Happiness as Anarchy #100: Backyard Construction

Building things and solving problems makes me happy. The chicken have moved in and seem happy in their new palace. It is a fine construction built with my kids and my dad. To the stranger it may appear to simply be a chicken coop, but I see a memory palace – the day three generations spent together dismantling, rebuilding, talking, learning, and creating something together.


Happiness as Anarchy #99: Snail Mail

Yesterday’s image got me thinking about letters – the real ones, written on paper, folded into an envelope, arriving in the mailbox out the front – and what a joy it is to send and receive them. In my first week in my new house a little postcard arrived in the mail from a friend. She lives nearby and she wasn’t on holidays, she was just sending good wishes for the new house. Such a delight! The postcard is now on the fridge, where postcards belong. I think I might start a habit of penning real letters and cards to people, an ordinary way on ordinary days to say, “I see you out there and I’m glad. Aren’t friends grand?”


Happiness as Anarchy #98: Technology Tasks

Digital technology is not my forte. Managing my own website is something I can do but it’s not always quick or easy. Like a 16th ship falling of the edge of the world, somehow the sign-up-to-my-mailing-list form fell off my website. Tonight I managed to reinstate it. It’s on the contact page (because I couldn’t work out how to put it in the sidebar – that’s a task for another day) and if you’d like to sign up you can test it out for me.




Happiness as Anarchy #97: Quantifiable Progress

As a qualitative researcher, I’m normally quite suspicious of quantitative measurements. However, there are times when the numbers are both meaningful and deeply satisfying. I just updated my song list document – I haven’t done it since January when was sitting around the century mark – and discovered that it now numbers 180. That’s a lot of new songs, and I hadn’t realised just how many I had crammed into my cranium until I made the list. The quantitative data, on this occasion, makes me feel like a good girl!
For my regular monthly gig at Craig’s Royal Hotel next Wednesday I’m asking the audience to choose the songs. If you’d like to be part of that, here’s the list (with Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits at the end):

A Child Is Born
After You’ve Gone
Ain’t Misbehavin’
Alabama Song
Alice In Wonderland
All About That Bass
All of Me
All of You
Anything Goes
At Last
Autumn Leaves
Beautiful Love
Better Him Than Me
Black Coffee
Blue Moon
Blue Skies
Blueberry Hill
Box of Stars
Brahms Lullaby
C’est Magnifique
C’est Si Bon
Careful With My Heart
Ces Petits Riens
Come Away With Me
Comes Love
Dance Me To The End Of Love
Darling, Je Vous Aime Beaucoup
Don’t Get Around Much Anymore
Don’t Sit Under The Apple Tree
Dream A Little Dream Of Me
Drink A Little Poison
Drinking In Pyjamas
End of Every Day
Everybody Loves My Baby
Five Foot Two
Fly Me to the Moon
Frère Jacques
Frim Fram Sauce
Gee Baby, Ain’t I Good To You
Gentle On My Mind
Georgia On My Mind
Give Me One Reason
Gone Fishin’
Have You Met Miss Jones?
Honeysuckle Rose
I Can’t Give You Anything But Love
I Hear Music
I Love Paris
I Touch Myself
I Wish I Was In Love
I Won’t Dance
I’m Beginning To See The Light
I’m Walkin’
I’d Love To Make Love To You
If I Can’t Sell It, I’ll Sit On It
In These Shoes
Inch Worm
J’ai deux amours
J’suis snob
Java Jive
Je Cherche Un Homme
Je te veux
Just A Gigolo
Just One of Those Things
Just Squeeze Me
King of Starting Over
King of the Road
L’il Liza Jane
La Mer (Beyond the Sea)
La Vie En Rose
Lazy River
Le déserteur
Le Tango Neurasthénique
Les Caresses
Les Yeux Noirs
Let’s Do It
Let’s Fall In Love
Let’s Misbehave
Louisiana Fairytale
Love Is Just Around The Corner
Lullaby of Birdland
Mack the Knife
Melancholy Baby
Memories are Made of This
Miss Otis Regrets
Moonlight In Vermont
Ne Joue Pas Au Soldat
Nearness Of You, The
Never On A Sunday
Non, je ne regrette rien
Only Ghost
Parlez-moi d’amour
Peacock’s Feather – Paddy Fahey’s Reel
Peel Me A Grape
Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps
Quand Je Danse Une Java
Que Reste-t-il de Nos Amours?
Que Sera Sera
Santa Baby
Secret Love
Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise
Somewhere Over The Rainbow
Speed of the Sound of Loneliness
Stand By Your Man
Stompin’ at the Savoy
Sugar In My Bowl
Sunday Kind of Love
Sweet Georgia Brown
Taste Of Your Smile
Tea For Two
Tennessee Waltz
That’s Amore
Perfect Spot, The
Taste of Your Smile, The
They Can’t Take That Away From Me
They Tried To Tell Us We’re Too Young
To & Fro
Too Darn Hot
Un Eléphant
Under Paris Skies
Underneath The Arches
Way You Look Tonight, The
We’ll Meet Again
What the world needs now is love
When Doves Cry
When You Wish Upon A Star
Willow Garden
Winter Waltz
You Don’t Own Me
Your Heart Is As Black As Night
Your Place or Mine?
I’m Leaving The Table
Chelsea Hotel
Take This Waltz
Le Partisan
Tonight Will Be Fine
Dance Me To The End Of Love
Alexandra Leaving
Bird On The Wire
Heart With No Companion
Tango Till They’re Sore
Shiver Me Timbers
Diamonds On My Windshield
Little Drop of Poison
Jockey Full of Bourbon
Gun St. Girl
Picture in a Frame
Chocolate Jesus
Walkin’ Spanish
House Where Nobody Lives
Kiss Me
The Piano Has Been Drinking
Jesus Gonna Be Here
Anywhere I Lay My Head
Jesus Gonna Be Here


Happiness as Anarchy #96: Stashed cash

I’ve been cleaning and sorting out sixteen years of living in my little orange brick house. It’s been hard work work, physically, mentally and emotionally, but there have also been many tiny moments of joy as I find long forgotten letters, kids drawings and curious mementos from past lives. And stashed cash in odd places, so well hidden that I found $100 yesterday with a note from eight years ago. I think I ought to spend that on something fun and frivolous!

That’s none other than Dame Nellie Melba on the $100 note. She had a three octave range and sang her final concert in Melbourne in 1928.hundred-dollars-note

Happiness as Anarchy #94: Unsolicited dress-ups

I popped along to the Foto Biennale opening this evening in Versailles costume (doing a little promo for the next show on the 20th September in Ballarat). I was lucky enough to find my favourite after hours loading zone park outside Karova (heavy rock venue), where there was quite a queue of young people dressed in various shades of black. It was very fun to open my car door and emerge in my large and ruffly dress and wig! Twas also quite enjoyable to mingle with the trendy photographer crowd (who, incidentally, were also wearing a lot of black). Perhaps I’ll wear it to the supermarket next.



Happiness as Anarchy #93: New Growth

There was a thick layer of frost on my windscreen this morning, but despite the chill, spring is coming. There are buds about to burst, the first flowers on the stone fruits are out and the grass is growing like crazy. I love the vibrant green of new growth, it holds such promise and hope. Juvenile eucalypts put out leaves that are uncharacteristically bright for the Australian landscape, and round. The leaves become longer as the tree matures, but in the early years they are naively fat.