Tuesday, June 05, 2018

"Rush of Blood to the Head" Coldplay #albumoftheweek



   I'm following up the Facebook challenge (sharing ten albums that made an impact on me and still get a listen) with an album of the week. It's one I choose as a feature for the week's listening!!
   Last week was "Ceremonials" Florence and the Machine and this week it's "Rush of Blood to the Head" Coldplay. Stunning album (they're rock but not) and the instruments and Chris Martin's equal parts annoying and inspiring singing are polished on this follow up to "Parachutes."

Tracklist:
1. "Politik"
2. "In My Place"
3. "God Put a Smile upon Your Face"
4. "The Scientist"
5. "Clocks"
6. "Daylight"
7. "Green Eyes"
8. "Warning Sign"
9. "A Whisper"
10. "A Rush of Blood to the Head"
11. "Amsterdam"

And the first five tracks stand out as classic tunes, just great listening in the car or on a lazy day!!

 

Friday, May 11, 2018

"1984" Midnight Oil



Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant!!!
Old 16mm footage, current day interviews, the NDP and the sense of the time with nuclear threat feeling very real. As one punter has put it, this was our Oils, the relentless tour for "Red Sails in the Sunset" just before the world embraced them in 1986/7.

It's exactly the time my mates made me listen to the Oils and I was hooked!!! So that album and 10 to 1 were on high rotation everywhere I went and especially in the Unit at Islington. The docs threads different concerts together with seamless versions of the songs and the result is a sublime cinema viewing!! I will pre-oredr my DVD from Madman Film but if you get the chance, see the film this weekend at the movies!!!

Spoiler Alert....

Michael Lippold, former stage manager, is a huge hit with his 1980's denim shorts, insights and sheer enthusiasm! Jim Moginie's description of what it was like to be in the band was spine tingling...
Finishing with 1986 and Ray Argall's footage for "Beds are Burning" points to the worldwide take off and invites 'what could have been' if Peter had been elected to the Senate back then...


Friday, May 04, 2018

Movies to Look Forward To...


So many movies, so little time...

Avengers Infinity Wars, yeah it's OK
Breath, one book I couldn't put down
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Last Flag Flying (might wait for digital)
Gurrumul

Deadpool 2
Solo: A Star Wars Story, really looking forward to Ron Howard's rescue mission
Oceans 8
Jurassic World
Ant Man and the Wasp
Mission Impossible, in there somewhere

The only good thing about winter is northern hemisphere movie season from Canne through to summer!!

Journal Reflections Appendix One: Wisdom in 25 Reflective Quiz Questions

"Grounded Questions" Mark Strom
25 statements to prompt reflection, conversation and change
You might like to work them through individually and as a team:
How true is each statement?

rarely... too little... somewhat... fairly often... almost always
  1. You seek counsel from people who are wise more than from those you want to impress.
  2. You search for insight more than for the latest hot tip.
  3. You discern when to lead and when to follow.
  4. You discern language by which colleagues rob themselves of power and dignity.
  5. You foster language that strengthens and dignifies colleagues.
  6. You sustain reasonable hope in the face of unreasonable despair.
  7. You discern when management processes impede creativity and relationship.
  8. You present ideas using strong questions, engaging stories, and real dialogue.
  9. You reanimate flagging conversations and projects with clear, strong questions.
  10. You keep the core conversations vibrant, coherent and outward-focused.
  11. You sustain commitment to people when the core conversation breaks down.
  12. You honour the stories that have shaped your team and organisation.
  13. You approach vision and strategy with clear, strong questions.
  14. You frame vision in terms of a richly imagined and grounded story.
  15. You frame strategy in terms of a compelling argument for that story.
  16. You influence for good via informal but intentional networks.
  17. You break cynicism with acts of dignity and kindness.
  18. You create space for others to shine.
  19. You give credit where credit is due.
  20. You foster design thinking by encouraging brilliance.
  21. You seek the ‘brilliance in the room’ before ‘best practice elsewhere’.
  22. You treat people with dignity and kindness no matter their position or context.
  23. You sustain integrity and will in the face of unjust opposition and passive aggression.
  24. You value character and depth over personality and cleverness.
  25. You name and face your own need to change.

