Toddler Story Time: Block City

Munchkin had taken to reading recently, which at the age of two is basically turning pages and repeating the bits she remembers from the story. It’s really cute and funny (in my completely unbiased opinion), so I thought I would share some of her readings.

I will tidy the text up a bit, since toddler speak is not always the easiest to understand – some things are written phonetically, but others are edited for clarity’s sake, since guck can be both truck and duck and so on and so forth.

Block CityToday before nap time, she read me Block City. Written by Scottish poet and author Robert Louis Stevenson (the man behind Treasure Island and Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde), sometime in the 1800s, Block City is a beautiful, timeless poem.

We have this copy, from my own childhood, with gorgeous illustrations by Ashley Wolff. This is one of my favourite books of all time, both for the story and the illustrations, and I’m so happy that Munchkin enjoys it too.

So, without further ado, I bring you my two year old’s reading of Block City:


Bock City

Are you able to build with your bocks?

Are you able to build with your bocks?


Tower and <word I don’t understand>

Tower and <word I don’t understand> (repeat ad nauseum, apparently she really likes the tower)

Oh! He got ice cream!

*gasp* Monkey!

Aww, mummy cuddle him.

BIG doggy!

I got de wrong page.


The end

Scary is good

Munchkin is 2 now, and it’s basically the best age ever. She is absolutely delightful most of the time, and the other 2.5% is either hilarious (sorry kid!) or just not worth dwelling on. But the playing, the drawing, the open mouthed kisses, the laughter – it’s so great.

One of the coolest things is that her dinosaur obsession, which started young, has grown to epic proportions. I’ve painted a giant dinosaur on her wall, right behind her bed, (photos when I eventually finish touching up the edges) and she loves that “Big BIG dinaur” watches over her at night.

A natural extension of this obsession, her favourite game is one called RAAA! which, of course, involves chasing each other around the house and RAAAing. We take it in turns to run away and raa, and sometimes all three of us have to run and hide, until she realises that there’s no one to hide from, at which point one of us will be designated dinosaur and the game begins anew.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I use dinosaurs to my advantage at any opportunity. From “it’s time to put your dinosaur nappy on, little dino!” to “are you going to use your big, sharp dinosaur teeth to eat your dinner?” and anything and everything else I can dream up, dinosaurs feature heavily in my parenting right now.

Getting ready for bed is always a bit tricky, as I imagine it is for basically every parent of children everywhere. Tonight, when she asked to keep playing RAA, I convinced Munchkin that mummy dinosaur only roars at good little dinosaurs who put their pyjamas on.

Then, she asked for daddy dinosaur, who was occupied elsewhere. I called out to let him know that his roaring skills were required, and he replied that he’d need a few minutes.

I relayed that message, and Munchkin cuddled on my chest, waiting. At first, she was all giggles, but soon the anticipation began to build and she clung tighter and tighter to me, worming her way up my chest until she was on an angle that would make a contortionist cringe.

We waited and cuddled and talked and waited some more, until finally…. the creak of the chair, footsteps coming up the hall…. and RAAAAAAAA! Daddy dinosaur roared in all his fearsome glory as Munchkin squealed with laughter.

Life has been a bit up and down recently. My shop has shut down (boo, hiss), I’m temporarily relocated but I’m going to have to find something else very soon. Today, I applied for a job. It’s a big job, way more intense than anything I’ve done before. If I get it, the stakes would be high. It’s a long way outside my comfort zone, but I really really really really want it. I’m scared.

I’m so scared, that after I finally submitted my application (after spending hours over the past few days perfecting it), I was shaking and felt like I was going to hyperventilate.

Even if I don’t get this job, which is fairly likely, applying for the job scared me enough to make applying for other jobs a lot easier.

Scary is good.

Teaching myself intuit

Health has been a focus of mine for a while now, but more on the side of diagnosis and dealing with the various issues that have been rearing their heads of late.

But, now I’m kind of tired of always focusing on what I can’t do. I’m ready to start moving forward in a more positive headspace.

