Let the sanest among us, cast the first stone.

I was sitting at the kitchen table the other day watching a TED video, as you do… and my mobile phone rings.  I glance at the screen and see that it’s my Mum calling.  So I answer the call, and say, “Hi Mum”, just like I always do… only to hear a male voice saying, “No, it’s Dad.”

*WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?!?*

JTFC!  This seriously and immediately did my head in, because my Dad passed away in 2007.  It was actually my father in law, who is currently visiting from Canada and staying at my Mum’s house while she is travelling… and while somewhere deep down in my logical brain I knew it couldn’t be my Dad, the distracted manner in which I answered the phone and the expectation that it would be my mother, followed by a declaration that it was my deceased father, allowed an immediate, and completely irrational, reaction that stayed with me for several hours.

It happened in just a split second – I heard the male voice and was then frantically looking around the room in confusion and my heart felt like it had leapt into my throat… I felt like I was floundering and my brain was having trouble keeping up with the enormous negative adrenaline rush that over took my body.  It was like some weird lizard brain fear/disbelief reaction that I have never experienced before.  Absolute discombobulation. Then a fleeting moment later it penetrated that the male voice had said ‘Doug’ and not ‘Dad’… and I just burst into tears.

It was a truly surreal moment.  I felt like my brain was trying to resolve some sort of unresolvable situation.  I have no way to describe it other than I ‘freaked the fuck out!’… and I am not the type of person who ‘freaks the fuck out!’ about anything.  Additionally, I most certainly do not believe in anything that would even remotely support concepts of contact and/or interactions with people who are dead.  But my brain didn’t seem to remember any of that, right there in the middle of that bizarrely intense over-emotional unreasonable moment.

I would give just about anything for a phone call with my Dad, I have so much I would want to tell him, so many things I would I want to ask him, people I would want to introduce him to.  So much has happened since he left.  You know, most days I don’t think about Dad at all, and we all just go about our lives.  But whenever I do think about him… I miss him so much it hurts.

discombobulate discombobulation

My Poppa and World War II.

Yesterday, I went to visit my 95 year old Grandfather who has found himself in respite care for the first time.  Up until about two months ago he has been living independently up at Bribie Island but apparently he has started having chest issues and subsequent breathing problems – but when I asked him how his chest was getting along, he told me the most bizarre thing… that he’d always had chest problems on his left side ever since he ‘fell down a mountain’ in WWII when serving in Papua New Guinea.   Falling down a mountain?  Huh?

My Poppa was conscripted to serve in the Australian Army during World War II, probably in 1942, (I didn’t know he was a conscript, I always assumed he had volunteered), and he found himself enlisted into the 25th Battalion, which was largely formed of men from the Qld Darling Downs region, most of whom were present at the Battle of Milne Bay and was later assigned to ANGAU, the Australia New Guinea Administrative Unit.  Anyway, he tells me while he was assigned to the 25th Battalion, at some point they were engaged with the enemy (the Japanese Army) and he was forced over a cliff and ‘fell down a mountain’.  Leaving him in the RAP with broken ribs and a punctured lung.

Like many returned veterans, my Poppa never talks about the war much and I had only a rudimentary knowledge of his service in Papua New Guinea.  Hell, he never even really spoke to my grandmother about it, from what she said.  I knew that he had served with American troops and that at some point he had received a Military Medal for bravery – he had single handedly attacked a Japanese hut and shot two enemy soldiers before killing five more with an axe/machete, leaving his platoon outside in safety – the erroneous and watered down concepts I had, of how he came to be awarded this high distinction, are recorded here.  I was not aware that he had suffered any injuries while in the Pacific theatre, but here he is, a man I have known my entire life telling me he ‘fell down a mountain’ and had residual chest issues as a result of a puncture lung and scar tissue on that lung… so I started asking him some more questions about his time in the war in the hope that he might open up a bit.

He spoke to me for the first time about his presence at Milne Bay and how the Japanese soldiers landed on the beach appeared to be expecting very little resistance, for they knew the Australian soldiers posted there were all conscripts – in the Japanese imagination, that meant they were men who didn’t want to fight, and in their arrogance they expected to walk all over them, as the Japanese had experienced no great amount of resistance and had not suffered any defeat until this point in the war.  My Poppa told me how the volunteer Aussie soldiers referred to conscripts, like himself, as Chocos (Chocolate soldiers – a derogatory term for a soldier who looks good, but melts under pressure… a term the current Australian Army relegates to their Army Reserve).  Anyway he personally thinks the Japanese felt that the Chocos wouldn’t give them any trouble, but they were wrong, really wrong.  And were defeated at Milne Bay and forced to retreat.  He spoke about how he remembers seeing about 200 dead Japanese soldiers on the beach when the Japanese pushed inland but they were eventually forced to retreat when met with unexpected veteran Australian reinforcements.