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Journal Reflections April 2018 "Leadership"

Reflections on leadership in recent days (that explore 30 years I guess) that could be more than one chapter in "It's Not Rocket Science" as I've walked, holidayed, collaborated, prioritised and prepared. They don't relate to any (1) situation, don't all reflect how I'm feeling today (but some of them do):
- Recently I was thinking "it must be wonderful to go through life seemingly without reflecting on the impact of your words and actions on others, the nature of community or relationships." What you think, know and believe are clearly most important, it's not even a question. Sadly, even giving a second thought as to what others are saying or feeling can be a costly exercise...
- "What other people think of you is none of your business"
Having once read that and had it explored many years ago listening to a particular workshop leader I have often reflected on how I feel about that or whether it's right in essence. In context it's trying to say, if you're focused on doing and being your best, offering what insight you have, the relationship you're able to bring etc then how that's perceived or received is up to 'the other.' I often stop from saying something or give a glimpse of me or my thought, knowing there's more to what I'm saying, more to be said, more to be done, openness to continue the conversation... But if that doesn't happen, is that an accurate reflection of me or of what's going on, in my own head and heart, let alone in the given relationship or situation. Suppose you say about half of what could be said in a situation... what does it mean if the 'other' goes away thinking less of you because the rest is not said OR for example if it's a value you're holding to without articulating that... is it 'enough' that this is the case without others necessarily being aware of that. What is 'lack of confidence', what is 'keeping confidence' what is being circumspect and how many times can you get annoyed you knew exactly what you wanted to say just after the moment to say it felt genuinely to have passed... This is particularly poignant when you are working at being more assertive without necessarily feeling any more capable of having the right insight (feeling out on a limb). I think what other people think of me is my business, I just can't write the narrative, I can only be as honest, transparent and humble as possible and if they don't 'get it' then that IS their business (or something like that)...
- Leading by seeking to share "power with" is harder
- Making space for the leadership of others doesn't always work out and mostly that's not your fault
- Explosive gestures backed up by avoidance (of the issues and the lack, because to correct it wouldn't fit the narrative) show immaturity masquerading as vulnerability. This makes it hard to appropriately care for the vulnerability.
- In difficult communications it is true there's content and process. An issue that's hard to resolve because of different perspectives soon isn't about the issue/s but about trust (an elusive idea to some), listening, being heard and working through that... it's hard when you believe few can see it... it's harder when people trash the process out of frustration and it looks like the content caused it. Making wise decisions includes dealing with the process as well as the content. Everyone has a role and responsibility in that... you can only do your part!!
- Interestingly though, the hard work starts when you're part is to know that how you/others respond or the questions you ask and invitations you offer, make a difference. e.g. When someone offers an idea do you 'shut it down' or ask clarifying questions... do you simply state your different view or are you able to hold a few ideas together until decision time when you can help sift?
- Enjoy the times when the problems you're helping solve were caused by someone else
- Learning to ask 'grounded questions' (like this advocated by Mark Strom) can transform many planning or evaluative discussions. “A grounded question makes us reach behind abstract explanations into lived experience. Abstract questions only need bullet points. Grounded questions take us to stories”
- Ethics have never been more important
- Whose model are you following and how can you articulate that are important
- Listen (for a change)

Postscript:
For me leadership is about relationships and 'gifts'. It's striving to use your gifts and to develop other skills and work on the other side to your natural style. It's hard work!! It does mean more focus on people and processes than content so that needs to be intentionally addressed but not at the expense of what you 'bring.' It's not only in counselling and social work that people want to be known, not to just be problems to be sorted. In my vocation it's about modelling/following/imitating the ethos and values of Jesus, his life's story, teaching and example... more values we'd like to be known by, less corporate business planning we'd ike to co-opt!!


"You Will Become" Glen Hansard


Glen Hansard's music is always (since hearing him play at Greenbelt 2008) audibly brilliant but I love this slightly brittle yet determined song... I was striding along to it yesterday on my walk around Lambton Park.

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

"Inspiracy" 2018 Social Justice Film Competition


A film competition for 12-20 year olds passionate about social justice issues and keen to participate in this way as part of "Inspiracy" 2018!!

More details of how the comp works here!!

Friday, March 30, 2018

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Midnight Oil 1984, so this is a thing...


Crossed you out of my diary sorry...

Limited cinemas release from May 10th...

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

"Best of Both Worlds" Midnight Oil



A conversation today about my email sign offs reminded me not only of this timeless song but this great clip from a fundraiser gig.... love how the crowd can't help but get up and how good this clip is on limited PA via a phone!!! "Self explanatory" indeed...

