From the editor
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.