Sunday 28 April 2024

April Reading

 This month I managed a few more books, though not as many as I thought on holiday - I packed three and only read one.

I really like Adam Kay. I've read his other books, watched the tv show and was very disappointed to miss both his gigs up the road for the comedy festival (I was away for one and had a play with friends on the other).

This book is funny and sad (with some difficult topics) and as always interesting.

If you haven't read any of his work, I'd start with This is going to hurt before this, though technically it doesn't matter.

This is a book club pick and I'm labouring thru it. There's nothing wrong and the different culture should make it more interesting than it is, but it's just a little long for what it is and that's making me not care enough, I think. I'm halfway though and I feel it needed to be shaved down a bit, though to be fair, it's not a book I would pick up at all normally....

When I travel, I like books set where I am visiting. This is a modern day Singapore setting, and is about African expats, predominately Nigerian. It adds an interesting twist in the story telling (in Singapore), and extra texture to an expat tale.

I had low expectations as I thought it would be basic chick lit and romance but it was enjoyable and more unexpected than I thought it would be.

It also visited a lot of Singapore that I knew and the restuarant we had booked even got a mention that gave me a buzz!

So while not a must read, if going to Singapore it's a fun and easy read to get you in the mood.

Just started this for bookclub, some great stories by authors and their expereince growing up. A lot of migrant stories, indigeneous stories and childhood memories. This series is a great way to taste writers work. There's a broad range of topics, the only other one I've read is Growing Up Queer in Australia. I do plan to read the Disability one.

That's what I've been reading - how about you?

Linking with #WOYBS #WeekendCoffeeShare #MonthlyBookWorms #WowonWednesday #SundaySalon #Bookdate #Seniorsalonpitstop #StakingtheShelves

Thursday 25 April 2024

Five Favourite Monthly Moments - April

April has been a sensational monrh with lots of travel, special events and catch ups with in no particular order, my favourites have been:

1. The week long music fest of Bluesfest artists - we had a gig every night catching up all the performances we missed by missing out on the Easter festival in Byron. My husband and I have very different taste in music but this week we're at concerts together every night. It's lovely to share it. The Dead South was my fav, probably because I didn't know them. The Tedeschi Trucks were amazing.  

2. We headed down to Melbourne so as not to miss the Blind Boys of Alabama! Having a night away with just my husband was the first in a long time. Years I think, long before COVID. I honestly can't remember. And Melbourne is always fantastic so there was lots to see as it had been over 12 months since I was last there. 

Linking with #WeekendReflection
3. I caught up with friends I hadn't seen for a few months, in a lovely easy evening at a cocktail bar, and another friend came out to visit from Japan - we hadn't seen him in over a year too. Life seems to be so busy, so these moments with friends are really special and most enjoyable. 

4. My Christmas present was to go to Melbourne to see Steve Aoki at Ultra. A friend came, and while we were on different flights (I had a credit I had to use) and only there for 24 hours so a tight schedule with not time for delays, it all went perfectly. I'd not travelled with her before but it was easy and fun (and I don't think I was too annoying...)

5. Last up, we went to celebrate our 25th Wedding anniversary at the Banyan Tree Bintan where we went on our honeymoon. This time we had our youngest with us, so a bigger villa with it's own pool but it was all sensational and we had some dinners alone and some all together (with 2 adult kids, dinners with the kids are as special as the once rare dinners as a couple). We also went to Burnt Ends, the Michelin restaurant in Singapore which has been on my list for years but I've never been able to get did not disappoint!

Linking the picture (right) with #WeekendReflection as the sky and building is decorationg the water in the pool.

So I've had a pretty wonderful month, with a few days to go. Aaron Chen tonight, to open my Comedy Festival. I can't wait!

What's been your favourite monthly moments? 

Linking with #MFFMM #SkyWatch #GaleriaHimmelsblich #WWWhimsy #HappyTuesday #ThruMyLens #TheRandom & #MuralMondays for the Adnate and the mosaic both in Melbourne.

Linking this photo with #WaterThursday. 

Wednesday 24 April 2024

Share Four Somethings - April

 Things I've loved and/or disliked We missed Bluesfest this year (which I disliked) because it didn't fall in school holidays so seemed too expensive when we couldn't go for the whole thing. However, we had points to go to Melbourne and a free night in a hotel on points so I loved going down to see Blind Boys of Alabama wiith my husband for a fleeting night away. It's been a long time we've had a night without the kids so it was a real luxury. We left and lunch and were back about 26 hours later so it really was short but sensational.

I'm sharing this song with Tom Jones at Bluesfest (which we missed) but ironically, the reason we had to go to Melbroune to catch the Blind Boys was because their Sydney gig clashed with Tom Jones and we were at that).

Things I've accomplished I don't feel I've accomplished very much. I did write and submit a story but it didn't go anywhere. I got work stuff done but not as much exercise and not really got on top of things as I would have liked to. Too much travel and fun so can't complain...

Some things need improvement I need to watch what I'm eating and exercise more. I need to organise my time better as I seem to always be playing catch up after losing a day to visit family members. 

Things I've noticed Singapore has a population of 5 million people and 55 Michelin Star restaurants, and Australia has none (which doesn't mean we don't have good restaurants, they just don't cover us). But how do so many restaurants survive with such a small population? Our restaurants seem to be still struggling after COVID years and cost of living and interest rates squeeze...theirs are packed, for multiple sittings?

A very short #ShareFourSomethings this month. What have you loved or disliked? What's been going on for you?

Also linking with #MondayMusicMovesMe #HappyTuesday because my week of Bluesfest side shows is one of my favourite weeks of the year. It makes me VERY HAPPY!  #TrafficJamReboot  

What's been on my calendar? Ultra!

My Christmas present was to head down to Melbourne with a friend for Ultra, to see Steve Aoki. With much fear of having to cancel it due to COVID like last year's treat, I was delighted when I finally made it on the plane. 

We went straight to lunch at Supernormal for their sensational food and a few cocktails before heading out to Flemington (as there's virtually nothing for me to drink at festivals - everything is too sweet or with Red Bull....Note to organisers, don't just have Pink Gin, it's disgusting!!). 

The Melbourne weather turned on a treat as did the DJs. But Aoki was even more delightful than I expected - a fun mix of cheesy and kooky. The cake thing, which I never really understood, now fills me with a burst of joy in my chest when I watch the clips, and a smile creeps onto my face involuntarily. 

I keep looking back at my videos of Aoki's set and I feel a wave of wellbeing and bonhomie. It begins in a little ball in my chest and then fans out, inching over my skin and moving up my neck to my cheeks. There's some muscle memory triggered, the warmth of the sun and the physical exhaustion* mixed in with the elation of dancing in a crowd. I can feel my cheeks redden. Being able to harness it at my finger tips is the best Christmas present ever.
*About 24km of the day's exersion was dancing and jumping. I was shattered by the time we headed for the hotel...but nothing a soak in the tub couldn't fix...

On Wednesday night, I went to the theatre and the play ended with Bella Ciao and I was telling my friends what it was like to be in a crowd of thousands all singing in unison. It really felt like a revolutionary moment. Except we were just having a revolutionary good time! (I have since found out that April 25, while Anzac day for us, is the Day of Liberation from nazi Fascism and the symbolic song is Bella Ciao, a folk song of resistance and freedom). I've been humming it all day today and rewatching the clip.

My clip won't upload but you can see it here, about the 8th pic as you swipe along. 

So that's what's been on my calendar - and alas no music for a few weeks, alas. And no festivals probably until Harbourlife. Boo!

Note there are some swimsuits and shirtless gym guys so possibly NSFW....