Thursday, December 30, 2010

Resolving to have a good time

I'm heading to the beach with some of my favourite people for the New Years weekend. No doubt it will be a weekend of beach wanders, wave dunkings, and lot and lots of laughter. Hopefully it will be the catalyst to the start of a year of goodness and joy for all of us. I hope, for you too, the new year will see sunshine and lollipops coming your way, and will be a year to remember for all the right reasons.
Oh, and good luck with your resolutions if you're making some:

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Good from bad

It's 3:30am Christmas morning and I've finally finished wrapping all the presents Darling Mother and I rushed around purchasing this week. I'm exausted, and honestly don't know how I'm going to get up in four hours for breakfast with our neighbours. Or how I'm going to muster up a whole day of Christmas cheer.
When I was younger I loved Christmas. The lights, the tree, the confusing carols tra-laa-ing about snow and sleighs while we were sweltering in thirty degree heat - I loved it all. Even a few years ago I remember counting down the sleeps, getting Christmas-ed up the whole month of December, and pushing through the mandatory family arguments to find that magic everyone talks about at this time of year.
But the past few years I haven't been able to find much (if any) of the elusive Christmas Spirit. At one of supposedly the happiest times of the year I seem to be finding myself dragging my feet in the cheer department. I still love the gift giving, and even with an incredibly tight budget this year, I've managed to shower my favourite people with gifts which I hope they will love. But even that was (horrifyingly) a struggle. And it seems I'm not the only one - so many people I've talked to the last few days seem to be feelin the same.
Friends and family are feeling lonely, sad, or just poor. Others are sick, anxious about looming problems, or have recently had a loved one pass away. Still more are just feeling like Christmas just came too fast and left them behind. For whatever reason it's just not the jolly season it should well be.
I went to church tonight and the readings, as is typical, were about the birth of Christ and the reason we celebrate this holiday in the first place - how he came into a world of pain and suffering to save us from the darkness. The Pastor talked about the beginnings of the Christmas Tree - a fir tree - (apparantly it was all Mr Martin Luther's idea - smart fella) and how it symbolised the growth of new life even in the deepest, coldest, darkest winter.
And I talked to my neighbour who's boys have been ill for the past 15 years, and still fight every day just to live without pain. She told me how the oldest one is still struggling to recover from surgery over a year ago, and how the youngest one is about to undergo a long process of similar procedures. And how a boy - the eldest's good freind who suffers from similar health problems - has just passed away. And, even with all that was happening in her life, the chance to spend Christmas with her family and neighbours was wonderous to her.
And I realised that maybe that's why so many people love Christmas so much - becuase even when everything is hell, Christmas - the ideal of goodness, and faith, and love that we celebrate through Jesus, and Santa, and just by giving gifts and spending time - that's why it's so important. It reminds us that even with all the bad stuff, deep down in the core of it all, this life is something special.
John reckons so too, so it must be true.




So, from me to you, I hope your Christmas is full of joy and happiness. But if it's not - if there's pain, or sadness, or loneliness, or if everything just seems too much, my thoughts and prayers are with you, and my hope is that you'll find some good at the heart of it all.
Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Jam Cool

So now that I've updated on the Tran adventure I can get down to what I really wanted to share today. This post is a bit of a shout-out to Miss Vodka, because I know how much she loves good design and, I think at least, this constitutes some pretty fine design.


It's called Jambox and it's a portable mini-speaker that provides big sound in a tiny littly package. I found if via Black Eiffel, the design blog chock full of awesome. Now while the Jambox itself is pretty neat looking, what I loved the most is the packaging.




I'm definitely one of those people who spent more time playing with the wrapping than the gift as a kid.

Trans-America II: Thanksgiving dinner and a crazy risk.

Thanksgiving has come and gone so it's only right that I should update on the Trans. I follwed this story through and it turns out the Trans were just as excited to make a new friend as James West was, so they invited him along to Thanksgiving and even offered to pick him up at the airport and spend the whole weekend with him. They ate, they drank, they gave thanks. They seemed to all be having a great time, and the Trans have not only invited West back again next year, but have invited themselves to Sydney to visit him.
The story, while maybe not viral, certainly seemed to gain a bit of momentum with West interviewed on Sunrise here in Australia, and a Tran/West interview with the local Florida news in America. In all the updates the Trans and West chatter and bicker like old friends, and the whole family seem completely relaxed and thrilled to have him share their Thanksgiving.



That said, obviously not everyone has felt that this adventure was a great idea. I think maybe in my last post I was a bit vague about a few things, and maybe exaggerated or generalised a bit too much - it's a bad habit, I know. What I probably should have said is that the majority of the people I know happily admit to randomly checking out (or "stalking" as it's jokingly reffered to) strangers on facebook - whether it be someone they met birefly and thought was cute, or an interesting friend of a friend they catch a glimpse of and suddenly want to know more.
I'm also not saying I totally agree with the way this whole thing started out - there was an intrusion of privacy, and the releasing of certain information. However, West, being a journalist, would surely have been well aware of where the line is in relation to the release private and confidential information. He would have also been aware of the risks he was taking in admitting to reading the Tran family emails - yet he did it openly and, I think, with respect, acknowledging that risk and not hiding behind a screen name or annonymous moniker. Things may not have turned out as sweet as they did, in fact they could well have got quite nasty, and props definitely should go to the Tran family for being so cool and welcoming.
I guess, while I saw the negatives in this whole thing from the get-go, I also saw a bit of what James West saw to come up with such a crazy idea. It's kinda nice that in a world where virtual and digital communication has led to less real physical contact, someone would create for themselves an opportunity to take a virtual communication into realtime, outside the realm of internet dating. As West states, there's a lot of mistrust and cynicism out there - what better way to dampen that than taking a risk on the opposing side and trusting that a hair-brained idea created on one side of the world would be met with good-will,a great time, and some new friends on the other?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Trans-America

So you know those people who have absolutely no problem inviting themselves places? Like Aunt Marge, who hears you and your mates organising a weekend pub crawl and mentions she'll pencil it in after bridge? Or Merve from accounting who you said 'hi' to in the lift, and suddenly he's joining you and your girlfriends for a spa weekend. Some are a little weird, some kinda scary and most just super friendly...maybe overly friendly.
As self-inviters go I reckon James West pretty much takes the title.
The gist of the story is this dude, Mr West, started receiving email from random people, most with the last name Tran and, assuming it was spam, he ignored it for two whole years. Then sometime earlier this year, curiosity got the best of him and he opened a few of the emails todiscover they were meant for another James West, a relative of the Trans. Turns out email-stalking is a bit like Pringles - once you pop you can't stop - and his addiction led him to the revelation that the Trans were planning a great family Thanksgiving.

