A garden without beer is just a waste.

I think I am ready to admit to myself that despite my best efforts to the contrary, I am not a gardener and nor will I ever be one. The patch of dirt in my small court yard that in my mind was to be filled with luscious vegetables and flowering natives or at the very least, pots of useful herbs is currently nothing more than mud decorated poorly with aging mulch.

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Inexplicable patch of bricks in my garden…

Two years ago I moved into my current abode, with big dreams and a heart set on being a real functioning proper adult – with the kind of outdoor area to prove to my friends and family that I’d truly made it. Flash forward to January 2016 and the only colour in my yard comes from the fading retro garden flamingos that were once used as a novelty Christmas decoration – otherwise its brown ground and asbestos fencing as far as the eye can see – which isn’t far anyways, since it (thankfully) is a tiny yard.
Encouragement came from every corner – mum would swing by on Saturday mornings and off we’d venture to Bunnings to find another pretty low maintenance flower to revitalise the passion for gardening. Upon our return however, she would cast her eye over the barren wasteland into which I intended to integrate the pretty little plant and sigh with disappointment. An avid and successful gardener herself, I’m sure she couldn’t help but feel personally responsible that I’d recently killed not one but two supposedly indestructible mint plants. Mother grew bored of my failed attempts at adult life and moved away, like far far away. I’m almost entirely sure she made this major life change so that she would no longer have to regularly bear witness to the failure of a daughter which she herself had raised.

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I planted succulents and natives because they are more difficult to kill (but not impossible…)

For the past year I have found myself getting rather cosy in many gardens – beer gardens that is, if only to water (that’s a gardening term, right?) my own sorrow – but not drown it – because that’s how we kill plants(I know that much, because humans also die if drowned, duh). My passion was momentarily relocated late last year when I read an article by the excellent Helen Razer, describing how she had found a love of gardening in recent years. Enthused by her words I stepped out into the yard – and then my phone vibrated and a single word flashed up on the screen; “pub?” – ahhhh Helens getting older, her friends are married and have children and no longer waste hours talking shit with a pint in their hand, that must be how she manages to find time to garden…
This morning I re-assessed the situation and sighed deeply – I began to pull out weeds, dressed in the oh so classy combination of pyjamas and thongs. Before I knew it I’d accidentally walked backwards into the peg basket on the washing line and tipped a substantial amount of water on myself – that’s enough gardening for this year then.

I love the idea of sitting in a beautifully landscaped garden but I’ve resigned myself to the fact that everyone needs a fantasy to keep them going in life, so that shall be mine. Perhaps I will one day marry into money, live in a fancy house and hire a gardener? Or perhaps I will continue to live the way I do for many years to come. If that is the case, my lack of gardening talent is probably the least of my worries…maybe I should upgrade to furniture that isn’t made of milk crates? Or learn to correctly file important documents instead of shoving them in drawers (that are sure to overflow soon at this rate)? I should almost certainly learn to eat the yoghurt in the fridge before it starts growing the dangerous looking red mould that I found this morning – the kind that could probably kill at least thirty three unborn babies with a single spoonful. Now I think of it, I might just top up my morning glass of sparkling (FYI it’s Prosecco – because if you’re gonna grow up to be an alcoholic, you may as well be a fabulous, European fun one- and not too expensive either) and plan a picnic – in someone else’s garden. I never said I didn’t like the outdoors but dirt? That stuff is icky.

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My bother is a beautiful and talented human. He made me this table so that I could sit and enjoy the mess of a yard that I have created. Note the dead plant in the pot actually has spiderwebs on it.
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Adelaide Fringe Part Two

Eeeek it’s really only a week to go! Less, actually – and it’s been amazing, regardless of the shit things that happened over the weekend (one thing really, that we’ll get to later). First up, I’ve been lucky enough to see ten more Fringe shows since I last posted and one completely obscure Festival experience so, without further ado, here are my latest thoughts and musings on the shows I’ve seen. Oh and hey, while you’re at it you can read part one of my experience here!

SHOWS:

25) Pop Pop – Penny Greenhalgh -This was a totally fun and interesting show to experience. I embarked on this adventure alone (the first show I’ve seen by myself this season!) and it was definitely worth it! A little bit absurd, with plenty of laughs, watching the show was like going on a little adventure! There was a guy sitting in the second row who drove me nuts though (and I don’t think I was alone) – he was just generally being pesky and heckling but Penny was an absolute pro and took it all in her stride!

26) First World Problems – Lewis Garnham and Nicholas Huntley – so this is kinda awkward to say but this show was absolutely terrible. It was the worst hour of ‘comedy’ (if you could call it that) that I have ever had to sit though – and I once had to see a show in which two women danced to pop music while pouring red paint over themselves to symbolize the sexualisation of young women in music videos. Yes, this show was worse than a badly made feminist political statement. Nahhhhh I’m just kidding. These two guys are really funny and had great connection with the crowd – working the room like they’d been doing this for years, coming to see this show was definitely a good choice.

27) 2 States of Lauren Bok and Bridget Fahey – Woo! Love it – ladies doing comedy that is hilarious regardless of the content, however when taking into account the content – it gets even better – what?! Yeah that might not make sense but what I mean is, I love the fact that they weren’t afraid to make jokes about female specific situations – pap smear anyone (no, I’m not offering, I’m just making a point). It’s true – we’re bombarded with dick jokes day in, day out but as soon as a vag joke pops up the world seems to have a mini heart attack – chill the fuck out and have a few fucking laughs with these brilliant ladies!