"Best Of Both Worlds"
You say times are tough
We've got the best of both worlds here
Things are rough
We've got the best of both worlds here
Times are tough
We've got the best of both worlds

The real world is not as calm as it appears to be from here
The old world is not as safe with the new world closing in
The great south land can be as great as the one it could have been
The one it could have been

The real world is not as calm as it appears to be from here
The small world is not as strong and the testing ground is near
The old world is not as strong as the one we could have seen
The great south land can be as great as the one it could have been
The one it could have been

We've got the best of both worlds

Hirst/Moginie

Thursday, February 22, 2018

"Armistice Day"/"Read About It" 11.11.17



The Oils nail the Opening to their Armistice Day gig in Sydney!!!
Still can't believe how ago they were in the Hunter and at the Domain... Oooooiiiiiiillllsss!!
Hat Tip: Stephanie Morgan

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

"Sometimes" Midnight Oil



My theme song for this month!!

Top 5 of my favourite Midnight Oil songs and this compilation clip shows lots of different settings, eras and energies! This is for those feeling flat, disappointed, looking for resilience or space to build up their energy again!!! Many times I've stood amongst people shouting the lyrics with Peter and you get that sense of people's strength, defiance and hope!!

Saturday, February 03, 2018

TV Ads set for Super Bowl LII

   As much a part of the hoopla as the game itself (and the 'Pepsi' Half Time Show) are the incredibly expensive (and therefore carefully created) TV ads for Super Bowl LII in Minnesota... seemingly now all leaked or pre promoted before "The Big Dance"*

*Editors rant:
You can 'just' get away with referring to the American Football NFL Championship Game as "The Big Dance" but certainly not the AFL GF or your local area Rugby Union GF. The metaphor is most often sourced to an NCAA Basketball Finals Series where it was first 'coined' and is co-opted by NFL commentators BUT it's not for other sports and certainly not necessary in Aussie sport...
Grand Final, GF, the Big One or the Decider will do thanks...

Take a look...












And just to see how scarily good Coke are at advertising carbonated sugar, flavours and chemicals...


And one for fans of NFL


Social Justice


And more here at Rolling Stone magazine website




Friday, January 26, 2018

Tears and Thoughts on 26th January 2018

   Today I acknowledge the Awabakal people and the people of the many nations and the intricate culture/s and family systems that make up our indigenous people in Australia. I pay my respects to their Elders past, present and being formed for the future. Their 'songlines', stories and gentle spirit could be the making of this country one day.
   I'll celebrate today with a pie, a lamington (and I'll overdo it with a Hoadley's Violet Crumble) and have some small tender lamb steaks for the bbq tonight with the coleslaw... Aussie as...
   As I have twice this week I will almost shed a tear for the disregard of the many over the choice of this date and it's reinforcement in my lifetime of shifting from the nearest Monday to the actual day each year. There is no peace without justice!!
   I'm with Senator Penny Wong, "when we are at our best, we the country other countries in the world want to be"!! One example is the hosting of the Sydney Olympics in 2000. It's no accident that event did the work to listen, to include and to pay respect to our indigenous history. It allowed the representation to not be token or 'captured' without relationship.
   My other highlight this week came from Jim Courier's second invitation to Chung Hyeon at the tennis, to speak to fans in his first language and this was embraced by all present. This is the country we could be and sometimes are...
   Here's my obvious choice of song for today, "The Dead Heart" Midnight Oil with a bonus video from "The Making of Midnight Oil" Curators Workshop with Ross Heathcote and Rob Hirst et al. Rob explains the genius of their songwriting approach in coming up with this track. Hat Tip Jim Moginie for the end result!! Midnight Oil speaking truth to power and garnering support for the voiceless... We have choices that could be life giving if we listened instead of being offended...

Next I'm watching "Songlines" on NITV from 11.10am...

Here it is live from the MCG Bushfire Relief Concert in 2009!!



And the bonus story clip...

Thursday, January 25, 2018

My Australia Day Hottest 100

Making up a Hottest 100 List seems to be a bit controversial this year (rightly so)!!
Apparently you can just make this stuff up no matter your expertise, politics or whatever!!
As it happens I would support a holiday celebration on the last Monday in January. Kind of what it used to be but after it used to be June or July. A unifying day chosen for it's purpose, not it's historical connections. This would allow maximum chance for everyone to celebrate and yet be close enough for those choosing to focus on lament, without the pain being exacerbated. One day we will listen and respond
I have already shared my seven songs leading up to but not including the 26th...

BUT to remove contention I have sorted my Hottest 100 autobiographically!!!



1. "April Sun in Cuba" Dragon
2. “Are You Old Enough” Dragon
3. "Great Southern Land" Icehouse
4. “Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again” The Angels
5. “Hey St Peter” Flash n the Pan
6. "Heaven (Must Be There)" The Eurogliders
7. “I Need You” Avion
8. "Khe San" Cold Chisel
9. "Flame Trees" Cold Chisel
10. "Throw Your Arms Around Me" Hunters & Collectors
11. "A Thousand Miles" Hood Gurus
12. "Need You Tonight" INXS
13. "Street of Love" Jenny Morris
14. "Solid Rock" Goanna
15. "Pleasure and Pain" The Divinyls
16. “Saturday Night Fever” The Bee Gees
17. “Run to Paradise” Choirboys
18. "It's a Long Way to the Top" AC/DC
19. "Reckless" Australian Crawl
20. "My Island Home" Neil Murray
21. "Never Tear Us Apart" INXS
22. "The Day You Went Away" Wendy Matthews
23. "Don't Tear It Down" Spy v Spy
24. “The Hard Times” Spy v Spy
25. “It’s Only the Beginning” Debra Conway
26. “Weather With You” Crowded House
27. "Power and the Passion" Midnight Oil
28. “Read About It” Us Forces
29. “US Forces” Midnight Oil
30. “Beds are Burning" Midnight Oil
31. "The Dead Heart" Midnight Oil
32. “Blue Sky Mine” Midnight Oil
33. “Forgotten Years” Midnight Oil
34. "From Little Things Big Things Grow" Kev Carmody/Paul Kelly
35. "Took the Children Away" Archie Roach
36. "Black Fella/White Fella" Warumpi Band
37. "Treaty" Yothu Yindi
38. “Dots on the Shells” Yothu Yindi
39. "To Her Door" Paul Kelly
40. "I Make Hamburgers" The Whitlams
41. “Salt” David Bridie
42. “Better” The Screaming Jets
43. “Accidentally Kelly St” Frente
44. “Raise the Alarm” The Living End
45. “Harpoon” Jebediah
46. “Cardigan” Eskimo Joe
47. “Wedding Cake Island” Midnight Oil
48. “Black Fingernails, Red Wine” Eskimo Joe
49. “One Country” Midnight Oil
50. “Scar” Missy Higgins
51. “Sometimes” Alex Lloyd
52. “Tomorrow” Silverchair
53. "Across the Night" Silverchair
54. “One Crowded Hour” Augie March
55. “Love Me Like the World is Ending” Ben Lee
56. "These Days" Powderfinger
57. "The Sound of White" Missy Higgins
58. “I Know What You Need” Shane Nicholson
59. “Don't You Think It’s Time” Bob Evans
60. “Long Ride” The Audreys
61. “Special Two” Missy Higgins
62. “Tell These Hands” Sara Storer
63. “Am I Not Pretty Enough” Kasey Chambers
64. “Minute by Minute” Grinspoon
65. “Private Universe” Crowded House
66. “Lost and Running” Powderfinger
67. “Burn Your Name” Powderfinger
68. “Wash Me Clean” Bernard Fanning
69. “Sometimes” Midnight Oil
70. “Oceans” John Butler Trio
71. "Best of Both Worlds" Midnight Oil
72. “Redneck Wonderland” Midnight Oil
73. “Cannot Buy My Soul” Kev Carmody
74. “The Thing About Grief Is” Claire Bowditch
75. “Caught in the Crowd” Kate Miller-Heidke
76. “Is God Real?” Kasey Chambers
77. “Zebra” John Butler Trio
78. “Rain” Jen Cloher
79. “Beautiful Secrets” Sarah Blasko
80. “The World is a Picture” Josh Pyke
81. “Light All My Lights” Seeker Lover Keeper
82. “From Little Things Big Things Grow” The Waifs
83. “Riptide” Vance Joy
84. “A Number of Us” Tim Hart
85. “Hope” Jack Carty
86. “All Around the World” Jim Moginie
87. “Meet Me in the Middle of the Air” Paul Kelly et al
88. “The Ship Song Project” Paul Kelly and others
89. “Departures (Blue Toowong Skies)” Bernard Fanning
90. “I Was Born Blind” Gurrumul
91. “Laterns” Birds of Tokyo
92. “Truth Walks Slowly (In the Countryside)” O’Shea
93. “How to Make Gravy” Paul Kelly
94. “White Wine in the Sun” Tim Minchin
95. “Kosciusko” Midnight Oil
96. "Calm & Crystal Clear" Neil Murray
97. “Your Own History” Jim Moginie
98. "Kingdom" Dan Sultan
99. “The Wonder” Alex Lloyd
100. “Dreamworld” Midnight Oil








Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Australia Day Seven Day Music Celebration #07



"Kingdom" Dan Sultan from his album "Killer"
   Lament and hope, a brilliantly prophetic song from Dan Sultan with power in his voice, band and performance way beyond the individual parts. This clip resonates with me even because of the venue... a country show ground hall or it's like, venue for many an Easter!! The song speaks of a day when all the voices will be heard, when there is not only peace but justice... To some it'll be shrill annoyance yet to others no doubt tears of hope...

Monday, January 22, 2018

Australia Day Seven Day Music Celebration #06



"Calm and Crystal Clear" Missy Higgins covers Neil Murray
Acoustic clip sorry, but just listen to this stunning version of an absolute classic!!!
A song about looking at the world through your story and that of those you know...

This showcases Neil Murray's sharp lyrics and Missy Higgins versatile voice...

Australia Day Seven Day Music Celebration #05



   From the arguably richest era of Australian rock music, today we have "Take a Long Line" by the Angels, at the peak of their powers!! They were part of an era with AC/DC and bands like Rose Tattoo, Kevin Borich, Dragon, the Oils, SpyvSpy and many more BUT this song and the other 2-3 around it, are just wonderful examples of the outdoor festival stage vibe that was so popular back then... the late Doc Neeson and the Brewsters could have been as big as AC/DC, yes?

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Australia Day Seven Day Music Celebration #04



"From Little Things Big Things Grow" Paul Kelly/Kev Carmody (this time with John Butler)
   It's the story of Vincent Lingiari and the other indigenous farm workers who went on strike with a land claim and a plea for fair wages. I love the quote from Vincent that "we know how to wait" which was apt as it took years to resolve, once taken seriously!!
   These are Australia's storytellers at their very best! The image of Gough Whitlam pouring sand into Lingiari's hand at the hand over ceremony is a stunning photo capturing a remarkable moment in Australian history. A story of 'speaking truth to power' and what can happen when we listen, empathise and act for the coming good...



Saturday, January 20, 2018

Australia Day Seven Day Music Celebration #03



"The Dead Heart" Midnight Oil
   A special version (albeit via mobile phone and hat tip to the powder worker responsible) at Sydney's Domain on Saturday 11/11/17 closing in on the end of The Great Circle Tour 2017!!
It features the amazing Charlie McMahon on "didge."
His didgeridoo is a tune-able two piece PVC pipe with slider. It's mic'd up and played by a terrific bloke (with his one metal prosthetic hand). Charlie features on the Black Fella/White Fella Tour, MTV Unplugged and Tours around that time etc...
   The song puts into words the story the band heard as they travelled the outback in 1986 ahead of recording the album "Diesel and Dust" with it's campfire sing-a-long acoustic rock and the kind of 'space' in the music you'd learn out there... The message is simple, and it's only confronting because it's honest, listen...
 
My highlights of 'The Making fo Midnight Oil' Museum Exhibit included:
- Red dust and camping utensils from the trip
- Handwritten song lyrics on notepad paper
- Charlie's 4WD number plates (all that's left)
- Rob Hirst' water tank on the roadside in the Top End, brought back via Charlie's truck

Had the chance to say g'day to him at the Domain after his participation when he was trying to meet up with his lift home, just in front of the merch tent...







Friday, January 19, 2018

Australia Day Seven Day Music Celebration #02


   Double treat today with Neil Murray's "Black Fella/White Fella" most famously with the Warumpi Band and the co-tour with Midnight Oil AND then his song "Native Born." Rachel Taylor harmonies here as well!! You can hear how top end music influenced the Oils and how a song collaboration with Neil would sound. Known by ordinary fans and punters everywhere Neil Murray is a hidden Australian Living Treasure!!

"Australia, where are your caretakers gone?"

