Yesterday I saw my first snake. I’ve been dreading this but the fact that it was only about a foot long and we were inside the car was a big relief. I could even say that it looked sweet. (The snakeskin we found draped over the rafters on our porch is somewhat bigger but I am trying to be brave.)
We’ve been clearing the enormous veggie garden which hasn’t been used for a long time so the beds are all full of huge weeds. We can only do this either at the beginning or end of the day as the sun is so hot. We are going to start planting in the next few weeks as it gets cooler. We’re coming into autumn here now.
Coolabine is an Aboriginal word meaning ‘place of koalas’. There are only a few houses dotted here and there along the valley – you can’t see any from the shack, only the back of a barn in the distance. It’s part of the Obi Obi valley, a sacred meeting place for the south-east Queensland tribes who used to gather here every few years.
I’ve been writing songs on my beautiful Maton guitar which has been a bit neglected over the last few years as I got obsessed with writing piano songs. My keyboard is still on a ship heading to Australia so in the meantime I’ve been remembering how much I love playing guitar. I’ve written four new songs, one of which you will definitely hear on an album someday.
I hope all’s well in your world.
It’s 4.30am. Still jetlagged, I’ve just finished my meditation practice and made myself an enormous cup of coffee. The cocks are crowing but it’s dark outside. I can hear the sound of cicadas and the crazy kookaburras laughing in the trees. Earlier a dingo was howling in the hills that surround the shack.
After 11 years in a sterile, creatureless flat in England, we are back in the Australian bush. Here wildlife dominates every waking moment. Even if it wasn’t for my snake phobia I’d still be mindful of every step, of the spider webs lying in wait between the orange trees. Yesterday morning we were clearing up a pile of maggots. Last night I trod on a bee.
It’s getting light. The darkness fades leaving a mist over the Obi Obi valley. I can’t tell you how happy I am to be here.
Hope all’s well in your world.
It’s been six full-on days of clearing, dumping and packing. It’s amazing how much stuff a one-bedroom flat can hold. I can’t believe we arrived 11 years ago with nothing but 2 guitars, a bag of CDs and the clothes on our backs. Now I want to travel light again.
2018 has been an incredible year of highs and lows. I’ve enjoyed the gigs we’ve done so much. I didn’t enjoy so much having pneumonia and dealing with Australian Immigration. But now we’re leaving for Australia in a few weeks’ time with no idea of what’s coming next. It makes me think of my favourite poem (see below).
Thanks to you all for your amazing support of my music. I will be writing songs again in my yurt and look forward to playing them to you when we next meet.
Wishing you all a very happy new year.
It’s been six full-on days of clearing and dumping and packing. I can’t believe we arrived 11 years ago with just two guitars, a bag of CDs and the clothes on our backs. It’s amazing how much stuff a one-bedroom flat can hold. Now i just want to travel light.
2018 has been an incredible year of highs and lows. I’ve enjoyed so much the gigs we’ve done. I didn’t enjoy so much having pneumonia and dealing with Australian immigration. But after all that, we’ll be on a plane in a few weeks’ time with no idea what’s coming next. It makes me think once more of my all-time favourite poem (see below).
Wishing you all a very happy new year.
“I have come to accept the feeling of not knowing where I am going. And I have trained myself to love it. Because it is only when we are suspended in mid-air with no landing in sight, that we force our wings to unravel and alas begin our flight. And as we fly, we still may not know where we are going to. But the miracle is in the unfolding of the wings. You may not know where you’re going, but you know that so long as you spread your wings, the winds will carry you.” (C. Joybell C.)
Emily’s CDs and books from Shaktu Records are now only available to order through her website and not on Amazon (while she is away in Australia). There may be other merchants on Amazon you can order from. Orders made through the website will be dispatched from the UK. You can browse the website shop here. All Emily’s songs are available to download from iTunes – links can be found under ‘albums’ on the website. You can also stream Emily’s songs on Spotify.
Emily’s UK tour of bookshops and Buddhist centres to celebrate the publication of her book ‘Meditation Mind’ came to end last night with a fabulous gig at the Sakya Buddhist Centre in Bristol. You can read her new blog and see photos of the gig on Facebook.
Emily’s CDs and books are available to order from Amazon.co.uk up until Christmas, after which they will only be available to order through her website. Emily and Christian are now packing up their flat in Bath ready for the move back to the Australian bush at the end of January. You can keep in touch with Emily while she is away by joining her mailing list and follow her on Instagram.
My ‘Meditation Mind’ poetry and song tour ended last night at the beautiful Sakya Buddhist Centre in Bristol, a gig that was possibly one of the highlights of my whole career. Thanks so much to everyone who came to see us play acoustic versions of my songs over the last month – we enjoyed it so much it may have changed the direction of my next album.
It is now 7 weeks until we get on a plane bound for Australia and move our lives back to the shack on a goat farm in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland where Shaktu Records began 15 years ago. After spending the last 10 years living in a first-floor, one-bedroom flat on an industrial main road in Bath, we can’t wait to be back in the Australian bush with space and sunshine, living in the beautiful wooden house that has replaced Shaktu (the tree trunks and potato sack walls were eaten by termites – only the roof remains).
We are going to make a new album there and then come back to the UK in 2020 to tour. I will keep you posted on dates and hopefully see you at a gig sometime then. In the meantime, if you would like any of my CDs and books, they are available from Amazon up until Christmas and afterwards, once we’re in Australia, will continue to be available to order through my website.
It’s been an incredible year. Thanks so much to all of you for supporting my music – we couldn’t do it without you. I will keep in touch and let you know how I’m getting on in Australia and whether I’ve managed to overcome my snake phobia :). You can follow me on Instagram and join my mailing list to receive the occasional email from me.
Wishing you all very merry Christmas and a happy new year.
Emily’s interview and live performance on ‘Front Row’ last Wednesday was featured again on Radio 4’s ‘Pick Of The Week’ today. Said presenter Anna Foster, “There’s a lot to be said for radio so good that you’re desperate to hear it again. This week’s ‘Front Row’ managed exactly that and the ‘Pick Of The Week’ inbox steadily filled with emails requesting a repeat appearance from the singer-songwriter Emily Maguire…” You can listen here (scroll to 13:45). The song Emily sang was ‘Start Over Again’ from her album ‘Believer‘.
Emily and Christian are moving back to Australia to the goat farm in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland where they used to live. Their shack of tree trunks and potato sacks is now a wooden house and they will be making Emily’s next album there before returning to tour the UK again in 2020. If you want Emily to keep you in touch and let you know when she is coming back, please join her mailing list.