A few of my (current) favourite things…

It’s been a bit serious on the old blog of late, so I thought I’d lighten things up with some snippets from youtube that have amused me lately.

First, in honour of Valentines day, the adorable lads of Out Of The Blue are here to sing you a song:

Next, we have the inimitable Miriam Margolyes (who I’m pretty sure was born without any f**ks to give and who I want to be when I grow up):  WARNING FOR THE GENTLY NURTURED: MIRIAM MARGOLYES IS NOT SUITABLE FOR WORK, CHILDREN, OR PROBABLY LIFE.  (Funny, but.)

And then, a very short visual explanation of why I’m a Cumberbitch to my bootstraps.  Phwoar!  (If you’ve seen the season of Sherlock this is from, you’ll know that this might not even have happened and Molly will never have Sherlock to keep, but none of that matters.  It’s still amazing!)

And now I must climb out of the youtube rabbit hole and do some work!  Enjoy your Wednesday!

Some music for the mid-week slump

Sometimes, whether it’s mid-week, mid-day or mid-life, you need a lift.

Music is one of my favourite lifters and recently, I have been delighted to discover  Postmodern Jukebox.  Their specialty is covers of modern songs in older styles – and man, do they have style!

I’ve included some of my favourites here, but there is whole rabbit hole full of others on youtube.  Make yourself a cuppa and go try a few.  There are links underneath the videos to buy recordings if you want them on your playlist.

Enjoy!

I can’t tell you how much I love this.  Actually I can.  I’m learning it and intend to include it in my future cabaret act!

The Star Wars arrangement alone is worth the price of admission, but Sarah Reich is fantastic!

Sadly, I can’t do an Andres-sisters-style number by myself, otherwise this might be on the list to learn too!

There is something appropriate about ‘Thrift Shop’ being done in a vintage style!

And finally, All About That Bass with harmonies and actual bass!

 

Going your own way

I was going to have a rant.  I read something about writing process that gave me the irrits, and I was going to have a rant.

But then I got to thinking (it’s my curse, being able to see things from both sides) and I decided that there was something in the advice, even though it irritated me, so I have been giving it some more, less ranty thought.

There will be a post in it, but in the meantime, the gist of what I wanted to say is:

Do what works for you.

If it’s writing like a mad thing, then editing at leisure, do that.  If it’s writing at the kitchen table after everyone is in bed, do that.  If it’s doing most of the work in your head, then writing the thing in almost one draft, do that.  Whatever gets you to ‘the end’ and makes you happy with the result is what works for you and don’t let anyone tell you it’s wrong.

And now, in celebration of doing things your own way, my latest favourite musical group, Walk off the Earth, with a great a capella cover of Taylor Swift’s I Knew You Were Trouble.

I should have got onto them much earlier, as they were the ones responsible for this clever cover of possibly the most covered song in the history of the internet, Gotye’s Somebody That I Used To Know.

I was amused to discover this little more recent send-up, which made me like them even more:

And finally, perhaps the best example of my point, of doing it your own way, this great cover of the Beatles From Me to You.

Enjoy!

Have a great day – your own way!

More Unexpected Joys… (and the purple end of a rainbow snake)

It’s been a week of delightful surprises.  On Wednesday I introduced you to the charming, talented Lucy Spraggan.

She’s clever and funny and I couldn’t think of who to compare her to, until I thought of another of my all-time favourite singer/songwriters, Kristina Olsen.

This song, performed with her favourite performing buddy, Australian cellist Peter Grayling, should show you why she’s a favourite…

I hope Lucy goes on to create such a body of work and give as much joy as Kristina has!

Another unexpected joy was my lovely friend Resa’s latest creation.  She has been doing a series of ‘art gowns’ and her latest is almost too gorgeous to describe.  It’s old Hollywood in a new fabric and never has a dressmaker’s model looked so magnificent!

Then there was this: a love story with no words in a little over six minutes.  Black and white, charming, old-school animation that delighted my eyes and lifted my heart, from the very talented people at Disney.

Finally, I have actually followed through on my commitment of last week, which was to get out my knitting and have made some progress on the rainbow snake.  This is the violet and indigo end (obviously) and I’m sure you can see why I had to have the variegated yarn as well, even though it has doubled the knitting involved.  It’s not the best picture, (I’m never getting a job as a stylist) but I thought I should show you the beginnings, so I can do progress posts.

The unexpected part of this was how much I enjoyed doing it.  It’s calming and somehow rejuvenating to be achieving something while just sitting.  Much better than ‘just’ watching TV or, in the case of last night, my girl’s Karate class.

I hope you’ve had some unexpected joys this week too.  Here’s to celebrating them!

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Unexpected joys

I was all set to write a post about the 200th Anniversary of Pride and Prejudice – but it will have to wait.  Because last night (that will be a joke in a minute, wait and see) a young friend showed me this video:

And I LOVED it.  This adorable 20-year-old is so clever and talented and FUNNY!  There are few things I like better than funny.  As Lizzie Bennett would say, (note P&P reference!) I dearly love to laugh.  Make me laugh and you’re half-way there.  Half-way where, you ask?  Pretty much anywhere, frankly.  I am absolutely going to learn this song (have I mentioned that I sing?) because I think it will knock ’em dead as a party piece.  My friends are mostly past this stage, but not so far that we don’t remember.  Get a few wines into ’em and I reckon they’ll be joining in in no time.

