Monday, May 25, 2015


By Tony Curran

I think it a really lovely thing. Not just the portrait, but the fact that we, as a town, could do this; sit in front of an artist and have this experience, in our town. So cool, thanks Tony Curran!

Speaking of fine art and culture, we are so not over Eurovision yet. Some of us watched it live, then watched the replay, then watched our recordings. Andrew just downloaded the album and Joss recorded some footage of Bethany and me, singing and dancing to our favourites. Thankfully, the video only caught Joss singing, and no music, so she won't be tempted to post it anywhere.

Guy Sebastian did such a great job, his song was awesome and he was the best singer there. To be in the top five is an extraordinary achievement and I don't know if the joy of the experience can be repeated.

I am a wee bit tired, though. Thankfully, there is a gap to enable recovery before late nights watching some blokes cycle through France.

Friday, May 22, 2015


Joss is a Eurovision tragic. She has been listening to all the songs she loves from semi-final one, watched on Wednesday evening. On Thursday night she announced that she would be getting up at five to watch the second semi. I wasn't so sure; Friday is a long work day for me, but I thought it would be a fun thing to do together, so I set my alarm.

I usually get up at six, and five is when I get up to go to the airport. I rugged up and wandered out but Joss wasn't there. I opened her door and whispered "Are you coming?". She piked!

There was little point going back to bed, so I made a cup of tea and enjoyed the show.

I enjoyed it again when the rest of the family caught up after dinner, and then we raced through the replay of the first semi to see the backstage interviews not featured in the live show.

Our favourites so far? We have quite a few, but can narrow it down to Belgium and Sweden.

Tomorrow morning I'll get up early again, though I am loathe to lose an opportunity to sleep in. I couldn't possibly wait until Sunday night.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


It's like SBS conspires to make sure we don't get enough sleep. Andrew and Joss have watched a fair bit of the Giro (cycling tour in Italy) but I have mainly just caught up with the highlights. On Wednesday night, however, I realised just how like Le Tour it is, only with new, beautiful, Italian scenery.

In the end, I took the middle road. I didn't get up at 5am after staying up late for the cycling, I recorded the first semi-final of Eurovision and we watched it last night. Not the hardcore option that took advantage of our one chance to vote for real, but not the soft option of waiting until Friday night.

The first semi was awesome, by the way. Already, passions are running hot in our household as we disagreed with who went through (our fault as we did not vote ourselves!).

So far, no one has sported crimped hair. It turns out that while she enjoys the plaits, Bethany isn't a fan of the crimped look either. I don't think I'll spend another hour doing that.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The reader

By Tony Curran

My lovely friend, Sonya, is married to Tony Curran, an artist. Tony has an exhibition on at the art gallery and members of the public have been able to book a session with him, where he 'paints' their portrait on his iPad. I decided to book a session for my birthday lunchtime.

When I look through the Flickr collection of all the portraits, there are so many people I recognise from around town; people from my work, church, in my book club, who work at council. Even when their faces aren't finished, I can still tell, at first glance, who they are. Don't you think it's extraordinary what he can capture in one hour?

I booked another session so it can be finished, though I love this one as it is. I love my shoes and basket, my shirt and that he was pretty flattering in terms of size! In case you are interested, the book I was reading (and I did, indeed, read during the sitting, though I managed to chat a little bit - it's hard to pose as reading and not actually do it) was The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl, which I was reading for work, and the book on the top of the pile is Wallace Stegner's Angle of Repose, which I am not enjoying as much as Crossing to Safety, but that is a hard book to beat.

I think this is a pretty special thing to have; well worth the sore back and restless leg that comes from sitting like this for an hour! I can wear exactly the same outfit when I go for the second sitting, but the books will be different and my hair will have grown.....