Why Twitter may save live television

I am really enjoying the Olympics.

Me. Not known for liking to watch sport. Indeed, I’d much rather catch up with an episode or two of Project Runway.

The marathon, the diving, the trap shooting (possibly if they ever showed it), the equestrian events.

I love it.

Especially the rowing.

But why And why these Olympics?

Today as I sat on my lardy arse, tablet on my knee, glass of wine by my side, watching London 2012, it came to me. Twitter.

Watching sport is so much more fun with your friends.

Or even, random people you hardly know.

It’s why people still go to cinemas. To the footy when there’s a much better view on the telly.

It’s the collective experience.


It could be the savior of live television.

I rarely watch live tv.

I can’t stand the ads so everything I watch is recorded.

But I do make an appointment at 7.30pm on Monday to watch QandA.

Sure I could watch it at 9.30 but if I watch it in real time I can participate in the giant virtual theatre known as Twitter.

I may never get a tweet on the telly, but I can comment and discuss the show with everyone else as we all watch it together.

I see the comments on Masterchef on my way home from work… And I feel ripped off.

I have to wait two hours to catch up.

It puts me off watching.

But if I could watch it live, I might even tune in and put up with the ads, just to participate.

So here’s my theory.

For live television to survive, it has to become event television. Appointment television.

We are seeing the beginnings now.

But I think Drama could go the same way.

Find a reason for us to chat during the show and I’ll tune in live.

Just saying.

And meantime…

Go Aussies!

The Global Mail – a review

Front page of The Global Mail at 6.14pm WAT

I heard Monica Attard today on the radio talking about this new journalism experiment – The Global Mail – a new independent, not-for-profit journalism wet dream of a site.

No advertising, no subscriptions, fully funded by a philanthropic businessman who wanted to do something to protect quality journalism in a world where the profession is hacked by a reducing advertising spend, and a fragmenting media space.  Where “real” journalists are a dying breed.  Where interests of mega-media types of the Rupert Murdoch variety rule and competition comes not from other journalists but citizen reporters, bloggers. Where being first does not always mean being accurate, but nearly always means a grainy picture “or it didn’t happen”.  (Monica didn’t say all that I hasten to add, that’s just the vibe I got)

So what’s The Global Mail like?

Well really you should check it out for yourself but since you asked…

In one word… classy.

Nice font (open sans if you’re interested)… and nice and big for those blind as a bat like me.

Horizontal scrolling… which takes a bit of getting used to (I wish the little scroll thingy on my mouse worked to scroll horizontally) but was, according to Monica, so that their yet-to-be-developed app works better.

Beautiful imagery – make sure you look at the photo essays.  Gorgeous.

Writing – again quality stuff.  The sort of writing that makes you wish you wrote better.  Sigh… (moment of reflection)

Loved the article on the Superbowl – I’d never thought about sport in terms of countries like that.  Also enjoyed the Obama article.

So overall go The Global Mail… and if you’re ever wanting a Western Australian team member… 🙂

But I do have some suggestions… what you thought it was going to go all your way??

Did you not read your own article about bloggers who like to tell the truth and not suck up to people???

First, while I quite like the horizontal scrolling – I’d quite like to be able to see who has written the article and the title on each page.  It’s a pain to do the click click click thing to get back to the start.

And call me a flibbertigibbet, but some of the articles are very long – too long for my attention span… although if I was not online they would probably be perfect.

User generated stuff… what’s the deal there.  No comments when I checked in and yet very easy to send one in.

I would like to see a section on upcoming features that could call out for help in getting those stories.  Use citizen journalism for good not evil.

Small quibbles indeed.

Keen to hear your thoughts as well… and your thoughts on the need for this kind of website as well.  We have a national broadcaster with the same remit.  Is that not enough?

(My view is Bring. It. On.  The more journalism like this in the world – the better.  But I guess you figured that out.)


