The blog “Stuff Journalists Like” is one of my favourite things on the internet, detailing with delightful clarity and insight the appreciation we in the meeja have for notebooks, drinking, bylines and shorthand, but it lacks one thing I like above and beyond all else – that is free entertainment.
Now I’m all about junkets, although I’ve never been on one, and I love my press passes, however it must be said that for a young reporter in a new city with a lot of free time on my hands, being handed a free ticket to something you’ve never done before is pretty awesome.
In our nation’s capital I’ve managed to get my greasy little hands on musical theatre tickets, comedy tickets, a fancy smart people’s lecture pass and two different rides in fast cars – not to mention a plethora of quasi-political events that I would just classify under “free food“.
This weekend was big on free entertainment for me, starting with a politics breakfast crack of dawn Friday morning to celebrate Canberra’s birthday (hello free chocolate croissant) – which I was unfortunately actually required to report on. I would go into more detail about how hilarious and silly this event was, but I’ve written something for my job – that thing I have at that place I go to where I write stuff about stuff. To be honest, I mostly went along hoping I could wrangle myself a ride in a hot air balloon – this being my new aim in life, to be a pirate of the sky.
Later in the evening my lovely new friend Mr Johnny Barrington of Triple J took me to see Clare Bowditch at the National Gallery for this performance thingy they had to promote the Paris Masters Exhibition. The band gave Johnny the free tickets because he interviewed them for some reason. Here is a picture he took that I have stolen from Twitter:
I’ve had a bit of a lady crush on Clare since I was an undergraduate student at Melbourne University and she signed some albums I bought and told me she liked my hair, so I was rather happy to stand up the front (annoying all the nanas who had mysteriously come along) and sing loudly along with some of her tunes from the early 00’s.
I particularly enjoyed the part of the adventure where we hung around and ate cheese in the tent with the band, although it is terribly amusing how we’re all supposed to pretend we’re totally cool and blase and not like ZOMG! I’m hanging out with groovy indi muso famous types! Oh journalists are strange folk.
Anyhoo, bright and early Saturday morning I was dragged out to a pine plantation to get in yet another fast car. The CityNews lifestyle editor has written a story about a lady rally car navigator and so both she and snapper Silas were actually on site in a legitimate capacity. I just came along for the ride.
Newsflash: ILOVERALLYCARS!!! While the Hilux Heroes were totally rad, I must confess that being a passenger in an extremely fast rally car that is barreling at 160km per hour down a dirt track, taking all kinds of jumps and crazy turns was better. Just a little.
I may have found my true vocation.