The Battle of Milne Bay, (25 August – 7 September 1942). One of the barges used by the Japanese forces in their unsuccessful incursion.

The Battle of Milne Bay, (25 August – 7 September 1942) – one of the barges used by the Japanese forces in their unsuccessful incursion.

Throughout our visit yesterday, he said several times that the ‘Japanese soldiers did horrible, terrifying things that I just can’t tell you about’, it was obviously a coping mechanism developed over the last 70 years, maybe even necessary for his own mental preservation, to justify the things he did in the Pacific.  Even though I reassured him I had read several books detailing the war atrocities that the Japanese had committed against enemy troops in the Pacific, he was still reluctant to share details of the things he had seen.  The only specific example he was prepared to share personally, was that on one occasion they had found some of their own Signals guys wrapped up to palm trees with comms wire, and it was obviously that the Japanese soldiers had used them for live bayonet practice.  But other than this, Poppa would only say that the Japanese soldiers were very free and creative with torture – ‘it was just the way they were trained’ – and that these practices among others, would eventually be labelled as Japanese war crimes.

Centaur-ship2

The AHS Centaur with prominent red crosses on her bow and funnels.

In May of 1943, a hospital ship, the AHS Centaur, was sunk by the Japanese off the coast of Australia somewhere near Caloundra in Queensland.  The sinking of the Centaur made headlines around the world and confirmed in the minds of the allied countries, the barbarity and savagery that the Japanese were capable of – as this attack on a hosptial ship was irrefutably a crime, being an act in serious breech of the 1907 Hague Convention.  The public was outraged that a hospital ship was targeted and sunk.  Poppa said the sinking of the Centaur steeled the resolve of the soldiers he served with, and their hatred of the Japanese was solidified after that.  For Poppa personally, the sinking of the Centaur was deeply painful and personal – you see, his elder brother Harry was on the Centaur and died on May 14th, 1943 when it was sunk.  By the sounds of it, this event had an enormous impact on my Grandfather and his anger and desire for revenge on the Japanese became somewhat consuming.

canberra times centaur

work save fight avenge the nurses

When working with ANGAU, one of his primary responsibilities was reconnaissance and eradicating Japanese soldiers that were embedded throughout the mountainous jungle terrain.  He was a Sergeant by then, and had a platoon consisting of American, Australian and some Papua New Guinea natives.  I had heard the story of how he was awarded the Military Medal for attacking a hut with no regard for his life, and was told (when I was a kid) that he had malaria and thought he was dying, so he left his unit outside and attacked the hut alone.  That was not true… it was a watered down version of his actual actions while serving in this unit.  Yesterday, Poppa told me that he was so incensed by his brother’s unjust death, that he wanted to make the Japanese pay.  So he started to habitually ingress into these Japanese huts on his own.  He estimates there was at least a dozen or so huts that he attacked and usually they had only one or two occupants.  However one day he burst into a hut only to find seven men in that hut, two of which he shot and the other five he killed with a tomahawk sized axe.

I was a little shocked and struggling with incredulity.  Not to mention completely amazed he made it through the war alive at all, especially given he had acted with such a blatant disregard for his own life on not one, but on so many occasions.  I also found it incongruous with the figure of my grandfather – he was maybe 5’6″ at his prime (now barely 5’1″) and only ever maybe 60kgs dripping wet, and yet during this horrific period of his life when he was at war, here he is quietly telling me fought like some sort of viking beserker, obsessed by the idea of avenging his brother.  Soldierly bravado being what it was, his platoon eventually sought to send him to the back of their column, so that they could ‘get in on the action’.  They were especially keen to push him to the background once my Poppa was told by his American CO, that he was being commended for an American Silver Star, and an Australian Victoria Cross.  With a melancholy and yet slightly wry smile, he tells me the first time they went on patrol after he was relegated to the back of the pack, their unit was attacked that very day from the rear by Japanese soldiers, and he once more found himself in the thick of the attack.  His fellow soldiers were not too happy about that either apparently.

