June has flown by. I started the month in the UK, I finish it sleep deprived but gripped by World Cup fever.
May has been a crazy busy month. That’s why I’m a few days late posting this. There’s plenty of good stuff packed into this. I went to a couple of gigs, watched heaps of films and visited England for the first time in a few years.
April went way too quickly. Perhaps it wasn’t quite as productive as March but I still had some interesting experiences. Some of the stuff that I enjoyed might be enjoyable for you too.
March sees the anniversary of my moving to Australia. It also seems like a stupidly long month following the four weeks of February. Luckily, I’ve kept busy so it hasn’t dragged. Easter arriving at the end of the month has helped too. Here’s hoping you might enjoy some of the stuff I’ve been enjoying this month.
Stuff I’ve been doing
One of my housemates moved out this month. She was a good one unlike others that have come before. We went to Handpicked Cellar Door and then wandered around watching Sydney’s Mardi Gras parade.
I did my semi-regular stop in at Wildflower. This time for the Amber with sour cherries, as well as quite a few other special beers. It was an incredibly fun afternoon and I’m always blown away by the vibe at the cellar door.
I’ve interviewed a couple of brewers this month for the website and also went to Shenanigans Brewing’s third birthday at Bucket Boys in Marrickville. That was fun.
I went to a couple of concerts this month. Seu Jorge at the Opera House and Gomez at Enmore Theatre.
Seu Jorge was sensational. The music was spine-tingling, moving, and just beautiful. He spoke English in a thick Brazilian accent and told stories about how he came to work on The Life Aquatic and tales from his time working on the film. He was brilliantly funny. It was a touching tribute to Bowie and he closed the encore by getting up, throwing his shirt around his head and dancing to “Let’s Dance” before sitting back down and going into a jaunty version of Mas Que Nada. I reckon at least half of the audience were Brazilian and they brought an atmosphere like nothing I’ve experienced at a concert before. The singing, dancing and joy was infectious. I’m so glad I went.
Gomez were incredible too. They played most of Bring It On and then went into a few other songs. They had incredible energy and were so in sync in their performance. There were parts that brought the late 90s and early 00s back to life. They captured the audience from the start and held onto us throughout. Although it was an audience which in the last 20 years has traded the baggy tees for collared shirts, while the smell of stale lager and cheap vodka has been replaced by Dove moisturiser and Deep Heat. It didn’t matter much, everyone was in the moment while they were playing. It was awesome.
AFL season has got underway and I’m involved in a fantasy league this season. We had a live draft at the pub and I’ve been spending a bit of time tweaking my team. I’ve also published my predictions for this AFL season. I’m bound to be wrong.
I had a couple of really productive weeks with running, reading, writing as well as some beer events including the launch of The Craft Beer Guide to NSW to which I contributed. I packed a lot in. Haven’t been sleeping well but it’s not for lack of trying.
I booked tickets for GABS down in Melbourne in May. I’ve been planning that trip a little bit.
I went a couple of weeks without playing football but got back into it (although the first week back left me limping all week – running throughout the week didn’t help my recovery). I managed to grab three goals in three weeks which is unusual for me.
At home I’ve been enjoying cooking a fair bit. I’ve fallen into a comfortable place with it. Simple small dishes using few, nice but simple ingredients and trying to work on presentation. Most of my inspiration is coming from Italian or Japanese food. I’d post photos but food photos are boring anyway, let alone when it’s dull iPhone photos of my homemade dinner in low light. I also made focaccia which was an excellent decision.
One foodie thing which has changed my life and my waistline is cultured butter. It tastes so much better. Do yourself a favour.
The month has including the usual beery wanderings including Bitter Phew, Wayward, Batch and Staves but I also visited Poor Toms Gin Hall on its opening weekend. It’s a warehouse space in Marrickville but it looks beautiful inside. I went to Creek & Cella with Callum and Megan for dinner as well.
