Falls)
  • Day 27: Something I ate
  • Day 28: Money
  • Day 29: Something I'm listening to (the rain on my umbrella)
The challenge for March is on FatMumSlim's website.

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fringe: pegging up the sky

pegging up the sky - gabrielle griffin and cielPegging Up The Sky by "Adult Puppeteer" Gabrielle Griffin is a wonderfully performed, if brief (at just over 30 minutes), show.

It put me in mind of Cabaret Décadanse from the Cabaret Festival a couple of years ago, not only because of the way the puppet is operated but also the fact that both shows are definitely not for children.

The puppet, Ciel, is wonderfully expressive, even though it has no eyes and fairly rudimentary features, and doubly so because the show has no words.

Griffin is a skilled puppeteer, Ciel moves, dances and emotes and you buy into it completely.

The only things that let the show down were things not connected with the actual puppeteering.

Given how other-wordly, quiet and still the show is, having Griffith outside before the show spruiking and introducing the show before it started did tend to rob it of it's mystique somewhat. It felt as though it really would have benefited from a "Grimstones" approach... keeping the puppeteer as part of the story instead of being just a regular person.

And this may be a sign that I'm turning into an old man, but the music was entirely too loud, particularly given that Griffith encouraged the audience to sit as close to the front as possible, the volume could have been reduced to about a third of what it was and still been perfect. Essentially, when the music starts to distort it means it's just too loud.

I'm also not sure how well the lights were working... they seemed to be a little all over the place throughout the show, which didn't really help.

But it was opening night, and hopefully all those little things will improve, because it is a beautifully performed show by a talented woman.

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fringe: shakespeare's queens

shakespeare's queens: she-wolves and serpentsAlmost everything I said last year about Straylight Australia's production of Shakespeare's Mothers could equally be said about their production this year, Shakespeare's Queens: She-wolves and Serpents... I think the key phrase from my previous review, "act the living shit out of the various roles" still holds true.

This time, instead of the mothers, they delve into the queens (a number of whom were also mothers and appeared in the previous play also).

Returning from Mothers is the truly and insanely gifted Kath Perry who embodies nobility and poise on stage and who is joined this time by Patrick Trumper in the role of Shakespeare and Rachel Ferris as the other half of the queens.

The framing device for this show is a little different to the last one... Queen Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots are joined in the here and now of the theatre by Shakespeare and they want him to solve a long running squabble between the two about the right way to be a queen.

They do this by embodying the various queens (and in Trumper's case all the male roles) for a scene with the use of minimal props.

That's part of what I truly love about this show (and it's predecessor), the way the two women can switch from Regan and Goneril to Fairy Queen Titania to Lady Macbeth to Anne Boleyn to Cleopatra and make them so distinct and unique with nothing more than their skill as actresses and an army of scarves plus the occasional bit of jewellery. Oh, and a couple of killer corsets.

They also know how to build to a brilliant climax... the two final queens, Ferris as Cleopatra and Perry as Tamora, Queen of the Goths from Titus Andronicus (who she also played in the previous play, if my memory serves me correctly) are amongst the most powerful of the lot... although there really isn't any part of the show that isn't amazing.

I absolutely loved Ferris's brilliant comic timing, either as Mary between "changes" or in some of the roles (her far too brief turn as a Golum-like Puck is brilliant), and she just seems to be made for the Shakespearean comedies... Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing or Kate in Taming of the Shrew (although neither appeared in this show, not being queens). But she can also turn on an intensity, particularly with Lady Macbeth, that was wonderful.

As I've already mentioned, Perry is a powerhouse on stage... embodying everything regal and contained in Elizabeth I, providing a bloody-thirsty Tamora, a haughty (if sadly brief) Titania, three stages of Queen Margaret from several of the Henrys and Richard III and an amazing Queen Katherine pleading for her life from Henry VIII.

Just like last time, I find it very hard to tear myself away from talking about the women to talk about the actor playing all the male roles, but Trumper completely holds his own with these two amazing ladies... often having to become almost invisible while his leading lady shines, which I'm sure is harder than it looks.

