Sunday, December 11, 2016

Little Jo on stage

As I said in a previous post, we drove to Geelong to see Little Jo perform. The train was most unsuitable time wise. For some reason the car pulled to the left as we passed the Scottish Restaurant in North Geelong. It is true. We have always stopped there for refreshment of some kind in the past, from the days when our very old friend lived at the foot of Mount Elephant or later when Sister first moved to Geelong, before she moved to the Bellarine Peninsula.

Sister first rented a house in Newtown when she began teaching at a posh private religious school, Newtown being an expensive Geelong inner suburb. One of her co tenants was a Federal Policewoman, I suppose of the same sexual persuasion as Sister. She was a useful person to know as at least once she got Sister out of serious trouble after Sister had a mental snap of the relationship breakdown kind.

Sister then bought a three storey unit in the suburb of Belmont. It was a nice place on a steep hill. The entry was to the living room, kitchen, a bathroom and two bedrooms, one with an ensuite and a great decked area. Downstairs was another bedroom, laundry and bathroom and underneath was a utility room and garage.

Sister kept the unit, and she and Bone Doctor bought a flat in Murrumbeena, where Little Jo mostly grew up, with a sojourn in Bendigo and Wangaratta as that is where Bone Doctor's work took her. They then rented on the Bellarine coast and bought a house nearby their rented place and sold the Geelong unit, and I expect there they will stay. They still have the Murrumbeena flat, rented out of course.

Before Sister moved to Geelong, I had been there maybe once many years ago. I knew nothing of it. Geelong went through a very bad depression after the collapse of the Pyramid Building Society in the late 1980s. Pyramid Building Society? Pyramid  investment schemes? An unfortunate name, and folk would do well to look at what happened to building societies in Australia in the 1890s.

I have come to know Geelong a little over the past decade or two and I rather like it. Must check this. Right, ok, there is no comparison population wise between Perth and Geelong, but like Perth, Geelong doesn't do a bad mix of the old and the new. It even has some fine brutalist architecture, if that is your thing. I spied a wonderful concrete multi storey car park, built with angles, yes quite wonderful..... (my tongue may be in  my cheek)

With a Melbourne mindset, I spied a vacant car parking space, just one kilometre from our destination, the new Geelong Public Library. Should I park here, I asked R. No, he said. We will get something closer. We parked about five minutes walk away from the library and lo and behold, there was vacant car parking right in front of the library. I think it is a great looking building.



It is not often public seating comes with a table. There was more than one set around. 


But before seeing the library, we were distracted by Geelong Art Gallery. It is excellent, with many interesting works, most of which did not turn out well in photos, but this old Victorian Railways travel poster in a better naturally lit area was the exception. I am not a great one for gift shops, but I thought the gallery's gift shop was quite good, with quite a number of items for sale under the name of New York's Museum of Modern Art. The gallery's web site is geelonggallery.org.au/about and there you can see a photo of the front of the gallery and not the rear where we entered.


The library next door was being very well used on a Sunday morning, so I couldn't really take photos. It is a vertical stack of five storeys with each floor having a different colour scheme. It too was very impressive although I did not notice a lot of books. Libraries are now so much more than books nowadays. Even though the day was quite warm, it was dull and overcast. Nevertheless the views from the fifth floor terrace were wonderful.


The gallery and library sit above Johnston Park, with its central amphitheatre.


The historic Geelong Railway Station can be seen to the left. It is an hour to Melbourne by train or car.


A very nice rotunda.


Some smart Art Deco in Gheringhap Street. There are various impressive public buildings in the street and two years ago we saw Christmas projections on the building. http://highriser.blogspot.com.au/2014/12/a-visit-to-bellarine-pt-1.html

The church where Little Jo was to perform, formerly a Methodist Church I believe, but I am unable to easily find a name for the church . We parked nearby and walked a couple of hundred metres to The Botanical on Ryrie cafe where we met Sister, Bone Doctor and Little Jo. It is not a cheap cafe, and you get what you pay for. The staff were terrific and so nicely dressed and the food was good, as was the atmosphere. Sister and Bone Doctor don't live in Geelong, but we can't even go to cafe without Sister getting recognition. One of the diner's next to us was Sister's workmate's daughter. Look out, here comes a patient of Bone Doctor. Ah, here comes the partner of one of the receptionists at Bone Doctor's practice. 


