Amazing Matilda

I returned from a morning smoko this week with hubby, utterly disappointed with my truly uninterested audience’s response to my review from having attended Matilda the Musical the night before! Fortunately I have a blog to express my views on too – so here is take 2 on my ravings, fingers crossed you are more appreciative 😛

Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical as performed at the Adelaide Festival Theatre – *spoilers abound*

Walking into the theatre and seeing the set, was a bit like the Beast leading Belle into the castle’s library.

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Then came the first song, SO. MUCH. ENERGY. It was phenomenal, particularly the choreography.  The next highlight for me was the School Song, the lyrics to this (and again the dancing!) blew me away.

“So you think you’re a (A)ble
To survive this mess by be (B) ing a Prince or a Princess
You will soon see(C)
There’s no escaping tragedy (D)
And e (E) ven (E)
If you put in heaps of eff (F)ort
You’re just wasting energy(G)
‘Cause your life as you know it is an (H) cient  history

All the way through to … Just you wait for Phys-ed (Z)” (from Matilda London Cast – School Song Lyrics | MetroLyrics)

We soon meet Miss Trunchball – character perfection! First her (his) twirling baton in the first act but so much more spectacularly and hilariously in the song The Smell of Rebellion. The second act started with an almost comedic routine by Matilda’s Dad Mr. Wormwood. He started with the hallmarks of a ‘don’t try this at home’ warning, quite relevant for all the gymnastic moves we’d seen so far, but instead directed at reading. My niece was giving off death stares, how dare he speak against books and poor Nicole who put her hand up!

I can’t say enough how much the cast amazed me with their dancing. Favourites for me included Bruce, When I Grow Up (the swings!) and Revolting Children (particularly Bruce’s centre stage!)

All the characters were so well performed, Mrs Wormwood, Matilda’s brother Michael, Miss Honey, Miss Phelps and the Russian Boss with his pink lolly pop  – just to name a limited few. And to end it all off they came out for the finale riding colourful scooters.

It truly a masterpiece. Thank you to my family for taking me.

Within the program (which, yes I read cover to cover!) comments by the music and lyric and script writer’s (Dennis Kelly and Tim Minchin) were written under the title Books vs Stories. Dennis Kelly suggested a very good research direction – ‘do chimps tell stories’ and do animals have imagination? For he proposed our imaginations are a ‘vibrant necessary part of being alive’ and ‘without stories we’re just eating machines with shoes’. I’ve just shared a video on FB in response to Pauline Hanson’s* hideous comments regarding (I believe) segregation of children on the autism disorder spectrum. Matilda the Musical demonstrates that there are two types of people – those who love stories and those who don’t. It is clear to me which group Ms Hanson is in – the mean, irritating and stupid. So unlike the Miss Honey’s of the world; kind generous, alive and loving. ‘Denying stories is denying the most human part of being a human.’ Much like Ms Hanson is deny the lived experience/story of all people with disabilities.

I also took away from this show not so much the message to be A Little Bit Naughty although Matilda taught it well but something I prefer to tell my children that

Just because you find that life’s not fair it
Doesn’t mean that you just have to grin and bear it!
If you always take it on the chin and wear it
You might as well be saying
You think that it’s okay
And that’s not right!
And if its not right!
You have to put it right!

But nobody else is gonna put it right for me
nobody but me is gonna change my story

Tim Minchin wrote that ‘stories are best when… like a rollercoaster, with highs and lows, twists and turns, a good bit of fear and the significant risk that someone may vomit, ‘ which indeed Matilda had all, with music to accentuate all of these experiences.

After attending events like this I suddenly have a great desire to become a leading supporter of the Arts, unfortunately this like my dream job of being a philanthropist tends to go by the way side. But I do go a little bit crazy on Wikipedia and FB like-ing.  While as a christian I don’t think I can fully support Tim Minchin (renound atheist), his talent is undeniable and Matilda and Me his DVD is officially on my wishlist.