Several years ago, I was at peak fitness. I was going to the gym (Curves, which is expensive, but amazing for women’s bodies if you can afford it) regularly, I was eating well, and I felt good in my skin,

Then, I hit peak stress instead. A relationship breakup, a job that was rife with bullying and long, long hours. When I get stressed, I lose my appetite, and in that environment, the stress lasted for months. Looking back with the help of a psychiatrist, I was likely also in a pretty strong depressive period, but found it too difficult at the time to talk to anyone.

So, I ate less and less and got very unwell. I have a neurological condition that affects my balance, and with so little food in my system it got worse and worse, until some days I couldn’t walk unassisted. I would lose my balance and fall anywhere, and get dizzy spells anywhere. I had to stop walking close to roads, after almost falling out in front of cars a couple of times.

This is me in 2008, at my best friend's wedding. It was a beautiful and very enjoyable day, but I was really not at a healthy point. I know this photo is a little hinky, but I promise it's not 'shopped - just a Facebook download that I cropped way down because I don't know how to edit people's faces out. This must be about the longest photo caption ever!

This is me in 2008, at my best friend’s wedding. It was a beautiful and very enjoyable day, but I was really not at a healthy point. I know this photo is a little hinky, but I promise it’s not ‘shopped – just a Facebook download that I cropped way down because I don’t know how to edit people’s faces out. This must be about the longest photo caption ever!

When I finally started to recover and eat again, I had lost all connection to my body. I ate and ate, I ate all the wrong things and too much of everything. I gained weight fast, and have continued to gain slowly since.

All this time I have wanted to lose weight, but I was scared of going back to my old ways – years of crash dieting culminating in that long period of barely eating, I desperately wanted to be healthy, not just skinny. But I still was focused on what I didn’t want, and what I couldn’t do.

The shoulder injury about 7 months ago, which is still causing issues, has made exercising difficult, and the pain and emotional issues linked with it have led to me making poorer choices and gaining a bit more weight. Even brisk walking leads to more pain, so I really do have to be careful, even though I have a lot of movement back now.


Me in late 2014, pre-injury – I don’t have any more recent body pics because I, uh, tend to avoid them. Sorry not sorry!

In an effort to start focusing on my health in a positive way, I have started doing yoga videos – Yoga with Adriene on YouTube, I’m starting here. I can’t do the parts with weight on my arms (no downward dog for me), but I can do everything else, and doing most of it is better than doing nothing at all. It feels really good, it’s gentle and it’s easy to fit in around work and toddler.

I’ve also started reading Healthy Hits the Spot, a blog focused on intuitive eating – learning to listen to your body and eat accordingly.

It makes so much sense, and it feels right, which is important.

At the moment, my plan is to do yoga every day (it’s 20 minutes, I can fit that in!) and really start listening to my body about what it wants and when. So far, I’ve already realised that I tend to drink coffee to mask hunger, and that I crave a lot more veggies than I generally eat. Oops! Luckily, carrot sticks make a great snack to keep under the counter for days when I have a late lunch break, so that I can fill up a little in the quiet moments.

So, here’s to positive changes in my life, and hopefully, my health.


My pancreas is an overachiever

Long time, no blog. Been busy. Work. Now-19-month-old. Accidentally started a business, as you do.

But none of that is what I want to talk about today. No, this is another health post, also known as “my body is a bit shit, really”.

So, my shoulder is coming along nicely. I’m mostly out of the sling, except for when I jar it (n.b. when stepping down from the bottom rung of a stepladder, make sure you are, actually, on the bottom rung), and I have a lot more movement back. I still can’t wear t-shirts, which, as I discovered just yesterday, is nothing at all to do with getting them on (“this is so easy! Why have I been avoiding it?) and everything to do with getting them off again (“… oh bugger”). Yeah. Can’t do that without stretching your arms over your head to some degree.

But, on the whole, it’s getting much better, and is having far less impact on my life now, which is great!