My new outdoor office

A water view and decking beneath my feet

You find me this afternoon, dear reader, writing from my new outdoor office.

I’m mid holiday, we’ve finished the pergola and the decking.

It’s 35 degrees and hot so I’m in my wet bikini (imagine me slim please) with a large glass of icy water which I hope will be replaced by a St Clair Savignon Blanc within the hour.

I am a third of the way through my reading list for this year’s writers’ festival.

I’m chairing the bloggers’ forum and for once feel a tiny bit qualified to be amongst the literati.

Of course all the bloggers on my panel have also written books.  Show offs.

Apart from appearing as an extra in my very own version of The Renovators, this week I’ve been going along to the “advanced” storytelling course led by Brian Finkelstein from The Moth.

It’s the advanced course because I did another course this time last year with Margot Leitman, not that I consider myself advanced at all.

I was a bit nervous this year.

Last year, well I was a n00b wasn’t I so it didn’t really matter if I was rubbish… but now… I’m “advanced”.

There are expectations.

And everyone else is so good, including my partner in crime when it comes to storytelling – Feline.

Still, four more lessons to go before we begin the show at The Blue Room.  There’s hope.

In fact I’m hoping to get inspired by the fabulous Ira Glass who is in town tonight.  I bought my tickets MONTHS ago and they’ve been pinned to my noticeboard winking at me ever since.

Ira is the host of This American Life, my favourite podcast, in fact I’m listening to it as I type.

He is another fabulous storyteller.

I wonder if I’ll get to meet him?

Should I take my radio to get him to sign it?  My ipod?

A sad little groupie, that’s what I am.

Still it could be worse.

I could be a fan of Justin Beiber. (is that how you spell his name?)


Meet me at the cactus

Close up cactus

Saw the million dollar artwork for Perth yesterday.

Perth train station

Do I love it?

Am I supposed to?

Is that the point of public art?

I’ll give it this much… it stands out.

And I kind of like that about public art.

It can’t always be tasteful and classic… a statue of the great and good… usually a white male.

Oh yes the statue of Sir Charles Court is due to be unveiled soon…

Not that I’ve got anything against Sir Charles.

I danced with him once at the Shinju Matsuri ball in Broome, and I must say he was quite light on his feet.

But we need more than a statue in Forrest Place.

We need a statement.

Does it make a difference that the artist – James Angus – has an impressive resume.

Has his art in several state galleries and collections.

Holds a masters from Yale.

It shouldn’t.

We should take each artwork on its own merits.

We should respond to it, or not, and gauge its value by the strength of the reaction it evokes.

And on that basis, well, this has to be a triumph.

If nothing else, it is certainly a landmark.

Meet you at the cactus next time we’re in Perth.

Your shout.


A sticking point does not mar perfection

ravioli with pumpkin, preserved lemon and sage sauce... yum

I went to dinner at Unraveled last night.

Took some doing.

Mainly because in my head I thought I was trying to book “Entangled”.

Which isn’t a bad name for a pasta restaurant I thought.

Anyhow I couldn’t find a reference to my imagined destination online but I could find the number to the restaurant it used to be – The Twisted Fork – so I rang that number and we were in!

I think they call them selves Unraveled because that is how they present their menu.

You choose the pasta, the protein and the sauce separately.

So many of the sauces sounded delicious.

I tried the mushroom sauce with chicken and saffron linguine – which was a special kind of divine.

And the spinich and ricotta ravioli with pumpkin, preserved lemon and sage was also delicious.

The bread and butter pudding with white chocolate and raspberry – diet starts today!

The service – friendly and prompt.

My one question.

Should you take the sticker off the lime before you serve it?


That’s what I think.

At Ezra Pound

Drinking shiraz and enjoying the atmos

I discovered a new bar in town last night.

A bar that made me feel like I was in Melbourne.

Maybe it was the street art vibe…

street art

Maybe it was the fact I was out on in Northbridge with friends for the second night in a week.

