My Swany River

Steve’s stroll along memory lane shadowing The Swan

 

Steve was sitting having a well-earned rest, it’d been a long day and he couldn’t remember the last time he had walked that far. He didn’t notice it at the time,

but now resting he realized that he had been walking as if in a dream, and not sure for how long; a dream that took him back through time and space. He did take in the beauty and the enjoyable lovely sites and surroundings, but, with every glance at the river, noticing boats bopping and swaying on their mourrings, sounds of familiar birds all took him back to another place, another memory and flashes of life with people past and present.

 

After sitting for a while Steve began to feel relaxed and recuperated enough to continue his journey. He took a big gulp of his drink and gathered up things and then became more aware of his surroundings and a couple of people a few metres away. They seemed to be coming toward him.

 

He’d been sitting in his own little world, for how long he wasn’t sure, maybe about an hour, drinking a Coke, and enjoying a smoke; drifting dreamingly down the river watching different thoughts and memories go by. How long have I been here, how long is this river, could I still swim across the other side?

 

“Hi; excuse me, sorry to disturb you”, a fit middle-aged man said in a pleasant bright American accent.

“Hey: how you doing? This is a beautiful place aint it?” he added.

 

Gidday; I’m doing alright, and yep this is a beautiful spot, one of my favourites”, I replied warmly.

 

“I’ve been showing my wife the sites and some of these nice peaceful quiet parts of this grand river”, the American man said while giving his wife’s hand a little gentle squeeze and gesturing with his other hand dramatically to indicate the vista of the river in front of us.

I was based at Leeuwin Barracks for a couple of years some time ago, and fell in love with Freo and these riverside areas”, the American said with pride.

 

Steve paused and then simply replied, “that’s nice”.

He was still pondering his own thoughts and remembered he still had a lot he wanted to do today.

 

The American guy noticed Steve take another drink of his coke and said; “hey, sorry excuse me, we were wondering where we could get a cold drink and a snack”?

“We didn’t come prepared, and didn’t bring any soda, or anything”, he added.

 

“Sure, just over there down the road a bit at the water polo club you can get a drink and maybe some kind of snack”, Steve answered.

 

“Water polo”, exclaimed the equally pleasant and bright American woman; “I used to play that in college” she to her husband.

“It was fun but a tough sport in many ways” she added playfully.

 

“I’ve never played, but, do no a few people who have, and have told how rough and tough it can be” I chimed in.

 

Steve then gave the couple an extremely quick and brief personalized history of the water polo club including the fundraising party to help complete the building, when his friend Bob drunk too much and vomited in the back seat of his parents car; the same friend enjoyed a fabulous and beautiful wedding reception there looking out over the water just a few years later.   Steve chatted with them for a short while about the area and general life. Steve discovered the American guy Chris was in the U.S Navy and he was part of an exchange program with the Australian Navy and that was when he stayed at the Leeuwin navy base in East Fremantle.

 

Steve’s chat with Chris and his wife Brenda just prodded and fired up his nostalgic memories and he to set off on pleasant journey along the river and within his memories. He giggled to himself as he thought how apt there I was sharing fond memories and thoughts about his best mate Bob and now he is off to meet up with him and the other boys ffor a few to many and to see which one of us will tell the biggest lies.

 

 

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my Australian musical vieiw

Aussie Song List – top 21.

 

Australia Day: a great time to reflect on what is great about Australia.

One of my major passions and interest is music and particularly Australian music.

So, 7 days prior to the big celebration I decided to create a Aussie top 21

(3 songs a day).

This list is not necessarily a countdown and is not a list of the best Australian songs.

It is my creative view of some songs by some fabulous Australian talent, and songs with fantastic imagery with varying views of this complex & colourful country, the land, and its people.

 

These songs on this list I’ve chosen for their “authentic” Australianness and my enjoyment of them. Some are simply great songs and others highlight Aussie quirkiness and humour.

I’ve tried to find the best video representation, which wasn’t always easy – I picked the song for itself not the video.

 

—   I have tried threading a loose theme to tie the list together

climaxing at number 1.  –

 

(21) Aussie Flag Bikini, —       Mick Thomas

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9llSq7VhIA

 

I’ve chosen to start my list with a slightly silly song by a great Australian musician.

Mick Thomas was one of the founding members of a fabulous Aussie folk/rock band,

Weddings Parties Anything.

Mick still performs as solo artist and is actively involved in many music and musical projects.

He wrote this song after a performance at The Australian Open tennis;

Mick was doing his best to entertain the masses many of who were overly patriotic and attempting to demonstrate how dinky-di they were – that’s when he saw the very enthusiastic girl in the Aussie flag bikini.

 

 

(20) Wide Open Road, —        The Trifids

(19) From St Kelda to Kings Cross, — Paul Kelly.

(18) Great Southern Lan,  —  Icehouse.d

(17) Solid Rock, —      Shane Howard & The Black Arm Band

(16) World Turning, — Yothu Yindi.

 

(15) Diamantina Drover, — Redgum

 

My song for today #15 top Aussie songs

Diamantina Drover by Redgum:

When thinking about Redgum most people think of their big hit “Only nineteen”.

But, maybe because my Grandfather was a drover I really like this song and think it is a classic outback, aussie-battler story.

[Unfortunately could not find a good Redgum clip;]

John Williamson – the legend of Aussie Country music, does a fantastic version of this song.

 

 

(14) Pub With no Beer, — Slim Dusty.

 

Top Aussie Songs No.14.

Can’t make a list like this without mentioning Slim Dusty.

Most Aussies love a cold beer, and I’m sure we’ll have a few on Australia Day.

But, what would you do if the pub had no beer?

