Thursday, September 23, 2010
What I’m grateful for in Bris-Vegas:
1. QUT: I’m grateful to Craig Bolland from Creative Industries at the Queensland University of Technology, and for my second invitation to lecture and to run workshops with students at QUT. This week saw me run workshops on memoir and travel writing, while also having the gift of being able to focus on edits of Paris Dreaming [out through Random House, April 2011] I love the community feel to the campus at Kelvin Grove and the added bonus of bumping into a very old, and much loved and missed old friend in the car park.
2. MACARTHUR CHAMBERS: Although I was looking forward to spending time in sunny QLD I was grateful for a week of wet weather so I wasn’t lured out to the roof-top pool at that Macarthur Chamber Apartments on Edward Street. A stunning space to set up my lap-top to write, the apartment (sadly without much natural light) was comfy and best of all, centrally located i.e. three minutes walk to Tiffany’s!
3. TIFFANY’S BRISBANE: Well, it’s been nearly two months since I entered a Tiffany’s store. The last one was at Raffles in Singapore in July, so as you can imagine I was having withdrawals. After four hours of teaching I needed to clear my head by trying on some jewellery. Today’s dream piece: an Edwardian period ring with a 1.77-carat Legacy-cut aquamarine and round brilliant diamonds in platinum. Thanks to the fabulous girl behind the counter who let me play while only purchasing some perfume. Signature blue bag in hand, I toddled off back to the hotel to work for another few hours. I’m easily please!
4. POWERHOUSE: There’s nothing better than a sunset cocktail and catch up at the Powerhouse in New Farm. I usually choose Watt Restaurant but settled for bar food before heading in to see The Oracle as part of Brisbane Festival. Unfortunately, none of the guests I attended with appreciated the production. While Paul White is an extraordinary dancer – his moves reminding me I need to do more stretches – the performance itself was like watching SBS without the subtitles. And while he moved with precision in his y-fronts, I’m yet to understand the need to appear naked covered in baby power while licking the stage. While I mightn’t have appreciated the story – because I didn’t know what it was – I did appreciate and am grateful for seeing such an exceptional body on stage. Note to self: read program before seeing next contemporary dance production.
5. FALLING IN LOVE: While walking along Edward Street yesterday morning I realised that even with a long list of issues that cause me anxiety, I have the capacity to, and often do fall in love with the day ahead of me. Even better, that realisation occurred before I’d even had any caffeine!
6. FRIENDS: The absolute highlight of my week in Brisbane was being able to catch up with friends: brekkie with Sidonie, dinner in West End with Jackie, coffee with Neil, dinner on the deck with Joan, drinks with JD and KK. I didn’t have time to get lonely at all, let’s face it, I barely had time to work! I’m grateful at how generous, hospitable and accommodating my friends are. I am incredibly lucky.
[Today’s pic taken outside the Powerhouse. Installation art made from orange milk crates, sorry couldn’t find on the Powerhouse website who the artist is]