Tag Archives: Attitude

Still Dancing

You’re not a dancer – but a quirky rhythm sometimes compels you to cavort? We’re on the same dance sheet then. And Still Dancing, my new album, is likely to get you laughing and celebrating the later stages of life as you rock with the beat.

Yes! The album is almost finished! Truly! After being a loyal follower of this site, patiently waiting for the album for the past decade, you must be saying, ‘Oh Yeah? Believe it when I see it and hear it.’ Let me reassure you. All the tracks bar one are now mixed and in the mastering engineer’s bin. When Lockdown is lifted, we’ll be completing the last beautifully crafted track, sorting the cover design and lining up the release date … after several years of weekly studio sessions; good things take time!

Working with award-winning sound engineer, Stephen Poulton is fantastic. He’s a stunning guitarist who is tuned into the finer details needed to develop a meaningful emotional journey in a song or arrangement. So I love working with him; musically, we’re on the same wavelength, as they say.

My songs cross many genres, and every track we do has a unique sound and feel, heightened by the talented musicians in Magic & Mischief. We’re mainly a studio band, but occasionally we play live. Meanwhile, here’s the lyrics of the title song.

Still Dancing

She brings sweet love baked in cake tins
To the weavers’ community ball.
And flowers – those frilly fake ones,
To decorate the hall.
You can almost touch her excitement.
I can’t believe she’s 93!
As her partner invites her onto the floor,
She smiles and says to me …

‘The old gal’s still dancing,
High heart and low heels.’
Singing and laughing, how graceful she feels
Swaying a lifetime of love round the room.
The old gal’s still blooming, still romancing,
Still dancing.

Over supper she tells me, ‘Come visit,
For a chat. Love to see you again.
Number 7, just knock, I’ll be there- if I’m not
Living in memory lane!’ she laughs.

She says, ‘While your ticker’s still ticking,
You’ve got so much to offer this world.’
She tells me I’m just a spring chicken.
‘Cheer up, lass! Inside you’re still a girl.
Go play! Make the most of each moment.
go swirl that pretty blue dress!’
A quiet voice asks, ‘Are you up for a whirl?”
Tell myself as I say ‘yes’
The old gal’s still dancing …

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Black

Do you ‘wear the uniform?’ Being such a sweaty colour, is black cool? What percentage of your wardrobe is black? And do you think Baby Boomer Girl looks slim in that black wig & Gothic getup? 🙂  Why not join her and rock along with the Black track on her Still Dancing album.

Black © Radha Sahar

Black as jet, black as night
Colour’s wrong, black is right
Black magic at witching hour
Black has balls. Black has power
Gothic girl, Dracula drools
Vampire black, very cool
A Mahler Symphony, a bouncer, a waiter
Not in black? Then see ya later

Black – makes your Guinness thicker
Black – woo! – the sexiest knickers!
Black –  makes you graduate prouder
Black –  makes your stereo louder
Black – makes you graduate prouder
Black Light – makes the dance floor shimmer
Black Tights – make your belly slimmer
Black Beans – make the vegans grin, and
Black  Teams – make the Kiwis win, Go
Silver Ferns, Black Caps, All Blacks!!!

I bet ya you have never seen
Johnny Cash or Iggy Pop in pink or green
Black riding boots. Black spinning vinyl
Black undertaker. Black is final
From top to toe in formals and burkas
The artists ‘n musos and office workers
Wear that black – It’s a guarantee
You’ll be taken seriously …

We buck the system, refuse to conform
But we choose to wear the uniform
A sea of people in the street
Black from their heads to their
Burdened urban feet …

Black – makes you’re Guiness thicker
Black – woo! the sexiest knickers! …
Go Silver Ferns, Black Caps, All Blacks!!!
Black!   Beautiful black!  Glorious black!
Victorious black!

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Songline Running


You’re a creative type? Love the buzz of that busy mind bursting forth new ideas? Of course! There’s only one little hiccup; a bug in the cranial software. It’s called ‘conscience’.

This little pest insists on telling you you should be exercising (just when you thought you’d mastered the fabulously healthy skill of dismissing all ‘shoulds’).  It gnaws at you with the ‘exercise’ message, ensuring you faintly recall a virtuous feeling you had when you did some years ago. But a huge groan keeps pace with conscience, fuelling an ongoing battle for songwriters like me, who are notorious for not exercising anything other than the mind. Until now.