Ezra Pound was of course a famous American poet at the turn of the previous century – I’m not terribly familiar with his work – a quick read of Wikipedia makes me think he wasn’t all that pleasant a chap – although in his favour he did convince people to publish one of my favourite poets – TS Eliot.

Do not move
 Let the wind speak
  that is paradise.
Let the Gods forgive what I
  have made
Let those I love try to forgive
  what I have made.
from Canto 120, Ezra Pound

 Anyway, the man himself aside, it’s a great little bar.
Loved the exposed brick, the couches and chairs inside, the outdoor seating, the decorated fence.
I missed it completely the first time – it’s down a little alleyway just a few doors down from The Bird on William Street if you’re heading towards the Brass Monkey.
Oh and speaking of monkeys… or rather Great Apes… we had a very lively discussion of the play we’d just been to see at The Blue Room – Wish.
If you’ve read the book by Peter Goldsworthy you’ll know why.
When JJ – the hearing son of deaf parents – agrees to teach Sign to the mysterious Eliza, he embarks on a voyage of discovery that takes him to the outer limits of language, science, nature, ethics – and love.
For me the play was about living in two worlds but fitting in in neither.
And it also raised the question:  Does love justify your actions?
I’m not sure it’s the get-out-of-jail-free card that the romantics would have us believe.
Have you read the book?  Seen the play?
What do you think?
Happy to be at this bar

Finding Nigel

Alison with her newly discovered vagina

So we found the sculpture (pictured above) and now Narelle wants to find Nigel.

Narelle being Alison, or at least Alison when she was 20, and fresh born into the city.

The back story.

The search.

Anyhoo the thing is that Alison is in Sydney this week – and so is the artist that sculpted her veejayjay back in the day and she wants to find him.

She has an mp3 of the story she told at our storytelling sessions and a photograph of… well… herself to give him.

(get your mind out of the gutter – its a photo of the sculpture)

It’s just for old times sake (she is in a relationship at the moment) so she isn’t stalking him or anything.



So if you know where the artist is – please let us know!

We have a twitter search going on – have a look on http://twitter.com/cellobella

Oh and his name isn’t Nigel.

Sculptures by the sea 2011

red boy

This sculpture was tall… an oversized bright red boy. I liked this one. I would have liked to have seen it in a more prominent position.

Cottesloe Beach

This is the view from the end of the groin back at the beach, now sadly eroded. Usually the beach hangs around until winter… but it has been an unusual summer.

At the end of the groin (excuse the pun)

And this is what was on the end of the groin.

From the other direction

Quite a striking figure but one wonders if better placed at Swanborne…

The kiss (at least that's what I call it)

Loved this one.

Intimacy laughed at

This is one of a series of three – one with a straight face, one smiling and this one laughing.

Talk to the hand(s)

This was a whole bunch of hands on sticks.

Boy and camels
Solid reflections

Loved this one – I think it was a Danish artist.

Her cup overflowth

This was my favourite. She/it is so sexy. I believe another version of this was at Bondi a few years ago.

Man in boat

This one was also sweet. And yes there is water in the boat.

Sand shoes

And you’ve got to have whimsy.

All in all, another enjoyable exhibition. I would like to see another floating sculpture… they are always fun.

Oh and we downloaded Russ and Pete’s podcast which was an interesting take.

Through the glass

So much grafitti

The late afternoon sun came through the graffiti on the way home yesterday and I really noticed it.

This morning, as I write this on my way to work the glass is gleaming and clear.

The clear glass

What a  difference.

It makes me wonder whether they put some sort of covering on the glass that they can replace occasionally to bring the windows… excuse the pun… up to scratch.

And if not, maybe that would be a solution to a problem all those security guards and cameras don’t seem to be able to solve.

What do they do in Washington DC? They would have the best kept metro I’ve been on.

