‘Chairity’ starts at home…

Each year the sudden festooning of lampposts with Christmas decorations, mince pies in the supermarket and Christmas carols at my local cafe take me by surprise! “It’s Christmas!”, they yell! “Already?” I want to yell back!

This year is no exception .. perhaps because while I was visiting Sydney I was amazed to see – before Halloween was even over  –  some bright spark had already installed a 6.5 tonne Swarovski crystal-decorated tree in the Queen Victoria Buildings ! Now I think that’s really a bit early! It was very beautiful though.

It may sound it, but I’m not a cynic and I actually really like celebrating the end of the year, cooking Christmas cake, eating Christmas cake…

This prompted me to consider the various fundraising appeals and campaigns that are attempting to encourage us each to think about someone or something that needs the gift even more.

QVB 1

Here are a few that caught my attention:

Chairity begins at home

Habitus Living – this glorious, glossy, envy-inspiring design magazine features the ‘Chairity Project‘ which, while not strictly for Christmas is happening around this time.

Chairity-Project-2015_Tracey-Deep_4-915x587Each beautifully designed chair will be auctioned off for chairity… sorry, charity… a great idea and a wonderful way to combine art, creativity and heartfelt innovation.  For more info visit Cult Design.

Very Berry Christmas!

jessicaIf you’ve already started shopping and perhaps like me you have a ‘gift drawer’ where you put things you’ve taken a fancy to but you’re not sure who they’re for (ok, that might just be me), how about buying a toy for a boy or girl you’ll probably never meet.    Berry Street is a wonderful children’s organisation which since 1877 has focused on the rights of children to have a safe and happy home. With their Christmas appeal, you can buy a gift on line, make a donation or get gift tags for your own choice of gift.  They only accept new toys and really need gifts for children aged 11-16+

Raining Cats and Dogs!

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If you have a cat, budgie, fish or a dog, give them an extra squeeze of affection (maybe not the fish) this festive season when so many cats and dogs are abandoned. Hard to believe I know but some owners find the cost of kennels or catteries to onerous and just leave their pets to fend for themselves.  And definitely please DO NOT give pets as gifts – these are often the unfortunate creatures that end up at lost dogs and cat shelters when their new owners find they cannot look after them. Consider this story in the Daily Telegraph last year but this sad story is the same every year.   If you’d like to support your favourite animal shelter, they often need blankets and financial donations are usually well received. Lort Smith had a great event ‘Pause for a cause‘ to raise money for the hospital, walking around Melbourne’s ‘Tan’ at the Botanical Gardens with over 100 dogs! What a great sight that would have been! Woof!

Cockatoos need you too!

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Let’s not forget our feathered friends this Christmas.  As a bird-lover I’m biased but it is easy to forget that we have so many beautiful native birds on the edge of extinction.  Visit BirdLife.org.au and see what you can do to help. You can become a BirdLife member for just $1.50 a week! Seems a small amount to help save beautiful birds like our waders, or the amazing Red Tailed Black Cockatoos.  What’s your favourite bird? Perhaps make a donation instead of a bought present for a friend.  I know they’d love it 🙂 (And keep your cat in at night, also a good gift to our feathered friends!)

Someone to watch over you

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Finally, this time of year can bring up a range of different and conflicting emotions. If you need someone to talk to, consider the Samaritans.  They have a help line for anyone needing a bit of support. Reach out if you need to. Or consider Lifeline who are there to help with many difficult situations.

Wishing you and your loved ones a safe and happy Festive Season. And if you think it’s too early to be saying this, blame Swarovski! 🙂

 

Want to revitalise your creative juices? Visit your local music store

What do you mean… what music store? I know, so many of them have vanished, eaten up by the e-monster that is that online fruit store but if you can find one (and I’ll let you in on the secret of a few of my favourites as a gift for your kind attention) then you are in for a treat.

Today, I walked around my absolute favourite and came away buzzing with creative ideas. Is it the fact that they have reintroduced actual LPs? With cover art? Joy! Is it the rows of beautiful art books that have recently appeared? Double happiness! Or perhaps it’s the calmness of the music playing and the almost mystical potential of rows and rows of fabulous and enticing CDs? All of this was experienced by me spending 1o minutes (which should have been spent rushing to my parking meter) in a joyful, tactile, friendly, sense-enhancing environment. But for my need not to have a parking ticket (so I have more cash to spend on music) I would have spent more time testing the knowledge of the store manager about whether, really, there is a definitive Ella Fitzgerald collection.

Yes! I know as soon as I buy the CD I’ll upload it and probably never look at the cover again. Yes, I also know that beautiful art book that I covet and think will make a great gift will stay – after purchase – on my own book shelf because, really, let’s face it, no-one else will really appreciate it as much as I do.

As I departed the store with the tips of my toes a few centimetres above the pavement, into the glorious sunshine of a Melbourne late-spring afternoon (before the cool change: Melburnians, you know of what I speak) I fancied I had discovered something new, a place to recharge my batteries and my creative notions.  In fact, it was a trip to the past and also a sign of things to come when we remember WE LIKE SHOPPING IN REAL STORES! So. Just in case you do in fact still have a music store (or for that matter a book store) in your part of town, protect it. Love it. Visit it. And buy things. You wont regret it. 🙂

A few of my favourite music stores:

Thomas Music Store, 31 Bourke Street Melbourne 3000 Ph: (03) 9650 9111 (Actually, this is my No.1 favourite)

Basement Discs, 24 Block Place, Melbourne VIC 3000 Ph: (03) 9654 1110 (Love this underground cave of a store!)

Polyester Records, 387 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy  (03) 9419 5137

Go on … be a slave to the rhythm.

Monty Python Palin in Melbourne

Michael Palin – the ‘nice one’ from the English Monty Python series will visit Melbourne Zoo next week to be the guest speaker for our annual fundraiser. We’re all very excited – how could we not be if we’ve seen K-K-K-Ken in ‘A Fish Called Wanda’ ?! We hope he’ll enjoy what we have planned for him… meet the Meerkats, Browse the Butterflies…and eat fantastic food prepared by celebrity chefs… AND help raise a lot of money, we hope. A night to remember! Visit http://www.zoo.org.au/melbourne/whats-on/dine-on-the-wild-side

I’ve been away too long…

I’ve been neglecting my blog…! So here is a a short but hopefully humourous and joyful look around my neighbourhood of Williamstown, Victoria with a few side visits to Tasmania and Queensland while I get back into serious blogging 🙂 I’ve been thinking we need a bit more fun around us (particularly in Melbourne… we take life too seriously considering how good we have it here!) So… smile, enjoy and let me know if you like it. BTW I’m pinning these to Pinterest.com Never heard of it? Neither had I. Another social networking site… seems to be catching on. Again, let me know if it interests you.
Ciao for niao 🙂
Who could resist these dollar deals
A litle graffiti goes a long way...
Brush tail possums are tourist attractions after 6pm in Williamstown, Victoria

No head for heights!

Fairy toodstool

short art