Thursday, 28 June 2012

Thank you for the music

Wednesday is a favourite day of the week.
After work, I head to a local community hall and meet up with a group of people who were strangers to me months ago. Some of them are people I probably wouldn't come across too often in my daily life.

The hall we meet in is big and plain, with old net curtains and a stage jutting out at one end. There's a faded old piano on the stage, a little battered around the edges.

Many of the people that go to this hall on Wednesday nights are also a little battered around the edges. Some are refugees, a couple of them Sudanese woman with velvety ink skin and amazing hair and smiles. There's a few in the group that have obviously suffered great hardships and come for the food as much as anything.  Some are struggling with illness or depression. Others are just lonely and wear it like a cloud around them.

Then there's the rest of us, in our black workwear with lives full of family, love, purpose.

We are there to sing together. Sometimes imperfectly but more often richly, voices soaring, bodies swaying.

Some of us - me included - have been told we couldn't sing. To "sshh" while the song bubbled inside.
Now we sing loudly and we sound beautiful.

I've been coming to choir for most of this year. It's a release and a joy and the enormity of that took me by surprise.

Initially I barely squeaked out the words, miming when the song went high and I lacked belief. But now I let my voice go where it will and those around me take me with them.

After we sing, sandwiches and fruit, doughnuts and cakes are bought out. Some in our choir fall on them like they haven't eaten for days and they probably haven't. Those who have food at home hang back, and those that need to put extra in their pockets.

There is such courage and beauty in the coming together of our voices.

It's a beautiful experience. On Monday, I will sing in my second public concert. And it will be joyous!


Friday, 22 June 2012


Last night Youngest and I headed off to the movies (I know, twice in one week!) to see "Snow White and the Huntsman."

It was better than I expected, more the Brothers Grimm than the Disney version.  The effects were fantastic, it was very absorbing.

Youngest is not a great fan of Kristen Stewart (who plays Snow White), didn't rate her at all as Twilight's Bella but she was okay in this movie although a little passive for a character that is ultimately so powerful.

But Charlize Theron, OMG. Fabulous. And the outfits....amazing, so detailed and clever. The crown of spikes and the cloak of raven's wings. Gorgeous and malevolent.

After, we went to a favourite restaurant that has just opened a indoor/outdoor bar area. It was chock-a-block so we grabbed a table in the bar area and despite the cold outside, it was toasty warm. Two guitarists were singing some of my favourite songs (Daryl Braithwaite's Horses, Crowded House, Cold Chisel as ballads).

Youngest was singing along, enjoying herself immensely. It was the perfect start to the weekend.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

I felt the earth...move...

Literally. Last night had grabbed a couple of mates and gone to the movies to see "Friends with Kids" (funny, especially if you're a parent). Halfway through, the guy behind me starts kicking me seat (or so I think). Then all the seats start shaking back and forth and the screen begins wobbling in and out. Ummm, those screens are big and there's only one way for it to come down - forwards, on the audience.

The earth had decided to quake - a 5.2 on the richter scale type of shimmy. It seemed to last a long time and it was pretty hilarious because in typical Aussie fashion, we all just sort of looked at each other and when it ended, went back to watching the movie. No panic, no drama.

Chantelle at Fat Mum Slim prompted me to think about blog readers this week. My husband and kids  know about this blog (youngest helped me tweak it).   None of my other family or friends do. I deliberately haven't told them about it because it's my space to write freely.

I started this blog not to build a business though it's great that many are. I wrote from home for magazines as a young mum and the flexibility was fantastic. I've been a "corporate" writer now for a few years, speeches, media releases.

In my career I've always had to write about certain subjects, dictated by editors or the needs of the publications I was writing for. There was some latitude but not total freedom.

My blog gives me space to write what I want, to hopefully flex those writing muscles that have been squirrelled away. To think about what I want to say. I don't want to feel constrained anymore and so while I'm glad if someone notices it's more about my self expression than anything else.

The joy of writing - it's been there for me my whole life and now I want to give it wings.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

10 things I have done today (already)

1. washed mountains of clothes

2. purchased more clothes for second daughter, off to work experience this week

3. purchased new boots for second daughter (see above)

4. had coffee and croissant

5. fielded three work calls (it's Sunday peoples!)

6. Ate some hot chips (see above)

7. Planned menus for week

8. Went food shopping (roast chicken for tea yum)

9.  Drilled holes for new kitchen cupboard door handles (so gorgeous, pics to come)

10. Dreamed about sitting in front of the fire ...*sigh

Friday, 15 June 2012

A confession

I have a confession to make.  I love Bunnings.

It's my not-so-secret obsession. Most weekends, there I am, wandering the aisles, picking up paint colours, fondling door handles, musing over mouldings.

I love the blokes in their aprons chatting to each other and everyone else about drill bits and leaky taps. I love that they have heaters blasting hot air over the tellers right near the doorway where cold air is blasting in.

I'm off there again, to pick up handles for my kitchen cupboards. Replacing the stainless steel knobs that I've had for the past ten years with some sleek and sexy long numbers.

I may be gone a while

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Long time coming

Can't believe I've been away so long but I'm back. Some of what I've been doing in the interim:

* upcycling, one of my favourite things. Inspired by Letitia at The White Shed, my kitchen table is now black and my chairs white

* becoming engrossed in Once Upon A Time

* cooking Bill's food especially his coconut chilli chicken (thanks for the headsup BabyMac)

* knitting and trying to remember how to crochet

* building fires and toasting marshmallows

Have also been thinking a lot about the Chamberlains. I can clearly remember all the anger and shouting about Lindy and the conflict this case caused. I was in my late teens and just beginning my journalism career and I believed her to be innocent. Never ever thought that what was said about her - that she cut her child's throat with scissors and put her body in a camera bag - was true. I can remember vividly the shock when they pronounced her guilty. So many people celebrated, it was awful.

What was forgotten in all this was this little child. Lindy's powerful words in the trial when the prosecutor was describing his theories _ "This is my child, not some object."

I hope Azaria's family slept easy last night, that those awful voices accusing them over the past 32 years finally shut up.