If Trumper has a standout moment I think it would have to be his Richard III, not least of all from the way he embodies the character with one tiny prop.

I'm not sure if there's much left to stretch this concept to a third outing (I'm not sure there's another easy category to Shakespearean women beyond mothers and queens), but I really would love for them to try, as it's always a pleasure!

Even if you don't consider yourself a Shakespeare fan, I still highly recommend that you check this one out.

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unconscious mutterings 474

I've often wished that I could be the sort of person who just randomly takes a trip interstate... just for a weekend... almost on a whim.

And while it's not really a whim... I've bought a ticket to Bell Shakespeare's production of Macbeth at the Sydney Opera House in April.

I fly in in the morning, probably do the Rocks Market, see the play, fly out the following morning.

But trying to choose a hotel room is doing my head in... I want something fancy, but I'm only really going to have access to it for a couple of hours, and then I'll be gone, so it hardly seems worth it.

Unconscious Mutterings...
  1. Unsolicited :: Advice
  2. House :: Doctor
  3. 24 hours :: One day
  4. Permission :: Slip
  5. Inbox :: I have five that I currently monitor... seven if you count home.
  6. Presidential :: Suite... it's that hotel thing again
  7. Rising :: Tide
  8. Hold :: Button
  9. Hourglass :: "Like sands through the hourglass, so are the Days of Our Lives"
  10. More :: Of everything!
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fringe: imperial fizz

imperial fizzYou quickly realise that there's something not quite right with the unnamed, cocktail swilling, barb swapping couple in Imperial Fizz by the Centre for International Theatre.

In fact, they're as wrong as a vodka martini (to paraphrase Her). His tuxedo is covered with dirt, her dress is torn and the hem is stained... so I knew that something horrible had befallen them at some stage before the play opens.

But they certainly don't act as if anything is wrong in their perfect little drawing room world... He (David Calvitto) mixes cocktails, She (Beth Fitzgerald) poses on the chaise longue... and then they start to verbally deconstruct their relationship... and each other.

I'm a huge fan of the old screwball comedies, movies with amazingly snappy dialogue delivered with perfect timing and rapid pacing. Powell and Loy, Tracy and Hepburn, Grant and Hepburn (actually, Katherine Hepburn and just about anybody).

And there are a number of great moments of that here... especially when the two characters take on the characters of other people... the minister, the lawyer, her sister, the best man, the flower girl and my personal favourite, the coat check girl. There are also some beautiful moments where everything he says rhymes and everything she says rhymes... they just don't rhyme with each other.

Most of the dialogue is bright and sharp and quick... even though there are a couple of stumbles over difficult phrases. But I can mostly forgive that since it's only their third performance.

Without giving anything away, I really, really liked the way that it ended and what that meant for the characters.

The bits that worked less well I thought were the two or three song snippets... one about drinks, one about pets and I'm sure there was another but that escapes me right now. But then I'm not a huge fan of songs inserted into my entertainment (unless it's designed that way, like a musical or some kind of cabaret performance).

I also wonder if they had appeared on stage impeccably turned out instead of very obviously on the receiving end of some traumatic event whether the big reveal about what had happened to them would have had more power.

And Calvitto did remind me of a white haired Rowan Atkinson which was tough to shake at first.

Overall though, it's a bubbly little cocktail with a sharp twist of lemon and only the slightest aftertaste of arsenic.

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fringe: theatergroep wak - levelless

levellessI saw the previous show by Dutch theatre group WAK, Niets is echt moeilijk, in last year's Fringe and thoroughly enjoyed it.

However, I think that their new show, with it's new slanted box, misses the mark almost completely.

There are a handful of great moments... a very small handful... but there's also a stretching abyss of nothing that happens between those moments. And then suddenly, it's over and you don't really feel like you've actually seen a show (or at least I didn't)...

The previous show was full of people running in doors and out of doors and appearing through trapdoors and disappearing through trapdoors and doing great slapstick comedy. In a word, it was full of action!