So now Mr West is on a virtual crusade to find the Trans before Thanksgiving so he can attend their family dinner. He's read all the emails, learnt about their likes and dislikes, know what each memeber is bringing to dinner and is even taking something himself - the canned corn! The only problem is, he's not officially invited. So he's set up this Youtube video to Track Down the Trans:




And he's keeping the public updated at new (or new emails in this case) comes to hand - you can check out the second vid here. He's also stated that if he doesn't hear from them tomorrow he's going to email them, and may well jump on a plane to Florida anyway and see if he can track them down for dinner - canned corn in hand of course.
The comments on youtube aren't overly kind. Many are suggesting he should have emailed the family immediately and set them straight on his identity, most are labeling him as some kind of creepy stalker, which West himself acknowledges is a resonable assumption. I must admit, I tended to agree at first. But then I started thinking about it. Here's this guy who suddenly starts getting random emails from people who he doesn't know from a bar of soap and he manages to ignore them for two years. I know there's no way I would have held out for that long. I know I would have also read at least a couple before deciding whether to set the record straight too. And in all honesty, (and here's the biggie), is this worse than facebook stalking which many of us won't admit to but I'm pretty sure all of us do?
The emails came to his inbox addressed to him by name, which gives him much more right to read them than we have to scroll through messages sent from a friend to their sister or brother, or trawling through strangers photos. Sure, he probably should have just shot an email back letting them know they had the wrong person, and he probably took it a bit too far, but at least he has the guts to admit it - to the whole world even.
Putting the issue of stalking aside, the thing I love most about this is that West has taken a situation that could well have been done and dusted with a simple return email and turned it into an epic adventure. From a case of mistaken identity he's created an opportunity to travel to the other side of the world and make a whole bunch of new friends.
I think it's kinda cool. What about you? Creepy stalker or crazy Adventurer?

Friday, November 19, 2010

A fortunate event?

Yesterday marked one year since I tore the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) in my right knee for the second time. A year ago today I was grimacing through the pain as I underwent scans, x-rays, poking and prodding. Last year on this day I spent most of the afternoon in tears, trying to convince myself it wasn't so bad, but knowing in the pit of my stomach that one wrong step would cause months of frustration and anguish.
I wasn't too far wrong. The damage had been done at work - a shoe sales job I'd had for a total of two weeks - but my claim for compensation was rejected on the grounds that the task I was doing - walking from the selling floor to the stock room - wasn't closely enough related to work. I was up for close to $8000 in medical bills and was now jobless.
After seeing a specialist I was immeidately booked in for surgery - I'd not only torn the ACL but severely damaged the cartilage around it. The whole area was already weak from a previous tear to the same ligament twelve years prior, meaning that would also have to be cleaned up and my recovery would likely be slower than average.
Twelve months later and my knee, while stronger than it's been in years, still aches on cold nights, or twinges if I move it at a funny angle. When it does, I remember how much heartache I've been through because of it, and the stress and frustration at having such a small thing cause so much havoc to my life financially, socially, physically, and emotionally. But I've also been thinking lately that maybe, even with all the tears it caused, this whole thing wasn't such a catastrophe after all.
I spent the morning setting up for a gala dinner for 1000 people. A lot of it was hard, hot work - moving tables, setting out chairs, folding napkins, and carting crates of cuttlery, crockery and glasses to and fro. But in the midst of all this, in fact while lugging 10kg of silverware from one end of the room to the other, I realised I was living my dream.
Ok, so not my complete dream. I'd much prefer to not be covered in sweat and dust, and maybe also to be in charge of the event rather than just part of the staff of extras, but the essence of the dream is there. I was part of the process. My hand was involved in creating this thing, this event that, for those attending tomorrow night, will hopefully be something more than just a dinner.
There's this overwhelming craziness that comes from seeing a decrepit cattle pavillion transformed from an empty hall into a 5-star ballroom, and knowing that you were responsible (even in a small way) for that. As odd as it sounds, it's almost like the birth of a temporary artwork, the creation of something for others to share. And pulling something off successfully gives me this incredible rush of ecstasy that I can ride for days!
Sure, there's bits that aren't so fun - the mountains of paperwork, insurances and licenses for a start - but every job has its downfalls, and the good stuff far outweighs the bad stuff.
The good stuff: playing with themes and ideas, creating the most outrageous things you can come up with, transporting people from the normal to the amazing, hearing someone talk about something you helped create months (or even years) later, improvising, imagining and innovating.
This time last year I'd been two weeks in a job I already hated. I was a recent uni graduate with no savings, no decent job prospects and far too much debt. I felt defeated, frustrated and lost. Now? I still have no savings, another year of study to get through and far too much debt. And I've still got a dodgy knee and a lot of things that frustate me. But I've also got a direction, and I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't be going in the same one had I not torn my ACL, and been forced to up-end my whole life and reconsider where I was heading. I don't want to give my knee too much credit, but maybe someday I can say this little drama is responsible for helping me become the Aussie version of Colin Cowie, creator of stuff like this: 

A Wedding in Cabo San Lucas
  

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I'm sorry you have to hurt

This writer guy, he says that it's easy.
 You just sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.
But what if you're running out of veins?

Sometimes people suck. Not all the time. For the most part I think people try to be good people and love, and give, and hope and dream without hurting others. But sometimes they don't.
Sometimes poeple hurt other people. Sometimes they take words or actions and sharpen them, grinding them down to a glistening, glinting, angry point that slides straight through your heart, leaving the splintering wood of the handle to callus and corrupt the place where you once dared to hope there was love in the world. Sometimes they create excruciating, unnessary pain and confusion. Sometimes they do this without even realising it.
Sometimes - and we are all at fault in this to some degree - sometimes people take something they've learnt, or know or simply believe, and hold it so much higher than anything else. Sometimes it gets in the way of their view of everything else possible, or plausible, or real. When everything else is shrouded by this overarching 'thing' they hold so impossibly high, there's no hope at all for them to care a thought for the damage they might do by whispering a half-formed thought filled with ignorance and spite. And that's when their poisonous barb jabs deep thorn into the soft skin of some other someone, who's done and knows nothing of the so-called crime they've commited.
Sometimes, in believing too hard or protecting too strongly, people become exactly that evil which they are trying to guard against.
And then what?
Someone else suffers the consequences of their blind accusations and angry assumptions. 
And for what? 
So they can feel self-righteous in the belief that they've been stronger through the storm than the petty mortals surrounding them.

