Gardening, Food, Art, Music – What Else Do I Need?

After spending a very productive day in the garden yesterday, I went shopping this afternoon.

The short version of the story is I probably shouldn’t be allowed out alone. I came home with a Tahitian Lime (Citrus x latifolia). As most of you are likely aware, Hobart is the southernmost capital city in Australia, and we can get quite fierce winters, with frost and occasional snow. Trying to grow any kind of lime is tempting fate here, but I recently heard about a tree in a nearby area that yielded 9 kilos (just under 20lb) of fruit.

While I was in the garden yesterday, I had a look around and thought about where the warmest place in my patch would be. So today I bought a very healthy little tree that’s been grafted on dwarfing lemon rootstock. And I think that’s the trick with selecting trees for your climate – look carefully at your site, determine what it can and can’t accommodate and choose trees that are grafted onto rootstocks that suit. The plan with this lime is to overwinter it in the greenhouse and plant it out in spring into a tub against a concrete wall that gets a lot of sun. Fingers crossed! I’ll keep you updated.

And around the corner from the garden centre is one of my all time favourite food shops – Ziggy’s Supreme Smallgoods. These folks make and sell their own smallgoods as well as local and imported cheeses, pickles and (mostly Polish) biscuits and canned goods. I restrained myself to Cabanossi and Ukrainian sausage, Chicken Kiev, Chorizo (both for later in the week), fresh sliced Ziggy’s bacon and a couple of cheeses – because cheese! So tonight’s dinner was a veritable feast of the two sausages and one of the cheeses, served with thin sliced, toasted home made sourdough and slices of fresh apple. It was bliss!

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Hobart is the place to be at the moment. Dark Mofo, one of my favourite festivals is in full swing this week but it’s not the only thing happening.

Tomorrow night is the grand opening of The Gentle Void, a new art and performance space in Campbell Street. The idea behind this new gallery is to give room to alternative voices and provide a welcoming space for audiences. I’m really looking forward to seeing the opening group show, featuring artists from around Australia.

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And finally, Thursday night I’m taking a night off from the Uni books and playing the UNLOCKED gig at The Waratah Hotel. It should be a heap of fun and there’s some lovely performers on the bill, including the very talented Cassie O’Keefe. I’m really looking forward to it 😀

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As to the title of this post – what else do I need? A book, always a book – and that’s where I’m off to now.

Wherever you are on this beautiful planet, go gently, be safe and be happy ❤

 

A Quick Gig Update – Day 17 NaBloPoMo

Hey everyone

A quick reminder for southern Tasmanian folks that tonight the monthly ASA show is on at The Homestead in Elizabeth Street, starting with the wonderful Cassie O’Keefe at 6:30 pm. I’ll be coming along to have dinner, catch up with friends and cheer everyone on, in particular the feature act, George Begbie.

And Thursday night, (19th November) I’m playing a show with Cassie, again at The Homestead from 7-9 pm. This should be a fabulous night with one of the best young up and coming talents around town 🙂

One of my beautiful Seagull guitars

Hopefully, I’ll get time to do a longer post later, but we’ll see – it’s going to be a busy day I think!

A Quick Update – Day 10 NaBloPoMo 2015

Wow, it’s Day 10 already – one third of the way through the month of blogging! It’s a little scary how fast the time has flown but I still haven’t run out of things to write about 😀

As many of you will be aware, there was much excitement on the weekend when the beautiful Boudica Bunny gave birth on Saturday morning.

I’m very pleased to say that all seven of them are very healthy, plump little bunnies, obviously being fed and already showing a light sheen of (mostly) white fur. There’s a couple with speckles of black skin like their mother but I think most of them are going to be like their father Beelzebun, who’s a crossbred Californian/New Zealand White. Newborns are more or less hairless and look like little pink peanuts but within the first week they grow an awful lot of fur! By this time next week they’ll be starting to open their eyes and get curious about the world.

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For the next fortnight or more I’ve got loads of work coming my way, mostly with regard to my final assignment for my current online unit at Griffith University. I have to complete a creative piece (short story, short screenplay or three poems) and a 500 word exegesis about my process. I’ve decided to go with the poems as it’s closer to lyric writing which I feel comfortable with but different enough to be of value to my learning. Interestingly, I’ve been reading far more prose lately but it’s flavouring my work in an interesting way. I hope my tutor agrees!

And next Thursday I’m playing a gig at The Homestead in Hobart, supporting my good friend, Cassie O’Keefe. I’m really looking forward to it and hoping we can find the time to rehearse some material together between now and then. If you’re in southern Tasmania, Cassie’s playing a set this Friday the 13th at the Worlds End in Sandy Bay, which I’m hoping to get to.

So, posts will still be daily – I don’t want to stop now I’m a third of the way through – they’ll still contain bunny and gardening updates but they might be a little shorter…….