The rest of my body, however, is struggling. Starting karate was so great, for a multitude of reasons, but one of the less-great things about it (and exercise in general) is that my body can’t physically keep up with how much energy I burn. I’ve had issues with low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia) since I was a teenager, and the only medical advice I got on it was “just don’t eat sugar”, advice which was noted and duly ignored.

If it was a once-in-awhile thing, it wouldn’t be so bad, but it’s pretty much all the time. I need to eat really regularly, and if I don’t then I start to get low. Shaky hands, foggy brain, slurring words, losing my balance, lots of other fun things. I also get grouchy, which the good Captain can attest to. Poor guy.

I can mostly manage it by eating as regularly as I can manage, and as healthily as I can manage, and bolstering it artificially with sugar when I need to. I’m not saying this is a good thing to do, because it’s really not. If you have similar issues then DO NOT DO WHAT I DO! Seek medical advice that goes beyond “don’t eat sugar”.

But with more regular exercise, and particularly muscle-building exercise, it was getting out of control. I couldn’t sleep at night, because I was hungry and my body won’t let me sleep until I eat (this is possibly a defence mechanism to stop me from slipping into a coma overnight due to low blood sugar). Eating at 2am is not generally considered healthy, but not sleeping all night is also unhealthy, so I picked the lesser of two evils.

I was constantly losing focus at work as my blood sugar dropped between meals or even snacks, and the shared Milky Way bars in the back fridge were disappearing at an alarming rate as I desperately tried to keep myself going.

It just wasn’t working.

The last time I went to karate, I had run out of time to eat breakfast in the morning, and as a result, I didn’t even make it through half the class before I started to crash and had to stagger across the dojo to sit down. It sucked.

So, today, I saw a dietician. She is amazing, I’ve seen her before when I was pregnant, but with what turned out to be hyperemesis, she was really fighting a losing battle. But this time, I think we can win!

As it turns out, there are a couple of potential causes of hypoglycaemia, but in my case the most likely one is the overproduction of insulin. Basically, any time I eat, my pancreas gets a little excited and produces too much insulin, which makes my blood sugar drop lower than it was before I ate. As a result, I get low, and need to eat more to bring it up again… but pancreas, insulin, blood sugar falling… you can see how it can be a vicious cycle.

This is a problem, not just because of my blood sugar fluctuating and making me feel icky (plus the slight risk of coma, death etc), but because it means my pancreas is overworking, which can cause it to wear out sooner than the rest of me. That puts me at an increased risk of diabetes later on in life, which I’d much rather avoid, if possible.

On a slightly more superficial level, it also makes it difficult to lose weight, because my body doesn’t need all the calories I’m consuming, but I have to eat to keep from crashing.

It needs to be fixed.

After some discussion, the dietician and I (I’ll share her name once I have a chance to ask her permission to do so) agreed to focus on diet and lifestyle, and if we don’t see any results, then follow up with my super-awesome GP for *shudder* a fasting blood glucose and insulin test.

(I did the two-hour fasting BGL test when pregnant and thought I was going to have a seizure because I crashed and my body went out of control. I was spasming and nauseous and nearly collapsed altogether. By the time the two hours was up I was back to a normal level, but it was awful. I’d rather not do that again if I don’t need to.)

In the meantime, I am on a low-GI, low-GL, low-fat, protein rich, everything else good for you-rich diet that will hopefully keep my pancreas under control and retrain it to only release the insulin that’s needed. I am also contemplating praise and a sticker chart, to reinforce the message.

The best laid plans of mice and me…

Often go awry.

After a couple of crazy weeks, during which I worked full time hours whilst being officially “in charge” at work (whose crazy idea was that?) and picking up a couple of freelance copywriting clients*, I was so looking forward to going back to normal.

I was dreaming of my regular part-time shifts, lowering my stress levels, exercising more and getting my sleeping pattern back on track.

I was going to be early to bed and early to rise and I was gonna be healthy, wealthy and mothertruckin’ wise, damn it!

Then, just as I made all these resolutions to look after myself and get on top of everything, I got hit by the Cold of Doom that seems to have taken over half my twitter feed**.

