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Movement Makes Music with MSO

For years, when the kids were little, I would read about performances of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) created specifically for kids to enjoy.  Of course with the juggle of work, other kid stuff and generally being too busy, we never made actually made it to a performance.  I was delighted when I was contacted by Alison a the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra to offer me tickets to take the kids along to a performance.  As usual, we had a crazy busy weekend ahead of us but the planets aligned and ice-skating was moved back a few hours so we had a morning free – the perfect opportunity to finally take the kids.  Alison did stress that the performance was aimed at 3 – 8 year olds, that my kids being 7 and 9 might be a little old for the show but I know that they love music and that I want them to love dance again so I was willing to give it a shot, I would take the kids to a performance of Movement Makes Music, a unique collaboration between the MSO and the Australian Ballet Dance Education Ensemble will engage children aurally and kinetically. Performers will highlight the links between movement and music during this 50-minute show, in which audience members will be moved, inspired and enchanted.

I must admit that I was hesitant that boy-child would moan and complain all morning (as he  frequently does!) so it wasn’t until we were in the car and on the way there that I actually told the kids where we were going and braced myself for the whinging.  Guess what?  There was none, we were off to a great start!

We made it to the venue with plenty of time to spare and found ourselves a spot front and (almost) centre on the floor, ready to enjoy the show. As we were waiting for the performance to begin, boy-child declared that if he was in the orchestra, he would be wearing a green shirt.  I wondered why he would wear a green shirt and he pointed out that not only was green his favourite colour but it was also the colour that the woodwind musicians were wearing and since he plays clarinet he would have to wear green too!  He then went on to point out that the string section were wearing blue shirts, brass in red and percussion in yellow.  Already I was impressed at how much he was enjoying being there and the performance hadn’t even begun!

I really didn’t know how the show would be tailored to suit young children but found that the conductor used the time between pieces to introduce a different member of the orchestra, highlight the instrument that they played and talk about how it would be played in the next piece of music.

The dancers from the Australian Ballet were beautiful, showing how music can be influence dance and movement.  Girl-child barely blinked the entire time that they were on stage.  Boy-child was entranced by Patrick tap dancing different rhythms and then hearing Rob repeat the rhythms on a drum.  He was even more impressed when Rob beat a rhythm on the drum that ended in a drumroll and Patrick was able to tap that same rhythm and drumroll.

Sure my kids were amongst the oldest there but they had a great time.  In fact they both had such a great time that they are wanting to know when they can go back to the symphony.  I don’t think the planets will align to allow us to go back during the school holidays but if they do, this is what I would love to go to – Peter and the WolfProkofiev’s story of the irreverent Peter has resonated deeply with generations of children, enchanted by its power and sense of fun. Now BreakThru Films and Se-ma-for Studios, in collaboration with BAFTA-winning director Suzie Templeton, bring this mesmerising and enchanting classic to the big screen.

Thanks to MSO, I was lucky enough to have free tickets to take the kids along to see Movement Makes Music, but the opinions expressed are mine and those of my kids.  We had a great day and only wish that we had discovered MSO Family Classic Kids a few years ago.  Family Classic Kids is the MSO’s popular program of concerts for children aged three to eight years of age – and a great way to introduce young people to the wonders of orchestral music. With the children sitting right next to the Orchestra, there are opportunities to sing along, respond to the music with movement and actions, follow a story and maybe even conduct.

As a bonus, the kids had their photos taken with some of the musicians and the dancers!

Being shy around the amazing performers!

Don’t just listen to me rave on about how much fun we had at MSO, check out what my kids thought here and here, also head over to Stuff With Thing to see what Heidi and Annie thought too.

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Posted by on September 19, 2011 in all in the family, the monsters


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Blogopolis and Chasing Rainbows

As I wasn’t going to Blogopolis until the very last minute, I didn’t have time to do the usual stress-the-hell-out and panic, kind of like the first day at a new school.  There were so many things that I could have freaked out about and more; what to wear, who would I talk to, what if no-one liked me, what if the ticket wasn’t transferrable, what if I just freaked out completely and ran out and hid.  Even if I had time, there was no need to stress.  There were amazing people everywhere I turned and I am happy to say that the crowd was super supportive and interesting. I had a great time meeting new people and sharing ideas.

There were so many things to learn at Blogopolis that I could fill a post or three about it but that has been done already and done really well so I will post a few links to my favourite wrap-up posts.

KeepCateBusy, Maid In Australia, Writing Out Loud and a beautiful post by Seven Cherubs.  Or for an amazing summary of key all the points, check out The Blog Stylist.

