Yes, home again after our quick trip to Queensland. It was a weekend full of extremes: much sadness, but also much celebrating of life and each other.
My parents dropped the girls back to us on Sunday night and we spent a bit of time playing records and drinking wine and hanging out. Squeezing the girls until they popped. Sunday was very slow indeed, with a lot of reading and watching the Patti Smith documentary Dream of Life.
I have finished M Train now, and was absolutely not ready to say goodbye to Our Pats just yet, so went on the hunt for the documentary. I need her brown toast, and stream of consciousness thinking, and seeing art where there shouldn’t be any. I very much enjoy being in her head.
But yes, home. Home is so bloody good. My own kitchen with my own insane cats and tripping over children every time I turn around. Sure the floor needs sleeping and the chickens have torn up the ground around my tomato plants again, but I will find the time to deal with those.
I headed out to see Roger Waters last night at Rod Laver Arena. I had thought briefly about going late last year when I heard he was touring but was pretty undecided, having been told the tickets were expensive.
Last Wednesday night, I read an article about the Brisbane show, where Roger had mentioned it would probably be his last tour of Australia, given he’s now 74 years old. I immediately turned around and bought a (very reasonably-priced, I must have been previously ill-informed) ticket. You don’t love Pink Floyd like I do and pass up what may be your only chance to see their songs performed by the people that created them. Or person, in this case. I am sure I’ll be first in line for any of David’s tours, should he decide to do any more, and enjoy them just as much. I LOVE YOU, DAVE.
But Rog put on a show, as he is wont to do. He and the band played quite a few songs from Dark Side of the Moon, Animals, and The Wall, and popped a Wish You Were Here in there for good measure in amongst his new stuff. I may or may not have involuntarily cried for a good 20 minutes while my brain tried to process what I was really hearing and seeing. When they played Time, my absolute favourite Pink Floyd song ever, I was completely blown away.
I just had visions of 15-year-old me playing all my dad’s old Floyd tapes until I just about wore them out, so far removed from ever seeing a band like that live. Being 16 and in love with my Dark Side vinyl, beseeching anyone holding an axe to be careful with it and addressing them as “Eugene”, falling asleep listening to Shine on You Crazy Diamond only to be rudely awoken by its rousing chorus, obsessively writing the lyrics to Echoes and never understanding quite what they said after “everything is green” (turns out it’s “and submarine”, who’d have thought?!), drunken singalongs of Wish You Were Here, having most of The Wall go over my young head, only to re-fall in love with the album decades later. A whole soundtrack of my life, there in real time with real people making it come alive.
It was also a very politically-charged show (Rog would ensure nothing less) so there was a whole thread of resisting the government fat cats and upholding global human rights. Roger has politely requested we resist. Pop that in your calendars, if you can. Jot it on your to-do lists. Resist something shit.
I had Smalls home that Wednesday, as their school has testing for preps on those days. We went for an explore out Werribee way to photograph some new playgrounds for work, and I braked very hard for this abandoned cottage on the drive down. Look at it. Who lived there? What did they grow on their farm? Were they happy there? Was it hot and hard? Who built it? Did they plant those trees? Who decided to build a house right here?
It was a stinking hot day, so we paddled at the shoreline and went hunting for seashells. It’s nice to have her with me just a little bit longer before I have to relinquish her every day. Every day is a lot for this old ma! Do they have to go a whole five damn days?
I’m sneaking in a bit of Steinbeck before I get a head start on the second book club pick, which I’ll announce later tonight. I’d like to poke back through M Train a little more, though, and I’ve started a new book Monarchy: Behind the Scenes with the Royal Family, by Brian Hoey. I love the peek behind the royal curtain books. What does the Queen eat for breakfast? (cereal and eggs, mostly) what do they watch on TV? What happens on the weekends? What goes on at Balmoral? All of the daily domesticity stories are belong to me.
So does lunch. Off to toast a sandwich and put the kettle on. See you back here tonight for book club announcement #2!