I love the early morning light. My roses had to fend for themselves last year and they didn’t do well. This year I’ve paid them more attention, feeding the soil and watering with Seasol. The kangaroos did make a meal of them during the drought 😕 but they are making a comeback!
Thanks to photographer Henry Liew for his contributions to my book. These are a few from the Kota Kinabalu Jazz Festival 2010. Here is a bit about that night. Malaysia’s stars fill the sky over Sutera Harbour – 4th KKJF Day One Everyone with Sabahan blood running through their veins will have stood the tallest, … Continue reading KKJF 2010
It’s so dry now, the roos come very close, looking for things to eat. They’ve started to eat my roses. A lady who runs a nursery in Beaudesert said they’re eating everything at the moment, not just roses. I don’t mind. They can eat anything in my garden if it helps them to keep going. … Continue reading Mummy and Joey (video)
After playing piano at the Kooralbyn golf resort, I was leaving and Nea on reception said: “There’s a beautiful carpet snake just outside.” I wasn’t thrilled to hear that. It was dark, I had to get to my car and didn’t want to step on anything… “I’ll show you,” she said. There it was, on … Continue reading Sleeping carpet snake
My friend Yap Keng Vui translated all the conversations with Teo Seng Chong, and I have so much to thank him for. Teo Seng Chong arrived in Sabah in 1986 at the invitation of Tshung Tsin Secondary School (TTSS), to bring Chinese orchestral music into Sabah. He is now Head of Music at TTSS, and … Continue reading The man who brought Chinese orchestra to Sabah
Nice greeting on a chilly morning
When Darrell Jones posted to the Kooralbyn Facebook community groups to ask whether anyone was interested in deliveries of fresh seafood, the response was a big “Yes!” So Darrell and Jarrelle Jones (yep, their names almost rhyme) drove all the way from Upper Coomera to Kooralbyn a few Sundays ago with their fresh seafood, and … Continue reading DJ’s Sensational Seafood comes to Kooralbyn
My husband Mike is walking around the Kooralbyn Valley golf course following the Pro-Am tournament today. He was sitting on some rocks and a big roo bounced over and started eating the grass right in front of him. He said it was only about seven feet away! Mike took pix with his phone. He said … Continue reading Roo at the Pro-Am today
Ethnomusicology scholars have picked up my book SabahSongs: Contemporary Music In Sabah. 😀 The 5th symposium of the International Council of Traditional Music study group on Performing Arts Of South East Asia (PASEA) held their event in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah from 16-22 July 2018. Thank you Yap KV for showing me these lovely photos. Yap … Continue reading Ethnomusicology scholars pick up my book!
The Westerlies will be coming soon and I’m sure my lavender cuttings wouldn’t withstand that without some support. Found enough twigs to use. They’re planted a bit close but I really want a dense explosion of lavender going downhill along that wall! I can always prune if they are really battling each other.
Above: Hands-on internet entrepreneurs Michael Hoggett and James Lock (holding fibre-optic cable) KOORALBYN RESIDENT Michael Hoggett wanted fast and affordable internet for “the valley”, as he calls it. His company is Kooralbyn Community Broadband or KCB and its tagline is Better Internet For Everyone. KCB has been up and running for a year, even connecting … Continue reading KCB – internet heroes
My friend Yap sent me a photo of my SabahSongs book in the Penampang (Sabah, Malaysia) Public Library today. Great to see 👍. Thank you Yap!
I was digging the flower bed outside the wall, then this mother and baby roo stopped to graze. So I took a break. It’s great being on holiday and seeing these guys hang out.
Joanna Beckton has an eye for detail and a taste for the aesthetic. She is the owner of Savoy Truffle, a furniture company making handmade furniture to custom, here in Queensland. I know Joanna because she and her two daughters are my piano students. She is a hardworking entrepreneur, and a hands-on mother. I really … Continue reading Joanna Beckton, owner of Savoy Truffle
I first met my cousin Mary Funk-Butterworth (Instagram @maryfunkart) ten years ago in London. Then, she was an accountant. The following year, she completed a Masters in Children’s Book Illustration at the Cambridge School of Art, and took up pottery. She’s never looked back. We were two fortysomething women, getting to know each other over … Continue reading Mary Funk, Artist & Illustrator
Last week my piano students played at the end of semester soirée at McAuley College in Beaudesert. They were excited and nervous, and quite pleased with themselves, I think! I was so happy for them. So well done Ava, Bethany, Bryce, Charlotte, Grace, Joel, Luke and Molly. You are a credit to yourselves and did … Continue reading Soirée at McAuley College!