I will instead write about what I missed out on when I was there.  Sure there was the typical Saturday stuff – ice skating and kids birthday parties as well as last minute shopping for birthday presents but it seems that there was also a liberal dose of spontaneity.  The rainbow that we all saw from Birrarung Marr, my guys decided to chase.  Starting near where they left the birthday party, they ended up in Williamstown, following the most circuitous route, to stand under the rainbow.

Taste the Rainbow

Boy-child was pretty excited to taste the rainbow but girl-child was happy too.  To have her say that it was the best day of her life made me feel as if I had missed something special.  I may have missed something special but then I remembered that I had a wonderful day (and night) too, surrounded by old friends and new, learning and having fun.


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Sundays in my City #63 – I’ve Got Nothing!

For the past few weeks I have loved my contributions to Sundays in my City.  I have been places and done things that have been great to share.  This week?  Not so much.  To be honest, I really haven’t done anything this week and shhhhh, don’t tell anyone, but I must may have misplaced my point and shoot camera!  As a result, all I have to offer is one measly little photo, and not even a photo that I took, one that man-child took after the girls soccer game this morning.  I couldn’t be at the game (hello work obligations) so he sent me a photo of them bouncing up and down as they sang the team song after winning the game.

Soccer Stars

And in typical ‘I wasn’t there to see it’ fashion, she actually played a game that loosely resembled soccer, had an assist and the team won.  Typi-bloody-cal!  Oh well, there is always next week, and the week after…

Unknown Mami

 Head over to Unknown Mami and check out some of the adventures others have had during their Sundays in my City.


Posted by on June 19, 2011 in just a day


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It’s a Small (and wonderful) World

A while back I posted a few pics from the day that I joined up with a few fellow bloggers for a gentle stroll around Albert Park Lake as a part of the MS Fun Run (and walk).  I wanted to join in, to take part in the walk but I knew I had a big training session the day before so I didn’t want to commit to something that I might not actually end up participating in.  It turns out that the training session wasn’t that challenging so I figured that I could do with the extra training and at the very last minute, the night before the walk, I posted on the thread on Digital Parents that I wanted to join in and then it was too late to back out, I was committed.

Not having pre-registered for the event, I knew I would have to get there extra early so grabbed my backpack and I jumped on the train to head to the city bright and early on the Sunday morning.  I allowed plenty of time so I didn’t bother checking out the timetables for the trains and trams.  I lucked out with the train and barely had to wait before I could jump on board but I wasn’t so lucky with the tram.  I walked for a bit but didn’t see any trams and when I checked the timetable realised that trams, on that particular line, are practically non-existent of a Sunday morning.  I could either wait on the side of a busy road or just keep on walking.  Not being one to sit and wait when I have places to be, I kept on walking the 3km from the station to Albert Park Lake to register.

Once registered I wandered over to the designated meeting point to wait.  I was a little early and I wanted to know who I was meeting so I grabbed the trusty old iPhone and checked out the pics on Digital Parents and was happy to see that of the people meeting for the event, I knew 2 of them (however one was already out running and would meet us later at the pub) but I didn’t know Cate, the organiser of the event and her pic was of a blonde hiding behind a ginormous camera.  Unless she turned up sporting a giant camera, there wasn’t much chance I would recognise her.  I just hoped that Bec, the blogger I knew would turn up first and life would be easy.

Well clearly life wasn’t meant to be easy. As I sat I saw many a walker walk on by the meeting point to head to the lake and the beginning of the walk.  Eventually someone else came and sat on the garden edging, about the same distance away from the corner but in the other direction.  I wondered if that was the other person I was to meet there.  I kept stealing glances in her direction to see if I could recognise her, or anything that could suggest that she was in fact Cate, the person I was waiting to meet.  Let’s see, she has blonde hair, it could be her.  Not hidden behind a camera though, it was hard to know.  She was checking her phone, it could be her, perhaps checking twitter or Digital Parents for clues as I was.  I could just wait and see if Bec turned up and take it from there but that seemed like too much of a cop out, I imagined Bec turning up and feeling like a complete tool because I wasn’t brave enough to try and meet someone new.  Not very sociable at all.

OK, deep breath, pick up my bag and move closer.  “Mind if I share your step and feel like I am not sitting all on my own waiting?”  I plonked my bag on the footpath and sat down.  Now, how to find out if this was the person I was waiting for through idle random chatter?  Eventually I felt brave enough to ask if she was taking part in the fun run, her response was that she was waiting for the rest of her team, they were meeting there.  The conversation went something like this…  What a coincidence, me too!  What is your team?  Melbourne Bloggers.  Really?  That is who I am waiting for, are you Cate?  Yeah, are you superRelish?

