The Blog I Left Behind

Oh, dear, it’s been some time since I’ve posted a blog. The days just keep getting sucked into a vortex, don’t they?

What’s been happening? Well, in July I went to London and Amsterdam. I made a decision to pack in as much as could into every waking hour because life is simply too short. Had the time of my life, and not just because I finally saw the stage production of my all-time favourite movie, Dirty Dancing. In the Netherlands, I stayed with my sister and family. I soon found that the translation app on my iPhone was embarrassingly inaccurate. I tried SO hard to practise my Dutch “skills” with cheese shop assistants and the like. They, of course, were quick to realise my ineptitude and responded to me in English. One of the many highlights of the Netherlands trip, apart from seeing my family again, was a visit to the Rijksmuseum, which had been closed for a decade or so. There I saw Nicolas Cage. Or someone who looked just like him.

Nicolas Cage never ages...

Nicolas Cage never ages…

Bikes in Breda, a Dutch town.

Bikes in Breda, a Dutch town.

London was spectacular. 30 degrees most days. Who’d have thunk it? Teeming with millions of happy summer-loving people. I found riding the Tube and buses unbearable in the heat, though. (Is there no aircon on London public transport?) Pimm’s was a most effective antidote to the heat. It was better to walk everywhere anyway, up to seven hours a day, surviving on salads from Pret a Manger. I’m convinced I saw Samwell from The Game of Thrones checking out of the Hotel Russell when I was checking in. Also sure I saw Liza Minnelli having a ciggie outside a restaurant in the West End. And I’m 100% positive I saw Hugh Jackman. People were screaming his name after all. He was in town for the Wolverine premiere. By pure luck, I stumbled upon the David Bowie exhibition at the V&A Museum. Seriously could have spent an entire day there. Another highlight was St Paul’s Cathedral. I climbed almost 400 steps to the top. What really took my breath away was the incredible view of London from up there.

The view from the top of St Paul's Cathedral.

The view from the top of St Paul’s Cathedral.

Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman

I can assure you London Bridge is not falling down.

I can assure you London Bridge is not falling down.

Aside from travel, I’ve ventured into low-budget filmmaking. I helped my husband’s band, the Model School, shoot a music clip (below), and also did their band photos. The band last week released their third album, Backwards Down the Highway. Most of the songs were inspired by an Arizona road trip, parts of it recorded in our Sydney home studio and Brendan, the singer’s, car. And the CD was mastered in New York by the guy who did Springsteen’s Born to Run album. It sounds fantastic.

The Model School

The Model School

So that’s my latest brag update. I’ll be back sometime in the future…

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It’s Not Doomsday Per Se…

It’s December 21*, the last day of the Mayan long-count calendar. Naturally, according to some, this can only mean one thing — it’s the end of the world as we know it. At 11:11 UTC, to be precise. Alarmists predict an apocalypse. So I guess we’re talking earthquake fissures wide enough to swallow whole cities, Himalayan peaks exploding one by one in a daisy-chain formation, and/or widespread destruction that’ll leave the LOLcats to inherit the earth. If that’s not enough, we’re also set for a collision with planet Nibiru.

good

If you’re concerned about an imminent astronomical disaster, I have good news for you. NASA is confident Nibiru does not even exist.

There’s no cause for panic. As NASA explains in the link above, just because a calendar runs out doesn’t mean it’s the end of days. The I Can Has Cheezburger calendar my cats appeared in runs out on December 31, and no-one’s running around saying we’re all gonna die because there are no pages left. Well, okay, the Model School is. (See their post-apocalyptic music video below. Buy the song here for $1!) Some would argue the Mayans actually anticipated a new beginning after Dec 21. Further to this, my favourite psychic astrologer, Jessica Adams, has given her forecast for January 2013. No mention of a world-destroying event. If that’s not proof our hearts will go on after today, then I don’t know what is.

I usually set up a playlist of 11 songs for each chapter of my work in progress. But in the spirit of things, I’ve put together a list of 21 songs that I think are doomsday-appropriate. Some are morbid, others a bit more cheerful and optimistic. Kate Miller-Heidke’s The Last Day on Earth is one of them. No apocalypse would be complete without a final listen to the Smiths’ There is a Light That Never Goes Out. Duran Duran’s Anyone Out There is a song I’d play on repeat as a siren call to summon survivors from all corners. The rest:

What songs are on your end-of-the-world list? Got a fave doomsday movie or book?

*in Sydney, Australia

Drink Up, Cool Down

It’s going to be a 30-degree Sunday, and I should be outside enjoying Sydney’s summer. Instead, I’m indoors and attempting to add another 2,500 words to my latest manuscript. As you can imagine, I’ll need a bit of nutritional help to reach this goal. So far today I’ve consumed a block of Lindt chocolate, had an affogato (husband’s secret recipe), and now I’m drinking this refreshing homemade beverage — my summer special:

IMG_1428Summer Special ingredients:

  • 250mL soda water or mineral water
  • 10 or so mint leaves, slightly bruised to release da flavour
  • Juice of half a lemon or to taste
  • Ice, loads of it

Mix it and drink it. Add sugar if you like, but I think it’s fine unsweetened. I just remembered I have two punnets of strawberries in the fridge and I reckon I could put a chopped-up berry in the next batch. A good splash of gin or vodka would work well too.

Speaking of all things summer, my hubby’s band recently released their latest single, Pictures of Summer. Filmmaker Alex Munt shot the film clip for them in Bondi:

The song is on my playlist for Chapter Seven of my WIP.

What’s on your summer playlist? Do you have a favourite cooling drink?

We’re All Gonna Die

Sad but true. I am actually referring to a song title by my hubby’s band, the Model School, though. The song has been selected as the opening credits track for an upcoming indie Aussie movie called ‘LBF‘ (which is an abbreviation for something more profane). The film is based on Cry Bloxsome‘s 2006 novel of the same name.

I wish I could embed the trailer here, but there seems to be a communication breakdown between WordPress and Vimeo. (Or, more likely, maybe I’m a bigger gumby at techno things than first thought!) Go to this link to see and hear the teaser.

Nostalgic Computer Games

Check out this cute new video clip for the Model School‘s new single, ‘It’s Hard to Dance When Your Legs Are On Fire’. Brings back memories of those early computer games, don’t it?

The brains behind the band, Brendan Wixted, egged me on to go viral with the clip. I’m actually suffering from a flu virus of some sort right now, but rest assured you won’t catch that.