On another such occasion when they were moving through jungle terrain with my Poppa once more relegated to the rear of the patrol, he caught view of a Japanese soldier out of the corner of his eye appearing to be flailing his arms.  Acting on instinct and thinking a grenade had just been thrown, Poppa shot him dead, though he later reflected that he might have been trying to surrender.  He said ‘it wouldn’t matter if he was [trying to surrender], they would have shot him anyway, we weren’t taking any prisoners’ (this policy evolved due to Japanese POWs managing to kill numerous allied forces once in custody, including incidents of POWs grabbing scalpels and stabbing doctors attempting to save their lives).  Poppa told me that he checked the soldier’s pockets for intel (common practice) and found a photograph of the man’s wife and two small sons.  Having a wife and one small son at home himself, it was after this incident that Poppa decided war was ‘complete rubbish’ and he decided he wanted little more to do with fighting.  The photograph seemed to bring back some humanity and perspective, that he seemed to have lost along with his brother, Harry, when the Centaur went down.

He also told me, that after that incident, he had decided that there was no God… because surely if there was a God, he would stop them all from killing each other.  I never knew my Poppa has been an atheist most of his adult life, he kept his beliefs to himself while my grandmother oversaw us all being raised as Catholic.  The conversation transitioned fairly quickly from him sharing some of his memories to taking an unexpected philosophical bent, so I queried his logic: “Poppa, what if there is a God… but he’s just an arsehole?”  Poor Poppa.  Not used to hearing his granddaughter using such language; and through the laughing/coughing fit my question caused, he looked at me and said, ‘You know, I never thought of that.’

Anyway, having lost much of his thirst for war after the incident with the Japanese soldier and his family photograph, Poppa managed to get himself transferred to working from Port Moresby and spent the remainder of the war working to get supplies out to troops and thankfully didn’t see any more forward action.  At some point, he was summoned to meet with the US General who had command of the ANGAU troops – he thinks his name was General Close or Closte, but is unsure – ostensibly to be congratulated for his brave and heroic efforts, and to be given a pat on the back for the commendations that were being submitted for his awards.  Poppa started to laugh a little as he recounted what occurred at that meeting.  It seems that he may have inadvertently become a victim of that famous and typical, laconic Australian sense of humour – one that is still not very well understood by many Americans, and one which most definitely was not understood (or appreciated) by an uptight American Army Commanding Officers in 1943 war time Papua New Guinea.  When asked how he got along with his American troops, my grandfather jokingly told the general that ‘they’re alright blokes, but nowhere near as good as our Aussie Diggers’.  On top of that Poppa made another social faux pas and declined to stay and regale the General with tales of his exploits, he is definitely NOT the braggart type, and told the General that he had to return to his men.

Not long afterwards, my grandfather discovered his Victoria Cross commendation was downgraded (for lack of a better term) to a Military Medal commendation, and his American Silver Star commendation disappeared into the ether all together.  So it appears that the US General really did not appreciate my grandfather’s sense of humour at all!  Not that he seems to mind… in fact he seems to find it rather amusing that he had been getting plenty of ribbing from his comrades who were oddly jealous of the commendations, but then he accidentally insults their General, and then doesn’t get the awards anyway!

We spoke for several hours.  He told me of the night where he watched from the tree line of the beaches near the cargo jetty at Port Moresby as the Japanese bombed, and half sank, the MV Anshun and how they all expected the Japanese to target the nearby Hospital Ship, the TSMV Manunda, as well, such was the reputation of the Japanese Army after the sinking of the Centaur.  He related how there were sailors swimming to shore from various vessels that had been bombed, many of them yelling in Filipino, and how the Australian soldiers tried to get them to shut up, before they were shot by Americans mistaking them for Japanese.  He also mentioned that on returning to his tent that night, he found a large piece of shrapnel from the Anshun had ripped through his tent and embedded in his bunk – good thing he wasn’t in it at the time.

He spoke to me of being assigned to a machine gun patrol at some point with an American named Tom Henderson (he thinks), and how Tom would plant down his machine gun and saw through the tops of the coconut trees where the Japanese would hide… and ‘every now and then they would see one go *plop* and fall from the trees’.  Eventually Tom was shooting at some coconut trees one day and got hit by a Japanese sniper, before he could start shooting at them.

He told me of an occasion where they were moving through some jungle terrain and the guy walking right beside him was shot in the head.  It could just as easily have been him, and he often wondered why it wasn’t, especially considering that he was wearing a very noticeable slouch hat and had rank on his sleeves compared to the other guy.  Another incident that convinced him that there is no God and life is just random.

