Tag Archives: The Voice

Weekend Coffee Share – 22nd August, 2021.

Welcome to Another Weekend Coffee Share!

Before I ask you how your week was, and if anything, indeed, anything at all has transpired in your neck of the woods, let me offer you a drink.

If you’re in lockdown here in NSW, you might be wanting a stiff drink, although it could be worse. Covid could be spreading like wildfire unabated. We had 830 cases overnight and three deaths. Parts of Sydney have now gone into an extreme lockdown and a nightly curfew from 9.00pm to 5.00am I believe. Meanwhile, we live on the NSW Central Coast which was classified as part of Greater Sydney, but we lobbied the State government to be reclassified “regional”. That was passed, and so we’ll be left out of future Sydney lockdowns unless our own incidence warrants it. That’s a relief, I think.

Meanwhile, over the last couple of months, frictions have been mounting in the community. There’s the vaxers versus anti-vaxers, different attitudes to wearing masks and as the incidence of covid in Sydney has shot up and Police surveillance has increased, heated discussions about protecting civil liberties have also eschewed. Again these tensions climaxed on the weekend with large, sometimes violent, protests in Sydney, Melbourne and the Gold Coast and it just makes me wonder what on earth these people are thinking and what gives them the right to keep the rest of us locked down longer?

My personal view is that too many people take breathing for granted. As someone who has crook lungs and lives with dodgy breathing all the time and has experienced crisis point, being able to breathe is something to take seriously. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not important. Indeed, most of us think that not being able to walk is one of the worst things that can happen to you. However, not being able to breathe is fatal. I’m not prepared to play Russian Rouette with my own life let alone the lives of those I care about. My 15 year old daughter sums things up well: “Why can’t they just stay home for a month so we can get out of this?” Short term pain, for long term gain. Sounds logical to me. However, we’re still hearing about parties being held. Party is now a euphemism for “super-spreader event”. Well, at least, it is for the parties that make the news.

Meanwhile, I’ve been sinking into a deep state of hibernation. I’ve always been a bit of a pyjama princess. However, now after wearing PJs for a few months, and then putting on real clothes, they feel so scratchy on my skin. Unpleasant. I bought a really soft pair of cloud pyjamas from PJ Guru Peter Alexander, and they’ve been so soft. However, they’ve probably had the equivalent of 10years wear during lockdown and are wearing out. Never fear. I’ve ordered a replacement.

Anyway, as I said, I’ve been in a state of hibernation. I wasn’t feeling 100%, and didn’t get out for a walk for a few days. Then, I felt a bit wonky on my feet, and decided to wait until Geoff was free. On Saturday, we drove over to Pearl Beach and went for a walk around the rocks and peering into the rockpools for signs of life. It was rather liberating to get out. You know how it is once you finally fight off the inertia and get out there and you feel like you’re soaring on eagle’s wings, and wonder what took you so long to get out there. I blame the politicians. They keep telling me to stay home. I know they didn’t tell me to eat chocolate, and they do allow us out for exercise. However, the predominant message is to stay home, and I have.

So, after going out for our walk yesterday, Geoff and I went out kayaking today. I know that sounds incredibly sporty, especially for someone with disability issues. Well, I can assure you that I’m no Jessica Fox (Australian gold medal Olympian kayaker). I’m slow and I don’t have a lot of stamina, but we did manage to move and had in some ways a rather indulgent time out there on the water together. It was pure bliss. You can read more about it here: https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2021/08/23/kayaking-in-lockdown-a-new-beginning/

Having a pair of kayak’s on top of the car makes us look so adventurous and such a different interpretation of myself compared to writing in my chair at home.

Meanwhile, we’ve been watching The Voice on TV. This year, the judges are Guy Sebastian, Jessica Mauboy, Rita Ora and Keith Urban. I always love watching the show hearing the music and the backstories of both the performers and judges. It’s all about people to me, and being an extrovert I need people more than ever. I see the judges smiling and chatting away on the TV and all sense of perspective just evaporates and they’re right here in the loungeroom with us and not a thousand miles away. I don’t know where it was being filmed but they’re hugging, breathing on each other without a concern in the world. So, it can’t be Sydney right here right now, which we all know anyway as these things are always filmed in advance.

By the way, here’s a real treat from The Voice, where Guy Sebastian performs Climb Every Mountain with contestant Julee-Ann who is legally blind and had to ask if anyone had turned a chair after an absolutely stellar performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKfOlZtNlxI

Also, Seann Miley Moore sings The Prayer by Andrea Bocelli & Celine Dion- The Voice https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ki_r85XrxnE

Anyway, throughout much of the last week, dog Zac has been sprawled across my lap like a rug. He’s so beautiful and almost fused to my soul.

This is another contribution to the Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Natalie the Explorer https://natalietheexplorer.home.blog/

Best wishes,

Rowena

I Want to Swing from the Chandelier!

While I’ve never seen myself as a music industry guru or supporter, today I’m going to don my Stetson hat and walk in Molly Meldrum’s shoes for a bit and introduce you to some new Australian talent.

