Alaska

To my niece Alaska

I wondered how to capture what I felt when I heard of your arrival into the world and it came to me through song.

Last week I found myself at Waterloo Library, for no particular reason, perusing CD titles to borrow. I chanced upon Triple J’s Hottest 100 2017, skimming the contents there it was, your song ‘ Alaska ‘ by Maggie Rogers.

Fast forward, and I get round to researching this tune on youtube. As I listened it sounded vaguely familiar so I dug a little deeper.

I had heard it before.

A masterclass at New York University in early 2016, Pharrell Williams critiquing the work of aspiring musicians. Maggie’s piece for the workshop is her song’ Alaska’.

The song is played, it is perfection.

Mr William’s critique ‘ I have zero, zero, zero notes for that ‘ ‘Your doing your own thing’ ‘ It’s singular, you could not compare it to anything else. And that is such a special quality’

Alaska, just like this melody, you are a sight to behold. You are perfection. Nothing needs to change. I would never have guessed your name, but now you are here, you could not be anyone else.

Like Maggie’s tune and Pharrell’s reaction to it, you have captured wide and loving audience.

I look forward to watching you grow, learn, play, laugh and love.

You journey will be unique, you will dance to your own beat and there will be countless loving eyes watching on as you do.

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Compassion – A breakfast lecture

CreativeMornings, Sydney : Friday 29th of September.

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Creative What?

CreativeMornings is a breakfast lecture series for the creative community. They’re free, monthly events that feature a short talk, Q+A and breakfast. CreativeMornings started in NYC in 2008 and has since grown to over 100 cities all over the world. The local chapters not only celebrate a city’s creative talent but also promote an open space to connect with like-minded people. CreativeMornings happen one Friday a month from 8:30am to 10am ( taken directly from CM website)

So I happened to find myself in the right place at the right time to attend CM’s breakfast lecture on compassion. The lecture was to be given by Mr Edo Kahn, Co-Founder of A Sound Life, an organisation providing free music therapy, yoga and meditation to the needy.

Edo speaks from the heart, he speaks with conviction, he exudes compassion.

A story of love and loss, purpose and passion.

A story upon hearing, one would be willing to forgive the central character for giving up on life, shutting the door to love and retreating within.

Yet compassion, first and foremost for himself, has been Edo’s guiding force. Its healing qualities have enabled him to withstand life’s storms, and to continue to give , ever so graciously, to those around him in endless supply.

Through song, through the spoken word, through video snippets, the audience was gifted with insight into the importance of living purposefully.

Like us all, Edo admitted to days when anger or frustration take hold. When nerves arise or when decisions don’t come easily. And at such times, compassion, self compassion, is key.

Thank you Edo, thank you CreativeMornings Sydney. I was in the right place and the right time and I was open to listening to ideas I’m certain have fallen on deaf ears in the past!

Compassion, first and foremost for yourself, will sooth and comfort. It has a freeing quality, enabling you to navigate the trials and tribulations of daily life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A breakfast lecture in Redfern Sydney.

Forever Flora

16730519_10158248979040383_4884608599785778706_nWas. Is. Always will be.

  • Millie. Flora. Christine
  • Alice
  • Flo, Flowie, Fleur, Flea-ra
  • Flosomely
  • Florence
  • Lamington . Lamington Boyle
  • Lamball. Lamball Jones
  • Lamb
  • Flora Boyle
  • Flora

For 10 years Flora was by my side. Through thick fog and sunshine and rainbows.

A beauty of a feline who willingly offered up a number of her nine lives, to ensure we experienced the full gauntlet of life together.

  • Auto- immune disease – Tick
  • Depressive episodes – Tick
  • Insomnia – Tick
  • Idiosynchratic tendencies – Tick

And that was just the fun stuff!

We moved house together, from house – share to solo living and back to house-share. Six moves in ten years.  And our regular trips to the South Coast, and the countless times you took up residency in Austinmer whilst I forged a truly solo existence in Sydney.

Yet we were never apart for too long. It was too hard on heart-strings.

Saying good-bye to you forever last month hurt. It still does and will for some time.

I was there with you to the end and I thanked you for all you did for me during our friendship. I count you among those responsible for delivering me to the happiest place I have ever been in , well, forever.

We both knew it was your time to go. You were tired, and I don’t blame you.

Your going to be a hard act to follow Flora.

And for that reason I’m not looking for a replacement.

You were one in a million.

Thank you for choosing me to be your pet parent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ode to Katy Steele

Sydney Fringe Festival 2017 Delight - Conversation with Katy

Sydney Fringe Festival 2017 Delight – Conversation with Katy

It was my brother who introduced me to the Sleepy Jackson.

My brother was cool. I was not. It was 2005.

It started an appreciation of all things Steele. A musical education indeed.

I discovered Little Birdy on my own. Though the band had long split, their musical catalogue would enthrall and inspire till present day.

