The Soundtrack to My Life



I love music.  I love all kinds of music, but most of all I love music that resonates with my soul.

I have a very eclectic taste in music.  My youngest son also loves music and I get to benefit from his extensive library!  I have been introduced to some very alternate sounds and some I have learned to love.  There are some songs that I love on first listen, but then they start to grate on me the more I hear them.  Other songs I don’t like initially, but the more I hear them the more they grow on me.

My youngest son and I work together and so we often carpool.  Whenever he is in the car, he commandeers the stereo.  This has opened me up to a whole lot of new music…and revisit some old ones.

One such new artist is Macklemore .  You may of heard of his song “Thrift Shop” which brought him to main stream attention but as a favourite author of mine (Patrick Rothfuss) said

But Thrift Shop is just what got me in the door. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. I’ve looked into his other stuff. Hence the love. This guy is my kind of crazy.

He uses explicit language and it is hip hop, but his lyrics are real and raw and convey a depth of character that I would not have otherwise thought was there.  I admit that it may not be to everyones taste, but there is something about an artist who is willing to lay their soul bare before the world and admit their failures that deserves respect…and he definitely has a way with words.

Another not so new artist that my son has discovered is Justin Timberlake.  I must admit that I have never been a fan of JT as either a singer or an actor, but his latest offering “Mirrors” is one of those that has grown on me.

Apart from my sons influence on my music tastes, I have my own music leanings.  My boys laugh at me and chide me over some of my choices, but I don’t care.

One of my most favourite bands at the moment is Mumford & Sons.  I love the energy in their music.  I have always thought they would be amazing live and late last year I got to go to one of their Australian shows in Sydney and they didn’t disappoint.  Their lyrics are well written and their music speaks to something deep inside me.

Boy & Bear are another favourite.  I love the folky, homely sound.  Along the folky lines I also love The Waifs…specifically the song “Lighthouse“.

I have a group of artists that I don’t quite know how to describe.  They are indie, alternative and I like to describe them as “cute”.  The music is light and uplifting and it makes you feel good.

Mindy Gledhill came onto my radar with her song “Anchor“.  I heard it during a “Bones” episode and had to “Shazam” it to find out who it was.  Since then I have purchased her album and have fallen in love with what she has produced.

When I was on iTunes downloading Mindy’s album, I discovered two other artists who I have come to love.  Little & Ashley are a married couple, Annie Little & Marcus Ashley, who produce indie pop music.  There songs have appeared most famously in a series of Amazon Kindle ads.  Their songs can lift my mood from the first refrain.

The other artist I discovered was Jillian Edwards. I like the simplicity and cleanness of the melodies and the honestness of the lyrics.  Again this is an artist that makes me feel good.

Lastly I would like to give a shout out to The Make.  I went to school with these guys and really love what they are doing.  I love the fact that they are two middle-aged guys with full time jobs still following their dreams.  I also love that I can say, “I knew them when…”

This is not by all means the length and breadth of the music I love, this is but a snapshot.  I suppose the point of this is to say that you should never be ashamed of your music choices.  We all have our little daggy likes, we’re not all cool, and we need to be proud of these.  When a song resonates with us, we need to embrace it!


Extreme Gardening – survival of the fittest

I love gardens. I love plants and flowers and perfect garden beds arranged just so, but I hate gardening.  I don’t know if this stems from some trauma from my childhood (possibly that my mother, who has the greenest thumb I know, forced me to garden with her when I was young and impressionable) or maybe that I am just not a nurturer.  Regardless of the reason, the fact remains that I struggle to keep plants alive.

I don’t go out of my way to kill them, they just seem to die.  I always start out with the best intentions; I have a vivid vision of what I want to achieve, I buy all the plants, I spend the day planting, I stand back and admire them patting myself on the back for a job well done and then a month later it has all gone to wrack and ruin.

People have tried to help me.  They give me advice, buy me pot plants, give me books but all to no avail.  If a plant is going to survive under my care, then it must be strong.  I have come to the realisation that my garden is a test for all plant-kind…only the toughest survive!

I often daydream of having a whimsical cottage garden with bright blooms and sweet fragrance or perhaps a self-sufficient vegetable garden free from pesticides and vine-ripened.  I see myself with a wide brimmed hat and a wicker basket, pruning shears in gloved hand picking and plucking and harvesting.  It is such a realistic and beautiful image…ah

It doesn’t take long for that delightful dream to turn into a disaster…

But alas! All is not lost! I have discovered that I don’t kill everything!

Here is my latest attempt and developing a green thumb-

My freshly planted seedlings

My freshly planted seedlings

The green pot I bought specially.  I even bought special soil for herbs.  I planted them on a nice cool rainy day, gave them a good drink and left them to their own devices.

The terracotta pot was a pot that was sitting in the garden with a previously deceased plant in it, old soil and nothing going for it.  I had some seedling left over, so what the hell, I planted them in it!

Six weeks later…

Six weeks later

My herbs a mere six weeks later

The green pot is doing ok but the terracotta pot…wow that coriander is a machine!

So, the whole point of this post?  Well, I suppose one point is persistance pays off and secondly if you have a brown-thumb like me just think of it as doing the world a favour by ridding the species of the weakest link…extreme gardening…only the fittest survive