Sometimes my strength of faith in people is shattered by blind negligence, and the inevitable destruction it spreads because of the thoughtless actions of a person (or persons).
Sometimes I think faith in the good of others is something akin to trusting in my ability to write. Both require the decanting of some deeper part of you without knowing for sure what will be received in return. Both require the alltogether stupid belief that what you are giving is perfect enough to be not just accepted, but respected. Both risk utter destruction from the very moment of conception.  
So how many times do you tap another vein of faith and love for one's fellow man before you run dry? And how sullied or weakened is that love from all the times before?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Whole lotta love


Driving back from a whirlwind trip home to drop my father off tonight, I plugged in my ipod and scrolled through, searching for someting I hadn't listened to in a while. Lo and behold, I stumbled across the Dawson's Creek soundtrack (I know, that show...but the music was good). It was a toss-up between that and the hilarity of bopping along to a Kylie/Madonna mix, which I just didn't think was safe given the rain and fog.
So I pressed play and rediscovered this song by Sixpence None the Richer. I loved this song. I still love this song. It's sweet without being mushy. And it's love at it's simplest - kiss me and the world explodes with music and song, just like in a Disney movie.
I also kinda love what Leigh Nash is wearing in the songclip. That sweet and girly dress with the punky boots! And her voice is just lovely.
Hmm...Seems there's a lotta love going on in this post.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Oh dear...

I filled out a survey a few months ago because I was offered, in exchange, a set of very pretty coffee mugs and a free wine tasting.
Said coffee mugs arrived this afternoon, as did the free wine tasting - along with an incredibly attractive, unbelievably sweet French salesman. I knew straight away I was in trouble. We sat at the rather dirty (how embarrassing) kitchen table, and he told me all about the wines and their regions. I tasted whites, roses, reds, ports. He compared me to his new wife (dammit!), informing me he knew exactly what I'd like and praising my wine knowledge and good taste. He promised to be my "personal wine guide - you deal wiz just me, no ozer persons from our office".
I swooned.
And swooned some more.
And then, suddenly, I was purchasing 400 (FOUR HUNDRED!) dollars worth of French and German wines. I was handing over my credit card and smiling - laughing even - as I signed away my savings, which were to be bond on a new place. We laughed at the shitty hours his job keeps and all the wine he gets to taste, and he sypmathised with my desperate assignmenting.
Then he packed up his wines and shook my hand. And, with one last shot of his beautiful smile and a bumbling apology for his "not so very good English", I was left feeling utterly broke and desperate to place another order at the same time.
And all because of a bloody survey and some free coffee mugs! 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

What a dream boot

I should be doing assignments. But why do assignments when I can waste hours discovering beautiful things I can't afford, only to spend Sunday night seconds from meltdown because my assignment isn't finished and it's 3am? Am I making any sense? No? Hmm...
Oh, the things I've discovered this evening! Have you heard of Poetrie? Everybody needs to. I discovered Poetrie through one of my very favourite crafty blogs, Grosgrain, and am thoroughly in love. Don't get me wrong, at first glance some of the prices seemed a bit high, but as I scrolled I discovered some perfectly perfect bargains, like this:
The Wildflower Dress $US24.99
And these:

Sun Baked Shortie Boot $US59.99


Sadly, they only ship to the US and Canada. Here's hoping one day that changes.
Someone who does ship to Australia (probably because she is Australian) is Pipduck. Who's that, you ask. Well it's actually two whos to be exact: florist Pip Graham, and Helen Duckman a lawyer (!) got together to create a line of stylish, waterproof shoes for the Aussie girl with wet feet. Thus, Pipduck was born. And thank the Lord it was! I've been dreaming about Hunter Wellies ever since I caught sight of them in a House and Garden magazine three years ago. Dreaming of them, but never venturing to buy because they are quite the pricey gumboot. And then tonight I found Pipduck, not much cheaper than Hunter I'll admit, but a girl can never have too many dreams, right? Besides, I think these ones from Pipduck quite easily replace my Hunter love:

Noisette Tweed Boot $AU159.00
Oh, how I love them! And they'd be so handy right now with the constant weeks of rain we've been having. But then maybe that's just me making excuses to buy them....     

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

When all is broken


"Let me be your wings

Leave behind the world you know

For another world of wondrous things"
 This beautiful picture (and words) is via ilovedoodle which I found through my amazing friend Miss V. It's specially for my beautiful Wabi who has a cracked heart and a broken wing.
Please don't despair - I know it hurts, and hearts are the hardest to repair - but I'm here, and my wings are good any time you need to fly.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Sni sna snappy

So I'm going to start by sharing the fact that I just typed "darlingbotty" instead of "darlingdotty". I certainly have a lot of both of those things, but I think dots are much more adorable than excessive bottoms. Another thing I have a lot of at the moment is photos to share. A few weeks back I made a New Spring Resolution - which is something akin to New Year's resolutions. Anyway, my resolution was to take more photos, to document my life more, so that the amazing camera I keep whinging about wanting will actually be worthwhile and - more importantly - used.
The first of those photo sessions was the super fun crate men I posted about yesterday. The second of these relates less to modern art and more to old-fashioned creation. While I was 'holidaying' in Toowoomba a few weeks ago I tagged along with Darling Mother to an exhibition of wedding dresses through the ages, held in an old church and the adjoining hall. We started in  the church browsing photographs and letter of past weddings held in the beutiful old building.
I'd been to this church once before - for Christmas Eve Mass last year - and had fallen in love with the incredible wood carving throughout. From the moment I pulled up to the church my mouth tweaked in a tiny smirk. With an exterior this beautiful, I knew the inside would be something special. Walking through those heavy wooden doors the forst thing you see is this:

Isn't it amazing! This is the lectern the minister uses when not in the pulpit. Directly behind the pulpit is a petite pipe organ with delicately carved wooden doors:

