Saturday, 12 November 2011


I'm making the Christmas cake today. It's an old boiled fruit cake recipe that I've had for years, and which always works. When it's baked and cooled and wrapped, I store it in the same big old biscuit tin and get it out every week to feed it with brandy or whatever festive spirit we have in the cupboard.
I always faff about with exactly what fruit I put into the mix. One year, I substituted dried apricots for the cherries, which was pretty good. I always bung in a goodly handful of chopped up crystallised ginger, because I just can't conceive of a Christmas cake without it.

:: I went last night to see When the Rain Stops Falling, at our lovely new Heath Ledger Theatre. Well, yes, it was really very clever, and seamlessly realised and directed. Charged with Themes and Symbolism, and References. And, quite possibly, Messages.
The actors did really well; the stage looked fabulous. But ... and this may, of course, be because of what it was dealing with ... it was a g-r-i-n-d. And it all seemed so self-conscious in its minimalism, and therefore, to me, leaden. And unsatisfying.
What did it lack? Language? Poetry? Some feeling? More fathomable characters? I'm trying to work it out.
But, don't listen to me! I acknowledge that, unlike my brilliant husband, I do carry an awful lot of baggage with me when I see live theatre: I just don't like it. I keep going, and every now and then, something comes along that has me transported, like the brilliant Red a few months ago. But on the whole, no.
It's a bit like me and Tom Waits ... I try and I try and I try. I listen to his old stuff. I listen to his new stuff. I love his songs done well by other people. The guy really can write. I go and see him. But I just don't like him.
Okay - throw stuff at me now!

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