I had one day off work where I was basically incapable of anything other than sleeping or watching the Kardashians do… um, actually, I’m still not clear on what they do. Luckily, it’s only a couple of days later and I’m well on the mend, but now the Captain and Munchkin both have it too.

So this is basically a bullshit “this is why there’s no real post” post.

I really will get on top of things one day! Maybe. Some of them, at least.

*My writing on this blog is in no way indicative of my professional writing. This is one big stream of consciousness. Sorry!

**At least three people.

Dirt, ducks and a dragon

We headed out to the Hyde Park fair today. The Captain was working on one of the stalls from about 12 to 5pm, and Munchkin and I joined him.

It was a whole lot of fun, but also a very long day – next time we’ll probably drop him off then join him for the last couple of hours.

We’d budgeted about $40 for the day, and I ended up heading to the atm pretty early in after we spent nearly all of that on lunch and drinks (paella and fresh squeezed orange juice – expensive, but so worth it!).

There were lots of cool attractions at the fair, a petting zoo, pony rides, entertainers, show rides and heaps of cool stores. There’s also a water playground, which I didn’t see until we were leaving – we’ll definitely be going back to visit that!

Water birds

But most of these attractions I saw while walking loops with Munchkin in the pram, in a futile attempt to convince her to sleep. While she was in a good mood, we mostly played in the dirt by a small playground, watched the ducks in the lake and petted other people’s dogs (with the owner’s permission, and only ones situated at stalls – if I’d let her approach every dog we passed, we’d still be there).

We did sit down by the stage to watch a beautiful dragon display.



Once I’d replenished our funds for the day, I picked up a gorgeous handbag for $10, secondhand from a charity stall (I did take note of which one, then promptly forgot).

grey bag

This bag is actually the same brand and even the same colour and material as one of my all-time favourite bags, which got stolen when Munchkin was a newborn.

My old bag was too big to be practical for day to day use (except in those early days with all the baby paraphernalia), whereas this one is perfect for my life right now – small enough to fit in the storage at work, big enough to hold my essentials along with a couple of nappies and other toddler supplies.

Toddlers are so much easier than babies! (Most of the time, anyway)

We also brought home a succulent, after spending ages at the stall examining the different varieties.

The one we chose was quite tall, which I’m now reading may mean it’s not that healthy? I have no idea, mine are the grey thumbs of plant death. My lucky bamboo? Not so lucky. So we’ll see how that goes!

We also treated ourselves later in the day – coffee and ginormous churros for the cap’n and I, and a soft serve ice cream for Munchkin. It’s the first time we’ve let her have a whole one to herself, which goes to show that I am not above using junk to placate my tired, grumpy toddler. Parent of the year? I think yes!

She loved it though, and it totally bought us the extra hour we needed before we could pack up and go home. Like I said, we’ll definitely do things differently next time!

All up, we spent about double what we planned. If we’d realised proper food at fairs was so expensive, we might’ve planned better and had lunch beforehand, so we didn’t have to buy as much there.

The fair is on again tomorrow, so if you’re thinking about heading down, which I highly recommend you do, bring money  (including a gold coin donation for Rotary at the entry), maybe some get-wet clothes or bathers if you’re planning on hitting up the water playground, and your dog, as long as it’s safe and comfortable in crowds with heaps of people and other dogs.

Also, sunscreen – even though most of the stalls are in plenty of shade, the eating area and some of the rides are in the sun.

Oh, and wear comfy shoes – especially if you’re planning on being there awhile.

Go and check it out and then tell me about it, so that I might live vicariously through you!

Hard headed

I am unashamedly a feminist, and the Captain and I strongly encourage Munchkin to pick things she loves, regardless of their intended gender. Honestly, the whole idea that a child “should” like one colour or another based on their genitalia is really bizarre to me. A child is more than the sum of what’s in their pants, and just as adults have diverse interests, likes and dislikes, so too do children.

