Tuesday, 27 June 2017

ARTS: Electronica / Music Producer Workshop I

Calling on all in-home producers - especially WOMEN producers and performers who edit and record their own music at home. 

Electronica / Music Producer Workshop I - to be held at a secret location on the Central Coast NSW (1.5hrs from Sydney Australia)  

All you need is: 
Your laptop
A music program that you own/use
and as many beats/loops that you can get hold of (you will be provided with sound samples if you have none) 

No previous experience required. Work in any genre that you love - Trap, House, Dubstep, EDM, Country? - you name it. If you want to break all of the rules then do that too...

I will only go ahead with this event if there is interest shown. I need a minimum of 3 people to go ahead. Comment here if you would like to grow your skill set.

No time wasters, if you want to make music: then let's do this.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Chertsey Primary School Song

Chertsey students sing in chorus,
Honour now the blue and gold.
Follow those who’ve gone before us,
In endeavours proud and bold.

Light the land with all the splendour,
Of our children’s golden name.
Raise on high blue gold banner,
Strive and thrive and play the game.

Build the road of peace together,
Build it wide and deep and long.
Speed the slow, remind the eager,
Help the weak and guide the strong.

None shall push aside another,
None shall let another fall.
Strive and thrive in our endeavour,
All for one and one for all.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

DIARY: Kelsey's Birth Story

It is a tradition in our family to read the birthday child's birth story on the night before their birthday. Savanna's story was published in 2008 when she was born, but Kelsey's story is being published 7 years late! But at least it's here!

It is written for the enjoyment of a 7 year old little girl x enjoy!

"On the morning that Kelsey was born, I woke up feeling very tired. My body was sore, and I just wanted to see my little baby and hold her close to me. I had hurt my ankle a few weeks earlier, and had been resting in bed since then because it was sore when I walked! I just wanted to be up and about preparing for my new baby girl.

Francis was out in the garden with Savanna, and they were busy planting things, playing and kicking a ball around. I was lying down on the couch with a pillow and a blanket just reading and resting. It was my due date and there was no sign of this baby coming out to play!

I was feeling very very ready to have this baby! I was having light contractions every 15-20 minutes, and my tummy muscles were starting to hurt a bit, but my water hadn't broken, and the contractions weren't getting any stronger. They were just draining me of energy.

At about 11 a.m. I started to feel really emotional. I started to cry and I couldn't stop crying! The tears were pouring down my cheeks and I was sobbing and sobbing like a little girl. I called for Francis, and he came running into the house to see what was wrong! He was very worried because it was strange for me to cry this way! He got the phone and phoned Annie Windell (she was Annie Skea then) and Annie then phoned Cheryl Rowe (Cheryl was in Ballito on Holiday) and they both decided that my crying was sign enough that I was in labour properly.

We all jumped into action.

Now the week before, I had actually gone into the hospital because we thought that I was in labour, BUT... baby Kelsey did not want to leave my tummy a week early! Little Savanna (2.5 years old) was so very cross with her for staying unborn, and shouted at my tummy saying, "Come out to PLAY with me now Kelsey!!"  
Which was very funny, Savanna had bought two little orange monkeys at the local shop with her own pocket money. She was only two and a half, but she had bought a monkey for herself and a monkey for Kelsey (and even dressed them in Barbie pyjamas)
So again, we packed and rushed off to the hospital.

I was going to have my baby at Crompton Hospital in Pinetown, the same place that I had had Savanna. When we arrived, I didn't check-in they just took me straight down and to the birthing suite. It was really beautiful and lovely, with music playing - there was a bed and a comfortable chair, and a big bath. The bath was actually a Jacuzzi. We hung out there for a little while, and they decided that they would break my waters, that part was a little bit sore and a little bit scary, but as soon as that was done - baby Kelsey was on her way!

I was wearing my dressing gown that had pink hearts on it, white with pink hearts. I had my pyjamas on as well, and I wore a headband, with clips that slid into it - and my hair was in a bun. I felt really really happy and comfortable. We played lovely music and I walked around the room to try and help baby Kelsey (to understand that she needed to move down... down... down... to come out of my body!) then I went and sat on a toilet - to see if that would make my contractions stronger... but it didn't! I then walked up and down the passage with Francis, to see if that would make the contraction stronger, and it didn't! Kelsey did not want to come out - she wanted to stay with Mum! I then got told to sit on a big giant bouncy ball,... so I sat on the bouncy ball and nothing happened... no contractions... nothing. Kelsey was staying there!

They then put a heart monitor on my tummy to see if baby Kelsey was getting worried but she was so chilled out... she was almost sleeping! So I said to the ladies
"I still haven't started Labor, this babe she's just staying here,  I don't want to have to go to have an operation. What must we do? Must I jump up and down? do a dance?"
Annie spoke to Cheryl, and they realised that I was a little bit worried about pushing the baby out - because when I pushed Savanna out it was a bit scary for me, I didn't realise it, my body was holding on very tightly to this baby and didn't want to open up to let the baby out!

They looked in their special box of medicines and they gave me something called Sepia. I had told them before the birth that I trusted them completely and that they could give me whatever they thought would help. And so, they didn't tell me what it would do until afterwards, it was a natural medicine. Immediately I felt more powerful - like I could do anything! I wasn't scared of pushing my baby out anymore! I was so excited to meet my Kelsey Jeann, I didn't care about anything, I just wanted to hold my baby.  

