Monthly Archives: September 2008

Bill Bailey at Hamer Hall

 

Last Saturday night, when we were in town to see Bill Bailey at the Arts Centre, Grand Final fever was in full swing. There were people EVERYWHERE, in different stages of euphoria or despair. I didn’t consider the fact that it would be Grand Final day when I booked the tickets, but it wouldn’t really have mattered, because nothing would have stopped me in any case.

And it was SO worth braving the crowds – he was amazing (unlike my photographs, but this is the ongoing disappointment of trying to take pictures of gigs without the proper equipment, so we won’t dwell on it here). Needless to say, I’m looking at investing in a compact camera with a good zoom on a fast lens – maybe a Panasonic Lumix, because of their Leica lenses – for just this situation. Until I’m well known enough around the venues to be able to get away with taking my DSLR, that is… Oh well, I can dream, can’t I?

With his last show on in Melbourne tonight , I’m not going to give anything away other than to say that he includes local content that will have you in the aisles (can you say bogan?); plays a Theremin incredibly well (though you probably knew that already), and through the show swapped between it, an electric piano, a synthesizer, acoustic and electric guitars, a mandolin and a didgeridoo.

His story-telling is reminiscent of Billy Connelly’s meandering style, although with a more political bent, and his musical ability is staggering. The show was two hours long, not counting a twenty minute intermission, and during his time on stage he took us on a world tour through political commentary and his natural curiosity. Power companies, political leaders and tv shows all copped it, as did the Geelong Football club…

Speaking of which, I’m never going to be able to watch Friends again without thinking of Bill Bailey, though I can’t look at him without thinking of Manny in a shepherdess’s costume in the “Big and Beardy” magazine , so it only seems fair!

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Blogiversary and other stuff.

Birthday cupcake with one candle 

Well, here we are at last! Blogday is one year old, and the original project that I set myself has come to an end.

Thank you to every one who let me know that they enjoy reading my posts and looking at my photos (I had emails, texts and comments on my class blog, as well as some comments here). I was really thrilled to get such support.

So Blogday is going to continue, but I’m going to break away from taking photos just with my phone (handy as it is) and post pictures from whichever camera I use. I’m going to concentrate on sharing more recipes, seeing as that gives me a chance to combine two of the things I love, and gives me an excuse for making lots of my favourite recipes, just so I can photograph them!

 

Right now, though, I need to tell you how excited I am about the arrival of Spring … the garden is full of blossom and bees, and there is the promise of a bumper harvest of nectarines, plums and apricots. Even my little fig tree, bought as a cutting two years ago, has set four figs. I’ll be nursing it along until they ripen to be sure that no one but me gets them (no birds or bugs, that is – I’ll share with the family!)

I’m off now to work in the garden, as there is a vegie patch that needs to be weeded so that I can get my tomato plants in next weekend, and then tonight we are off to see Bill Bailey!

I can’t wait – we’ve had the tickets for months and we’ve spent the last couple of weeks watching lots of his stuff on Youtube and re-watching Black Books a million times, getting ourselves in the mood. I won’t make the same mistake I did with Michael Buble – tonight I am taking a camera that should be able to cope with the lighting conditions a little better (Meg’s), so hopefully I’ll have some photos to share in the next couple of days. I did toy with the idea of taking my DSLR, but I don’t want to take pictures to the exclusion of watching the show, so I think I should probably leave it home.

Here is a little treat to finish the post – Bill Bailey as Manny in the Black Books episode called The Entertainer. If you’ve never seen it, have a look – if you have, watch it again; either way, you’ll be dazzled by his talent.

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Sweet success!

Months ago, I entered a number of competitions in the Royal Melbourne Show, mostly as a way to give myself deadlines on a couple of projects, but also – in the case of the cookery competition – because everybody who eats the bread I make is VERY complimentary about it, so I thought I would see how it stacked up against other people’s.

Out of the blue, we were very kindly given a weekend in the snow at Falls Creek by some friends, and it happened to coincide with the day for delivering food entries to the showgrounds for judging, so I had decided that I would just forfeit my entry fees and have another go next year.  Until we had to cancel at the last minute, that is.

