February 8, 2024

I was reflecting on the best way to help people learn after a session about maths and English with a young girl who is just starting high school. What were my best learning experiences? I thought back to sitting in my aunt’s kitchen when I was a teenager as she helped me learn to crotchet, to cross stitch, to sew, to bead. I don’t remember feeling frustrated or stupid as she patiently demonstrated each technique and gently corrected my mistakes. Was it because she was so good at each of those techniques that she made it look easy? Was it that she was a kindly soul and so there was never any fear on my part about the consequences of getting things wrong?

When it came to high school, who were my best teachers? Of course, there were the people who were clear conveyors of information. But I think back to a couple of subjects where I wasn’t as good as I wanted to be. Both teachers gave me worse marks than I was used to but in one case, the feedback was given in a way that showed me a path to improvement but in the other, I just felt brutalized. The result was that I lost respect for that teacher and any enthusiasm for the subject matter was undermined.

The most boring learning experience I have had was a more recent one. It was TAFE course on teaching which felt somewhat ironic given that I’d been teaching at universities for years. It was meticulously designed to ensure that the same curriculum could be delivered across the country but there was no incentive to do well. The results were either pass or fail. There was no room for imagination. No room for challenge. No room for doing anything more than regurgitating the rules.

Of course, learning is not just about the teachers and the curriculum. It’s about how much we want to understand. It didn’t matter that my French teacher had a degree from the Sorbonne if I was embarrassed by the sound of my pronunciation and didn’t want to open my mouth. It didn’t matter how brilliant my statistics lecturer was if I was distracted by the social life offered by university and  had utterly lost interest in the subject. But in both cases, I had the chance to learn. In a recent article in The Monthly, it was claimed that the adult literacy rate in Tasmania was 50%[1]. What do we need to do to ensure that people are offered the chance to learn?

Part of being a manager is to provide opportunities for people to learn. This can happen through providing formal learning programs but also through the day to day sharing of information, the  provision of skills and the conveyance of values. As I said in The A to Z of Arts Management:

‘Learning should be part of every organisation. As a leader and manager, you should be taking up training opportunities to improve your skills and knowledge. And if that’s true for you, it’s also true for everyone else in the organisation.’

I think back to Auntie Dot and the example she set, sitting around that kitchen table, in creating a positive learning experience for me. Sharing her knowledge. Correcting me kindly. Helping me create. Celebrating my new found skills.

If only all managers were like that.

[1] Feik, N 2024 ‘The rotten core’ The Monthly, February, 33.


June 21, 2023

I’ve being doing some tidying up of old University teaching files as I draw to the end of that part of my career. And there in the folder about Strategic Planning were notes from a talk I’d done about organisational ‘vision’. I can’t remember when or where I gave the talk but there are some points in it that I thought were worth revisiting.

There are technical definitions about ‘vision’ in textbooks on strategic planning but it’s really quite simple. Leaders have a vision – a dream and direction that inspires other people to follow. Each arts organisation that I’ve worked with has had a sense of what they wanted to achieve in the future. And as a leader of that organisation, in my opinion you need to:

  • Articulate a vision that incorporates beliefs and values as well as actions and goals
  • Help people – your board and your staff – to share that vision with you
  • Be passionate about the art you’re creating and the people who are making it because without that creativity, the vision remains just words on page.

I’ve been lucky to work in organisations permeated by vision. In fact, my choice of employers has always been based on their vision. I worked 12 hours a day for a theatre company but I wouldn’t work 12 hours a day for an organisation that made concrete pipes or traded shares. I have worked for half the salary that I could get in the corporate world but I wouldn’t work for a company where the CEO earnt millions of dollars in excessive of the average worker.

But having a vision isn’t by definition always a good thing and there are times when having a vision isn’t enough.

Part of the Australian’s Government’s aid to the post-apartheid South Africa was to send various media experts to help do everything from cover an election to making news and current affairs programs that weren’t just excerpts from the regime’s press-releases. My role was to review Radio South Africa, the national English Language radio station. RSA had a vision. Their vision was to perfectly English. In the apartheid world, people of colour weren’t going to get on air but neither could most South African born English speakers because their accent wasn’t ‘good enough’. RSA wanted to be just like the BBC. But the result was a bizarre old-fashioned take on what the BBC might have been like in the 1950s. And it wasn’t just the sound of the announcers, it was the programming that also seemed to reflect an old-fashioned culture. My favourite was Music after 6 which was ‘lift’ music filling in the time leading to the 7pm news. When I asked what it was supposed to do, the answer was ‘it’s when men get home and have a sherry or cocktail with their wives before the news.” What men? What women? What cocktails? Yes, RSA had a vision but the result was a National Broadcast that only spoke in the language of a minority to an even smaller minority.

