Monday, May 25, 2009

You Call That A Festival?

Well I don't. I call it a shambolic mess which reminds me of the stumbling, vacant eyed walk of zombies. I am of course talking about the Sydney Writers' Festival.

Okay, okay, I'll take me a calm down pill and get to the point of my whingeing. So I shows up on Friday down at Walsh Bay where all the theatres are housed in converted wharves to have a listen to some pontificators talk about 'getting real' in writing. You know, tackling the big issues in their various published amusements. Kick-off for my first target was due at 1.00 pm. I was there on time but doors were closed. "Its full" said some uni reffo. "Bullshit, how about disabled seats?" I enquired and then hastily added "I'm mentally deficient, you know." Didn't work. I was rejected. Again. The only reason I'd made it in time was because the shuttle bus from The Rocks handily took off a few metres away from The Fortune of War hotel where I'd been happily looking at the football form guides and consuming a couple of pre-match beers.

So there I was, stymied in my attempt to jump into intellectualism. To nurture my mind with thinky goodness. I sat outside the venue and they were streaming the discourse from inside via a couple of loudspeakers. I listened for a short while and then, nonplussed, got up and had a look around. The shuttle bus was pulling up for a trip back to The Rocks so I did what any stymied bloke would do. Jumped on the bus and headed back to the snug little boozer. There I had a couple of more beers, pondering the next SWF event I had earmarked and the likelihood of leaving my new fave haven. An internal debate which was really only ever going to have one winner. However. In the middle of this self interrogation a couple of other punters were discussing the fillum Star Trek. I hadn't seen it yet. Checked the paper for screening times and Bingo! I had enough time to hit the George St precinct, grab a ticket, jump the popcorn queue and make the afternoon session. Woo hoo! It was a cracking film and was made even more enjoyable by the libations I had previously consumed. Others have reviewed it properly so I won't bother except to say it was well worth the bus trip up from The Rocks and away from the SWF.

Aftwerwards I was talked into a few settlers with an ex-colleague and that became what one would expect. I think later in the eveningI told one of the barmaids I regularly talk to that I was madly in love with her. Ain't it funny how romance just pours out of a bloke like an out of control sonnet by The Bard when someone serves him a few drinks? So what was going to be an intellectually stimulating afternoon ended up being a drinks, movie, feed, drinks, slap on the face sort of evening. I even made it home in time to watch some IPL cricket. Unfortunately unaccompanied by that evening's love of my life. Next year it will be different. I won't get a slap on the face.


  1. fantastic... see thats what ya get for trying

  2. Great post Therbs. The Fortune-O-War was an integral stopover on my Rocks pub crawl on what I think was my second bucks night. Amazing old hole in the wall.

  3. Excellent post Therbs - and I can well understand how one might fall 'in love' with a bar wench. It is easy to see what they bring to the relationship!

    All this afternoon is lacking is a brief stroll through the Cross for a couple of moments of 'companionship' and you've described the perfect day!

  4. U - my point precisely
    Dr Y - hadn't been to the Fortune for a few years but it was like an old friend. Didn't ask where I'd been, just got me some drinks.
    Lerm - I was once called shallow when announcing my love for Melinda, a most delicious young lady who served me drinks at The Gaslight Inn many years ago. Some people simply don't get it, the poor sods. You do. The Cross did cross my mind when I got slapped but I was not really in a fit state to engage in commercial activity at that stage.

  5. Hey a slap is physical contact, that's got to be a good thing?

  6. Naut - wasn't really the slap and tickle I was after but yeah, a bloke's gotta remain positive.

  7. The evening at the bar sounds more productive than the festival.