All up, I learned more about my grandfather in one day than I had in the preceding 30 years.  His experiences touched me profoundly, but not as much as the trust he showed in allowing me to be the first person he has spoken to about these things in over 70 years.

How to: Be A Bossy Bridesmaid and Keep Smiling.

The Bride was so stunning she made Grace Kelly look like an old crone.  The setting in the park amidst the autumn leaves was perfect.  The ceremony was solemn yet intimate and personal and the gorgeous couple were eventually and happily joined in blessed matrimony…. But Oy vey! was there some mad management going on behind the scenes leading up to the moment of wedded bliss!

Picture if you will, one overworked, overtired, overstressed, overwrought, overextended Bride getting ready for THE event of her young life.  Now lets give her a pervasive and persistent head cold of several weeks, a house full of soon to be in-laws and a bunch of absent staff at her pizza shops all experiencing attacks of Life(TM)… suddenly you have a very stressed and fragile young lady who feels like she’s going to cry because she can’t find a car park, and hasn’t had breakfast yet!  🙁    No one wants that.

I’ve been involved in plenty of weddings before, but this one looked like it could turn pear shaped pretty quickly under these extenuating and emotionally heightened circumstances.  Anxious and stressed Bride is a recipe for disaster, so the natural thing for any quick witted Bridesmaid in this position is to run interference, keep any potential wrinkles in the perfect planned silk satin schedule out of the Bride’s immaculately manicured hands, and swiftly fix anything and everything BEFORE it becomes a problem.   Now if only we could have gotten the rest of the team onside with the ‘Keep The Icky Problems Away From The Bride Plan’…

Rental company doesn’t have the required number of ordered chairs?  The Bride doesn’t need to know – sort it yourself.  Finally picked the chairs up and some are of them are dirty?  The Bride doesn’t need to know – sort it yourself.  Unable to set the chairs up by yourself?  The Bride doesn’t need to know – sort it yourself.  Got no where to park the trailer?  The Bride does not need to know – sort it yourself or find someone to sort this stuff out for you.  Keep the knuckle head stuff off the Bride’s perfectly planned plate… because her only job now is to look gorgeous and to make it down the aisle with as minimal stress as possible.  :S

But here’s one I could never have predicted.  On the night before the wedding, we were staying at a friend’s house expecting a quiet night in before the big day…  one of the other houseguests casually mentions that he received a call asking him to bring his sword with him to the wedding, but it was too late, he was already en route to the airport.  With radar already on high alert, all I heard was ‘Arooga, arooga! Potentially unplanned/unknown things afoot that the Bride is unaware of?!  Arooga!’ and as such queried the need for medieval swords at a completely mundane wedding.

Some furious text messaging  between 22:30hrs and 00:15hrs confirmed the worst.  Not only was the Bride’s Father planning a surprise quasi-military ‘honour guard’ with raised steel swords at the wedding in a public park, without consulting his extremely organized Daughter With A Vision, he thought it’d be great fun to have that sword bearing ‘honour guard’ accompanied by some people holding up PIZZA BOXES for the Bride and Groom to walk under.   Hmmm… Yes, she owns some pizza shops and, yes, they are a huge part of her day to day life.  But I was at the rehearsal, I had seen the dresses, I had heard the music choices for the ceremony and had a rough idea what the ceremony text was like, and the whole thing screamed of fine lace, timeless elegance and classy silks… not pizza boxes in the park at twelve paces!

Did I think that the Bride would see this ‘surprise’ of her father’s and think, ‘Oh, Daddy, how very sweet!’, or did I think it more likely she would smile through gritted teeth thinking ‘WTF?’.  Strangely enough, with Our Bride as stressed and sick as she was, I was leaning towards the latter.  By the time I heard mention of light sabres as well as swords and pizza boxes, I was pretty sure my fellow BrideWrangler… err, I mean Bridesmaid, would agree with me, that this was potentially a tacky disaster in the making and that we were at risk of being the Bogan Wedding in the park that afternoon after all!  As it turns out after a quick consultation consisting of about ten words which included the terms ‘pizza boxes’ ‘ honour guard’ and ‘light sabres’…. yes, yes she most certainly agreed with me!  Messages flew furiously back and forth to stop the so-called ‘honour guard’ from being part of the ceremony. More messages to ask Father of the Bride to consider moving it to the reception (after the stressful part of the day was completed and also fortuitously avoiding the illegality of having steel swords in public for no legal reason).  Even more insistent and urgent messages were flying around to STOP THE PIZZA BOXES AT ALL COSTS!!!   They were completely incongruous with the elegant affair we knew the Bride had spent months planning!