Sometimes our visions can drive people to work too hard and too long. Because those of us leading in the arts believe so utterly in the purpose of our organisations, we can easily find ourselves exploiting the people who work for us. There is plenty of evidence that arts workers will trade salaries and conditions for the privilege of working for our vision but eventually that can lead to burnout, turnover, stress, and poor industrial relations.

At Melbourne Theatre Company there were (and still are) artisans who have stayed and stayed and stayed, some working for the company for over 30 years. They stay because they love what they do – the creation of unique worlds. And they would be amongst the world’s best craftspeople in terms of their skills. But they weren’t always happy. And they are highly unionized with a history of antagonism towards ‘management’ even when they respect and admire the Artistic Director and even the Managing Director.

Why? Because although MTC pays well by industry standards, the rates don’t always reflect the workers’ value or match market rates in other industries. Because they can’t control their world – directors and designers have higher status and can make demands that increase workloads and make planning difficult.

So even in an organisation where everyone has chosen to work there because of the vision and where the vision is the defining point of every discussion on every day, you still need a range of pragmatic management skills to ensure that people in the company are respected, valued and effectively lead.

There are also times when the vision isn’t enough. No matter how glorious the vision, I don’t believe that any of the following leaders can be successful:

  • The “I will scream and abuse you until you succumb out of fear” leaders
  • The “this is my opinion and that’s all that matters” leaders
  • The “if you don’t do it my way, don’t expect to have a job” leader
  • The “you do it for me and I’ll take the glory” leader
  • And yes, the “I’m a man and I know more than you” leader.

The leader who can sell the vision is:

  • The “show me a good idea, I’ll help you achieve it, and you can have the glory” leader
  • The “here’s a way to improve your skills and take over my job” leader
  • The “come and work for me because I’ll encourage and empower you” leader.

Take two theatre companies, both creating the same sort of work, both presenting to the same sort of audiences, both – one could say – with the same vision. But they differ in the way they value their artists.

One company:

  • Is open to the acting fraternity, holds open auditions, regularly employs new people
  • Has a pro-active occupational health and safety strategy which provides actors with advice and training before a show starts
  • Ensures that all member of its senior management team regularly visits casts and see shows.

Because there are more actors than gigs, the company that values its actors doesn’t necessarily get direct financial or artistic benefits from behaving as it does but it gets moral benefits because actors will choose to work for them and the staff will feel proud when their company is praised and valued.

Theatre can provide a great metaphor for visionary leadership. The role of theatre director is an interesting example of leadership at work. Their role is to:

  • Find a way to physically interpret a text and give it meaning in a new world: articulating the vision
  • Work with other creative people such as set, costume, lighting and sound designers: sharing the vision
  • Choose actors and then facilitate their emotional and physical journey to inhabit this new world: ensuring that values and vision match
  • Work within an economic framework to ensure that the world can be created affordably: an inspirational but also achievable vision
  • Create a world that is on interest to more than just them and work with the marketing and audience development people to find audiences: implement the vision.

Having a shared vision is essential as a driver for an arts organisation. But we have to be careful that our vision is an ethical and meaningful one and that in the process of implementing our vision, we look after the wellbeing of the people who are helping us on the journey.


June 20, 2023

I used to read National Geographic magazines at the dentist when I was a child. Decades later, I decided to subscribe on behalf of my young nephew but it turns out that I found it much more fascinating than he did. He’s left home but I’m still subscribing (although I think they must have had some impact because he’s now doing a PhD in Zoology). The magazines arrive once a month in my letterbox (how old fashioned is that) and in each volume I’m taken into worlds I’ll probably never visit and offered insights into research about science, about sociology, about history. And of course, there are always brilliant photographs. In this month’s edition (06.23), there’s in an article about the Vatican Museums, there’s a summary of something those of us who love the arts have always known: the power of our emotional response to art. And the science of that subject even has a name – neuroaesthetics. Here’s a quote from the article by Gulnaz Khan:

Research shows that engaging with art can activate the brain’s reward system, releasing chemicals like dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin. Aesthetic experiences….are also associated with decreased loneliness, improved mood, and stress reduction. Some neuroscientists have even compared viewing art to the feeling of romantic love.