So far, Munchkin LOVES dinosaurs, animals (especially dogs and cats, since we have those in the household), bugs, spiders, big machinery and trucks, “driving”, twirling, dancing, playing daddy’s drum kit, water, climbing the slide by herself, helping us cook, cleaning (she’s shaping up to be better than I am), and generally making mess and noise.

She’s not a huge fan of drawing, prefers painting herself and us than anything else, loves playing in dirt but is a bit hesitant about dirt on her hands at first.

Her interests are so broad, and we see no reason to discourage any of them, particularly based on outdated gender stereotypes.

Yesterday, the Captain took Munchkin shopping for a bike seat and helmet. When it came time to pick a helmet, the shop assistant took them straight to the pink helmets. Now, there is nothing wrong with pink. It’s an awesome colour, one of my favourites. But other colours are awesome too! Blue, green, purple, orange, yellow, red – there are so many great choices for kids, that I don’t know why the choices have become so narrow.

Capt’n insisted on letting Munchkin choose her own helmet, which the assistant seemed a bit dismissive of. But she knew what she wanted! She left all of the pink helmets and went straight for a really cool bright blue one with animals on it.

However, even after she had made it clear that was what she wanted, the assistant kept pushing the pink ones on her. This makes me pretty mad, not only because her choice of something to go on her own head should be respected (as long as it’s safe), but because by questioning her choice, the message is that the blue helmet is not something she “should” like. She “should” want the pink ones. Why? Because of her genitalia. That’s it. Not her brain, not her interests, not her passions.

We need to stop reducing our children to one small element of what makes them who they are. They are amazing, diverse, curious little creatures and that should be encouraged, not discouraged.

Luckily, Munchkin is a bit young to understand the social pressures on girls and boys to like different things, but that won’t last forever. There will come a day when she begins to understand what is being pushed on her, and either start to conform or (like me) rebel against it. Neither of those is a good option, because both of them mean that she is not free to be herself.

Free our children up to love what they love without fear of judgement, and watch them shine.

One-armed wardrobe

A quick arm update: It is slowly, slooooowly improving. I’m having more and more sling-free days, I can hold Munchkin with my left arm as long as I lift her up with the right, I can carry small things and reach a little bit, and bend down and sometimes even pick things up off the floor with that arm. It took a slight step back when the weather turned unseasonably rainy a couple of weeks ago, but it’s back on track now. Considering a frozen shoulder can take up to two years to mend and it’s been about three months, I’m reasonably happy with how things are going.

When my arm was first injured and I was in so much pain I could barely function, everything seemed so hard. But one of the first things I did when I felt up to it was to clean out my wardrobe.

That might seem weird, especially since it was painful and probably shouldn’t have been a top priority when I was supposed to be resting, but honestly, I needed to do it.

Before I was injured, I had a small work wardrobe that consisted of about 6 dedicated work-tops, a couple of ones that fit into the work and casual categories, and a few pairs of pants and skirts. Then, my shoulder froze, and suddenly I could only wear button up shirts, and even those hurt like hell to get on. T-shirts and blouses that needed to go over my head were completely out of the question, and bottoms made from stiff fabrics like jeans and pencil skirts were out for quite a while. It was only about a week ago that I got a pair of jeans on without any pain at all.

Bending down hurt like hell, let alone trying to do up buckles, zips or laces, so all but one pair of shoes were useless.

Cleaning out everything that I couldn’t wear, either because I couldn’t physically put it on, or because it was too painful to even consider meant that when I opened the wardrobe, instead of being faced with all the clothes I couldn’t wear, I could only see the ones I could wear. Admittedly, that was not very much! Of my specific work wardrobe, exactly one shirt was a proper button-up. I had two that could suffice for work, along with a couple of tops with necklines that allowed them to be put on from the bottom up and lifted gently over my left arm. In total, that came to four, and with a few loaner shirts from my mum and sister-in-law, I managed to get by. But the clothes I borrowed didn’t fit quite right, and I didn’t feel like me in them. I just didn’t have the budget to replace a bunch of clothes, especially given I’d bought a bunch of clothes when I started my job just three months earlier.