Ian “Molly” Meldrum

Molly Meldrum is the Australian music industry legend who used to host Countdown. Molly introduced millions of teenagers to the likes of ABBA and Madonna and I’m not sure who else because I wasn’t really into listening to music growing up and only ever had a couple of records and tapes, which wouldn’t even amount to a handful.

countdown

Although Molly was loved and respected for hosting countdown, there was always that big question mark about what was underneath his hat. He never took it off, the same way KISS never appeared without their trademark face paint. Although we all assumed that he was as bald as a badger, the fact that he never appeared without his hat, just fueled the intrigued and added to the legend.

Just like Molly had his trademark hat, Molly also had his “Mollyisms”.

If Molly really liked a performer, he’d tell you to “do yourself a favour” and go and buy their album…as it was back in the day.

Well, I’m now going to suggest you do yourself a favour and go and check out some of the young, up and coming performers in your local area, instead of waiting for them to suddenly burst onto the music scene once they’re finally famous. “It’s a long way to the top, when you want to rock n’ roll” and even longer if you’re into the classics.All these young people need avid fans to pave the way for future success.

That means the likes of us.

Moreover, you’ll also be doing yourself a huge favour. Instead of having to pay through the nose for tickets and fight your way into the big entertainment venues, you’ll be up front and personal and even breathe in the same air. I sometimes hope this will somehow inflate me with talent but it hasn’t happened yet!!

We actually had front row seats and could almost reach out and touch the stage. That was a real treat!.

Last week, we attended a local music event, Showcase, which was held at Gosford’s Laycock Street Theatre. Showcase features the best talent from our local Public High Schools and Primary schools and our daughter was performing with the school choir for the second time.

While you might think that Showcase is some mums and dads concert which truly has to be endured, it was actually a spectacular production and a number of the acts deeply moved me for a variety of reasons. They were not only incredibly good but the performers somehow grabbed your emotions, twisted your heart and miraculously conveyed a part of you that you knew was there but you could never quite find the words to express. For some reason, the door, the pathway was always blocked, jammed. Wouldn’t open.

I know this sounds odd for such an expressive writer, poet, photographer but these are the perhaps those really scary, grab you by the throat in the dark emotions and most of the time, we’re too busy trying to swing from the chandelier to acknowledge they exist. We want to shut them down and yet when they finally come out there’s such relief!

There were two performances which really gripped me.

Firstly, there was Lilia Jackson who performed Sia’s Chandelier.

I have listened to Sia’s Chandelier countless times on the radio and yes, it has resonated with me before but nothing like hearing it performed by Lilia, who sang like an angel while accompanying herself on the grand piano.She was incredible!

Here’s a link to Lilia’s performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsAuchqUDc8

There is was sitting on my seat getting swept away by her angelic voice and the crystal tones of the piano when all of a sudden, I found myself moved to a place of incredible angst where I was back in Royal North Shore Hospital at the time of my medical diagnosis and the pain seared through my heart like a knife. It was the middle of the night and I was so alone caught in the intense darkness without a glimmer of light. I was so angry about my diagnosis and that I could die and leave my children without their Mum that I wanted to die. The pain was so incredibly intense. A pain I usually can’t even come close to touching, writing about, nothing. The best I can do is somehow twist those emotions around with a dark sort of humour. Anyway, I’ve moved on. I am swinging from the chandeliers almost each and everyday now because I know that abyss and I’m not going back.

I’m gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier
I’m gonna live like tomorrow doesn’t exist
Like it doesn’t exist
I’m gonna fly like a bird through the night, feel my tears as they dry
I’m gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier

But I’m holding on for dear life, won’t look down won’t open my eyes
Keep my glass full until morning light, ’cause I’m just holding on for tonight
Help me, I’m holding on for dear life, won’t look down won’t open my eyes
Keep my glass full until morning light, ’cause I’m just holding on for tonight
On for tonight

Another performance which really gripped me, was Erica-Lee’s rendition of Crazy. Being different is something I understand too well…sometimes from a sense of rejection but also from a point of pride. After all, who wants to be a clone, a carbon-copy of some misplaced ideal? I know that anyone who photographs bride dolls in a cemetery has to be a bit crazy but that’s also how creativity takes flight. So, you know I don’t even need to ask that question. I’d much rather be creative than normal and I’m grateful that after spending years working through this, that I can finally accept myself as I am.

While these two song choices really resonated with me, I was also delighted to hear Joseph Arrua: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3vUo5uSOjs As I listened to Joseph perform, I wondered where that big, deep voice came from. It was incredible. I’ve been friends with Joseph’s Mum for many years but only heard him perform a few years ago and it’s a special thing to see a young person’s talent start taking flight!

My daughter singing with the school choir.

My daughter singing with the school choir.

Of course, I was as proud as punch to see my daughter performing in the school choir. She has been battling vocal nodules and having voice therapy yet she loves singing. Her perseverance is a real credit to her…and to me. I’m having to drive her to her appointments and put up with the moods. Understandibly, she’s not a happy camper.