Anyway, so impressed was I by this young lady that I watched a few more of her videos.  Which is how I came across this one:

And this one made me cry.  I was sitting at my desk, surrounded by mess I need to clean up, almost hyperventilating about all the things I need to do this month (writing! tax! deadlines! eek!) and this song made me stop, forget all of that and cry.  Can a creator ask more than that?  If what I write can do that – take people out of their lives for a bit, have a laugh, have a cry, make them forget their troubles for a bit – I will be very, very happy.

I also like this one, a bit of musical philosophising:

Lucy is on Twitter and Facebook, if you want to follow what she gets up to.  I’m a little late to the Lucy party, it seems, but I have always adhered to ‘better late than never’ – especially when it comes to talent!  And in case you hadn’t found her yet either, I just wanted to share my unexpected Wednesday joy!

Have you found anything that surprised and delighted you lately?

Weddings, Parties, Anything – a few of my favourite things!

Today on the radio, I heard that one of my all-time favourite music groups is being honoured in a hall of fame.  The band’s name was Weddings, Parties, Anything and they’re an icon of the Melbourne music scene.  They were never huge in the charts, but they are well known and loved among Australians of a certain generation and deserve to be better known.

They have a special place in my musical history as I discovered them though this song, just after I first moved to Melbourne.  It references a heap of local landmarks and I remember being so excited when I recognised these new-to-me places in the lyrics of a song.  This video is a very cute interpretation, too! (BTW, the clocks in question are on the facade of Flinders St train station – a traditional place to meet in Melbourne.  Can’t tell you how excited I was the first time I arranged to meet someone there after hearing this song)

Under the Clocks

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Search Engine Funtimes

On this blog’s dashboard, there is a section that tells you what people typed into search engines that led them to this blog.  Often, mine are quite ordinary.  People have googled my name or something equally unsurprising.

But this week, I have had a bumper crop of search engine terms that made me wonder.

What, for example, were these people looking for, and did they find it?

How did juan antonio samaranch inspiration women

wordplay made from great gatsby

I can kind of understand how

x files coat

led them here, (I do love a good coat) and I know what post

Fairy tales of women salons

led to, but I’m a long way from knowing what they really meant by it.

I hope that

women who made their blogs well known

is prophetic and I was quite delighted to find

Girl with books in hand

led to me.

But I am at a loss to understand why Mr Google thought that the people who typed in:

smiles for email sexy

mansexy cop

would want to come here.

But none of these are a patch on my favourite (I swear I didn’t make this up):

Full fathom five+pollock

So, what weird search terms have you come across?  Or what weird results have you got while googling?  I’m sure this is just the tip of the iceberg…

And while you’re thinking, here’s a little Friday tune to bop you into the weekend…

Photo from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

Musing on Movie Music

I don’t think it’s Friday anywhere in the world, but I beg your indulgence because I missed my Friday Favourites post and I have some favourites to share.

The other night, I went to the girl’s school Music Festival.  They are very into the arts at her school and they have an orchestra, a concert band, a stage band, a brass ensemble, a percussion ensemble, a guitar ensemble, two choirs… you get the idea.  Hence, a music festival.

It was very good.  No, really, it was enjoyable.  It’s a credit to their music teachers that attending these events is much less painful than you might expect.  And they played an extraordinary variety of music, from the latest rap thing (himself did not enjoy it, but I quite liked it) through Burt Bacharach to Tchaikovsky.  And it got me thinking about music.

Specifically, movie music.  They played a medley from Titanic, which was something like this one:

Close to the beginning of this is the section called ‘Take Her to Sea Mr Murdoch’.  And sitting there, in a fairly cramped auditorium at an Australian high school in 2012, I was instantly transported to the sight of the Titanic setting sail in the movie.  And I didn’t just see the visual in my mind’s eye, I felt the swell of emotion, as well.  The pride of all the people responsible for getting her under way, the glory of her size and newness and the swelling hopes of the people going to the new world for a new life.

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Sunday Sounds

This week, I have been strangely obsessed with music.  Not that I don’t love it, in many forms and styles, but I normally avoid it while working.  This week, though, I had some old favourites on high rotation and in digging them out, I came across Extreme.

Extreme is basically a heavy metal band (or at least they were at the height of their fame in the late 80’s, early 90’s), but they achieved possibly their greatest hit with a gentle acoustic love song.  More than Words is a showcase for the superlative guitar of Nuno Bettencourt and the sweet voice of Gary Cherone and might be familiar, even if you have never heard the band name.  I find it quite inspiring when writing romance!

PLEASE NOTE: It is possible that the videos will have a loud and annoying ad at the start of them.  Just mute it until the proper video starts, is my advice.  All of these videos are black and white, so it’s easy to see when they start. (Note to VEVO – if you would match the music being advertised to the music being watched, your ads might be more effective.  Just sayin’…)

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What makes a man sexy? Part III

So what started as an off-hand reply to someone else’s blog post, has turned into a three-part extravaganza on my own little patch of the internet.

I promise I will stop after this one; not necessarily because I have run out of things to say, but because one really must draw a line somewhere and, well, people are beginning to talk…

Ahem. So, without further carry-on, here is my last set of manly characteristics that do it for me.

Intelligence.

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