 

 

(13) — Dead Ringer Band

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryfRi0oCg3c

I’d like to tip my hat a wonderful family full of great characters with lots of talent.

Classic aussie country

 

 

 

 

 

(12) Toorak Cowboy, —          Skyhooks

 

#12 Top Aussie songs

Now I move from the Bush and Outback adventures

and visit the City and more specifically the suburbs (where most of us live).

 

Introducing a Cowboy of a different kind.

 

The Skyhooks: a favourite band of mine in my youth.

In March 1974.Described as a glam rock band, because of flamboyant costumes and make-up, Skyhooks addressed teenage issues including buying drugs “Carlton (Lygon Street Limbo)”, suburban sex “Balwyn Calling”, the gay scene “Toorak Cowboy” and loss of girlfriends “Somewhere Sydney” by namechecking and peeking into Australian locales.

 

Toorak Cowboy.

https://youtu.be/uYH8e-ANhig

 

Saturday 23rd Jan

 

(11) Wreckless, —                  Australian Crawl

 

(10) Suburban Boy, —             Dave Warner

As a suburban boy myself and a similar age to Dave this song really resonated with me at the time of release and is a song I still really enjoy.

I did think it od at the time, something I didn’t relate to because I had never seen a subway station and I really didn’t have much of an idea about the City – well Perth isn’t well known for its city life.

 

Dave Warner was born in Bicton, Western Australia (the neighbouring suburb to Attadale, where I grew up and spent a very enjoyable childhood & young adulthood) in 1953. He attended Aquinas College (a college well known to me and many of my friends, many talented people former graduates of this prestigious school).

 

Dave created the song “Suburban Boy”

First version in 1976.

As Dave Warner’s From the Suburbs, they re-released “Suburban Boy” (1978) as a single and then Mugs Game (1978)

 

Dave Warner is also a successful author with a fabulous series of novels

humorous crime novels in the including `Murder in the Groove`;

the book featured Andrew “The Lizard” Zirk, a former rock star turned detective.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qR8yEX3MwKc

 

 

(09) Power and Passion, —    Midnight Oil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday 24th Jan

 

(08) Say Goodbye,  —            Hunters and Collectors

 

#08TopAusieSong

The Hunters legends of the Australian pub rock scene.

So many well loved hit songs –

Songs that fans like to sing along with, usually as raucously as possible.

The band captured and reflected their lives and their surroundings via powerful rock songs.

This song `Say Goodbye`, features the line, “you don’t treat me like a woman anymore”.

The Hunters are an awesome live band that encourages crowd participation, which can be entertaining in itself – seeing & hearing large groups of heavty blokes in jeans and check flannel shirts belt out boldly; “you don’t treat me like a woman anymore”, is bizarrely beautiful.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxpQbZ57BeE

 

 

 

(07) Streets of your town, —    The Go Betweens

 

Monday 25th Jan

 

(06) Highway One,         —      The Waifs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6s0sOjVzFOQ&list=PLhM_0jcexl4jVWmE6HP62sZq67Dsc4zxE&index=17

 

I first saw this fabulous beautiful band at The royal Derby Hotel, Brunswick street, Fitzroy (Melbourne, Vic); 1996. I didn’t know anything about them at the time, and had only heard one of their songs.  After a short while at the gig with my good friend Dave we learnt that the band was from Albany, Western Australia, and he recalled that he had shared some gigs with them in the South-West.

It was a fantastic fun night, and I’ve been a great fan since.

 

This song Highway One really captured my imagination. As a teenager it was my great dream to travel around Australia in a panel van and explore & experience all this land has to offer. —  I haven’t done that as yet; but, so glad The Waifs created this fantastic song to share their views of their journeys.

 

(05) Good Light in Broome, —   Neil Murray

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cf18mM7kCw

 

This is just such a great song by the fabulous Neil Murray.

Neil is well know for writing some outsanding songs including My Island Home.

He was a founding member of the Warumpi Band which were the first major rock group with mostly indigenous members and were an influential Aboriginal rock

band. Murray was recognised as one of Australia’s foremost songwriters at the APRA Awards of 1995 by winning Song of the Year for “My Island Home” – as covered by, Christine Anu.

 

This song follows the travels of the storyteller across the land with the celebratory arrival in Broome.

I still haven’t made it up to Broome yet, but hope to soon.

I’ve heard it’s beautiful there and light of the moon is truly magical.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(04) Nowhere Else But Here,  – Pigram Brothers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPqFcTwwj-k&list=PLDyiigoBCuHSDf5hoRFtTIu-OtJKbqTB6

 

The Pigram Brothers are a seven-piece Indigenous Australian band from the pearling town of Broome, Western Australia, formed in 1996.

 

The Pigram Brothers from the Kimberly town of Broome in Western Australia.

First came to prominence as Scrap Metal, when they toured with Midnight Oil.

The Pigram Brothers and their friend Jimmy Chi were the musical creators of the fabulous theatre musical Bran Nue Dae which has since become a successful film also.

The song Nowhere else but here, appeared on their first album `Saltwater Contry` (1997).

 

 

 

Tuesday 26th Jan

 

Good morning and Happy Australia Day.

This is the 3rd last song I’d like to share

in my list of Top Aussie Songs

 

(03) Yil Lull, —  singers for the red, black and gold

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0a0fdm9qMB8

 

“Yil Lull” is a song written and performed by Joe Geia. It originally appeared on his 1988 album of the same name. Yill Lull means sing in Guugu Yimithirr.

The colours used in the lyrics are the colours of the Aboriginal flag.

 

“Yil Lull” is considered an aboriginal anthem.

It was performed by The Black Arm Band in their murundak concert. It has been covered by Singers For The Red Black & Gold, Paul Kelly and Marcia Howard.