Today,  a new sport, Songline Running, invented itself. And it’s not the regular sport of running with headphones on.  It goes like this:

You take up Songline Running, (having a name for something always helps).  In your first session, totally new, (and, you tell yourself, ‘vastly better’), songlines run through your mind as you run – (and, you tell yourself, this is the only way they come in at this level). Even miniature runs yield this quality of creative occurrences.  I call my miniature runs ‘shuffles’ …

Then follows the best bit. You treat yourself with the well deserved REWARD – (you might need to picture the reward before you begin, to get you out the door in the first place). And the reward is? Vastly better songlines of course, (or poetry if you’re a poet, novel ideas if you’re a novelist, and so on). You get to slam all that breakthrough, higher level brilliance into your songwriting software the moment you get home. Athletes call this a ‘warm down’ – you see them stretching in all sorts of gangly poses after the run. But for we ‘arteests’ the best ‘warm down’ is to ‘get it down’ … I’ve just completed my first Songline Run and I couldn’t wait to tell you!  I’m FULL of world-shattering new ideas.

Next time I post a song, you’ll be so impressed you’ll immediately take up the sport yourself, (that is, unless you’re already impressed with this triumphant little article, in which case, you’ll take up the sport now). OK. I’ve warmed down getting this all down. And I’ve popped those gorgeous new lines into my songwriting software, which I reckon is thanking me. Now it’s time for brekkies.

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A New Woman on the Honours List

What woman would you nominate for the Anchorstone & Star award? No doubt you’ve several in mind. Tell us a little about those special women – we can’t wait to hear about them!

Anchorstone & Star

Do you want to hear a picture of a walking inspiration?
She’s an open invitation to a heart that looks to love
She embodies truth and style. She is solid gold, she’s wild
She’s the quintessential woman, aunt or mother, loyal friend

You know when she’s around as faces light up everywhere
She has a place for everyone. Everyone has a place for her
When she wraps her warmth around you, you never want to leave. Her
Belly laugh is rolling thunder, casual chat a summer breeze

Yes, lovely lady, I’m talking about you
Trumpeting your praises – the whole country should be too
Awarding you a gong for how remarkable you are!
In our honours list you’ve won the Anchorstone & Star

You have a certain style – sort of ‘humble universal’
Embracing every goddamn soul and showing them you care
I cannot put my finger on what it is about you
It’s a privilege to know you, and a treat to have you near
Yes, lovely lady …

You have so much to teach me that I cannot find in writing
And I get it by osmosis over fresh date scones and tea
You’re relaxed & grounded, cruising through a list that’s overflowing
That reminds me, time is going. Friends! Your attention please …

If this song is pretty it’s her beauty – I’m in debt to her and
Call on you to call her name out loud, applaud and cheer
She says she’s just an ordinary person. We know better
She’s a winner, and we wish her her own stone & starbright year
Yes, lovely lady …

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Kids Sing Mr Tambourine Man Video

You’ve heard of our Kids Sing Bob Dylan album? We did a video of it too – The Starbugs Sing Mr Tambourine Man. It went viral. BUT once we clocked over a million hits, it was taken offline!? We were informed, (probably by a machine) that it had ‘unsuitable content for children.’ Take a look and see what you think … Luckily a keen fan posted it on their page and You Tube hasn’t caught up with them yet – so take a look while you can!
AI, (Artificial Intelligence) systems decide what music & videos are placed where nowadays. I guess AI is experiencing birthing problems …

Meanwhile let’s credit the kids. One viewer, commented, “That is simply incredible. I’m a lifetime Dylan fan, and I’ve never heard a better lead vocal of Tambourine Man than that little girl is doing. She is a truly great singer.”   Yes. At only 9 years old, Jessie has already won several world singing competitions … Then there’s Sarah, Ben, Roisin and  Jessica – they’re all fantastic! Pop into the UCA Music website and take a listen to the sample audio clips: make sure you scroll right down (on the thin red line), to hear them take Forever Young, and many other tracks, into new realms.

Make their day boosting their viewing numbers, leaving a comment, and spreading the word.

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Plant-Based Food Avatar Style

Free Food Image

Let’s journey to Planet Pandora, and see exactly how those Navi Aliens maintain perfect health and their slim, blue waists.

