The definitive Christmas song list for every man, woman and child!

So either you love Christmas carols, or you HATE them.

People get so passionate when it comes to the festive tunes. You’re either hitting the high notes with Mariah and wailing “All I want for Christmas, is YOOOOUUUUUU!” or throwing a stocking at the stereo when the song comes on the radio for the 3rd time that day… and there are still weeks before Santa arrives.

The first step is honesty here: you are not going to love every single song in the world, so why do you expect the same from Christmas carols? I love Christmas songs and yet there are many I hit skip on my compilation Christmas albums.

The trick is, knowing which songs to go for. There are daggy and possibly I’ll even say it, bad Christmas songs, just as there are amazing and happy and moving and bouncing Christmas songs.

And this is where I present my list to you – the definitive, MASSIVE and all-encompassing Christmas song playlist that will keep everyone from your 6 year-old child to your 80 year-old granny happy and joyful joyful come December 25th.

Here it goes…

First off the bat, let’s get the festive playlist started with –

“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!” – Andy Williams.

Oh God, I hear this in shopping centres and I just want to hug someone, really I do. It’s a classic and uplifting tune, and gets you right in that Christmas frame of mind.

The best line?:

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year

With the kids jingle belling

And everyone telling you be of good cheer…”

Ha! Nothing like someone telling you to be happy that gets you pissed right off! If that doesn’t cheer you yet, let’s move on to some…

Buble.

Oh, yes. ♥ No good Christmas song list would dare to omit a Buble Christmas tune!

He is a Christmas legend! He does Christmas specials!

I have a couple to note from him but let’s start with

“It’s Beginning to look a lot like Christmas.”

It’s a magical song with hints of whimsical Hollywood, and who can forget lines like –

“And Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again.”

Oh, YES.

Next is Buble’s version of “Santa Baby.”

I preface this by saying that I’ve never really liked the Santa Baby song… anyone’s version. I’ve always found it weird that someone will be singing to Santa in what sounds like such a suggestive and sexual way…

Guys, he is like your grandad. That is just gross. 😖

But Buble, a bloke, does his own manly take on it. It has a touch of swing and cheek, and with plenty of hilarious lines like –

“Santa pally, I want a yacht and really that’s not, a lot

I’ve been a sweetie all year…”

It’s definitely worth a listen.

The last one I’ll mention FOR NOW (yes more Buble is coming so if you’re a fan you’re in for a real treat) is his own Christmas song, Cold December Night.”

It’s got the traditional bells jangling but still has a real contemporary feel to it, while still retaining that Christmas ‘I want you home’ vibe that so many songs encapsulate.

“Stockings are hung with care

The children sleep with one eye open

Now there’s more than toys at stake

‘Cause I’m older now, but not done hoping.”

We’re going to move on now, to another Christmas legend.

Yep. You know it.

How the hell am I meant to write a Christmas song list without mentioning the most commercially successfully penned Christmas song of the last few generations?

It’s, M-A-R-I-A-H. 🤩

Don’t leave! Stay with me please you’ll be glad you did.

I’m going to start with a song you wouldn’t have guessed I would…

“Oh Holy Night.”

This song is something else. Her rendition is classic Mariah, and if you don’t get goosebumps while listening to her high note in the first half, well there is something wrong with you.

From her album, go to 1:39.

Another version. Go to 2:00.

And if you’re still not sure listen to this live piece at 1:41… and then the end of the song.

“Oh night… DIVVVVIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNEEEEEEE.”

Excuse me while I wipe away my tears. 😭

Okay I’ve gathered myself now.

There you go. LIVE my friends. And so much later after it’s first release and listen to that voice!

So clean, so fresh. Wham bam thank you maam. She proves there why she is worth $320 million as of this writing.

Now, I move to the predictable piece.

Bear with me.

“All I Want for Christmas is You.”

You gotta admit, it is a catchy tune. And an awfully clever one. Did you know it took all of 15 minutes for Mariah and her co-songwriter to pen for her 1994 holiday album Merry Christmas? And it continues to amass huge royalties for her all over the world.

It is the 12th biggest selling single ever, of all time as of 2019 (read that, EVER) and because of the layering of multiple music influences within the song, is considered in part by many music critics as the reason for its international success.

Sure it’s overplayed… but personally I love it.

“I just want you for my own

More than you could ever know

Make my wish come true

All I want for Christmas is you.”

I mean the film clip is cute but also a bit cringe-worthy what with Santa (her ex Tommy Mottola) picking her up in the snow… ugh I just can’t. That whole “Santa Baby” thing rears its head and makes me uncomfy all over again.

Because of the upbeat tempo, sounds of bells ringing and Mariah hugging the dog and throwing snow in the air, it’s easy to miss the serious meaning of the song. But if you break it down and look at it on paper, you will see it actually is very simple, yet has a lot of depth.

Or… you can just hear it in a different version.

Insert Buble, again 🙂

Michael Buble does an amazing version of this song. It is soooo different – no high piercing notes, no fast beats. In his version all the words sound different yet are exactly the same, and subsequently come forth with more meaning. I for one LOVE the start of his:

“I don’t want a lot for Christmas

There is just one thing I need

I don’t care about those presents

Underneath the Christmas tree

I just want you for my own

More than you could ever know

Make my wish come true

You know that all I want for Christmas is you.”

How serious, how solemn… how sweet. There is more of a sombre tone to this one, and though I love Mariah’s classic and catchy version, I have a really soft spot for this one too.

I bet you might just be thinking of Mariah a bit differently now.

Okay, you can breathe easy, the Mariah mentions are over…

It wouldn’t be a Christmas list without a ‘Christmas special’ mention, and this one is a festive musical combination that will KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF…

Brace yourself – Buble and Mariah together.

Singing “ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU.”

😯😯😯

OKAY I LIED! Last one I promise.

IT’S TRUE.

Okay now we are truly done.

I’m going to try make the parentals and grandparents happy with this next lot.

We need to go back a long way so that they can rediscover the yester-years and be all teary-eyed in memory, right? Who else can do it better than Bing Crosby (coincidentally the 1st – FIRST! – biggest selling single of all time).

“White Christmas.”

It has that classic old-world feel like all good black and white movies do, and the throwback to the good ol’ days is captured in the line –

“I’m dreaming of a White Christmas

Just like the ones I used to know.”