wedding disaster conflict resolution

The Near Pizza Box Honour Guard Disaster saw myself and fellow Bridesmaid keeping up a constant flow of smiles, light and fluffy conversations about hair and make up, over champagne bubbles at the hairdressers on the morning of the wedding… while madly SMSing each other (sitting barely 1m apart), the Bride’s brother, the Bride’s father, some of the Groomsmen, various others in the know and the designated organizer of the ‘honour guard’ – all the while desperately trying to make sure that the Bride didn’t notice anything amiss!

The whole thing felt like a bad joke to me… Who on earth wants to surprise the Bride with what feels like a prank?  On. Her. Wedding. Day!?  I didn’t understand how the concept was even remotely appropriate, but by the time the Bride’s elegant french twist was all pinned and sprayed solidly into place, the dastardly pizza box plan was well and truly quashed and the honour guard was moved to the reception venue where steel swords indoors were less likely to run us afoul of the local constabulary, and definitely less likely to mess with the carefully coiffed elegance planned by the Bride.

But in the end we made it!  The weather was spectacular, the Bride looked absolutely stunning, the exchanging of vows and rings brought tears to the eyes of soft hearted onlookers, wonderful romantic memories were made, and the all round the day could not have turned out better!

So, the moral of the story for any Brides To Be?  It doesn’t matter whether your Bridesmaids have ill fitting frocks, are covered in tattoos or have two left feet… just make sure they are accomplished at Disaster Management and Conflict Resolution!!!

 

It’s only a problem if you know about it.

Ever forget where you left your keys?  Ever forget an appointment with your accountant? Doctor? Manicurist?  Ever forget to send permission forms up to school?  Ever forget to turn the iron off?  How about forgetting your passwords or forgetting about the Tooth Fairy?  Shit happens, right?

What about these then… ever forget that you have ordered a book and went and ordered a second copy?  Ever forget that you bought someone’s birthday present and then spent a week trying to come up with an idea for it?  Ever forget a conversation you had in the morning about the Goat Pie Guy and then wonder why you’re unexpectedly presented with goat pies for lunch three hours later?  Ever forget that you’re out shopping for a toaster and come home with a new kettle instead?   Ever tell the same person the same thing three or four times and watch their face glaze over as you realize you’ve already imparted that information?  Ever forget what the family said they wanted for dinner even though you asked them every half hour from 3-6pm?  Ever forget to turn off the TV or lock the door or set the alarm or close the garage and just leave the house and come home to find the place wide open?  Ever forget about a ‘to do’ list in your own handwriting and have no recollection of writing it?  Ever forget driving your child to school and spend the day believing someone else took him?  Ever completely forget something you only just learned the day before?  Ever scarily forget you’ve taken your nightly medication and promptly turned around five minutes later and taken it again?

We have been laughing about my goldfish memory for about five years now.  So what if you accidentally order the same book twice?  It was on medieval gold smithing and the extra copy made a great present for Surly’s next birthday anyway.  So what if pink Tupperware turns up in the mail and you have no recollection of ever having ordered it?  So what if you arrive a day early for your doctor’s appointment?  So what if you boil the kettle three or four times before remembering to actually make the cup of tea?   So what if you get frustrated trying to logon to your PC using a password you changed two years ago?  So what if you forget the Small Child’s basketball training…again?  So what if you have to keep the world’s most complex calendar because you can’t trust your memory to remind you of ANYTHING.

prescription drug addiction dependence memory loss concentration

Well, this is where I’ve been at for the last five years.  Too many drugs with too many side effects.  Not the least of which it turns out over long term use include diminished cognitive abilities, loss of concentration and drumroll please … memory loss.  Woulnd’t be so bad, in fact I doubt I would have come to call it a serious problem at all, if I weren’t trying to learn Classical Latin at the moment.  You see, I’ve managed to get through two semesters of Latin (I still have no idea how I did that) and am in the middle of my third (and fucking final) semester of Latin Language and Literature… and I CAN”T REMEMBER ANY OF IT.

