‘Fable’ by Paul Villinski

” Fable”, 2011;Cello, aluminum (found cans), soot, wire. 96” x 65” x 16”

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My Endless Love: Childhood Favourites

Remember when you were a kid? It’s probably easier for some than others, depending on how long ago your childhood was now. Mine was more than ten years ago now, which I guess really isn’t that long, but on some days it feels like forever. Other days, flashes of it are so vivid they could have happened yesterday.  Today was one of those days, thanks to a little girl in the local fruit shop, crunching blissfully on a box of these:

From Mathilde Chanzy’s Pinterest

Smarties—the British equivalent of m&ms—were easily one of the highlights of my youth. My mother has always been adamant that good food grows good kids. Fortunately (or unfortunately, if you asked the 6-year-old me), this meant we predominantly ate home-made, our school lunchboxes full of fresh-baked Anzac biscuits, jam drops, and patty cakes rather than mini bags of chips, or fruit roll-ups. Lollies were a treat once a fortnight to reward us for behaving on the (endless!) hour-long trip to Toowoomba—the nearest large-ish town—and Smarties were always my choice.

Seeing that little girl with her box of joy reminded me how good they were—the perfect mix of chocolate and candy, with the addition of being coloured for endless OCD colour-coding fun (yes, Wabi, even then I was a weird eater). It also reminded me of a bunch of others things that were so wonderful as child, but forgotten as I’ve gotten older…

Like fairy bread:

From Sherri Long’s Pinterest

Yeah, it’s basically just coloured sugar on sugar-filled bread, but it’s also the epitome of birthday party fun for me. And how pretty is it!?

Until I found this on a friend’s Facebook the other day I’d honestly thought Tops in the Brisbane Myer Centre was just a fantastical dream I’d had as a kid:

Created by a pal

Turns out it was real! Totally enough to send me Round the Twist:

Sorry for the dad pun, here’s an excerpt from my favourite episode to make up for it. And on the topic of TV, how about 80s cartoons? I know everyone is going on about the best era of cartoons, but seriously kids, if you’re younger than 20, watch some Gumby, or Captain Planet, or even some Berenstain Bears.

Gumby, Captain Planet, Berenstain Bears

Of course, the Berenstains started as a series of books, just like this awesome series:

I’m pretty sure I was one of the biggest fans of The Baby-Sitter’s Club, beginning my obsession with Karen Brewer’s adventures in Baby-Sitter’s Little Sister, and ending with an almost-complete collection of very dog-eared books, videos, and the board game. I remember desperately wanting to be some kind of hybrid Dawn-Stacy-Claudia.

Your favourite childhood memories?

My Endless Love: Lyrical Genius

This is Sarah Kay performing “B” at TED. I found this a few months ago, late at night when I was watching TED because I couldn’t sleep, and it’s kinda become my mantra—it reminds me that bad and good often go hand-in-hand. It’s also one of my absolute favourite spoken word poems by one of my absolute favourite spoken word poets.

Spoken word poetry isn’t a new thing—it’s been around since it’s origination in the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s—but it’s come back into cool recently. And I for one am enormously grateful.

I’ve always been a poetry nerd—reading it, listening to it, and even writing it (badly)—but there’s something so much more in the lyricalness of spoken word…I guess it appeals to my musical heart. And then there’s the strong use of it as a message tool, a political weapon without the need for violence. This too I love. It’s a story-teller, a verbal image-visualiser—giving voice to those thoughts that need images, but can’t necessarily be summed up by one or even one hundred pictures. And it’s a creative outlet, and that’s something I will always hold close and champion because creativity in any form is something we need more of in life.

Another of my favourite spoken word poets is the current Australian champion – Luka Lesson. This intelligent and friendly (and handsome) gent is a Brissie boy, and a pal of a number of my friends so I’ve had the pleasure to watch him perform live. He speaks often and eloquently about issues affecting marginalised groups, youth, and those who can’t speak for themselves. I have trouble picking a favourite of his performances, but I gotta say, this one at an Anti-Racism Rally on the steps of Melbourne’s Flinders Street Station is pretty darn powerful:

 

Amazing, right?

But spoken word isn’t always about speaking for the unheard—sometimes you just don’t have the heart to think about the injustice around you. It’s also about life in general. Like Sarah Kay, Rives is a TED regular with a style (poetically and fashion-wise) that I was addicted to from my very first listening of this TED 2006 clip about running the internet:

 

And I gotta admit a slight crush on the emperor of oranges.