Monday 2 – Wednesday 4 March 2015
So, my previous post was Things That Suck Big Time . . . and I thought I’d follow it up with a post about things that don’t suck because, y’know, it’s always good to balance the good and the bad, the positive and the negative, the cookies and the cream, the shadows and the light, the apple and the pie, . . . okay, maybe I extended that a bit too much, but you get the picture. Time for some stuff and things that don’t suck. Here we go . . .
Chocolate. Of course, I was always, always going to begin with chocolate. In particular, Belgian chocolate. Belgian chocolate is goooooood. Cadbury’s is good too, but mmmmmmmm, Belgian chocolate. I’ll leave it at that.
Theatre, in general, is something else that doesn’t suck big time. Granted, some theatrical performances are abysmal, and should never be seen again but for the most part, theatrical shows are good. The atmosphere, the skills, the performers, the writers, the lighting effects, the costumes – bliss. So many people never experience a right royal, proper, live piece of theatre, and that to me is a bloody shame. A good piece of theatre can leave its mark on an audience for years, a lifetime even. I still remember seeing the late night $19.93 hippy special of Hair – The Tribal Love Rock Musical, a minimalist interpretation of The Crucible, Broadway hits like Cats, The Phantom Of The Opera and Wicked, the story of Dusty Springfield brought to life in Dusty. So much theatre, so little time. And just as thrilling as watching a piece of theatre is actually performing or writing/producing/directing theatre. Even working backstage as stage or costume manager, or as a lighting assistant or designer is, to quote ‘Glinda’ from Wicked, thrillifying.
It’s an odd thing to admit to, but a smell that I think doesn’t suck big time is that sterile, clinically clean, bleach to within an inch of its life smell that assaults your sense of smell when you walk into a tattoo studio. It’s not the same sterile smell that you get in a hospital; it’s different, stronger maybe. Or undiluted by other smells in a tattoo studio. I confess to finding it an oddly comforting scent. That is to say, the smell is oddly comforting in the tattoo studio that I go to.
In doing a bit of ‘research’ for this post – read, crawling about the Internet for stuff that doesn’t suck – I came across some things from my childhood that definitely don’t suck. Atom Ant, Secret Squirrel, The Squiddly Diddly Show, The Banana Splits, Precious Pup, Winsome Witch, Speed Buggy, and The Huckleberry Hound Show as a start. Hanna-Barbera made the absolute best cartoons when I was a kid. Those cartoons remind me of summer and school holidays because, without fail, every summer holiday break, the ABC/Channel 2 used to broadcast these cartoons. I’m pretty sure they were broadcast during the other school holiday breaks as well. They’d start mid-morning and run until the afternoon during weekdays. What’s not to love about those shows? Often after those shows we’d get the British-made show Chorlton And The Wheelies – ‘Hello, little old lady’. Anyone who watched Chorlton will get that reference. My summer holidays were filled with TV bliss courtesy of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Probably why I always enjoyed my school holidays.
Summer holidays get me thinking about perfect days. Spring and autumn categorically do not suck. Who doesn’t love a perfect spring day where the sun is shining but it’s not too hot, the sky is blue with maybe a few lil clouds? Who doesn’t love that? That’s feel good weather. And autumn days where you have that lil bit of chill in the morning, but the temperature increases just enough to make the afternoon feel toasty . . . love ‘em. There should be more days like these. Someone needs to make a law for nature that makes it explicit – spring and autumn days are to be in abundance all year round. It could rain at night, and be perfect during the daylight hours. Surely that’s not too much to ask? If anyone has an in with Mother Nature and can make that happen, I’ll be eternally grateful.
Of course, spring leads me to flowers. Not all flowers, just some of them – daffodils and cornflowers to be precise. Now, I know that most people tend to favour roses, and yeah, they’re pretty stunning, but daffodils and cornflowers . . . well, they’re something else. Simple in colour, delicate to the touch, and unusual structure all contribute to what makes these flowers appeal to me. They most definitely do not suck, lil or big time. And if you want to impress me with flowers, these’ll do it. Or orchids. Or liliums. Yep, they’ll do.