The church hall and I think at the rear the former manse can be seen. Modestly Methodist, hey.


Geelong has some brilliant architecture and just lovely houses.




I could pick the grumpy visage of Queen Vicky from quite a distance.


I am afraid to say it did, but I don't know if the world is all the better for it.


I had heard of Geelong's Botanic Gardens, but what I thought was the gardens is actually Eastern Park, with the botanic gardens on the northern side of Eastern Park. Bone Doctor gave us a guided tour.


There were a number of boab trees. Within their bulbous trunks is water, which they can store for a long time for extended periods of drought.


Representations the garden's first curator and a young lady. She is looking a little guilty and her hand is hidden behind her back, containing a flower press. She wants a flower from the pot he is holding to press.


Sadly, a non functioning fountain. I believe there is some state or federal government money available to restore old fountains, and I really wish Geelong would take up the offer, if available.



Cool walking on a hot day.


I did not get to check these plants closely to see if they are geraniums or pelargoniums.



While this fountain has moving water at its base, it is not really functioning as a fountain should.


This house is opposite the former church where Little Jo performed. Geelong must have been a rich late nineteenth century town, built on wool I suppose. 


After the show, on a quite warm day, we wanted an icecream. Little Jo was cooked like a chip in her costume. We found a place in the centre of town and after devouring our various flavours and a bit of swapping around, we headed for home.

Oh yes, I have left out any mention of the performance. R went to see Little Jo perform mid year and he said she was terrific. It was a performance of Alice in Wonderland this time. I quite enjoyed relearning what I had mostly forgotten about the show. Let me very cruelly say the standard of performances was quite low. Little Jo did not stand out and is not beyond criticism. She played the White Rabbit. Generally everyone's  lines were rushed, with little vocal projection. One lad, I forget his role, had a long speech and he remembered it all, which was a great achievement, but it was painful to hear.

The teacher is an older female actor who owns the business. A younger male actor is her consort and he narrated and prompted. There was such effort put into the show, but it was not great, even though we were quite entranced.

As Little Jo de-costumed, the obvious had to be stated and Sister did so herself, saying Little Jo was not so great in the show. Later without comment, I listened to Sister and Bone Doctor discuss what Little Jo's focus in the performing arts should be next year, singing, dancing or acting. It pains me to say, none of the above. Little Jo is very clever and I am not sure the being very clever and being a star stage performer are compatible. But what the heck. I am a grumpy old man. If Little Jo enjoys performing arts, does it matter?

28 comments:

  1. Loved travelling with you. And the library.
    I vaguely remember driving through Geelong in the dark ages, but haven't been back.
    And yes, if and while Little Jo is enjoying herself it is all good.

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    1. Thanks EC. It is now a very progressive and growing city.

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  2. You may be correct but don't rush to write off Little Jo's prospects in the entertainment arts. Don't forget that one of the only seven stories in all of movie history concerns ugly ducklings and swans.

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    1. Victor, I am not really writing off her performing prospects. I think I was expecting a little too much from children under the age of 10.

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  3. It is wonderful that you take the time to go see Little Jo's performance.

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    1. CM, she is quite dear to us. We were often part of her life as she grew up.

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  4. Andrew I really love your photos today. Thanks for your support. Now is 10.55 p.m.time to sleep.

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  5. A three storey unit? I'm so green with envy I'd probably glow in the dark! I like the idea of a table with public seating, somewhere to place your shake while you eat the burger and fries.
    "Libraries are now so much more than books..." which is a good thing, but I do love seeing an old fashioned library with polished wood shelves and miles of books.
    Those flowers are a mix of geraniums and pelargoniums, I enlarged the picture for a good look at them.
    It's a shame the performance wasn't as good as it could have been, a couple of dress rehearsals to iron out the kinks might have helped? Then again, who can say? Perhaps the kids just aren't comfortable on stage and don't have enough "presence" to fake it. The main thing of course is they had fun. At least I hope they did.

