Quaint ramblings and occasional reflections of a journeying Aussie musician...

31 December 2005


While I'm down the road at the local internet cafe, I just wanted to drop a quick note to wish my regular readers the happiest of New Years...won't write long here, as I'm back at my day job on Tuesday, where I'll have LOADS of time to rave on as usual, but I just gotta say that Paris is THE most beautiful city, let alone one of the most beautiful places, I've ever seen. I was totally blown away by the place in the most charming, romantic way, and I can't wait to go back...full report and photos to come.
Still wondering what I'm going to get up to tonight...will probably involve some alcohol along the way....think I'll steer clear of central London, but housemate Phil and I might end up going out into Notting Hill....anyhoo, knuffles (that's hugs in Dutch) and kisses to all my loved ones out there, and I hope to hear from y'all in the new year!

23 December 2005

A Fine Romance

After my last rave, I just wanted to drop a quick note to let y'all know how I'm doin'....holidays are going great, and early tomorrow morning I'm catching a train to PARIS, the City of Lights...a train underwater no less....for a cuppla days with J-Sax, his gorgeous girlfriend, Mr T and some random other crew which should be hilarious fun....I'm imagining skipping merrily down treelined avenues, accordion music in the background, arm in arm with mates, red wine in one hand, cheese and baguette in the other!
Anyway, the title of this particular entry refers to a little somethin' that's been going on around the house lately involving a certain housemate and a certain gangster-keyboard playing great mate of mine...moving along quite nicely I'm noticing...funny how people can just so easily slip back into the whole relationship vibe (laughing all the time at each others silly in-jokes), while incredibly single people like myself try and find things to be annoyed about with them (while secretly wishing I was in their position)....
I was just telling a friend the other day about how well everything is going for me at the moment...so why can't there be a little shomethin' on de shide for me? Yes, lucky ladies of London, MIKE IS HERE!....anyway, best not turn the blog into Mike's own on-line dating service for himself! Oh dear, and I've raved so long again!
So from the bottom of my heart, have the Merriest of Christmases, whoever you are reading this, and the Most Swingingest New Years ever!

19 December 2005

London Calling...

Now things are all zooming along in an end-of-year type way, I think it's time I wrote about a couple of other things, so I guess the first thing I'd like write of is London, this crazy place that I've somehow ended up in.
People ask me whether I like London and I say to them that I like things about it, things that it has to offer. I guess the one that comes to mind first is the public transport, which is amazing. There's loads of it, it goes everywhere, and if you ever want to get somewhere, there's usually at least two or three ways of getting there. Because the street 'system' is so crazy, plus stuff like the congestion charge (it costs £8 just to drive into the city during business hours), public transport is more of a part of people's lives, as having a car isn't necessarily the best or cheapest or quickest way to get around.
Having said that of course, just recently I've decided that when I have to take my keyboard to gigs, I'm only cabbing it from now on. I was taking the tube and buses, and it ended up being a full military-style operation whenever a gig was on! This one time I got called on the day to do a function, which meant that I had to change tube lines three times....on one train I hit some old lady in the head with my keyboard stand, and getting off another train I got my trolley wheel stuck between the train and the platform! And then when I got to the gig, two and a half hours later, they wouldn't let me in the front door...hotel policy they said....rubbish! Most of my gigs lately have been on pianos in town, which is, needless to say, well good (especially for my back and shoulders).
The other obvious advantage to living here is that it's a great base from which to travel across Europe. Aussies get a great deal here...a two year visa where you can do anything you like, earning the strongest currency in the world, and flying FREE flights to destinations across Europe, where in most countries a lot of people speak English! How could you knock it back, really!?
The circumstances under which I arrived here were, let's just say, a little confused, and I guess that anyone's first six months in any town (particularly this place) are always going to be tough in one way or another, but out of all of this have come some great things, not only with the work I've got now and where I live, but also in meeting up with some amazing people and having some great times, which I expect is only going to get better...

So, anyway, "You Know You're In London When...."
1. The pigeons fly at any height they want
2. It costs more to go on the tube into central London than it does to fly to another country (go Ryanair!)
3. Your local neighbourhood has a name that originates from a year with three digits (DJ and I were looking at this book that said that the first version of the name Willesden dates from 939..."Is that a night bus?!")
4. You ask an English person if they're from London and they say, "No, I'm from England"...people from the country have a funny attitude about this place i.e, they regard it as it's own entity of sorts...
5. You can't find decent coffee to save your life!