Nudie Rudie

Generic beach shot because taking out a camera at the nude beach is probably not the done thing

I am doing a storytelling course (Barefaced Stories) at The Blue Room Theatre with Margot Leitman (check out one of her stories on The Moth).

Eight sessions and at the end we will have a polished story.

Each session we have homework.

The first assignment – “do something outside your comfort zone”.

This required some deep thought.

Then I remembered the time Groover and I  – in our 20s when we had hot (ish) bods – stripped off and drove naked down West Coast Highway – at least until the adreniline wore off and we thought about all the what ifs… what if we broke down? What if we get pulled over by a cop? And we quickly scuttled back home.

So I thought okay, let’s up the ante and go for a swim at Perth’s favourite nude beach – luckily not far away – Swanborne – public nudity.

First question… what does one wear to Swanborne because clearly you can’t rock up nude – does one wear bathers?

I decided to wear my bikini, as it seemed appropriate, and with towel and sunblock in hand casually strolled down the beach.

OMG!  There are naked people there!!

First thing I saw from a distance was the silhouette of a man and let me tell you he was hung.

Second question… where do I sit?

I don’t want to sit too close to anyone else but I do want to get the Swanborne experience so I don’t want to sit completely on my own and I don’t want to sit up by the dunes as I figure the creepy guys hang out there perving, so I plonk my stuff down in the middle and undress.

Well that feels a bit weird and as I slide my bikini bottoms off I’m thinking some trimming might have been in order but it’s too late now.

Lying on the beach I’m conscious of what everyone is doing.

People are moving between groups chatting, there’s a very tanned girl to my right doing a job interview on her iPhone, and there are people – clothed people – walking by all the time.

But I can’t lie on the beach forever – for one thing I can’t stay out in the sun too long and for another – well a swim is part of the challenge.

So choosing my moment I stand up and walk into the surf.

The water is cool, the surf a bit dumpy but this is no time to get into the water gingerly.

Before long I am enjoying my swim and getting chatted up by a tanned fellow in his mid forties who turns out to be the pilot of our flight home last Sunday – I kid you not.

Anyway I go back to my towel and air dry.

I notice that I’m possibly one of the younger women on the beach – hard to tell as all the women have VERY dark tans – and also, I’m not that uncomfortable.

And I notice the men – it’s hard not to.

One guy I swear has more metalwork “down there” than the Bunnings tool section.

Another guy has tats all over his body – except “down there” and frankly who can blame him.

There are men of all sizes – and that’s when I realise that actually there are way more men than women.

Why did that surprise me?

I get dressed and get up to go and as I’m leaving the pilot starts chatting to me.

Now that feels a bit weird… chatting to a completely naked man while fully dressed on the beach.

Anyway we chat for a bit and I’m thinking well this will make a great addition to my story when…

Groover walks by!

OMG and I’m chatting to a naked man!

Anyway it takes me a while to catch up with the groovy one because by the time I noticed him he was about 20 metres away and the wind is whipping away my voice and hey, I’m not that fit so running in sand isn’t very fast but eventually I catch up with him and we walk back  and I tell him about my experience and he remembers the pilot’s name and I suggest that he might like to go in for a quick dip.

He (surprisingly) agrees and we have a little swim and then start to get dressed.

Do you want to meet the pilot I ask?

The pilot is now under his umbrella – still nuded up of course – but Groover says no.

I guess meeting a naked man on the beach is outside his comfort zone.

So this is the story I tell at my storytelling class and it goes down quite well.

The next day I decide to go back to the beach – because it was fun, there was quite a nice community feel to it and I was still on a high from the day before but it’s different.

For one thing it is much windier so there are fewer people and there are only two other women.

That friendly community atmosphere has blown away with the wind and what is left feels somewhat seedy.

The pilot is there and comes over to chat but it all feels a bit wrong.

I go home after about 20 minutes and shower.

If I go back – I won’t go alone.

Besides – I had my next assignment to do – ” to stray from my routine”.

Ah but that is another story.