 

I first heard this beautiful song on Paul Kelly’s `Hidden Things` album.

This is one of my favourite Paul Kelly albums and it features some wonderful cover versions of great songs as well as some fantastic different versions of his own songs.

It also features some songs highlighting struggles & stories of of indigenous Australian people.

 

I think the songs chorus says it all:

“I sing for the black for the people of this land. I sing for the red for the blood that’s been shed. Now I’m singing for the gold, young and old.”.

 

 

 

 

Gidday – this the penultimate song on my Top Aussie song list, it may be the most controversial.

 

(02) Anthem,   —  TIDDAS

▶ 3:22

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2zhs8ZAt1g

Jun 19, 2009 – Uploaded by Andy Fleming

Tiddas were Lou Bennett, Sally Dastey & Amy Saunders. This track is lifted from their 1996 self-titled album …

 

Tiddas is a Koori word for sister.

Originally the three women, Amy Saunders (a Gunditjmara woman from Portland), Lou Bennett (a Yorta Yorta woman from Echuca) and Sally Dastey (from West Heidelberg) combined their vocal talents as backing singers for Aboriginal band Djaambi, led by Saunder’s brother Richard Frankland in 1990. The group were invited to perform at a musical celebration for women’s artistic achievement, ‘Hot Jam Cooking’, in Richmond, Victoria.] Their performance was well received and inspired Ruby Hunter, Archie Roach‘s partner, to dub the trio Tiddas, which is Koori English for the word sisters

https://sonichits.com/video/Tiddas/Anthem

WPA: – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaUvAvFXOBg

 

 

 

 

This is my No. 1 song.

I know that I have bombarded FB this week with weird and wonderful music clips.

I hope some of you have enjoyed it.

I’ve enjoyed doing this list.

It’s been great remembering and re-discovering these awesome Australian songs and Aussie artists.

Thanks, cheers: – enjoy your Day however you choose to acknowledge it.

  1. My Island Home, — Christine Arnu A song about home and family.There is such fantastic imagery blended with a great story – sung so beautifully.
  2. A song about the beauty of the place you’re “from”, while enjoying the place where you are.
  3. This is such a wonderful song, by the lovely & beautiful Christine Arnu.
  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Z9_Bp0nrXA

 

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Australia Day Muse

Aussie Song List – top 21.

 

Australia Day: a great time to reflect on what is great about Australia.

One of my major passions and interest is music and particularly Australian music.

So, 7 days prior to the big celebration I decided to create a Aussie top 21

(3 songs a day).

This list is not necessarily a countdown and is not a list of the best Australian songs.

It is my creative view of some songs by some fabulous Australian talent, and songs with fantastic imagery with varying views of this complex & colourful country, the land, and its people.

 

These songs on this list I’ve chosen for their “authentic” Australianness and my enjoyment of them. Some are simply great songs and others highlight Aussie quirkiness and humour.

I’ve tried to find the best video representation, which wasn’t always easy – I picked the song for itself not the video.

 

—   I have tried threading a loose theme to tie the list together

climaxing at number 1.  –

 

(21) Aussie Flag Bikini, —       Mick Thomas

(20) Wide Open Road, —        The Trifids

(19) From St Kelda to Kings Cross, — Paul Kelly.

(18) Great Southern Lan,  —  Icehouse.d

(17) Solid Rock, —      Shane Howard & The Black Arm Band

(16) World Turning, — Yothu Yindi.

(15) Diamantina Drover, — Redgum

 

My song for today #15 top Aussie songs

Diamantina Drover by Redgum:

When thinking about Redgum most people think of their big hit “Only nineteen”.

But, maybe because my Grandfather was a drover I really like this song and think it is a classic outback, aussie-battler story.

[Unfortunately could not find a good Redgum clip;]

John Williamson – the legend of Aussie Country music, does a fantastic version of this song.

 

 

(14) Pub With no Beer, — Slim Dusty.

 

Top Aussie Songs No.14.

Can’t make a list like this without mentioning Slim Dusty.

Most Aussies love a cold beer, and I’m sure we’ll have a few on Australia Day.

But, what would you do if the pub had no beer?

 

 

(13) — Dead Ringer Band

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryfRi0oCg3c

I’d like to tip my hat a wonderful family full of great characters with lots of talent.

Classic aussie country

 

 

(12) Toorak Cowboy, —          Skyhooks

 

#12 Top Aussie songs

Now I move from the Bush and Outback adventures

and visit the City and more specifically the suburbs (where most of us live).

 

Introducing a Cowboy of a different kind.

 

The Skyhooks: a favourite band of mine in my youth.

In March 1974.Described as a glam rock band, because of flamboyant costumes and make-up, Skyhooks addressed teenage issues including buying drugs “Carlton (Lygon Street Limbo)”, suburban sex “Balwyn Calling”, the gay scene “Toorak Cowboy” and loss of girlfriends “Somewhere Sydney” by namechecking and peeking into Australian locales.

 

Toorak Cowboy.

https://youtu.be/uYH8e-ANhig

 

 

 

(11)   Wreckless, —                  Australian Crawl

(10) Suburban Boy, —             Dave Warner

(09) Power and Passion, —    Midnight Oil

(08) Say Goodbye,  —            Hunters and Collectors

 

#08 Top Ausie Songs.

The Hunters legends of the Australian pub rock scene.

So many well loved hit songs –

Songs that fans like to sing along with, usually as raucously as possible.

The band captured and reflected their lives and their surroundings via powerful rock songs.

This song `Say Goodbye`, features the line, “you don’t treat me like a woman anymore”.