There was one stand out instrument that appeared on each album, each track, cementing me as a forever fan. Forget the talent exuded from guitars, drums, percussion instruments – it was THAT voice, Katy’s voice.

I was hooked.

In 2014 I saw Katy Steele perform solo at the Basement, Sydney. The ticket set me back $25.00. That same month I parted with $165.00 to see Katy Perry.

The $25.00 ticket to this day remains one of my musical highlights – the collective spirit that wrapt concert goers that late October evening was priceless. A full choir joined Katy on the stage, and she drew the crowd in with her energy, her passion, her presence and THAT voice.

Fast forward to Sunday just passed, and I’m on the edge of my seat in a small theatre in Newtown.  As part of the Sydney Fringe Festival, 2017 Katy is in conversation with APRA AMCOS, an organisation supporting songwriters, composers and music publishers.

It is an intimate affair, an audience of 30, a videographer, a photographer, an interviewer and Ms Steele.

The interviewer tells the audience Katy is nervous. Katy confirms this – I am taken aback. But this disclosure humanises my idol. I relax into the afternoon.

We are treated to rare glimpse of the struggle of the creative spirit and the critical mind, the beauty of connecting with your craft and the importance of staying true to yourself.

Thank you Katy. I was fence-sitting as to whether to attend this event. For no particular reason. But I am so glad I did.

In that 1 hour conversation on Sunday afternoon, you reminded that sharing ones unique gift, tapping into the essence of individuality, makes the world a better place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

M is for Moonie

MoonieMoonie

My first sighting of Ms Moonie was in September 2015.  I had just resigned from my position at the University of Sydney. I had just moved to a new neighbourhood. I was adrift in a tsunami of change.

It was fate that our paths crossed. You caused me to stop dead in my tracks and appreciate the small things. When I was in your company, nothing else mattered. I could whether any storm.

Moonie epitomised all things cat, her take it or leave it cat-ittude, her pleasure-seeking ways, her pout, her purr, her petite figure, her pink grumpy cat colour, her Siamese sexiness.

Then and there I declared my desire to come back as a cat in my next life.

I fell head over heals in admiration. I began to question my loyalty to Flora.

So frequent were my facebook snaps of Ms Moonie, that questions such as ‘ Have you got another cat?’ ‘ Who has stolen your heart?’ began to feature.

But Flora had my heart. Always.

Moonie just escorted me along Abermarle Street, Newtown each day. Intent on seeing me onto the bus, the train. She had Flora and my best interests at heart, ensuring I did the daily 9-5 so I  could afford my rent, continue to by top shelf cat food.

My adoration of Moonie, was always about Flora.

It has been a year since Ms Moonie and I were neighbours. And I miss her encouragement, her purr, her presence. I have been back on numerous occasions, keen to a catch-up, only to be disappointed.

But the good people of Abermarle Street, know me well and keep me updated of her movements, on occasions when my smile turns upside down when a visit proves fruitless.

Ms Moonie – you really are just too cool. If there is an afterlife, I vow to model my second coming on all things you.

Related Posts : Today is a GREAT day

 

 

 

 

 

 

A is also for Alice

 

Alice Boo Boyle

Alice Boo Boyle

And then came Alice Boo Boyle.

And the adoration of all things feline amplified.

Alice Boo Boyle lived all of her 9 lives and then some. She parted ways with the world but five years ago,  a fine vintage, aged 18 years, 9 months.

Alice Boo Boyle lived as she loved.

Her love of puffed wheat cereal, brocoli, pasta, corn on the cob was legendary. As was her love of food generally. The seal on our family fridge replaced not once but twice as she clawed her way into the ice box in search of …well…anything!

Alice was a cat to which poetry was penned. A cat to which new music was composed and performed. A cat who brought together the community for milestone birthdays, her 10th and her 18th.

When Alice passed from this life to the next, I was five years into my love affair with a cat that was all mine, Flora Boyle. If I’m honest, Flora was Alice and Alice was Flora.

There were trips South, with Flo in tow and these two black beauties would face off in the family home! But Flora was Alice, Alice Flora – in each other they saw their themselves. And they simply purred*

A post written in 2012 when Alice Boo Boyle. as Albert had done 18 years earlier, cashed in her one way ticket to heaven.

Sums it all up, all 18 years, 9 months of adoration, love and respect for the cat that built upon Bert Boyle’s legacy :Alice Boo Boyle Obituary

* not really true – it just read so well!

A is for Albert

Nan and I ( with Albert the cat)

Albert, Nan and Me

Albert Boyle

The first cat I ever loved with my whole heart.

He loved me back too.

My Father, many years after Albert passed away, stated that we had a cat in our family to absorb teenage angst and frustration. This disclosure may explain the fact why Albert booked a one way ticket to heaven as I neared the tender age of 13. Good old Bert had seen the writing on the wall, it was time to go!

