I believe I still have a home; in fact I may have even spent several hours sleeping there this week. However my life this week really has been lived in two different places:
The Brisbane Arts Theatre, as we count down to the opening night of Terry Pratchett's The Truth, in which I play a journalist; and State Parliament, where I have been ensconced since Tuesday, attempting to be a proper journalist.
I hope everyone's getting their tickets sorted to see The Truth - my character's funny little hat is worth the admission price alone. Plus my breasts make more appearances than really necessary. Honestly, I shall have to get them their own agent soon.
As far as parliament goes, it's been a reasonably busy week. Today is the busiest of all, and after a marathon dress rehearsal last night, the most tiring.
I love the media room up here though, just off the viewing balcony of the chamber. It hasn't changed much over the years - except now the sound of typewriters has been replaced by the clacking of laptop keys. You can still see some of those dusty old typewriters - shoved up on top of cabinets, surrounded by precariously-balanced stacks of Hansard and yellowing media releases, giving a grungy, old-school feel to the place.
The cubicles and writing desks are still haphazardly organised and clumsily placed; many bear identifying promo stickers of media organisations that no longer exist. And I swear you can still smell fifty years of stale cigarette smoke bleeding slowly from the wooden panelling.
I sit in a little cordoned-off section near the door to the viewing balcony; my companions are two kick-arse AAP journos who help me out with details I miss while downloading and cutting audio. The rest of the room is home to mostly Courier-Mail politicos and the ABC's radio crew. The "teevs" have their own special, flash studio downstairs.
There was a protest outside today; over 1000 state school cleaners and a bunch of other union members (Rail, Tram and Bus, for some bizarre reason) worried they'll lose their jobs if public-private partnerships to build and maintain new schools go ahead. Their calls of "Shame, Anna, Shame!" could be heard wafting through the walls of the Red Chamber, as the Premier talked about pokies and changes to the liquor licencing, before being asked if she would attend the rally. "I don't think I'm invited," she said. It seems to be one of those weird situations where the rally organisers demand via megaphone that the Premier come out and face them, but sigh with relief when she doesn't. Executive appearances tend to pour a big bucket of water over proceedings.
It'll be back to the office tomorrow, as parliament will rise late tonight once a bunch of laws are pushed through, and the Members will scatter to the far corners of the state in order to conduct traditional Friday electorate business. The next sitting date is the week after next. The play will still be on then - but I don't yet know if I'll be back here, drinking in the intrigue and shenanigan-ism of Queensland Parliament. I do hope so - I'm somewhat fond of this tiny little cubicle.