If there’s one thing that I absolutely must have in my ‘don’t suck’ post, it’s fresh fruit. I can’t abide fruit that smells or feels old, and believe me, I can spot that kinda fruit a mile away and it might only be a day or two older than what I’d like. I simply won’t can’t eat it. I’m sensitive to old fruit. Yeah, sounds weird I know, but apples that are floury inside, oranges that smell old, nectarines that are wrinkly = bleurgh. Give me fresh fruit all the way. It’s also why I rarely buy fruit from the supermarket. I prefer to hit up the local farmers’ market or, even better, head out to the local orchards and farms and hit up the farmers who choose to sell their produce on the roadside or via lil shed stores on their property. Much better. And it’s important to eat the fruit that’s in season. Don’t buy apples when it’s not apple season. Don’t buy strawberries when it’s not strawberry season. If you live in Australia, don’t buy cherries when it’s not December and cherry season, meaning don’t buy cherries from the U.S. Buy fruit in season when it’s freshly picked, when it’s still warm from the sun, when it’s just come off of the trees or the vines. I guarantee that you’ll enjoy fresh fruit a helluva lot better if you do. If you enjoy travelling overseas, hit up the local markets and get as much fresh fruit and vegetables from the growers as you possibly can. They’ll look after you, you’ll give them business, and in return you’ll get some truly amazing produce. Trust me on this.
While I’m on food – when you travel, eat where the locals eat. That’s where you’ll have some awesome meals, and that most certainly doesn’t suck. When you’re a tourist, you often get directed to places that are specifically geared to cater to tourists, so foods might be a lil less spicy, lean more towards a Western palate if you’re in Asia, be touted as ‘more traditional’ food. What you really want to eat is the stuff that the locals eat. When you’re in Greece you want to eat moussaka that’s made using Yiayia’s recipe, not some tourist version that doesn’t hit the eggplant, spices, and lamb properly. When you’re in Ireland you want a good Irish stew from a lil pub where you can sit in a dimly light corner listening to the live music, enjoying the craic, and eating food made from Grandma’s family recipe. When you’re in Australia you need to know where to get a really good meat pie. The location for these is always the same: dine where the locals do and you’ll get great food. Great food = doesn’t suck big time.
While I’m on travelling, travelling doesn’t suck. We all complain about planes not departing on time, planes not arriving on time, transfers not being at the airport on time to pick us up and take us to the hotel, hotels not having our room ready. We get pissed when our luggage goes AWOL, when we get pick-pocketed, all that stuff, and rightly so. We’ve paid good money for our holiday and we want it to run smoothly, perfectly, and yes, it bloody well should. But stuff happens, and we should try our best not to let those things piss us off. We should try to remember that we’re there to have a good holiday. Easier said that done sometimes. But damn, isn’t travelling freakin’ awesome? For the most part, in general, not focussing on specific sh!tty times, travelling doesn’t suck big time.
I’m trying to be a bit reserved with my things that don’t suck big time because if I really let myself go, this post will go on and on and on and on and . . . you get the picture. So, whilst it may appear that I find that there are more things in the world that suck than don’t, it’s not truly representative of my view. I think there are a good many more things that don’t suck big time in the world than ones that do suck.
We now come to my quick list of other stuff that doesn’t suck, right before I get to the part where I invite you to add a comment to my blog about stuff that you think doesn’t suck:
- unexpected good news
- puppy and dog snuggles
- when things just effortlessly fall in to place
- recognising a place you’ve been to on your travels when it appears on TV or in the media, and remembering how you felt when you were there
- smells, tastes, sounds, or the feel of something that takes you back to your childhood, or some other good time in your life
- when your favourite author releases a new book (no pressure at all, Kathryn Fox!)
- finishing a project that you thought you might get stuck on
- laughing . . . the kind where you end up in tears and unable to breathe
- those times when you catch up with friends you haven’t seen in a while
- phone calls that last six hours seven minutes and fifty one seconds just because they do, and you don’t realise until the end of the call that all that time has gone by because you’ve been happily chatting away to someone who matters to you
- chupa chups.
You know the drill: if there’s something that you think that doesn’t suck big time, write it in the comment section of this post.