Our usual digital piano is broken and we are using a light keyboard while it is repaired. I decided to play an ear game with Tian, who is six and in Year 1. In the video below, Tian’s finger is on Middle C. He has to keep his eyes closed, and find the notes that … Continue reading Can you find the notes with your eyes shut, Tian?
I went to the Beaudesert Public library to return a foodie book that Mike had borrowed. Who was standing in the foyer in all her glory, sporting a Queenslander maroon scarf around her magnificent neck? Meet Bullinda Bullguard, the robotic, cotton wool bull! Bullinda was the winner of the Technology Award, in the 2017 Archibull … Continue reading Meet Bullinda Bullguard, the robotic, cotton wool bull!
For Aggressive Gentlemen (4AG) are a Chinese heavy metal band. Actually they’re the only one in Kota Kinabalu. I was in Razz Ma Tazz nightclub with my husband Mike. 4AG were playing. I knew nothing about metal and it all sounded like feedback and noise to me. “Don’t be like that,” Mike (a metal fan) … Continue reading 4AG – Chinese heavy metal
I went for a walk with Mike, and took this picture. On Facebook, my neighbour Michael said: “Monet in Oz, that photo is.” Another neighbour, Jenny, said: “Needs a bridge.” Michael said: “Exactly. Monet in Oz. No infrastructure.” Too good not to post. I have awesome neighbours.
I let this perennial Mediterranean basil go to seed because the bees love it. It doesn’t taste that nice, bitter and slightly medicinal. So I’m happy someone’s making good use of it.
Congratulations to Luke for passing his AMEB Piano For Leisure Grade 1 examination with an A (Honours). Just like your Hot Chilli piece, you rock!
My melodicas (Yamaha M-32C and Suzuki pro-37) are getting a bath! The guys at Melodica World encourage cleaning them out to prevent mould and fungus growth, which could lead to lung infections. It’s an excellent site for melodica enthusiasts 😊. I’ve had the Yamaha for 12 years and the Suzuki for 10. Haven’t looked at … Continue reading Bath time for melodicas
John Stefulj, a superb musician, and my friend, passed away. The jazz community remembered and celebrated him at the Brisbane Jazz Club on May 2. I met John in DM Restaurant on Stanley Street Plaza, about five years ago. He was playing with Jaider de Oliveira. They sat on a little platform, with an array … Continue reading John Stefulj, R.I.P.
The Beaudesert People’s Orchestra is ready! The Ramada resort Kooralbyn Valley said this is the biggest event they have ever hosted, in conjunction with the Scenic Rim Regional Council. It’s a free, all-day family event. Entertainment and events start from 10am, wrapping up with Fire On Water and fireworks, in beautiful Kooralbyn! Come! Jeanne and … Continue reading Fire On Water Finale, April 14 2018 Ramada resort Kooralbyn Valley
When I first arrived in Australia, watching television was an obvious way to learn about life here. I loved Landline, with all its moving stories about rural life, entrepreneurship and survival. As I become a piano teacher in the Scenic Rim, I feel very privileged to be stepping into this world, albeit in an oblique … Continue reading Teaching In The Scenic Rim
Roos are not very smart when it comes to crossing the road. We slow the car to a halt. They look at you and wait. As soon as you start up again…they decide to hop across! 🤔
Mike’s going to make Thai green curry, so I can bring some to Miles when I visit him tomorrow 😊. He sent me into the garden for lemon grass, Kaffir lime leaves and bay leaves. My lemon grass looks grown up now! No more thin baby ones.
Patrick, my 8-year-old piano student, drew a picture for me. I mean, the care that has gone into it, I am so moved. Plus they’re great drawings! Thank you Patrick! <3 His mother, Laura, sent me home with a dozen eggs from her own chooks. “The little ones are from the Bantams, they make a … Continue reading Student’s drawings and eggs from his chooks, and homemade pickle
[Excerpt from: Funk, Joanna. SabahSongs: Contemporary Music in Sabah. Kota Kinabalu: Opus Publications, 2013. 168-173. Print.] Blame It On My Youth Guitarist Joe Ravo grew up in the Bronx and loved music before he really realised it. “When I was a kid, we used to go to my uncle’s house in the holidays. I was … Continue reading The Johnny Rodgers Band