To finish off – interesting fact, Roald Dahl began writing Matilda when he was 70

 

WWW Wednesday 14th June

I’m back!

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s fun and simple, you just have to answer the three W’s: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next? You can also join by answering and linking your blog post back on Sam’s post.

What are you currently reading:

On the back burners Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert and Silence by Shūsaku Endō

What did you recently finish reading:

Voyager by Diana Gabaldon (book #3 in the Outlander series) – this book was my long weekend, handed in a big assignment treat. And what a treat it was. There were a few things I was perhaps a bit disappointed in but overall I just love the passion between Jamie and Claire and all the adventures they manage to find themselves in and the characters they surround themselves with. I was just mostly disappointed with how the Jenny/Laoghaire/Claire issue was resolved. Diana amazed me with her plot creativity

I also finished  The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton somewhat recently after a mammoth effort – the thing about audio books is you don’t know how big they are (page wise) when choosing and this one was a 700 pager!

What do you think you’ll read next:

The Messenger by Markus Zusak, our next bookclub book. I’m pretty keen to get into Outlander #4 too!

Plus

Which children’s book I liked:

Graeme Base’s Little Bug Books very cute, cool opening flaps and my 4 year old loved finding the bug!

 

 

I’ve also made some progress on the When are you reading Challenge

Progress Tracker

Pre 1500 – The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

1500-1599 

1600-1699 – in progress….Silence

1700-1799 – Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

1800-1899  The Luminaries – Eleanor Catton

1900-1919

1920-1939 – The Small Woman by Alan Burgess

1940-1959

1960-1979 – Exposure by Helen Dunmore

1980-1999 

2000-Present – (big little lies?)

The Future 

I’ve still been thinking of you.

Dear WordPress,

I’ve been a bit absent and sadly I think it’s set to continue. I love you and think of you daily – endless small thoughts of things I want to share but finding the time and space to actually type those down … just doesn’t seem to happen.

 

There was the day I attended the funeral of a pillar of my local community

The day we were out celebrating a 1st birthday and at the same venue was a woman celebrating her 100th birthday

The movie Still Alice, an amazing insight into dementia

The books I’ve finished – Psalms, Lamentations, Dragonfly in Amber (and how I’ve worked so hard to stop myself starting Book 3 of the Outlander series until I finish my study for the semester!), A Man called Possum – written about a local character, a generous unusual man who lived entirely off the land, and tonight A Quiet Strength by Janette Oke an old quick favourite which was just perfect for a Friday night

The vulnerability to depressive thoughts I’ve been reading about in my counselling studies and battling in my daily life and then learning that perhaps instead of battling I could find a way to accept (?)

Days of feeling like a super Mum (ok one day where all it took was a little extra effort after providing rather boring holidays!)

Enjoying the blue sky-filled days, walking the dog (followed by the pet sheep!), watching all the men moving various machinery

The struggle to balance feeling productive, feeling rested and just getting stuff done

Re-connecting with friends and realising we all struggle with dealing with social anxieties

Worrying about my hard-working husband, hoping seeding is nearly done so he can rest

 

You’re good therapy for me WordPress, even just the thought of being able to share on you can be enough. So please excuse me as I keep on keeping on. I will be back.

sincerely

GJ

 

 

 

Home day curse?

I’ve done my back. Well actually the issue is more in my hips and it is very much improved from Wednesday but….

First time this year I had some free time our puppy broke his leg

Second time I got majorly stressed out

Third time I couldn’t walk for 2 days

I’m sensing a pattern I am in no way impressed with. But then again these things are meant to come in threes so I should be ok now, right? Right?!?

Life however is good

I’ve been really enjoying A Place to Call Home although it has also challenged my beliefs around homosexuality – the treatment of a man in this series because of his sexual desires is horrific

I’ve caught up on my wordpress feed, so much good stuff – I think my next challenge is to read a non-fiction book perhaps one by Neil Postman

I’ve handed in all due assignments so far – this week will be the big challenge though with my first lengthy essay.