Then they said to me,
"If you are OK, we would like to give you some medicine that will make labour kick off properly. But it will make it sore, intense,... and really fast!"  
So I said,
"OK that's fine!" and Francis said he was fine with it too.
They gave me a very tiny amount of medicine, not a lot at all, but the minute they gave me that medicine my stomach started to push so hard and regularly, and baby Kelsey woke up and started getting ready to be born! So much so, that in 40 minutes, yes in 40 minutes - I went from just starting to have a baby, to holding a baby in my arms!

When I was dilated enough during labour, they put me in the beautiful warm bubbling jacuzzi - and it was the most amazing feeling - I could just settle into the water, and Francis sat behind me. He sat up on the sides behind me, and he loved me, rubbed my shoulders and gave me heaps of Apple juice and he told me he was with me all the way and a part of me... and then my body told me it was time to push! So I gave a hard push - and needed to push again! I can't remember how many times I pushed - and suddenly there was this little child swimming up through the water... and holding onto my tummy. I looked down and I saw this miniature version of Savanna, she looked just like my other baby. That was that! I had a baby again! This little baby crawled up, and was just holding on to me like a little froggy... exactly the way that Kelsey holds onto me today! She hangs onto me the same way!

Everyone went,
“oh my gosh! she's so cute! she’s so beautiful!” and she had the most lovely little hands, I went “Ahh! She's got my hands!”
We noticed the cutest little “tucked in toe” on your little foot and realised “what a special kid” that she was born with it. Born with a very special thing that made her different to everyone else. She was my special little girl.

Then we cuddled you for a little while, and then they wrapped you in a warm towel. I got out the bath and then I lay down on the bed (because they had to stitch me closed, because I got a little bit torn when I pushed out your head out! They did all of my stitches, and about an hour later Grancie, Bepah, Gigi and Savanna all came to the hospital to see Kelsey. (Gangan came to spend a lovely morning cuddling with Kelsey, when Kelsey was a day or two old, and I had rested a bit) When they came walking in, they just cried and cried because Kelsey was the cutest little bundle. She was so short, and she was wearing a little yellow hoodie, and little white pants, and she had a tiny little dummy. She was so beautiful! Little Savanna asked Kelsey to play Monkey's... but Kelsey was still a newborn! So Savanna got all over all of the equipment like a Monkey instead... she climbed on the bed, she climbed on the chairs, she bounced on the bouncy ball, she jumped in the bath, (lucky there was no water inside) she stepped up on the wooden birth step, she danced under the big blue birth light, she ran up and down the corridors, she climbed up dad’s leg.

We were all very very happy to finally meet Kelsey! We took her home straight away - I didn't stay in the hospital I wanted to go home  - but listen what happened next!

I was pretty hungry (Because I had just had a baby - duh!) so Dad took me to Maccas Pinetown, to the drive-thru - with Newborn Kelsey in the car, in her car seat.  Kelsey was not even two hours old! Dad ordered my food for me, I said to Dad “I'd like the Quarter Pounder burger meal please” so Dad ordered a burger, and the lady said “What a lovely little baby!” and Shell Shocked Dad said “Yes! My wife just had her! About two hours ago!”
The lady said “No way! Are you you lying?!”
That was very funny.
Then we drove down the freeway to Durban North, Grancie, Bepah, Gigi and Savanna were in the other car. When I finished eating a burger I said,
“ok can I have the Coke now please?” and Dad said,
“Wait What? I didn't get you a Coke!” and I said,
“Well can I have the chips then!?” and he said,
“Huh? I didn't get you chips!” so I said,
“What did you get me then?? just the burger?? I've just had a baby!! I'm hungry!! FRANCISSSSSS!”
Let’s just say he went to another take-out … to the Steers in Springfield Park, and got me a Coke and Chips."

-the end-

Monday, 5 June 2017

ARTS: The Meaning of Djembe (and the story of my Djembe Twins)

Now I know why I have such a love for Djembe. I was so sad to leave my two special Djembe behind in South Africa. The name Djembe comes from the saying "Anke djé, anke bé" which translates to "everyone gather together in peace" and defines the drum's purpose.
Just beautiful.

The only photo that I have of the Twins.

My South African Djembe twins that I had to leave behind have a special story behind them too. As most of you know, my life is often filled with mysterious and almost magical coincidences (My new Wedding band for instance that was found by chance and has our family's initials and surname initials carved into it) I was needing the drums for a children's show, I looked at modern versions of the Djembe and the prices were ridiculous - and the sound was too "manufactured" - I wanted a specific look and feel. I saw in my mind two pale wooden drums with deep carvings in them. Just couldn't find them though. The one day I was driving down our main road Umhlanga Rocks Drive, and I saw a small second hand shop set back from the road. I suddenly saw the drums in my mind and tu rned my car

around. I parked and walked up the dusty brick steps... I walked right to the back of the store following where my gut was telling me to go... and there under a low hanging shelf... were two pale yellow wood, deeply carved Djembe twin drums. The price was exactly what I was expecting to receive in my account the next day. So I asked the owner if I could put down a small deposit and fetch them the following day. He agreed. Lovely story hey? <3 Always listen to the small voice inside your head. Like Beyonce tells you too ;)