“The poems in this book are all pieces of my heart. I give them to you in the hope that the words will speak to you, that they will be words with wings to uplift, comfort and inspire. There is so much space and beauty inside all of us, there is so much potential.”
I’ve just published a new book of poetry called ‘Words With Wings’. Inspired by my life in the Australian bush and my daily meditation practice, these poems are my thoughts about the meaning of life and the world around us.
The book ‘Words With Wings’ includes a download link to a digital album of me reading all the poems accompanied by my own original piano music (you can hear an example in the video below). This digital album is also available separately from the book.
You can order your copy of the book, or just the album if you prefer, here.
Big love and thanks to everyone who supported me on my Sunshine Coast Hinterland tour. We had such a great time. The last night at The Majestic Theatre on Saturday was the icing on the cake.
Thank you to my amazing band: Sarah King (violin/viola), Louise King (cello) and Christian Dunham (bass). Thanks also to our sound technicians Michael Whiticker and Mac. A special thank you to Yvette Nielsen, Kristy Xavier and Jodie Archbold for all your help. And to Henry Glover for his wonderful photos.
I have been overwhelmed with the audience feedback – a huge thank you to all of you who sent me messages. It means a great deal.
You can see more photos by Henry Glover on my Facebook Community Page. If you would like me to let you know when I’m touring again, please join my mailing list.
Thanks to all the people who came to Eudlo Hall last night to see my Hinterland show with Sarah King (violin/viola), Louise King (cello) and Christian Dunham (bass). I was quite overwhelmed by the audience reaction. It’s just so great to be out playing live music again. Thanks to Henry Glover for the photo.
We’re looking forward very much to doing it all again next Saturday night at Maleny Community Centre. There are still some tickets left but please book soon if you would like to be there. We also play the beautiful Majestic Theatre in Pomona on Saturday 25 September.
Tickets for these gigs are $30/$25 concessions available through TryBooking. Tickets will be refunded in the event of a lockdown.
Time has flown again. I saw a big black snake on the dirt track yesterday which means it’s nearly spring.
I’ve been composing lots of short cello pieces which I absolutely love doing. I’ve also finished a new poetry project called ‘Words With Wings’ which I’ll tell you all about next time, once the books arrive from the printer.
Life on the farm is quiet. The veggie garden is still derelict but I’m hoping to get some seedlings at the market tomorrow and plant a few of the beds before it gets too hot. The dogs are having a lovely time stalking the chickens in the orchard but the chooks don’t seem to have too much trouble in getting away. The goats enjoy the occasional fight but spend most of their days lying in the dairy waiting for their next meal.
I’m looking forward very much to my Hinterland tour next month, while hoping and praying we don’t get locked down again. If we do, we’ll refund all the tickets and make another date.
You can watch the sneak preview of the show and book tickets here. If you can come, it would be lovely to see you there.
One of the joys of being bipolar is the immense relief and gratitude you feel when you come out of a depressive episode. I find myself feeling that it was all somehow worth it, just for that feeling of coming out of the darkness into the light. I’ve now managed to record the last vocals for my new album (I can’t sing when I’m depressed) so after months we’ve been able to take down the huge mattress tardis in the middle of our living room (you can see a video in my Facebook Community Group).
I’m in charge of the chickens on the farm who are now free range. Thankfully the dogs don’t seem to be interested in them (having been completely obsessed when the chooks were behind a wire fence). So every afternoon I go to feed the chickens and say hello to the goats who bleat pitifully at me despite having been fed five minutes earlier. Dusk is my favourite moment of the day. I sit on the veranda watching the sunset across the valley and listening to the birds as they fly home to roost. Last night a huge flock of black cockatoos were the last to disappear before it went dark.
Tickets for my Sunshine Coast Hinterland tour in September are now on sale. I can’t wait to be back on stage with Christian and two amazing string players, the violinist Sarah King and her sister, the cellist Louise King. We’ll be performing at Eudlo Hall (11 Sept), Maleny Community Centre (18 Sept) and The Majestic Theatre in Pomona (25 Sept). Places are limited so please book early if you would like to come. Here’s a booking link with a live video of us performing with Sarah and Louise last year:
Please share this link with any local friends or family you think might like to come – I’d be so grateful if you can help us spread the word.
In the meantime, this Saturday (26 June) I’m performing with Christian on the deck at the beautiful permaculture commune Crystal Waters where no pets are allowed so kangaroos wander around all over the place. Tickets are $15 on the door. And I’m looking forward very much to hearing acapella group The Daisy Chain Trio when I perform at Brisbane Unplugged Gigs (The BUg) next Tuesday. Tickets are $10 available on the door. Here is all the info: https://bit.ly/3qhtECy.
I am delighted to say that if you wish you can now follow me on Bandcamp. It is a home for independent artists like me who would like the opportunity to make a living from their music. My five studio albums are up now on my Bandcamp site and I’ve written new liner notes about each one. You can download individual tracks, albums or my whole digital discography.
We are now halfway through recording the vocals for my new album. Endless cups of lemon, ginger and honey, waiting for planes overhead to pass, waiting for cars on the dirt track to disappear…
And actually, surprisingly, considering I am basically recording in a stand-up coffin, I am really enjoying it! There’s something about the enclosed space, the black sides, the total lack of anything to look at, which is really focusing my mind on the song in my ears.
Christian, who is engineering, has the patience of a saint. ‘Again’ is the word most used in any of our recording sessions – we are both perfectionists. And this is the first time I’ve heard the strings we recorded months ago with Sarah King on violin and viola and me on cello. They sound so lovely.
I am getting very excited about this record! Can’t wait for you to hear it…
I am back in the habit of writing a poem every morning after my meditation practice. These poems are basically automatic writing – I don’t know where they come from, they just fall out of my head as I’m drinking a coffee. This is the one I wrote this morning:
It’s running dry
I need a good rain
To soak the ground
Startle the seeds
Growing something big
That I could write
And you could read
And the words
On the page
Like a dervish
On solstice night
And you would be
Leaving the hole
In the air
With nothing but
The sun and
A single soft cloud
To come between
And you would
You would be
The wisest of us all
You would understand
Of the rainbow
The wind blows
You would touch
With your fingertips
Hold the moon
In your arms
Knowing there is
Nothing we need
We don’t already have
In our hearts
In our minds
That life is a song
A song we’ve been
Today is World Bipolar Day so I’ve made a short video to mark the occasion, talking a bit about my own experience of living with bipolar disorder and singing a brand new song called ‘Stay’ (lyrics below). The video is on my YouTube channel – here’s the link:
I’ve just started my own community group on Facebook – a place where I can share my songs, videos, poems and blogs. I am a bit shy on social media generally but I always love hearing from the people on my mailing list who reply to my group emails so hopefully the Facebook group will be another great way of keeping in touch. Here’s the link:
18 years ago today I sat down in my flat in London to write a letter to an old friend in Australia, Christian Dunham. I hadn’t heard from him for 3 years since he’d moved back there and I had no email or phone number for him, just a PO Box address. So I started the letter saying that this was a long shot as I was sure he would have moved on, and as I was writing my mobile phone started ringing and I answered it and a voice said ‘Hi this is Christian’. And that’s how I ended up here, 18 years later, living in the Australian bush. Fate works in strange ways :).
It is nearly autumn here in Australia. The days are getting cooler and the snakes are wandering around looking for somewhere to hibernate. I am so happy to know that spring is about to blossom in the UK and the restrictions slowly lifted. Wherever you are, I hope you have been keeping well. If you’re on Facebook it would be lovely to see you in the group.