Day 28 NaBloPoMo: Colours of my life

Most of my recreational activities appeal to my senses- not so many to the intellect.

Torres del Paine, Patagonia, S America

Eerie dragon trees in Madagascar

Of course I love mucking about on the computer- some days I’m hardly away from it. While I’m on here I like to catch up with friends via Facebook and Plurk. There is some overlap between them, but I have plenty of Plurk friends who don’t do Facebook and vice versa. Most of my crafty friends are on Plurk with a few exceptions and most people I know here in Adelaide or Australia are on Facebook. I also have lots of contacts and quite a few real friends on Flickr, too. It’s lovely to flick around in there and find beautiful images of anything I can think of- sometimes I trawl about looking at gorgeous waterfalls or flower gardens; at other times I look for pictures of places where I’d love to travel, eg. The Torres del Paine in South America, and Madagascar.

My crafty interests are mainly kept up through the internet nowadays, whereas I used to subscribe to a pile of magazines when I had an income. Now I explore knitting yarn, fabric, glass, knitting, crochet, felting and sewing sites via Google. Through blogging and via Facebook I have come across many craft-oriented blogs, some of which are fascinating for me. I even won a heap of knitting related goodies from a US blogger in a competition after she had been to the Ravelry Convention this year. It was so exciting when the parcel arrived- the silk/wool yarn in it was fantastic!
While Spotrick loves to locate interesting images on the internet, I also love to locate scientific and medical knowledge. For this I love the science blogs and the blogs attached to magazines, such as Scientific American and Nature . I’ve always been interested in autism, since I did two years voluntary placement in a rural kindergarten, trying to integrate a six-year-old severely autistic child who belonged to the university’s doctor. This happened while I was studying psychology and special education. I shared the placements with a lovely girl named Diana who had just arrived from Texas State College (now Texas University) with her young husband who was employed as the Emergency Registrar at the local hospital. So for autism information, I sometimes get attracted to more specialized journals via summaries in Nature etc- I like to read about the possible brain development abnormalities in Brain and the views on autistic people lacking a ‘theory of mind’, as promulgated by Sacha Baron-Cohen’s brother [the guy who played Borat], Simon Baron-Cohen at Cambridge University.

The rest of my recreation time is spent doing crafts and gardening while listening to music a lot of the time. My musical tastes are very eclectic and started with being exposed to classical music records and the piano and violin when I was a very young. In New Zealand we had an old gramophone with a steel needle (it used to be bamboo apparently- very odd!) and a horn that said “His Masters Voice” with the classic picture of the little barking dog. My parents even had recordings of the music they had at the church when they got married. They had The Wedding at Troldhaugen by Grieg and some other fairly wild organ music- played by my ‘Aunty’ Myrtle. I also remember another marriage-related set of music- from the show The Wedding of the Painted Doll, which may have been an old movie as well. It was a really jolly, jiggery sort of tune that seemed odd for a wedding! I could picture the bride and her father skipping down the aisle, train, flowers and veil flying about madly! Lol
My musical tastes obviously widened a lot as I got older and listened to things on the radio and outside our home. As a youngster, I discovered the Beatles and Rolling Stones via Radio 4BK from Brisbane, which I picked up on short wave radio- what’s that you say?! “Hit Parades” were usually played on Monday nights, I think and I started listening when I was nearly ten. I can remember names like Elvis Presley, Lesley Gore and Bobby Vee. One of my favourite tunes then was It’s My Party and I’ll Cry if I Want to by Lesley Gore (1963) – such a hoot!
The Beatles Michelle” really got to me and I was goggle-eyed over Paul McCartney for a while. Initially the Rolling Stones didn’t have a lot of tunes I appreciated- I think the feelings and actions expressed were a bit out of my little world, so at first Under the Boardwalk was my favourite by far. Later on I could “get” Let’s Spend the Night Together, Paint it Black and The Last Time, until I liked most of their stuff. Another artist I came to just as he started was Elton John- I still think there is very little that can match the Tumbleweed Connection album in terms of great tunes and wonderful lyrics, eg.Come Down in Time. Bernie Taupin was magic with Elton and I wish they hadn’t ever split. When I started uni, the songs playing in the car on the way to and from were I’m Your Venus– I just recently saw a video of this and I thought the lead singer looked like a transsexual!
Other songs I remember from around then are The Village People’s YMCA and Blondie’s Heart of Glass, Eric Clapton’s I Shot the Sheriff and I tragically liked Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells– which the rock types thought was very daggy!
Later on came Bruce Springsteen with a heap of songs. I still love lots from The Wild, The Innocent and the E-Street Shuffle, Born to Run and Nebraska; Bob Seger & Night Moves and Gerry Rafferty I liked, too; Phil Collins and Genesis- yesterday I heard You and Me in Paradise which always brings a tear to my eye which has nothing to do with the words at all.

There is so much great music I like from all those years- how could I live without Joe Jackson- nothing quite says it for me like You Can’t Get What You Want (Till You Know What You Want). What about The Police and Sting? Life would not be complete without Fields of Gold, Fortress Around Your Heart, I Burn for You , If you Love Somebody, Set Them Free and Every Breath You Take. What an absolutely complete musician he is! And rather gorgeous!
The only song I’ve ever liked from John Farnham is also called Burn for You– what a passionate little creature I must imagine I am! LOL. Why have I missed out Dire Straits? They were awesome- Mark Knopfler still is. Ah Skateaway, Love over Gold, Romeo & Juliet, Tunnel of Love– everything is awesome!
Crikey- I’ve strayed right off my track here and I haven’t even mentioned all the jazz and modern fusion stuff I like. What about Wynton Marsalis, elder brother of Branford Marsalis who played with Sting? Fantastic horn player and now band leader- I’ve seen both the brothers in Adelaide- what talent! A lot of my faves are rather obscure for a lot of people- eg. Richie Beirach, George Winston, Jan Ackerman, Paul Bley, William Ackerman, Michael Hedges. Plus there are all the older jazz people like Miles Davis, Chick Corea, Thelonius Monk, Dave Brubeck.. Endless.
I’d better shut up and save a deeper discussion of my musical tastes for another blog. I’d love other bloggers to tell me about their musical preferences- and dislikes as well- I cannot stand the operatic female voice, or most operas in general written since Monteverdi’s The Coronation of Poppea in 1642!! I also loathe most country music verging on pop, especially featuring Loretta Lynn or Dolly Parton.
Come on- give me your worst- and best!


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