'... your life in front of the TV ...' sneers A Certain Person, listing it among signs that I am choosing a miserable life for myself.
Well hey, it's not as if we're watching Home and Away or Australian Idol!
My Mother's Day treat to myself was to see the American Ballet's production of Swan Lake. And a treat it was!
Andrew was my equally delighted companion. We sat in comfortable armchairs, sipping coffee, with our feet up on footstools and cushions at our backs. It was on the ABC – no ads interrupting the performance. No other audience, so we could say the odd, 'Wow!' or gasp aloud without worrying about disturbing others. During the intermission we were treated to a brief, intelligent bit of commentary, not intrusive but adding to our interest.
We agreed this production beat all the stage versions we'd ever seen. It was stunningly beautiful in every respect – sets, costuming, and above all the dancing. It was a long time since either of us had seen Swan Lake, so we can't be sure, but I think this production may have had new choreography. Anyway, we were enthralled; we loved every minute.
And you know what – it didn't cost us a thing. (Well, except for whatever little bit of electricity we'd have been using anyway.) We didn't even have to leave the house. No night driving, no queues, no late return home.
I never get over the fact that we are so privileged to live in this era when we can see world class entertainment for free, in the comfort of our own living room. Not only great musicians in all genres, whole shows like Swan Lake and a variety of others, including the best movies and the most spectacular concerts – but also we can get to see wonderful works of graphic art, sit in on interviews with the artists, watch them at work. We can even see footage of performing artists long dead, people from other countries, whom we'd have had no chance of ever seeing live.
I don't know what else A Certain Person thinks we should be doing with our evenings in order to be happy. Maybe we should be out partying? Maybe we should see our movies in the cinema, our live shows live? Maybe we should read, or talk to each other?
In fact we do all those things too, some more than others. Reading is always a huge part of our lives. As for talking, we do that more freely when A Certain Person is not around to listen. Not to mention the amount of time we spend writing, on or offline. But – with winter coming, other calls on the budget, and not being teenagers any more – 'going out', once a big deal, holds less attraction for us now. We'd just as soon be able to finish a wonderful evening of ballet with a cup of cocoa, and get straight into a warm bed!