Meg was sick with bronchitis – and I mean really sick  – so I was up most of Friday night with her. Seeing I was up, I decided to make my bread after all.

  

I made two batches and ended up with a couple of loaves I was really happy with, so I took them over and dropped them off at about 10 in the morning, just for the hell of it. I certainly had no expectation of winning anything…

Last Thursday, the day the Show opened, I hopped onto the website to look at competition results, and was absolutely stoked to see that I had won second prize! I seriously couldn’t believe my eyes! It’s now become a running family joke that I am an ‘award winning’ bread maker.

I’ll admit, too, that my first thought after Oh my god, I’ve won second prize! was What do I have to do to win first?  I guess I’ll be practicing a lot more during the year!

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Should I stay or should I go?

Pink & White cymbidium orchid

Although it bears no relation to the text, I couldn't let such a serious post go out without something to lighten the mood!This is what greeted me when I went out into the garden last Sunday morning...

 Dear Readers,

I have a dilemma, and I need your help to resolve it.

Blogday is almost one, and I don’t know whether I should keep it going beyond the anniversary.

When I started this project, it was intended as exactly that – a project, with a finite time-frame and a specific purpose. Although it hasn’t quite worked as I intended, I’ve come to enjoy posting. The question is, do you enjoy reading it and looking at my photos?

An open egg carton showing eggs with drawn faces.

And this is what greeted me when I came inside to make breakfast!

In the eleven months and one week since I started, I have learnt some interesting things:

  • I am incapable of posting images and not giving them their context, so every post ends up being at least 200 words long.
    This probably shouldn’t have been a surprise, considering writing is what I do, but I intended for this to be a photo blog primarily, and haven’t just been able to let the images speak for themselves.
  • I enjoy having a phone camera in my pocket, and taking photos for the blog has made me more aware of my surroundings, but I miss my ‘real’ camera, and that has been sorely neglected over the last year.
  • Street art amazes and fascinates me. I’ve developed a real affection for it while looking around for Blogday.
  • I focus on the positive things I see, and really don’t look for the negatives.
Fully open egg carton showing 8 eggs with drawn faces.

Meg had obviously been playing with a permanent marker!

It must be said, too, that although I didn’t do this for feedback, I crave it. I long to know that I am not talking to myself, and that I’m not boring those who have stopped by, but comments have been very few and far between (except for the lovely Bruce and Col, of course).

So – help me out, please. Tell me – should I stay or should I go? Is Blogday worth your while as a reader, or shall I spend my time concentrating on my craft blog, Whatsername & Thingummbob, and let this project die with dignity?

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The debut of the Rusty Springs

Here we go...

Here we go...

In yesterday’s post  I mentioned that the Rusty Springs debuted on Saturday night, at the ‘Don’t Tell Tom’ gig.

I have to go back to this, because it meant such a lot to the four of us that the audience was so welcoming and that our friends in Lipstick & Spurs really wanted us to have a go – something we’ve secretly wanted to do for a long time, but weren’t quite brave enough to try.
Kazoos up, playing the trumpet solo from 'Tonight you belong to me'

Kazoos up, playing the trumpet solo from 'Tonight you belong to me' (Don't quite know when I put my hand in my pocket - I actually look relaxed!)

With dry mouths and hearts in our throats, we sang five songs to rousing applause. The audience sang along with us on the songs they knew, and hollered and hooted for the others. And they wanted an encore!
To say that it was a dream debut would be putting it too mildly. We were nervous, faltered on introductions (that was me), and fluffed chords, and everyone loved us anyway. They might have been lying to us, but if so, they did it really well and made us feel about ten feet tall.  I love them all for it, and I want to do it again!
Lachlan and I worked together for seven years, and now sing and play uke together

Lachlan and I worked together for seven years, and now sing and play uke together

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Saturday night at Don’t Tell Tom’s

Before I get started, I have to warn you that today’s post is going to be a long one, and confess that the photos it contains weren’t taken on my camera phone. After the Michael Buble’ concert photo debacle, I decided that getting the images was more important than what I took them on. I hope you’ll forgive me…
 
 

 
Now I have to tell you about last Saturday night! Lipstick & Spurs – the choir I’m part of – hosted a gig at Don’t Tell Tom’s, in Brunswick. If you were there, I’d love to hear from you, so please leave me a comment.
 
Jenny Taylor, our illustrious leader, had it so well organised that there wasn’t a hitch, and the staff at the venue – especially Ray, the sound engineer – were fabulous.
 
Jenny Taylor with guitar, singing.

Our choir leader, the amazingly talented and dedicated Jenny Taylor.

Everyone worked really hard in the months leading up to the gig, to ensure that we acquitted ourselves well, and it seems to have paid off. The audience seemed very happy – clapping and singing along and generally being fabulously supportive (of course, many of them were related to choir members, but they didn’t have to be nice to us… ).

Laura McDonald, standing at the microphone about to sing.

Laura McDonald - a lovely girl, an incredibly talented musician and Lipstick & Spurs' accompanist

We had a ball, as we always do when Lipstick & Spurs performs. I mean, who would have thought that we – most of us in our 40s, and many of us relative beginners – would get a chance to sing our hearts out for a crowd of 400+, with two of our favourite artists (Sally Dastey and Trish Anderson)?

Lipstick & Spurs choir singing, with arms raised in the air.

'Daddy sang bass' reaches a climax.

I seriously cannot think of anything I’d rather do. Singing is such a positive thing to do at the best of times, but with 20 or so of your mates, and surrounded by family and friends, it is pure joy. I wish I could do it every day (although we’d need a bigger repertoire than we have at the moment)!

Sally Dastey with her guitar, singing with Lipstick & Spurs.

Sally Dastey leads the choir through her song "The race is on".

Looking exultant, Sally sings one of her new songs for the audience at 'Don't Tell Tom's'

Looking exultant, Sally sings one of her new songs for the audience at 'Don't Tell Tom's'

If you’ve been reading Blogday for a while, you might remember the gig we did with Sally Dastey at Young & Jackson’s, in December of last year, and how much fun it was.
If it is possible, this one was even more fun.
Trish Anderson treated us to a fantastic version of Dolly Parton's '9 to 5'

Trish Anderson treated us to a fantastic version of Dolly Parton's '9 to 5'

Both Sally and Trish Anderson were amazing – teaching us their songs, encouraging us and just generally having fun. On the night, each of them performed a couple of their own songs as well as singing with the choir.

Apart from the choir’s performances (alone and with both Trish and Sally), there were ensemble performances from our choir master, Jenny Taylor and accompanist, Laura McDonald; choir member Louise Taunt (below),

  

Louise Taunt standing at the microphone singing

Louise Taunt, one of the choir members, sings an original song

Louise, here accompanied by Trish Anderson on guitar.

Louise, here accompanied by Trish Anderson on guitar.

And the Rusty Springs  – a country-inspired ukulele quartet – debuted (that’s me in black at the front)!

One man and three women on a stage, playing ukulele and signing.

The Rusty Springs (l-r: Lachlan Garland, Karen Gough, Anne Joiner and Caron Cavalier)

The four of us met at MUK (the Melbourne Ukulele Kollective) almost three years ago, and all joined the choir together a year and a half, or so, ago.On one song – Ring of Fire – we were lucky enough to be accompanied by three of our friends from L&S on kazoo. Jenny (front), Ingrid (middle) and Linda (back) are now affectionately known as the Hornbags (below)!

The 'Hornbags' accompany Rusty Springs on kazoo

The Hornbags

What a fantastic experience! I could go on for hours about how supportive everyone was for our first performance as a quartet, but I don’t want to bang on any more here.  I think that is worthy of a post all on its own!

Don’t forget to let me know if you managed to catch the show on Saturday night.  I’d love to hear your comments.

Cheers,

K.

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