I refer there to yesterday, which was quite productive in my Facebook world of real-life friends, relations and ex-students, as well as what in pre-internet days we might have called pen-pals. The next entry of two will catch up on more of that.
But first the good news: my toothache seems to have gone.
And then the bad news: NSW (Greater Sydney in particular) is far from out of the woods when it comes to the Delta strain.
And in The Gong:
Finally, a photo of Sydney in 1901 from the National Library Archives was posted in the Old Sydney Album on Facebook. “George Street, near the corner of Market Street, Sydney 1901. Federation Celebrations.” I gave it a modest colouring:
My note on that:
I remember around 1953-1955 my grandfather Roy Christison telling me about being in the city during these 1901 celebrations, when the country Australia formally came into being. Indeed I think he was in Centennial Park for the great proclamation.
To me then that seemed SO long ago — but now I reflect that 1970 is back in time from now a similar distance — or the election of Gough Whitlam, for example! Yes, I am my own grandpa!
And this was back in 1971 — not that I was in this place, but the vibe I recall from FIFTY years ago. Went to a folk concert at the Jamberoo pub sometime around then though.
And followings, you could say. But this series is looking like it could go on forever here in The Gong, and Greater Sydney of course. And I have had toothache and am contemplating what to do about it, given the circumstances. Meanwhile parts of Sydney are to see the ADF (our military) on the streets, as indeed happened during last year’s lockdown. A rare event in our country — well, since convict days anyway… Oh, and the Eureka Stockade…
The military will join NSW police in the areas worst hit by Sydney’s COVID-19 outbreak to ensure two million residents are complying with tough NSW government lockdown restrictions.
But people shouldn’t be intimidated by the presence of 300 Australian Defence Force personnel in the streets of western and southwest Sydney, Defence Minister Peter Dutton says.
“I want it to be a message of reassurance that they are helping NSW Police,” he told Sydney radio 2GB on Friday.
“We can get ourselves through COVID even more quickly if we’ve got the defence force personnel there helping.”
As NSW braces for new case numbers to top Thursday’s high-water mark of 239, police will begin knocking on doors looking for people in homes other than their own in eight local government areas in the west.
Meanwhile, let’s pause for some fun, thanks to two things I have shared lately here and on Facebook. First that amazing Marsh family in England and their COVID lockdown song parodies. This one I just saw for the first time. I love it!
Then there is that pianist, who happens to be younger than my blogging habit — being born in 2001! He is also on Facebook and Instagram of course. Michael Andreas Haeringer was born on September 26, 2001 in Barcelona. From an early age he developed a great in interest in music. So not yet 20. His parents are German originally, and he is indeed descended from the great Franz Liszt.
In June 2014 he won the first prize of the music competition in Braunschweig, Jugendmusiziert Bundeswettbewerb. He also won the special prize; Europa prize!! and the first prize of piano competition of the Conservatory of Barcelona with receiving the honorary prize on June 27. Michael managed to finish the six year Conservatory course in only four years. In 2016 he received the “Young Virtuoso Award” at the Manhattan Music Competition. In 2018 Michael was the finalist of Got Talent Spain, with his own compositions of soundtracks. Michael has won the Silver Medal at the Berliner International Music Competition 2018, being the youngest pianist of this edition “at the Manhattan Music Competition”. In 2018 Michael was the finalist of Got Talent Spain, with his own movie soundtracks. Michael has won the Silver Medal at the Berliner International Music Competition 2018, being the youngest pianist of this edition.
He’s on OK pianist too!
And here something completely different!
He also posts his own compositions under the name DJ MAH. This one is from January 2021: “I made Not Really Livin ‘ in lockdown. I dedicate my new song to everyone affected by the Coronavirus.”
It would, finally, be remiss of me not to share this one which he posted on Facebook.
You’ve got to laugh, or at least smile. Well, perhaps so — whatever, that is the emphasis today. Again pretty much things I have floated/shared on Facebook.
I had on FB just now a video “suggested” on how I should join a “freedom rally” ASAP — as in Sydney last Saturday. This of course is the last thing any sane person would want, and I noted the video was made by/came from the Bonkers Twit Lizard itself, David Sicko. (I am sure you will guess.) I promptly reported the video to Facebook for its false health information and blocked further “suggestions” from Sicko. He has the right to free speech, as long as he confines it to his own shower or toilet.
On Monday I introduced you not only to the beautiful young pianist I shared more of yesterday, but to the most amazing English family you will ever see, who have been chronicling COVID lockdown — and lately its easing — from their home. They are so clever, the relationships in the family are so genuine and warm, and they all, from the youngest up through the constantly growing teenage son to the parents, know exactly what they are are doing.
I see they have even made the New York Times! But I will share this from the Watford Football Club, 10 May 2020.
Professional football might be suspended due to the ongoing national lockdown, but the exploits of one family of Hornets supporters meant more than 10 million people still turned on their screens to see the yellow flash of a Watford shirt last month….
The Marsh family live in Kent, with Ben and Danielle both working at Kent University, meaning it’s quite the round trip for the four season-ticket holders in the household. But their deep-rooted connection to the club stems from Ben’s father, who used to go to even greater lengths to watch the team under Graham Taylor….
Ben’s parents are also the reason for the family’s music connection, and this wasn’t the first production they’ve recorded together in the household.
“My Mum and Dad are both music teachers so on my side of the family there has always been loads of music around,” Ben explained. “We’ve never done anything professional, we’ve never had training, but there’s always been plenty of music in our lives because of my family background, so the kids have probably got more confidence than they would have had, but they’ve never been to stage school or anything like that.
“We’ve recorded videos for two or three years, since Tess was able to sing or play an instrument, and we’ve tended to do things for Christmas or the grandparents’ birthdays. We definitely try to use the music to try to keep them occupied, keep them going and keep everyone smiling as a family. We always try to pick songs the kids know and like, because there’s no point trying to make them do something they’re not interested in. It didn’t feel like there was any pressure at all, and we could just have a laugh with it and make fools of ourselves, not realising that 10 million people were about to see it!”….
In response to the overwhelming messages we received after our “One Day More” parody going viral (03/2020), we stuck up some of the family antics and music videos we made on this channel, charting our musical journey through the pandemic, here in Kent, in the UK.
From our original song, any revenue or appearance fees we donated to the W.H.O. COVID-19 Solidarity Fund. In February 2021, we supported Save the Children, with huge thanks to those who were able to chip in. In March 2021, we supported the wonderful efforts of Comic Relief and Red Nose Day, with thanks to those who contributed to our JustGiving page total which (with gift aid) generated more than £15,000, contributing to the national campaign’s incredible £55m.
Thanks for your lovely comments in recent weeks and months, and we’re really glad that we seem to be bringing a smile to quite a few people who need it.”Wishing you all a safe path through the pandemic, and speedy recoveries on the other side.
The Marsh Family
As an Australian I was particularly struck by their version of Gotye’s wonderful “Someone That I Used To Know.” Remember it?
Here is what the Marsh family did with it on 6 June 2021t:
Their latest is about the current easing of lockdown in Britain.
I like to post Chinese doing unusual things, as an antidote to the political norm these days. Preferably Chinese doing amazing and brilliant unusual things. Entertaining too, it goes without saying. Take the first one. I posted it on Facebook a couple of days back with this note:
More Chinese doing dastardly things to charm us with music. Careful. You might be lured into thinking they are actually human and immensely talented. That would never do! Or you might just sit back and enjoy something brilliant, and bugger the politicians!
And then there is Zhou Shen, whom we have met before. This is really unexpected, and it is in English:
Here he teams up with two others — and yes, I think you know the song:
The last offering on this post is local and classical, though it no doubt includes a number of Mainland Chinese background. I noted:
That Hall I have known so well! Been on that stage more than once over the years, from being in the choir way back in the 50s to occasionally getting a prize on Speech Night, to much much later sitting there in academic dress as a staff member on Speech Night…
The orchestra is so good nowadays! Much more than Rugby and Rowing at the old place, eh! Though I no longer mock those things either….
And a note to all those who have wrung their hands and had conniptions in recent years — Western culture, in this instance Mozart, is very much alive and well and being done proud even with so many Asian faces looking back at us from their instruments! Good stuff!
About that violinist in the first video
Since this post was published I have been looking into this amazing artist some more. A comment on one of his YouTube videos says: “Can this man get any more perfect? It’s not only that he’s talented as f but he’s also such a kind, fun and genuine artist.” I note also that he appears on South Korean as well as Chinese TV.
Henry Lau (born October 11, 1989), commonly referred to mononymously as Henry, is a Canadian singer, songwriter, actor, entertainer and classical violinist based in South Korea and China. He debuted in 2008 as a member of Super Junior-M and launched his solo career in 2013 with Trap. His original soundtrack “It’s You” released in 2017 became the #1 top-streamed Korean OST on Spotify for two consecutive years in 2018 and 2019.
Henry made his Hollywood debut in 2019 with the film A Dog’s Journey produced by Amblin Entertainment, the sequel to the 2017 film A Dog’s Purpose. In 2020, the action/fantasy movie “Double World” nominated for “Best Visual Effects” and “Best Action Choreography” at the 39th Hong Kong Film Award starring Henry premiered on Netflix and China’s streaming service iQiyi, becoming the first movie in mainland China’s film history to achieve simultaneous global release…
#Strongwomen. "I write about the power of trying, because I want to be okay with failing. I write about generosity because I battle selfishness. I write about joy because I know sorrow. I write about faith because I almost lost mine, and I know what it is to be broken and in need of redemption. I write about gratitude because I am thankful - for all of it." Kristin Armstrong