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-- 04 June, 2005 --

The Interview Game

The Interview Game is making the rounds of the blogging world. The rules are at the end of this message (first in gets the hand-off). Detlef from detlef jumpertz | spin asked me these questions:

Q1: If you could own any painting in the world which one would you choose? Please explain the reasons why.

One of my favourite activities when I travel, whether I am in some far away place or just on an overnighter to Melbourne, is to visit art galleries. A trip to the Art Gallery of NSW is about my favourite Sunday thing to do in Sydney. Seeing the paintings 'in the flesh' makes looking at them in a glossy book of prints seem an utter waste of time. It just doesn't compare.

The Poet and I have visited lots of galleries on our travels including some of the world's best - The National Gallery in London, The Tate, The V&A, The Louvre, The Muse d'Orse (name dropper, ain't I - VBG). Out of all of the awesome paintings that we have seen, the one that I stood in front of and lusted for the most was Vincent's The Potatoe Eaters.

My reasons? It is difficult to know why you love a particular painting. The well known quip 'I don't know much about art but I know what I like' is very true, but since I have to give reasons then the first would be that Vincent is one of my favourite artists - he 'speaks' to me. I would have this particular example of his body of work because of its depth. His palette is typical of the Dutch period in which it was painted but, despite the dark colours, there is light in the canvas. He has painted these people with so much compassion that it breaks my heart.

I could look at this canvas for ever and still not see all that it has to tell me.

Q2: If you could be an animal, any animal, which one would you choose and why?

The animal the spring immediately to mind is a domestic cat. Of course it would depend on the slave that I chose - cats choose their slaves, humans don't own cats. I would want one who knew their place and attended to my every need before I had even thought of it. I would require a regular supply of fresh fish - none of that canned rubbish - and a bowl of constantly fresh water. My slave should be aware that the best seat in the house is mine and ensure that it is available at all times. I would require regular displays of affection but on my terms only and to be left alone when that is how I wish to be. The slave should be on hand to change the litter in the tray following each use. He/she should never even suggest that I leave the comfort of my home for the wilds of the garden - unless, of course, that is where I should wish to be at that time and should be there to open the door when I demand entry.

Now where is that fairy godmother? I think I have just described my ideal life!

Q3: As I know you are more widely travelled than I, tell me the greatest moment you've had while travelling and by that I mean a moment that has left you totally gobsmacked?

Easy question! The most "Oh! My God!" breathless moment in all of our travels was seeing the dome of St Paul's as we flew into London for the very first time.

As a family historian, I have studied English history since I was a little girl and dreamed about going there for years. I missed my chance as a young woman, when most Aussies do the big 'return to the mother-country' thing. I was afraid of leaving the life that I was beginning to establish. I was in my very late 40s before I finally got up the courage to face the long plane trip and then only on the urgings of The Poet.

Together, we have now been there 4 times. The flight that we have regularly taken arrives in London around 6am and, since we go in the English winter time, it is still dark as the plane approaches Heathrow. On the first of these trips, the plane's flight path followed the Thames from the coast. As we crossed The City, I looked down and there was St Paul's, still floodlit in the early morning gloom. It glowed and was simply beautiful. There is no other word to describe it. I knew that I was finally there.

Q4: What was/is your favourite TV show of the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and the new millenium and the reasons why these shows hold sway?

This is one of those slightly cheating questions that is lots of questions in one!

I am an absolute television addict. I have it on even if I am not watching it attentively, just to have the noise in the background. Probably because of that, I find it difficult to make a choice, as I have watched so many programs and enjoyed lots of them.

In the 60's I was at school. Mum was at work and we were told not to watch the TV until she came home, but we still did. I can remember sitting of an afternoon watching Lost in Space. I was a bit of a science fiction buff so the idea of a family getting into a space caravan and having high adventures in outer space appealed to me. I don't think that I was even aware of the sad special effects.

