Embracing the chill at the Huon Valley Midwinter Festival

I have often wanted to visit this even and see the Wicker Man burning but not this year, way too cold and wet for me.

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Since the first Huon Valley Midwinter Festival inspired us to celebrate rather than hibernate in the middle of July back in 2013, the event has grown in reputation and scale, outgrowing the Willie Smiths Apple Shed site. This year it relocated to the Huon Valley Showgrounds at Ranelagh, a couple of kilometers down the road.

Organisers put a lot of effort into logistics and into creating an environment that aimed to match the rustic charm of the old apple orchards from which it sprang, so it was perhaps unfortunate that the weather really decided to test the celebratory mood by turning on rain, sleet and snow (on the surrounding ranges) for the weekend. But if you are serious about celebrating the coldest, darkest, wettest time of year, then you need to take the weather in your stride, whatever it brings. And put your gumboots on!

Sculpture and art

Here be…

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30 Songs, 30 Days: (30)

Last One

I’ve been watching the Men’s Cricket World Cup over the past month and I may have watched a little too much cricket because this morning while I was at the Op Shop I suffered two earworms. First, it was the New Zealand National Anthem and then later the West Indies Cricket Anthem. I should explain for non-cricket following readers that the West Indies cricket team is a confederation of several Caribbean countries and as playing several anthems at the start of each of their matches would be somewhat impractical they have a special cricket song instead. The song I’m sharing today is not it though. Instead, I’m sharing “Dreadlock Holiday” by 10cc from 1978, back when I didn’t like cricket. This song came from an album called “Bloody Tourists”.

I have always had a soft spot for New Zealand and for some reason their anthem seems to me to be one of the most beautiful ones I’ve heard so I’m going to share a version of it with you to finish up. You may not understand most of the words but the girls have lovely voices.

30 Days, 30 Songs (29)

Don’t Tear It Down

This song by V Spy V Spy was released in 1986 and I relate to it, even more, today than I did then. It makes me both sad and angry when fine old buildings are knocked down only to be replaced by ugly concrete stacks especially when those stacks are so badly built that people can’t live in them as has happened in two recent cases in Sydney. It makes me mad when people are made homeless because a stupid reality show buys the boarding house where they lived to refurbish but not as public housing; or when the refurbishing is just a token saving of a facade. Our cities are losing their character forever. This song is a musical rant about that.

30 Days, 30 Songs: (28)

Cold Chisel

I seem to be a little out of sync as it is already the 29th here and even though I listed this song in my favourite songs list a few weeks ago I thought I’d bring it out again.

As it is getting down to the last few days of Sarah’s 30 Days, 30 Songs challenge and I have missed quite a few I am just going to share some of my favourite Aussie and Kiwi bands. I first heard Cold Chisel in the early 70s and I liked some of their songs but others not so much, too much screaming I thought. It was only later that I realised they had two singers. I have come to appreciate Jimmy Barnes a lot more as he has diversified quite a lot even releasing a couple of soul albums but Ian Moss is still my favourite and this song is my favourite of the songs he wrote for Cold Chisel.

I had to listen to several versions of Bow River to decide which one to share. The studio version? Sounds good but Cold Chisel were essentially pub rockers and I like their live sound, but some of the early live ones don’t have great sound quality. Mossy has recorded the song himself including an acoustic version which I like. However, one of the things I like most about this song is the harmonies so you have to have Barnsey as well. I finally settled on this version recorded for the Ringside album. Naomi and I went to see the Hobart concert so it is kind of fitting I guess.

30 Days, 30 Songs: (27)

Australian Crawl

Another Aussie band for Sarah’s music challenge today because I can. I loved the eighties, we had some great Australian bands and I was lucky enough to see quite a few of them including Australian Crawl. You might not be able to follow the words, James Reyne was often a bit hard to follow but they are catchy songs and remind me of a time when the world seemed happier and less complicated than it is today. At least to me, it did.

30 Days, 30 Songs: (26)


I’ve been AWOL from this challenge for a week or so. I’ve been having something of a writing slump and not getting much done but I wanted to share a couple more favourites before the end of the challenge.

Another great Australian band whose greatest hits were made when I was in my twenties and thirties was INXS. They are another band that it’s very hard to choose a favourite song for. This one is right from the beginning of their career. They were so young and the clip looks so basic compared to later ones but it’s a great song.

When I was working there was many a morning when the first song I heard was Original Sin blasting out of the clock radio on the bedside table. You had to jump out of bed and start the day when you heard that. You don’t lie in bed relaxing to INXS, you have to get up and move.

30 Days, 30 Songs (18)

I have been absent from Sarah’s 30 Days, 30 Songs Challenge for a couple of days but I’m back today. June 18th is Paul McCartney’s birthday, a date which is also shared by my sisters in law Libby and Lou (no I didn’t forget). So here is one of my favourite Paul McCartney songs.