Dinner on Planet Pandora
Seems a balanced diet of plants and unprocessed, plant-based foods is all they eat there on Pandora. And it’s what our human ancestors ate way back in our primate days. Meeting up with all those gorgeous Aliens munching vegetation, I asked them “You’re not Vegan are you?”
They told me that, in common with vegans on Planet Earth, they don’t eat animal foods. But they are horrified at what can constitute ‘plant foods’ here on Earth: highly processed foods such as white flour, sugar, and oil. The Navi won’t touch them. They eat whole foods. 

Why don’t they eat Oils?
The Navi tell me that ‘healthy oils’ are the oils inherent in whole foods themselves. There is no need to eat that refined oil stuff we have on Earth: it is far healthier to not eat it. While oil is essential to their health, all the oil they need can be adequately sourced from plants – even the omegas. That goes for we humans too, they said.

Do the Aliens only eat Raw Foods?
They eat lots of raw, but they eat cooked too.  They told me this enables more balanced nutrition and better protein levels. They cook mainly the foods that are not healthy or easy to eat raw – e.g. potatoes, soy, dhal & beans, grains. Together with greens, these provide the Navi with complete protein, and billions of micro nutrients. They prefer including legumes & grains to the high intake of nuts & seeds, dried fruit and rare superfoods needed in a dedicated raw food regime.

Did this Way of Eating Originate on Planet Pandora?
It did. But it also did on Planet Earth at the same time – amazing eh!  With their extra-terrestrial powers, the Navi have been able to watch us down here on planet Earth. They were happy that plant-based wholefood nutrition formed the predominant content of the human diet for millennia. They knew that peoples such as the Inuit, the Tibetans, and others in cold climates evolved to eat animals; – they had no other choice). And they knew humans have always eaten some form of animal food to get Vit B12. But the masses ate much smaller quantities than we do today. The Navi are so evolved they even synthesize their own B12 – they reckon we’ll evolve to that too!

Well, thanks guys! I’m sold.  And the following  ‘Earthly’ credits are due …

The contemporary plant-based whole-food movement, where no animal protein is eaten, grew from research done by several American nutritionists, doctors and scientists. At the core are Dr T Colin Campbell, (Professor Emeritus, Biochemistry & Nutrition, Cornell University), Dr Caldwell Esselstyn, (heart surgeon, Cleveland Clinic), Drs Dean Ornish & John McDougall, John Robbins. (see the bios in the last section of the Presentation Folder).  Find out more on the T Colin Campbell Foundation website.

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A Body Like an Avatar Alien, part 2

Here it is!!! – my new Avatar body – not bad eh!

Now before you elaborate on the finer differences between me and the Navi Babe in part 1, realise we are on another planet. On Pandora, no way you would learn about slimming. The Navi eat plant-based wholefood. They put me in the picture, saying …

‘You skip through the forest collecting ripe treats here & there. It’s tempting to graze but you learn that food is actually precious. You gather & hunt for the whole family – none of this individual indulgence stuff. You take what you need and no more – no private pigging out! Anorexia? Bulimia? Obesity? – such diseases of ‘civilisation’ do not occur here’.  If your morning hunt takes all morning; what happened to breakfast? I wonder. They reply …

‘There’s plenty of pure water, and the Avatar Tea in your hunting pouch sports a little plant-milk; just enough protein to keep you going’. I tried it out. By midday I experienced a new feeling – hunger!!! What I used to call hunger was just my stomach digesting. Real hunger feels different – primal and healthy. It only occurs in waves every four to six daylight hours. The Navi explain that they still observe the ancient ways; the ancestors ate according to the sparse cycle of hunger – when and if there was food to go around.

So much for all the slimming tips and recipes we Earthlings secretly hoped to pick up during our Navi training! Evidently the apex of our induction has just been reached. We aimed, we fired and we’re on target. We now have the knowledge of how need to get a body like an Avatar Alien:  be active & eat healthy food in small amounts when you’re genuinely hungry, period. Back to Earth … Galump! As mother used to say “Give thanks”, “Eat your greens” and “Think of all the starving children.”

All your extra indulgences now go into the food bank trolley at the supermarket – lots of struggling families now. You tune into your body and find you’re gradually turning a rather triumphant shade of blue …

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Echo Living

Echo Living Image.