So there you go, we were sitting side by side but didn’t know each other all because we both don’t post many photos of ourselves online!  Oh it didn’t help that I was sitting there, with a ginormous bag (the stupidly heavy backpack that I am lugging along the Kokoda track next month) and there just happened to be outside an accommodation place.  I looked more like a backpacker than an actual backpacker!

Anyway, problem solved, Bec from Julius King Designs arrived and we headed over to the Lake to get ready for the walk.  Conversation just flowed and all my nerves and apprehensions about being there disappeared.  In fact even before the walk began I felt like I had known Cate forever.  It was worlds collide all over the place.  It turns out that Cate and Bec are friends with children attending the same school yet my daughter used to dance at the same dance school as Bec’s daughter about a million years ago.

Cate, me and Bec about to cross the finish line!

After the walk we headed to the pub to meet up with Mandy from a Little Space Like Home and her friend who joined her on the run and Mandy is an old school friend from a million years ago.  We had only just reconnected via blogs so it was great to catch up again after almost *cough* 20 *cough* years.

Mandy, Cate and I - at the pub after the walk

So there you have it.  The world is a huge place but thanks to the wonderful online world, the connections I am lucky enough to make are making me feel stronger and more connected than ever.  I know that I am truly lucky to have met so many wonderful people through this world and am so grateful for this amazing community.  We must have been so convincing about the beauty of the blog community because Kerryn has since joined us in blogland, you should pop over to her little corner of space and say Hi!

A big hug to Cate for her photos – my photos of us are proof that I am no photographer and definitely no portrait taker by any stretch of the imagination!

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Posted by on June 17, 2011 in Uncategorized


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Sundays in my City #63 – Another Beautiful Day in Melbourne

Last week I posted pictures of my wanderings through Melbourne and the view along the Yarra River.  Today I went wandering along the Yarra River again, but this time a little further upstream at Yarra Bend Park.  It was less than 10km from where I took the photos last week, but probably 20km upstream if you followed the bends of the river, yet it was like being in another part of the country entirely.

The Murky Waters of the Yarra

This sign caused some concern, the kids were convinced that if the sign suggested that there were snakes then they had to look out for them.  Sure the sun was shining but it was way too cold for snakes.

The Sign that Scared them Off

Once they realised that there were no snakes to be found, or they forgot to be afraid of them, adventures were to be had.

Off to Explore

Friends finding treasures

Letting man-child 'rest'!

Another great day was had exploring our wonderful city and still another day of the long weekend is left!

Unknown Mami

 Head over to Unknown Mami and check out some of the adventures others have had during their Sundays in my City.


Posted by on June 12, 2011 in just a day


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Sundays in my City #62 – A Beautiful Day in Melbourne

I had a wonderful day today.  It started off by meeting up with a few other Melbourne Bloggers for a walk around Albert Park as a part of the MS Fun Run.  (I plan to write more about the fun we had, but in case I don’t, head over here for Cate’s recap of the day!)

Melbourne really turned on some beautiful weather, the sun was shining and the sky was blue.  There were thousands of walkers and runners all there to raise funds and awareness for Multiple Sclerosis.

A walk in the park

After our walk we stopped for a bite to eat and a chat.  I was in no hurry to be anywhere, I wandered back into the city, enjoying the peace and quiet and the opportunity to play tourist for a few minutes.

The Yarra River, downstream

The Pollywoodside

I loved getting an opportunity to play tourist in my own city.  I really should make the time to do it more often, Melbourne is a beautiful city.

Unknown Mami

 Head over to Unknown Mami and check out some of the adventures others have had during their Sundays in my City.


Posted by on June 5, 2011 in just a day


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Thursday Thirteen – Quietly Freaking Out

I am sitting here, quietly freaking out.  Ideally this time next week I will be sleeping soundly after being packed and ready to fly to Sydney for the Aussie Bloggers Conference.  Of course that is in an ideal world and not likely to happen, realistically I will be too nervous to sleep.  Here are some of the many things that need to happen before then, and also the cause for the freaking out.

