When you were a kid, did you eat the crusts on your sandwich or not?
Always. Mum used to say that the crust was the best part of the bread. She liked them and so did I. I still think the crust is the best part. Luckily Naomi doesn’t agree so we don’t have to fight over them. The ends of the loaf are all mine.
Are you a fan of musicals—why or why not?
I wouldn’t say I was a fan but I do enjoy them, mostly. I may have mentioned before that I had an aunt who was involved in amateur theatre. We children usually got taken to see her singing in various productions like “South Pacific”, “My Fair Lady” “Quaker Girl” and many others. I enjoyed going. I might never have learned to love the theatre but for going to these shows as a kid. Mum liked movie musicals, not the amateur productions so much. When mum went to the theatre she didn’t see the story unfolding, she saw her sister and friends pretending. It wasn’t as real to her as Hollywood.
I have been to some professional productions like Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, and some Gilbert & Sullivan including a very funny G&S show with a science fiction theme. Yes, “Star Trek”, “Star Wars” and “Doctor Who”.
I loved movies like “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”, “Dirty Dancing” and “The Blues Brothers”. On the other hand I saw “The Greatest Showman” at the movies and I hated it because the plot was confusing, it wasn’t historically accurate and I didn’t like the songs. I really like Hugh Jackman, but not that film. So as with most things it depends as much on the plot and the acting as it does the music.
Is it difficult to do what you do? (for a living, hobby etc.). If you’re retired, what you ‘did’ previously for a job can be substituted.
For most of my working life I was a cleaner. Physically it was hard. I worked as a railcar cleaner for about twelve years. We had to climb into the trains in the yard and lift up a vacuum cleaner or a heavy metal bucket of water for mopping. In summer the cars were like ovens once the motors were turned off. On winter nights we still had to go out and do it even if it was cold and wet.
After I left the railways I worked in hospitality. That work was not as hard in some ways but you had to be fast and thorough. In the end the constant hurrying, bending to clean baths and make beds took it’s toll on my back. I couldn’t keep up anymore.
Cleaners are under appreciated for what they do let me tell you.
What’s the best concert you’ve ever been to? (Doesn’t have to be a rock concert either).
It’s so hard to choose. I have been lucky to see a lot of fantastic artists, Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Elton John, Status Quo, Yes, Kiss, Devo, Duran Duran to name some. I was lucky to see most of the Australian and New Zealand bands that I liked in the 70s and 80s too. I saw Midnight Oil several times and they were always great. My favourite time was a concert we went to in Melbourne. I remember walking back to the city after a Split Enz concert because I was too excited to stand around waiting for the bus. One of the last concerts I went to, we haven’t been to one in many years now, was another Australian band Cold Chisel, one of the best concerts I’ve been to. Really I’ve been to more good concerts than bad ones. The only time I’ve come away disappointed was after seeing Simple Minds, a band I loved in the 80s but when I saw them in 2012 I felt that they were a bit “off” and was particularly disappointed with the lead singer who I felt was just showing off.
Looking back over your life, what is one thing you’re grateful for? One thing you really regret?
I am grateful for many things. I think I’ve had a pretty good life. I’m grateful that we came to Australia. It’s been a good place to live. I sometimes wonder how my life would have turned out if we hadn’t. It might have been very different although not necessarily bad. I wouldn’t have met David though.
One thing I regret. Not learning to drive. I’ve always managed pretty well without driving but there are a lot of places I’d like to have gone that I’ll never see because you can’t go there without a car and because I would have been more independent if I could get around by myself.