The Hunters are an awesome live band that encourages crowd participation, which can be entertaining in itself – seeing & hearing large groups of heavty blokes in jeans and check flannel shirts belt out boldly; “you don’t treat me like a woman anymore”, is bizarrely beautiful.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxpQbZ57BeE

 

 

(07) Streets of your town, —    The Go Betweens

(06) Highway One,         —      The Waifs

(05) Good Light in Broome,

(04) – Pigram Brothers

(03) Yill Yul

(02) Anthem, TIDDAS

(01) Island Home,

cheers;

 

 

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love past – heart is in the Home

Steve and Rae

New beginning

“Fuck it’s hot” Steve exclaimed. “God I hate this place, it’s so small, dank dusty and dingy”, he blurted . he was lying on his bed in the flat behind the café. Luckily the café was closed so no one heard him carrying on like a lune.

Steve lay on his bed pondering and turning his thoughts over. Inner-city Melbourne baked on the hottest most torturous dangerous summer ever experienced. Not knowing the horrid tragedies to come due to deadly bushfires.

This was the worst weather he had experienced in many years and he was trying to hide from the oppressive 43C degree heat.

While contemplating the situation he couldn’t help but notice the irony as he had grown up in Western Australia which is well known for its heat, dry weather and frequent heat waves.

Steve had recently arrived in Melbourne and was trying to get accustomed to this new environment this grand old wonderful city Australia’s second largest city. A city very different from where he grew up in Western Australia,

and a complete contrast to the place where he just left in Northern New South Wales in the district linked with Byron Bay.

If the café was open he wouldn’t feel as comfortable even being home let alone trying to relax and chill-out on this extremely hot Melbourne day.

What were the words to that song Minyama Manyana; – Melbourne in summer no place for fun.

Anyway what would I know about fun? Steve asked himself.

He didn’t want to let himself slide into that familiar dark, dangerous spiral to persecution and loathing. He was just taking the opportunity to do nothing and avoid the heat.  “One thing about living in this dump it makes me really appreciate where I’ve been before and motivates me to get out and do more for myself”, he thought.

“I thought that place on Stirling Highway was crappy and it was, but, it’s nothing compared to this. And, at least that was near the river, beach and Freo. But, Jesus I was really down then and even though I had lots of good stuff around me and was seeing people occasionally and going out and stuff.

I was lucky that night, imagine if I’d fallen further probably would have broken a few things and god knows how long I would have been there before anyone noticed me. It sure woke me up in more ways than one.

Don’t think pot, heat and depression were a good combination at that time for sure. How did I get myself out of that clog-mire?

Did I do anything or just wait for intervention?

On reflection the flat in Cottesloe was alright. It was probably more his attitude. He wasn’t too sure what was really wrong with him but, he knew he better change it fast.  His late night `stoned-out` stroll along the hilltop and unexpected fall to reality helped him realise that he wanted life and wanted to experience as much of it as he could.

Steve was having one of his self-exploration moments. Asking himself lots of unanswerable questions but, this time he wasn’t getting sad or mad when he couldn’t find the solutions just by lying down and thinking about them  He had a goal, as usual it was pretty vague and had no plans to put it into action. But, he knew what he wanted and knew that waiting for intervention divine or otherwise would not work. He didn’t want to be a victim anymore; so, could not rely on being rescued.  And, he certainly was in no position to be anyone’s white knight, so being the rescuer was out of the question too.  One thing he’d realised lately that it wasn’t about trying to escape; it was about trying to improve his situation and for once attempt to look towards the future and look forward to it.

Steve got off  the bed and decided to put some music on and make a cup of tea.  He chose a unnamed mixed music folder on the computer pressed play and waited to see what came out.  It was great some good old country rock`n`roll. Then a bit later the computer played a very familiar track – The Pretty Place and as usual it brought a tear to his eye but also made him smile broadly.  “It’s great now that song has a pretty location that I can link with it as well as the pretty face I always associate with it”, he thought to himself. He put the track back to the start turned it up loud and sang along with it as best he could.  The memory of that beautiful bay and lovely time always filled his heart with joy.

He and Rae had such a brilliant time when they stayed on their holiday on the bay up the North Coast. It was relaxing, fun and just simply wonderful to spend time doing whatever they pleased and loving one-another.

While Steve thought about his future in Melbourne town his mind drifted back to where this current adventure started.

It was a beautiful Spring evening in Fremantle.  The town had been celebrating The Blessing of The Fleet, a wonderful joyus tradition started by Italian fishermen.

First introduced to Fremantle by Italian migrant fisherman in 1948 and is a celebration of fishing traditions, religion and the wider Fremantle community.  It’s a great day, lots of colour, noise, food and fun.

Steve had been down at Fishing Boat Harbour earlier in the day and had enjoyed a very pleasant day.  In the late afternoon he wandered back to his new apartment on the other side of town and decided to take a nap.  It was still quite warm and he left the front door open to allow for a breeze to flow through.  Steve did think about locking the door but, thought; “ah who is going to bother me up here? I don’t want to get paranoid like weirdo next door – life’s to good to worry about anything”, he assured himself.

Steve lay on his bed at the other end of the spacious apartment with the radio on.

It was still noisy with Freo crowds enjoying the day outside, so he wanted to create his own vibe in his own space. After about an hour he awoke feeling refreshed and ready for anything: well almost anything.

Steve walked down the passage and noticed the front door was propped open.

“Shit”, he yelled.

And quickly thought, “that noise, I ignored it, But! Fuck! – it was the door opening”.

“What the fuck”, – “I don’t Believe this”, Steve bellowed.

Steve quickly moved to where he kept his wallet and mobile phone; yep they were gone as well as a jar of coins and some other miscellaneous items.