Now, this isn’t the usual, ‘I hate Latin and brain is resisting learning Latin’ thing that often comes if someone is forced to deal with something they think is unpleasant (like me and income tax returns).  I like Latin and was finding it challenging and enjoyable, even though it comes with more than it’s fair share of monumental mind fucks.  No, the problem here is I am being taught grammatical concepts one day and the next day being unable to recall what the concepts were, what they were called, how they are applied or how they are translated, which is seriously hindering my ability to complete the course.  Homework assignments that should take only a matter of hours are taking me two days to complete as I look up words and then look them up again three lines later having already forgotten the English translation over the duration of about ten minutes and facepalming the minute I see the English again.  Seriously frustrating.  At the moment, with some changes in medication, I can’t seem to recall anything we learned last year – not even simple noun declensions, verb conjugations and tenses or principle parts.  Asking me to explain the mood or case of something, when parsing, is like asking me to teleport to Ancient Rome to run Cicero to ask him why he’s inflicted all this shit on us in the first place!  Impossible!

So struggling with Latin has gone from being challenging and enjoyable to being frustrating and riddled with anxiety, as I just can’t seem to remember what I need to know.  And it has bought home hard, like a slap upside the head with a wet haddock, just how bad my memory has become.  I can’t remember the Latin I learned yesterday, but to test a theory, I started working through an online self taught French tutorial program and have been sailing through it on high school French that I learned over 20 years ago!  I’m paying more attention to the memory problems now and I’m noticing more and more that I can’t remember shit.  I can’t remember important stuff, I’m losing track of menial stuff and I’m now officially getting worried about it because after a tiny bit of research and a meeting with my dealer… err I mean doctor, it turns out I have developed some serious prescription medication dependencies.  Or flat out drug addictions if we want to do away with the niceties.

Problem is, I can’t give them up.  I don’t want to give them up.  Go ahead, make my day… just try and take them off me and see what happens!  For without the drugs, there is no sleep.  Without the sleep, there is no coping with being in pain ALL day.  Without the coping there is a bottle of the most ludicrously expensive champagne and ALL the pills at once in my foreseeable future.

So… my name is Borys and I have a prescription drug addiction.  But somehow I doubt there are meetings for people with no desire or motivation whatsoever to kick their habits.  🙁

The Circus is Coming!

The circus is coming to town again and I’m so excited!   I’ve become enamoured with the Cirque du Soleil for many years and I can’t wait to go again.

brisbane 2012 big top

I first went to the Cirque du Soleil in 1997 in London with my friend BluddyMary.  She had bought us tickets as a Christmas gift and being the uncultured swine that I was I had no idea what I was in store for because I had never heard of the Cirque du Soleil before.  It was amazing – Alegria at the Royal Albert Hall.  A once in a lifetime experience and I loved every minute of it.  The building was amazing… I mean it’s the Royal Albert Hall!!!  The show was amazing, there were some incredible little contortionists who twisted and turned themselves inside out until you couldn’t figure out which bit belonged to which artist!

royal albert hall mongolian contortionists

brisbane royal albert hall 1997

But other than buying my Mum and Dad some tickets to a Cirque du Soleil production that was in town, I didn’t get to go again for many years.  It was January 2008 when I got to see Dralion for my birthday with the full Tapas Rouge experience.  Fancy nibblies, champagne, red carpet treatment and the most amazing seats right up the front.  The show was fabulous – there was one particular act with two ‘lovers’ dancing together suspended way above the stage, using long strips of billowing blue fabric almost like they were extensions to the dancers bodies.  They were so beautiful and sensual the way they moved together, it was absolutely mesmerising!

blue lovers fabric dance suspension

brisbane suspension dancers lovers

Then the next show I was fortunate enough to see was Saltimbanco last year in mid 2011.   One of the most striking things about Saltimbanco was the skill, wit and vivacity of the ‘clowns’.  I’m reluctant to call them clowns, they’re so much more than that.  They’re fantastic mimes and have a great sense of comic timing and audience involvement.  Saltimbanco was a show full of ‘wow’… ‘wow’ at the amazing things that the human body is capable of.  The act that left the most indelible mark from that show was the trampolinists who were doing incredible acrobatics and running up walls that appeared to be several stories high!  They were jumping back and forth with such speed and such agility and such amazingly tight choreography that I thought they would smash into one another!

promotional poster clowns

mime artists entertain crowd brisbane

And now Ovo is coming to town!  Tickets were purchased just after Christmas and I’ve been looking forward to for months.  I know nothing about it at all and have deliberately avoided watching any videos or listening to the soundtrack so it will be all new and interesting.  And now the tents are going up over at Hamilton and so it’s only a matter of time!  🙂

big top tent alegria dralion saltimbanco