All three of my teams won their games today – be warned netball related post on my mind

I love my kids and family – what more can i say 🙂

Hope you’re weekend is going well, preferably less the aches and pains I’m experiencing but also full of love.

 

It’s nice to touch base, God bless

 

ps Feel free to share a tidbit from your life – I need all the distraction from study I can get!!

WWW Wednesday – 29th March

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words and it’s my weekly reminder to blog! No actually it’s a fun way to share my reading habits and a simple way (especially with hubby at footy training) to get something written. Anyone can participate. All you’ve got to do is answer the three Ws . Go check out other blogger’s contributions too, it’s a great way to connect.

What are you currently reading:

Making actual progress on Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert, finished a chapter on the history of marriage which has given me food for thought and inspiration for a future blog post on civil unions

Finding Fraser by K.C Dyer is officially deleted but I did start a new audio book I picked up from the library – The Luminaries by Elanor Catton. I’m not 100% taken by the writing style but the mystery and secrets will keep me listening.

What did you recently finish reading:

Snow and Shadow by Dorothy Tse – a strange book of short stories best explained by this wonderful review. My favourite story was The Love Between Leaf and Knife which I found very relatable despite the bizarre characters and actions.

What do you think you’ll read next:

I downloaded Left Neglected by Lisa Genova, same author as Still Alice but it will go back on my TBR pile I think along with A Year of Wonders from the library. I’m after a light easy read next which I think will be Coming Home by Stacy Hawkins Adams, it’s book one in a series which I already read and purchased part 2 of, a christian novel.

I’d like to add this week…

Which children’s book I’d recommend:

The Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark by Ken Geist and illustrated by Julia Gorton. A modern take on The Three Little Pigs with Jim, Tim, Kim  and their finny fin fins. I love the font and layout of the words, they make it so easy to do voices. Plus it has the feminist touch of Kim choosing the safest housing option.

Which tv series am I binge watching now:

I was desperately need in something worthwhile to watch on tv and am loving my introduction to Season One of A Place to Call Home. Strong characters and I just love the 1950’s time period in Australia. Also giving me food for thought in relation to marriage.

 

What’s keeping you sane this week? Feel free to add your own W questions 🙂

 

 

The Failed Experiment

The other night I started a reading for my ‘Working with Mental Health’ course about anxiety and I must say I was feeling pretty impressed with myself. Alas the pride before the fall (or however the saying goes). I was feeling good about how I hadn’t really been experiencing anxiety that I could think of, hooray my self-confidence seemed to be travelling well.

I had a great Saturday but work Friday and Sunday were stressful, not unexpectedly leading up to work-shadowing on Monday! An anxious response to such an event is perfectly normally (as my reading told me). But now I must confess to my attempted experiment. I’ve had a few weekends away recently when I’ve left my medications at home and survived! Following that I thought to myself, well perhaps I’m ready to reduce my anti-depressants, and without consultation I stopped one of my daily tablets reducing my intake by 75mg.

Today I declared this experiment a failure and returned to taking my prescribed dosage. And I’m annoyed. I’ve been feeling more stressed and emotionally worn out but there is no evidence to be able to assuredly say that this is because of my reduced medication. It could just as likely be due simply to more stressful life circumstances in recent weeks. But why put myself through extra stress if the tablets do help? And so my brain has been on over-drive, overthinking, over analyzing over …  I was going to wait until after today to decide if it was medication or life affecting me, as today is my free day. No kids, no travel, just home with a chance to get on top of things. I’ve been waiting for this day and now that it’s here there is pressure to make sure it’s not wasted. Pressure on my free day?!? Good work brain. So I took the tablet this morning and I’m annoyed at myself at being disappointed. I have no qualms about taking medication for my mental health and yet it still seems an ideal to reduce that medication. I like to think it’s a cost thing because less medications equals less money spent but I’m financially blessed so really what does it matter…..?