13 December 2005

What's Goin' On

I would just like to express my disgust and outrage at what has been happening in Cronulla lately. I've only been reading what's been happening on Ninemsn, so I feel as though I don't quite have the whole picture on it, but it sounds pretty ugly, and ridiculous, and closed-minded.
People with no shirts on, draped in the Australian flag with racist slogans painted on them, attacking people who don't LOOK like them? I feel ridiculous just writing this, and knowing that this is going on where I'm from, a place I thought had ascended this, or was at the very least on the way to doing so...and our illustrious PM has said that there ISN'T an undercurrent of racism in Australia...he, the creator of the Pacific 'Solution' in 2001, a totally disproportionate response to an illegal immigrant situation...it's always been there, but to know that there are surprisingly large numbers of people, calling themselves 'Australian', who hide behind and denigrate a national symbol, happily submitting to some sort of mob mentality, that are ACTING upon these feelings?
I've always thought that to call yourself Australian is to EMBRACE multiculturalism, to uphold the belief that someday we might all be able to put aside these prehistoric habits and take the the more difficult path, that is, to love our fellow man, wherever he may come from.
I know I'm saying things that you my dear friends would already agree with, but I just had to get it out for a bit...more hopefully positive entries soon...

08 December 2005

A Swingin' Affair

Just a quick note to y'all to keep you posted....it's all swinging along quite nicely at the moment, I have to say...got about three or four gigs in the diary for the rest of the month ('tis the festive season!), some more teaching on the way, and for Xmas I'm heading off to PARIS for a few days! to go hang out with me old mate Mr T and a whole bunch of other people...should be a blast!
No gigs with the Brazilian dancing girls as yet, but that can't be too far off. Haven't seen too many gigs lately, been too busy doing them! Teaching is about to wrap up for the year too, so I've got a couple of weeks holiday coming up which will be well good, just to take it easy for a bit and shed like a demon! That's 'shed' as in to lock oneself in the shed and practice intensely, for those of you unfamiliar with my so very cool Jazz lingo!
Yesssss, anyway....take care, wherever y'all are (WHOever y'all are, don't know who could be reading this drivel!) and I'll write soon with hopefully some more interesting tales...

02 December 2005


So it's all cruising along all right at the moment, as much as it can in a crazy place like London! After a bit of a murky patch at the start of the year, things have levelled out okay, and my week seems to be mostly covered between two or three gigs a week, a couple of days teaching, my walk-in-the-park day job and probably a bit too much partying! I got Europe at the doorstep, no pressing responsibilities, got my health....the sun on my face and the wind in my hair, more or less - well, not much sun round here at the moment, but you get the picture!
But sometimes, on the tube to the job or between clubs (yes, while drinking), it makes me wonder, what's the next bit? How long is it going to go on for like this? I've been living pretty much the same way day-to-day since I left uni, and don't get me wrong, it's been great, I'm well thankful for many things...it's a charmed life in a lot of ways, but there's something else I'm looking for out there. More career satisfaction perhaps? Maybe I'm looking for a couple of things....
A wise old woman told me once about one of the Shakespearian plays that talks about your life moving in periods of roughly seven years, and I've been thinking about this one a bit...if I look at '98, second year of uni, when I really started to get into my studies, and all the things and places and people that have happened between then and around September this year, when I moved into the place I'm at now, then that feels to me like a certain chapter...so I wonder sometimes what the next seven years will bring.
Anyway, enough of all that...I've just stumbled into joining a Brazilian band this week with LOADS of beautiful dancing girls! Apparently we do a gig about every fortnight, and every gig is with them doing their thing...we all went out for dinner last night and everyone got a bit rowdy so we repaired to the bar upstairs where they strutted their stuff...too much, too much! More importantly (ahem), I've done loads of duo stuff since I got here and that's all good, but it'll be great to do some band work again. And after hanging out so much with Latinos over the years, it'll be great to get to know some Brazilians...the guys in the band are cool, so I think it's gonna be good times! And I guess I'll keep wondering about the other stuff as well...