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Have you heard about echo living?  You’ve come to the right place, because I just composed the idea! …

Anyone can afford it – it only costs a song …

Echo Living is a musician’s take on eco-living;  you just transform your lifestyle, grooving in an echo of the past. ‘Scaling down’ we musos call it – living the simple life.  Most musos are very good at it and have been echo-living out of necessity for years. Rampant consumerists, noting the typical musician’s simple lifestyle, labeled it ‘down & out’.  But the latest is that it’s definitely ‘up & in’.  Enjoy the benefits …

1. Your Life is Less Complicated
A simple lifestyle is less complicated: it’s as simple as that!

2. No Clutter
Echoing a simple lifestyle of days gone by, re-cycle all your clutter. It’s amazing how many possessions you don’t need!

To discover what you don’t need, take an extended vacation in a small cabin or caravan; no lounge, dining room, family room, computer room, bedrooms, guest rooms, bathrooms, kitchen, en-suites, dressing rooms, games rooms or any other rooms, and the clutter in them. You realise that, apart from what you need for work,  the possessions you left at home are superfluous, and your big house was a time-consuming slave-driver. So, with a huge smile, you de-clutter, sell up and move into a smaller place – to hell with the Joneses!

3. You’ve More Time to Relax
Not needing to mow lawns, care for furniture, ornaments and kitchen gadgets,  wardrobes full of clothes & shoes, not needing to sort the games room, vacuum floor upon floor and generally maintain a large building, you  discover how to relax. Now you thrive in the blissful absence of television, having found life is much more relaxing without it.

You find there’s a sunset to look at and a real you. You’re learning to play a musical instrument – and by now you realise that doing nothing is absolute bliss. When you go on holiday you no longer have to keep up appearances at the best hotels – you’re far more content at the backpackers or couch surfing. And … your love-life is reborn!

4. You Enjoy More Peace & Quiet
Living in a quieter place, there is no traffic roar, no neighbours too close by having loud ‘domestics,’ or winding up the volume on music you hate. You chill out listening to birdsong and making your own music.

Your house-sale profits went into fantastically effective insulation & double glazing for your cabin so it’s real quiet – and coping well with the onslaught of unpredictable global-warming weather extremes. Insect screens mean noisy bugs are not trapped indoors,  and you have peace of mind not killing them. Barking dogs? You’re almost ready to get rid of them too – since the best thing you can do to slow global warming, according to New Scientist, is to go vegan. Better still, Wholefood Plant-Based style vegan – ultra healthy, real food. Who needs highly processed alt-meats and Lab foods when beans, tofu, chickpeas & lentils are cheaper and healthier?

5. Happy Healthy Meals
Cooking is a melody with your whistling kettle and your two-plate hob. No oven, no microwave, no food processor, cake mixer … You’re shedding extra pounds not doing any baking – who needs cakes anyway? -no complicated meals are expected. No one imagines a dinner party in such a situation. Everyone’s happy with soup, steamed veges, salad, fruit, and bug-marked organic produce from your garden.  With no pantry, the essential grains, nuts & seeds, canned food and a few treats are all accessible on a shelf. Echoing the healthiest civilisations, you stand a chance of surviving on grass ‘n weeds soup if things turn sour. Meanwhile the delicious vege recipes you prepare are amazing!

6. You’re Fitter, Stronger & Slimmer!
As you’re secluded from the road, it’s a bit of a hike up to your place.  You’re walking much more, weight-lifting supplies and musical instruments up to the cabin, toning every muscle group as you tread, goat-footed, across uneven, un-concreted land. Your arms strengthen as you stretch up to attend to the trees, or dig the ground to plant new ones. You’ve plenty of time for recreational walking at last. There’s room for your yoga mat and a few dumbells, but not for the plethora of exercise machines you didn’t use before – you make better progress doing a simple floor routine to music anyway. You swim in real places like the ocean and the local swimming hole, and jump on your bike. Everyone says how fit and slim you look, and of course you’re just lapping that up.

7. You Have More Time in Nature
You’re smelling the roses now and Mother Nature is pleased you no longer have five hundred bottles of lotions & creams. Echoing your grandmother’s lifestyle, you’ve only three or four essentials;  good old fashioned soap, a little patchouli oil as a deodorant, your favourite oil for your hands & skin, and a simple first-aid kit …  (though some of us can still indulge in shampoo & mascara).