A couple more golden oldies:

Frank’s “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!”

And Elvis’ voice was made for “Blue Christmas.” This live version with Martina McBride is fabulous, and just watch the over-excitable girls in the audience about to wet themselves.

BA HA HA. Great film clip.

A couple of slow crooning ones sure, so now we’ll inject some much-needed contemporary pop to the playlist.

We all know her as the blonde-cropped, eye-covering contemporary power-belting Aussie superstar voice that has taken over Hollywood with her distinctive voice and song-writing prowess.

I can only be talking about Sia.

I didn’t know what to expect when her Christmas album came out years ago, but being fans Hubbie and I quickly snapped it up.

Everyday is Christmas features all original songs co-written by the Adelaide native. It’s huge to consider since most Christmas albums are predominantly retakes of old classics… Mariah Carey has 3 original tracks… Buble has 1…

Sia has 10 novel tracks.

They are true to Sia style and contemporary, some almost to the point that they may not traditionally sound like Christmas songs at all. She does the upbeat songs as well as the slow and melancholic ones, and two songs that show this spectrum perfectly are the slow and oddly romantic-sounding “Snowman”

And the sing-a-long favourite “Ho Ho Ho.”

Even baby girl loves this one, so a big tick in the contemporary and also child-friendly department.

I also must mention the very sweet song “Puppies are Forever”

“Puppies are forever, not just for Christmas

‘Cause they’re so cute and fluffy with shiny coats

But will you love ’em when they’re old and slow?”

Awww. What a sweet yet really serious message. Sia is a dog fan so no real surprise in that song. She has done brilliantly in creating a very different Christmas album, with her her intention for the album reportingly being that she felt there weren’t many Christmas songs around that she liked to listen to… so she made them up, of course.

Definitely a worthy Christmas album to have in your jolly itinerary.

While we’re on the subject of those making up their own songs, let’s go back in time to my teen years and re-introduce Hanson.

What? Don’t they sing Mmm Bop? Yes well that and a bazillion other tunes being prolific song writers still to this day. They have two Christmas albums (WOAH!) but it’s their first release from back in the day that many 30-somethings (emphasis, ‘somethings’) will remember to this day.

Their musical influences come from the 50s and 60s and incorporate that classic soulful and rock and roll feel, so it is no surprise that their album Snowed In shows this in spades. (Ha, my first pun!)

They have three original songs here, and two I need to make mention of – the slow “Christmas Time”

“Everybody needs a little loving, around Christmas time

Somehow you got to know you’re going to be alright…”

And the rock and roll and boppy “Everybody knows the Claus”

But they also do great renditions, and “Merry Christmas Baby” is just one of those throwbacks that pays homage to the original in a new way, really well.

While we’re in my teen genre, we need to make mention of some groups and artists that have done really daggy and soppy brilliant Christmas songs.

We’ll start with one of my teen fave’s, and sing along to Nsync’s “I Don’t Wanna Spend One More Christmas Without You”

“This is the time of year, when we learn to give

And the greatest gift, is learning to forgive…”

Sage words, especially from a guy with frosted tips.👱‍♂️

You can’t kill me, I’m a fan whose seen him at every Aussie concert! But this is such a 90s crooner… oh man.

Next up on the sickening boyband Christmas list is Backstreet Boys:

With “Christmas time.” Did you hear that lengthy “ooohhhh” at the start of the song from Brian?

Yep. Classic Christmas material.

(Am I meant to be laughing at these songs or convincing you that they’re awesome?) 

🤣

Last on the so-bad-it’s-actually-good-or-is-it series of past teen songs is Britney’s “My Only Wish (This Year)”

Oh God did you hear the opening “oh yeah yeah?” Must be a 90s thing!

“‘Cause I have been so good, so good this year

Can’t be alone, under the mistletoe

He’s all I want and a big red bow.”

Wait, what? What has the bow? 💝

Hmmm.

Moving on now… to GREATNESS.

The saddest yet perhaps one of the best Christmas songs of all time, the one that you just love to belt it out to, well…

“Last Christmas.” Another novel song idea, God this is so good. George is literally singing about being stood up, but he does it in the best 80s way, the way Wham! knew how to do so well… and the song continues to transcend genres and decades to this day and be awesome.

“Once bitten and twice shy

I keep my distance, but you still catch my eye

Tell me baby, do you recognise me?

Well it’s been a year, it doesn’t surprise me

(whispers) Merry Christmas…”

What an amazing song. Extra special points go out to this one because our beloved George passed away on Christmas day. Therefore he is forever immortalised in Christmas, for so many reasons.

Since we’re on the sad theme let’s also go serious for a moment with another powerful 80s festive tune – “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”

Here’s a fun fact for you… Do you know Bono from U2 did not want to sing the infamous line –

“Well tonight thank God it’s them, instead of you!” –

referring to the poor and starving people dying in Ethiopia. But the brainchild behind the multi-artist collaboration to raise money for the famine, Bob Geldof, told Bono that he had to sing it, as it would mean so much more coming from him.

The rest is history, and the group of fifteen or so artists and groups came together and continue to make history, with proceeds of the song apparently still continuing to help people and charities in need all over the world.

Ain’t that a good idea. Buy the single and help someone starving. Merry Christmas to both of you.

And our final sombre look at Christmas comes from another kind of UK legend… John Lennon.

“Happy Xmas (War is Over)” also often referred to as So this is Christmas, interestingly maintains a real festive feel what with the bells ringing and choir kicking in at the chorus, and of course then there is the whole “Have a very Merry Christmas” message throughout. But John injects his own brand of world self-awareness with –

“And so this is Christmas

For weak and for strong

For rich and the poor ones

The world is so wrong…”

The final lines tell us the real point behind his message “War is over, if you want it.” John was trying to save the world, with one Christmas song at a time. If you like to ponder the meaning of life and Christmas festivities then this is the song for you.

A bit of 70s you fancy perhaps? Listen to the music in the Jackson 5 version of “The Little Drummer Boy.”

All those beating drums! Well you’d expect nothing less in a song about… drums. Young Michael’s voice is so high and youthful, and this rendition is still a classic what with the increasing urgency of tone as the song moves towards the end.

And, we are nearing the end! Almost there. I told you this was a comprehensive list.

