Music is such a wonderful thing. Can I play it? No, except if you count the half a song I learnt to play on my 3rd learning attempt at the age of 16, in 1979 with my Brother, Larry as Tutor.
Or in 2011, when I purchased a Harmonica as I had always enjoyed its sound, and found out that learning to play it would assist with breathing, in terms of doing public speaking. I learnt the first two lines of ‘Kum By Yah.’ The first two lines are exactly the same…hmmm. Like the guitar, I lacked the daily discipline of practice. That could probably be the end of the line as far as me attempting to play music…
Larry went on to learn 1/2 dozen different instruments, write some music, can sing, does Watercolour painting and uses soft Pastels.
I was in a shop yesterday, and The Beatles, ‘Penny Lane’ came on. My mind was instantly transported back to my early years when life seemed no doubt, easier, more fun where I had no responsibilities. Such wonderful memories flooded back!
7 years of age when The Beatles ‘called it a day’ in 1970, my music world was full of The Beatles, Pop, Motown etc courtesy of my Sister, Cheryl who was 17 at the time. My Brother, Larry (4 years older than me) was also heavily into ‘The Lads From Liverpool’, The Beach Boys, other band legends from the 60’s, Elvis and 50’s music.
Moving into the 70’s my sibling’s musical influences on me continued with Neil Diamond, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bruce Springsteen, to name but a few.
Even though the joy of being able to play music has seemingly escaped my life, music continues to be an incredible force in my life.
Yes, I am a long-term Beatles, Elvis & Bruce Springsteen Fan but my musical tastes did broaden over the ensuing years and include:
The Rolling Stones; Tommy Emmanuel; Status Quo; James Morrison (Trumpet); Amy Grant; Frank Sinatra; Gene Krupa, Dean Martin, John Lee Hooker, The Beach Boys, Pink Floyd, Guitar Shorty, Lambchop; Lee Kernaghan, John Denver, Galapagos Duck; Acoustic Alchemy; Vivaldi; Stevie Ray Vaughan; Fourplay, The Moody Blues, Creedence Clearwater Revival, MUSE, are some of my other favourites.
Genres include Rock, Pop, Blues, Australian Country, Motown, Disco, Swing, Jazz, Folk, Classical and some Alternative.
Music inspires me, soothes, relaxes and entertains me and for that, I am exceedingly grateful.
Written by David Johnson
9 July 2017
Yes, I have to admit that I have an addiction and it’s one that I have had since my school years… Well, actually I have two!
The first one is that I love Libraries, and probably too much!
Yes, I have a love of books which began at a very early stage in my life. I can remember being taken to Lakemba Library by Mum. In 1974 (aged 11) I won the Library Book-week Award.
Libraries for me were such fun places for a young mind to be. I remember being interested in a number of subjects, Geology, Astronomy, Aircraft, Ships, Science-Fiction, Movies but to name a few. Libraries are a font of information and (these days) some have questioned their relevance with the ever-present Internet now wound indelibly into our lives.
Our High School had a library (originally in an old classroom, but then a more modern separate facility was built up on top of the Science labs from memory). As soon as practicable after an assignment was given, I was off to the Library to do research and disappear into the ‘World of Books!’
I could quite happily spend hours at a Library when I was younger. As I grew up I would enjoy spending more and more time at the Library, taking as many books as I was allowed, and then enjoyed sifting through them at home, exploring and discovering worlds that I had not seen, experiencing (through books) things I had not done.
Fast forward to when I started work (1979, 16 years of age) wherever I was working I would search out where the local libraries were and join them, particularly if I was in an area for a while. Over the years I have been a member of approx. 12 Libraries.
I’m currently a member of 4 Libraries. Why still so many, and particularly when the Internet is such a force for information gathering? The Internet is a wonderful source for information for sure. Sometimes though it is overwhelming in its choice of what sites/people to take notice of?
For the amount of information, the Internet obviously wins hands down, so have Libraries lost their importance, their place in the world at large or in my world?
No, I don’t believe so for the following reasons:
1. When you walk into a Library it is like walking into an ‘inner sanctum.’ You are physically surrounded by knowledge, by the experiences of others and a sense of imminent discovery. Books, waiting on shelves, waiting for someone to accept them into their lives, to share their knowledge and wisdom. Often a library is a place of minimal noise and it is a place of relaxation for the mind. At least that is how it is for me.
