Saturday, September 24, 2011

New songs on a Saturday morning (271-280)

As part of my ongoing effort to improve the range of my cultural consumption, I'm casting out for new things to listen to. Part one and an explanation of this musical escapade can be found here. You'll need to search for the rest yourselves.

Have discovered an Asian music show on SBS on the weekends. It's been entertaining me no end with South Korean pop... at least, I think it's mostly South Korean.The chorus is always a mash of English words and...non-English, and I'm really not multi-lingual enough to distinguish enough between Korean and Japanese when it's sung.

271. Beast - 'Breath' - Oh, who doesn't love a boy-band: the choreography, the plastered hair, the thick eye make-up. The song is actually catchy. If I could understand the words, I'd be singing along.
272. Beast - 'Fiction'.
273. Yui - 'Hello (Paradise Kiss)' - Can't, for the life of me, find an official version of the song, so this is a bastardised copy, but still cute Japanese pop.
274. G.NA - 'Black & White'.
275. Secret - 'Shy Boy' - It's little like the 50s all over again with these shiny, shiny, squeaky clean girl groups. I imagine this is meant to be ironic, but I'm not so sure.
276. Hyuna - 'Bubble Pop' - I think the good girl/slutty dancing translates into any language.
277. Hyuna - 'Change' - less good girl, amped up slutty dancing. Disturbing, really.
278. 2NE1 - 'Lonely' - meh.
279. 2NE1 - 'Ugly' - meh.
280. 2NE1 - 'I Am The Best' -This is great - and I'm sure I'd download a copy if it was English and I could sing along.

Photo source: Beast

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

52 poems (week 28)

George Essex Evans, a mostly deaf Welshman, was denied the right to join the armed services because of his affliction. So perhaps that's where his sympathies come from in the second last stanza - the feeling of being left behind, of being unrecognised while glory is painted over those who participated in war.

The Women of the West

They left the vine-wreathed cottage and the mansion on the hill,
The houses in the busy streets where life is never still,
The pleasures of the city, and the friends they cherished best:
For love, they faced the wilderness - the Women of the West.

The roar, the rush, and fever of the city died away,
And the old-time joys and faces - they were gone for many a day;
In their place the lurching coach-wheel, or the creaking bullock chains,
O'er the everlasting sameness of the everlasting plains.

In the slab-built, zinc-roofed homestead of some lately taken run,
In the tent beside the bankment of the railway just begun,
In the huts on new selections, in the camps of man’s unrest,
On the frontiers of the Nation, live the Women of the West.

The red sun robs their beauty, and, in weariness and pain,
The slow years steal the nameless grace that never comes again;
And there are hours men cannot soothe, and words men cannot say-
The nearest woman's face may be a hundred miles away

The wide Bush holds the secrets of their longings and desires,
When the white stars in reverence light their holy altar-fires,
And silence, like the touch of God, sinks deep into the breast-
Perchance He hears and understands, the Women of the West.

For them no trumpet sounds the call, no poet plies his arts-
They only hear the beating of their gallant, loving hearts.
But they have sung with silent lives the song all songs above-
The holiness of sacrifice, the dignity of love. 
Well have we held our father's creed. No call has passed us by.
We faced and fought the wilderness, we sent our sons to die.
And we have hearts to do and dare, and yet, o'er all the rest,
The hearts that made the Nation were the Women of the West.

Photo source

52 poems (week 27)

This is last week's poem that I had lined up but forgot to publish. It's an excerpt of an Australian poem by John O'Brien, a psuedonym for an Irish-Catholic priest named Patrick Joseph Hartigan.

Laughing Mary

With cheeks that paled the rosy morn
And romped with us among the corn
When we were kids together.
Her mother's help, her mother's mate,
Her mother's darling daughter,
When riper mind and more sedate
The rapid years had brought her...

...And many a head bowed low to pray,
Howe'er her skies might vary,
The years would bless her on her way
And keep her Laughing Mary.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Probably a pregnancy thing but the extra thick yoghurt that sits under the lid and around the rim is doing it for me this week. Trying to figure out how to create more of it once I've scraped it off the freshly opened container.

Goodbye winter garden

Now that the weather is warming up, it's time to pull out the old and put in the new. So farewell pots full of weeds (and a last ditch chive resurgence) and seeded parsley.

Goodbye dead oregano stalks and whatever it is that's been growing in my broccoli pots.

Goodbye empty pea pots and the beetroot that never really took off.

Watching the bump: 24 weeks

Thursday, September 15, 2011


When I'm at the main campus for work, I park in the appropriate permit zone then meander my way towards the office, ready to sit in on long, dull meetings, pick up bundles of essays or natter with the office ladies. This walk in always takes me past the uni's conservatorium of music, with its picnic-tabled courtyard full of music students. Over the last two weeks, with spring in the air, there seem to be more of them about tuning up instruments, practising, chatting, eating, smoking.

Last week as I walked past, a choral group of lovely female voices were working on 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow', two boys with trombones punched out the theme from The Simpsons and a couple lying on the concrete were running scales up into the blue sky. Buried somewhere inside the building a band of brassy instruments and drums were jazzing it up.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The indignities

Pelvic Girdle Pain sucks arse. And the idea that I'll have to live with this for the next three-four months, every time I take a step, every time I roll over in bed, every time I stand... it makes me want to cry.

