Whitney

 

Oh Whitney!

Last weekend I had the pleasure of having lunch with childhood neighbours, the women responsible for introducing me to ‘ that voice’.

I recall with fondness said neighbours playing Ms Houston’s vinyl records at volume, the sound reverberating off the Illawarra Escarpment and into my childhood bedroom.

Decades have passed but the love for this songbird remains steadfast.

Yesterday I spent the morning at a Business Chicks breakfast with Australian Supermodel and serial Entrepreneur Elle McPherson, who disclosed she shared her first US modelling job with Whitney.

So perhaps the fact I dusted of Ms Houston’s greatest hits cd to accompany me as I drove from the east to west last night to collect a parcel from a friend was predestined?

Disc one of the two cd compilation – ‘ Saving All my Love for You’ and I’m transported back in time. I’m 10 years old, in my childhood bedroom, the yellow walls glowing in the afternoon sunshine. Whitney is playing on my tape deck and I’m singing along, with a toilet roll microphone. A private concert for my Cabbage Patch Kid, Care Bear and My Child.

But it’s  2019, the eve of another birthday. I’ve driving a silver Honda, careful of inner city speed limits, indulging in a car disco for one. And still, after all these years, Whitney’s songs define moments in time.

My birthday this year will be low key. Catch ups with  friends and family to herald in the occasion. A cake from an Italian patisserie,  dinner at an inner city hot spot, a massage, time with Jenny Brown the cat.

And Whitney will provide soundtrack. Three decades of devotion to an idol and her other worldly voice forever serenading the passing of time.

 

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Jenny Brown

Jenny Brown you turned my world upside down.

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Our first meeting was Saturday the 26th of January 2019 at 11am. I was doing foster care training at Maggie’s Rescue in Marrickville. You were the resident feline, your home for 15 months and counting, yet to find your purr-rect match. I fell for you that day. But your profile requested that your adoptive parent / parents have a garden.

Residing in an apartment on the fourth floor I did not push the issue.

The staff at Maggie’s remarked that I was an unlikely foster carer – ‘ You won’t be able to do it’ and by that they meant I would adopt straight away. I tended to agree with them.

In February I suffered a health set-back. During that time Maggie’s Rescue contacted me, two cats, brothers, needed a home. I was not well enough to take them on.

My health returned and I was offered a mother and her two kittens, I knew I could not take on multiple responsibilities so I had to turn them down.

And all the while I checked the ‘ Cats for Adoption’ Maggie’s Rescue page and you Jenny Brown, with garden request, remained unhomed.

Fast forward to July and I received a message from Sue Mariani of Maggie’s to ask if I was interested in looking after a 2 year old female cat called JB. Aware I had no to every offer Sue had extended me since May I said ‘ Yes’ without hesitation. I admit that after the exchange with Sue I snuck a look at the Maggie’s website to see if you Ms Brown were still looking for a home. Your profile was no longer live. I assumed you’d had found your happy ever after.

Two hours passed, I decided to ask for more information about the feline who would soon in be my care – ‘ Can you send across any photos? Does the JB stand for anything’

The photos appeared. In an instant I recognised this tortoise shell beauty as my Jenny Brown.

‘ What about the garden request?’ I asked Sue via email.

Turns out the garden option was no longer top of Jenny Brown’s requirements. Instead love, affection and a stable home environment were number one priorities.

That was 5 weeks ago.

And I’m ready to adopt, I’ve got the papers ready to sign!

Jenny Brown you have turned my world upside down.

Love you xx

 

Ode to Michael Hutchence

I’ve returned from Paddington, having watched ‘Mystify’ the documentary about the late great INXS front-man Michael Hutchence.

In 1988 I recall getting a compilation cassette. It was not the one I wanted and I was bitterly disappointed. Despite my distain for ‘ 88 The Winners’ I was taken by one song in particular – ‘ New Sensation ‘ INXS. Side One, Track One.

It would play on high rotation for many, many years.

