Friday 29 March 2024

March (lack of) Reading

I've really struggled to read anything at all this month. I hope to rectify that in the weeks off next month. So super short post this month.

The Confidential Agent - unlike The Quiet American and Honorary Consul, this book lacks the murky ethical discomfort that I had reading those books. It's easy and entertaining. Would recommend the other two books over this one.

Love Stories. I'm not loving this the way everyone else does. It's interesting and has some really great bits in it but I'm labouring through it. I think part of the problem is I'm listening to it and I might be doing better if I was reading it. Again, I'd recommend Boy Swallows Universe over this (however, the rest of the world loves this book so maybe just ignore me).

What have you been reading? Can you inspire me?

Linking with #SeniorSalonPitstop #WowOnWednesday #SundaySalon #MonthlyBookworms #Bookdate 

Five Favourite Monthly Moments - March

I feel I only just did this post but here I am again, looking back over the month to sum it up.  

1. March saw our anniversay. 25 years of marriage, 32 years together. Just wild to think about. I still can't get my head around us being so old. I squashed back into my wedding dress for dinner but the real celebration is our trip back to one of the spots we went to on our honeymoon that was delayed to fall in school holidays.

2. Lots of gigs. So much fun dancing with friends to live music.

3. Got back into exercising more - on top of my weekly big walk, I'm back on the bay run and dance class. 

4. Weekend away in Vincentia. Gorgeous part of the world.  

5. Art at the Biennale and Arthur Boyd's Bundanon.

The biggest highlight personally was getting longlisted for Furious Fiction. I've not been writing much (or at all to be honest) so to get it up there on my second attempt gave me a real boost. Even though I'm away next weekend, I'm determined to try and submit something!

What are you Five Favourite Monthly Moments?

RachelSwirl Linking #KeithsRamblings with  #LittleLoves 

Thursday 28 March 2024

When too much is What's been on your calendar

Before I begin, a quick plug. I went to the story telling night by Generation Women Australia. Once a month they have an evening with women and non binary people telling stories on a topic. There is a speaker from each age range - 20's, 30's. 40's, 50's. 60's and 70's. It was fabulous. The topic I went to was The M words - Menstration, Motherhood and Menopause. It was fascinating to see what each speaker did with it. Menstration was clearly the popular choice, the woman in her 70's also spoke about it. If you get a chance, it's a great night and I will definitely be going again. They are held in both Sydney and Melbourne and you can stream some online.

As you know, I have a pathological fear of missing out. I regualarly go to two bands in a night so as not to miss out. The double up, I call it. We're flying to Melbourne to see Blind Boys of Alabama because we couldn't swing the double up with Tom Jones, and I didn't want to miss out on seeing them.

However, I was hit with a clash that I couldn't wrangle. I was booked for PJ Morton and a local band also had a gig. No worries, the set times aligned so I would go to Final Girls in Marrickville then pick up my husband and shoot off to town. However, a week before Grace Petrie, who I adore, who I flew to see in Melbourne rather than miss out, announced she would do a free pop up gig up the road from my house no less....but on the same night I was already double booked. 

(Pic from Vanguard 2023 gig)

I was devastated. Even I knew I couldn't swing a triple gig night. I hoped she would start at 8, I would ditch the local band and make it a UK & US night. But no. She was 9pm and he was 9.30. I made the decision to skip her show on the hopes I can catch her in May or Sept/Oct. My friends went and have filmed some clips for me. 

I walked to the Red Rattler and swung by the pub where Grace Petrie's gig was. My friends were already there staking out a good spot. It was eating at me to be missing such a guaranteed fun night with friends and a fabulous performer.

I made my way to Final Girls, always a joy to see (a little 3 piece punk band). They were playing a launch party for Booker Magazine. On the way home in the taxi could see Grace setting up on stage. I still got a buzz of excitement albeit tinged with disappointment.

