Doing it the Old Way in Sydney Town

I was lucky enough to fly to Sydney for a night on Saturday, and halfway to the airport I realised I’d forgotten my laptop. Being (maybe a little) obsessed with writing my new story, the three hours (return) writing time on the plane was what I’d most been looking forward to.

So I spent $3.95 on a pen and notebook at the airport. The best thing about using a notebook is that you can write while you take-off and land, as long as you’re happy to rest your book on your lap. As a result I got more written than I would have on a computer. The downside was entering it all in when I got back. I hate that shit.

Sydney was a dream. I took no luggage, wore three jumpers and spent most of my time wondering around the Queen Victoria Building. So beautiful, decorative and old; opened in 1898. My mum always took me there to shop when I was a kid in the early (okay, late) 20th century. We used to stay in Sydney at my nan’s for about one week a year.

I also went to the Art Gallery of NSW, which is like the Tardis — much bigger on the inside than the outside, and transports one to various times and relative dimensions in mind-space.

Mum got on the phone to me, telling me to ask a curator to direct me to the painting of Cleopatra and Samson (well, that’s what I thought she said). So I asked a guy in a blue jacket and he said, ‘It’s probably the painting of the Queen of Sheba meeting Solomon,’ and I’m like … WOW! That’s so not what I asked for, but exactly what I was looking for. He told me the gallery had it commissioned, and the pattern on the frame matched the pattern in the painting, which is one of the things mum wanted tell me.

The people in blue jackets not only defend the artworks’ space and dignity, they know stuff, too.

I was thoroughly moved by Patricia Piccinini‘s The Comforter.

The people she creates are so real and emotive.

I also loved the trippy paintings that create optical illusions by artists such as Frank Stella, and that feeling Ugo Rondinone creates with his bright concentric circles, like you’re looking into another dimension.

I got to drink Martinis with my old friend, who is a fine pianist, and his man.

In other news, I got a surprise invite to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow last night at Gold Coast Arts Centre. It was funny and very rude. I’m still chuckling.

Oh, and the Jetstar chick swore at me because I was late boarding the plane. Are they allowed to do that? I figure she knew I had to keep running so I couldn’t stop and punch her.


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