Albert was much-loved. He loved the other Boyle pets as much as I did – though his love crossed a line.

Our budgie Bruce, allowed to fly freely around the house one afternoon, had his fate sealed when Albert emerged from the garage to play catch and kiss ( of death) in the lounge room.

My pet mouse Mushroom, brought from Corrimal Pet store for 50c, handed over by my Mother on a shopping expedition – ‘ I’m going to buy a paddle pop!’

Poor Mushroom, who escaped her cage, and went missing for a number of weeks, only to return ‘home’ pregnant. Babies delivered safely, Mother Mushroom proud as punch. Trusty Bert joined in the celebrations, gobbling them up during a 3am feed.

Albert Boyle you broke my heart on a number of occasions.

But the little tears mended with ease when your perfect purr started up, or your simply stared cross-eyed in my direction.

You paved the way for Alice Boo Boyle to come bounding into the family. But this post is yours. You will always be my number one, the holy grail of all things cat.

 

Breakfast Lust Story

 

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I was to devote the month of September to all things feline….but today I found myself in one of my favourite parts of Sydney and now feel compelled to recycle a post from 2012.

It seems a life time ago that I ate at Ruby’s Diner, Waverly….so after a morning of indulgence, bread buying and a massage in Clovelly, I did just that.

I have long had a love affair with the cafe….it inspired the story below. Every word is true. And the aftermath, the story passed onto the waiter, Jack’s comment and my disappointment.

But that was then and this is now – and the food, the coffee, the atmosphere is still on point!!

Catch Up With A Mate

A short story…about breakfast!

She had a crush on the waiter at her local café.

It was impossible not too.

He possessed a curly mop of hair, unruly, untamed, his skin was olive and he towered over her, she liked men who were taller than her.

Then there was his accent ( which she had from good authority was Canadian) and lastly, his confidence, self belief…that was what sealed the deal…this café kid was cool.

And he knew it….

She’d been frequenting this café on and off for the past month…always hopeful that her scrambled eggs with mushrooms on the side would be delivered to her table by him.

If this wasn’t the case, she didn’t mind…she had a back up plan….she would order two coffees, one at a time, thus increasing the odds of a brief encounter.

She loved his flirtatious nature…Or was it all in her head?

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Born Purring

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When I was born, my Mother and Father noted that instead of crying , I purred.

I was a happy baby, a happy toddler, a happy person.

Today is the first day of Spring, the start of new month and therefore a fresh start for September blog posts. This year I have set about writing nostalgic posts and recycling old content. This month I will solely dedicate to my love of all things feline.

I was born purring after all…..

The slideshow provides evidence that my love affair has been life long. The photo of my baptism candle depicts a girl with a clowder of cats at her feet. It sets the scene oh so purrectly. The flame burns bright for Albert, Alice, Flora, family cats who have shaped me into the person I am today. It flickers for the four pawed friends I am yet to meet.

As a one year old, I read books on cats ( see picture) . My reading buddy was Albert, the family Siamese. He was my childhood best fur friend.

As a 20 month old, I took to strangle hugging cats on farms ( see picture) I had so much love to give and cats were powerless to refuses my advances. Although the image implies death was not too far off for the tabby I like to say it was transfixed by love.

As a three-year old I lived abroad in Canada. Cats went weak at the knee’s when they heard my Aussie accent. Like putty in my hands, I was the mini Aussie cat whisperer. No Canadian cat was safe and I had lots of love, and strangle hugs to give.

My life long love affair with all things felines is a sure thing, just as the sun rises each morning. There is much to written about and I have 30 days ahead to do just that.

I was born purring after all……

 

Why DID the Chicken Cross the Road?

Because I thought August 2017 ended yesterday – 30 days has September, April, June and November ALL the rest have 31….I can now post one final recylced post.
August 2017…the month that. will.not.end.
Be done with you I say!!
But till then, a tale from the Eastern Suburbs, 2015 about the infamous Clovelly Road Chicken and the lesson to be learnt from the bird that dared to walk the roads.

Catch Up With A Mate

Back in 2010, the infamous Clovelly Road chicken crossed the road, and ultimately found itself lost. Silly, silly bird. But fear not, for the Clovelly road chicken was fortunate to met a kind human, who threw poster form, attempted to reunite bird with owner.

Clovelly Road Chicken circa 2010 Clovelly Road Chicken circa 2010

Fast forward to 2015, and I too am crossing the road. Many of them, from East to Inner West. Like the Clovelly Road chicken all those years ago, who threw caution to the wind, flew the coup so to speak…it’s time for change and taking chances.

This chick is packing up her Eastern Suburbs pad and moving on….Whilst unlike the Clovelly Road chicken, I have a destination, in so many ways our decision to cross the street is identical.

In road crossing, we are daring ourselves to seek out a better life. We are no longer content with routine, we are restless…

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