To finish, here’s a photo of Boudica and my other doe Bella, when they were little girls – about four or five months old. Note the overturned bowl, something Boudica still does when she’s finished her daily kibble ration ❤

Bella & Boudica

Bella & Boudica

UNLOCKED – Day 1 NaBloPoMo

So, here in the southern hemisphere it’s the evening of November 1st. Welcome to NaBloPoMo where the challenge is to write a blog post every day of this month.

I’ve just got home from an afternoon gig at The Yard at The Brunswick Hotel in central Hobart and it was really great fun. I caught up with old friends and met some new ones – and the music was great! UNLOCKED is run by Meraki Management and the brain-child of Amy Fogarty, who is something of a force of nature.

Cassie at UNLOCKEDMy friend and former student, Cassie O’Keefe (above) was also on the bill and really nailed it with her set! We had dinner after (the food is really good, by the way) and Cassie and I are looking forward to our next gig at The Homestead, Thursday 19th November.

From my point of view, it was really heartening to see so many young musicians at today’s gig who are just starting out. It invigorates those of us who’ve been around the traps for a while and enables musicians embarking on their careers to rub shoulders with folks who’ve got some experience. There’s always something new to learn – no matter how long you’ve been doing this!

See you all tomorrow, where I’ll probably talk about some gardening things – my other great passion 🙂

Now it’s your turn…. What are your great moments as a mentor or mentoree? Leave your stories in the comments! 

The Busy-ness of Spring – Upcoming Shows

Chestnut Tree Spring Oct 2015

Hello friends,

I love spring. The cycle of the seasons visibly turns and every day brings new things in the garden, the chickens are laying more eggs than we can keep up with, and here in Hobart we’re coming out of the hibernation of winter and starting to go out again.

Rhubarb Fool

Rhubarb Fool

Vanilla Ice Cream

Vanilla Ice Cream

Wee Beastie Sourdough

Wee Beastie Sourdough

 

And I’ve been busy! In the kitchen I’ve been making Vanilla Ice Cream and Baked Coffee Cheesecake with the excess eggs, brewing and bottling cider, making Rhubarb Fool from the mass of spring rhubarb and my weekly “Wee Beastie” Sourdough. It’s been absolutely wonderful to eat so well, with so much produce coming directly out of the garden.

The garden is always a work in progress but I’ve started planting out climbing beans this week, there’s basil in the Seeds and Basil Seedlings Oct 2015greenhouse and too many vegetable seedlings coming on to mention.

And there’s music happening too! I’m in the middle of a unit in Creative Writing for my second major through Griffith University. For my final assessment I’m planning to write a portfolio of new pieces that will become new songs. Depending how it goes, perhaps the core of another album.

Meanwhile, there’s gigs coming up too.

This Sunday at The Brunswick Hotel in Hobart, I’m playing a short set out in The Yard (the beer garden) with a bunch of other local musicians, including the incredibly talented Cassie O’Keefe and my friend Matt Dean. Very pleased also that this is a family friendly show, so feel free to bring your young music-lovers 🙂

Thursday 19th November, I’m sharing a night with Cassie at The Homestead in Elizabeth Street, one of my favourite places to go and hang out with friends. No idea what’s going to happen that one – we might even work out some songs to play together!

Friday 20th November, I’ll be doing the early spot at The Globe Hotel in Davey Street. If you haven’t caught this weekly event yet, I really recommend it. It’s organised by Kevin Gleeson who basically loves all kinds of music and is good friends with so many of us. It’s a great excuse to hang out and have a good time with mates.

And there’s more on the horizon! If you want to keep up to date with my shenanigans, hook up with me on Facebook here.

Yep, it’s spring and it’s busy – just how I like it.

Wherever you are, be well friends ❤

Upcoming Gigs for the End of the 2013

Now that I’ve finished recording The Lucky Six, it’s time to spend a little attention on two live shows I’ve got in the immediate future.

Firstly, this Sunday 24th November, my partner in mayhem and music – Malcolm Battersby – is joining me for The Richmond Festival. We’re performing as The Fringe Dwellers at the Songwriters’ Concert and we’re both looking forward to it immensely! There’s some great Tasmanian songwriters on the bill with us, Marc Smith, Peter Hicks and the wonderful Wolf Arrow Rain.

If you’re in southern Tasmania, it’s worth the trip out to Richmond. It’s a lovely little hamlet and I have it on good authority that the weather should be fine after a damp morning…….

In December, it will be ten years since the Australian Songwriters Association (Tasmania) reignited at The Telegraph Hotel. Apart from making me feel really old, it’s fabulous to see how many performers from those days are still playing in venues here in Tasmania as well as interstate and overseas. In honour of the occasion, a very special ASA night is planned for Wednesday 11th December at The Night Owl Cafe in Liverpool Street, Hobart. The best part for me is that students of mine, Cassie O’Keefe, Kirsty Leaf and the fabulous Jax will all be performing, along with myself and Mal.

I couldn’t be prouder!

ASA 11th Dec poster