From the ed­i­tor

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Contents - Deb­o­rah Jones

THE many fans of the This Life col­umn will have a slight feel­ing of deja vu when they read next week’s piece which, like this week’s, is about wash­ing. To­day Mar­garet Hoey writes mov­ingly about how a wash­ing line re­minds her of the ex­cep­tional qual­i­ties of a much-loved neigh­bour. Next week Wendy Beggs con­cen­trates on the act of do­ing the wash­ing it­self, and in writ­ing of great sim­plic­ity and res­o­nance of­fers a vivid pic­ture of fam­ily life. I thought the pair made ter­rific com­pan­ion pieces, and hope you en­joy them as much as I do. That two peo­ple can take such an ap­par­ently mun­dane topic and trans­form it as they do is what makes This Life com­pul­sive read­ing. Thanks to both. TIME for a bit of a whinge. I do know there are peo­ple who find it hard to keep still for any length of time — par­tic­u­larly, it would seem, young men. All that en­ergy to burn, I ex­pect. So why would they think it’s a good idea to go to the the­atre and fid­get the en­tire way through? It used to be that peo­ple went to the the­atre to see and be seen, eat, drink, have assig­na­tions and gen­er­ally mis­be­have. Times change, how­ever, and now the ex­pec­ta­tion is that au­di­ence mem­bers will take their seats be­fore the lights go down, keep their thoughts to them­selves un­til af­ter the show and be alert to what’s hap­pen­ing on stage. Even at a com­edy or cabaret gig, where drink may be taken and rau­cous laugh­ter en­sue, there’s a cer­tain level of at­ten­tive­ness con­sid­ered ap­pro­pri­ate. The other night, at a show that had a lot of silent bits, a bloke be­hind me rus­tled his pro­gram, shifted and shuf­fled, sighed, yawned and gen­er­ally made it clear this wasn’t for him. So why go in the first place? I don’t get it.

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