“Oh well, they didn’t like my music collection”, Steve said ironically as he noticed they had rifled through a bag near the stereo, but had not taken anything.

“maybe I disturbed them as they were looking at other stuff to take”, Steve thought to himself.

After many phone calls, police, banks to cancel credit cards and some other business arrangements, Steve was exhausted and at a total loss.

He rang his friend Thomas who lived in another section of the apartment complex to tell him what had happened.  Tom was a great friend who would always lend a helping hand and have a comforting drink or two available for any occasion.

Steve had no money, no beer and no where else to go.

And, mostly needed a good kind friend.

Thomas welcomed him warmly and listened generously to Steve unburdened his woes. Steve was soon feeling a little calmer and feeling a little more like normal, I get by with a little help from my friends.

“Sorry mate, I think our peaceful time together maybe disrupted soon”, Thomas said apologetically.

Thomas explained; “Rae and Barbara are supposed to be coming over, they’ve rung a couple of times. They are both pretty out of it, and you know how they can get when they’ve had a few”.

Steve replied; “not sure if I’ve had the pleasure”.

Thomas continues; “oh, I thought you have met Rae, maybe not, well you’ll soon meet the tornado that is Rae”.

Thomas gave me a quick brief run down on Rae and Barbara and how he met Rae along with her housemate Barb.

Just on cue Tom’s phone rang and a very loud confusing conversation took place.

“look just make your way, ring me when you’re near and I’ll give you more directions then”, Thomas said exasperatedly.

Twenty minutes later the phone rang again; “We’re not sure where we are, I think we are nearby, but, don’t know where to go from here. We’re at a hamburger place near the footbridge to the wharf”, Rae was doing her best to explain.

Thomas replied: “Ok, I know where you are I’ll send my friend Steve down to get you”.

So, Thomas sent Steve out on a mission that would ultimately change his life.

==================

Steve, set off to go and rescue these wild lost women.

He found them at the car park at Captain Munchies and directed them to Thomas’s place.

Within moments of their arrival several other people joined them and there was instant mayhem. The small mob of merrymakers seemed like a multitude in the tiny enclosure of the small apartment.

As things go one of the women, the pretty one – Rae, had an argument with the host and left abruptly.

Steve took notice of this and thought how he liked her spirit and feistiness.

Even though her logic and the reason behind the whole argument was very odd, he understood her motivation to get up, stand up and walk out for her rights.             

There were no indications at all that night that Steve had just met a woman he would fall deeply and greatly in love with.

I attempt here to share their story and illuminate highlights of their magical journey.  Well, when I say highlights I use this term in a general sense all journeys well-travelled have mishaps, low points as well as the good.  There is a well-known saying that states `no man is an island` and science tells us that humans like most animals with higher intelligence are naturally social beings and try as hard as we may  we can not avoid this fact.

Steve and Rae were two individuals living parallel lives both doing their best to be self-sufficient, self-reliant successful people living relatively happy carefree lives.

A fun and funny exploration of love.

Steve reflected warmly and fondly on the first night they went to her flat.  He was feeling great, excited and yet pleasantly calm.  Even though he had been looking forward to being alone with her and getting intimate he was in no hurry and was open to anything to come.  He was immediately taken by her place a very small quaint old fashioned flat.  Without knowing her at all he was at ease and keenly aware that this was `her` home.  The little living room was incredibly wonderful and beautiful a reflection of her and her life, you could just tell this was Rae’s place. And, Steve liked it a lot, the look, charm prettiness and general feel it felt homely, welcoming, enticing and sensual all at the same time.  Steve was to find out in time that was Rae; you could sense danger, but also felt like she would look after you In a storm.

They had already had a great night at their friend Thomas’s and weren’t too sure about what to do once back at Rae’s house. I mean it was obvious they both wanted to express their lustful desires, but they both wanted to move cautiously and respectfully. As an interesting ice-breaker and method of  consuming time Rae decided to read Steve a story.  When suggested he thought she’d pull out a sensual story of adventure or maybe a thriller to draw them together, but the first book she laid her hands on was Dr Zeus The Cat In The Hat. She began to read, as a joke at first, but as she went it was so much fun she continued. The contrast was fabulous and the light-hearted oddness of it brought them closer and help form a bond. It was great and truth be known Steve really enjoyed the story. But, more importantly he was thoroughly captured by this infectious glorious personality. But, enough was enough as fun as Dr Zeus is it was definitely time for some adult play now.  Their night in bed together was nothing spectacular, especially in light of things to come. But, it was very sexy, fun and lovely.

===============

Steve didn’t go much for clichés, but for him at the time of his fortieth birthday he really did feel like his life was just beginning. There was so many new, interesting fun and sensational things all kicking off around him. Life was looking great and only getting better.

It was late January when he first started to get to know Rae some months after their initial fleeting blustery introduction. They had a mutual friend Thomas and both spent a lot of time at his house, so they were able to gradually get to know each other in a neutral setting where they both felt at ease.   They both confided in Thomas separately that they thought the other attractive and wanted to get together sometime. Thomas really didn’t like this matchmaking caper, so,  gave them both corresponding phone numbers and left them to it.

Steve went to the pub in South Fremantle with a loose plan. What if she was there, now that really would be something.

His plan was to check out what was happening there and then give her a call. “Hey; I’m at the Beaconsfield, there’s not much happening but a good atmosphere, just wondering if you wanted to meet me for a drink?”, Steve had said.

Rae replied with a laugh “I just live near there”.

“Oh do you”, Steve said trying to vain surprise, that’s why he went there.

“Um, but, I’m not at home”, Rae added.

Steve was disappointed his scheme, as vague as it was, wasn’t working. Why did he think a gorgeous girl like that would be free on a Saturday night.