Now that things have eased up after Christmas, we put aside a little money to start updating my wardrobe a bit, given that we don’t know how long my movement will be restricted. It was so tempting to charge off to Kmart and Target and buy up big on cheap and cheerful shirts and tops to fill up my sickly wardrobe, but I know from a whole lot of experience that that is never a good way to go. Buying cheap may save money in the short term, but you end up having to replace them a lot sooner when they are worn out and looking crappy. I still buy singlet and tank tops at the cheaper places, simply because that’s the only place I can find the shapes I like, and I justify it that I mostly wear them underneath other things and as pyjama tops, so it doesn’t matter too much if they wear out a bit sooner.

White long sleeved shirt

So far I have bought one lovely white button up on sale at Noni B (pictured above, but no longer on their website), which is gorgeous thick fabric (I find so many white shirts are completely see through or at least a bit translucent, but I was wearing a bright pink singlet underneath when I tried this one on, and couldn’t see it at all!), and a plain orange tank top from Kmart that’s a lovely bright colour for summer.

I also bought a bunch of stuff for Munchkin, and now the money’s almost all gone. How does that happen? I guess it’s just way easier to find great stuff for an adorable toddler than for a one-armed woman with broad shoulders and saggy tits. Go figure!

But I’m actually happy to take my time and build my wardrobe slowly from here. Between the shirts I have and the few extras I’ve been able to bring back into my wardrobe now that I’m in less pain, I can return everything I borrowed and look and feel a bit more like me again.

My wardrobe still needs updating, both things that are missing and things that need replacing (that whole cheap clothes thing? Yeah). I’ll be making a list and sharing it here, because I enjoy boring people. Stick to what you’re good at, right?

To make a long blog post short; Cutting back your wardrobe to just what you can currently wear, whether due to an injury, surgery or weight gain/loss, and preferably to what you feel good in within that, is a really good way to make yourself feel great, and that is worth more than all the cheap-arse cardigans in the world.

Beach baby

I have nothing even remotely interesting to write this week for Blog Like a Mofo, but by god, I took this challenge and I am going to see it through! So this week, I am putting the ‘boring’ in ‘boring lifestyle blogger’. You have been warned.

Today was a big day for firsts (many of them fairly insignificant). It was my first karate grading (I am now a yellow belt) and Munchkin’s first trip to the beach!

After my grading, the Captain, Munchkin, my parents and I headed to South Beach in Fremantle, which is a really great spot for families with young kids – it’s nice and clear, not too rough and even on a very hot Sunday afternoon, not too busy. We weren’t sure how Munchkin would go at the beach, given her first experience with a backyard pool was not well received, but she took to the ocean like a fish to water (pardon the pun).

The instant the water rolled up the sand and touched her toes, she started laughing, and spent the rest of our time there splashing, kicking and playing in the water. She didn’t want to leave, even when she was shivering badly and her lips were starting to look a little blue.

We also had a great time playing with her, and when mum and dad had enough of swimming they played with Munchkin in the shallows while we enjoyed the deeper water. After sweating up a storm and being completely drained from my grading, the cold, fresh water was exactly what I needed. I’ve decided that I’ll follow every grading with a trip to the beach!

After our swim, we decided to scout around for somewhere to eat. The cafe at the beach stays open until 7.30pm now, but only serves fried foods after 3.30, which is a bit of a bummer.

So after driving in circles for a while, first to find the restaurant my parents suggested, which was closed, and then to find a carpark (so many 15 and 30-minute only spots! Surely the restaurateurs would rather have more long-stay spots for their customers!) and somewhere to eat, we ended up at The Pizza Lounge, walking distance from the beach. Oops!