Stuff I’ve been watching
I’ve been making the most of Netflix. I’d never seen When Harry Met Sally before but to be honest it’s pretty much perfect. I watched AI Artificial Intelligence, another film which I never got round to watching all the way through. I tried to watch it when I was younger but fell asleep. I didn’t realise how highly rated it was. I just don’t see it though. Not my thing.
I watched the First Team Juventus documentary series which is kind of cool. It’s well shot and it’s cool to see behind the scenes and learn a bit more about some of the characters at the club. It all feels a bit like a propaganda film which kind of fits with their rebrand that aims to make them a properly global brand.
The Irish Pub is a lovely, lyrical look at quirky pubs in Ireland. It’s gentle and fun. That’s not something you can say about the Fifa corruption documentary. It’s frustrating and a little bit dull.
I’ve watched a bit of football including scum vs Liverpool which wasn’t worth staying up for. I caught up on some of the international friendlies too. Mostly I’ve been excited about AFL and watching a couple of live games and plenty of highlights. Sydney got off to a great start and it made me pause to think how lucky we are to be witnessing Buddy Franklin. The man is incredible.
I watched a couple of episodes of Ugly Delicious on Netflix. I’d heard good things but it really isn’t that great. Whisper it… maybe it’s too American for my tastes.
The Danish Girl has been on the list for a while and it’s pretty good but I feel the tension and emotion peaks too early. Like so many movies, it didn’t need to be more than 1.5 hours.
Some videos I watch fairly frequently on YouTube are by Nerdwriter. This one on realistic dialogue in movies is excellent.
I went to the cinema for the first time in ages (I missed most the good Oscar nominated films) and managed to catch I, Tonya. It was pretty funny and Margot Robbie puts in a sensational performance.
Stuff I’ve been playing
I started by playing a bit of FIFA 18 but Horizon: Zero Dawn is what I’ve been really enjoying. It’s been a long time since I’ve played other games and this one grabbed me really quickly. It’s somewhere between the Elder Scrolls series and Assassin’s Creed but with the best elements of both and without the tedious elements that both of those franchises can slip into. It’s the kind of game that has me thinking about it and coming up with strategies when I’m not even playing it.
As mentioned above, I’ve been playing AFL fantasy draft, if that counts as a game which I think it does.
Stuff I’ve been listening to
I’ve been listening to the usual raft of podcasts and it’s good to have footy ones back. I tried the Betoota Advocate podcast and while it was pretty dry and funny I can’t see myself subscribing.
I’ve been enjoying some new music. New Polica is quite nice if fairly predictable for the most part, Cayetana are excellent, as is the new Camp Cope. It’s been ages since I listened to NWA so that’s been fun and I’ve been revisiting The Cranberries following the death of Dolores O’Riordan. Trampled by Turtles, People Under The Stairs and Belle and Sebastian have made up the rest of my recent listening, along with Seu Jorge and Gomez.
Stuff I’ve been reading
I finished Dance, Dance, Dance by Haruki Murakami which I enjoyed every word of. He really is a joy to read. From that, I went pretty quickly into Nick Hornby’s Juliet Naked which is also wonderfully written, laugh out loud funny, and quite touching. Within what seems to be a ridiculous narrative there is so much truth and reflection of real life. I then got Murakami’s Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of The World but haven’t had much chance to read more than the first few pages.
I picked up the sports edition of Froth magazine and had a good flick through that.
I loved Bon Appetit’s Obsessive guide to making sandwiches.
Finally, the following tweet set me off reading about data privacy. The twitter thread was turned into a Guardian article.
Want to freak yourself out? I’m gonna show just how much of your information the likes of Facebook and Google store about you without you even realising it
— Dylan Curran (@iamdylancurran) March 24, 2018
That’s it for this month. There’s been plenty going on and I think it’s a good month if ever anyone’s going to get something out of these posts. There’s some cracking stuff to get into if you’re looking for new books/movies/games/music.
I realised last year how utterly futile this exercise is but nevertheless I find myself predicting how the AFL ladder will look at the end of the home and away season. This is how everything will (or won’t) unfold.