Late last week I received an invitation to attend an Instameet. ‘A what?’ I hear you say. An Instameet is when users of Instagram gather to take photos of a location, or a scene and then share them on social media. Sometimes it is for fun, sometimes it is to promote an issue, place or occasion. This particular Instameet was a sneak peek at the preparations for the opening night of Le Noir, the Dark Side of Cirque. It opened at the Canberra Theatre Centre last night, so our invite was for the night before, where we saw the cirque performers doing their tech run, watched a couple of strong men perform some of their act for us, and got the lay of the land.
Jeronimo and Jessica, two of the stars, whirling around really fast on roller skates on a table top sized platform, during the ‘tech run’.
The tech run stage set up – and yes she is hanging by her feet as he twirls her around very fast on rollerskates.
Valeri and Yani, the strong men, showing us just how strong they are.
Yep – this is the upside to using social media. You have doors open that would never have been thought of before! And you get to share amazing experiences with people all over the world. (I am still a little mind-blown about how this all happens,to be honest, but am happy to keep seeing where the ride takes me!) Of course, I take all these photos using my phone. Some turn out well, while others just give you a ‘general impression’. (Which means fuzzy, out of focus but ‘hey I was there’ sort of shots!)
To say that it was an amazing experience is a little trite. But the best was to follow, as we were also given tickets to the opening night show – which was a sell out.
The atmosphere was electric before the show started.
It was a truly entertaining spectacular. The costumes, the comedic timing of the clown/MC, the hair raising stunts they performed, and the breath taking moments when you thought that maybe, just maybe, something would go wrong! It was sexy and sultry,and fast and loud, and everything in between! I didn’t dare take photos with my phone during the show , but luckily a friend of mine attended the media call and allowed me to share his shots with you. See – this is the difference between a camera shot by a great photographer, and a shot with a phone! (The photographer is Vishal Panday, who you will find on Facebook and Instagram as Wanderlust73. I highly recommend checking out his work – he is amazing!)
It appears that we are the end of the Australian tour, but there are shows on here in Canberra until Sunday, and I suspect they will perform in other countries,so if you get a chance to see them I highly recommend it.
The interesting thing was that although we were invited to the very small, intimate after party where the stars of the show joined us for a drink and a chat I was too nervous/shy/not-wanting-to-be-a-groupie to go up and talk to them! Talk about a missed opportunity! Next time – boldness is the order of the day!
In the meantime, life returns to normal for the day. Sewing, teaching a workshop at my son’s school on making freezer paper stencils, and buying new feed containers for the chickens. Mundane after the highs of last night, but necessary!!
I have been reflecting over the last week on what it is that I am doing with my time! When I worked full time I seemed to have more time to sew, to blog, etc. Now that I am self-employed I seem to be running in circles all the time. I am not sitting idle, and am not spending hours surfing the internet, yet I seem to not get to the things that I want to do. This was frustrating me for quite a while, until I realised that the things that I have added in to my days are the very reasons that I am no longer working full time.
Over the last few years I have had to shift my priorities. I have had to change my parenting style. I have re-invented our day to day life. (Not just once!). The reason that I have less time available to sew, or blog, or return phone calls, or pay bills (oops!) is because I am more present in my children’s lives. I am still not engaged at the level that I could be, and am certainly not a saint (heaven forbid) but I have come to realise that by spending more time putting the children first our life is better. Now when my boy is starting to get angry and lash out I can normally pin point the cause within a few minutes. I can usually remember the strategies that will help him to calm down without escalation. (Usually. Definitely not always.) When my artist-in-residence is collapsing in a ball of spiky frustration I can see where it has come from and help her to unravel and calm down. (Sometimes). And when my eldest chick is having completely out of character episodes of appalling behaviour I have no idea. Until I empty her rubbish bin and realise that she has been sneaking her little brother’s snacks – full of gluten – and her body is attacking itself.
Much easier to be kind to myself when I think about what we have dealt with each day and how we have resolved it!
I have had a couple of great moments this week that I wanted to share. I was fortunate enough to be invited to see Mary Poppins, the musical, being produced by the Free Rain Theatre Company at the Canberra Theatre. (One of the amazing up-sides of the Human Brochure experience has been invitations to so many wonderful events!) I took the artist-in-residence and we absolutely loved it! It was, to quote Mary herself, ‘practically perfect, in every way’. We even had a chance to have our photos taken with some of the cast afterwards!
The artist-in-residence having a night at the theatre.
This weekend just past was also very special. The Handmade Markets were on, in a new location here in Canberra. I am still not at the point where I am ready to return to having my own stall, but I love my role in the background of the markets, which allows me to interact with all the market designers on an individual level. The exposure to so many talented people is a true delight. Even better, I was able to take the children with me and when we stopped to talk to different stallholders the children had the chance to interact with them too. They got to taste beautifully handcrafted chocolate (thanks Cicada chocolate!), to receive hugs and rainbow roses from GG’s flowers (special hug thanks to Gayana), and the artist-in-residence was able to talk to different artists about their work and her own art. Mick from Leafy Sea Dragon presented her with one of his cards depicting one of his own artworks as an encouragement to another artist. She was thrilled!
The eldest chick and her two friends ran their own business throughout the markets, providing stall holder support. They were exhausted but very happy and very proud at the end of the weekend. This band of 12-year-old young women are learning about money management, customer service, hard work, planning, and innovation at a young age and I could not be prouder of them!!
I also managed to sneak myself a treat on Friday night. I had an hour to fill between finishing helping with the market set up, and when I was to collect the children from their father’s house. I thought about ringing friends etc but decided to take myself into town for a meal on my own. We have an area here called ‘The Hamlet’ which is where the gourmet food vans park, and various funky shops are tucked away. I went to the Mr Papa van – Peruvian Street Food. Oh my goodness.
The burger made with slow cooked pork belly, sweet potato, and a very tasty sauce and salsa combo is heavenly! I then followed it up with a little trip to the Frugii Dessert Laboratory where the ice-cream alchemist creates beautiful ice-creams, and desserts! (The owners are also delightful people!)
I had the choux pastry with hazelnut cream, and blood orange syrup. And even better – I had time to sit and enjoy and just have time to myself. Talk about bliss!
A custom order set for a baby overseas
After all this inspiration my plan was to sew, design, and create all week. Hmmmm…… the best laid plans! Between routine medical appointments, school meetings, housework, and general family commitments, I have managed only a very small amount of sewing.
An ipad case, coin purse and key fob for a birthday girl in Melbourne.
The good news though is that I have created some new pattern templates, which is speeding up my process a lot. (Instead of measuring and cutting each piece I am now using a template to cut each piece – such a simple thing but one I just hadn’t done!!) I also finally made a key ring fob – something on my ‘to do’ list for a long time. I like it! Maybe I should make some more….. where is that ‘to-do’ list again?
Wandering on the farm is a delightful pastime
The dam is the source of much entertainment – and home to some venomous snakes!
I love the skies out here!
I did spend time with my boy down at our dam finding rocks, sticks and long grasses to try and create ‘survival tools’ like spears and knives. We haven’t been particularly successful yet but we have had a lot of fun trying!
And I indulged in some fabric shopping – with no particular project in mind! It is just so lush! The new range from Skinny la Minx, via Hawthorne Threads. Drool.
Now to decide what to do with it! Choices, choices, choices!
I hope that you have been able to find time for yourself in your week too.