Out for a duck


A Trojan duck

It’s been a while since Monetise This has put proverbial quill to parchment. This is due, for the most part, to some complicated tinkering with the mechanics of this site and to a general ennui brought on by Sydney’s thick, sweaty summer heat and the burble of cricket commentators.

When we’ve occasionally managed to stir our stumps to leave the cool embrace of the open refrigerator door, it has been to frolic, albeit self-consciously, alongside a youthful crowd to the strains of live music.

This is all part of this year’s concerted (hah!) effort to engage a little less with our sofa and a little more with that oyster of a world we’ve ignored for too long.

Two Door Cinema Club, The Vaccines, Jungle Giants – not names, genteel readers, that roll easily off a middle-aged tongue (if I had my way, ‘Two Door’ would be hyphenated, for a start…). But hell damn, they could all make sweet music and make our ears ring for 24 hours afterwards – just like the good old days.

My most profound discovery that night was that I was no less insecure and self-conscious in my mid-50s than I had been as a teenager, rigid with terror, propped against a wall at my first disco, as Marvin Gaye pulsated through ‘Heard it Through the Grapevine’. It didn’t help that I was wearing a denim shirt, which attracted several sideways glances due to its similarity to the uniforms of the security staff at the venue. A sartorial lesson duly learned, my blog brethren…

A week later – Hot Chip at the Enmore theatre, on the hottest day in Sydney for a trillion years. And yet another fashion conundrum, leading to a plaintive Facebook plea. What to wear? “Ketchup” was the smart-ass response from Andrew, my ever-dependable, faster-than-the-speed-of-light London wag.

Hot Chip seemed to attract a much more mixed crowd (and why not, we’ve all gotta eat, right?). Old, young, gay, straight, beautiful, not so much – all dancing (this time propped against each other). Sweat is a great leveller.

As is a barmy art installation. Down at Darling Harbour some geezer’s blown up a creepy giant rubber duck for this year’s Sydney Festival and everyone’s flocking to see it. But all is not what it seems, I fear (hope, actually). I suspect it harbours thousands of armed ducklings (that’s armed as in weaponry, not with actual arms rather than wings – that would just be stupid), waiting for their moment to steal forth under cover of night and storm the barbecue shops of Chinatown to liberate their doomed brothers and sisters.

And if they don’t, I’m going back to Darling Harbour with a very large knitting needle.