There were a few things which I didn't expect to happen during my interview with Dame Edna Everage.
I didn't expect her to avoid answering questions like "What can Canberra audiences expect to see when you're here later this year?" I didn't expect her to ask if I was "one of those women that hate men".
I also didn't expect to stumble into an argument between the man behind Dame Edna, Barry Humphries, and his publicist.
I can't remember the first time I was introduced to the character of Dame Edna because, like a lot of Australians, I grew up in a time and environment where she was just always there. The character played by veteran comedian Barry Humphries had already reached such fame that no one needed to explain to me who she was.
To me, she was always just the lady with the purple hair wearing her signature cat-eye glasses, who would regularly appear, not just on TV, but on things like postage stamps and mugs.
Dame Edna was so ingrained in our culture that I also never asked myself if she was funny or even still relevant, because society had always told me she was.
When I got the opportunity to interview Dame Edna herself, I was excited. A colleague had said "Who doesn't like a bit of Dame Edna?" and of course, I agreed.
I even set up a camera to record my reaction to what I had hoped would be her usual boisterous and happy greeting of "Hello possum", so that I could post it on social media following the interview. Yes, it was going to be bragging, but I also wanted some sort of souvenir, in the form of her catchphrase.
Instead, the video captured my look of awkward confusion, for when the operator transferred me through to Dame Edna, I was instead greeted by an argument between Humphries and his publicist.
"... well if you ignore that, I'll have to get another publicist," I hear Humphries' voice coming down the line.
The publicist is halfway through trying to explain herself before the operator has a chance to announce I am there.
I decide to turn a blind eye, opting for a "Hi Dame Edna, how are you going?" rather than questioning or commenting on what I had just heard.
"Did you say 'How are you going?' That's a funny way to address someone. Are you a bogan?" she replies. I put it down to the abrupt transition from Humphries to Dame Edna, and continue on, asking what Canberra audiences can expect from her show.
"Have you had much experience interviewing people, darling?... You're practising very, very well."
I know it's a joke. I know that's her schtick. But I also know that after this 20-minute conversation, I have to write an article based on what she says, and hopefully what she is hoping to experience while here in the capital.
Over the years, the performer has started many of her tours in Canberra, something which she tells me has proved to be something of a good luck charm.
"For many years I have been coming to Canberra and I love it," Dame Edna says.
"It's a good luck city for me. I've always been lucky.
"If I start in Canberra, they're good shows. If I don't, they're flops.
"So it's very lucky for me, and you are a lucky girl working there. Mind you, it's a change from Perth, where you were before."
Dame Edna has done her research. With the help of her publicist, I received a few questions the day before the interview so she can "drop some gems" into the chat. I answered questions about where I was born, if I had any kids and whether I had a dog, the answers being: Perth, no kids, but I do have a dog. I was also asked to act surprised if they came up during the interview.
"Canberra is a bit of a change. I think it's a big country town. And it's also the pornography capital of Australia," Dame Edna says.
It's not the first time I've heard Canberra referred to as the pornography capital and I'm sure the same can be said of many Canberrans. I'm also not surprised when she warns me about going "to that horrible suburb" but since The Canberra Times office is in Fyshwick, I tell her that can't be helped.
"But I'm looking forward enormously to bringing my show to Canberra," she continues.
"It is a completely different show from any that I've done before.
"And it will be about my career, my family, and a lot about what's happening in Australia right now."
You're not married yet, are you? Don't be in a hurry possum; that's my advice to you.Dame Edna Everage
My Gorgeous Life is what Dame Edna calls a "conversation with the audience".
She asks audience members about their lives while the rest of the crowd are "eavesdropping on the private conversation". And as for the females in the audience, Dame Edna says she plans on giving them advice about what it's like to be a modern woman when she's here from September 17-19.
"You're not married yet, are you? Don't be in a hurry possum, that's my advice to you," she tells me.
"We girls can make serious mistakes. We can be carried away. I will be giving advice from the stage, and if you're there I will give some special advice to you.
"There are too many people who have had no experience in life and they are mostly politicians. And poor little Bob Hawke has gone, hasn't he?
"He was the last interesting prime minister we had. He had a personality."
It's the morning after the death of Bob Hawke and Dame Edna joins those talking about their own personal experience with the former prime minister.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison praised the 23rd prime minister of Australia as a "unifier" and "a man of enormous intellectual capacity". Meanwhile, Bill Shorten would go on to say that Hawke was an inspiration and that "the nation owns him and his legacy".
Dame Edna, however, has a different recollection.
"I'm not telling you that he had a personality that I particularly liked, but he was a very amusing and rather sweet fellow. I knew him quite well," she says.
"He once, actually, touched me inappropriately. And a married man too. I gave him a little lecture and after that, he was very well behaved."
It's no surprise that Dame Edna name drops during the conversation; in her more than 60 years in the spotlight, she has had the chance to meet a lot of the people she talks about.
For instance, she tells me how she'll be staying with one of her "oldest friends" Governor-General Peter Cosgrove in Yarralumla while she's in town.
"They did approach me to be the governor-general, did you know that?" she adds.
"But I'm so busy internationally even though a lot of people had thought I had retired."
And it seems Dame Edna often stays privately with friends. She tells me she's calling from Buckingham Palace.
"I'm a friend of the Queen. Sometimes I might be falling asleep and a little corgi jumps onto my bed," she says.
"And then the royal bottom, sitting on the end of my bed. Of course, she pours her heart out to me about her newest granddaughter-in-law, the former Meghan Markle.
"She was worried, frankly, about little Meghan. She likes Meghan. Meghan is a very, very nice girl. But she was worried because her grandson is a little immature.
"Meghan is an 'experienced' woman. And the Queen, bless her, she married Phillip and she was not very experienced, she told me, but he had been in the navy, so he'd been around the block, in a manner of speaking."
Sometimes, Dame Edna says, "we girls need to stand up for ourselves", a sentiment I don't disagree with. It's also one which the self-proclaimed "gigastar" says she's had experience with of late.
While most may have thought Dame Edna had hung up her cat-eye glasses to enjoy retirement, she says it was her "manager" Humphries who actually kept her from the spotlight.
"Oh, Barry Humphries. He was my manager for many, many years. Unfortunately, he had his hand in the till. Isn't that awful?" she says.
Dame Edna asks me if I have a manager. When I reply that I don't, but that I do have an editor, she promptly asks if they are male or a female. Not that it matters what gender my features editor is, I reply that she is in fact female.
"That's safer Amy," she tells me.
Despite that interaction, Dame Edna says she doesn't agree with women who hate men. She says there are a lot of them and "they try to bring them down".
"You're not one of those, are you, Amy?" she asks and I reply simply with a 'no'.
"You're a girl who deserves a little romance," Dame Edna says.
"I'll have a look around but I'm not sure if Canberra is the city to find [a man].
"Perhaps Melbourne? The trouble is everyone in Melbourne is Chinese these days, but you want to diversify, don't you?
"My show is going to be inclusive. Some of the audience will come on stage and they can't wait. And I can't wait to meet them. So please tell them that."
Dame Edna assures me that heading into this tour, she's in peak physical condition and is not ready to give up the stage just yet. "I've never been healthier. I had a checkup. I spent about an hour with my gynaecologist and he gave me the thumbs up," she says.
"You would love him. He's gorgeous. He's very old and so his hand shakes. But that's not really a disadvantage, is it?"
We're nearing the end of our allotted 20 minutes when Dame Edna finally addresses the argument I walked in on at the beginning of the phone call.
"Don't take any notice if I seemed a little bit fierce," she says.
"I had an argument just before with the operator who was putting you through to me. Between you and me, Amy, I don't think she was born in Australia. Need I say more?"
No, Dame Edna. I don't think you do.
- Dame Edna My Gorgeous Life will be at The Canberra Theatre from September 17 to 19.