I’ve covered the old-school teens (those now, ahem, ’30-somethings’) but now I’m going to move to some artists that today’s youth will appreciate.

Chuck a couple of these on your spotify and watch their ears perk up.

Justin Bieber’s “Mistletoe.”

“With you, shawty with you…” Oh God I have to laugh. Not shorty, but shawty.

But the best line?

“The wise men followed the star

The way I followed my heart…”

Let’s move on now to some Arianna, and having heard this a few times it’s actually okay…

“Santa Tell Me” captures the Christmas teen vibe perfectly, what with oversized sweaters and a sleepover with girlfriends in her bed and the Christmas bells ringing in the background to the pop beat… perfect.

A recent addition to the contemporary genre is Taylor Swift’s “Christmas Tree Farm.” It starts off with a massive touch of classic Hollywood and blends into a festive Christmas melody to flashbacks of Taylor as a baby growing up at Christmas time… on a Christmas Tree Farm. So nostalgia is therefore definitely present. (Ha, second daggy pun!)

I’m going to keep going downwards in age and give you something to make the little tikes happy, yes? Why Christmas is mostly about them, what with Santa and presents and reindeer and being on the good list… so remember to include them when planning your music list.

I’m going to give you two classic Aussie bands that have given us two catchy and can’t-stop-singing-them songs.

(ALERT! CATCHY TUNE ALERT! CATCHY TUNE ALERT!)

The awfully catchy (I mean really catchy) “Santa Claus is coming” by popular kid’s group High-5.

Listen to this once with your child, and well… you’ll hear it a billion more times. Both on your stereo and then IN YOUR HEAD FOREVER. You’ve been warned.

(But you also want to keep them happy, so… )

“Santa Claus is coming, Santa Claus is coming

Santa Claus is coming, Santa Claus is coming

SANTA CLAUS IS COMING! SANTA CLAUS IS COMING!”

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

The next one is from the most iconic Australian kids group of all time, who have even gained huge international acclaim and fans.

It’s The Wiggles! (baby girl’s fave!) with “Go Santa Go!”

There is a skit at the beginning of this clip if you need context, you know, to work out who these Wiggly people are… but go to 2:33 if you just want the song. The Wiggles actually have a load of Christmas songs, novel ones too, but this is a terrific one as it’s repetitive, easy for the kids to sing and dance along to as well with those Danny Zuko Greased Lightning type moves…

I’m going to throw a spanner in the works for the next one and add a Christmas parody…

Aren’t all Christmas songs parodies I hear you ask? Calm down I’m joking. If you’ve read this far clearly you are a closet Christmas lover.

I heard this at baby girl’s school Christmas concert, and well, staying in theme with Aussie kids groups, this is an Aussie kids song all about our type of Christmas:

How funny! “Aussie Jingle Bells” is so hilariously outback, that you can’t not smile at lines like –

“Jingle Bells Jingle Bells

Christmas time is beaut

Oh what fun it is to ride

In a rusty Holden Ute.”

OH! Ha ha. The vision that accompanies the song in the film clip, though overdone is actually also spot on for an Aussie Christmas, which I love.

We’re going to stay with the Aussie theme as we head into the final stretch. Why wouldn’t I mention some amazing performers that we have, who make Christmas that much more amazing with their own special versions of classic Christmas songs…

Like two incredible and iconic performers, singing together, Olivia Newton John and John Farnham.

“Baby, it’s Cold Outside.”

Why it took so long for these two to pair up I don’t know, but this song with all the to-ing and fro-ing beautifully represents their voices and the playfulness of this festive tune.

“I wish I knew how (your eyes are like starlight now)

To break this spell (I’ll take your hat, your hair looks swell)…”

I think it’s a charming and cheeky song that honestly, people got all riled up over nothing a while ago.

It’s Christmas people!

Every year I watch the TV carols on Christmas Eve, and the one star who has come into his own performing there time after time is the former Australian Idol winner and great Anthony Callea.

A reality TV winner? On this list?

WAIT. You have not heard him. Included here is the international “Ave Maria,” but if you’re from my generation (so old now) you may remember him tearing down the roof with this rendition of “The Prayer” on Aus Idol, which led to him subsequently winning that season.

He’s gone on to sing that song at carols over the years and he is just AH-MAY-ZING. Search for that song if you like song and then listen to this Christmas melody below. You’ll see why he’s become a staples at the carols and a star in his own right.

Incredible.

Staying on the carols bandwagon, and maybe I am being awfully self-indulgent by naming performers that I feel a soft spot for, but Marina Prior has been a serious carols regular for as long as I can remember, from my childhood. The opera singer has a voice of an angel, and well, you get why she gets to sing “Silent Night” here:

This is one of my favourite traditional Christmas songs. Yes, it’s slow, but as I’ve displayed in this list, just as there is an artist for each age group, so is there a time of day when you should play certain songs. And this one winds up the festive day perfectly.

And also, this list. Because I present to you the final song, and we come full circle by coming back to…

Buble.

The song I’m ending on is the target of a lot of jokes and misspellings out there, such as –

FOR LEASE NAVIDAD

FLEECE NAVIDAD, and

THE LEASE NOBBY DOT? 🤔

(Seriously!)

It’s obviously “Feliz Navidad” which roughly translated means Merry Christmas in Spanish for any people who still don’t know it.

Buble does the most beautiful duet with Thalia in this Christmas special below, and when he sings in Spanish it comes across effortlessly… his Spanish wife would be proud. 🙂

And with that, I end this MASSIVE (I told you) Christmas song list. I haven’t even started to scratch the surface of all the great Christmas songs out there, but this is a great starter and will keep you and your family and friends jolly and merry on Christmas Day.

And to that I say –

“I want to wish you a Merry Christmas,

I want to wish you a Merry Christmas,

I want to wish you a Merry Christmas from the bottom, of my heart.”

🎵🎅🤶🎄🎁❤🎶

How to get by in life in very tiny and easy to achieve steps

Quick fixes.

Drink a caffeinated beverage. Tea, black, green or COFFEE.

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Put on loud music. Freddie Mercury Live Aid 1985.

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Look in the mirror and LAUGH at yourself. I dare you not to smile.

Look out the window. Dream.

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Take 3, slow deep breaths. Do it now.

 

Make a date.

Schedule girl time. Or boy time. Whatever tickles your fancy.