The size of that thing is decieving - the sound that emerges from those baby pipes would rival that of any I've heard from this little one's larger cousins. Oh and speaking of old-school instruments of beauty, the first thing I photographed in the hall:

When I was a kid I remember watching Betsy's Wedding and falling in love with her dapper style. I can't find a picture (probably because it's a b-grade 90s movie) but I'm sure she wore boots similar to these and it inspired me to dream of a winter wedding with beauitful white boots. Oh and speaking of inspiration, this pretty scalloped and decorated bodice is just divine:
Especially when you think that it was most likely all done by hand...or veeerrry carefully on one of these:

Isn't she pretty? This was one of my favourite photos of the day. Not because it's very good (it's pretty really bad, if I'm being honest), but because old sewing machines are just delightful.
And so ends photo entry number two. Hopefully as the entries continue so my photography skills will improve. Although it seems there may be further levels of crapness to deal with on my way to greatness, i guess you gotta start somewhere right? 

Monday, October 4, 2010

Crate invasion!

While wandering absent-mindedly from the city the other day I was admiring the incredible lushness of the grass around Brisbane. It's amazing! Australia has been stuck in drought for such a long time I'd almost forgotten how green grass could be, and so I stopped to take it in and admire the scenery as I crossed the bridge from the city to home. Standing there, I gazed out over the river before turning my view to QPAC (Queensland Performing Arts Centre) and suddenly my serenity was invaded with utter fear. There was a daylight invasion there in front of me!
The terrifying Gargantuan Blockhead Gang (GBG) were invading QPAC while tourists stood and watched! My old journalistic skills kicked in and I pulled out my camera to get some snaps of the action just in case the ABC hadn't been informed yet:

They were everywhere! on the roof, climbing the walls, even taunting passers-by with their big square heads:

And all the while going about it with not a worry of being caught - I even saw a policeman walk past and smiled at this guy!

 I yelled out to him to call for backup but he just shook his head and walked away. I  had to think he must be a ditry cop, why else would he let these guys get away so easily? There wasn't even a story about it on the news that night. I hate to think what society's coming to when the GBG can pull of such a crate invasion in broad daylight!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Catching up

I'm a bad blogger. I have these lapses of weeks that slip by in what seems like days, and then I realise how long it's been. Then I feel like I should leave it until I have something really exciting to share so that at least the wait will have been worth it. But then I think what I find exciting (yarn sales, vintage button expos, food, food, and food) is maybe not what you'd find exciting, so that's probably silly of me. Instead, I'm just going to do a catch-up post and call my absence exactly what is is: laziness and writer's block. Or should that be blogger's block?
To start with, things I'd totally buy if I wasn't flat broke:
Irregular Choice sells the most amazing clothes, shoes and accessories and their site entry page makes me sigh. I'm pretty sure I want every single thing in the store, but just for now these are my favourite:

These little babies are called Abigail's Party, and they secretly make me wish I was Abigail.
While we're on the topic of shoes, Shoes of Prey = fantastic! For three reasons: One, you can design your own shoes. Two....actually only one reason but really, when it comes to shoes isn't one enough?
Oh, and on the topic of designing, let's talk about food design. In summer I love me a good popsicle (or ice-blocks for us Aussie kids), but I hate how sugary store-bought ones are, and I crave fruit non-stop. I've also always been a big fan of playing with my food. You know that old cliche about love being a four-letter word? Well that word is Zoku, because this little beauty lets you create popsicles on the bench top, in fifteen minutes. And not just any old popsicle, popsicles like this:

It's almost too pretty to eat. Almost.
On that note, let's discuss food blogs. One of my very favourite blogs is the darling Sasa, epecially her detailed account of the dreaded Hangrrr. Her witty and inspiring food/life blog always leaves me with something to think about, while also leaving my stomach begging for attention because of things like this:

Oh Sasa, why must you tempt me so!
Sasa also has a blogger friend I love. Alex's Cuts and Burns is the sometimes melancholy, often witty, and always amazing exploits of a chef experimenting with all sorts of awesomeness. What sort of awesomeness, you ask. This sort:

That's an artichoke salad that really is too pretty to eat (but I'd probably give it a go anyway).
And finally, after much poking and prodding from me and dear Wabi, one of our very best friends has created her own blog!

 The Other Renae, or Miss Vodka as Darling readers will have known her previously,  is already one of my favourite reads, and is sure to be filled with a mixture of musings on art, design, food, and coffee. There's also bound to be the odd post on music (pertaining especially to guitars) and everything French - Vodka's two greatest loves. So if you like ay of these things even a bit, or if you like reading my blog (please say you do), then you should go check her out. She's pretty cool.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Septapril?

when faces called flowers float out of the ground
and breathing is wishing and wishing is having-
but keeping is downward and doubting and never
-it's april(yes,april;my darling)it's spring!
yes the pretty birds frolic as spry as can fly
yes the little fish gambol as glad as can be
(yes the mountains are dancing together)

when every leaf opens without any sound
and wishing is having and having is giving-
but keeping is doting and nothing and nonsense
-alive;we're alive,dear:it's(kiss me now)spring!
now the pretty birds hover so she and so he
now the little fish quiver so you and so i
(now the mountains are dancing, the mountains)

when more than was lost has been found has been found
and having is giving and giving is living-
but keeping is darkness and winter and cringing
-it's spring(all our night becomes day)o,it's spring!
all the pretty birds dive to the heart of the sky
all the little fish climb through the mind of the sea
(all the mountains are dancing;are dancing)
E.E. Cummings

Monday, August 30, 2010

Mankind Is No Island

Jason Van Genderen created this for Tropfest NY 2008. It won. Deservedly so.

