Happiness as Anarchy #91: Merino Thermals

Popped into Target yesterday and happy days – merino thermals on super special. Not the “Climbing Everest” style, but the “I live in Ballarat and like to wear nice clothes in Winter” style. I’m a die-hard op shopper and don’t often buy new clothes, but Target came up with the gold. It does indeed make me happy to find an item of clothing that is at once warm, comfortable, stylish and on special. (It was a big rack – pop down there tomorrow and get yourself some!)

Apparently it was cold in Ballarat in 1887 too.




Happiness as Anarchy #90: Due South

Following on from yesterday’s sailing ship post, I think my inner pirate was awakened in the mid 1990s while watching Due South. A brilliant Canadian crime series, with a good dash of quirky humour. The main protagonist is a dashingly handsome Mountie on secondment to Chicago accompanied by his trusty clue-sniffing husky. My favourite tune from the soundtrack is  Henry Martin, recorded by Newfoundland folk-rock revivalist band Figgy Duff. It’s a traditional 17th century Scottish song about a seafarer turned pirate.

Happiness as Anarchy #89: Sailing Ships

There’s a part of me that wants to be a pirate, sailing the high seas and singing shanties on the waves. I’m not sure where it comes from – perhaps there is a fabulous sailor woman in my family tree somewhere. In any case, I do love sailing ships with all their ropes, masts and beautiful craftsmanship. The one in the picture was moored in the Gironde River near Bordeaux just downstream from where I lived two years ago. At the slightest invitation I would have leapt on board, never to be seen again.



Happiness as Anarchy #87: Cultural Change

It tickles my fancy when I play a Sarabande that at one stage it was illegal. Bach’s Sarabande – the one I play is part of the fifth French suite – is a beautiful, restrained piece of baroque keyboard music. It doesn’t get much more refined that this in the classical musical world. However … in the 16th century things were different. Having it’s origins in folk music and dance in Latin America, the Zarabanda was considered “so lascivious in its words, so ugly in its movements, that it is enough to inflame even very honest people.” (Juan de Mariana). Public performance was punishable by two hundred lashes!

I’ll be playing the whole suite and telling tales of Versailles tomorrow night in Castlemaine if you’re in the mood for a little once-inflammatory entertainment.

Amie Brûlée Versailles 2 small

Happiness as Anarchy #86: Sunshine in the morning

North-facing windows are indeed a joy. In the depths of a Ballarat winter, the huge patch of sunshine in my loungeroom is the perfect antidote to the August blues. The warmth of the sun is different from other heat sources, and I find myself drawn to the sunny spots as though they are magnetic. The warm floor on bare feet and sunshine on the skin give me that little kick of Vitamin D that gets me through another few chilly days.



Happiness as Anarchy #85: When You Wish Upon A Star

My grandmother had a little porcelain Pinocchio that lived on the bookshelf. He had a music box in him that played When You Wish Upon A Star as he gently turned in a circle. It was written for the 1940 Disney film of Pinicchio, for the adorable Jiminy Cricket, and sung by ukulele hero Cliff Edwards. I can remember Nan singing it in her kitchen as she baked and I wound the music box over and over.

Happiness as Anarchy #84: Fixing dripping taps

If there’s one way to feel a sense of accomplishment, it’s through successful plumbing repairs. Today I successfully changed the washers in not one, but three dripping taps. I am filled with a sense of achievement and a new calm permeates the house in the absence of drips interrupting the aural environment.

If only my taps were as stylish as Versailles:

Versailles tap

Happiness as Anarchy #83: A new old song

I’ve had a compilation CD playing in my car for a week to learn one particular song. That song successfully lodged in my head, I let the rest of the CD play and discovered something I’d not heard before: Billie Holiday singing Did I Remember To Tell You I Adore You. There’s not much information to be found. It was written in the mid 1930s by Walter Donaldson, who wrote a good many classics, including Makin’ Whoopee, Yes Sir That’s My Baby, and My Baby Just Cares For Me, with lyrics by Harold Adamson. Billie Holiday sings it with heart and style, in only the way she can. I might spend the rest of the week driving around with Billie in the car.