Go to the beach. Go to the forest. Go to the mountains. Connect with Mother Nature.

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Put yourself in another environment. So if you are depressed at home, go out. If you are depressed at work, well… go out. Take a sickie. Yes I am saying take a sickie (then maybe think about finding another job if you are depressed more often than not).

Watch something you love. An old tv series, movie, youtube comedy clip… put on that which makes you smile.

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Sit under a tree.

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Take a nap. Some shut-eye really can bring you clarity.

 

Self-care.

Meditate. Sit in silence and try to quiet your mind. Or let it wander. See where it leads you. Don’t get worked up over what pops up – just observe.

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Stretch. Do some yoga. There’s nothing like concentrating on the breath that takes you into a different zone.

Write it out. Have you ever done free-journalling? Sit with a piece of paper and get it all out, don’t stop for 5 minutes and keep the hand moving and the words flowing with whatever crap random shitty unusual scary thoughts come out of your head. When your 5 minutes is up, burn the paper.

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Go for a walk. Around the neighbourhood… around the shopping centre. Whatever. Walk aimlessly, and let your feet lead you.

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Long-term.

Talk to someone. A partner, friend, family member, colleague… even your cat. You think stroking their fur doesn’t help? You clearly don’t have a pet.

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Take concerted time out to make yourself happy each and every day. Make it a priority, write it on your to-do list, make it a MUST, just like eating, sleeping and hygiene are in your day-to-day.

Drink water. A lot of it. Our bodies are made up of between 50-75% water, so we need this vital substance to keep us sane and moving.

Finally, remember to keep things in perspective. At our core we are made up of atoms. Energy, air, and yet in human form all we see is hard matter. Think of all those who have come before us. Think of the future generations who will follow. Imagine the Universe. Imagine God. Just imagine Mother Nature if that is what you please.

And then see yourself as this tiny little invisible dot on the world map that is living an existence in amongst all of the shared past, present and future histories of anyone who has ever passed a breath.

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Sure, you matter. We all do. But how much do your problems hold weight?

If they still hold you down, speak to a professional. But if they seem pointless and irrelevant, take a deep breath and put up the music.

Every day is a chance to start again.

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How I handled f%$king writing rejection and lived to tell the tale.

Step 1: Stare at the computer in horror. Do this for as long as you have to, to let it really SINK IN.

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Photo by Pim Chu on Unsplash

Step 2: Physically express yourself. Scream. Cry. YELL. Do all 3 and then some. If you are going to throw something across the room make sure you don’t have any strong attachment to the item, it is not heavy/sharp/strong, and also, you don’t care about your flooring/it is virtually unbreakable.

Step 3: Keep crying and telling yourself self-defeating words. Things like:

“I’m a failure.”

“I am shit.”

“I am a shit writer AND I’m just plain shit.”

“I can’t fucking write.”

“I got rejected for a fucking writing course…”

And so on. If you have come this far you are doing well. Your self-loathing is working brilliantly.

Step 4: Wallow in self-pity. Pick someone who has to put up with you (i.e partner, parent, sibling) and tell them how shit you are. Cry as you are doing so. Tell them all your sorrows, including that time in grade 4 when you walked into a pole at school and your canteen partner laughed their head off at you. Go on.

Step 5: More than likely you have just been yelled at and scolded by your loved one. Go off and sulk for about 37 minutes.

I’ll wait…

Step 6: Ok you’re back. Now I want you to ask yourself…

“Are you going to let this beat you?”

That just jarred you didn’t it? You expected me to tell you to go cut some onions and rub them over your eyelids after all that self-hatred and the pity party you just attended with yourself as the star D-grade celebrity.

But SmikG is getting glass half-full right now and she is gonna whoop your ass.

Sit down! You’re not going anywhere.

Step 7: Ask yourself some more questions. Things like:

“Are you going to let one individual/organisation dictate what you can do?

“Will you someone else control your belief of yourself?”

“Is this one incident going to make you stop writing? Really? This ONE thing?”

At this stage, you may want to wallow in some more self-defeating talk for a couple more moments. Go on, whimper. Sniffle. Get some Kleenex super soft tissues, from the Aloe Vera range you weak piece of shit.

Step 8: “Are you REALLY going to let this get you down?”

“You know… you’re not that shit.”

“You’re actually, not bad.”

NOW we’re talking.

Step 9: Time to recall some famous writer stories.

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J.K Rowling. An unemployed and poor single mother goes from her Harry Potter manuscript being rejected 12 times before finally getting picked up… but even so, her editor encourages her to get a teaching job as it is unlikely she will earn much from writing children’s books.

She is now worth over 1 billion dollars (read, BILLION) with her name to one of the best-selling series in the world with 450 million copies SOLD.

stephen king

Stephen King. Rejected his own story, Carrie, only to find his wife had taken it out of the garbage with the note for him to finish it. It was rejected over 30 times, but was eventually picked up and even turned into a movie.

He has over 50 novels to his name, has written hundreds of short stories, and remains one of the great fiction writers of this generation.

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Dr Seuss. He had been rejected 27 times, and was literally on his way home to burn the manuscript when he bumped into an old friend. When he spoke of his woes from “a book no one will publish” his friend (also a children’s editor… how “co in-chi-den-che” – see the Tomei-Downey Jr. movie Only You for reference!♥ ) he read it and it was published.

He went on to write over 60 children’s books and remains a classic children’s writer through the ages.

Step 10: Woah. Now we are feeling just a little bit invincible. Almost like the way we felt when we first ventured into the writing world with fear and trepidation, hovering over the keyboard as we posed those first few words.

But we need something else.

Inject some creativity in your life… in the form of, MUSIC.

My fave go-to: Something loud and pumping, ROCK is real good.

Queen, for example.

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Prince doing his Beautiful Ones where he screeches at the end is also uplifting in a very RAW way.

Or you know, on the other spectrum we can go ‘alternative/new wave rock’ and play something like INXS’ Need You Tonight… you know the story, of how Andrew Farriss famously made the taxi driver who was meant to take him to the airport, wait an hour as he wrote the riff to the song? He then passed it onto Michael, who quickly penned the words to what would become the song… incredible.

You need to surround yourself with genius. Genius thoughts. Genius inspiration. Genius creativity.

