The back roads to Canberra and musical reunions

When we planned a 2,500 kms round trip to the National Folk Festival via the back roads to Canberra, it seemed like a monumental expedition. Now that we’re home again (via Dubbo and Goondiwindi), it seems a weak effort compared to the distances travelled by overseas guests including Manran (Scotland), Nancy Kerr and James Fagan (UK), April Verch (US), George Jackson (US) and Vila Navio (Portugal). For example, George Jackson committed himself to a 35,000…

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Friday on My Mind –Ring Christmas Bells And Other Carols

Tapestry choir leader Kim Kirkman usually introduces our version of Carol of the Bells by mentioning that it featured in the soundtrack of the 1990 movie, Home Alone. This brought back memories of the parlous times in 1990 when media baron Rupert Murdoch nearly went broke. Yes, he nearly did, back when News Ltd’s total debt was a scary $7.9 billion (this was 1990, remember). What saved Murdoch was an agreement between 146 banks that…

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Multiculturalism under siege

My plan to write something cuddly and wholesome about Multiculturalism Month in Queensland was derailed somewhat by the egregious maiden speech of crossbench Senator Fraser Anning. One of our newest politicians, he chose his maiden speech to call for a return to the White Australia policy, suggesting that a plebiscite be held to ask Australians if they want ‘wholesale non-English speaking immigrants from the Third World and, in particular, whether they want any Muslims’. Politicians…

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Happiness, harmony and Central Africa

A musician friend alerted me on Monday that not only was it his birthday, it was also International Day of Happiness. Once I’d finished doing cartwheels around the room in response to this spiffing news, I wished the dear boy a very happy birthday. As if that was not enough to get the cockles of the heart percolating, the next day She Who’ll Sing at the Drop of a Hat went down town to celebrate…

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