ABBA night at Imperial Hotel

Went to an ABBA Night held at the Impy Cabaret Room, Erko.

Danced the night away in a big circle, with fans spontaneously jumping into the centre and showcasing their moves when overcome by inspiration.

G had spent that morning shopping, searching for “giant inflatable pillow balloons like in the Polish TV special”, and settled on bubble-blowing kits, bejewelled fake microphones to sing into, and streamers to throw when over-excited.

Hard core fans stayed on-floor during The Visitors (to show off the fact we knew all the words), while everyone else hit the bar.

Showed first-timer L how to do the moves to SOS. Angus finally turned up to an ABBA night, which fell on a date when he wasn’t on a plane to somewhere or other.

D faced intense interrogation over why he wasn’t expressing his fandom via the compulsory non-stop dancing, and cited a “broken toe” which will take 12 months to heal!

Great drag numbers in spectacular/comedy costumes were done on the famous Impy stage (the inspiration for the Priscilla movie) to Nina Pretty Ballerina, Rock Me, Does Your Mother Know?, Tiger, and The Winner Takes It All.

Dancing Queen was played in honour of late fan John Godwin (big Agnetha fan), who was so sweet and always ready with an encouraging word and a witty line. Miss his friendly face. Did our best Bandstand Special moves in loving memory.

Finished at 2am with the traditional Old Friends Do as we all formed a tight-knit circle.

Stood outside and were told off twice by the bouncers for being too raucous. G escorted me home down King St, Newtown, exhausted on our hands and knees, after over-exertious dancing.

When not crawling, in an inspired move of anarchistic action, we pasted ABBA posters up and down King St, with G standing on tippy toes so he could place them high up enough so passersby couldn’t easily rip them down. I was laughing so hard as he was so earnest. One was still up the next afternoon!


Eurovision party 2014

Held a Eurovision party at my place. We’ve all been die-hard Eurovision watchers since the 1990s, when it was first shown in Australia. Preparation: read the Des Mangan “This Is Sweden Calling” book and Terry Wogan’s “Is It Me?” and watched the two semi-finals.

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Geoffrey Robertson re: Mea Maxima Culpa doco

Went to see human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson give a Q&A at the Dendy cinema after the screening of Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God. Robertson is in the doco and wrote a book: The Case of the Pope: Vatican Accountability for Human Rights Abuses. He studied law at the University of Sydney and his first writing was for the SULS magazine, Blackacre.

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Kevin Rudd’s talk

Mr Rudd was in great form at the Law School today. Chatted in Mandarin for visiting Chinese lawyers, cracked jokes, charmed everyone. He pointed out that it’s important for countries to intervene when there’s a slaughter/genocide happening, such as in Libya and Syria. He said it was a positive modern-day development that international interventions happen nowadays to save civilian populations. On the topic of law studies, he encouraged more Australians to go to China to study Chinese and Chinese law. “It’s tough learning the language, but it has to be done.”

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Decriminalisation of drugs

David Marr gave a brilliant talk on decriminalisation of drugs at the Uni of Sydney. He was on a panel chatting about it, and the place was packed out. He said the best way for individuals to help with change is to publicly admit their drug experiences.

I’ve never had any, though H told me she put dope in a curry I ate once (without telling me at the time). I didn’t notice anything. I drove home OK. A couple of days later, I found out. Dunno if that confession will change the world. 😉

The panel said by the age of 40, 60 per cent of the Australian population had tried illegal drugs at least once. Marr said it was disgraceful how the threat of a criminal record and career ruination hung over the lives of those who like to pop a pill for a good time at a dance party on the weekend.

Backstage tour at Sydney Opera House

Went to this — which usually costs $150 — but was free because the Sydney Opera House was having an Open Day. Thousands turned up. I stood on the stage and saw the orchestra pits, the rehearsal room and backstage areas, green rooms, costume-making.

My favourite bit was reading the staff noticeboards and the many clippings from The Sydney Morning Herald (reviews and also smaller stories from the My Career section or other little features about lesser-known chorus or orchestra members). It was great to see these are so important and often took up one-third of the noticeboards! They’d also pinned up postcards or email printouts from audience members praising their performance — this pleased me as I do this after feeling inspired by a great show, so I wonder if my emails are printed and stuck up somewhere? Nice to see they’re appreciated.

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