Step 11: Ok, we are HERE. Perhaps you feel so unstoppable, so charged, the muse starting to move within you, that something you scribble on toilet paper while passing a bowel movement (why do you have a pen in there?) can be considered LEGENDARY.

“What am I going to do next?”

“What course will I look at?”

“What can I learn from this?”

Start work-shopping ideas to get around your initial rejection.

Step 12: Start with this quote by Albert Einstein: “Failure is success in progress.”

NEXT, sit at your computer.

And start writing.

🙂

 

 

 

Mi Burrito

Mi Mexiko
25 Main Street Mornington

(Visited November ’17)

Do you always need a reason to dine out? Nah. This reason of nothing, and the added effect of having not much to do already on that sunny Spring Sunday in November, had us wandering over to Mi Mexiko on the main street.

At first, I was a little concerned. Could we find something to please even our most fussiest of eaters palate?

Why, yes. And baby girl would have something too.

Our second fussiest person was kept entertained with much appreciated textas and drawing paper, something that makes all parents sigh in relief when it is brought over. I don’t have enough mobile data for all her youtube vids EVERY time.

Whereas our first most fussiest, Hubbie, started off with a straight scotch, and then a pale ale to chase with. Me, I opted for something green and fresh, much like the day happening around us.

A seis de mayo cocktail – lime, mint and soda.

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Of course we had to get nachos of some kind to nibble on, this was the place for it! The music was traditional to the theme and had a great party vibe, and it filled up the otherwise empty restaurant that afternoon. Sure there were people dining outside, but while there, we were only one of very few who had arrived for that Sunday afternoon thus far.

So, the corn chips were great.

Corn chips, guacamole, salsa fresca – smashed avocado, lemon & lime, fresh tomato salsa, corn chips

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I had to avoid the guacamole underneath, because Avocado-aversion-that-makes-me cry-and-hold-my-stomach-in-pain-for-3-hours-after-eating-it (don’t cry for me Avocado), but the salsa onion and tomato dip on top, and the crunchy corn chips were so good, honestly that was a meal in itself and so yummy. Baby girl didn’t realise how great it tasted until we were almost done, and just as well as she would have left us with NONE.

But it was ok, because the mains were near.

First baby girl’s arrived. I had been after something fairly plain for her, because you know, kids, and 4, and somehow those two things together makes for one hell of a fussy eater. No sauces, no condiments, no dressings, no funny business of any kind! I had to make sure the mayo in her meal was on the side before ordering.

Fried chicken taco, lemon mayo and crispy fried potatoes.

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But having said that, it was actually a really, really good kids meal. She demolished the warm taco bread, and after I tried a nibble I could see why. So moorish. She even had a great attempt at her potatoes and chicken, but the mayo…

Yeah that remained uneaten. Like I said, no funny business at this age stage.

Hubbie got the Chipotle chicken (burrito) – Chipotle grilled chicken, quinoa, peppers, corn, cactus, guacamole, salted ricotta, salsa verde

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And I got the Fried cauliflower (burrito) – tamarind cauliflower fritters, smoked eggplant, quinoa, sweet potato, jalapeno salsa, salted ricotta, salsa verde

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Both were great burritos, but I found Hubbie’s the superior one when I took a bite of his. However, it was a good thing that I didn’t order that for myself, since I realised in my bite that I had swiftly missed a portion of guacamole in there! Just as well. Mine was very vegetable-orientated, and with all the tangy and salty tastes springing forth, you couldn’t say it wasn’t flavoursome! It was quite strong though. I still enjoyed it, but if I could do it again, I would have opted for Hubbie’s chicken burrito, minus the guacamole. It was still a filling, and very pretty meal.

We had had no plans to dine out, and we still had no plans for afterwards… so we decided to follow suit in our randomness, and go and get ice cream.

Food: 7.5/10. Fresh, exciting, and inviting.

Coffee: N/A on this occasion.

Ambience: Lively, even though there wasn’t many people around! The restaurant soon filled up as the day wore on, and on both sides of that the Mexican/Spanish music filled the place with lots of get-up-and-dance vibes. Loved it. Also, it was still easy-going enough that you didn’t feel like you had to get up and stand on the table, you know?

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People: Couples outside and inside, and families. Catch-ups and family gatherings make it a fun place to dine at.

Staff: A very mixed bag here. Considering they were very quiet when we first arrived, many staff found it difficult to display courteousness. One waitress delivering food to tables showed obvious annoyance in having to walk around me and baby girl when we were walking back from the toilet, and the same waitress very hastily shoved our plates down on the table when our food had arrived. Passive aggressive, yet so obviously the latter. Funny how this waitress had no time for querying customers when they were so quiet at the time. We had a lovely waitress almost make up for all of that who put our bill through at the end of the visit. But alas, sour notes linger. Management, tell your staff that the bubbly vibes your restaurant gives out can be easily burst by rudeness.

Price: $81.50 saw us have lunch, some nibbles and drinks. Prices were on par as lunch meals, and the kids meal came in at a very respectable $8.50, fantastic since the quality of what she received was right up there.

Advice: If you have no aversion to avocado, please go there and eat all the avocado (for me!) Otherwise try the corn chips, they are lip-smacking salty good. Sit inside at a window booth, you will have a wonderful vantage point through the hopefully open windows, along Main street and even further along.

In a nutshell: The prime location of this restaurant makes this the place to be, and an excellent meeting point amongst friends and groups. With its great lively vibe and bright location, it is a terrific Summer spot, and even in Winter, the music there would perk anyone right up. If staff can properly represent the atmosphere being presented by all else there, it could be an unbeatable combo. The flavour in the food is distinct, however there are options that could please even the most fussiest and unadventurous of eaters, though they are few. Mi will be back… eventually.

Mi Mexiko Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Lovely Lyrics #3

There’s been a song on the radio, that has been generously overplayed for the last several months.

It’s Bebe Rexha’s (featuring Florida Georgia Line) Meant To Be

There is nothing like a song you find irritating being played on every commercial radio station you turn to. It wakes you in the morning. You turn on your car and bang! there it is. It even starts to get featured on TV. There is just no escape.

But then, something happened a little while ago. Hubbie and I had unitedly been annoyed by the repetitive song, but then all of a sudden, he came home liking it.

Why, I never. I was appalled. We were joined in this common dislike together! He couldn’t do this to me! I was in the kitchen one day, making dinner, having to listen to this song he had put on, when suddenly, I heard a line. A line that really spoke to me:

“No need to go nowhere fast

Let’s enjoy right here where we at.”