This show doesn't seem to flow like the previous one did... things stop and start and feel very disjointed and segmented and the performers disappear for far too long.

All of which is a shame... as I said there are some excellent moments... one involving venetian blinds, one involving what I'm guessing are plumbing parts and the last is the "blob" piece that closes the show. And their new box is brilliant... the perspective of it really does start to mess with your perceptions once or twice, but even that didn't feel like it was explored especially well.

And it wasn't just me. I saw the previous show on a Saturday night as well, although last time I saw the 7:30pm show, whereas this time it was the 9:00pm show... but the crowd didn't laugh even a quarter as much as I remember they did last year. And they were a slightly restless crowd anyway, but the show never really seemed to capture their attention fully.

I came away disappointed... because I know they're capable of so much more. It seems that trying to do a show that isn't about nothing is much harder than doing one that is.

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fringe: the science of fiction - doctor who

the science of fiction - doctor whoNow that I stop and think about it... I'm not completely sure what I was expecting from the Science of Fiction: Doctor Who show at The Royal Institution of Australia (RiAus) Science Exchange.

Stupidly, I don't know that I expected there to be quite so much science...

Which, again, stupid... especially given the fact that the description for the show included this: "We’ll be joined by physicists, astronomers, and comedian Rob Lloyd."

And I'm not completely sure even they knew who the show was aimed at... there was a lot of talking about theoretical scientific theory for a show featuring clips with really bad special effects... and sometimes a little simplistic for a room full of, presumably, science fiction geeks.

I also don't think it was particularly a show suitable for children. Yes, there were kids there, but I think most of them were essentially bored (and couple of the ones in front of me certainly seemed to be) although the very nerdy/hardcore Doctor Who fanboy kid sitting next to me with his seemingly equally hardcore Doctor Who fangirl grandma (and yet they both looked so normal) wasn't so bad.

I'm still not sure how I feel about the host of the show, comedian Rob Lloyd. I mean he has his whole "if I dress right and put these glasses on I mostly look like David Tennant" thing going for him, but it just all felt a little... I wanna say "forced", I wanna say "desperate", I wanna say "overboard"... I'm not sure any of those descriptions are quite right though.

It was a little bit like he had all of Tennant's frenetic energy without a quarter of the charm. Which I know sounds harsh... and maybe it is a tiny bit... but it did feel a little like he was forcing a joke into the proceedings every chance he got.

Sadly though, I think a couple of the scientists actually got the bigger laughs...

There was also some "audience participation" through the use of a little gadget that everyone could vote on questions... now I'm not about to suggest that the answers were completely rigged and predetermined, but the graphs did seem to come up in the middle of the presentation very smoothly and looking the same as the rest of the presentation.

But it's the Science Exchange... if anyone could actually make that work, it would probably be them. I just had the element of doubt creep into my head about halfway through.

All in all, it was okay for what it was... but essentially it was a science lecture, tarted up with some Doctor Who around the edges. So if you're a science nerd and a Doctor Who nerd, it's right up your alley... just a Doctor Who nerd, then I don't know so much.

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saharan shopping saturday

baby it's hot out thereLet's see... the mercury (or, more accurately the weather app on my iPhone) is hovering at 39.9°C... I'm headed out to Fringe shows tonight, tomorrow evening, Tuesday night, Wednesday night and Thursday night (and then Saturday night and Sunday afternoon)... and I don't really have anything that I need to go trawling around the shops for.

So obviously today was always going to be productive!

Okay, technically it was, but it would have been without either of us leaving our respective houses.

First up was supermarketness... and since I'm going to be eating dinner at home a grand total of two days next week, it was a little pointless to buy too much stuff... so I stuck to the basics... milk, fruit and stuff for Monday night.

While we were shopping I mentioned to Ma that not only had I found the Swatch I couldn't get in Melbourne on eBay, but I'd also found the one that she wanted and also couldn't get... so she bought it. Well, I bought it, but she's paying me for it later.

And really, the only other thing we wanted was to be out of the heat... so we went down to Arndale, wandered about completely aimlessly... then went down to West Lakes when we ran out of Arndale and wandered aimlessly around there for a slightly longer period of time.