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Nine years pass at it’s 1997. Despite a splendid music catalogue, Michael Hutchence, in recent years, has been better known for his high profile romances. The Grunge movement having transformed the music scene in the  early 1990’s with the likes of Oasis and Blur competing for the Brit pop crown.

INXS are on the come back trail and are to play in Wollongong at Waves nightclub late November.

A phone conversation on the day of the gig with my friend Cameron who has tickets to the concert ‘ Michael Hutchence is dead’

I’m not sure I uttered this remark out loud upon hearing this news but I thought it  ‘ Its because he did not want to play in Wollongong’

Years pass, I learn to appreciate good music and quality front men / women who put it all on the line for their art. I fall in love again and again with INXS. With Michael.

He oozed sex appeal, body rocking good looks coupled with an insatiable lust and passion for life, love and pleasure.

I’ve often thought what I’d give for the chance to see the INXS live, in a stadium of thousands, Kirk Pengilly on saxophone, The Farriss brothers on lead guitar and drums, Garry Beers on bass. And Michael front and centre.

The stuff of mere fantasy.

Michael’s legacy, INXS’s music is his timeless gift.

He is never far from the airwaves.

New Sensation – INXS, 1987.

 

 

 

Ode to Alanis Morisette

23 years after I fell hard and fast from the music of Alanis Morrisette, I’ve downloaded her music to my iphone and am once more taking a trip down nostalgia lane.
I wrote the following post three years ago, when the album ‘ Jagged Little Pill’ turned 20 – music of my youth, forever to transport, transfix and stop time.

Catch Up With A Mate

‘ Jagged Little Pill ‘

I was listening to Classic FM Radio recently, and over the airways the broadcaster announced that 2016 was the 20th anniversary of the album ‘Jagged Little Pill’ by Canadian Artist – Alanis Morrisette.

20 years….It cannot be! Really?

After this announcement the song ‘You learn ‘ filled the airways and I sang– word for word.

I was 17 years old when the album was released and it changed my tiny world.

I played this cd on high rotation in my bedroom in Austinmer, expressing my repressed teenage angst – a mixture of joy, despair, anxiety and elation – through song form.

I was a complex teenager – a quiet girl, whose inner world was bleak but outwardly I shone bright, smiled and laughed often.

In Alanis I found respite – she was angry, she was despairing, bitter and twisted.

And oh was she was…

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The Golden Arches of Waterloo

There has not been a post for over 3 months.

So the time has come to hit the keys once more, and what better way to do that than declaration of love and devotion to the children of my friends and most importantly my two cherub nieces ‘ There’s a Mc Donald’s on my street!!’

This 6 words are enough to stop a overactive 4 year old dead in their tracks, sooth the distressed cries of a near 2 year old.

‘ What did you say?’ I hear Ms R asking.

‘ There’s a McDonald on my street!’

And I’ve photos to prove it.

Its not at the attractive end of town and I admit I have never eaten their myself but I want to! And I want Ms 4 and Ms nearly 2 to accompany me.

No rush, but in the not to distant future I’d love to eat a happy meal with my favourite little people.

And then there is Ms 8, Ms 4 and Master 1, Master 7 and Ms 6, Master 4 and Master 2….on and on the roll call goes. So many Mc Chickens and 30c cones to devour in our combined futures.

As the slogan goes ‘ I’m loving it’ – a shout to to parents who want down time ( for a limited time!!) – drop the kids off to me and we will go to the ‘ Mc Donald’s on my street’ – the stuff dreams are made of.

I’m a Celebrity Get me Out of Here : 2019

I first came to watch TV show‘ Celebrity’ in 2018 – Comedian and all round awesome human Fiona O’Loughlin drew me in with a tale of hard knocks, rotten luck and seemingly endless resilience and humor.

After seeing Fiona crowned Queen of the Jungle I went on to see her stand-up comedy routine’ My Gap Year’ at the Comedy Store, Moore Park, Sydney That night Fiona acknowledged that she had won over a new audience from her time in the jungle – shining a spotlight on me!

It was a no brainer that I would tune in again in 2019. Fiona had made laugh 365 days ago, as had the one and only Julia Morris ( with side kick Dr Chris Brown) – A new year, a new cast of celebs and the delightfully delicious familiar co-hosts.