Woah. You know how sometimes you hear something and it just speaks to your unspoken question, so succinctly? You hear these phrases all the time though. About being present. Not forcing things. Allowing the Universe to do what it has to do, in its own time.

But it’s not just the message. It’s also the delivery, and how it is expressed. Because remember, we all hear and respond to things differently.

Those words spoke to me particularly, and now, I even don’t mind the song. Why? Because those two lines present the happiness inherent in the present, the everyday… the whole reason I do my gratitude blog… finding reasons to appreciate the every day, no matter how small they are. It is about looking in on what is happening, rather than stewing on the past, or worrying about what will come.

Don’t worry about what is around the corner. Don’t rush. Take it slow, and enjoy NOW.

Breathe.

And then, the whole summary of the song is presented in the chorus lines.

You can’t force the future. Your best bet is to, in the words of one of baby girl’s favourite Disney movie lines “Let It Go.”

Let it go, focus on enjoying the beautiful present, and I can almost guarantee, in most cases when you DO do this, the thing you have been wanting and waiting for will come to you.

And if not, well then there is something even better lined up for you.

So, in that case…

“If it’s meant to be, it’ll be, it’ll be,

Baby just let it be…”

 

Lovely Lyrics #2

This Lovely Lyrics series doesn’t necessarily need to pertain to inspirational, uplifting, even a walk-in-a-field-of-daisies kind of nice…

It can be nice in it’s stark truth, it’s realism… in the way it speaks to your soul.

One voice. Few guitar strings. Strong words…

“Help me, it’s like the walls are caving in
Sometimes I feel like giving up
But I just can’t
It isn’t in my blood

Laying on the bathroom floor, feeling nothing
I’m overwhelmed and insecure, give me something
I could take to ease my mind, slowly…”

I wasn’t any kind of Shawn Mendes fan when I first heard the radio-friendly and severely over-played Stitches. I would change the station every time it came on. EVERY TIME. I wasn’t a devotee at all.

But then I saw a short interview with him on Jimmy Fallon, and I thought…  he was actually a nice kid.

Suddenly I didn’t mind his song all too much…

And then when I heard the beginning a capella notes of In My Blood the first time, they spoke to me.

Did he have any experience in the matter? Did a kid of his age know about sadness, depression, feeling like it is just not worth it?

Had a person of his age, still so inexperienced, seemingly successful with his early musical accomplishments, and yet still so young, well, did he know about this? Well, did he?

It doesn’t matter whether he did or not. Because his words still painted a hauntingly accurate picture.

Because I had been there. I had been in a place of willing myself to give up, telling myself I will not go on due to repeated failure, repeated rejection, repeated blows to the heart, body and soul…

crying and sniffling and slobbering all over the place…

sitting on the bathroom floor…

And just as I had told myself I will not continue, this little voice from inside said –

“Hush. You know you won’t give up.”

Like Mendes says, ‘it isn’t in my blood.’

Have a listen to the first 26 seconds. They are truly touching in their stark wretchedness. I love it. ♥

 

 

How to vote in the same-sex marriage postal survey

Here’s the thing: the outcome of Australia’s same-sex marriage postal survey will not impact me greatly.

I do not identify with the individuals who will be negatively affected in a possible majority ‘No’ vote.

I am straight. I am happily married – we said our vows in a church. And I have a child.

However, I do identify with them, as a fellow member of the human race. I am a member, and they are too.

Firstly let me start by showing you how I have voted:

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(and you will see that I have taken care not to include the lower barcode in this pic, in fear of the vote being deemed invalid, or risk of it being used by online scammers).

And now, a bit about myself.

I was raised in a fairly traditional European family. I was taught to respect and listen to elders, do as you’re told, and work hard.

We have a large extended family unit, and this only grew as the years passed. Family came to Australia from overseas, and so too the numbers went up up up.

When I was about 16 someone in this family unit came out.

It was my first time, being in the proximity of this knowledge. This ‘kind.’

Maybe I had been sheltered. Maybe it was a different time then. Maybe because it was so close to home…

… But the news really shook me. I felt altered. This person, who I had grown up with, who I had looked up to, who I had made some of the best childhood memories with –

was not the person who I thought they were.

Maybe because I was almost 16, maybe because it was that oh-so-pivotal and dramatic point in my teenage years – but I seriously felt lost. I didn’t know, what and who I knew anymore. The history that I had between myself and this person, didn’t appear to exist anymore.

To quote Gotye, they were “somebody who I used to know.”

Time went on. I still saw this person. They were still a part of my life.

And an important realisation surfaced. Through the continued interactions, continued laughs, continued memory-making…

… nothing had actually changed.

This theme grew stronger and stronger throughout the years, when I entered the workforce, and met more people who were gay and lesbian. And to date, I have lost count of the number of people in my life, both in personal life and at work, who are gay or lesbian.

I learnt a lesson very early on. There was nothing wrong with these people.

And this told me something. The sexual orientation didn’t make the person; the character did.

There were straight people who shit me.

There were straight people who I loved.

There were gay people who shit me.

There were gay people who I loved.

And lately, these gay people that I love (and some straight too) have been getting very vocal online. They’ve been getting vocal, because they want the same rights as every straight couple has, to be able to get married in Australia and have their union recognised legally.

I was sitting quite impassively on the subject for a while. I always knew how I would vote. But like I said, it didn’t concern me.

A quote sparked my interest though, and took me by surprise.

It was questioned, that when our children asked us in the future how we voted at this time, whether we would shy away and feel guilty, or whether we would be proud and say we had made a difference to the way people live their lives.

To the way people are able to live their lives.

That’s what it comes down to. Gay and lesbians do not have a say, nor do they have a right, to make their relationships official in the court of law.

I couldn’t help but think of women’s rights, and how it took so long for women to be able to ‘acceptably’ work… AND to be able to vote.

I work, and I vote. But if I was born before 1902, that wouldn’t have been at all possible for me. People back then made history, allowing me and every other woman in this day and age to do what shouldn’t just be a privilege, but a basic human right.

Think of the Aborigine people. We have come a long way, but in some respects, we still have a LONG way to go.