Khan points to a 2019 World Health Organisation analysis of more than 3,000 research studies which showed that artistic activities promote physical and psychological health. And more recently, there’s a 2022 pilot study in Belgium between a hospital and the Brussels city authority to test a ‘museum prescription’ as a supplementary treatment for burnout and anxiety.

Although I’ve always argued that the most important reason for governments to support art making and participation is because of the implicit value of the arts, I’m more than happy to argue the case that governments should buy us all a ticket to go the theatre or the museum or the gallery or the concert to make us feel better.

Last classes

June 15, 2023

The first arts management course I taught was at the (then) South Australian Institute of Technology in 1985. And the last arts management courses I’ve taught were just a few week’s ago, at the University of Melbourne.

I’ve always enjoyed teaching (although not marking!) because it keeps me connected to the next generation of arts managers. It also ensures that I continue to learn in order to stay ahead of them (just). And I do get a sense of satisfaction as I pass on hard learnt lessons from the real world that might save others from my mistakes.

This year, my students have come from all parts of Australia but also from China, Colombia, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Japan, Russia, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, and the United States of America. And they are just the ones I know about.

To celebrate the end of nearly 40 years (on and off) of Arts Management teaching, here are photos of my last couple of classes.

Stakeholders and Fundraising in the Arts

Marketing the Arts


June 1, 2023

I’ve just finished teaching my last course on philanthropy and fundraising at the University of Melbourne. As an organised human being, my next task was to sort out what research material I’d used to create the course was worth keeping. In the tidy up, I discovered an edited version of a paper about private sector funding that I’d given at a seminar nearly 40 years ago. And this really is an example of the things that never change – either in the world or in my opinions.

The second sentence in the paper was this: All over the Western world….government budgets are being tightened and the arts budgets are cut. And that’s been an ongoing story for decades. Even with a supportive Federal Arts Minister in Australia at the moment with a slight improvement in funding for the arts, we’re all still recovering from cuts under the previous government.

I then went on to talk about some of the responses to this scenario – searching for new justifications for government arts funding, improving arts management, and finding other sources of funding such as corporate sponsorship. The seminar paper explored the rationale behind sponsorship, the arts companies/sectors that are attractive (and unattractive) to companies, the innate conservatism of such sponsorship, and various other constraints on private sector funding. Re-reading this document four decades on, there’s very little I’d change. These days, I’d add a more detailed section about the ethics of such relationships and reflect on stories where relationships have broken down due to pressure from artists (Tate/BP, Perth Festival/Chevron, British Museum/Shell, Sydney Biennale/Transfield).

I concluded my paper with this reflection about the need to determine whether the dream of private sector funding is a convenient point of distraction when public budgets are tight. Yes, I was clearly somewhat cynical in those days about sponsorship. We have moved beyond that point. Most large arts companies have no choice but to include corporate sponsorship as part of their funding mix. Most small to medium sized companies would like some corporate support but are usually limited to modest in kind contributions rather than meaningful cash amounts. And in both cases, philanthropy – from individuals and foundations – is a larger source of income than sponsorship. Even though it’s hard to know whether the source of that philanthropic income might be tainted (slavery? mining? armaments? tobacco?), it does feel slightly more comfortable to accept a donation than to enter into a commercial contract with a corporation.

Muddling through

December 6, 2022

Muddling through…..which is not the same as being in a muddle or muddled thinking. This is the language of Chris Rodgers in his interesting book The Wiggly World of Organization.

His position is that the world in general and organisations in particular are full of complexity and uncertainty and that managers/leaders can’t ‘control’ such environments. Instead, thoughtfully and with purpose, they have to do the best they can. Rodgers quotes Allenby & Sarewitz’s (2013) summary of what managers actually do:

Progress, when it occurs, comes through trial and error, through learning what works in particularly situations, through incremental change that incorporates such learning, and through the difficult process of political compromised that allows people to take the next step. (101)

I responded positively to Rodgers’ ideas because that’s both my life experience as a manager/leader and what I’ve written about in The A to Z of Arts Management. Yes, there are theories about management and the best of them contribute insights into how one might try to be a good manager but they can never offer ‘rules’ about every situation. There’s never one simple answer. You have to bring insight and experience and thoughtfulness into play. As Rodgers says about the concept of muddling through:

….this doesn’t mean managers and others relying wholly on instinct. Though that plays a vital part. Nor is it about indecisiveness. Instead, it’s about adopting a stance of flexible rigidity; remaining steadfast in pursuit of the broad direction of travel (for as long as it continues to make sense to do so) and, at the same time, being flexible and responsive to the practical realities of whatever emergers along the way. (108)

It’s about doing the best you can with, in Rodgers’s words, purpose, courage and skill. It’s about having a sense of direction and encouraging people to bring their skills to play as they join you on the journey. You can’t get anywhere as a manager without the active and effective participation of those who work for you.

You need to be brave because you can’t control the future. Afterall, apart from Emily St John Mandel (2014), who else factored Covid into their strategic plan? You have to keep moving forward without being able to predict the outcome of your decisions. And you have to apply your skills – as a communicator, a negotiator, a thought provoker, a healer – in an ethical and practical way.


Allenby, B & Sarewitz D 2013, The Techno-Human Condition, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.

Mandel, ESJ 2014, Station Eleven, Picador, London

Rodgers, C 2021 The wiggly world of organisation: muddling through with purpose, courage and skill, Routledge, London


October 25, 2022

Finally, my relationship with the University of Melbourne is at an end. It started in 1994 when I was interviewed for the position of General Manager of Melbourne Theatre Company. I remember the room with the long Board table and oil paintings of dead white males (previous Vice Chancellors) on the wall. I had no sense of optimism about the interview – after all, I had never worked for a theatre company – but that might have the very reason I was offered the job. A fresh set of eyes on an arts organisation that was in trouble.

You may be wondering what MTC has to do with the University. The answer is from its very creation as the Union Theatre Repertory Company in 1953, MTC was a “department” of the University of Melbourne with a Board of Management reporting to the University Senate. So, for those 18 years that I managed MTC, I was a University employee.

In addition, to this formal role, I also taught arts management at the University, initially as a guest lecturer and then as a part-time course coordinator. Over the last 15 years, I have taught a variety of courses in Arts Management as well as a curious course on the secret life of organisations.

Combining work with teaching also lead to some interesting research on arts leadership with Kate MacNeill and Sarah Reynolds. I’d been off at a course in non-profit leadership at Stanford University and had a battle to get some of their academics to appreciate the strength of the co-leadership model you see in many arts organisations – with an artistic director and a managing director working side by side. Kate and I interviewed such leaders in Australia, the USA and the UK and published our results in a number of international journals. I’m still convinced that this is the best leadership approach for performing arts companies although such leaders need to share a vision, trust each and be respectful of their differences.

At various stages, I’ve been an Honorary Fellow and an Enterprise Fellow – all of which means that the University has valued my life experience even if I don’t have a PhD. And much as I admire those who can concentrate on one topic for years and years, that pure academic route never appealed to me.

As a thank you for my 18 years of work at MTC, the University offered me a year’s paid fellowship in 2013 which enabled me to research and write the first edition of my textbook The A to Z of Arts Management. The book, subtitled Reflections on Theory and Reality enabled me to combine those years of management practice, teaching and research in a way that I hope would offer useful insight to both students and arts managers.  Just today, I received an email from a past student who said that they still pull the book off the shelf and use it from to time. And just last month, an Artistic Director told me that it helped them make the transition from artist to leader.

The last couple of years have been demanding for academics and students alike as we reverted to online learning. I deeply admire my students, particularly those for whom English is a second language, who persevered  in the face of lockdowns and internet dropouts. It was such a joy to get back on campus and into the classroom earlier this year and see the palpable difference that face-to-face communication made to the learning process.

I have enjoyed working with some impressive senior managers and Senate members of the University as well the dedicated academics and administrative workers who make up the School of Culture and Communications. I have treasured the learning that teaching forces me to do as well as the smart, enthusiastic students I’ve had the privilege to teach. But much as I’m going to miss them, it’s time for me to step aside. Although teaching in recent times has provided me with both stimulus and income, I’ve had my turn. It’s been a struggle for bright young academics to get work and build a career and share their wisdom with the next generation of arts managers and I need to let them step up on take offer my role.