Lessons in awesome

Not only is this gent's talent off the richter, what he's saying actually matters. This is the kind of rap I like.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Bad ideas and good friends

This is how my Saturday night began:

Yes, that is my hair. Sitting on my desk. With a pair of not-exactly-hairdressing-quality-scissors. Why? Isn't it obvious, I cut my own hair of course. Shall I explain?
See, after a week of very little sleep, a month of living on my credit card while sorting out government money, and a year of feeling pretty much like I'd achieved a big fat 'F' in "Life Class", I decided something needed to change and it needed to change immediately. It may have had something to do with my frustration at not fitting into any of my clothes, and probably a lot to do with the PMS that kicked in yesterday, but I decided my hair was going to be that thing that changed - so I cut it off. leading of course to almost instantaneous regret at the realisation of what I'd done.
Thankfully, I have amazing friends. I called out to my housemate, who also happens to be the ever-funky and most incredibly fabulous KAO, and she came running to tidy up my disaster and assured me I'd done a "great job considering you did it yourself". She absently placed a bobby pin in my *ahem* fringe, and sent me on my way with a big hug, assuring me it looked cute. I spent the rest of the night with Miss Crunchie and Miss Vodka, making fools of ourselves and laughing until our sides hurt. They both gushed about my new do, although noted I did indeed need to fix the fringe a tad, and we finished the night with these:

White Chocolate Raspberry Brioche Dumplings* from Freestyle Tout (come to Brisbane, eat them, discover heaven).
Needless to say, my night ended muchly better than it started, and made me unbelievably greatful to have such amazing and incredible friends.
Thankyou girlies.


*Photo Courtesy of Eat Drink + Be Kerry.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Remembering why

Hands up if you're from somewhere less than amazing? I am. I grew up in several little towns in an area skirting the largish town of Toowoomba. I say town because, as much as it tries, Toowoomba is still very much not a city. This is one of the many things about it that I both love and hate. I love that it lacks the anxious pace Brisbane offers, but I absolutely hate that there's almost nothing to do in Toowoomba outside visiting gardens and going to the movies. The first of these activities, however is also a reason I absolutely love the place.
I often forget just how beautiful Toowoomba is, and it will take a drive through the quiter streets, or a picnic in one of the many parks for me to remember that there is actually plenty to do if you're willing to think outside the square. Aside from picnics, the streets around town are filled with gorgeous old houses and cool tree-lined pavements which are perfect for a summer afternoon photo sesion, and there's even a park with a croquet court (which I've been meaning to get to for oh, ten years).
Lucky the newly married Tina and Tim didn't forget about Toowoomba's beauty. Even luckier for me, their photographer, Darren of CK Mettrophotos, did such a fantastic wedding shoot that Green Wedding Shoes featured their wedding, then I stumbled across it and fell so in love I just had to share it with you.
These are my favourite shots, courtesy of Green Wedding Shoes:
  All the parks are so full of trees that you can sit almost anywhere and be guaranteed that sun-dappled patches of cool grass will surround you. And the council's obession with hedges and flower-dividers makes it all feel a bit Alice-in-Wonderland.
So pretty.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Everything's apples

Do you have any words that just make you happy? You know, the kind of word that, every now and then, you'll just think of and smile, or you'll say and all of a sudden the sun is shining a bit better. My friend Wabi and I recently discovered a shared love for the word biscuit. Not only does it make you think of delicious treats, it just falls from the mouth in such a lovely manner, and looks ever so lovely on a page. Maybe it's a word nerd thing, or just my special style of crazy, but I've also got a thing for the word pumpkin. Then there's snickerdoodle, spanakopita, and foie gras.
Now before you say anything, no, it's not just a food-word thing. I also get a tad excited by the idea of defenestration, discombobulation, and borborygmi (although it's not very sexy). And how much fun are shenanigans?! Then there's my fondness for words in other languages. How much prettier is Lumiere than "light"? And tempo freddo sounds more like a jazzy treat than cold weather.
But my all time favourite word is simple: apple. In Indonesian it's apel, German is apfel, and even the completely different French pomme sounds delightful. Say it out loud in any of these forms and you get that reverberating hummm that's so satisfying in a word, and a mouth shaped a little like a kiss. In fact, a some-time model friend once told me they use the saying "black apples" to get that purfect sexy pout. Then there's memory formed from that scrumptious word! The juicy crunch as you bite into one, the slurp of juice from your chin, the sweet, fresh smell that tickles at your nose. I love eating them, cooking with them and bathing in gels that smell like them as well.
And now I have a new apple love. It's called Shabby Apple - yep, this was just a round-about way of introducing my new fave store. But it's totally worth it! Let's see...there's the sweet stuff for the little ones:

The juicy tips and tricks for making your pear-shape pervalicious, as well as a blog. And of course, crisp new styles in forgiving and flattering cuts for all us ladies desperately seeking ways to hide our not-so-sexy bits:

Oh, and did I mention that each item of clothing comes with it's own story? Fashion and Fiction all at once - it's too perfect! Plus the Shabby Apple girls, Emily and CK, are all about creating wearable clothing for girls of all shapes and sizes (hurrah!), while also supporting the empowerment of women everywhere (double hurrah!). AND they ship internationally (can we just give them the Nobel Prize for Fashion Fabulousness already?)!
Check 'em out, promise you won't be dissapointed.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

How To Be Alone

I've had a headache for the last two days and it's driving me nuts. I'm struggling to squeeze my money far enough. I'm not getting any call-backs for the part time jobs I've applied for. And most days I feel kind of like a faliure because my friends all have 'big things' happening in their lives - successful long-term relationship, career advancement, overseas adventures.

But then this morning I found this via The Tumtum Tree who discovered it on Designmom. It made my heart happy. Even if you're not alone you should watch it, Tanya Davis is wonderful.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

More amor

Remember Landon Pigg? I mentioned him in a couple weeks ago. Well, since then I've been a little in love with his music. And I'm probably really behind and really uncool, but this guy = fantastic. I'm especially fond of "Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop", partially because that would be a fun thing to do, but also because the clip for this song is just so, oh! And "oh!" really is the only way to descibe it.

I'm sure I'm not the only girl who likes to pretend she's not soppy and pathetic but really, who are we kidding? If a cute boy stopped time for you wouldn't you just be head-over-heels?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Maggie and milly and molly and may

Maggie and milly and molly and may
went down to the beach(to play one day)

and maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn't remember her troubles,and

milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;

and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and

may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.

For whatever we lose(like a you or a me)
it's always ourselves we find in the sea
 
 
Without a heartbeat of a lie, I would marry any man who presented me with a book of E.E.Cummings poems.
 