It has been progressive, has it not? People will argue either way, and yet if we look at the rights that Aborigines receive nowadays, they are vastly improved from how it used to be.

But for gays and lesbians, NO.

I didn’t think I needed to speak up, to give them a voice. It didn’t affect me, you see.

I read another story about a gay man preaching his case. He said under current Australian law, his brother, who he hasn’t spoken to in years, would have rights over his remains and his estate if something happened to him… his brother who he is estranged from. Who he clearly does not have a relationship with. Who he does not want anything to do with.

His brother would have rights, and yet his partner, who he is happily committed in a relationship with, would have none.

I read that, and I thought “that is just not fair.”

And then days earlier, the clincher.

The church where Hubbie and I got married, well they sent me a text. In summary, they were asking everyone to not be pressured and bullied by the same-sex marriage vote, and to vote NO in the plebiscite.

A direct quote:

“vote no to protect the holy sacrament of marriage, the family unit and the future generations.”

I was stunned. Stupefied. I told Hubbie, and we had a good, LONG discussion.

How dare they? What has it got to do with them? Gays and lesbians are not asking to be recognised by the church. The churches can continue to dismiss their relationship and deny their wishes to be married in their ‘sacred’ house… gays and lesbians are wishing for their unions to be respected and recognised legally.

By law. In the courts. Not in the church.

Marriage will still be sacred… because what is sacred, is LOVE. Let’s not pretend us ‘straight’ people are perfect. Divorce, adultery, abuse, both mental and physical… need I go on? Whose to say we are the only ones that can do it better? Straight people have been screwing it up since the beginning of time.

How will the family unit be affected? In what regard? From what I know, I’m fairly certain you don’t really have a choice to be gay or straight. You’re “born this way,” as another artist sings. Whether your parents are straight, or gay, I don’t think none of that will affect the family, or how their children will orient themselves sexually.

Straight couples produce gay children. Case closed.

And, future generations? Don’t we have an overpopulation issue? Like really? Will us ‘straight’ couples not be able to produce enough babies because of all the sudden gay and lesbian couples popping up everywhere?

Give me a break.

If anything, “church.” I am even more pro-God, anti-church establishment, than ever before. The man-made restrictions constantly placed upon the general population by the churches shits me to no end.

This law, isn’t going to make gay and lesbians go away. It isn’t going to make them disappear. And they shouldn’t have to. They are people, they have dreams, hopes and wishes, and theirs is to be respectfully recognised if they choose to marry the person they want to spend the rest of their life with. They have a basic human right, like so many of us.

They have a right to be recognised.

Like Aborigines do.

Like women do.

We all have a right. We have a right to be respected. We have a right to be heard.

We deserve the right of freedom. We deserve the right of public speech.

We deserve the right to marry who we want to.

We deserve the right to not be discriminated against for our race, colour, or gender.

We deserve the right to not be discriminated against for our ethnicity, work place, religion or geography.

We deserve the right to immunise our children, how and when as we wish. We deserve a say in this also, highly debatable topic, and need to be respected and listened to, our concerns understood and discussed, not pushed away in the corner and off to the ‘too-hard, crazy-person’ basket.

We deserve to be recognised by law, when we love someone. Let it not be based on gender, race, geography, or religion. Let it be based, and guided by, only the heart. 

And this is how this post came about. I was passive about the topic of same-sex marriage, still voting ‘YES,’ but neither feeling here nor there…

But then I realised, my voice was even more beneficial, because I was part of the middle group. The group that didn’t know how it affected them. The group that lay undisturbed from the decision. The group that would sleep well after the votes were cast, either way.

I am NOT a lesbian gay activist. I am not one way or the other. But I do believe in a person’s right to do as they choose, especially if they are not hurting anyone.

And they are not hurting anybody.

My voice is as important as every other humans out there.

And for the gays and lesbians, their voice is as important as MINE.

Please be a part of the ‘YES’ movement. Make a positive difference to our ongoing history. Be someone your future children will be proud of.

It feels awful to say it. But give the right, of basic human rights.

P.S And oh, just so you know…

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WordPress votes ‘YES’ too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heavenly Surroundings

God’s Kitchen
53 Barkly Street Mornington

(Visited April ’16)

We called ahead on night 2 of our Mount Martha stay to find out which restaurant would be best suited for us to dine at with baby girl. We booked with the kitchen of the Gods, after hearing they were kid-friendly. Loud, we were advised, with the commencement of the nearby band by a certain time, but definitely friendly.

Loud, did you say? Loud enough to drown out any of her complaints? We almost high-tailed it over to the bar/restaurant, a grasshopper’s jump away from the Main street.

Luckily we had booked. The round, dome-shaped conservatory-type room we were led to wasn’t huge, with other tables already full and our table with high-chair waiting. God’s Kitchen is based around a heritage-listed church from back in the 1800s, the church itself used as the space for live music by local musicians, with diners able to eat casually at the garden bar, the conservatory type room with the Bohemian-looking chandelier, or at the front courtyard. It was already loud as we arrived, so we felt immediately at ease.

I soon ordered a glass of Stonier Pinot Noir from the Peninsula itself, while Hubbie ordered a sweet beer, off tap.

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We had to call for service because we were forgotten amongst the rush of it all, but because the waitress was so nice about it she was immediately forgiven.

We got some Prawn and Ginger Gyoza with Ponzu to share, and even though I couldn’t taste much of the ginger they were still really good.

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Baby girl’s meal came before ours as requested, and even though crap photo in the dark quality doesn’t show much of it (what you get from dim lighting and simple camera phone), she really did LOVE her Pasta. We were amazed that even though she wore a pale pink top, it remained untouched with sauce stains the entire time… until the last 2 minutes of her meal of course.

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She happily slurped it up.

Soon our mains arrived: my Pumpkin and Chickpeas Curry alongside rice and warm flatbread

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And Hubbie’s Grass-fed Rib Eye steak from Gippsland, atop mash and greens

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Mine was definitely a comforting dish, and was pleasing, however it just felt like a carb-fest. I would have appreciated some tzatziki or yoghurt to offset all the warm flavours and heavy textures. I’m a carb girl, through and through. But it was just a bit imbalanced on the plate.

Hubbie enjoyed his steak, saying it was cooked to his liking, and the accompanying sides were just right. He also enjoyed pecking at my carbs when I was done getting overfull!