  1. Packing, it should be a simple task, I am only going away for a weekend and traditionally I pack lightly.  Let’s see, what do I need?  I need something to wear to dinner and drinks with some soon to be IRL friends.  I also need something to wear to the conference itself (What does one wear to a conference?  I have never been to a conference before!  Must check out Styling You again)  Then there is the dinner and dance after the conference and then something to wear home the following day.  It doesn’t sound to arduous but after doing a quick recap of my wardrobe, I am limited to 4 pair of shorts but it is probably too cold to wear any of them, a skirt that almost fits a pair of jeans that I can pretend fit if I remember to pack a belt and a few tops that don’t actually fit but are do-able.  I do have a few frocks that are suitable for the dinner and dance, I probably have too many making it difficult to choose.  Do I go for the traditional LBD or something loud and fun?
  2. With the lack of clothes that I own that actually fit, I need to go shopping… for clothes.  I HATE shopping for clothes, especially when I need to buy something, or in this case, several somethings.
  3. I am really looking forward to the social aspects of the conference but there is one problem, I don’t drink alcohol.  It isn’t that I am against alcohol, in fact this time last year I would have been the first to open a bottle of bubbles or 7 but now the thought of drinking makes me feel unwell.  Now this really isn’t a problem but it is still relatively new to me.  Normally I would have a drink or two (or nine) before going out, something to relax me.   I am happy for other people to drink, in fact I find it amusing but it does make me more of a wall flower than ever.OK I admit it, I am slightly paranoid about the not drinking thing, people looking at me as if there is something wrong with me.
  4. I do get a chance to test drive a big night out with drinking – I am off to a Women’s Dinner next week.  Normally it is a fantastic night out and I dance all night long but I don’t dance without drinking so it should make the night a little less dynamic!  The theme is Circus, so it should be interesting anyway.
  5. We have a long weekend in Victoria this weekend, normally this would be awesome but I don’t have the luxury of not working on public holidays so when everyone is relaxing in the pj’s Monday morning, I will be in at work from 8am.  I hope my folks are happy with an extra day of looking after the monsters.
  6. I may not have a holiday on Monday but I do have tomorrow off work.  Technically I have taken the day off to study but realistically it will be a day of catching up on the domestic stuff that hasn’t been done after working 12 hour days and split shifts this week.  Besides my folks are coming to stay this weekend and they can’t arrive to a total pigsty!
  7. Speaking of my folks, they are coming to town so we can all go to see Mary Poppins!  Yippee, fun for everyone!  We are going to a matinee show but no doubt we will still have a late night.
  8. It is birthday party season.  One of my best friends is celebrating her birthday this weekend, girl-child has a part tomorrow night (note to self – find a present for a 7 year old ASAP!), we have all been invited to a neighbours son’s party on Sunday and since it is in a play centre the monsters really want to go (again no present).  Oh and I still haven’t celebrated my housemates birthday, it was only 2 or was it 3 weeks ago, we can’t rush these things!
  9. Work is really nuts at the moment.  I do 3 very different roles, all reporting to different people that don’t always see eye to eye.  One boss in particular seems to be going out of their way to make my life difficult, a second loads me up with work but only bits and pieces and doesn’t fill me in on the entire picture so I can’t actually complete the tasks efficiently.  Of course the third boss, the awesome one is away at the moment so the ‘temporary boss’ who is also pretty cool needs to be trained so everything has to be double handled.
  10. Work networks and systems don’t allow me to sync my phone so I have to remember to be extra organised and manually enter entries in 3 different calendars.  Naturally I am not that organised and I keep missing appointments.
  11. I didn’t register the date when I made a medical appointment and so now I will be having very minor surgery next Thursday.  Chances are I will be a little under the weather as a result of the surgery but it shouldn’t be too bad, it wasn’t last time and I am avoiding hospital this time.  It will mean that I will have stitches in my neck and a chunky bandaid that I will need to hide somehow and perhaps restricted head movement.  I am sure that there will be no need to turn my head exploring in another city and being surrounded by all kinds of amazing people.
  12. That reminds me, I could use my hair to hid the surgery but at the moment my hair is all kinds of scary.  Kind of a scary black that desperately needs re-rooting so there is a rather large stripe of grey/white regrowth – super Klassee!  I also cut chunks out recently in the attempt to make a fringe.  Now of course I haven’t had a fringe in years and only cut it to attempt to hide the wrinkles that are setting up camp on my forehead and between my eyebrows making me look permanently scowly.  And speaking of eyebrows, I do have two but Oh My God, they are huge fuzzy caterpillars that will need taming too.
  13. Did I mention that I am going to the Aussie Bloggers Conference and that I will be meeting people IN REAL LIFE?  That means I have to make friends in person, without a screen to hide behind and I really don’t want to scare anyone!  Bring on the sweaty palms and hyperventilation.

So there you have it, some of the reasons that I am mildly freaking out.  Sure there is heaps on at the moment and overall it will be all kinds of awesome but in the meantime I will panic until I can look back on it all and wonder what all the nervous panic was all about!

If I remember tomorrow I will link this with the Thursday Thirteen meme when it is updated and do a blog hop to see all the random of other participants.  Until then, it is time to sleep and not freak out.


Posted by on March 10, 2011 in all about me, over-share


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