 
*Poem lifted from Poets.org

Powerlessness

It's been quite the gap in between ramblings hasn't it? There's not been any exceptional excuse for my truency, I've simply not really been in the mood and that tends to make for fairly bad, usually rather sooky writing. Last night I was in the mood, but last night had other plans for me.
Last night we lost power. There was a pop and then darkness. And then came the absurdity of finding a key for the power box, discovering we didn't really know all that much about powerboards, and trying to get in touch with our landlord through his rather unfriendly mother-in-law. There were calls to the power company to be told the call-out would be free, unless of course it was just a switch issue - then it would cost us $300 for their trouble. And there was eventual contact with the landlord who promised an appearance within a half-hour or so.
In between all these little adventures was the constant grumbling of our hungry bellies as we mourned what was to be dinner - potato soup, and herb & cheese bread. And with no end to the darkness in sight we sat down to cold mashed potato with steamed vegetables and avocado (with no "d"). Another call to the power company, two visits by the landlord, and an hour-long game of oven-on-oven-off with the on-call electricians, and we headed to bed with power restored and the promise of a new line of wiring to replace the decrepit and illegal hook-up we have currently.
The truck has been outside all morning, beeping and crunching and hopefully fixing our wires, which gives me some hope that tonight may involve a little less darkness. Meanwhile, here's something I've been meaning to post for a while:


These fantastic cards are courtesy of Crankbunny's Etsy store. She also does some amazing paper puppets, and a pair of magical Zizzors that give you magical crafting abilities. Seriously thinking of buying a pair.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Fairytale love

I love cartoons, especially fairytales - they reach to the heart of the hopeless romantic, impossible dreamer in me. One of my favourites - and I'm sure I'm not alone - is Shrek, so of course I rushed out to see Shrek Forever After the moment I could. The animation was wonderful as always, but what I really fell in love with was the soundtrack. There was one song in particular that I loved and I had meaned to track it down as soon as I god home but, as sometimes happens, life got in the way and I completely forgot about it.

Imagine my surprise (and excitement) when my very favourite wedding blog, Green Wedding Shoes, posted about the very song I'd fallen in love with - Darling, I Do by Landon Pigg + Lucy Schwartz! These two artists by themselves are amazing, but together - oh the joy!

And of course I had to share it, because what good is something wonderful if you keep it all to yourself?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Goody two shoes

I'm known amongst my friends as a bit of a shoe addict, which I guess is a fair comment seeing as at one point I owned eighty-five pairs. My collection has dwindled somewhat with all my moving in recent years, not to mention the self-imposed shoe diet I placed on myself (five of any style per year, plus an extra pair of heels). In fact, it's dwindled so much in recent times that I'm finding myself shoeless on many occassion, because my favourites are all wearing out.
What I need most right now is a pair of simple black flats and a smart pair of sandals. I've decided the sandals can wait until it gets a bit warmer, but black flats are my go-to shoe when it comes to comfort and style, so I've been on a mission this week to find a pair I love. And did I ever find a pair I love, along with several other pairs I'll be lusting over for a long time.

So they're not black. But they are flats! And I can always buy a black pair as well...
Ok, enough excuses, let me tell you about these babies. Not only are they incredibly pretty, they're also handmade, vegan and 100% organic! You can find them in a rainbow of pretty colours and styles at The Generation.
Nothing like a pair of pretty shoes to make you feel good about supporting a great cause.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Remembering what to forget

"…and that’s exactly how you make people forget - keep parsing the facts in half while folding in newer, harder to understand information until no one piece of data serves as a salient point anymore. Think of it as dispersant on a mental oil spill."

So this was John Mayer talking about BP's oil spill* in the Gulf of Mexico, but this resonated for me in so many other contexts, most prominently in the area of work/life.

Remember when you were a kid and you dreamed big? You dreamed of becoming a ballerina, or an astronuaght, or a prince/princess. Some parents may have reinforced these dreams - assuring you that anything was possible if you beleived in yourself - other parents may not have been so supportive. Whatever the case, you were sure as sure that when you were a big person you'd live out these dreams becuase dreams are possible.
And now you're all grown up and living that dream, right? No? I thought as much. Yes, it's true that as a child you really are just dreaming - it would be pretty tight in Windsor Castle if all the little girls in the world really grew up to become princesses. But what about the dreams you dreamed in high school, or at university, or even last year? How many of those did you fulfil? How many did you even honestly believe you could succeed at? Not many, eh?
Why? Probably not because you tried and didn't succeed. Probably more because you didn't even get around to trying, after someone told you you couldn't succeed. You see, that's how it is with success - there's all these people out there throwing reasons at you as to why you can't or won't reach that goal, telling you why you just aren't capable enough, imploring you to look down the safe road or the easy path. And eventually you forget that once upon a time you really could do anything, and the small child inside you gives away their fantastical dreams in favour of a 'more practical' profession.
But it doesn't have to be that way. Yes, we need lawyers, accountants, doctors, and the like. And I'm sure there's someone out there for whom that is honestly their dream career. But if it's not yours, why do it? Why spend such a large part of your life turning up to classes, cramming for exams, and sucking up to the big boss if in the end all it's going to get you is a pat on the back and a lot of regrets? Forget it. It's not worth the hastle.
Instead, take that big bowl of BS everyone's been filling with reasons you can't succeed, toss it down the sink, and forget about it. Then figure out what you really want to do, what really excites you here and now, and figure out how to do it. Maybe it won't work. But maybe it will and you'll be the next big self-made millionaire. Or at the very least you'll be doing what you love.

 
*I know, Wiki! But it does have quite the extensive explaination.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

City Lights

It's been a while, hasn't it? Disappointingly, this is going to be a very nothing post because I'm feeling a bit rusty. I thought I'd show you my new/old home - Brisbane. New because I'm newly moved in and closer than ever to the city. Old because I've lived here for four years before moving home for the last six months.
When I left Brisbane in December last year I was thoroughly sick of the city. I'd originally moved here for uni and was, at first, overcome by the size and pace of everything. Being a country mouse everything about city life overwhelmed me, and I honestly thought I wouldn't survive the first six months. But I did. I realised the city wasn't so big or scary, you just had to learn your way around. Once I started settling in and getting comfortable, my relationship with Brisbane changed. It became boring and lived in. The weeks became predictable, and the bright lights became garish and tacky. By the beginning of last year I was thoroughly disenchanted with the city, desperate to move somewhere with new experiences, new life, and new reasons to wake up every day.
Moving back after six months in a town trying far to hard to be a city, I have a newfound love for Brisbane. The pace seems not fast but exciting, the places I'd been to a million times have become old favourites rather than last resorts, and the lights at night make me smile at the brightness of possibilities swimming around me.
I think maybe my difference of opinion has come from a new direction - a designated path that wasn't there six months ago. Maybe it's also come from the knowledge that I can leave if I want, and so the city has become my playground rather than a jail cell. I still miss the quiet of the small town, the blanket of stars at night, and the freedom of living with family rather than housemates. But I'm falling in love again with the ability to walk everywhere, the astounding mix of people and ideas, and the never-ending list of places to visit, or revist, at the nearest opportunity.   

Friday, July 9, 2010

When anything is too much

I feel a weariness that no
amount of sleep will ever heal.
I've aching bones that
rattle and grrrriinnnd
against the hands of time
and wretched weeping long-dead
dreams (or
wishes), dissolved in eyes of
false elation. Anticipation...
smarts the open-wounded heart
of faliure to succeed.
At life.
At love. At anything
more real than
second-hand emotion, purchased in
a moment
of desperate need and constant longing for
a nanosecond heartbeat
of nothing but sure and certain calm.
And none of...
This.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Etsyholics Anonymous

It's no secret I have a bit of an Etsy Addiction. I probably should restrict my use, or get help, or do something at least to curb my habit. But, like any addiction, I'm still in denial - convinced I don't really have a problem. After all, I only waste maybe two or three hours a day - that's not really  so bad is it? It is? Oh...
Then I probably shouldn't show you these fun things I found today...
But I'm going to anyway because they're too fun not to share! I mean, how could I not share this fabulous Mary Poppins two-piece from Zwzzy's vintage emporium:

The only thing stopping me buying this is the fact it's a teenie bit too small, which made me incredibly sad.
But then I found this amazing teacup obi:

and then I didn't feel quite so bad. When I found out that Marian Smale was from New Zealand I was even happier because that means the shipping is heaps cheaper (there really are not enough sellers on the Asia Pacific side of the globe).
Of course, I could have stopped there, but a true addict keeps searching for their next high - and I found mine in the form of a cake-topper from the lovely Concarta:

The best part? The bride has red hair, just like me!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

That's sheet

You know what sucks?
Scouring the internet desperately searching for Australian sites that sell pretty, patterned sheets and then discovering it's now one in the morning and you've wasted 3hours of perfectly good sleep.
You know what sucks even more?
Discovering that for approximately eighty Australian dollars I could buy 100% cotton sheets this cute:

Then discovering that Bed Bath and Beyond don't ship internationally.
I just want queen sheets that aren't boring, is that really too much to ask?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sweet addiction

I like to bake. Yeah, you're right, that's an understatement. I love to bake. Which is probably a good think because I tend to be the designated "foodie" whenever there's a need for cooking to be done. As mention in my last post, my friend Kao had a party on the weekend. I headed there early to help out, and a good thing I did - she'd been waiting for me all afternoon because she had no idea what to do about food. We rustled up a few salads, some cheesy breads, and a plate of pita chips and all was sorted. I'd also had the forsight to realise most would forget that a birthday party usually requires a birthday cake, so I'd baked some cupcakes and they went down a treat. Wanna see?

And that was merely the first batch for the weekend. Darling Mother works a few hours at the local store each week, to keep herself busy and save some extra Christmas cash. Today they're doing stocktake and asked each of the staff to bring along something for morning tea or lunch. After much very litte  no real arm twisting on DM's part, I decided she should take cupcakes with her. So yesterday afternoon I cranked the oven and made another batch of baby cakes. I had to rush off half-way through the process, so I ended up icing the little darlings at midnight, which hopefully explains why some of them have mohawks... This was one of the better dressed:

For both lots of cupcakes I used Magnolia Bakery's vanilla cupcake and buttercream recipes. I made half vanilla and then added 3/4 cup of cocoa to the mixture for some chocolate lovin.

Magnolia Bakery's Vanilla Cupcakes 
Makes about 2 dozen cupcakes (depending on the size of your cupcake papers and muffin tins) 
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers. In a small bowl, combine the flours. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat. 
3. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about three-quarters full. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
4. Cool the cupcakes in the tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.


Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
6 to 8 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla. On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly. (Use and store the icing at room temperature because icing will set if chilled.) Icing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Getting smashed

I spent this weekend in Brisbane celebrating the birthday of Kao, one of my very best friends. As I zipped along the highway in Celeste - my new (to me) little car - I made an excited note to photograph and introduce her to you when I got home. Sadly, I did have reason to photograph her, but the introduction is more of a display of her injuries than her beauty.
But let me start at the beginning...
As I mentioned, this weekend Kao had a small birthday celebration in honour of turning twenty-six, and invited me to stay the night and spend her acutal birthday with her as well. Last night we joined her many friend eating and drinking to excess. We played board games, mingled, and headed out for a spot of drunken Karaoke, which was incredible fun. And then we headed home - still a little drunk, very sleepy, and incredibly hoarse. Today we had brunch with her housemates and wandered the streets of West End, running into lots of fun people she knows. A wonderful weekend, had that been the end of it.
But it wasn't. We came home last night to find Celeste looking less than the proud red lady she had been only hours before. While we were out, somebody (or bodies) has wandered past, most likely drunk, and proceded to jump on my little car repeatedly, smashing her windscreen, denting her roof, and leaving her scratched and broken.  I was shocked. And saddened. And confused.
What posesses someone to damage someone else's things for the mere sake of damage? What drives them to such a foolhardy act? And how do they feel afterwards? Did they think about it this morning with guilt, or mirth? Did they give a second thought to who might have owned the car, and how it might affect their lives? It hurts to think people can be so uncaring and so unworried about the consequences of their actions. And it angers me to think that they will face no punishment for their actions, while I will have to pay an excess and lose my no-claim bonus simply for being unlucky.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Selling myself

I finally did it! I'm an Etsy seller! My shop is still really trashy and only has one item in it, but it exists and will hopefully make me a bit of cash to fund a travelling adventure next year. Check it out and help make me rich less poor.
That is all.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Wonderful waste of time