Actually, we wandered around there until the eBay auction for my Swatch finished just after noon, and I won it (woohoo)... then we came back here.

And that's it.

Not really a thrilling day... but I'm blaming most of that on the weather.

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photo friday: bright green with dot points

green bricks - eliza street, adelaide green veins - botanical gardens, sydney
Things that happened in my world and in my head at present...
  • For the first time in a long while I've posted something every day since Monday, which I'm kind of impressed with.

  • The pay rise that I was told about a couple of weeks ago finally found it's way into my bank account... and it equates to an extra $5.14 an hour, which is good.

  • The "buying expensive tickets now while I have money" thing continues... I bought two tickets for the Cirque Du Soleil show, Ovo, which is coming at the end of the year. Front row (on the side, but still) tickets. Expensive, but worth it I think, especially since we've never been to a Cirque show before.

  • I found the watch that I couldn't get from Swatch in Melbourne on eBay tonight... there was the option to "Buy it now", but I took the cheaper option of seeing if I can win it in the normal way... It's about $30 cheaper that way (well, if nobody else bids on it).

  • We ate (well, I say ate... a large number we chewed a bit and then spat into tissues) some of those gross Jelly Belly BeanBoozled jelly beans at work this afternoon... they truly are revolting, and I felt a little bit nauseous for the remainder of the afternoon. Urgh!

  • Today was also one of the rare days when it was actually a perfect temperature at work... by which I mean it was nice and cold. I do love coming out of work on a hot afternoon with cold fingers!

  • The Adelaide Fringe begins properly as from tonight... and in the next week I'm off to eight shows on five different days. And about the same the following week. Nothing says "Fringe Time" like me leaving the house that many nights a week.

  • Tonight's Fringe Parade could not be different from last year... tonight it's stinking hot (it's still about 36°C and the sun is going down), last year the parade was cancelled due to rain.

  • It's also possibly the worst time of the year for my back to start playing up... but it has been this week. I went through the same thing a while back and it eventually sorted itself out. Annoying though, especially at this time of year when I end up sitting on a lot of fairly uncomfortable seating. It seems to be sorting itself out, but it's usually worse in the morning anyway.

  • I also think that my attendance at the gym is probably going to suffer a bit during this Fringe season... mostly due to oversleeping. That's what happened this morning anyway.

  • Tom Flanagan posted my review of his show Kaput to his Facebook. It always blows my mind a little bit when the people who do the show see my review... like with Macbeth and Le Gateau Chocolat last year. It shouldn't... I'm putting that stuff out there (and it appears that when you search for "kaput fringe", my blog is in the first couple of results)... but it still kinda does.

  • Pretty much on a whim (and partly half way through this review on the new Penny Arcade venture, PA Report), I signed up to Steam and downloaded the new "game" Dear Esther on Tuesday night. And then two and a half hours of my life pretty much vanished. It's an incredibly odd experience, not really a game, more a piece of interactive art... but I really want to play it again just to see how the experience changes if you move through it differently.

  • Speaking of Steam... if anyone can recommend some good (and free-ish) games in either the puzzle or RPG genre, please leave me a comment!
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fringe: pratchett pieces three

unseen theatre presents pratchett pieces threeThis is the first time I've seen anything put on by the Unseen Theatre Company, who specialise in Discworld plays by one of my favourite authors, Terry Pratchett.

I've seen their work advertised before (and plastering almost every available surface in the Bakehouse Theatre, which seems to be their usual home), but never gotten around to seeing anything.

And I don't mean this in a bad way, but it was about what I've come to expect from amateur theatre. The costumes are always a little questionable, something always goes wrong but everybody is incredibly enthusiastic.

Fortunately enthusiasm does count for a lot and often carry across some of the bumpier elements.

As the name suggests, it's not one full length play, but five separate plays that take anywhere from about five to 45 minutes (the "Three" in the title comes from the fact that this is the third one of these "Pieces" plays they've done).