28) (NOT REALLY A FRINGE SHOW ACTUALLY A FESTIVAL SHOW!!!) Vampillia – So this is a show that I chose to review because this time of year is all about ‘experiencing something different’ – and different it was! Here’s the link to the review – but basically I’d been walking around all week saying ‘yeah, I’m going to see a Japanese punk band!’ – because that’s how the guide described it. They definitely weren’t what I’d describe as ‘punk’ more like hard core and my highlight of the show was the lady in the mustard yellow crochet poncho rocking out harder than any long haired, black t-shirted burly bloke in the venue. A truly ‘different’ experience indeed! vampillia_adelaide_festival_banner

29) Set List – I can’t believe it took me until the end of week three to get here! Stand up comedians being challenged by surprise topics – what could go wrong?! This is a show seems like it could really define a comedian and allows those with talent to really shine – Wil Anderson was an absolute highlight of the show and his effortless comfort on the stage with whatever was thrown at him was something to aspire to.

30) Maestro National Final – The national final of the impro format of Maestro was fun for audience members and the actors alike. Although I only stayed for the first hour and a half, I thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing!

31) The Comedy Ashes – Based on some cricketing thingy (apparently) the format for this show saw four Aussie comedians face off against four from the UK. All devastatingly hilarious, my face was aching at the close of the show.

32) Vanity Bites Back – ouch, this one hurt. Starting off super fun and seemingly light, this show grew to be heavy, hard hitting but ultimately memorable and brilliant. Helen Duff is a truly talented individual whose ability to make the audience feel, to take them on a journey is absolutely amazing. Tackling the tough issue of the silence surrounding anorexia, this show is so powerful – just have the tissues handy!

33) This is Not a Love Song – A sweet yet memorable piece of theatre, with some great songs thrown in there for good measure. I thoroughly enjoyed the show and have been recommending it to people ever since. The humour was subtle and lovely and the emotions were raw and realistic.

34) Lunatics Beer Garden – Shambolic but once again a great way to top off the night! 35) Sarah Benetto’s Funeral – Sarah is gorgeous, a brilliant, energetic and bubbly performer! Once again, another lady whose connection with the audience was flawless, she zipped through a number of fun characters and shared with the audience her own personal hope for her own funeral. Not necessarily the most obvious content for an hour of humour, it just goes to show that laughs can be found in the most curious of places! PHEW! A few less shows to share than last time so I took a few more words to summarise them! I’ve been having an absolute blast!

EXPERIENCES:

I guess I’ve got two experiences of note to share from the last few weeks – one good, one completely terrible. Let’s start with the terrible (and possibly a bit of a #firstworldproblem…)

11020383_10204851203373297_2070469977_n Walking to the Fringe Club, 1.30am and I stepped one foot in ankle deep mud. Worse, I was wearing my favourite shoes – a pair of Toms (gorgeous little material beasts), so definitely not the kind of shoes that you can just ‘wash’ clean. Tipping a bottle of water on my foot did little to help – so that was that, it was time to squelch home, one foot disgustingly mud covered. I like to think everything happens for a reason – like I needed to go home and get some sleep – plus, as I was walking home I witnessed a drunk woman with washed out green hair holding a lanky, waifish guy with a look of absolute fear on his face against the wall of The Stag and trying to make out with him. I say ‘trying’ as she had pretty bad aim. She was almost making out with the wall. Maybe I should have stepped in? But I don’t think I would have stood a chance against her… The good thing? I had an awesome morning today attending a musical improv workshop – oh and I managed to get most of the mud out of my shoe – thank god for Nappisan!

that time I had a one mic stand…

I did something a little bit out of the norm the other night. In the lead up to doing it, some people called me brave, other people called me crazy, while a few looked genuinely concerned for me. Almost a week ago I had a go at stand up comedy. Yep, I willing partook in an act which many would describe as their own worst nightmare.

The feeling that I had in the hours leading up to my spot at a local (and incredibly supportive) open mic night was like nothing I had experienced before. I’ve felt a bit nervous here and there but this certainly took things to another lever – like ADHD butterflies has inhabited my stomach – and I was so uncomfortable, it was as if my sweat glands had developed their own sweat glads. I felt like I produced enough sweat to fill an olympic swimming pool – or at least one of those little kiddie clam shell things. I willingly went for a run after work to try and clam myself down – and this from someone who doesn’t like running. Most of the time I’d rather eat my own foot than willingly ‘go for a run’ like it ain’t no thang…but desperate times call for desperate measures.

Still on edge I drove to the gig, managing to get there without causing a major traffic incident. I decided a beer would calm me down (momentarily forgetting how beer makes me kinda burpy…) and chatted with mates to try and distract myself from what could be imminent social suicide…

A few acts hit the stage – some kicked goals while others bombed harder than…well hard. That being said, the audience were amazing at supporting the broad range of performers – suddenly I felt much more at ease.

My time came and just as soon as I hit the stage it was over – well in my mind at least. My five minute set when in a blur of bright stage lights and all of a sudden I was back and sitting in the audience. I could breathe again!

My friend’s assured me that I went well but I had my doubts. At the end of the night the MC announced the performer that he had deemed best, and all of a sudden he was saying my name (!) WHAT?! Needless to say I was on the best natural high all night – so good in fact that I don’t think I got a wink of sleep that night. Now the real test comes – I’m supposed to go back next week and back it up. Does anyone know any good methods for disappearing without a trace?!

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