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  • Writer's pictureTim and Lindsey

Phone a Friend (Day 150)

Sometimes, if you can't find the answer - phone a friend! A great day at the Art Gallery of NSW and meeting new friends.

Our time in Beaumont Hills has come to an end. Jane and Debs returned back from their rainy trip in England, luckily they did pop across to Amsterdam and get a few rays of sunshine. We shared our adventures with one another, plus Jazz and Smudge’s funny antics, big hugs and off we departed. The bus stop was at the third tree down from their house, so while we were dawdling down to there, we heard our names being called, and there was Lyn, our lovely neighbour with Bango coming out to say farewell.

We hopped on the empty bus, made ourselves comfortable for the 1.5 hour journey into Sydney. There were track works on the train line so this was an easier alternative journey. Jane and Debs had kindly given us some delicious chocolates from Amsterdam so these kept us occupied some of the time. As we had a bit of time to spare, we went to the Art Gallery of NSW.

One of the Exhibitions was ARTEXPRESS 2018 featuring a selection of artwork by teenage students that they completed for the Visual Arts Higher School Certificate exam. Wow, not only was the artwork of such a high standard, the written descriptions of their work, their insights were incredible. For example. Daisy Ryan chose to paint a few massive pieces of teeth and writes “No two teeth are the same and therefore no two sets of teeth are similar. Despite our intervention, teeth manage to move, shift and change, the same way a human being does. Missing teeth symbolise the inability to ‘bite’ into new or difficult life challenges. When isolated without the rest of the body or face, the teeth show their own character. They no longer affect or change the way people view your whole self, and therefore do not invite judgement but rather become a symbol of human identity.”

Time for lunch in the Gallery Café with some very healthy salad, then more viewing of artwork. Into the European Galleries of familiar artists such as Pablo Picasso, Francis Bacon, and Paul Cézanne and then unfamiliar Australian artists, such as Fredrick McCubbin, John Olsen and Margo Lewers. My favourite painting was Tram Kaleidoscope (1948) by Frank Hinder, a cubism style with simultaneous views of people on a tram and the buildings and car outside. So clever, beautiful muted colours and perfectly smooth shapes.

Off to the train station and we were met at the other end by Alix and Geoff. Alix is my lovely friend Karen’s sister and so generously invited us to stay before we head off to Melbourne. She has lived here since 1990 and it’s so weird hearing her Aussie accent and then suddenly she has a Scottish lilt and sounds like Karen.

We arrived back at their house, meeting their 3 dogs, Fizz and Binty both black Labradors and Winny is a very lively Schnoodle. One for the first things I noticed was the knife block. Apparently they are quite common over here – it did make me laugh.

You know how sometimes you meet people for the first time and it seems that you’ve known them for years? Well this is how it is with Alix and Geoff. Having arrived at 4:30, we chatted so much that we kept Alix from making dinner and finally sat down at 9:30pm, with much laughter and chatting.

While we were eating, music was playing in the background and I then heard Sinéad O’Connor singing “Nothing compares 2 U”. This was number 1 in the charts when I was in Australia the last time, so we worked out it was 1990 just as I turned 29. For some reason this reminded Alix of another female singer but couldn’t remember her name. She had it in her head that she was Scottish with a Pixie face and mimed when she was singing. Tim was searching on Google, I thought it was Clare Grogan. (This reminded Alix that just a few weeks ago Geoff informed her that “Grogan” means in Australian slang “A partially-ejected clump of faeces – sorry about that!). After about half an hour Alix decided to “phone a friend” and contacted Karen’s husband Roy in Scotland via WhatsApp as she knew that he liked this female singer. Within seconds she could see that Roy was typing back. We waited with baited breath….Natalie Imbruglia….Scottish? She’s Australian! And what’s this about her miming? Alix quickly finds a Video Clip of David Armand miming “Torn” and then Natalie Imbruglia walks on singing and joins in with the actions. Very funny. Phew! Thank goodness Roy had the answer, we could have been there all night!

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