Of the five, I think the second one, The Trial, starring Discworld's witches was probably the best (although I do confess that the witches are my favourite Discworld characters, and of them, Esme "Granny" Weatherwax is my absolute favourite... with the anthropomorphic personification of Death coming in a close second).

Pamela Munt (who also directed and adapted the original stories) does excellent work as Esme... full of fire and pride, if a little sharper than the Granny I have in my imagination.

However, it's Michelle Wichelo as Nanny Ogg who seems to steal just about every scene she's in effortlessly. True, she gets all the funny lines, but she just seemed to have setttled into Nanny's skin like a worn old jacket.

The other standout, not only during the witches play, but in all of her small roles throughout the play, was Kate Hall. She's mesmerizing as witch Mistress Shimmer even though her part is only a handful of lines... and she's hysterically funny as the monotone "Research Officer" during the Hollywood Chickens section.

Samm Blackmore as the Footnote (ie the narrator) and James Loader (in a variety of roles... including unintentional eyecandy) also do excellent jobs.

The other play that I though worked most effectively was the second to last piece, Turntables of the Night, where Death (played by Hugh O'Connor) stalks a seventies disco for the ultimate record collector (played by James Loader... I think). Yes, it was a little chaotic and some of the staging wasn't the best... but overall it worked quite well.

The pieces that I don't think worked as well were the opener, Death And What Comes Next, and Hollywood Chickens.

Both pieces probably work better on the printed page than as a play, although there are some very good moments in Hollywood Chickens... I just felt like it lost a few of the subtleties of the story, as well as feeling a little bogged down towards the end section.

Rounding out the five plays was A Collegiate Casting Out of Devilish Devices... a chance for the men of Unseen Theatre to have their moment in the sun as the wizards of the Unseen University in the same way the women did with the witches.

Which essentially involves a lot of overstuffed armchairs, pointy hats and fake beards.

But even with the occasional issue (at one point during the witches section I think two market stalls are set out incorrectly... unless it's on purpose... but I don't think it was), mostly with some of the staging (things happening way too far off to the side), it's an entertaining and enjoyable production with a lot of laughs and I think that I'll have to keep my eye out for when they next do a full length Discworld piece.

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random fringe hotness

It's Fringe time!

So today's Random Hotness pays homage to two of the particular Fringe hotnesses I'll have the fortune to see this year.

On the left, David O'Mer from La Soiree... on the right, Eike Von Stucke from Soap...

Hot, wet, shirtless, acrobatic boys in bathtubs... Oh lordy...

david o'mer eike von stucke
david o'mer eike von stucke
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my instagram tips

my statigram statsSince I got my iPhone 4S and it's camera that works all the time instead of the camera in my old phone that only worked when it felt like it, I've been taking a LOT of photos with it.

Like, a LOT.

So many in fact that I hardly even use my compact digital camera any more, just the iPhone and the SLR. Which led me to think about cameras and the iPhone and, ultimately, Instagram.

As I've mentioned before, I also been using Instagram a fair bit... it's turned into pretty much my default photo publishing account for social media... I'm more likely to send an Instagram photo to my Twitter feed than I am to just attach a photo straight to a tweet.

All of which led me, last Friday morning, to wish that Prakky would write "What's good/annoying about Instagram" posts like the Pet Peeves one she wrote about Twitter... then I realised... I could do that!

I mean I'm not somebody who gets millions of likes or thousands of comments... but like I said, I do use the app all the time.

So here we go...

Oh, and feel free to add your own proverbial two cents...

Yani's Tips for Using Instagram

1. Photograph all of the things

The first one is obvious, it relates to all kinda of photography, and it's pretty much my mantra.... take photos. Lots of photos, everywhere you go... even if you don't end up using them for anything, take them anyway. I do that all the time and currently I've got over 1000 photos on my iPhone (must cull that at some point).

I've never been sorry I took a photo, only that I didn't take more of something.

I try and look for different angles and viewpoints (up high, down low), although perhaps not as often as I should... but I'm always looking around me pretty much all the time and if I can stop and take a shot I do, or make a note to come back when the light is better.