Now faithful readers I’m going to give you an insight into the justifications that have been going round and round my head – reasons why I’ve been feeling more stressed out:

  • Reading about anxiety is bound to bring up feelings of anxiety
  • Assignments are looming and I don’t feel like I’ve had a chance to sit down and really focus on study (that was what today was for)
  • The box of papers that I’ve been constantly adding to, to sort through, but not finding time to deal with
  • Waking up to a messy kitchen/house
  • Relationship stuff
  • Parenting stuff
  • Just a general sense of not feeling on top of all that is coming up
  • Decisions to be made around playing netball and after school activities
  • Feeling so worn out and taking time to nap rather than putting those drawers I bought weeks ago into my bedroom and continuing the process of decluttering
  • Preparing for upcoming birthdays
  • Buying a new car
  • Preparing for work
  • Doing those exercises my therapist gave me not to mention trying to eat better…
  • Making time for blogging 😊
  • Actually clearing the table not just reorganising into different piles!
  • Oooh not to mention my period starting

Oh my what a release to actually write some of those things out. I am a list lover but I’ve tended in recent times to avoid them as they so often get made and then simply added to that box of papers. I think I can work with this list above. I think I may be able to acknowledge some of those stressors and move on.

I feel like this week my brain has gone back to that cycle of overthinking whereas when I’m truly well, I don’t think I just do. I don’t rehash and work on justifying I just feel. But I’m not really sure maybe it’s all just the reverse-placebo effect, maybe I’m making a mountain out of a molehill, maybe I’m mis-remembering.

And maybe today was a good day. Maybe today was just what I needed to get back on track of all those thoughts going round and round. Another good day. I got what I needed to done, not all that would have been ideal but some extra stuff too aka a normal good day. I don’t really care about the medication, even though I’m feeling much better now I’m not goin to re-attempt the experiment (just yet :p ) but I will keep working on and addressing my mental health after all it’s what keep me sane!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friendship….

almost 900 kms

In the past two days I haven driven almost 900kms. Two hundred is pretty normal for me over two days, if I’m doing anything other than staying at home but 900 is super tiring. I had a 500km round trip yesterday with our puppy to have a check up with his surgeon. He broke his leg about six weeks ago and then two weeks ago had to have a second surgery due to damage to his tissues and knee cap, fortunately it seems we are on track now and fingers crossed I only have to do that trip one more time (realistically probably 2…)

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Back in our home town I then had the school pick up, swimming and dance run to complete with an added netball team trial for me. When I finally got home 13.5 hours after leaving I had some uni readings to finish before today’s (only 3 hour return) drive. My study course involves practice counselling sessions with a fellow student and this was our midpoint. Needless to say I am incredibly delighted to now be at home, chilling on the couch, kids already asleep!

I am also delighted to announce that I have finally been able to close the monster truck party tabs on my internet explorer. It’s been on my to-do list since the start of the Christmas holidays but non-surprisingly only got attended to in the last few weeks (days :p). Nonetheless it a huge success and spent the next two days recovering.

Tonight would normally be my WWW Wednesday post but I’m feeling a bit sad that that’s all I’ve been managing lately, then again it keeps me ticking so ‘watev’s‘… hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words, it’s fun and simple, all you have to answer the three W’s: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next? You can also join by answering and linking your blog post back on Sam’s post.

Currently reading:

Yep Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert is still there.

Enjoying Snow and Shadow by Dorothy Tse even if it is a bit weird.

Finding Fraser by K.C Dyer although I can’t take much of it at a time!

Finished reading:

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. Simply amazing. 5 stars

Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them—in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul—they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation. Goodreads.

I borrowed this book without reading the back cover, which I sometimes think is a good way to go, no expectations. I appreciated the narrator on the audio book pronouncing names and words I’m sure I would have completely stuffed up and really taking me into the world of Afghanistan. And how astounding it was to enter that world through the eyes of these two women. Can’t recommend enough.

Reading next:

Without a doubt Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini has moved up the list. Plus all those uni readings…