Sia versus the rest

Good morning blog-world!

Today I have a few thoughts to throw around – don’t worry we’re not talking reinstating the draft, kale versus spinach or anything controversial of that ilk.

Hang on a second, I just have to stop here and point out the idiocy of people saying versing instead of versus, a habit which seems to be taking over in certain circles. You’ll see I’ve written kale versus spinach, not kale versing spinach. When you compete, on Family Feud or in a game of footy, its you/your team versus your opponent. It is NOT EVER versing – if it’s a word at all – it is what poets do!

Everyone clear on that? Okay, let’s proceed.

As I was saying before that knee-jerk diversion into a grammar lesson, I want to muse about a few things today and I’m hoping you’ll join me and share a few of your stories. This blog is a conversation, not a monologue!

Right now, I’m listening to Sia’s latest album 1000 Forms Of Fear and it’s SO GOOD. Some of you may be rolling your eyes and thinking, ‘hello… Sia has been rocking my world for years’. I’d sung along to Titanium when it came on the radio, but I’d never delved further into the creative genius that is Miss Sia of Adelaide.


The reason I’m listening to Sia is because of the amazing Inspiration Information course I’m doing, run by cheery lass and creative life coach extraordinaire Pip Lincolne. Pip does not sponsor every (or any) mention of her on my blog, she’s just been really ace and influential in my life lately! Everyone needs a Pip, even if her name is Shirley, or Gary, or Eugenia.

So, as part of the Inspiration Info course, Pip introduces us to creative types to broaden our ideas of creativity and expose us to new artists, thinkers, creators, and artistic champions. The list has included Patti Smith, Charles & Ray Eames, Sia, Wes Anderson, Bjork – authors, painters, musicians, designers… living and dead, diverse, and wonderful.

Listening to Sia got me thinking about how the stuff we listen to, read, watch on telly, download, and talk about gets on our radar.

I think a lot of it is by osmosis, maybe we hang out at our friend’s house and they’re listening to an album, and a week later we’re downloading that album. Maybe we make the connection to where we heard it, maybe we don’t, but either way, we become fans of a new thing.

Cool, right?

Sometimes we deliberately put ourselves in a place to see and hear new things, and entertain new ideas – by signing up for an online course, or taking a class at the CAE, or going to a gallery opening, or out to dinner with our friends and some of their friends. There are loads of ways we can broaden our horizons, with or without a passport.

So in the spirit of that, here are my questions. Pop your answers in the comments, so everyone can benefit from our collective wisdom, or at least our eclectic taste.

What are you reading, listening to, watching, and talking about?

What’s got you inspired, grossed out (Wicked Campers, anyone) or enthralled?

Should I watch Game of Thrones?

What was the last book you read and couldn’t put down?

I’ll go first – my viewing recommendation is The West Wing. I am conducting an ongoing experiment to see if you can wear out DVDs – so far, so good. I still laugh at Aaron Sorkin’s brilliant writing. I’m still moved. I love those characters. Any show that revolves around a team with a lofty goal, and I’m in. The West Wing, The Newsroom, Grey’s Anatomy… sold.

I’m reading The Fictional Woman by Tara Moss. It’s intelligent, timely and topical. Get thee to a bookstore.

So, over to you, what’s on your radar? How did it get there?







23 thoughts on “Sia versus the rest

  1. What are you reading, listening to, watching, and talking about?
    I am reading “Lost Stolen or Shredded -Stories of missing works of Art and Literature” by Rick Gekoski. I am listening to this because it is a stunning version of one of my all time favourite songs. It’s the kind of song that liberates you from unrequited love, if you are suffering from it. I am watching ‘One Born Every MInute’ with my preggy sis in law and I am talking about blogging, with anyone who will listen to me!

    What’s got you inspired, grossed out (Wicked Campers, anyone) or enthralled?
    I am being inspired by the things I have been watching and reading from my medical community. I am being grossed out by the way Middle American Christians have begun posting things about being pro-Israel (politically) is their duty of obedience under God. Weird shit. And I am enthralled by the things my son has been saying, how does he know how to be funny at six?

    Should I watch Game of Thrones?
    YES. But you should start at the beginning.

    What was the last book you read and couldn’t put down?
    North of Normal. You can find my review here:

    Loved this post Annette! And I think I better get Sia on my playlist. Is she Australian?


  2. Hi Annette,
    I do so enjoy your writing 🙂 My viewing recommendation is The Bridge (an awesome Danish/Swedish crime TV series). We have just watched the second series and are still getting over it! Love Sia and am glad you do to-is is so talented. I have just finished A Life by Design by Siobhan O’Brien, which I enjoyed and became fascinated by Florence Broadhurst, a woman way ahead of her time. I am now getting into All that I am by Anna Funder-a great read so far. I really couldn’t put The Book Thief down. I have read the Game of Thrones series and seen the show too. It is amazing but frustrating too and not for the faint hearted! There was an article in our paper about fans being anxious that George R Martin was going to die before the last to books are written. He was not impressed and proceeded to stick his finger up at them! People are passionate about his writing for sure. Glad you found your writing mojo 🙂


    • Hi Jenny, a great bunch of recommendations there. Thank you!! I have avoided GOT because I’m a bit squeamish, but then again I love True Blood… Go figure!


  3. You’re a barrel of laughs Annette! OK, so this should get the old brain going.

    What are you reading, listening to, watching, and talking about? I’m reading very little due to studying/ busy but I am LOVING Spaces by Frankie. Oh its good. And the graphic novel Relish by Lucy Knisley which is delightful. Watching Fargo, its excellent! Listening to Cold War Kids (on repeat) and old Crowded House.