There are other tips already out there for taking better photos, and better iPhone photos (including this rather handy tip from Instragram themselves).

The flip side of that is one of the things that bugs me (right after those over saturated, over sharpened images)... no matter how attractive you are (or think you are), don't let your whole Instagram roll be photos of you in front of a mirror with the same expression... or worse yet, no particular expression.

Lastly (and coincidentally a good way to combat Mirror Shot Syndrome) find one of the 30/60/365 day photo challenges and take part (or even make up your own). You'll have to think outside of the box at times to find something within your day that's going to fulfil the challenge, and it makes you post something every day.
currently this is my second most popular photo2. Where and what

Once I've taken the shot, filtered it (I do love me some Lo-fi, but I've been equally obsessed with Hefe and X-pro II in the past), I always add some kind of description and a hashtag and if I'm out and about (and can find where I am in the app) a location.

I always prefer to add a description... and other people's photos without them sometimes feel a little unfinished. You don't even need to tell me what I'm seeing, but how you feel about it... "worse beverage ever" or "I love the colours of this" or "it took forever to get him to sit still" (and I bet you have a mental image for each of those descriptions already).

Adding locations is great, particularly when you're travelling (both for your own benefit as well as everyone elses) or at a major event... but also because once you've tagged a photo as being in a particular location, you can check out that location to see who else has posted photos in the same place over time!

Just think if everyone added The Garden of Unearthly Delights to their #GoUD photos this Fringe... how awesome would that be.

3. Hashtaggin it

Hashtags are good... hashtags are everybody's friend... I very often use the #adelaide and #streetart hashtags... or the #cloudporn and #foodporn hashtags... and I'm finding myself using the #lego and #minifigs hashtags more and more... #legoaddiction.

I also occasionally take a wander through hashtags that I've just used, just to see what's new.

One of the other things I discovered recently is that when you go back to an old photo and put a new hashtag on it, it shows up in that list of photos as though it was brand new (I will hold my hand up to accidentally spamming the #foodporn hashtag a few weeks ago).

However if I go to somebody else's photo and add a hashtag, it doesn't seem to include the photo in the list (it hasn't the couple of times I've tried it).

But while hashtags are everybody's friend... like a friend, you should never abuse the humble hashtag. I mean, cramming all the following tags into a single photo...

#instagram #iphonesia #iphoneography #igdaily #igoftheday #instagram_underdogs #instagood #igaddict #instahub #instamood #10likes #20likes #30likes #40likes #50likes #60likes

I don't mind some of these "meta" tags, like the #instragramYOURLOCATIONHERE idea, or #seeaustralia... but it's when it's all of them, all at once, all the time that bugs me.

And, really, if your photo has more than 40 likes (or more than 50 or more than 100 or whatever), does it really matter that it's included in the #10likes list?

this has the most comments of any of my photos4. Like what people you like like

Or, alternatively, like what people who like you like.

I like to check both the News and Following tabs in Instagram, to not only see who's liking my photos, but also what the people I follow are liking. It's led to me discovering a whole bunch of new and interesting (and often, barely clothed, which is nice) people to follow.

But even if I don't end up following them, I like to have a look at the people who like my stuff, maybe leave them a like if they have some good stuff.

And just because I'm a little strange, sometimes I don't want to like the same photo that one of my followers has liked, so I'll often go and look at their whole photo roll, see what else strikes my fancy.

Two things that bother me when I see them is people "begging" for likes (makes you look needy and insecure) and posting "follow for follow" type comments.

Oh, and another one. Never, ever like your own photos. I see a number of people doing that and I'm kinda baffled by it... why would you even bother?

The dot point edition

So, to sum up...
  • Photograph all the things (other than just yourself in the mirror)
  • Add a description
  • Use relevant hashtags
  • Add a location
  • Check your locations/hashtags for other peoples shots
  • Dont like your own photos, beg for likes or leave "follow for follow" comments
But that's just my two cents... what do you love about using Instagram, what bugs you and what are your top tips?