I'm supposed to be getting my butt into gear and organising my very own Etsy store, but first I figured I'd do some 'research'. By research I mean, trolling some of my favourite Etsies and falling in love with them all over again. Oh, and how I love Timeless Vixen! Everything in her store is amazingly lovely and amazingly far out of my budget. This makes me sad, bad doesn't stop me dreaming about how pefectly summery I'd feel in this:

Or how much better my work ethic would be in this lovely dress/jacket combo:

And I just know all the boys would be swooning with such a sweet bit-o-sparkle:

Friday, June 18, 2010

A-sailing we shall go

I've been sick all week. Again. My head feels like it's going to explode, or implode, or just simply combust. Usually when I'm sick I take to bed with a good book and read the sniffles away, but this week it's been impossible for me to focus on anything for more than a few minutes, so I've slept. And slept. And slept some more. And then spent the nights awake trying desperately to get to sleep.
Tonight I decided to stay up a bit later and try sneaking up on sleep. And it's a very good thing I did, or I never would have found the ship to dreamland:

Is she not the prettiest little ship you ever did see sailing on a ribbon sea? Her name is The Delightful Marie Rose, and she's currently docked at Chatham Girl's place. But oh! To have her for my very own, then I'm sure the fair winds would blow me straight to the land of nod!

Bootylicious

The only thing sweeter than these 'Nick's Kicks' booties:

Are these plaid 'It's Raining' gummies:

Both from Mod Cloth, you know, in case you wanted to buy them for me...

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Elephant dreams


How sweet are these pillow cases from Sunday Morning Dreaing! I love really nice linens, and never seem to be able to find what I want in the right size for my bed. So I buy far too many pillow cases. For me the bonus of these is the beautiful elephant sleeping beside me. I think he'd look super cool on my bed dreaming elephant-sized dreams. Maybe he'd even magically bring my own super-sized dreams to life. And in the meantime he could be my temporary boyfriend - until I find a real love.
All my friends are loved up at the moment. It's fun. They giggle like school girls, swoon over the mention of their love's name, and babble constantly about sweet moments and cute quips. I love that. I love the joy the big L (Love) brings, the excitement the little l (lust) creates, and the crazy-talking, big-dreaming, heart-run-away-with-your-head delight when someone is smitten. It fills the rooms, and the life of someone more completely than any other feeling, and seems to have the ability to wash away the greys.
"Sorry, you're probably completely sick of hearing about this," they apologise.
I promise I'm not. 
Keep talking. Keep dreaming. Keep loving. It looks good on you. 

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

When I linger no longer

It would seem to most quite morbid to think about your own death in detail. In particular, to prepare arrangements for your funeral when you're perfectly healthy. But it's something that has always been on my mind, and something I think is actually quite important.
As a kid I was surrounded by death quite a bit. My childhood home was right next to the town cemetry, so my brother and I would spend afternoons and weekends wandering the graves, making up life stories for the brave soldiers, beloved grandparents, and sweet children 'sleeping' next door.
But it wasn't just the neighbours that kept death in the forefront of my mind. My family has long had a history of illness - my nanna had breast cancer and suffered a number of strokes, my granddad was run over by a tractor and suffered mental illness, my mother has been pronounced clinically dead on 8 separate occassions - meaning we frequented hospitals quite often as kids. As a result the fickleness and fragility of life was never something I was shielded from.
I watched as my mother suffered through heart and brain surgery, as her best friend fought off breast, throat, lung, skin and finally bone cancer, as my nanna spent the last month of her life in a medical coma after a severe stroke. And then I stood by as, one by one, we buried each of my grandparents, boxing up their lives as though they were a theatre production that had run its course.
The thing that stuck in my mind, even at thirteen, was the agony, the distraught emptyness that seemed to hang in the air as my mother chose hymns for the funeral, or my uncle struggled to write a eulogy that could honour my Granddad when all he wanted was to have him back.
Funerals hurt. That doesn't really need to be said. But the thing is we - living, thriving, breathing human beings - avoid that pain until it hits us, or our loved ones, square in the face. I don't want that. I don't want that for my husband, or my children, or (God forbid) my parents. So I've planned my funeral as I'd plan any other event in my life. I know that I want to be cremated, and that I want my funeral in the early evening. I am adamant that Amazing Grace would be the absolute worst choice for my funeral song ever. Instead, I'd like something that celebrates the people who have come to see me off. That thanks them, and offers them joy and peace. And, most importantly, something I would have listened to myself, if it were them and not me no longer here.
I heard The Parting Glass the other night while watching some late-night TV. The gent singing is Luke Macfarlane whos voice, I think, makes this version more beautiful and haunting than any other I could find. I knew immediately that this was the song I would like playing as I say my final goodbyes. It is sad, true, but it speaks of a full life and bequests love and joy to those remaining.
I will smile from whereever I end up to know my life is toasted with a good whiskey, a smile, and this song:

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Musically speaking

I volunteered at a youth music and arts festival last year. I was given the task of main stage co-ordinator and performer liaison, which basicly translated to making sure a bunch of teens were happy and on time. Easy (not)! I was given another volunteer to help with the wrangling and the kids were great. Some were incredible artists, but there was one in particular that really shone.
I was told Andrew would be "helping out, performing, and emceeing for the day. Just make sure he's on time...oh and he's taken." The organiser said with a wink. I laughed. This was a youth festival, even the volunteers were all under 25, I was guaranteed to be the oldest person helping out. And I certainly wasn't keen to be hitting on a younger man. I had no idea what she was going on a bout. Until he showed up.
Faded skinny jeans. Loose, button down shirt, sleeves rolled up. Vans. Wayfareres. Masses of messy, casual curls. The kid was like a young Heath Ledger. In fact, my helper stated that very fact the moment she saw him, as did others throughout the day. If that's the look he was going for, he'd mastered it. He was polite, softly spoken, helpful, and friendly the whole day. He even organised an extra performance when we were down an act. And then he sang. And everyone stopped to listen. His voice was brilliant, but so were his lyrics. He was definitely the star of the day.
Now, I wasn't overly fond of the Heath Ledger look. But the kid could sing, and I told him so, and he gave me a copy of his EP. I listen to it quite a bit, and often wonder if he's made it any further with his dreams of becoming a singer/actor. So today I figured I'd share him with you. Who knows, maybe you'll tell a friend about him, and they'll tell another friend, and eventually we'll be secretly responsible for helping launch him right into superstardom.
Have a listen:
Part of it all by Andrew Hearle