July’s People

July's PeopleJuly’s People by Nadine Gordimer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In July’s People, Nadine Gordimer imagines a violent, chaotic end to South Africa’s apartheid system: all-out war between black and white, with other nations getting involved (like Russia, Cuba, the US), mainly to support their own self-interest. Continue reading

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Monday Music: Admiration

This week, the WordPress photo challenge is to depict someone or something we admire.

I admire musicians.

I admire their skill and focus.

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Wassada, led by Moussa Diakite, performing recently at the Django bar in Sydney.

I admire their ability to set aside difference and appreciate the best of each others’ musical cultures.

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Time for a road trip (with music)

In late January, a friend (the BFF) and I set off on a long awaited road trip. We started separately, catching up with family and friends in different parts of New South Wales, then met up for a big loop through Victoria that took in the Great Ocean Road, magical forests, historic goldfields and long straight roads.
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Monday Music: African Blues

This week it’s five years since my middle brother (of 3) died of stomach cancer. A couple of years ago I wrote a series of blog posts on how much he influenced my taste in music. I also wrote a post about the music I chose for his funeral.

I’ve written quite a few posts about Mark, and about coming to terms with his death. I don’t always blog on anniversaries (like his birthday), but five years, well, that seems somehow significant.

When he was dying it was hard to imagine I would have to spend the rest of my life without him, but here I am five years on, and, although I’ve been feeling particularly sad this weekend, I’m ok.

So anyway, given music was so important to him, I was wondering what he’d be listening to if he was still alive. His favourite music was the Blues, so I decided that to observe this five year milestone I’d do a search on ‘African Blues’ and see what turned up. Here’s what I found.

African Blues by Majid Bekkas, from Morocco.

Félenko Féfé (not sure if that’s the name of the artist or the song and I can’t find out), but I think Mark would have liked the rawness of the vocals.

And finally, this lovely global compilation.

 

Monday Music: #JeSuisMali

I have noticed that I have been feeling numb about the terror attacks around the world. So much hatred, so much pain, so much violence; I respond with self-protection. i guess it’s ‘compassion fatigue’.

But this piece by the magnificent Salif Keita and his band cracked my protective shell open, just a little, and the grief walled up behind was able to escape, and be felt … just a little.

Keita is from Mali, the site of the most recent terror attacks. Continue reading

Connected

Connected to the computer, but also to each other. On a recent visit to the African side of the family, my son (AM) showed some of his siblings what you can do with basic coding.connected-2015-08-08 15.51.11

What you can’t see in this pic, is AM’s dad (DadaK) on the other side of the table, eating his lunch and listening attentively to AM’s explanation of why coding is important, how fundamental it is to modern society, how it connects people in more ways than we can even imagine. Continue reading

Monday Music & magnolias

I am documenting the flowering of a magnolia. I pass it on my way to work each day. This is the first shot.

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There are magnolias everywhere in Sydney right now. Yesterday I visited an old colonial home with two magnificent trees out the back, one covered in blooms, the other in buds. Of course, I went in for the close up. Continue reading