Current Mood:

pancake tuesday

i've never actually had a pancake do that before... it went all whoopee cushion like... weird!Today is Shrove Tuesday... so that means one thing, and one thing only.

Pancakes!

It's about the only time during the whole year where I can be bothered to make pancakes, possibly because I usually overindulge and totally pig out on them, and hence am not really interested in them again for about twelve months.

And when I say "pancakes", clearly I'm talking about the thin delicate crepe kind of pancake... not the fat flurry American kind.

Last night I grabbed "The Usborne First Cookbook" (which I've had for about a thousand years, and I know has a pancake recipe in it) off the shelf, and discovered that because I'm such a creature of habit, I actually had kept the recipe that Ma gave me on a slip of paper where the book's version of pancakes is.

And this morning before I went to work, I mixed up the batter (probably far too much batter to be honest) and left it to brew or ferment or whatever batter does.

I'm not completely sure where the recipe Ma gave me comes from... I'm guessing from my Nanna originally, and possibly from her mother before her... or else from some long forgotten cookbook and just absorbed into the family and claimed as ours.

So I figured I'd share it with all of you. It's not like pancake recipes aren't amongst the simplest things you can make... you can't really go wrong with eggs, milk and flour... but this mixture has never let me down.

Although this time it did do a weird whoopee cushion inflating thing a couple of times that I've never seen it do before... it was fine when they came out of the pan though. I'm guessing it may be to do with the fact the mixture was fermenting for twelve hours.

Pancakes

1½ cups of plain flour
Pinch of salt
2 eggs
2½ cups of milk

Sift the flour and salt into a bowl.

Mix the eggs and the milk and combine with the flour slowly, ensuring that the flour is fully incorporated.

Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour or until needed.

Heat a medium sized frypan (non-stick... because it's just easier) until hot, coat lightly with butter (or use spray oil) and pour in enough mixture to cover the bottom of the pan (normally I use a soup ladle, since it makes for easy pouring) and tilt frypan to let the mixture cover the base.

Once the pancake moves freely in the pan and the underside starts to turn golden, flip it over and cook for another minute or so.

Serve with sugar and lemon, or honey, or Nutella and sliced banana.

Current Mood:

unconscious mutterings 473

Today seemed to go really, really, really quickly. Which is good.

Unconscious Mutterings...
  1. Crown :: Thomas Crown Affair
  2. Landmark :: Court case
  3. Shock :: Shock and awe
  4. Affair :: The Mysterious Affair at Styles
  5. Appear :: Disappear
  6. Contemplate :: Navel
  7. Hinge :: Door
  8. Function :: Form follows function
  9. Obstinate :: Child
  10. Fulfill :: Destiny
Current Mood:

lunchtime mr sloppy hunt

mr sloppy lunchtime hunt that contains adult content mr sloppy!
no standing mr sloppy mr sloppy's planter
Last year it took me about five months to hunt down about twenty versions of Mr Sloppy...

This year I've already found sixteen and I've only been looking for three days.

Today it was a wander from Victoria Square, through Topham Mall, down to Hindley Street and then back up to Franklin Street.

Obviously they're much more plentiful this year! I'm just a little disappointed they don't seem to be as individualised or personalised this time. There's no pink, orange or blue coloured variants... at least not yet. I mean there is the spraycan/paste up variants... but it's not the same.

Also, this happened...

eyebird off hindleyAbout half a dozen or so of these little birdies with various coloured eyes are now loose on the streets of Adelaide.

Let me know if you see any... I really have no idea how long the stickum on the back of them works... or how well.

Although I really do need to either not put them up in the middle of the day or just be more observant about who's around. I haven't been especially subtle on a couple of occasions.

Current Mood:

fringe: tom flanagan - kaput

tom flanagan - kaputTom Flanagan's solo debut, Kaput, is a full service show.

Not only is it a one-man dynamo of a show... but he also stamps your ticket as you enter, provides the popcorn and mingles with the crowd after the show.

I would quite happily put this show alongside both of the shows by The Boy With Tape On His Face.

