Saturday, December 18, 2010

Oprah round-up & reminiscences

I thought I had better get this out of the way  and out of my head, it is a bit long, but it must be taken from the hard disc!

To be honest, the lead up to Oprah was more exciting than the actual event. I jetted down to Sydney, found some old work colleques at the airport who also won tickets, spent some wonderful time with my sis, op-shopped, popped into a new stockist,  ate at Otto's at Woolloomooloo Wharf (saffron brulee to die for, so pretty you didn't want to eat it...but I did, with great gusto!) and sat next to John Laws (who I have just found out is co-owner...that answers alot of questions sis!), had a wonderful Hendricks  gin and tonic (made from cucumber and rose petals, checkout the website it is fabulous) at the InterContinental, and sat in the sun in bad seats for four hours, with virtually no view of the stage and having to rely on a big screen to see the performances.

Don't get me wrong. Geez, I got a diamond necklace out of it. It was an event I don't think I would have missed. It just smacked of big business and big bucks. The questions to the celebraties were blatant 'tourism' topics and quite boring. If Hugh hadn't have crashed, it would have been very insipid.

I did like the little talk Oprah gave at the end. She only spoke for a couple of minutes, but (I believe) spoke from the heart and was very inspiring. I will carry it with me.

Less inspiring (OK, I am critical, but also I hope I am not completely gullible...I feel you must ask questions in life) was the little rant one of the 302ers gave at the beginning of the show. He had written a poem and sang it in a beautiful gospel manner, however, (I feel) he went a bit far when he started preaching about God and how 'O' stands for obedience to God. A bit cultish and cringy and not at all apropriate to the occasion or the Australian culture.

I also didn't like how the MC mentioned that she had been told that "Australians always did as they were told." (Or something to that effect) Oooh, that got my goat up! At one stage she even told the audience to take a sip of water, and looking around, alot of people did! I think I have enough sense to take a drink of water when I am thirsty, thank-you very much!

Anyhoo, enough! The overall experience was great and it got me out of the house.

Whilst in Sydney, I popped into one of my new stockists, Paper2 in Crown Street, Surry Hills. It is a lovely shop and I went beserk buying bits and pieces. Owned by Margaret Rockliff, it is a boutique paper shop that stocks paper products from around the world as well as Margaret's own inhouse designs.

I was surprised that all of that Surry Hills area has been transformed into a great bohemian quarter with famous people having coffees on the pavement and wonderful little boutique shops.

A little segue...we were married around the corner in St Peters church in the late 80's and the area was definately grungier then. (A friend played the songs of The Big Chill on the organ...I walked up the isle to 'our song', You Can't Always Get What You Want. I had a peek inside the church (it was all locked up) and if looked as if it had been renovated. (With Orson & Blake oppposite them, it had to happen) I always remember Father Phil saying he would never lock the church up, that it was for everyone, and he would rather just lock away what was left of the good silver. (Man of the people, was Father Phil!)

Another segue, years ago I read Ruth Park's autobiography, and she and D'Arcy Niland lived in Devonshire Street in the thirties. I always thought she had long gone, but was surprised and saddened to hear that she died this week. Her books are amongst my all time favourites, and as Surry Hills was my old stomping ground in early 80's (bands and the Rag Trade) I often used to walk and drive around imagining ye olde othertimes. I don't know why, maybe she painted a wonderfully vivid picture or maybe I was just some weird slum obsessive.

Like Oprah, (and  Father Phil) she has left an impression on me. I am still reflecting on all of the memories that this trip to Sydney has given me, and I must admit, the stongest was the Oprah's little speech at the end of the show, though the pretty food at Otto's and the cucumber gin are coming a close second, depending on the time of day, when they jump to number one.

1 comment:

  1. surry hills sounds like my kinda place to visit. your description reminds me a little of hampstead heath... that shop!!



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