Rae continued “I am house-sitting a friends place downtown just off the cappuccino strip. And, my daughter’s here so I’m just having a quiet night in”.

Steve and Rae continued with some chit-chat until Steve started to get a bit flustered and thought he’d may as well wind it up.

“Well I might go back to the bar have another drink and maybe see if anyone’s got a smoke”, he said lethargically.

“I’ve some here Rae said with a smile, bought it today, and well I don’t really smoke, just that my friend was getting some – it looked good, so I got some too.  You can have some if you want. You can come over for a short drink grab the stuff, and well sorry you wont be able to stay. I haven’t seen my daughter for a while and…”, Rae was saying apologetically, but yet still very inviting and friendly.

Steve cut her off,”no probs, not a worry, that sounds just great”.

He got the directions and was there in a minute flat.  He loved it when a plan came together. He didn’t care how or why he was seeing her just that he was.

One key element to Steve and Rae’s friendship was their love of music.  Steve took great pleasure in music, loved to have it around, know about the songs he liked and enjoyed all forms of live music.  Rae lived for music, she adored it. She would have music playing 24 hours where ever she was.  She loved going to concerts and festivals.  And, whenever she could, which was most of the time meet the artist and usually spend time with them backstage.  At the age of fifty she would still get as excited listening to her favourite musicians as a star-struck teenager.  Whilst Steve didn’t share the same level of passion, enthusiasm or obsession, he did share her enjoyment and style and taste.  They went to a couple of great concerts together.  One memorable one for Steve was the John Butler Trio at the Fremantle Arts Center.  This was the first time Steve had been to the center for a big gig and was really looking forward to it.  John butler was just reaching his peak with several hits on the radio. And, Steve felt that him and Rae had just firmly formed a strong and beautiful union. It was going to be great. – It was fantastic.  The music was wonderful and brilliant, the atmosphere was beautiful and the woman he was with was stunning; Steve couldn’t have asked for anything more.  He remembers one moment in the gig nearing the closing stages and he played one of his hit songs – `Peaches & Cream`,  a beautiful and well-crafted song, fun and lovely. He remembers standing holding Rae in front of him swaying to the music and picking up on the theme of the song and the key lyrics  `you fill my half empty cup` & `all I know is; all I know is, I love you`.  He held his girl tightly, lovingly, embraced her with a freedom and joy he couldn’t remember feeling before and kissed her gentlely on the cheek.  The memory of that experience brings a tear to his eye whenever it fills his mind.       

Another great musical memory Steve has and still considers it their special song is listening to and dancing to a Paul Kelly song in her tiny lounge room;  `The Pretty Place”. It’s not that it is an extraordinary outstanding song or tune, most of Paul Kelly’s songs are fantastic, and the lyrics didn’t really move him. It was them; there time and space. Steve thought Rae was his pretty place and he was so glad to be there.  The love that flowed between them felt very special that night.  Steve still can’t play the Paul Kelly album with the song Pretty Place – Nothing But A Dream without tears flowing freely, partly tears of joy for love once shared and partly because the depth of love has now passed.

Choices: places, people and pathways.

So, it’s decision time and Steve had never been too good at making decisions.  Well, more accurately he hadn’t made too many plans that require choices.  And, as it happened this time he wasn’t solely responsible for the choices facing him now. He had found and applied for the lovely little garden flat near the beach on his own.  He hadn’t really expected to get the flat and now it was offered to him with no fuss or bother he desperately wanted it.  But, how was he going to afford it? It wasn’t going to leave him much money once rent and expenses had been paid.  And, what’s the point of living in such a beautiful place if you can’t afford to do anything?  Can’t spend too much longer pretending he was on holidays.  His cousin John had planted  the seeds of change.  John on hearing about the dramatic demise of his relationship and living arrangements had offered Steve a stay at his place in Melbourne.  “Why don’t you come and visit us, we’d love to see you”, John had said while talking to Steve about his options.  Steve thought he would love to see his cousin John and partner Jennifer he really enjoyed their company, but, he needed something permanent and he wasn’t sure if he wanted to live in Melbourne, he loved it here on the coast. He couldn’t picture Melbourne in the summer, and after spending so much time in a small town living in a big city would just be too much.  Then John offered a sweetener – asked him to apply for a position in a training course.  Steve applied and got a position.  So, now he was expected to go to Melbourne and had a great opportunity there.  “Dam! Wish I could have both. Live hear enjoy all this and have a great career opportunity.”  he thought to himself as he pondered his choices.

Steve had never been career minded or ambitious in regards to work.  As long as he had some employment and it wasn’t totally horrible that was enough for him.  Well, it had been.  Steve had become tired of his current situation, under-paid, under-valued and under-utilised. It was definitely time for a major change to his employment status and future prospects.  If he was to stay on the north coast he’d need to get a good job and they were limited.  And, on a personal note he needed to change his routine and break out from the rut. The choices were so contrasting and both very challenging.  They both required Steve to have belief in himself, his judgement and his ability to achieve the goals set before him.  Many of these concepts and tasks were a little foreign to him and therefore daunting.  He hadn’t set too many professional goals and didn’t have much confidence in his skills and his ability to promote them in such a tight job market. Steve had recently set himself a personal goal to follow his heart and take the advice of Ben Lee `Gamble Everything For Love`, and that’s how he got here.  So,  was it time to go with his head this time?

When reflecting on his time spent  with Rae Steve noticed all the simple little things that made it memorable and enjoyable, a wonder filled experience:- – laughter; the sound of little feet running on wooden floors; the joy of sharing company with a delightful vibrant, wise loving seven year old girl and learning to appreciate and enjoy all she appreciated and enjoyed; – barbie, fairies and dancing.

