Saturday, 18 May 2013

Bonjour et au revoir

Off to Paris tomorrow. Bring it on.

The parents arrived safely on Saturday, overcoming an absent Piccadilly line to meet us for breakfast at the Wolseley. This posh London institution – of the “visits for a special occasion” kind – is right around the corner from where Mum and Max stay when they come to London. No, not the Ritz (sadly) but the pokey, quirky, rabbit warren that is the Royal Overseas League. Anyway, after several stays now at the Overseas League, the Wolseley has become their favourite local breakfast hangout, which, when you consider it costs 10 bucks for a punnet of strawberries in Sydney these days, is probably a doddle.

Whatever the case, I’m happy to eat anywhere that has Portuguese tarts the size of cricket balls. It will no doubt prove a prescient start to the next couple of weeks.

Orla Barry that night at the gallery was, hmm, challenging. It had moments of humour, and the premise of improvised performance based on the random selection of words was in principle quite intriguing, but when, after 90 minutes of earnestly trying to “get it”, to then be told the performance would continue until everyone had left so please feel free to leave whenever you like, well, I was just a bit, whatever. Which, as I’ve proselytised previously, is not an ideal artistic outcome. The parents, to their absolute credit, fought through the jetlag to stay mostly awake and didn’t altogether hate it so I consider that a huge win for contemporary art. And a promising sign for better bigger biennale action to come. Lovely Boy, as predicted, hated it.

Orla Barry, Mountain, 2012. South London Gallery
Sunday we had a lovely lunch out in Henley and last night we saw the gobsmackingly brilliant Helen Mirren in The Audience. Oh my god it was good, loaded with sharp wit, empathy, humour, intelligence and a liberal sense of imagination. Seeing Helen Mirren in the West End playing the Queen was without doubt a major ‘pinch me’ London moment.

Staring down the course at Henley
Tonight we all had dinner with Tori and Andy at Bob Bob “press for champagne” Ricard – the last time we’ll see them before they return to Sydney. Sob. Two impending weeks of distracting holidays will help but I’ve honestly been quite tearful all night. Having had them in London these last nearly three years has been the most special thing, something I know we’ll always look back on and think, fuck that was nuts that we got to experience that together, but for now, well I’m distracting myself with blogs (when I should be distracting myself with packing) because I’m so sad that they won’t be here when we get back from this trip. Their absence is going to leave the most enormous hole in my little London life. Melodramatic? Yes. Selfish? Yes, that too. But true? Absolutely.

Anyone that’s spent a considerable amount of time in London doing that thing called “living” will know how important good friends are in this occasional bitch of a city. And how hard it is to really make them in any true sense of a “tribe”. It’s taken me nearly five years to collect a small group of truly fabulous women I can now call good friends and I’d be lost without them. But I’d be completely screwed without my Sydney urban family, even if they are currently and now soon-to-be again 12,000 miles away.

When I’m not being selfish and melodramatic I’m hugely excited for Tor and her next incredible adventure and looking forward to seeing her in Sydney in the hopefully near future. And I’m pretty excited about my own next adventure too. So I’d better get bloody packing.

See you tomorrow Paris.      

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