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Australia Day Seven Day Music Celebration #01

"My Island Home' Warumpi Band (Neil Murray)

Plenty has been and will be written and said about Australia Day in the coming week!! 
   Then too many (strong opinions included) will forget about it for another year. What started this time around with Triple J's timely decision to shift it's Hottest 100 has been a stronger (but no more helpful) debate on social media. 
   A mature country, with a history like ours, should be able have a sensible debate about something so important. Some indigenous people even see value in January 26th ability to provoke hard conversations. Unfortunately too many people are full of opinion and short on listening, especially to the most effected and vulnerable on the issue. Fear of some imagined challenges to freedoms or way of life seem to make lots of people completely irate when it come to questions of national identity and what's worth celebrating...
   There's a growing group of people who seem to share any number of 'love it or leave it' or anti muslim or anti asylum seeker posts alongside all sorts of random claims about threats to "the Aussie way of life." These seem to feed off themselves and have little or no basis in reality. Fear is a powerful distorter of truth. Just because someone takes a photo of a lamb chop and photoshops it over an Aussie flag, claiming these simple symbols are under threat, doesn't mean they actually are...
   Don't get me started about people claiming to be 'Christian' with little or no evidence of how those values shape, impact, digress from or enhance nationalism or patriotic fervour.

Some of what I celebrate about Australia:
- Our wonderful climate, freedoms, relative peace and ideals about equality and 'a fair go'
- Creativity, education, positivity, holidays, music and the arts
- Aboriginal story, culture, community, music and art
- Attitude to pretention, abuse of power and bad politics
- Opportunities
- Sport

Some of what I grieve:
- The scar on our soul that is our failure to fully embrace aboriginal history and culture 
- Cruelty to refugees and asylum seekers dressed up as 'stop the boats' when it hasn't anyway
- The growing gap between rich and poor
- The pain evident in society

   I'm a bit like those artists/bands who have and will continue to play at indigenous concerts and at Darling Harbour or Sydney's Domain all on the one day... Awabakal beginning to the day then BBQ or a pie and laminations for lunch but listening to Yothu Yindi, Dr Yunupingu, or the Warumpi Band and the Oils etc in the afternoon... glad not to be tuning in to the Hottest countdown!!

For what it's worth, what I have learnt in my limited but wonderful engagement with indigenous 'brothers and sisters', their stories and thoughts, is that 26th January is not an appropriate day for Australia Day. I would prefer it to be the last Monday in January, whatever that date was (or to wait until we choose to be a Republic and set that to start at the end of January). Same time of year, celebrated how it sometimes has been over the years... better than the jingoistic May 8 (better weather too!!) more rich than Federation or July and less conflicted than ANZAC Day or another dual celebration. Recognition or Treaty are two other markers...
   To change it is to live out the values of the Beatitudes, to not extinguish a flame or break a bent reed, to work for the common good, to value community and shared story over national constructs...
   It would value story over hype and would recognise 'it wasn't always thus.' Anyhow we haven't really done very well discussing it since 1938, so one wonders what the catalyst will be... 
I suspect it'll take more than a survey claiming most people wouldn't mind the change...

What I plan to do also is to celebrate seven days of music connected with Australia and this is Day #01 with the Warumpi Band...


   




   

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Vale Dolores O'Riordan "Ordinary Day"



   This is from Dolores solo album work and the song "Ordinary Day" is the one I heard on radio to put me on to this record. Such a wonderful voice and crafting of songs and such energy fronting her band "The Cranberries"... 46 year olds I've never met die every day, some of them were no doubt reportedly ill within the last 12 months and some of them have talents that become known and shared worldwide and make an impact on our lives and so here's one such person I've heard about again today!! That gives me pause for thought, to be thankful for the gift of songs that examine life and expand my own reflections and for the influence of Irish culture, sound and world view. Dolores O'Riordan had a powerful lilting voice and she used it so beautifully...

Ordinary Day
This is just an ordinary day
Wipe the insecurities away
I can see that the darkness will erode
Looking out the corner of my eye
I can see that the sunshine will explode
Far across the desert in the sky
Beautiful girl
Won't you be my inspiration?
Beautiful girl
Don't you throw your love around
What in the world, what in the world
Could ever come between us?
Beautiful girl, beautiful girl
I'll never let you down
Won't let you down
This is the beginning of your day
Life is more intricate than it seems
Always be yourself along the way
Living through…

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Second Annual "Deadpool" win since it's inception...

I won and return to one list for 2018, stay tuned I guess!!

Here's the main part of my email to the competitors...

