Mountain District Radio Episode first aired on 17 February 2020 at 3:00 pm
Hello Good Lifers,
It was another busy week on the program with a variety of topics to be covered and guests to be interviewed. It was unusual to have so many of our guest with us in the studio, but a great pleasure.
This has been a difficult year for many orchardists and for those who rely on tourists for a major part of their business and this applies to Folly Farm Blueberries, owned by Belinda and Robert Rooth, who were my guests.
They very generously shared the time to come into the studio and arrived bearing gorgeous blueberries (one of my very favourite fruits)! The weather has been a problem in many ways, but Belinda spoke positively in that because of the rain their season had actually been extended and their frui crops of high quality. Because theirs is principally a U-Pick business their customer had been down in numbers, but because blueberries are a well loved part of the Northern European cuisine, their regulars from that part of the world were still visiting, some on a weekly basis!
Of course, another attractive provided by their woolly family members.. alpacas and llamas, which the visitors love. They are also a topurist attraction Belinda and Robert often take them for a stroll on their leads through the Olinda shopping centre! I imagine the mobiles would be working overtime as tourists take selfies with these charming animals!
Of course, visitors are most welcome, and they can bring their own containers for the berries or they will be provided by Folly Farm. To avoid overcrowding, guests need to book a day or so ahead.Farm closes at 3.00 P.M.
BELINDA & ROBERT ROOTH - FOLLY FARM BLUEBERRIES - 192 FALLS ROAD, OLINDA Bookings: Upickblueberriesolinda.com.au -9751 2134 ............................................
As regular listeners will know, I love live theatre and am always delighted when new season productions start with our local theatres. Because I am well aware of the hard work so many have to contribute behind the scenes for us to enjoy a successful play, I am always delighted to be able to speak with someone who is in that role.
Chris Procter, the director of the new play about to start at the 1812 Theatre in Upper Ferntree Gully, very kindly found time to come into the studio to chat. I asked him for how long he had been involved in live theatre and was impressed when he told us it was over 50 years! His wife is also involved in theatre so I guess that makes it a little easier for him!
The production about which we were speaking is On Golden Pond, a hugely successful film of many years ago. It starred Henry Fonda and daughter Jane and won an Academy Award as Best Actor for Henry. It centres around the sometimes difficult relationship between father and daughter.
The water background features quite significantly in the film and I was puzzled as to how this would work on stage. Chris assured us it worked well and I am looking forward to seeing how this is achieved.
I have not yet had the opportunity of seeing the production, but there have been excellent reports and I look forward to it. There are matinees as well as evening performances and tickets are $27. This includes sherry on arrival and complimentary supper after the show. For bookings phone 9758 3064.
CHRIS PROCTER - DIRECTOR - ON GOLDEN POND. 1812 THEATRE, 3 ROSE STREET, UPPER FERNTREE GULLY. 20th FEBRUARY to 14TH MARCH. ............................................
It is not often we can welcome an international performer to The Good Life but Nolly Weeks (yes, John Weeks' daughter) has spent a good part of her professional life working on stages and in clubs in Los Angeles as a dancer. She has also performed in many shows around Australia but left her heart not in San Francisco (as did Tony Bennett) but in L.A, and is anxious to go back and avail herself of the opportunities available to a young dancer.
She is seeking a visa to allow her to settle in L.A. and working hard towards this end. I asked about her genre of dance and was swamped by a whole range of dances I have never heard of! I was intrigued by one called Heels, which she explained involved performing in stiletto heels! She is very fond of Hip Hop and has performed this extensively both here and in America.
She told us that she studied ballet as a young child, fell in love with the world of dance and has moved from pne genre to another.
It was really interesting to see the world through the eyes of this ambitious young woman who has her sights set on a particular goal and is working very hard to achieve it! We wish her well and I look forward to hearing more of her career once she settles in U.S.A.
NOLLY WEEKS - DANCER .......................................
My next guest was author J.P. (Josh) POMARE, whose recent book (In The Clearing) I loved and in which I became totally involved. Set in Australia, it reverberates very strongly with those of us who have followed the story (well known now) of The Family, a cult which had its beginnings in the Dandenong Ranges.
Founded by wealthy and glamorous Anne Hamilton-Bryne, it attracted a following of devotees and also involved a number or children who were "brain washed " to accept the leader as their mother. To heighten this image, all the children had their hair bleached to present a "family likeness".
The book is written in two streams of narrative... one by an 8 year old girl, the other by a woman who is a mother herself but a woman with dark secrets she dare not reveal. (I felt a bit like that as I interviewed Josh ... I was very very wary of giving away too much of what is a very complex story!)
As the book progresses, the chapters by the girl and the woman are interspersed with brief chapters by someone we know only as The Watcher, a very sinister presence! These chapters are filled with darkness and threat!
As the book progresses, the two characters merge and we have to stand back and reassess our opinions. I also had to treqd very warily in our interview in case I happened to give away too much .. I don't think that happened!
Josh was obviously intrigued by The Family cult himself and did a great deal of research, which he outlines at he end of the book.
This is a brilliant read, beautifully written and extremely powerful. There has been another book and a film about The Family and an evening was held locally with those involved in that book and the film and also a couple of young people who had been children who were members of The Family.
I do recommend Josh's book very highly.
IN THE CLEARING by J.B. POMARE .......,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,.
Lots happening up here at present! A highlight for me is jazz at Dudley's every second Wednesday performed by Tracey Roberts Jazz Trio! Great listening and this Wednesday it is happening!
Another event watching for is a House Concert at the Diprose's on 1st March. It will feature Andrew Swift, Cathy Dobson, Dave Diprose and, I suspect, probably Suzanne as well! 2.00 P.M. and you can share the event via <trybooking.com>
We also have a live theatre production happening now at The Basin theatre, where Death Knell is currently playing. Two listeners scored a double pass and I am looking forward to seeing it myself. There are matinees as well as evening performances. THE BASIN THEATRE, Doongalla Rd, The Basin.
I saw the film Emma during the week at the Cameo Belgrave. I am NOT a Jane Austen fan (this has shocked some people!) but if you are, you will probably love Emma with its extravagant settings, excessive food, lavish gowns and and over-indulged very rich girls!
Check out the details of the upcoming PAVE Festival.... something for everybody .. and also the Open Studios weekend, which will see the reopening of the "new" Burrinja!
Thanks as always to John Weeks for his generous contribution to the program every week and to friend TJ who puts this up on the internet. And I am grateful if you listen to The Good Life!
Warm regards, Ann