Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Yarrow sings

Last Sunday Yarrow performed in front of a fairly big audience for the Hothouse Music end of year showcase. The big challenge she had to face was that her own singing teacher who was to accompany her, had just left a few days previously. As a result she had to manage with a new pianist, with whom she had never worked before. Due to time pressure, they only got to meet twice for short rehearsals before the show. As a result Yarrow felt uncharacteristically nervous, but I don't think it shows. Great performaceYarrow, very professional! I'm very proud of you!

For a previous post showing Yarrow performing, click here.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Marc's birthday

Today is 9 October and is my much-adored brother Marc's 49th birthday. With only 1 and a half years between us in age, we grew up very close. He was (and is) my playmate, my mentor, my friend, my co-adventurer, my protector, my ally, my sparring partner, my confidante, my consoler in times of great sadness, as well as a sharer of much mirth. In short, he is a fantastic brother and my life is richer because of him.

Marc, I love you very very much. Happy birthday my beloved brother.

Pre and post migration 1964

Erin our lovely house guest has a good way with Apple Mac computers and has been teaching my Mum, Ellen, how to scan and send photos. This morning in my inbox I found some lovely photos my Mum had scanned of our family: one taken just before emigrating to Australia in January 1964; and one taken just after arrival.

I'm the baby wearing white in both photos ... looks like I did a better job of staying clean than I do now (I couldn't get away with wearing white nowadays). Click on the images to enlarge if you like.

I'm looking at these photos and thinking it would have been a HUGE, huge thing for my parents to come all round the world with two small children, in those pre-cyber days when communication and information was sparse. Both my parents are intelligent and resourceful and good communicators, but even so it must have been a massive culture shock. But they coped beautifully.

I like the way the two photos portray a juxtaposition of European neatness and formality versus the Australian informality. Indoor vs outdoor. Black tie / dress vs polka dots and shorts. Styled hair vs curly hair. Smiles vs grins. There certainly was a heap of change taking place in the space of a month.

I'm also looking at these photos and thinking how very good-looking my parents were, and still are :-) 

My brother Marc's stuffed toy dog is called Bengel and he still has it, I believe.

Monday, October 4, 2010

The rain in Spain...

...falls mainly in the Wilson River catchment area?

We've got lovely house guests at present, Erin and David from America. (Erin in her undergraduate days used to come here on holidays with Oceane when Oce was at university; David is her partner). The weather gods have been treating them to an interesting time! 

After days of rain and storms, we had more huge downpours (160 mm fell overnight). The Wilson River rose nearly 8 metres in 48 hours, cutting off many of the valley roads as it broke its banks. This afternoon Tess, Erin and I went and explored the flooded areas and took many photos. We noticed an extraordinary number of insects trying to escape the floodwaters: spiders, crickets, beetles, and worms scrambled onto our legs for safety as we waded through the water (erm, worms can't scramble. They kind of slither... or wriggle ... sliggle ... writhle... whatever). What with them and the many leeches that appeared out of nowhere, it creeped Tess out a little: she's a brave lass but too many bugs are just *too many bugs*!

The downpour damaged our driveway, turning it into a small creek gully, as the masses of water washed our driveway gravel away. This afternooon John and David shoveled what gravel they could back into the wheelbarrow and carted load after load back up the hill to repair our track.

It's been hard keeping up with drying wash: all the available covered areas are now festooned with slowly drying items. In fact there was a load hanging out on the hills hoist for four days, getting 'special extra rinses', until I gave up and brought the dripping lot onto the verandah. Oh well! At least it's clean!