In the 70's I still liked science fiction but of a slightly different nature. Altered human beings was the go. I wonder if this was a wish to alter myself? Six Million Dollar Man, Bionic Woman, and their parody The Greatest American Hero (I can still hear the theme music).

During the 80's I discovered The Bill and would sit up late at night to watch reruns of the programs that I had missed earlier in the evening because of having to attend to the needs of small children. This was the beginning of my insatiable need for cop shows that still runs today, along with The Bill.

The 90's was the era of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I liked the earlier ones best as I thought that under all of the slash and burn vampire stuff, they really did have some sort of theme about the traumas faced by teenagers. The later ones were just slash and burn.

Currently I am still entranced with crime shows and tend to watch whatever is available - Law and Order, CSI, A Touch of Frost, Inspector Linley. Of all of them I think that my current favourite is Wire in The Blood as I find Robson Green appealing. I enjoy detective novels and I think that this is just spilling over into my TV watching.

Q5: If you could invite 12 living people to a dinner party (evenly split 6/6 on gender lines) who would they be? and no more than two sentences on why they were selected [there is a sting in the tail the people must be ones that I am likely to have heard of, or am familiar with - it helps that I'm widely read].

To be perfectly honest, I hate entertaining. I am a reclusive who likes nothing more than to get home of an afternoon and shut the door to keep the rest of the world out my house. I don't like parties, dinner or otherwise and find making small talk a real physical effort. I will, however, give this one a go.

6 men, let's see!

  1. Nelson Mandella - just to say well done and to thank him for his sacrifices
  2. Robson Green - see the TV question above. Actors in real life are usually a let down but I would want to find out anyway.
  3. Charle de Lint - he is my current favourite author. I would like to hear about his writing process.
  4. Les Murray - this one is for The Poet. He keep a book of Les' poetry by the bed where most people keep a Bible.
  5. John Olsen - I want an artist at my party. I want to tell him how much I hated his Archibald prize winning painting and tell him to stick to landscapes.
  6. Jimoen - after all of the serious chat, I would want a little bit of light relief and I think the Jimoen is the funniest man alive.

Now the ladies -

  1. Kathy Freeman - in my dim distant past, I was a reasonable middle distance runner. Kathy has achieved everything that I didn't and I want to hear about it.
  2. Lynda La Plante - see my TV addiction to crime fiction. I want to hear about HER writing process.
  3. Jill Jones - it is so hard to find a living Australian female poet to add to my guest list. I heard Jill at a poetry reading at UTS last year and thought she was great.
  4. Aung San Suu Kyi - why doesn't Australia produce politicians with such passion and conviction? She thinks only of her country and her cause, with no thought for her own gain.
  5. Sandra Bates - she is the artistic director of the Ensemble Theatre in Sydney. We have permanent front row seats to their season and I want to hear about how they select and produce their plays.
  6. Wendy Harmer - Jimoen would need company among all of these terribly serious people. Wendy is the best Australian comedienne going so between them they would make us laugh 'til we cried.

The Official Interview Game Rules

  1. If you want to participate, leave a comment saying "interview me."
  2. I will respond by asking you five questions - each person's will be different.
  3. You will update your journal/blog with the answers to the questions.
  4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.
  5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Posted by robynls at June 4, 2005 10:22 AM

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Robyn, congrats and thanks for playing. I too like Wire in the Blood, really good suspenseful and gritty TV....as well as the other factoids that I learnt about you.

Posted by: Detlef at June 4, 2005 6:01 PM

Thank you for the interesting questions. I really enjoyed the inspiration to write.

Posted by: Robyn at June 4, 2005 6:25 PM

Interview me.

Posted by: alex shur at June 5, 2005 3:38 AM

interview me please, this is so interesting

Posted by: melissa at June 5, 2005 10:36 AM

Hi Robyn, I love reading your blog and the Interview Game is intriguing as all get-out. Interview me, too, please? I'm on the Everday Matters list and enjoy all the art and thoughts that come through there, too. Thank you!

Posted by: Malinda at June 9, 2005 1:23 AM

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