Having a house to live in, a house rather than a flat or apartment was great,

It provides more space and variety in living areas.

Steve enjoyed both houses he shared with Rae in the beautiful town of Bangalow.  He even took pride and pleasure in taking care of the yard and garden, with all its difficulties and unconventional features.

The opportunity to live in, experience the pleasures of the beautiful north coast of NSW felt like a privilege. Steve particularly enjoyed of living with Rae in the house they rented together at the edge of town nextdoor to a farm.  The way she decorated the house and made it homely was very warming. Of course he loved the marvellous meals she prepared and the love that they shared.

Steve also has one particular memory of making love in her pretty bedroom in the deep darkness illuminated regularly by the trucks headlights shining through the windows as they roared rumbling down the road.

But, the most indelible impacting memory is that of Family and Home. Steve had never put too much emphasis on his family and never really connected to the full sense of family before and with Rae he had. Steve has lived in many houses and none have really fully filled him with a sense of home.  Even the brand new fantastic attractive apartment in central Fremantle, an area he’d always wanted to live, didn’t motivate him to call it Home or create a homely environment.  Steve realises the extent of the proverb “home is where the heart is” and his heart is still firmly rooted with Rae.

A few months into his stay in Melbourne and his doubts and fears of living in this huge city had been realised.  Melbourne was horrible in summer and the bigness of everything was freaking him out.  Part of Melbourne’s charm and attractiveness is that it is so old and has lots of character. The old buildings appear so dark and grey, and Melbourne’s imfamous weather was living up to its reputation cloudy all the time. It was all adding to darken Steve’s experience.  He hadn’t realised to what extent living in a regional area surrounded by lush countryside and beautiful beaches had on him.  For most of his life he hardly ever left the metropolitan area.  It wasn’t till quite recently that he started to understand the attraction and benefits of forests and the sea.  now he longed for it and notice how he breathed more freely, openly and happier when out of the city limits.

What this current time of sadness, isolation and loneliness has slowly demonstrated to him was that it was up to him.  He had no one to reach out to, so, he better learn to reach in to himself.  He had to rely on finding happiness and love for himself by himself rather than thinking it will lie in the arms of another.

Steve continues to miss Rae greatly and still holds some small hope that they can reignite a special and close friendship wherever, whenever, sometime.  He isn’t basing his future plans or choices on it, but Rae will still figure prominently in his heart and mind …..

——-===========——-

Epilogue

Many years ago I wrote these ramblings for someone I lost my heart to.

Leonard Cohen wrote about Suzanne and said:

“… you want to travel with her

And you want to travel blindAnd you know that she will trust youFor you’ve touched her perfect body with your mind.” I’d like to travel with you I’d like to travel far and wide.There’s no such thing as perfect, it’s just an illusion,the distance can cause confusion and yet the subtleties between clarity and delusion can be so unkind. But, if practice does make perfect, then I best keep on trying. Leonard Cohen continued his ode to Suzanne;

“Now Suzanne takes your hand

And she leads you to the river

She is wearing rags and feathers

From Salvation Army counters

And the sun pours down like honey

On our lady of the harbour

And she shows you where to look

Among the garbage and the flowers

There are heroes in the seaweed

There are children in the morning

They are leaning out for love

And they will lean that way forever

While Suzanne holds the mirror

And you want to travel with her

And you want to travel blind

And you know that you can trust her

For she’s touched your perfect body with her mind.”

Now I’m not bold enough to suggest that I have a perfect body but you have touched me with your mind and guided me as I’ve travelled blind.

My ode is to Precious love now past.

The flower that brightens my life.

She is the flame that blossoms in my heart

Where to go to?

Who will shine my guiding light?

I am a traveller without a clear destination

But, wherever I am going I don’t want to go alone

Will you be the one to come with me to do what I must do?

Got to go on a journey

I’d Like to take the time to smell the roses

explore the earth, discover all it is worth.

This great big beautiful planet

with its glorious forests, magnificent mountains,

raging rivers and mystical oceans.

There is so much to see

but, where to begin

a wise traveller should not journey alone

So, I ask again; will you come with me?

So many adventures lie waiting to be found.

Must take the risk, it’s going to be worthwhile

can’t guarantee we’d always be safe and sound.

But, if we’re always together with love in our hearts

we will feel strong and free.

With fun as our goal and richness of soul

Trials may trip us on our journey and from this we can not hide

I know with dignity we will move on and always try.

You’re brave and bright, you are my guiding light.

Would you like to share some adventures with me?

The woman to whom I asked this question never did answer fully truthfully,

even though we did spend much time together. The journey was a memorable one crazy, hectic, sometimes traumatic, but passionate, loving and so very sensual.

 

She is now on a journey somewhere I can not & do not want to go.

Hopefully though she was there to greet

her delightful Dad, and  was reunited now with her sensational Son.

Many blessings to you Precious Petal.

 

   

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100 Hampton Road

Great about Perth

Photo courtesy of Jean-Paul Horre Photo courtesy of Jean-Paul Horre

No matter how many times you were taught as a child not to judge a book by its cover, I’d be willing to bet you still slip up from time to time. And fair enough – it’s difficult to remember the value behind that worn-out phrase when you’re so often forced into situations that require you to make snap decisions from a range of choices. But, while it’s a reasonable tool to use when picking a salad-bar lunch, that cursory glance finds no favour when you’re passing judgement on more significant things – like, for example, where someone lives.

FORM, the not-for-profit behind some of our favourite public art, seeks to use art and creativity as a lens to examine and transform spaces into inspiring, uplifting places, and it’s challenging the often-negative perception of public housing through its partnership with Foundation Housing, on…

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The Black Dog Bite doesnt hurt

The black dog bites

 

When the black dog bites,

You know it’s a bitch

it’s like a slap from an evil witch.