But, as I said to the Arts Management Department Head, I’m always available for a guest lecture (or two). It’s hard to let go completely after 28 years….

Update: 6 December 2022

…..and it turns out that it’s not quite over yet. The University hasn’t finished their recruitment process for a new arts management academic, so I have one more semester of teaching. Hurrah.

Arts Boards

September 8, 2021

I’ve recently contributed some comments about Arts Boards to an article in Arts Hub: https://www.artshub.com.au/2021/07/08/7-steps-to-build-the-perfect-arts-board

When asked by the article’s author what my top criteria were for Arts Board members, this was the list I gave her:

The key attributes I’d look for:

  • Emotional intelligence – in order to work effectively with other board members and management
  • Time – the capacity and willingness to be available for more than just going to Board meetings
  • Skills – some form of skill or knowledge that’s going to be particularly useful for the company
  • Fiscal & strategic understanding – need to be able to read financial statements and to be able to judge whether an organisation is achieving its mission
  • Financial capacity – even if it’s just a modest donation, Board members should be willing to financially support their companies
  • Passion – in the form of a genuine interest in the art that’s being made
  • Communication skills – particularly the capacity to listen.

And in putting this mix together, the Board/company needs to consider:

  • Diversity – ensuring that there are a range of different types of people e.g. gender, ethnicity, age

While everyone is clear about the importance of Boards – to provide governance and leadership and financial support – the impact of dysfunctional boards and board members on the mental health of management and the effectiveness of companies is often not acknowledged.

Finding a good Board member is essential for the wellbeing of all concerned.

Sue Nattrass Award

May 6, 2021

On 5 May, I joined an amazing group of people in receiving the Sue Nattrass Award for exceptional service to the Australian live
performance industry. It’s an award which focuses on shining a spotlight on people in service roles that support and drive the live entertainment industry. My fellow winner this year was the renowned Jill Smith who has contributed so much to the arts in Victoria as General Manager of Malthouse Theatre and the Geelong Performing Arts Centre as well as an advisor and consultant and board member. For more detail about the awards: https://liveperformance.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/LPA-MR-A-high-note-to-2020-The-performing-arts-industry-celebrates-four-leading-lights-in-long-awaited-Helpmann-Industry-Awards-5May2021-FINAL-VERSION.pdf

I thought I’d share my thank you speech because it does acknowledge all the people who enabled me to do my job.

“These moments are all about thanks.

Thanks to Sue Nattrass for being such an amazing manager that she has an award named after her.

Thanks to Evelyn & Richard and the LPA team for making this award possible.

Thank to Robyn for her kind words.

Thanks to all the amazing artists I’ve worked with.

But most importantly, thanks to all the great managers I’ve worked with over the years.

I was having a conversation last week with some friends about the lack of good managers. They talked about the micromanagers and the bullies; the managers lacking people skills and financial skills; they talked about the power-hungry and self-obsessed. And locking back over my career I thought how lucky I’d been – and when I wasn’t lucky, I resigned. Live’s too short to put up with bad managers. So I would like to recognize and thank that small group of people who managed me well….including some of the great Chairs of Boards that I’ve worked with – John, Bobbie, Fiona. Ralph, Ian and Derek.

I also want to thank my peers – the CEOs and managers of radio stations and theatre companies, dance companies and venues, who shared their wisdom and their skills and helped me understand this wonderful industry in which we work and how to be a better manager.

When I give my introductory lecture to arts management students at the University of Melbourne, I say that management is about people, people, people, people, people, people, money, buildings. And so I’d also like to thank the people who have worked for me over the years. Without their skill and dedication, then I wouldn’t have been able to achieve anything.

And I’d like to thank the artistic directors that I’ve had the honour of sharing partnerships with – in particular, those great blokes at Melbourne Theatre Company – Roger, Simon and Brett….and how exciting is it that after 68 years, the new AD is going to be a woman, Anne-Louise Saks.

And I should mention 2 people who couldn’t be here today – one is providing drug and alcohol counselling to people in need and the other is having their first gig as a volunteer at Lort Smith Animal Hospital: my sister Susan and my nephew Sebastian. Their care and company at home made me a better manager out in the world.

And of course, I couldn’t finish without congratulating the other people who are winning an award today…..it’s a secret for another few minutes but they represent the very best of all the arts have to offer.

Thank you.”

Online forever?