2. The Internet has many people airing their views and information for all to see. Is everything on the Internet correct? There is no-one or body vetting the information before it appears there. From what I understand, the individual library will choose the books that they will have in their library so at least there is a ‘control’ to a certain extent.
3. The Library of the 21st Century is in the continual process of change to ensure it maintains its relevance in the community. Whilst at times the there is still a quietness about a Library, it now welcomes more and more groups as a meeting place. Craft, reading, discussion groups, retirees as well as the younger folk use the library as a meeting place. It is continuing to bring individuals and communities together.
It is pleasing to see change happen in libraries for without change they could quickly lose their relevance.
My second addiction, unfortunately, does not stop at ‘being a member of multiple libraries.’ My thirst for knowledge remains unabated and sometimes I have multiple books out, as many as 12 but thankfully sanity is prevailing and now don’t go above 4.
Whilst I read fiction, a lot of the books borrowed are reference books on all manner of subjects e.g. Photography, Art, Painting, Drawing, Cacti & Succulents, Sketching, Travel, Astronomy, Music, Business, Self Development, Poetry, Verse, History and so on…
Just this morning I walked out with, another 2 Art-related books which make a total of 4 this week.
At age 54, my ‘love of Libraries’ is still there!
This is one addiction that is going to happily continue! 🙂
Written by David Johnson
1 July 2017
Joining Toastmasters International has affected my life in many positive ways and opened up a lot of opportunities that would not have been there had I not taken that step, and continued the journey.
From my first speech at a Toastmasters Club meeting (where I could not sleep the night before and could hardly eat on the day) in front of 20 members to the amazing experience I had last Sunday is testament to the wealth of personal growth, in terms of confidence, communication and leadership that Toastmasters International provides.
A ’Test Speaker’ in Toastmasters delivers a speech that is then evaluated by contestants, who are then judged to see who is the best evaluator by a panel of judges.
Receiving speech evaluations from the Top 6 Evaluators in District 90 is something I am very, very grateful for. I learnt a great deal that day.
If you are looking for a way to gain confidence, grow personally and develop your communication and leadership skills, Toastmasters International is waiting for you…
Click on ‘Find a Club’ in the link http://www.toastmasters.org and start your journey today!
112 pages of public speaking Gold!
People find their paths into Photography in many different ways.
For some it is by virtue as a camera as a present; others are enticed by one of their peers; some choose it as a career.
Many years ago (while I was at school) I was building Airfix model plane kits and I used to stick them to fishing wire that I had strung across my bedroom. If you were taller than say 6 feet/185cm, you had a problem…
I then thought how cool would it be to photograph them so I bought some blue cardboard, held it up in the background and fired off some shots with a Kodak Instamatic camera (110 negative) size to try to make it look like they were flying.
Throughout my youth I used to take photos (on a couple of different cameras) on the Kodak Instamatic, an old Box Brownie or a Polaroid Instant Film camera. The photography bug was ‘nibbling me’ though at that stage it had not ‘bitten’ me.
When I was 19 (1982), the Family moved to Leumeah (60km SW of Sydney, NSW, Australia), and not really knowing many people in the area my brother & I joined a Church Youth Social Club.
We had so much fun on the outings, picnics etc I decided it was time to buy a better camera, a Canon AF35M Autofocus compact camera, purely to record the fun times we were having.
The camera lens had a thread on the end and I enquired what that was for? Question answered but the salesman said you could do much more with an SLR. ‘A what’ was my response…?
That day in 1982 my world changed forever and for good! I started saving for my first SLR, an Olympus OM-10.
The real journey had begun…
Over the years, I have visited Joadja Creek, which is an old Shale mining town in the Southern Highlands of NSW Australia.
I had been down there 3 times before dating back to the 1980’s however I had not been there for some 12 years when I ventured down there in 2014.
Although some restorative work is taking place with some of the roofs, Joadja is largely how I remembered it, a place of history, an ornament to the Scottish part of our heritage and a wonderful place to let the mind relax.
In the past I had gone down there with just photography in mind however this time around was a bit different. This time I took my camera, my iPad and my pencils.
The camera to capture the place photographically, the iPad to capture it in words and pencils to do some sketching.
Included here are some of the images I took and I also have included a link to a previous post on this blog, where you will see a poem I wrote about Joadja when I was down there sitting amongst the ruins…
If you do find yourself on the area, drop in for a visit. It is a place that will capture both the historian and the artist in you.
Written by David Johnson
For further information about Joadja, click on the link below:
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