Sometimes you can’t shake it no matter how hard you fight.

The pain can hit you day or night

It’s an annoying scratch you just can’t itch.

 

When the black dog gets a hold

It can make you feel slow and old.

The darkness may last a minute or hover like a cloud

it can often be an adventurous journey on the dark side of the street  

But, maybe I should move from the shadows to the bright side of the road

It often takes courage, effort and ability to be bold.

 

The Black Dog doesn’t always win

Sometimes I can see the black dog coming and give it the slip.

if I keep moving it can’t catch me, & I wont let it in.

When I feel the black dog sneaking up

I stare it down and laugh and sing

I wont let that bitch take over and ruin anything

 

The Black dog; it’s bark can be worse than it’s bite

Sometimes the fear of the dark wich approaching can be perilously paralysing

keeping it away is an ongoing fight,

that often takes all my might.

So, I keep alert (but, not alarmed) and listen out for the evil snarl

if I sense it coming I throw it a black cat bone,

and hope it will leave me alone  

 

The Black Dog, it’s out of mind and out of sight.

My heart is strong and brain is right.

Fun with friends and time in the sun

helps make me feel cheery and bright.

Wont be singing the blues today

I’m OK, if I’m alright.

 

 

SC – Monday, 22 September 2014

 

 

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I wish for inspiration

A grand story
[revisited & edited 14/04/0]7

<span lang="EN-AU" style="font-size:12pt; a stereotypical Aussie male I grew-up not really knowing what feelings were, and what I did know I was unable to express.   This story is like personal therapy; an exploration, – allowing myself to feel emotions, attempting to understand different emotional states, and also be able to express them. It is a wonderful experience, very freeing, to be able to clearly communicate what is on my mind and in my heart.  I came to a realisation some time ago, (during a WHOLEVIEW weekend workshop) that speaking from my heart, or saying how I felt, can be very powerful & potent and easier to be heard than simply speaking my mind. Saying what’s on my mind can be important, but I need to be thoughtful, considerate and aware of how I feel about what I am saying. This may make it easier for the people listening to hear, understand and comprehend what I am saying, openly without fear or judgement.

 

When my grandfather died, I knew how I felt and what I wanted to say.

So, I wrote a tribute to be read at his funeral.

 

            MY GRANDDAD;  BY, SIMON CHONG.   

 

Ever since I was a young child I have had a huge feeling of pride, and respect about this wonderful silver haired gentlemen. A strapping honest man who I always considered to be a tall pillar of strength and dignity. Someone I looked-up to and measured myself with. I remember referring to him in conversation as “The Man From Snowy River”, without the snow.  I still don’t know much about Banjo’s legendary story, but a lot of what I do know came from my granddad. I fondly recall many family gatherings where granddad would share his droving stories and resight poems by Patterson Lawson etc. This always warmed me and drew me into a world so foreign and yet so familiar. I loved listening with great wonder and respect to the stories of my grandfather and his droving days and his time in the bush. To me my grandad will always be every bit a legend as the one he so fondly read about by Banjo Patterson.

 

I have fantastic loving memories of the time my grandparents spent with me and my family in our home.
loved them dearly.
hope the respect and admiration and honour I have for both of them was known to them and remembered in their hearts.
know that my feelings for Tom and Mary Cocking are not exclusively felt by their family alone, but by all their friends and everyone they met.
I know this service is for Tom, but it is impossible to think of him without Gran, without Mary; his beautiful loving wife, and my generous gorgeous wonderful grandmother.

<span has been released from his suffering. His body may be dead but his soul is still alive and can finally be rejoined with his beautiful wife.

GOD BLESS YOUR SOUL  GRANDDAD , MAY YOU REST IN PEACE, OUR LOVE GOES WITH YOU.!   

 

Soon after my grandfathers death I did a lot of soul searching.  I was determined to make the passing of one great life the beginning of another wonderful life, MINE.

I wrote down how I was feeling and what I was thinking at the time; I titled it WISH.  I have subsequently learnt that wishing is fine, but, somewhere down the line I need to plan, and more importantly I need to Do. And, do it for myself.

 

            I WISH.

 

I wish I were half the man my grandfather was.

I guess I am only a third of the way through the journey of life in comparison to grandad.  I know that I can never achieve or accomplish anything as amazing as Tom Cocking ever did.  I know that they are big boots to fill, but I hope that I will be remembered with similar feelings of respect, honour and a knowledge of contribution to peoples lives.

 

I’ve been told that I have inherited some of my grandfather’s physical attributes. 

But our family follows a matriarchal line and I think I inherited many of my personality traits from my grandmother and my mother; as they did also. People and being with people was one of my grandmother’s greatest loves.  It is this strong desire to enjoy meaningful socialising that helps form my identity.

 

I know that I have left my mark, found my way into the memory of many people and hopefully they are happy memories or at least respectful ones. Sometimes that seems enough, a good measure of success, to gain the respect from your peers and the ones you respect or hold dear.

 

Respect; it sometimes feels like such an arbitrary and vague concept.

Why is it so important? And, can we live without it?

 

I wish I could know me better,  and find my inner strength so that maybe I can respect myself more. I know that to gain respect and honour from other people I must respect myself. I know that in this society respect is given to those who have reached some form of material achievement. I hope to reach a greater successful achievement, both in the material sense and in the spiritual sense.span are willing and able to share their heart so that we maid gain mutual benefits to all concerned is the most important goal to reach.

 

If I can gain respect, financial, or material reward from doing this I will accept this gratefully and gracefully.

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