"I hesitate to call it an ‘honour’ to back up and win a second time!!
For something that started out of boredom at the SCG this ‘competition’ certainly has longevity (like Jaques Kallis’ innings on that day)
While it could be seen as quite ghoulish there’s a place in our lives sometimes for a touch of black humour or an ability to laugh and relieve the tension in otherwise stressful situations…
That said is it a worry that occasionally I’m less concerned at the death of a world famous celebrity than the fact they weren’t on my list?

... Advice, one word, “research”… I’ll share my googling tips in conversation but it also helps to be a pop culture critic/writer and to sign up for a celebrity demise email to ensure you don’t miss any significant departure!!! I also took Greg’s challenge up when we adjusted the Pool to include points for under 100 and my list always features a few speculative or at least younger guesses, just in case!! So don’t worry, I take it way too seriously for about a week each year...

2018 entry almost prepared, I’ll see some of you Day Two!!!

Lastly, I do intend to donate the proceeds to charity… either the McGrath Foundation or possibly "Love Your Sister” as Connie Johnson is one big reason for 178 points all up...

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Advent B&W Photo Reflection 24th December 2017


Made it!!
   This has been a terrific discipline for Advent!! Not to 'add a task' to my list BUT to do something that steps aside from the list. As sure as "Christmas Vacation" will be a movie on TV tomorrow night, this time of year is busy. It's been good to 'prepare' for Christmas by noticing the southern hemisphere world around me!! BUT today's photo reflects more on the 'stepping aside' than the hemisphere. This is a photo from September in Times Square NYC!! This young women first sat next to me in Times Square absolutely brimming with people, thousands and thousands, on a busy Saturday night. She was a doppelgänger for Lena Dunham, I suspect a look she was aiming for in some small way.
   As soon as a gap opened up on the stone bench opposite she swooped and pulled out a sketch book and black fineliners and began sketching the lights and crowd with the view towards the jumbotron and the advertising hoardings... they were pretty good sketches. I left 45mins later (after the clearly mentally ill evangelist all dressed in red and the ring and marriage proposal we all got to see on the bleachers above the tkts booth...
   For me it's an image of taking your own time out to intentionally do something you enjoy creating... do that this Christmas!!!

Advent B&W Photo Reflection 23rd December 2017


"Peter Garrett"
   I spent some time today re-reading some snippets from Peter's Memoir "Big Blue Sky" and about his visits to Balgowlah Uniting when his kids were stroller age and his use of this time to talk about his perspective on what 'following Jesus' or the Christian faith is about.... it was a rich time, if busy...
   As I set up for tomorrow I was listening to Oils tracks aware of what a gift their music has been...
Hat Tip to powderworker who has the colour original of this pic on the phone...

Friday, December 22, 2017

Advent B&W Photo Reflection 22nd December 2017


"Preparations"
   A few elements are in place, many plans have been made, some are frustratingly slow to take shape and there's rarely a minute to spare... however, with a good night's work tomorrow might allow a 'breather.' In the meantime stopping to take a photo had to do...

Advent B&W Photo Reflection 21st December 2017


"U2"
   Much as I'm annoyed with them the music still fuels my soul (though by all reports UK viewers just wanted Bono to shut up). I had a few moments to check this track yesterday and I agree with Steve Stockman about it's hopeful reframing. For me the song "Beautiful Day" (although played to death at the time) is about surviving life, living as well as possible and finding hope in the midst. Bono would describe it as like a flower finding a way to live in harsh conditions. Into the mix in this BBC version, as is often done, comes a verse from elsewhere and in this case "Starman" David Bowie. This 'star' man most likely a reference to the humanity, hope and story of God 'one of us' found in Jesus... it's not rocket science.
   Like many U2 albums there's a wrestle that took place in recording. New directions or familiar U2 guitar... the Edge won the argument with this track and the result was a wonderfully evocative song that deserves revisiting long after it was on high rotation and in every piece of concert footage... It was an oasis in an otherwise 'treading water' day yesterday... I actually got lots done, just didn't feel like I it...
   Apart from piecing it together on youtube I read this morning we can catch U2 'Live at the BBC' on free to air Oz TV on 9, 31st December at 9.20am... closest U2's been to 'live' in Oz since, is it 2010?

"...What you don't have you don't need it now
What you don't know you can feel it somehow
What you don't have you don't need it now
Don't need it now
Was a beautiful day"