    What’s got you inspired, grossed out (Wicked Campers, anyone) or enthralled? Firstly, what the heck is the deal with this Wicked Campers carry on. Good lord you’re representing a country! To tourists! JUST STOP. Inspired: Spaces, again. I’ve been enjoying the blog My Darling Lemon Thyme. Gosh, can’t think of much else. Must need more tea.

    Should I watch Game of Thrones? Maybe. Its brilliant television. Its enthralling. Its the most brutally violent television you’ll probably ever watch and that will change television for you. Its not happy feel-good material. So, maybe.

    What was the last book you read and couldn’t put down? Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer. Just read it!

    I’ll shut up now!


    • Why thank you Laura, I’ve never been called a barrel before!

      Don’t mind shouting at the telly if it is warranted.

      Don’t ever shut up, this is about the convo, that’s the vibe!


  4. GOT? YES!!!! You must! If you are squeamish don’t watch ‘Mongol’. I love the movie, but it adds a whole new level to blood thirsty.
    I love GOT especially for the costuming. The embroidery of Michele Carragher is stunning and the stories behind them will add a whole new layer to your viewing experience. Check them out here…

    Sia? Love her! I’d been listening to Chandelier at home and yesterday I got home to find Husbeast had put it on. He asked if I’d seen the video clip. I said I hadn’t. He’d been put onto it by another teacher friend. I watched for about 30 seconds and had to turn it off. Maybe its just because of my job and the things I deal with at work, but it left me with a really ‘icky’ feeling. Why did they make it with flesh-coloured body suit? At times it looks like this young girl is naked. Still trying to process that one.

    Versus…yes. Versing…NOOOO!!!
    Don’t get me started on those who use marshmEllow instead of marshmAllow!!!



    • Kylie, I’ll see your marshmEllow and raise you a definAtely! Or this gem – memorised when the person absolutely meant mesmerised. Whaaat?

      And that Sia clip is interesting/weird isn’t it? I’ve only seen it once I think – I believe from stuff I’ve read about Sia that she has pretty high anxiety about performance, so she’s not going to do shows facing the audience or be in her clips. I kind of really like that she hasn’t abandoned her talents because of that, but she’s forging a new way. Sometimes artsy videos go over my head though, I will happily admit!


  5. Great post, as always Annette! I am completely loving this latest sia album too. She is just brilliant. My show recommendations are ‘orange is the new black’, ‘borgen’ and, yes, the Danish version of the bridge is fantastic too. Noticed that pip is re-watching ‘6 feet under’ which is one of my favourite series ever. Book wise, I am reading ‘crossing to safety’ by Wallace stegna after so many recommendations – it is great so far.


  6. Talking about: this morning’s breakfast topics were; mindful travel versus ticking places off a list; tony abbot and his antics, latest being repeal of the renewable energy target; also what you are remembered by (in regards to interactions with strangers) aka…giving your seat up on a train.

    Wicked campers: wicked is a good word, been following a little from far away, gald some people are making noise about it, its disgusting.

    Book: hmmm, The Hour, its a strange one for me, a book about a cyclists attempt at the hour record, nut its more about what it takes to be really really tops at something, and handling the knowledge that you might not get there

    Game of Thrones: yes, if only for the beautiful sets and costume design and intriging story, warning, it will make you squirm and yell at the tv a lot.


    • I like that idea of being remembered by those everyday actions Tracey. I’m a door opener from way back. I love how shocked by such a small kindness some people are.

      A few people have commented on the sets and costumes for GOT, might have to check it out.

      Thanks for your recommendations!


  7. What a great post. I hate ‘versing’. My kids say it… What language is that? Interesting timing that I am reading this and watching an article about Sia’s success on the ABC news at the same time. Thanks for the book recommendations. I will be using them for my Book Club books this month!


    • Gabe, you must stop them! What the hell is versing – aaarrrgghhhhhh!! Seriously, ask them that from me. Sia is all over the place, I think my blogging about her has really helped her career – not! Love a book club – enjoy that. Thanks for popping in.


  8. Oh yes she’s been rocking my world for years. Did you hear Sia went No.1 on Billboard 200 today Your post is very timely (or maybe Pip knew).

    I’m joining a book club so soon I’ll be reading again. Currently the latest Frankie magazine is still waiting to be read. Watching drivel.Talking too much about what I’m not doing.

    I’m inspired to start doing things I’ve been wantingto do for ages.

    I want to know what all the Game of Thrones fuss is about too.

    It’s been too long between good books. I admit my latest “reading” has been “The Hunger Game” series (currently hanging my head in shame). Jo xx


    • Hi Jo, I hadn’t heard that, must have picked up on the cosmic vibes! I must get my hands on Frankie – to the library I go! I’m so glad people are sharing their books and shows and things here. Hooray!


  9. First confession, I have never heard of Sia, but I wonder if my library has. I will have a look.
    Game of Thrones is exhausting to watch and thoroughly inappropriate! Great though!
    I am currently reading Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healy, The Fortune Cookie Principle by Bernadette Jiwa, Frankie and The Simple Things.


  10. We have a running joke in our house…
    Me: “Check out this new song I love”
    Mr Styling: “That’s crap”
    …3 weeks later…
    Mr Styling: “Check out this new song I love”
    Me: “I played that to you 3 weeks ago!”

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to download Sia’s new album from iTunes.


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