Happy New Year with Fireworks!

Happy New Year to all that pass this way.

In the New Year, may your right hand always be stretched out in friendship, but never in want.

Part of the Sydney Fireworks 2014 (27mb)

Dreaming and Planning Day and AGM - REMINDER. 2 March 2014

Kate Lawrence will be leading the STORYTELLING AUSTRALIA (VICTORIA) DREAMING AND PLANNING DAY: to explore the why, what, how and who of advancing storytelling in Victoria (and Australia).

Followed by the AGM

We’re hoping for an abundance of ideas and enthusiasm.  Come and have your say. If you can’t make it, send your ideas along with your apologies via a colleague or email our secretary Anne E Stewart: anne@anneestewart.com.au 

 ALL WELCOME including non-members.

WHERE: *Boyd 207 City Road, Southbank
ROOM: The Assembly Hall
DATE: Sunday 2 March
TIME: 10.30am – 4.30pm

Melway reference: Map 1D, M6
 Tram: 55

*Boyd is the of Melbourne’s multi-use facilities featuring the Southbank Library, KereKere cafe, Family Services, community meeting rooms and Creative Spaces studios.

NB It looks like the Cafe is closed on Sundays but between now and March we'll check out where hungry storytellers can eat.

A Gift from Afar!

Every Christmas for many years I receive a gift from Canada, a Christmas Cake the size of a brick. Today the parcel arrived and I was thrilled. It's the first time the cake arrived after Christmas being posted on the 9th of December.

I first met the lady who makes and sends the cake many years ago on the internet.  I had a 'homepage' with information on it, and it's there the lady emailed me and we have been emailing since.

Christine Willison visiting storyteller from Wales Footscray Library 9 January 2014

Christine Willison arrived in Melbourne from Wales just before Christmas. Although extremely jet lagged, she made it to the final Ladders to the Moon Traditional storytelling Night, telling a story and meeting many of the Vic tellers before they scattered for the holidays.

If you are in Melbourne and you haven't met Christine or heard her tell you can catch her at the Footscray Library.

This will be a family event with stories from Wales (where Christine lives) as well as stories from Ireland and Europe.

DATE: Thursday 9 January
TIME: 2 - 3.30pm
PLACE: 56 Paisley Street Footscray (close to Foostcray Station)

Christine's contact and website HERE

Anne E Stewart: telling stories with children 2013

Anne E Stewart was recently contracted by the Raising Children Network to record a series of videos on the importance of oral storytelling and early childhood. Anne is a versatile teller, her repertoire is vast including stories for all ages and she has a remarkable ability to adapt and create stories for special events. Anne is one of Storytelling Victoria's most travelled tellers building relationships and sharing Australian stories wherever she goes.

We're unable to embed a video sample from the series but if you're interested in the subject of storytelling  and the role it plays in language development and literacy, we urge you to have a look at Anne on the  Raising Children Network site HERE

Visit Anne's website HERE 

Cygnet Festival (Tasmania) Storytelling Workshop 10 January 2014

Tasmanians – would you like to meet up at the Cygnet Festival?

My daughter moved to Tasmania to study two years ago and I enjoy this excuse to visit the Apple Isle as often as I can. She is very supportive of Storytelling and has previously organised  House Concerts and an evening of tales in her favourite café, Frankie’s Empire. With her support and with the encouragement of Martin Jefferd (UK storyteller from Bristol and friend of Storytelling Australia Vic), trad storytelling has a place in the Cygnet Festival program.

The plan is to meet, warm up and get  stuck into learning some stories but importantly - build the story connections. The focus will be on traditional stories that mention either apples, cider or both. Seemed like a good idea, as Willie Smith’s Organic Cider is one of the Festival’s major sponsors!

There'll be opportunities to try out the stories at the chalkboard events that run throughout the weekend.

Workshop: Friday 10 January. Details HERE
The Cygnet Festival runs from 10 – 12 January. Full details HERE

 Jackie Kerin HERE
photo: Hobart House Concert

Storytelling for Change 15 January - 26 February 2014

Vic Storyteller Kate Lawrence learned of this course and thought it was worth sharing. We do a lot of swapping of information on Facebook but not all of us like connecting via FB so here it is for the bloggers.

Thanks for sharing Kate.

Storytelling for Change
(This  free course involves working in teams either on line or face to face if possible as well as some individual assignments.)

Acumen and The Ariel Group have created a hands-on course to help you develop your practical skills as a storyteller. Whether you work in an office making presentations in the boardroom, as a teacher with 30 to 300 students, interacting with customers, or one-on-one with individuals, using the elements of story bring you closer to your audience. 

Using stories makes your messages memorable, gives your audience something to relate to, and above all captures their attention, motivating and inspiring them in new ways. A story taps into more than one element of communicating. Great storytellers are great communicators and effective leaders.

Acumen believes that storytelling is an essential tool for changing the way the world tackles poverty because it starts with changing conversations around what we see, hear, feel and know to be true. Change leaders see the world’s potential, and tell powerful stories that inspire action. 

More information HERE

Visit Kate HERE

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas
& a 
Happy New Year!

May peace and plenty be the first
To lift the latch to your door.
And happiness be guided to your home,
By the candle of Christmas.

AVE MARIA by Mirusia Louwerse with André Rieu (2008). Australian Soprano

Mirusia Louwerse is an Australian born Lyric Opera Singer. She graduated in December 2006 from the Queensland Conservatorium in Brisbane obtaining a Bachelor of Music in Performance in Classical Voice.

In 2006, Louwerse became the youngest ever winner of the Dame Joan Sutherland Opera Award.

Her aunt, who lives in the Netherlands, contacted Andre Rieu to tell him about her niece's talent. He listened to her voice on her website and phoned her straight away and two days later she was standing before him in his studio ready to sing. Mirusia is of Dutch descent.
She has been touring with the Dutch violinist and conductor André Rieu since 2007 as soprano soloist.

Here we have her singing Ave Marie (Schubert) with Andre Rieu. This is one of the best I have listened to and watched.
Once long ago I had my voice trained, and I am a coloratura Soprano who used to sing at Theaters, Functions, in a few Operas, along with many Weddings as a solo artist and such for years. I chose another Profession however, met my husband to be, married, then when that was done, some years later I chose another profession :)

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.  May God Bless You all, keep you safe and free from harm.......Margaret xx

Christmas In Australia!

No, we don't have snow where I live at Christmas time, it's summer.
Living in the Southern area of Australia we have a hot 1pm meal, called Christmas Dinner.  People do have Barbecues, some have salads, some eat out for Dinner, many go to family and spend a fair bit of the day travelling, some stay at home, some have Christmas Dinner another day, then some don't do much at all. So with our weather Christmas is not always a hot meal.

The photos below is from an Australian Christmas Card which basically shows the opposite to the Northern Hemisphere's Christmas weather.

The Bush on the way to Josef Chromy's Winery.

The Tasmanian Bush which I love to walk in when I can. I took some photos on the way to Josef Chromy's Winery.
This time of year it's snake time, so it's not always advisable to walk without the correct shoes, clothing and to be ever watchful, as all the snakes in Tasmania are poisonous.
Josef fled his war-torn Czech village in 1950 as a penniless 19 year old after eleven years of Nazi and Soviet occupation. He escaped across borders guarded by minefields, dogs and soldiers, suffering five month of privation before immigrating to Australia. (copied from his website)
Josef has many awards for his wines from the Relbia Winery in Tasmania.

Flowers for Christmas!

A warm day forecast for tomorrow at 37deg C so expect I won't be doing a great deal.

The roses are blooming well as are the lilies. The photo I have below is a common Lilium, they seem to multiply and not die out as other varieties of the Lilium do.

My late mother used to have beautiful Liliums and because they bloomed around Christmas time we called them 'The Christmas Lily'. I do have a photo of them somewhere, but for now a photo of the common one.

Gifts for Christmas!

Sometimes for us it's hard to think of a personal gift for family members. Some are easy to buy for, and some are not.
What I do is phone each of them and ask what they would like, I always get a lovely reply.
Family gets what they want & we pay for it, that way I don't go shopping for presents expect for my husband and my father.
My husband & I have 11 people to buy gifts for which, is not many compared to some people. It's the joy of giving that is the best.
I wonder how others go about buying their Christmas Gifts?

Stone Eagle Golf Club, Palm Desert, California - Golf Course Review and Photos

Stone Eagle Golf Club

Palm Desert, California, United States

Architect: Tom Doak (2005)

6,840 Yards, Par-71

Rating/Slope: 72.5/136

My Quick Review: Desert golf at it's best.

1) A very interesting and bold decision to route the course up and down the mountain. Yes, it made for many stunning downhill vistas, but it also required a lot of very uphill holes and blind shots, two things that are often avoided.

2) There is a unique mix of minimalism (very hard to use this word in that setting) and obvious hand of man. I know I have read Tom Doak say that minimalism is not so much about not moving dirt as it is about making it look like dirt has not been moved. I think Tom realized that in this setting, everyone knows there is no 'golf course just waiting to be found' and as a result he had a freer hand to build contours in the fairways and around greens. Still, I think at times he wanted to make it feel like they used the land's natural features and he chose to integrate bold rock outcroppings into the strategy of the holes.

3) There was a discussion earlier about the equal use of contours that feed to, and away from, greens. I think at Stone Eagle the balance is tilted towards contours that feed towards greens, but this theme is used remarkably well. In particular, the contouring around the second green is as fun, creative and intelligent as anything I have seen.

Hopefully a few pictures will help...

No golf course in this setting will look natural:

The second green's surrounds are exceptionally well done. First, we have the 'ramp' short-right over some foreshortening bunkers that will feed balls onto the front portion of the green. Second, there is the back-board on the back-right portion of the green. The backboard is angled such that depending on the angle one hits the backboard, the angle of return can be vastly different. And finally, what really makes the green, is the 6 foot swale that runs diagonally on the left side of the green. Not only does it emphasize the importance of playing boldly on the tee shot, but it also creates the balance in contours towards and away from the green. Here are a few photos:

There are holes like the 4th, which uses the tilt of the land and a seemingly natural stream from the tee. Add that rock outcropping by the green and this hole has a very natural, 'found' feel.

But then the golfer plays a hole like the 6th, which is stunning, but looks like a hole has been blasted out from rock. Nothing natural there. The 6th also emphasizes a constant theme at Stone Eagle. The golf course is visually intimidating but there is more than ample width to play to, especially when the golfer chooses a safe line.

The green at the par-5 13th is a punchbowl of sorts, but it's real fascination is the internal contouring. The pin pictured is at the bottom of 3 slopes, and as I mentioned to my playing partner after we both hit it to 3 feet, I kind of felt like it was hard not to hit it close with a wedge. Of course, these slopes make this hole location easy but are also there to protect other portions of the green.

This kicker short of the 12th can be used to bank shots onto the green, but play slightly to far to the right and shots will be repelled back toward the tee and leave a very difficult pitch over the corner of the mound. A very cool give and take.