Going Yokel

File 14-07-2015 2 41 01 pmMost people wouldn’t decide to carry around an 8kg instrument (9 if you include the case it’s snuggly nestled inside) of their own volition, unless they are off to an orchestral rehearsal. They definitely wouldn’t opt to lug around something so cumbersome if it was shaped as cumbersomely as a banjo.

But I’m not most people. I decided it was a good idea to haul the banjo down to the park to noodle around with bluegrass picking. Being winter, this probably wasn’t the best idea I’ve ever had, but thankfully the day was bright and warm. So we packed ourselves up; the banjo securely bungee chorded onto its’ granny trolley, me swaddled up in a poofy, green jacket-coat, and bundled away to the park in a little, blue, bug-car.

As I puttered into the idyllic greenery that is Centennial Park, I thought to myself; where would a nice place to set ourselves up in the sun be, preferably with minimal annoying children running around? As I trundled sedately along the park’s unidirectional roadway, the perfect spot presented itself – a little boardwalk jutting into the middle of the main pond, too far away from the ice cream truck for it to be appealing to the parents with children in tow, yet not so far away my arm would drop off dragging the banjo there and back again.

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The Burdens We Carry

Many people find it difficult to understand how clinging to their experiences, emotions, past hurts, and fears hinder their progress to change in ways they want to. Mostly we cling to these things because change is scary. What if we don’t like what we become? What if other people don’t like me? What if something really bad happens to me and I haven’t been preparing for it? What if, what if, what if?

But living this way just leads to stagnation, we miss out on all the experiences happening right now. They fly right by us and we never notice because we are too busy thinking about what our grandmother said to us last Tuesday about the job we haven’t even got yet that we need to earn money to buy the house not yet built.

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Sound Overload

After getting upset about not seeing my man and having a minor melodramatic moment where I exclaimed “We have nothing in common to do together!”, his exacting brain, true to form, took it literally and came up with this brilliant idea – teach me piano. Needless to say I was thrilled. He genuinely was interested. Oh my gosh, we have something to learn together as a couple!

Only one problem with this idea; my partner gets overloaded with sound. So far, I haven’t seen a reaction in the dramatic, classical meltdown range, but stick him in a loud noisy room expectantly, or even just a brief unexpected crash occurring in a familiar environment is enough to turn him temporarily into a stiff statue of hypervigilance. I still have no idea what it is about sound that does it. I know loudness is bad, if only because I am frequently being asked to shush (I am possibly one of the loudest people on the planet). I know any unexpected sounds are a pet peeve. I think discordance is horrible as well based off complaints of certain everyday discordant sounds being horrible. Other than that, not a clue. To my boring normal mind, sound is sound, and as long as it’s not ultra high pitched (seriously, keep those ultrasonic rodent deterrent machines away from me) or nails down a chalk board (discordance! NO!), I’m cool with it.

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Art and Depression

Definitely worth a read.

MURMURS

I have a student in my illustration class that had a rough day recently. In class it was obvious that he was having a hard time coping with something. It was also obvious that it wasn’t something totally to do with the class. This guy is really good, a serious student, excited about art and what the world has to offer, so it was surprising to see him in this state. After speaking with him for just a few minutes I could see his eyes getting wet and he got quieter. But he’d given me enough to go on. He was struggling with not being able to come up with suitable solutions to concepts/problems for some of his various assignments. We talked through it all and I told him that he’d loaded too high of an expectation in himself for a problem/assignment that I saw as a simple continuation or…

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The English and their Tea

Everyone knows that the English are infamous for loving their teas. According to the English people, nothing is unsolvable if one just has a good cup of tea to ponder the situation over. So it really isn’t surprising that Sydney, being one of the first Australian colonies settled by the English, boasts an annual tea festival.

The Sydney Tea Festival blew into town on the fortuitously sunny Sunday of 16 August and contentedly nestled itself at the Carriageworks; the site of the old Eveleigh Rail Yards near the University of Sydney which from 2003 to 2007 was gradually transmogrified into the contemporary, multi-arts centre we all know today. So, being a bit of a tea fanatic and wanting an excuse to get out of house, I dragged a good friend along to check it out.

First impressions were admittedly nothing to do with tea, or the festival, whatsoever. I looked to my friend and asked whether it was just me or whether she too felt like we had just travelled back in time to our old university days where exams were tucked neatly away into the Carriageworks’ repurposed buildings. After agreeing we had travelled back in time and engaging in some cringe-worthy nostalgia, we ploughed into the crowd of fellow tea lovers milling around the tasting stalls. Continue reading

The Art of Selfless Caring

Today’s world is full of busy people busily carrying out their business whilst they busily sticky beak on other peoples’ business and get annoyed with anyone who is too busy to care. The interesting anomaly here is that everyone is so busy being busy keeping up appearances, which are more often than not false representations, that they seem to have forgotten how to truly care and get thrown by anyone who is able to do just that.

