Thursday, February 28, 2008

Jiggety jig

Well it's farewell to Singers, farewell to travelling, warm weather for a while and weird foodfarewell to family too.Hello to crisp mornings, snowdrops and daffodils, bellringing, friends and our own kitchen.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Big beautiful Sydney

There is age old competition between Melbourne & Sydney. A bit like New York vs LA.
Melbourne has a sort of continental dignity & conservatism whereas Sydney is brash, showy and exciting. I'm a true Melburnian at heart but I always love going to Sydney. It always seems to be warm. On on the plus side this means ...... Frangipani and Bouganvilea& on the minus side.... huge cockroaches .
The harbour is a sensation & I still catch my breath when I turn a corner & see the Sydney harbour bridge & the Opera house.

One of the other Sydney benefits is the amount & variety of makes someone VERY happy...
We stayed with Ricardo's friends Jim & Helen. Jim plays blues harmonica like you wouldn't believe. Jim's always asking us when we are moving back to OZ. When I see he & Richard together I think we are committing a crime against humanity by keeping them apart.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Sorry Day

When the new Rudd government came in in November last year, it was one of their promises that at the opening of parliament this year there would be an apology to the Indigenous peoples of Australia. What a privilege to be here for this historic event. I didn't think I'd live to see this day where us "White Fellas" apologise for our sins in the treatment of Aboriginal people. Including the stolen generation.
It was only 41 years ago in 1947 that a refendum was held in which 90% of the Australian population agreed that indigenous Australians were allowed to be counted in the National census.
In 1962, the Federal Government gave Aborigines the optional right to vote. State laws, however, still classified "natives" as "wards of the state" and as such they were denied the right to vote in State elections. This is not ancient history.

This beautiful photo illustrates the hope we all have that words might make a difference. (From THE AGE website).
Quite a good website here too, to help understand.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Family fun & toe tappin' tunes

We had a family afternoon tea yesterday where the Ludbrooks met the Thomas/Skippers. There were twisties, lamingtons and cucumber sandwiches. Two cultures collided and a great time was had by all. Culminating in a big Yaniv game and an anagram game happening on the same table.
Then today there was a jam session at Gwen's place. Sometimes these things go well and sometimes they don't. This was a doozer. The other players were really really good. Here in the video is a wee sample. Richard didn't wear his new shoes but his Aussie thongs were tappin' away like crazy.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Blue suede shoes

Rocco Bufalo started making shoes almost 40 years ago.
His shop at 43 Station Street, Malvern in Melbourne has never had a phone so the likes of Jon Bon Jovi & David Bowie as well as Ricky Royale have had to call in to the tiny shop to get their shoes.
Richard has wanted a pair of Rocco's for years. We finally got there at 10 am on Wednesday and found the definitive pair of blue suede shoes.
Not bad huh. Now its a wop-bop-a-loo-lah-a-lop-bam-boom. Bring on the mid life Chrysler.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Circus Oz

In 1978 Richard joined Circus Oz as a fire eater/singer/saxophonist with the Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band. It was a mad endeavour with many weird and wonderful people who have stayed friends to this day. On Sunday we had lunch with the Strong man from the original show Jono Hawkes and his lovely partner Sue.
After lunch, we had custard tarts with the bass player from the band Peter Muhleisen at his house just around the corner. I didn't get any photos of he and his partner Ms Sin. and I wish I had because the look on Peter's face as he played his 100 year old upright bass with Richard was sublime.

Next Wednesday there is a Circus Oz 30 year anniversary lunch which we have been lucky enough to be invited to. YIKES what does one wear to such an event. Roll on Wednesday.

Friday, February 01, 2008


Most of the time when I write this blog, I'm concious of making it positive and upbeat. Obviously like every other human being in this world there are things that happen that are not so good.
One of those happened on the 22nd of January. I was glad we were here in Australia for this one. My darling friend Nellie died at the tender age of 46. She was sick with uterine cancer 4 years ago....they thought they got it all but they didn't.
As her lovely friend Roxanne says "She was one fucking amazing human being".
Here's what I read out at her funeral yesterday...
"I just want to speak to you very briefly about Nellie.
I’ve known her for more than 10 years, 5 of which I have lived away from her in the UK. So it’s only a small pocket of Nellie’s existence that I can bring to you.
What I can bring today is something that you’re all probably aware of without me articulating. It’s the thing about Nellie that made her stand out and that thing was Love. Nellie was the most loving person I have ever met, she was filled to overflowing with it.
She helped me through hard times on so many occasions so selflessly and as I speak to her friends they all seem to say the same thing. She was always there for you. I feel so sad that I couldn’t have been there for her more, especially at the end. She’s been taken from us far too soon.
I looked through my photos last night to bring some with me today but realized I have very few of Nellie…… She hated being photographed but she loved to take photos and was brilliant at it with a rare patience & creativity.
I’ve made a list of the things that spring to mind about Nellie…. She was empathetic, compassionate, generous, creative, inventive, articulate, funny, passionate, positive, encouraging, hard working, fearless, bold, strong, nurturing, vulnerable and very sexy and I will miss her greatly but she is still there for all of us in our hearts.

A Hopi prayer : Ashes to Ashes

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there,
I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight
On the ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush,
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there,
I did not die.
My spirit is still alive
Meteor Blades

So let’s bow our heads and be grateful for Nellie’s existence in our lives and the joy she brought us."