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    1. River, it was such a nice unit. But it had stairs so they moved on before Little Jo was became of walking age. There may have been a large book area that I did not see. Yes, I like seeing books lined up on shelves too. I think the performance was rehearsed adequately. Really, it seemed to me like nerves got the better of the cast. Yes, having fun for kids is so important.

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  6. Don't know much about your housing in Australia. But did like photos you shared.
    Coffee is on

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    1. Dora, you know a little more about housing in Australia now. Thank you.

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  7. Around the library area looks nice.
    Like the idea of seating, but then we have seating outside our library here.
    Little Jo - if she enjoys performing she may improve with time, she may not get chosen next time in a major/minor role. It's very hard for me to listen to someone who can't perform.

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    1. Margaret, the children's parents pay for their children to go this theatre training, so no danger they won't be selected. Little Jo is forced into doing so many things. I don't like it.

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    2. That's not good Little Jo is forced. What a pity!

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    3. Sorry, forced is a too strong word. Actively encouraged is better. I am sure if you did not want to do something, she would not have to participate. Well, she doesn't much in sporting things, which she dislikes and very much disappoints sporting Sister.

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  8. She'll find her calling. I was forced to perform piano recitals when I was little and I was very bad at piano and why I was forced to practice piano an hour every weekday and do the recitals, I don't know to this day. Beautiful scenery photos once again, Andrew. I like the fountains but they should have water. Or they're not really fountains.

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    1. Strayer, I suppose you can't play now. I have forgotten nearly everything about playing. I agree about fountains.

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  9. Gosh your sister is quite the property mogul 😊Aww I bet Little Jo was a wee bit nervous, each time she'll be that little bit more experienced ☺ Geelong looks OK Andrew!

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    1. Grace, she was not too nervous. Part of her problem was she was running across the stage a lot and at times delivering lines at the same time.

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  10. If Little Jo is enjoying performing arts and she is being picked for roles she must be doing something right and isn't a total bunny! :)

    Each time she is learning more and more; and her confidence is building. Who knows where it will lead...it may not lead to anything within the performing arts...but no harm is being done, surely.

    I've never been to Geelong...but feel as if I have now from viewing your photos. Thanks for the tour!

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    1. Lee, while I don't know for sure, I think all the wannabe actors in the class had a role of some sort. Little Jo is very confident about most things. No harm at all, except I think she does too many organised things and needs some time to get bored. Thank you.

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  11. I took the oldest grandchildren to see the bollards in Geelong and I think we walked to most of them *wheeze* before doing the carousel, the pier *schlep* and then settling in for afternoon tea on the beach *relief*.

    But did we miss John Raddenbury and Lady because they weren't on the beach? Or because Raddenbury was inspecting her bum, a subject not for young children? I might have to go back again and inspect the Botanical Gardens more thoroughly!

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    1. Hels, Raddenbury and the Lady are inside the entrance to the Botanical Gardens. They immediately reminded me of the Geelong bollards. Stirling effort by you with your grandchildren. I always think effort for family should be rewarded with strudel and coffee in a Vienna like setting.

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  12. I always find little kid performances somewhat tedious!

    Geelong is nice. My boy grew up there and we went back recently and he showed me around. I was impressed by the houses, they'd cost a mint if they were in Melbourne!

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    1. I remember years ago now Fen, the now adult nieces' and nephew's school concerts. They went on forever. Fen, I think they are rather expensive even so, but yes, much more if they were here.

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  13. That's all beyond my geographical knowledge ! The houses indeed look very nice ! Being the uncle of a Alice rapid is a real honnor for you, lol ! I am back from the heat into the cold !

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    1. Made me smile about being the uncle of the rabbit, Gattina. Yes, I read Mr G drowned one of your plants. At least he didn't cut down a tree this time.

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