Tag Archives: entertainment

‘A Song for Ellie’ : from ‘A Taste of Life and Love in Australia’

3 Jun

 

‘Did she notice me in the crowd?  Was I just another face, beaming my approval, my adulation?  Or was her smile, in my direction,  truly meant for me?’

 

Thus begins ‘A Song for Ellie’, one of the twenty-eight stories in ‘A Taste of Life and Love in Australia’: my one and only book to receive a professional review by Australian writer Jenny Schwartz. To say the truth: my one and only book to be seriously appraised.

 

‘A Song for Ellie’ tells the story of a smitten, genuine young man who uses his initiative in an attempt at wooing a young, naive singer. It’s one of my favourite stories in the ‘Life and Love’ series.

 

I don’t know what Jenny thought of it: she didn’t specify any particular likes: but I’m delighted to say she seems to have strongly approved of the book in its entirety. She rated it 5 Stars!

 

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My Most Loved Musical Experience: A Schubert Impromptu

1 Jun

Do you have a special piece that never fails to move you?

For me,  it’s the sublime Schubert Impromptu Opus 90 #3 in G flat.

I’m ashamed to admit that I’d never heard it until Ron, my husband, introduced this remarkable piece to me more than a decade ago. So taken by its absolute beauty, its incredibly powerful evocation that touched me very deeply, I decided to learn to play it on my piano.

It’s not an easy piece, at least for someone of my limited ability, but I stuck at it and managed to be able to get through it in its entirety, though slowly. Even this level of performance gave me pleasure.

But how much greater is my enjoyment when I hear it played by a master! Then, I’m free to concentrate on the music and the moods its builds so effortlessly. At this very moment, I can hear it. It is truly the most beautiful thing on this earth.

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There’s Something about Dancing….

20 May

There’s something about dancing! Where else than at such a venue would you perform that way; smile at strangers near and far; display exuberance in such an unashamed manner?

Can you imagine the stares that such behaviour would attract in any other situation? The degree of self-consciousness that one would normally feel if one was being watched by a crowd, showing your reactions to your feelings?

And of the music itself: a type of therapy, I believe, that at least for a while  makes us focus on something outside our own little world, and can invoke all kinds of emotions.

Music and dancing, especially ad-lib dancing, must surely hold a very special place in society. Where would we be without it?

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A Meeting of Musical Minds

29 Apr

It isn’t every day that a celebrity visits us, but very recently we had that privilege.

The lead singer and founder of Sydney’s cover band ‘The Bandits’ spent part of his afternoon in our company, discussing with lively interest the popular music of the 60’s to 80’s,  and branching off into talk of guitar accessories.

My husband Ronald Sharp, the esteemed pipe organ builder, and I have become loyal, enthusiastic fans of Paul and ‘The Bandits’. They are superb entertainers, and  we never tire of their ever-increasing repertoire. Some of our favourite tunes are  evergreens such as  ‘Love is in the Air’, ‘Pretty Woman’ and ‘La Bamba’, but, with Paul, Conrad, Gary and Warwick on the lookout for other great material, we’re often treated to new, highly danceable numbers.

Long live the great Australian band, ‘The Bandits’!

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My 150th Post!

20 Apr

What a milestone! My 150th post!

Doesn’t seem long ago that my 100th saw the light of day, and from that, my first follower, Jennifer Avventura, came into my life. Since then, other bloggers have joined her ranks, some leaving lovely comments.

Between then and now, life has had its ups and downs.

The chief apex is, in terms of satisfaction, the publication of our sixth book, ‘Long and Short Australian Stories’, which was released last week, on the 11th April. Even the cover has special significance since my husband, Ronald Sharp B.E.M. took the beach photo that forms its basis on the eve of our wedding anniversary. A day to remember!

Another happy event came from an unexpected source: my blog found its way onto Jennifer Avventura’s list of nominees for ‘The Versatile Blogger Award’. I must admit, I’m more than a little unclear if this is an honour or not! Why is Jennifer passing it on so readily?!

The downside to our life has probably been the closure of our local river baths due to pollution, initially caused by torrential rain. Our Swimming Club cancelled all meeting from the end of February, and, with more heavy rain over the past few days, the problem seems no closer to resolution. I guess if and when it’s all fixed and clean, we’ll really appreciate it.

So, here we are on a Friday night, and I’m signing off.

150 posts down, who knows how many to go?

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The Versatile Blogger Award

15 Apr

Guess what? Fellow blogger Jennifer Avventura has nominated me, along with fifteen others, for the Versatile Blogger Award.

This is the first time I’ve ever been nominated for an award, and, even better, Jennifer has kindly absolved me from fulfilling the stated conditions of acceptance.

However, in keeping with the award’s spirit, I’ll give away a few of my secrets.

1. As a three year old, I suffered a mystery illness, and my life may well have been saved by  the knowledge of the eminent doctor, Sir Lorimar Dodds.

2. Still on a medical theme, at age 28, I had surgery for appendicitis. I was still in post operative agony when someone revealed the truth. I did not actually have appendicitis! In fact, I didn’t need surgery…. That information went down like a lead balloon!

3. Also at age 28, I took up swimming: and, within a few years, was able to compete without embarrassment in inter-club meets.

4. In my early thirties, I actually dead-heated for first place in an inter-club swimming meet. The fact that all the really good swimmers in my age group were  elsewhere engaged had nothing to do with it….

5. I’ve had nine dogs in my life, with two of them reaching the ripe age of sixteen years. My present one – a Maltese – is a rescue dog. Who knows what is in her past?

6. I am afraid of heights. I am so afraid of heights that I cringe at the idea of looking downwards from elevators: you know, those glass-sided ones that shopping complexes usually have. You’ll never even catch me walking across a bridge.

7. I like teaching myself. Music, painting, studying: I like to set my own goals, and study and learn in my own way, and at my own pace.

There you are. I hope, Jennifer, that you now consider me a worthy recipient of the Versatile Blogger Award. And congratulations to you, and all other winners.

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Review: Mary Poppins Opens the Door

15 Mar

REVIEW: MARY POPPINS OPENS THE DOOR

It’s been noted before by others: the lack of recognition of Australian origins of the classic ‘Mary Poppins’ volumes. Recent conversations with those of younger years than myself: bears this out.

Pamela Lyndon Travers, real name Helen Lyndon Goff, was born in Maryborough, Queensland, the daughter of an unsuccessful bank manager, Travers Robert Goff. Moving to Bowral, N.S.W. as a child, it’s believed it’s here she evolved the idea of Mary Poppins.

Published in 1944, I first read ‘Mary Poppins Opens the Door’ as a child, more years ago than I care to nominate.

Question is: how does my childhood enchantment stack up against the viewpoint of middle-age?

My first impression is that it’s a true evergreen; that generation after generation will be captivated by the magnetic figure of Mary Poppins, who manages to simultaneously tame and enthrall her young charges, the Banks’ children.

Typically stern, even snappy, she nevertheless beguiles with enviable ease, everyone who comes her way.

Is part of her attraction the fact that she sets the children standards and boundaries?

Be that as it may, it’s surely her magic, her reverence: that propels her to stardom.

There’s a range of stories, including an encounter with the statue, Neleus, that’s briefly transformed into a living, moving child; a Cat that outsmarts a King; parties that see Mary present as an honoured guest. A chapter each, I feel that a few were a tad more drawn out than absolutely necessary.

Nevertheless, this volume is and remains a great choice for children and parents to read together or separately, and discuss.

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