You’ve discovered you’re actually part of nature, a wonderful symphony, in which you play a part – now you’re not polluting the environment. You run round naked in the air occasionally, upping your dose of vitamin D after your solar shower.  No more SAD syndrome – you’re living in the light!

8.  … and More Meaningful Friendships
Since it takes a bit of dedication to hike up to your bolt-hole, people only visit if they really want to enjoy your company. No salesmen, market researchers, politicians, or religious proselytizers knock at your door.  Fund-raisers don’t even know you’re there, and you’re delighted to bask in uninterrupted peace every Halloween.

When friends, family, musos and invited guests do visit, everyone loves the atmosphere. The mood of the place has a calming effect, knocking small-talk on the head. With no screens in the background, nothing distracts you from being genuinely human, fully present and aware. You’re even content with  a bit of silence, not feeling obliged to fill every musical rest with awkward chatter.  Since silence is so refreshing, energy builds for a sing-song, ditty recital, or a good old-fashioned board game. No one is bored as you echo the delightfully sane socilaising of your grand-parents’ era.  Everyone toasts your health & happiness; with so much to go around, you take a good dose and retire feeling loved and truly blessed.

9. You’ve More Disposable Income
Since you’re echoing the simple life, you now have more disposable income. The disposable-ness itself has not increased – that’s what everyone else is doing; disposable this and disposable that. No. You’ve got extra income to dispose of. At last you can help your kids into their own ‘little greenie’ echo-home.

10. Your Global Footprint just got Radically Smaller
You do this fun Ecological Footprint Quiz – as it’s simple to sign up with the site and take part.  Now vegan, writing songs and living in a tiny space, you’re able to sing about your results. But you still have an un-harmonious element: what you gleaned from the quiz makes you realise you can do better. You decide your footprint is going to grow even smaller which means your Echo will be even louder!

11. You’re Happy & Satisfied
Having time and space is amazing; you even keep an even beat on the drums! You discover a new feeling – happiness! Without the crazy rhythms of ‘civilisation’ tearing around your brain,  you can afford to not think. Not thinking is divine, and you sink, with a sigh of relief, into an ever-nourishing well of satisfaction.  It’s quite good discovering this, your own water-table, as water-tables are going to be a major problem for many over-civilised nations as global warming sets in. Your little well is a great place for echoes too, as you fill in time listening to the crystal tones of your dulcet voice – after all, you’re becoming a pretty classy singer!

12. Wow! More Time to Listen to Music
Not only are you singing and playing an instrument now, you’re also spending many warm evenings listening to music;  I mean really listening – you can actually hear in ways you previously thought impossible. You must be enlightened – echoing the ways and wisdoms of the saints and sages in ancient times (they actually heard music too, without a stereo). Like them you are now entering the celestial realms, ‘receiving’ higher transmissions in Keith Jarrent’s Vienna Concert and your favourite Joni Mitchell albums. You realise  echo-living has brought you to this, the apex of human existence. Your heart bursts out! All the rest of your disposable income goes into funding the latest Magic & Mischief album.  Definitely you’ve got good karma now!

13. Ahhh … Better Sleep
As your music player fades the last tracks of your chosen night-music into the ether, you drift into slumber … smiles echoing through your dreams.

Free from the nasty talons of desire for material goods, your mind can now have a good Zzzzz. You don’t need pills, a fancy mattress, or an expensive hypnotherapy programme. In your little cabin among the trees, you sleep like a log because you haven’t over-eaten, you have exercised, and you now have peace of mind.  Refreshed and energised, you wake with the rising sun, singing, ‘The hills are alive with the sound of music” …

You’re at peace with your destiny. And should you discover you’ve a life-threatening condition, you contentedly accept nature’s way, like grandma did, graciously ‘going to sleep’, easing into the daisies …  Your full, satisfying life is one your family and friends are inspired to echo. Your little echoes bounce around with other echoes, and music brings harmony to the world. The End 🙂

Post Script
Baby Boomer Girl
lived in a one-room hut off the grid when she wrote this. Life is still  wonderful in her new Echo-home between the Tararua mountains and the ocean, on the food-basket plains of the Horowhenua.

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