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?







The Secret Of Life – according to James Taylor

Today I’ve been out and about, which has been a fun way to spend my Saturday.

Some driving, shopping, chatting, eating and grocery shopping, and now some blogging. Perfecto really. I was very generously given a gift voucher to spend (thank you Claire!) at Harlow which is an awesome local fashion label for sizes 14 – 24 ladies. Luckily for me today is their monthly salon day, so I hopped in my car and trekked over to their Brunswick digs to try things on. I even timed it perfectly, and arrived just after a gaggle of ladies had shopped themselves silly. I was as excited about meeting the lovely Kerrie and Angelo, who are pouring all their passion and creativity into getting this label up and running, as I was about finding something new.

I came away with a great top, which I’ll probably wear to a wedding in a few weeks, and had a few chuckles and a lovely chat with Kerrie and Angelo while I was there. If you’re keen to support local fashion brands (which I hope you are), I highly recommend that you check out Harlow’s website. Their Aussie made garments are really great quality, and you’ll find their customer service outstanding.

A trip across town means tunes, and my preferred radio station is unabashedly Gold 104.3 – because it plays songs that transport me – to other places, happy memories, to the music video library that lives in my head, and I can often be seen singing along really loudly and as I do, I feel my happiness quotient going up, up, up, which is awesome. Combine that with gorgeous sunshine (at least when I set out on today’s jaunt), amazing tree-lined streets, and I was, and am, in a pretty great mood.

After my successful (and free!) shopping trip, I stopped in at a little corner cafe in a bursting-with-autumnal-gorgeousness spot, where I devoured a delicious vegetable frittata (so keen was I to chomp it down, that I didn’t even take a picture of it)! While I was enjoying my lunch, I overheard the girls at the next table earnestly talking about having dreams of demons and tsunamis swallowing the city (quiet eye roll), flipped through an issue of Home Beautiful, and then took another 10 photos of autumn trees and leaves as I meandered home.

I’m also doing something BRAND NEW today, and that is making chicken soup from scratch. You can find the recipe I’m using here. It’s the Pip of Meet Me At Mike’s variation on a Sophie Dahl recipe and I think it is going to be delicious. (Just had to check the chicken, it is getting crisp and SIZZLING and smelling amazeballs). The recipe involves croutons cooked in the tray that the chicken has been roasted. I know, right! Cannot Wait. But I will, I still have to complete phase two of the recipe.

So while I’m cooking, and typing this blog post, I’m listening to James Taylor and it’s transporting me back about 11 years (I’m utterly hopeless with specifics). This part’s quite convenient, as today’s theme for Claire Hewitt’s May daily blogging challenge is about being transported by music!

So, listening to James reminds me of this great story: I have some AMAZING  long time friends, let’s call them Craig and Bron, who are big time James Taylor lovers. As you can imagine, I was absolutely gobsmacked when my friend Craig called and said that he’d bought me a ticket to the upcoming James Taylor concert, and that he was going to surprise Bron by taking her, which meant all three of us were going to the show. O.M.G. The extra ticket was their gift to me, just because they love me. I mean, geez, couldn’t that just make you cry? Generous people ARE out there, and I hope you know some, and/or are one of them. As this was a surprise, Craig and I came up with a great ruse of them meeting my boyfriend and I (he’s long gone now, phew) for dinner by the Yarra, and then we’d make like we had to be somewhere else, and I’d sneak around to the Arts Centre and be there when Craig unveiled the surprise. The funny part was, that Bron was a bit cranky to have missed the concert (or so she thought), but we still had a pleasant dinner and her loving husband really pushed the limits by producing fake tickets to a James Taylor tribute show at the Sunshine Hotel (or something like that). It was hilarious. But not really. Anyhoo, as Bron and Craig walked around the corner to the concert hall, hand in hand, and she saw me, it started to dawn on her that we were GOING TO THE CONCERT!! So even though Craig was the mastermind, I bore the brunt of her shocked surprise and got pummeled in the arm! It was worth it though, to see her face and then Craig’s pleasure at surprising her. Naaw, ain’t love grand?


The concert was AMAAZING, as you’d expect. We had a sensational evening, friends being together, seeing and hearing one of the best singer songwriters of our lifetime, right in front of us. Thank you James Taylor. You are THE MAN. Click and sing along…. Secret O’ Life

The secret of life is enjoying the passing of time
Any fool can do it, there ain’t nothing to it
Nobody knows how we got to the top of the hill
Since we’re on our way down, might as well enjoy the ride
The secret of love is in opening up your heart
It’s okay to feel afraid, but don’ t let that stand in your way
‘Cause anyone knows that love is the only road
Since we’re only here for awhile might as well show some style
Give us a smile
Isn’t it a lovely ride?
Sliding down, gliding down
Try not to try to hard, it’s just a lovely ride…..

Have you ever  been part of a great surprise?
Got a concert memory you’d like to share? I’d love to hear about it.