My husband and I have very different taste in music and the reason I'd stuck with PJ Morton over my beloved Petrie was because (a) we'd spent $200 on tickets and I wouldn't be able to sell them and (b) we could do it together as a date night (c) at Bluesfest, the best part is discovering new music and being swept up in the performance - and as we weren't going this year, this was our one chance for that. (To be honest, that's one of my favourite things about music).

When you go to a performer you don't know, it's always strange to discover the audience is much younger or very different to what you expected. I was worried a little I'd made the wrong choice and my husband would hate it....however, he blew the house down and was sensational.

I am away for a week in Sept/Oct so am praying that's not the date that Grace picks for her Sydney gig. However, if I have to, I will travel!! Keep your fingers crossed for me!

If you are at Bluesfest (lucky ducks) check out PJ Morton - his clip above is slow but live he goes off! Awesome stuff. And if you are in Canberra, head to the Canberra Folk Festival. Grace is on 3 days, I think. She is sensational live. You can't watch her and not feel better about the world, if  only for people like her being in it.  

That's what I've been up to, what about you?

He who plants a garden plants happiness. – Chinese proverb

 I wrote recently of Simple Pleasures and I've another to add. I have mentioned before when I walk the dog I literally stop and smell the magnicient roses from a house on route. However, the other evening, when I returned, as I opened our gate I was hit by the strong scent  of gardenias. Curiously, I couldn't see any flowers on the bushes. 

Once inside the garden, I had a closer inspection and there were two flowers hidden by the nearby hedge.

Discovering these flowers in full bloom, and emitting a glorious perfume filled me with delight.

I immediately thought, how genius to have planted this near the gate so you are welcome home and enveloped in this joy. I am not the gardener in this household.

It is definitely an experience to go onto my list of simple pleasures.

Linking with #MySundaySnapshot #HappyNow #AnythingGoes #HappyTuesday   RachelSwirl

Wednesday 27 March 2024

The Sydney Royal Easter Show

I took one of the kids to the Easter Show this week. I realised as I walked around, I had not been since it moved from Moore Park, which was last in 1997! I can't get my head around this. When the kids were little we took them to the Family Show in Moore park because you didn't have to pay entrance, and then as they got old enough to go on the big rides, I'd take the smaller ones to that show and my husband would take the older one to the real Easter Show after work one night. We were often away over the April school holidays so would miss it completely.
Linking with #WeekendReflection
the people dining reflected in the stall sign 

However, as stars aligned, I ended up there with my youngest after school. It was fun to see but oh so expensive! I spent $70 on rides for her (opting not to spend the same on me so I could ride with her). Weirdly, the showbags seem not to have increased since I was a kid. Infact, they seemed cheaper!  Though no Sunnyboy bag - I feel they should make those just for the show! I guess that would be a little tricky but it was the first thing that popped into my head when we entered the showbag pavillion. As a kid, I was allowed one showbag. I would spend hours (or what felt like it) trying to decide which one was the best value and then I would always end up with the Sunnyboy bag (for OS peeps, this is a weird triangle iceblock - Sunnyboys were orange and Razz's, my favourite were red. I'm pretty sure they were named after colour, not pretence of flavour in the 70's).

I was both astounded and delighted they still sold these. I have them forever linked with Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, a play we studied at school and went to see at the theatre. The seem to be that tenuous link to an age gone by. 

Anyway, as I started to write this, I wondered why it was Royal Easter show? Queen Victoria awarded the Royal Agricultural Society of New South Wales the right to use 'Royal' in it's name and to also use it in it's annual show. The show was specifically to encourage agriculture (thus all the food and animal displays). It was first held in 1823. Imagine the marvel those first Society members would feel if they could see what it grew into?

Do you ever realise you've missed something you didn't even know you'd not been doing?

Happy Easter everyone, and enjoy the long weekend. To everyone at Bluesfest, I'm supremely jealous! Enjoy!

Linking #SkyWatch #GalleriaHimmelsb;ich with  #HappyTuesday #WordlessWednesday #MCoW #MySundaySnapshot #WWOT #TheRandom