Eurovision 2017 slumber party!


Went to a Eurovision slumber party with scavenger hunt and bingo at Louise’s place. Started on Saturday night, watching the second semi-final, while Louise cooked delicious Ukrainian dishes – borscht soup and Chicken Kiev – to honour this year’s host nation.

It was lucky for us ABBA fans that Ukraine’s flag has the same colours as Sweden, so there were plenty of blue and yellow streamers strung around!

Elise had hidden gold-foil covered chocolate coins (Money, Money, Money) around the house, so we searched until we found 30 of them, and got “hot” and “cold” clues to find the last ones which were hidden in an impossible “Escape Room” location.

All the Second Semi-final acts seemed to need autotune! We adored the lovers from Belarus, Naviband, dressed in white on a hovercraft boat in a dry ice sea, so we encouraged young lovers Annabel and her boyf to go in as our entry next year. They duly played along by busting out some yooful dance moves. When the semis finished, we relished watching all the Eurovision winners since 1956 via Youtube.

Chicken Kiev

Time for bed, so we turned the lights off and told Ukrainian bedtime stories about deposed Tsars, beasts of burden and cranky cossacks, while Rodders brought the scenes to life using glow-in-the-dark sticks and a wonky lava lamp. Better than Vivid!

After four hours’ sleep, we were up on Sunday at 4.45am to watch the final in real time and it’s so wonderful hearing the Eurovision trumpet theme so early! (well, you had to be there!)
Rushed into the kitchen to cook bacon and eggs and it was about song 4 before we’d woken up enough to fully appreciate the acts.

There was a bridal rap, horsehead man on a ladder, floor-length braid, Italian Wiggles doing aerobics with a gorilla and Norway’s philosophical depth. Me and Sandra melted whenever Sweden’s blue-eyed treadmilling star looked at the camera.

Last year’s winner Ukrainian Jamala sang and we were in floods of tears when a prankster draped in an Aussie flag jumped up and mooned!! We imagined we’d be kicked out of the competition forever and was sure it had affected our country’s votes. Such a relief to later discover it had been a Ukrainian prankster.

During the laborious voting process, I hid behind a giant teddy bear and slept, waking up in time for the winner’s announcement.

Pretty shocking when he dissed pyrotechnics and snazzy glitter cannon effects! Party pooper!!

Rodders won the bingo and I was pleased online peeps also downloaded my version – nice to think of people playing it around the world.

Until next year!

Graham Norton’s best comments during Eurovision 2017


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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Amish transcendentalism

Went to an inner-west party recently where late-night discussion turned to Thoreau and Emerson, rebellious utopian 19th-century communes, and Amish transcendentalism.

J wearing an authentic bonnet made by an Amish lady.

What keeps Amish society together? (from here)

Transcendence: making the individual feel like an integral part of the larger organisation.

Persecution strengthens bonds. Hostility from outside world increases unity.

“Worldy” people are thrown out.

Different language and dress increase isolation and separation.

Living in rural areas to be separate. Encouraged to feel fearful of the “evil world outside”.

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Socialist Alliance conference

Went to the four-day Socialist Alliance conference held at the University of Sydney. I hadn’t been to an SA event before. Quote: “One day everyone will embrace socialism. Solidarity comrades!”

The book stall.

My impressions:
* They view themselves as a “say what we really think” group. “We get to say what we like.” Members of Parliament often say to them: “You say all the things I want to say but can’t.” They strive for influence, rather than political seats. But they stand candidates for elections because it gets the public talking and thinking about them.
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