Happiness as Anarchy #126: One month holiday

Five weeks off work would make anyone happy, and I’m no exception. An adventure across the Pacific awaits with tango shoes and a foreign language. Sleeping in, dancing late, discovering a new city with its food, culture and songs, meeting people, having time to think, create, wonder and wander. See you Friday, Buenos Aires!

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Happiness as Anarchy #114: Australian Political Satire

Humour is such an intrinsic part of culture. You know you’re fluent in another language when you get the jokes. Similarly, there’s a resonance in the humour of your primary culture and language. Australian political satire has a very distinctive flavour, and I love it. Every now and then I’m reminded of how funny and biting it can be, as I was tonight when I saw the Parliamentary Piss Taker. May it make you laugh all the way to the urinal.

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.

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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.

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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 #78: my Audience

That’s you! You make me happy! It’s always a pleasure to play for the diverse mix of people who come to my gigs (and this all applies to you too, the people who read my blog). Tonight was no exception – from the jolly group of birthday party women, to the regular attendees and new faces and occasional friend-attendees. I’m perpetually delighted that you like my music and stories enough to come out on a cold Winter’s night and listen. I love sharing the time and place with you and look forward to the next time we meet over sounds.

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Happiness as Anarchy #77: Time-travel Images

I came across this gorgeous little watercolour by Lily Allport at the Becoming Modern exhibition at the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery on the weekend. It was painted in 1931 and is called “French Nurses”. No doubt the nurses are doing embroidery, but they have exactly the same posture as someone looking at a smartphone. Is the smartphone the 21st century’s embroidery?

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Happiness as Anarchy #68: Robust conversation

I caught up with my arts tribe tonight at an impromptu birthday gathering. I’ve missed them, and as happens so often, didn’t realise just how much until they were all there again. We talked of art and life, big things and small, with a wine and a few laughs, but what really stands out is the depth and robustness of the conversation. None of us are very good at small talk – we’re much more interested in the grit of life and making stuff and how everything fits together. I meant to come home earlier, but it was difficult to extract myself. Now I have a head buzzing with ideas and heart full of appreciation for this eclectic group of souls.

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