Happiness as Anarchy #339: Cheese

It felt like a bit like a drug deal, my cheese run today. A large amount of money in exchange for a several unmarked boxes of goods. In actual fact it was all completely above board and I’m just doing my bit to help French cheese producers and dealers in these difficult times. Bleu d’Auvergne, Brie, Brillat-Savarin, Crème Fraîche, Délice, Goat’s Curd, Chorizo, Boquerones en vinagre. We’re going to be eating well this month!
As renowned 19th French food writer said, “A dinner which ends without cheese is like a beautiful woman with only one eye”.

Happiness as Anarchy #338: Duke Ellington

Ellington seems an appropriate subject for a post on the eve of International Jazz Day. Such Sweet Thunder is a 12-part suite written in 1957 as a tribute to Shakespeare. Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn (composer/ arranger) wrote the music in three weeks, each piece inspired by a character or idea from Shakespeare’s works. I have listened to this album so many times in the last two decades and it still amazes me – it’s complex, beautiful, tragic, full of love and hate, darkness and light, with humour and sadness. The arrangements are exquisitely crafted and the band is impossibly tight. If I could only listen to one album for the rest of my life, this is the one I would choose.

Happiness as Anarchy #337: Blue Monk

I’ve been practising 12 bar blues bass lines. Nothing complicated, in fact, quite the opposite. The notes are simple as can be so I can work on my technique and groove and also sing at the same time. For Bb blues, my tune is Blue Monk – slow, groovy and slightly odd, but very satisfying to sing the melody and play the bass line together. It takes me back to my early twenties when, as a classically trained pianist, I was twisting my brain in knots trying to work out jazz .

Happiness as Anarchy #334: Carved Rug

What on earth is a carved rug, I hear you ask. It’s exactly as the name suggests – a rug that has some lines carved out to create more definition. I love my lounge-room rug with its big floral pattern on a background of navy blue. It’s bold and warm and pure wool. I picked it up for a song one day in Ikea in the ex-display section. It is particularly inviting when the sun streams through the north window.

Happiness as Anarchy #333: Germinating seeds

I found a bucket of old seeds in the shed. When I say old, I mean pushing a decade. But I’m an optimist, so I planted anything that should be planted in autumn, whispered an incantation over the veggie patch and crossed my fingers. The optimist in my failed to note what I planted where (thinking I would remember), thus several weeks later I’ve no idea what is in there. I think the first to raise their little green heads above the soil is a colony of dill, but only time will tell if that is correct. I’m ever hopeful that more tiny vegetables will emerge in the coming weeks.

Happiness as Anarchy #332: Solving a riddle

I haven’t yet solve the problem, but I have finally solved the riddle of my digital mixing desk. After several weeks of trying to get it to talk to Garage Band, I typed the magical search words into googled to uncover the truth. The next model up will do it, but not mine. One riddle solved, now on to the next one.
Here’s Josh White singing The Riddle Song in the 1949 film The Walking Hills: