The Week: 11th – 17th November

Miserable Sydney 16th November 2013 Sonya Heaney

The closest thing to blue sky Sydney had to offer!

We just got back from Sydney, where we went to see The Australian Ballet (and also ate at Café Sydney – the setting for one of Sarah Mayberry’s books!). Good God does it rain a lot in Sydney!

More Than One Night by Sarah Mayberry

I’ve gone through a lot of books this week, in an effort to try and catch up with all my review books. I’m doing okay so far.

My review of Provocative in Pearls by Madeline Hunter

Provocative in Pearls (The Rarest Blooms #2) by Madeline Hunter

What in the world happened to Bridget Jones?

Bridget Jones Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding

My review of The House on Main Street by Shirlee McCoy

The House on Main Street by Shirlee McCoy

My review of Dancing On Air by Nicole Hurley-Moore

Dancing On Air by Nicole Hurley-Moore

The Week: 30th September – 6th October

Strange week. Public holidays everywhere, warm weather, wind, the start of daylight saving (and this one is never fun because you lose an hour!). I’ve been following the Australian Irish Dance Championships (which these days is so spray-tanned and covered in sparkles it might as well be a beauty pageant!) as well as the World Gymnastics Championships online.

Oksana_Chusovitina_(vault)_04-2011

Oksana Chusovitina, who was a World Champion for the USSR, an Olympic Champion for the CIS, a World Champion for Uzbekistan and an Olympic silver medallist for Germany competed in the vault final last night, coming fifth. It is an amazing achievement for a woman who is nearly forty and was competing many years before the other gymnasts were even born!

She has to be about the best athlete ever.

So, anyway…

Deadly Descent by Kaylea Cross is still only 99 cents

 Deadly Descent by Kaylea Cross

My review of Lethal Pursuit by Kaylea Cross

 Lethal Pursuit by Kaylea Cross

My review of Season for Scandal by Theresa Romain

 Season for Scandal by Theresa Romain

My review of Bride Gone Bad by Sabine Starr

 Bride Gone Bad by Sabine Starr

My review of Winters Heat by Cristin Harber

 Winters Heat by Cristin Harber

My Weekend

Giselle Paris Opera Ballet

Source

We went to Sydney to see closing night of the Paris Opera Ballet’s Giselle over the weekend. Being the Paris Opera Ballet, of course the production was gorgeous and the dancers’ technique was perfect. Nolwenn Daniel, who danced the Queen of the Wilis, has the best bourrée I’ve ever seen! It is such a pity they performed in such a strange theatre, with neon lights and television screens in the foyer, and big, neon-lit Candy Bars INSIDE the auditorium. Ugh. Also, Act Two was kind of ruined by people’s phones ringing. UGH!

Paris Opera Ballet Giselle1

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Such a pity too, because it was easily the best performance of the second act of Giselle I have ever seen. I can’t think of a company who could match the Paris Opera Ballet in that. So nice to see people dancing in the ‘Romantic’ style; practically everyone performs Giselle with flashy modern technique these days, and it does not suit.

 Paris Opera Ballet Giselle

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There’s a really great Spanish restaurant near the theatre; there was a queue going halfway down the road before it opened. And the staff pronounce ‘Tapas’ and ‘Paella’ properly (which is something you almost never hear in Australia!). We accidentally tipped them three times what we intended to, but I’d say they deserved it!

Encasa Sydney

Apart from passing through the airport about a thousand times, I hadn’t spent time in Sydney for years. I don’t care either way, but I’ve never seen so many people with tattoos in my life as I saw in the city over the weekend! I guess it’s the fashion there. I’d never get one because, honestly, who voluntarily has people stab them with sharp things?! Not for me EVER!!

We stopped in the historic village of Berrima on the way home and had a great lunch at The Olde Magpie Café.

Magpie Cafe Berrima

Sydney is green; they get plenty of rain. Then you get closer home to Canberra, and you have things like Lake George, below. There’s not a lot of water, considering it’s a lake! My parents remember the days when people used to travel there with their boats on a weekend… Now you find cattle where the water is supposed to be!

Sonya Heaney Lake George Australia 10th February 2013

Ballet and Formula One

We saw the Hamburg Ballet’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Brisbane on Saturday night.

It’s a weird, slightly dated production with some bizarre (modern for the 1970s) music added to pad out Mendelssohn’s score. Then the other half of the ballet is gorgeous. The company has a huge number of dancers from Ukraine and the Baltics – seems to be a trend!

Weird

We had a nice surprise: Alina Cojocaru – the Margot Fonteyn of this generation – was dancing as a guest artist. It’s not the first time (or the second or third) I’ve seen her dance live, but it is the first time I’ve seen her perform on this side of the world, and also the first time in years. She is unbelievably good.

Oh, and I’m now a little in love with her partner of the night: Thiago Bordin.

In other news, I nearly died at the beginning of the Formula One Grand Prix on Sunday night. That crash was very scary, and for a minute there it looked like Fernando Alonso was seriously hurt.

What a mess of a race.