  • I watched without expectations.
  • I watched for escapism from the oppressive Sydney summer heat.
  • I watched to observe human behavior ( what could be more fascinating?) as a group of celebrities of varying degrees of fame were pushed to their limits and then some.

Not one to gush but 2019 contestant Justin Lacko was very easy on the eye. If for no other reason, the 2019 Jungle series was off to a phenomenal start!

But as the days and weeks passed, heart achingly beautiful moments surfaced from plains of the African jungle.  I sat in my lounge room and laughed, cried and cheered aloud, caught up in the joyous 5 week safari adventure.

  • Vulnerable, honest and open encounters and deeply personal conversations – a style of communication not normally paraded during prime time tv – my heart swelled.
  • Countless moments of genuine care and support for one another as the 14 celebs were tested to their limits in trails designed to provoke fear, inflict pain and discomfort.
  • Laughter  – lots of it! None more so than when the celebs were put through their paces in Tucker Trials – Meal of Fortune ( quiet possibly the funniest thing I’ve seen on TV in years – Thanks Justin, Shane, Dermott and Sam for the laughs)
  • And friendship,  unbreakable bonds that formed ever so quickly– bonds one assumes will be lifelong. The contestants transformed before the eye, some physically, others spoke of internal changes – personal growth, clarity of purpose and vision.
  • And Julia Morris and Dr Chris Brown – a finer, more endearing duo would be hard to find.

And as the show wrapped last night, I can boldly declare that I’m done with reality TV for 2019. Nothing, I repeat nothing, could compare.

Time to get a life!! Take a leaf out of my jungle friends book and clarify my purpose and vision in this wonderful adventure called life – whilst following my Jungle crushes closely on Insta – Julia, Dr Chris, Yvie and Justin (swoon)

Ode to Pulp

Musical Regrets – I have a few and they surface every now and then

I’ve been enjoying driving around the city of Sydney once again. After 2 years on public transport I am now the proud temporary owner of a Nissan Pulsar circa 2001.

Nothing beats driving around the city listening to my ‘retro’ cd collection.

On Saturday morning, as I prepared to go to an 8am gym session I closed my eyes and reached in the direction of my cd stack – my hand landed on something special and I made a quick dash to the car.

Pulp came to Sydney in 1998.  Reading up on the band prior to writing this post, the UK group were best known in the mid- 1990s, reluctant participants in the ‘Britpop’ movement that included bands such as Oasis and Blur.

I had an friend who was caught up in the Britpop movement, avid reader of ‘ The Face’ fashion and culture magazine and heavily invested in the pop feud that had engulfed Oasis and Blur. Despite living 17,000kms from the epicentre of this movement, this Aussie chick flew the Union Jack in Austinmer loud and proud.

I was a fair-weather fan, only on rare occasions did I find myself caught up in the fanfare. And then once day I was invited to see Pulp at the Enmore Theatre. Squeal!!

But I got sick. Sick with an illness that ‘normally’ befriends the elderly and the unlucky. Polyarteritis nodosa, inflammation of the blood vessels. And that was just the start, I was a mixed bag of ill-health and the Pulp concert came and went.

Whilst not a true fan, I was disappointed. Yet instead of wallowing I set aside my sadness and got on with life. Months passed and my health returned. I forgot about the concert and all that the year 1998 had come to represent.

I am unsure of when I ‘rediscovered’ Pulp. Yet when I did I was ready to listen.

And what a joy to listen to songs that made me smile as distant memories surfaced once more.

It’s 1994 and my Year 10 Art Teacher is proclaiming that in the year 2000 she will meet up with a long-lost love t ( a pact made whilst listening to the Pulp hit ‘ Disco 2000’) ‘ Sorted out for E’s and Whizz’ – the song perfectly capturing the music festival scene I immersed myself in with gusto in the Mid-1990’s:

‘Oh is this the way they say the futures meant to feel?

Or just 20,000 people standing in a field’

Jarvis Cocker, lead singer of Pulp, the epitome of cool.