52 Poems (week 26)

I was reading the stories of The Jungle Book when I was younger and his words on writing just a few months ago, using his 'Daemon' to make a point or two. Love that when his death was incorrectly reported he wrote to the magazine to announce: "I've just read that I am dead. Don't forget to delete me from your list of subscribers."

There dwells a wife by the Northern Gate,
And a wealthy wife is she;
She breeds a breed o' rovin' men
And casts them over sea.

And some are drowned in deep water,
And some in sight o' shore,
And word goes back to the weary wife
And ever she sends more.

For since that wife had gate or gear,
Or hearth or garth or bield,
She willed her sons to the white harvest,
And that is a bitter yield.

She wills her sons to the wet ploughing,
To ride the horse of tree,
And syne her sons come back again
Far-spent from out the sea.

The good wife's sons come home again
With little into their hands,
But the lore of men that ha' dealt with men
In the new and naked lands;

But the faith of men that ha' brothered men
By more than easy breath,
And the eyes o' men that ha' read wi' men
In the open books of death.

Rich are they, rich in wonders seen,
But poor in the goods o' men;
So what they ha' got by the skin o' their teeth
They sell for their teeth again.

For whether they lose to the naked life
Or win to their hearts' desire,
They tell it all to the weary wife
That nods beside the fire.

Her hearth is wide to every wind
That makes the white ash spin;
And tide and tide and 'tween the tides
Her sons go out and in;

(Out with great mirth that do desire
Hazard of trackless ways,
In with content to wait their watch
And warm before the blaze);

And some return by failing light,
And some in waking dream,
For she hears the heels of the dripping ghosts
That ride the rough roof-beam.

Home, they come home from all the ports,
The living and the dead;
The good wife's sons come home again
For her blessing on their head!

Photosource: Kipling

New songs on a Saturday morning (251-270)

As part of my ongoing effort to improve the range of my cultural consumption, I'm casting out for new things to listen to. Part one and an explanation of this musical escapade can be found here. You'll need to search for the rest yourselves.

Saturday morning Rage is back! It's back, hooray! And they're mixing up these great contemporary stuff with older hits. I feel like I'm 10 again. This week's double list comes from this morning's playlist - minus the well-worn favourites.

251. The Kooks - 'Junk of the Heart (Happy)'.
252. Snow Patrol - 'Called out in the Dark' - could have sworn that was Mika at the start but my knowledge of skinny, dark-haired singers is obviously woeful.
253. Calvin Harris - 'Feel so Close'.
254. Emeli Sand - 'Heaven'
255. Noel Gallagher's High-Flying Birds - 'The Death of You and Me'
256. Oasis - 'The Importance of Being Idle' - Great video with Rhys Ifans.

257. Florence and the Machine - 'What the Water Gave Me' - Her voice is mesmerising as always.
258. Joe Goddard feat. Valentina - 'Gabriel'.
259. Example - 'Stay Awake'
260. Example - 'Changed the Way You Kiss Me' - Love the title more than the song itself.
261. Simple Plan feat. Rivers Cuomo - 'Can't Keep My Hands Off You'.
262. Taylor Swift - 'Sparks Fly'.
263. Avalanche City - 'Love Love Love' sweet little song.
264. Marvin Priest feat. Wynter Gordan - 'Take Me Away' - eh. Sounds like so many others.
265. The Trouble with Templeton - 'Bleeders'.
266. The Paper Kites - 'Bloom' - okay, this wasn't on the list but linked from somewhere else. Couldn't resist. This is lovely.
267. Hot Chelle Rae - 'Tonight Tonight'
268. LMFAO feat. Lauren Bennett & GoonRock - 'Party Rock Anthem' - so catchy... and the bubs was jumping when I played it with the laptop on my lap.
269. These Kids Wear Crowns - 'Jumpstart'.
270. Kimbra - 'Good Intent' - God, she's good.

Friday, September 2, 2011

52 Poems (week 25)

I was hankering to read something spring-ish, something joyous and reflective, without being too preachy or enamoured with birds and lambs. Not an easy task.

The first poem by William Blake, 'Spring', is full of birds and lambs but is almost silly in its joy.

Sound the Flute!
Now it's mute.
Birds delight
Day and Night
In the dale
Lark in Sky
Merrily Merrily to welcome in the Year

Little Boy
Full of joy,
Little Girl
Sweet and small,
Cock does crow
So do you.
Merry voice
Infant noise
Merrily Merrily to welcome in the Year

Little Lamb
Here I am.
Come and lick
My white neck.
Let me pull
Your soft Wool.
Let me kiss
Your soft face
Merrily Merrily we welcome in the Year 

The next one, 'To Spring', is slightly more sedate, and marginally preachy... but so different from the first, I'm amazed the same hand penned them both.

O thou with dewy locks, who lookest down
Thro' the clear windows of the morning, turn
Thine angel eyes upon our western isle,
Which in full choir hails thy approach, O Spring!

The hills tell each other, and the listening
Valleys hear; all our longing eyes are turned
Up to thy bright pavilions: issue forth,
And let thy holy feet visit our clime.

Come o'er the eastern hills, and let our winds
Kiss thy perfumed garments; let us taste
Thy morn and evening breath; scatter thy pearls
Upon our love-sick land that mourns for thee.

O deck her forth with thy fair fingers; pour
Thy soft kisses on her bosom; and put
Thy golden crown upon her languished head,
Whose modest tresses were bound up for thee. 
Portrait source: Blake

Spring, spring, spring

The sun is shining. And it's warm...ish. It's in the air and I've been humming this since yesterday morning.


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