Sunday life: April 2017

Sydney’s autumn kicked off with quite a drenching this year, with almost three weeks of rain keeping us mostly indoors.

Never mind, the arts were invented for just such weather calamities, and the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Sydney Opera House, and the Sydney Theatre Company, among others, kept us sufficiently engaged, and intellectually satisfied, to cope with the soggy and humid conditions.

This month’s cocktail is a Negroni, another Italian classic to follow up last month’s Aperol Spritz. While the Aperol Spritz is light and whimsical, the Negroni packs a punch and requires a palate that’s comfortable with bitterness, given Campari is one of its main ingredients.

While the Negroni is considered an apéritif, personally I find it a suitable cocktail treat for a variety of late evening occasions.


30ml Campari
30ml gin*
30ml vermouth rosso**

Method: Add ice to a glass, stir in the ingredients over ice, serve with a slice of orange peel.

* When it comes to gin, Tanqueray remains my favourite mixer for cocktails.
** Vermouth rosso is a sweet, red vermouth. For Italian cocktails Cinzano is my preferred mixer

While you are enjoying your Negroni, here are a few of my favourite tunes I am currently listening to …

‘Green Light’ by Lorde

Lorde is back!

‘Green Light’ is an unusually ‘dancey’ song from Lorde, but a perfect comeback showcasing the young lady’s musical versatility and progress as an artist.

Despite the uptempo dance beat, the song is a bitter, even angry, tale of love lost, and being caught between the desire to move on and the desperation of holding on …

Yeah, honey, I’ll come get my things, but I can’t let go
I’m waiting for it, that green light, I want it
Oh, I wish I could get my things and just let go
I’m waiting for it, that green light, I want it

‘Feel It Coming’ by The Weeknd ft. Daft Punk

This funky little disco-pop number from The Weeknd, featuring Daft Punk, feels almost like a tribute to the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson.

The music is soaked with a classic, slowed down funk-disco beat, while The Weeknd’s vocal conjure images of Michael Jackson at the height of his career.

The song has an incredibly catchy tune, and a timeless, iconic quality which will make it a staple at funky dance parties for years, if not decades, to come.

‘Tunnel Vision’ by Kodak Black

I finish on something highly political this month. Tunnel Vision is a stark commentary on America’s divisive and polarised politics generally, and racial attitudes specifically.

‘Tunnel Vision’ is off the young artist’s first studio album ‘Painting Pictures,’ and the music video sends a strong and unmistakable message about race relations in the United States.

The powerful music video shows a white man, wearing a red, ‘Make America Hate Again’ hat, aiming his gun at a black man working on his home. The gun jams, the black man rushes the would be assassin, and a life-or-death struggle ensues.

As the black man gets the upper hand, and he is about to strangle his opponent with an American flag, a little girl shouts out …

‘Stop!’ she shouts poignantly …


‘Lust & Wonder’ by Augusten Burroughs

Lust & WonderIf you prefer a literary journey with your Negroni, this month my choice is ‘Lust & Wonder‘, by Augusten Burroughs.

This month I return to Augusten Burroughs, who himself returns to form with his latest autobiographical work.

I would argue Augusten Burroughs is at his best when he lets his readers deep inside and draws his material from within, with an honest, often jarring, account of his life experiences like only he can.

In his ninth book, the author examines, and hilariously and painfully dissects, the decidedly odd relationships he had as a gay man living in 1990s New York, from ‘Secondhand Mitch’ to George, Dennis and, finally, Christopher, with imaginary ‘Jeep Guy’ in-between.

He explores love and lust, and just how much dysfunction and self-sabotage can a gay man’s love life take.

Dinner suddenly meant cocktails, pub burgers, and a tiresome diatribe against the publishing industry …

Augusten Burroughs sharing his doomed, but highly entertaining, relationships is a precious gift.

He offers deep, personal insights into life and love, not just to other gay men but, to anyone who is hoping to build a healthy and functioning relationship.

And he does so while he makes you laugh out loud …

Read more ‘Sunday Life

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