Some 20 years later, I understand my Aussie friends investment in the Britpop movement.

Musical Regrets, I have a few.

North Maroubra

I always learn something new about Sydney when I venture out for a day trip with my friend Kirk.

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Kirk and Kate – North Maroubra ( North Maldives)

Today I learnt that Maroubra Beach can be divided into three parts.  And whilst I’ve swam at Maroubra before prior to today I have not taken a dip at the Southern or Northern end of the beach. So today I discovered North Maroubra or North Maldives as I christened it.

Paradise. 

 

 

No over water bungalow, hammock or seaplane required to immerse oneself in the bluest of blue waters and drift away from the perils of city living.

Perils indeed when you can leave behind the 9-5 office blues and be beachside in under 20 minutes.

Such is life for the Sydneysider and today Kirk and I basked in summer sunshine with North Maroubra’s finest, the Bra Boys, inked ( tattooed) with ‘ Lest we Forget’ ‘ My Brothers Keeper’ and everything in between. I may have discussed inking a postcode across my chest – 2515 ( Childhood Suburb) or the aspirational 2096 ( Northern Beaches) Never say never in 2019.

So the 12 Beaches of Christmas 2018-2019 comes to a close.

And I look to 2019-2020 with anticipation – for these beach reviews bring me such joy. And whilst the ocean, the sun, sand and salt are pure delight it is the familiar faces that join me for these beachside adventures that bring the greatest pleasure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jones Beach

Looking back on 2018 some of the greatest moments were spent near the ocean.

None more so than when I had just secured full-time employment  ( after a 10 month period of unemployment) and was enjoying the last days of freedom on the South Coast of NSW.

I wrote earlier in this series about exploring a section of the Kiama Coastal Walk when I wrote about Bombo Headland ‘ The Boneyard’

Before you are treated to the Bombo ‘Boneyard’ you will traverse over ‘ Jones Beach’.

On the day I completed the first section of the coastal walk, my parents joined me.

We walked those 8 kms accompanied by the occasional seagull – it was rare to sight another human on the walking trail.

We had Jones Beach all to ourselves. It was just magic.

Situated between Minnamurra Headland and the basalt columns of Cathedral Rocks, Jones Beach ( also known as Boyd Beach) is a popular surf and swim spot.

It was Winter when we visited Jones Beach and with swimming not an option, a photo shoot proved the perfect substitute.

My camera was spoilt for choice – which angle would I shoot from – North, South, East or West – perfect images at every turn.

 

Manly Beach

Surprisingly the iconic strip of coast that is Manly Beach had yet featured in the 12 Beaches of Christmas. I mean Manly Beach, come on!!

What might appear even more surprising is that I had never swum there. Having frequented almost every other beach nearby – Shelly, Queenscliff, Freshwater, Curl Curl , Little Manly , I’d somehow forgotten to dunk myself in the bigger bluer version.

So on the 1st day of 2019, determined to right this wrong a swim at Manly beach was at the top of the to-do list. But somehow a morning coffee turned into a swim at Freshwater Beach, a fish and chip lunch and park siesta – and the Manly swim was sidelined. But I was not deterred – intent on being flexible to new possibilities / opportunities in the New Year I was committed to going with the flow.

Manly eventually presented itself mid afternoon. With my beautiful Brisbane buddies, who walked hand in hand down the promenade, the afternoon was ours for the taking, the water cool and calming, the perfect antidote to the previous nights New Years Eve escapades.

And from their it just got better and better. Post swim we lazed in the shade on manicured lawns. We agreed that we fancied Chinese for dinner and walked to Eastern Hill, Manly were we ‘ discovered’ ( thanks google) Golden Chef Asian Cuisine. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!

With the sun going down, our bellies full we took to the promenade post dinner and walked home.

It may have taken 40 years for the opportunity of a Manly Beach swim to arise but it was worth the wait – the ocean dip was the icing on the cake of a day that soared above and beyond expectations.

Great friends, amazing food and welcoming service, sun, sand and surf.

Summer 2019 done right!!

 

 

 

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