Here I am, gentle reader, on the 26th January. I attended the Australian Gnome Convention in the Blue Mountains. The Rotary Club put on a spectacular festival. There were Gnome books, DVD’s, humans and dogs dressed as Gnomes as well as thousands of real Gnomes on display.
In a world that is heavy and a life that is hectic, to be surrounded by whimsy was wondrous. I met an extraordinary felt artist, and to my delight, she offered to teach my daughter and I. We listened to poets and a high school band of ukulele players. They played modern songs and even a little Fleetwood Mac! Man, I want to learn how to play my ukulele properly! There is something about this little instrument that urges others to join, which is why we have an upcoming festival in Katoomba, dedicated to the ukulele. We were entranced by young singers and delighted by Maria Venuti, she of the large personality and um, voice.
I surround myself with performers and artists because without their inclusion, life is beige. There would be blandness, cookie-cutter identities, and no alternate ways of interpreting life. Bah to that! My soul leapt to the beat of my soaring heart when I heard the entertainment. I caught up with my poet friend, Brian Bell. He is an extraordinary talent, whose range knows no bounds. We both had abstract drawings done by his friend, Richard Cutler, an artist of fifty years standing. No matter how much time has passed, Brian and I just pick up where we left off. I met him for the first time when I was in my early twenties and continued encountering him on the poetry circuit. We have some marvellous talks, Brian and I.
After being surrounded by music and performance, clay and Gnomes, felt and wood-turning, I was loathe to return to normality. Who am I kidding! My life has never been normal, and I can’t do normal. My clothes, hair, home, outlook, friends, daughter, birds, and everyday life are quirky and whimsical. I can’t change that and nor would I want to.
I returned with a trail of enchantment following me, like bread crumbs dropped by Hansel and Gretel.