I am one of those people who doesn’t bother with the energy sapping exercise of busily trying to make everyone happy. I just show people I care about them, respect them, endeavour to communicate productively to resolve issues and provide support, and basically go above and beyond the call of duty with the expectation that I will be treated in a similar way.

Unfortunately, this no-nonsense, get-what-you-give reciprocal attitude to social relationships is precisely why people get annoyed at me because it demands constant maintenance and effort from each party coupled with honestly and a willingness to understand and accept people for who they are, not what we want them to be.

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Walk it like a Sherpa

Ready to shuffle over the starting line.

Ready to shuffle over the starting line.

There is this thing in Australia known as the City to Surf where people supposedly run from the middle of the Sydney CBD all the way to Bondi Beach (I’m in Sydney but for those Aussies reading from somewhere else just insert your city and beach destination). For those internationals of you who don’t know Sydney, this route is about 14km (check out the route map here: https://d22712ejjhq3e8.cloudfront.net/posts/images/184197/feed/City2Surf-Map-834da4b47244a236c341ff0618ca7056.jpg) and about halfway the elevation just shoots up where the road goes around the fancy ass Vaucluse headland, the steepest section, known as ‘Heartbreak Hill’, having a reputation of evilness for obvious reasons.

Now I’m no runner but I can give anyone willing a decent run for their money in endurance walking. Which is lucky because the plethora of Sydneysiders who come out for the City to Surf contentedly plod their way along the route; only the dedicated Ironmen/Ironwomen types sprint off like bats out of hell. Not to mention the route length is equivalent to someone walking from the University of Sydney down to the Rocks and back again, which is something I basically do every week at least once because I’m a cheapskate and refuse to pay for a bus ride when foot power is free.

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Clothes Makeith the Man (or woman)

It has long befuddled me what is so amusing about a person who takes pride in their dress sense. Especially if that dress sense is slightly eccentric or reflective of fashionable code of a long gone era which embodies upstanding attitudes.

I certainly enjoy dressing up, particularly in winter where I can pull out all my coats, hats and scarves (the only items of clothing I feel I can effortlessly pull off. Mind you, some of these clothes are not exactly in alignment with modern dress standards. My favourite winter outfit, consisting of a tailored gray double breasted waistcoat, black fitted coat, and rabbit fur topper, I would go so far as to say is downright fanciful by current standards. Add to that the wooden coat lapel pin proudly proclaiming “contains traces of nuts” and it’s amazing that I have yet to be lynched by self aggrandising Sydney pedestrians.

Or is it?

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Humans on Sydney Buses

London_Bus_route_55_Buses,_Clapton_Pond

Riding the bus back home from the city today I was reading my book. An older man had got on with me at the city and had been sitting opposite me the entire time.

Eventually, one the bus reached Kensington, he asked me if I was a bookworm. For politeness’s sake I replied, “A little bit.”

“That’s good. Books are important. I wish my daughter was a bookworm.”

“How old is your daughter?”

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Geronimo!

93f12cf9d656ddca2abe855d7cef0ab0-d4qzrkw Welcome all to my blog!

What to expect: A lot of mindless chatter about life, mostly my experiences and opinions cleverly disguised as mindless chatter.

What not to expect: Any kind of logical direction at all. Unless of course that is what I am going for, which is often going to be unlikely.

For now, have this pearl of wisdom I picked up from a very eventful Melbourne tram ride a few years ago. Only a few people know this story, but I think it’s definitely something that needs to be shared with the world.


Yesterday I made a small difference to another. Two roommates were travelling the tram yesterday afternoon and one of them was assuredly drunk. This drunkard was swearing, yelling, getting agitated, making comments about the Nazi’s and Germany and generally scaring the shit out of everyone. His roommate attempted to calm him down to no avail and ended up walking away. The tram driver stopped the tram on two occasions; once to tell the drunk what he was doing was inappropriate, the second time to announce over the loudspeaker that the police had been called as the drunk continued to act as a dangerous public nuisence and the tram would remain stationary until either the police arrived or the man disembarked. The man left the tram and proceeded down the tracks yelling profanities., the second time to announce over the loudspeaker that the police had been called as the drunk continued to act as a dangerous public nuisence and the tram would remain stationary until either the police arrived or the man disembarked. The man left the tram and proceeded down the tracks yelling profanities.

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