Baby girl was doing well, meaning to say we had discovered the best way to occupy her was to set up a constant stream of Wiggles on youtube via our phones, and this kept her happily entertained… which is why we were able to have this: Churros – chocolate-filled Spanish doughnuts

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These were doughy, and also, amazing. I’m not an expert on the churro, though they’re so good I should aim to be, but I had just imagined them to be crispier, whereas these were softer… maybe having the filling leads to the softer texture, whereas a traditional plain churro is crispier? Someone inform me. Otherwise, crispy/soft, they were really yum. Moorish, and really easy to eat.

It had been a great night, in comforting yet loud surrounds, right up our alley with baby girl, and we had even gotten some interesting info from our main waitress who had a distinct accent. We told her we were planning a Sea change, and she told us she had done the same from overseas but to a neighbouring suburb that she loved. It was comforting to hear and discover, and more than a coincidence we thought, that we should be served be her 🙂

Food: 7/10. Decent. Nothing to particularly rave about, but it matches the bar atmosphere.

Coffee: N/A.

Ambience: Really loud with the live music blasting from the adjoining church! Having a vocal baby girl, we loved it.

Staff: Really friendly. Both our accented waitress and another shyer waitress were terrific with us, we couldn’t have been happier with the kind and genuine service.

People: In our space there were many families, young and old dining out, whereas as you left this room to go outside through the church area, it became a typical pub scene, with heaps of teens hanging out rocking to the music. I was surprised that such a diverse group of people occupy the same space, yet somehow, it works.

Price: $120: consisting of 3 alcoholic drinks, an entrée, child’s meal, 2 mains and a dessert. Perhaps a bit much for what we received, but we’re on the PENINSULA now you see. Still slightly overpriced. My wine was $12 on its own.

Advice: Book ahead, because we’ve learnt that everything on the Peninsula gets booked out: all the locals head out on the weekend, and if you’re from out-of-town you need to compete with them to get seated!

In a nutshell: I enjoyed this restaurant due to the casual atmosphere and live music, it definitely is a fun place to be on the weekend. I’d love to try those churros again, and have some brekkie outside in the courtyard on a warm sunny day. There is no 5-star food here, but it does the job. Being the location of a former church makes it all the more picturesque. Still, it’s a heavenly location.

Gods Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Lovely Lyrics Intro and #1

I’ve been thinking of doing this series for a while now, but until George Michael’s sad passing a few days ago, I haven’t had the proper motivation to start the venture.

I love music, and I highly respect musicians of all kinds. I would love it if I could actually perform, play an instrument of some kind or sing – I find it a beautifully expressive and creative form, which is why I particularly pay attention to the words sung in songs. Often a song will be “meh” to me, until I really hear the words spoken by the artist, to which point I then go “wow.”

This has happened with musicians I regard highly, my ‘Faves’ as it were, but also with those I don’t follow too closely. I respect all the songs, all the music out there, and with this regard I present to you the first entry in my Lovely Lyrics series.

(This series will contain many explicit lyrics, so please, if this offends… oh well).

 

Who else to commence this with than the beautiful, expressive, soulful-singing voice of George Michael.

Oh George. I have been in a real mess since I heard of his passing on Boxing day. With Prince, I was immediately hurt and in shock… yet with George, the shock is still very fresh, still very raw, and the pain of losing such an amazing artist is only starting to take form. Because with Prince, I felt lucky that I even got to see him live in concert years ago… whereas with George, I had seen him, and yet always believed I would see him again. I wanted to see him and hear him sing the following song, so I could cry with happiness and appreciation and enjoy it in all of its live glory. I really, really believed I would see him again. It was a truth that hadn’t yet happened, but I felt in my gut that it would.

He was 53. It was natural to think he would go on for a very, very long time.

The song I’m speaking of is A Different Corner. I speak of him, and this song, in my dedication to George Michael which I wrote a few days ago, over on my carcrashgratitude blog. But this song, is so magical, so pristine in its musical arrangement, and his voice so clear and bright, yet also holding such heartache and yearning, that it is hard not to be moved by such powerful lyrics and music.

The lyrics speak of a love so moving and strong that you are fearful of what it will do to you. And wondering, whether the fear of losing such a love, that it is better not to have love and lost, as the popular quote tells us otherwise.

See it here:

I love all the lyrics of the song. But the ones that speak loudly to me are these:

 

At .53 seconds: “I’d say love was a magical thing; I’d say love would keep us from pain, had I been there… had I been there.”

 

At 1:30 seconds: “’Cause I’ve never come close, in all of these years; you, are the only one to stop my tears, I’m so scared, I’m so scared.”

 

At 2:29 seconds: “Take me back in time maybe I can forget; turn a different corner and we never, would have met… would you care?”

 

At 3:26 seconds: “And if all that there is is this fear of being used, I should go back to being lonely, and confused…. If I could, I would, I swear.”

 

The delivery of those last words

 

“If I could, I would, I swear.”

 

Do yourself a favour, whether you have seen this clip before, or you are new to it, watch the video and enjoy the clarity with which George sings of a love so deep, that you, just, can’t. You will not be disappointed.

R.I.P George Michael.

 

Sightings of People as Passionate About (Addicted to) Coffee as I am (SOPAPACAIA) #8

Highpoint Shopping Centre

Sighted: Two women

Another one at Highpoint, I know. We were sitting at a stocked-to-the-capacity, swept-off-their-feet Jaspers (again) and since it was on for young and old in regards to who could snap up a vacant table the fastest, when two women stood up from a nearby spot, we naturally looked over to see how long it would take for someone to jump on it.

Shock horror!!!

A practically full latte, sitting un-drunk, on the table.

Dum, da dum dum.

WOW. Hubbie and I were impressed. I mean, I’ve never had that bad a coffee that I would leave it as is, unconsumed, on the table, and walk away. But this lady let her friend drink her own coffee, and then left her latte, just like that!

That takes balls.

And then of course, we were picturing the look on the barista’s face as they received the virtually untouched latte that they had prepared…

Tsk tsk tsk.

Ours was great, no issues. So you have to wonder… coffee error (on the barista’s behalf), coffee snob (on the woman’s behalf) or….

Just a really passionate woman who passionately loves her coffee to the extent she will get up and LEAVE a bad one?

High five woman. Put it there.

You gotta fight, for your right, to good coffeeeeee…