The food and atmosphere at The Pizza Lounge was excellent! The only problem with the place is that it is a fairly square concrete building with no soft furnishings, so the noise was a bit intense inside – as a result, our order came out incorrectly, but we all had enough to eat and they refunded us one pizza that we realised at the end we’d been charged for but not received. But the food we did get was so good – wood-fired pizzas with heaps of awesome options, marinated kalamata olives and spicy Italian sausage. We can all highly recommend it! Maybe just write down your orders for them, to avoid confusion 🙂

Munchkin tried ginger beer for the first time (she liked it!) as well as spicy sausage (not a fan) and chilli (swing and a miss!), and she had a great time playing at the kid-sized chalkboard tables before our meals arrived. I’m considering painting one of our small tables with chalkboard paint, so it was good to see that it would be well received.

So it’s been an awesome day, and the beach is cool. And you thought this post was going to be boring!


Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular

Last night, the Captain and I attended the WA Symphony Orchestra’s Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular, and spectacular was the word for it! The entire show was perfect, not just the music, which was incredible, but the lighting and effects, the performers and the digital component.

The Spectacular features the music of Murray Gold, the composer behind all of the music for Doctor Who since its 2005 revival, and was conducted by Who-orchestrator (and total cutie) Ben Foster. It also featured Australian soprano Antoinette Halloran, whose voice was simply breathtaking.

Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison, hosted the event, and did a great job with it. The acted parts were very cheesy, but in the best possible way – it was funny, silly and very kid-friendly. I really liked that the focus was really on the incredible music and the way that it ties in with the show, with scenes and compilations displayed on a couple of screens behind the orchestra (which also provided a nice distraction at times when I found myself getting overwhelmed by it all).

The only thing that I didn’t love about the show was the venue. Perth Arena is a really great space for lots of things, but it felt so big and distant for a symphony. The acoustics at the Arena are great, so there was no negative impact on the music itself from the venue, it was purely an atmosphere thing. I prefer the Perth Concert Hall, which has a much cosier, more welcoming environment. That said, I’m not sure that they could have done everything they wanted to do for this show there, so the Arena may have been the only option.

While I was really excited to go to this, I didn’t know much about it going in – initially we thought we’d missed out, but then C’s work announced that they had tickets for the corporate box, and apparently none of the higher ups were nerdy enough to want to go. Perfect! But the shorter notice (and the fact that I hadn’t wanted to find out much about it since I was convinced we couldn’t go) meant that I didn’t really know what to expect.

When I was a kid, my family went to a lot of WASO shows, first with the kids concerts and later the more grown up shows. I also played cello as a kid (never particularly well) and sang too (slightly better than my cello playing, but that’s not saying much), and when I gave that up late in high school I never really gave the symphony much more thought.

Having such a long break from going to a full symphonic show, I was surprised at how much of an effect the performance had on me. I was moved to tears at the beginning, just by the sheer scale and grandeur and that full sound that you just can’t get anywhere else.

The WASO and WASO chorus put on a brilliant show, the music was absolutely perfect. I also loved the lighting! The show used lights within the orchestra itself as well as the spots with various designs swinging out over the crowd and the colour washes, which really helped to set the mood. Also, smoke machines. Smoke machines are always fun (although goodness knows how anyone can keep singing/playing with that stuff blowing in their faces. I guess that’s why they’re the pros!).

The digital aspect, with content from the shows (mostly recent seasons, since those are what the music was specifically written for, but the older doctors were still featured) was so, so good. Seeing all the companions from the ninth, tenth and eleventh doctors made me tear up even more, and now I have to watch those seasons again. Oh Donna, I miss you!

The performers for the show seemed really good – there were heaps of cool costumes: the Ood! I love the Ood! Daleks and Cybermen (of course!), The Silence, Judoon. I think I spotted a Weeping Angel, a Silurian and maybe a Sontaran? It was a bit hard to tell from up the top, it was a long way from the action. That was one downside, and if it had been possible I would have loved to have been down with the hoi polloi. Also, because people in the boxes are often there just because the tickets are free, we were among people who apparently didn’t know the difference between Daleks and Cybermen. Handy hint: If it says things like “upgraded” and “you will be deleted”, it’s not a Dalek.

So my overall thoughts on all the amazing people who made last night’s show happen?

Sing it, Number 9