December 14, 2020

I’ve been so busy teaching and marking assignments during Melbourne’s COVID-19 lockdown that I haven’t had time to do any of my own writing. Last week I watched a session on Artshub Visions 2020 conference called ‘post-pivot digital access’ and I was reminded about how little art I’d consumed digitally in this strange year. And that’s a strange outcome because most arts organisations immediately pivoted to online product.

Before I go further, I do have to acknowledge that the digital world is a boon for people with disabilities; that it saves the environment as people travel less to get to work or meetings or conferences; that it usually means that arts experiences are more affordable.

Therefore, my comments come from a position of acknowledged privilege. I can access theatres and galleries. I can afford to buy (some) tickets. But I don’t like consuming the art experiences I normally enjoy live via the digital world.

My favourite art form is theatre and I did watch some recorded work. Yes, Hamilton worked – as a well edited experience based on a series of performances to make the digital work as good as it could be. Yes, One Man, Two Guvnors was funny  – but I’d seen it a couple of times before so I knew the play. Jane Eyre didn’t work for me. Neither did The Deep Blue Sea. I was thrilled to be able to see the Black Swan production of Summer of the Seventeenth Doll but it didn’t have the emotional impact of the live versions I’d seen. The challenge for filmed theatre is that it’s so close in form to other digital material such as films or series. Those works are made for the digital eye and live theatre is made for the human eye. And as a result, most of the time recorded theatre looks second best.

When it comes to the visual arts, most of my experiences occur when I’m travelling. I go into museums and galleries and craft shops to find out more about the towns and cities and regions in which I find myself. The physicality of the place I’m in is just as important as the art I experience. Therefore, the idea of doing an online gallery tour is of (almost) no interest. This year, one of my students explored a variety of art gallery tours and some of her insights are worth sharing.

As she said, immersive technology expands accessibility and creates a free, unrestricted environment and yet the vast and empty digital exhibition hall makes the spectator feel lonely, given that nobody else it there to accompany them. She also noted a common aspect of the digital experience – being easily distracted by online ads and notices as well as being able to multitask. She also found herself felling “dizzy, disoriented and irritable” trying to use the arrow icons to ‘walk’ through the 360-degree rooms. I confess that in the few times I did look at virtual exhibitions, I usually gave up after a few minutes of fiddling with the keyboard.

The wonder and joy of exploring a gallery or museum is not just what’s on the wall, the floor or the display box. It’s being in a physical space with its multisensory aspects including everything from chance encounters with others to tea and cake in the café as one reflects on the experience.

All the arts organisations that I know did some sort of pivot this year to digital presentation. Partly it was to retain connection with audiences. Partly it was to provide work for artists. Partly it was to try and generate some income. Partly it was to experiment with digital art making as a replacement for live art. All of these are great reasons for doing so. But I’m not the audience that was engaged. As an example, I thought I’d watch  the Melbourne International Film Festival online. The price was about the same that I’d cheerfully pay to see a film in a cinema. But I ummed and ahhhed and eventually didn’t. Why not? When I pay $15 to go to the movies, I buy the film but also the experience of catching up with friends or eating a choc top or having shopping/eating experiences before or after. For the same amount of money I can get a month of Netflix or Stan streaming rather than risking it on one film. So I found other international films to watch in other ways.

There are arts experiences that I have always enjoyed through non-live means. I’ve learnt to love reading books via my phone when I’m travelling. I consume music daily via digital platforms but I’ve listened to recorded music even before I received my first pale blue and white portable 45 record player in my childhood. Music has always been both live and recorded for me. But for the same length of time, I’ve experienced theatre live. Am I just too stuck in my ways to give up on this way of experiencing stories, learning empathy, exercising my emotional muscles?

I’m sure that part of my ambivalence about art in the digital world is that too much of my life is already online. Each day, when we couldn’t go out, I sat staring at a computer screen. Each night, when we couldn’t go out, I sat staring at a television screen. Each day, when the libraries were closed, I read on my screen. Each night, when I couldn’t visit friends, I talking to them via zoom. I want to save up for the potential pleasure of a great night in the theatre rather than trying to replace it with a less than satisfactory outcome. I want to save up for the potential pleasure of exploring traditional and contemporary Japanese art when I finally get to go on my cancelled trip rather than looking at examples on a flat screen.

Is it selfish of me to want to explore the world again? Both the emotional world and the real world but not much more of the digital world?