The feel of the show is quite similar in a lot of ways (a predominantly silent performer, great comic timing, the great use of props, a liking for the lovelier female audience members, a bucketload of charm), although Flanagan's show has more of it's roots in a kind of Chaplin and Three Stooges type of slapstick (although Ma compared him more to Norman Wisdom).

And if you're familiar with that genre of humour, then you will see some of the gags coming a mile off, but Flanagan performs them with such enthusiasm, style, comic timing and often acrobatic skill that it doesn't matter. I still found myself laughing for almost the entire show.

Plus it doesn't hurt that he's as cute as a bug's ear... and charmed the audience without a word.

There are a few standout moments (mostly involving a ladder, but also, surprisingly, one involving an apple) that show off his circus skills, but it's Flanagan's performance that really makes the show.

And how can you not love a performer who is clearly enjoying himself so much that the audience's reaction makes them laugh. In fact Ma was having such a great time and laughing so much, he not only laughed because of it but also shushed her (in a nice way).

It's definitely a show that's worth a look (I would suggest an evening show... the 3:30pm show may be a little "kid heavy"... unless you have kids, then by all means)... and I think we'll be seeing more of Mr Tom Flanagan in future Fringes!

Also, buy a sticker or a fridge magnet afterwards... and tell him how much you enjoyed the show!

Current Mood:

pre fringe shopping saturday

1950's shoppingThere's not that much to tell about today...

Essentially it was all about doing the shopping in the morning and filling in time until we went to our first Fringe performance in the afternoon.

And even the supermarket stuff was a little bit average, since I thought I was going to be out of the house more days than I may end up being... but I still got the basics.

After that, we came back here... messed around with laptops and iPhones for a bit... transferring files, updating things (mostly from Ma's side of the fence) and generally dithering about for a while.

Then we headed into town, not with any real aim in mind... other than the possibility of hunting Mr Sloppy... which worked out quite well actually.

After watching The Magnets perform at the Fringe Caravan in the Mall we wandered down to The Garden of Unearthly Delights to get something to eat, check everything out, that kind of thing.

They've moved pretty much everything around this year. There aren't as many venues at the East Terrace end... in fact, the Garden doesn't seem to go as close to East Terrace as it's done the last couple of years.

Maybe they wanted people to head further into the Garden, I don't know. It also feels like there's less venues... I know that I'm going to see a bunch of things across the road in Gluttony this year, whereas previous years have been very Garden-heavy.

But it's nice to have the Garden back either way.

We got lunch from the burger stall (it's not Burger Theory, but it's not bad... oooh, imagine that... Burger Theory in the Garden.... *drools*) and, as always, drinks from the lemonade cart.

Then we still had a whole bunch of time to kill, so we wandered down to the East Terrace end where there was proper, decent shade (and places to sit)... Ma bonded with a couple of toddlers... and eventually we headed over to start lurking around Le Cascadeur until showtime.

More on the show a bit later...

Afterwards, we pretty much just got some of the Bush Tucker Ice Cream and headed back to the car.

I think the next month is going to be like that a lot... lots of doing other things waiting around for Fringe shows.

And, you know what, I actually can't wait!

Current Mood:

the rise of chibi mr sloppy

mr sloppy's street dreams mr sloppy meets red bricks
mr sloppy posts no bills mr sloppy pastes it up
mr sloppy on charles mr sloppy likes to cycle
drink from mr sloppy mr sloppy goes green
mr sloppy gets wood mr sloppy goes to the pole
sneaky upsidedown mr sloppy mr sloppy dreamin on the corner
It's officially that time of year again... both the Fringe and the Street Dreams mascot, Mr Sloppy, have invaded the city of Adelaide.

This year's Mr Sloppy has a completely new look... he's what I'm calling Chibi Sloppy... and he appears to be available in a range of sizes. Plus there are at least two... the regular red one and the blue "paste up" variant.

The smaller size seems to have made Mr Sloppy much more plentiful... these are all from one walk from King William Street down to the Garden of Unearthly Delights.

He also seems more... mischievous this year... last year was friendly if a little dopey... but this year he's definitely up to no good!

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