Tag Archives: Baby Boomers

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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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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Have a Body like an Avatar Alien! – part 1

Avatar Alien ImageOK, so you don’t want blue skin; fair enough. But those slim, agile limbs and CGI waistlines! – what wouldn’t you do to have those? You decide to take the leap …
back to nature, where such endowments are a natural given in the hunter gatherer lifestyle.  Suddenly ancient ways are making sense. Time to get hunting & gathering …

You’ve been great at hunting for bargains and gathering weight, but now you’ve seen Avatar

1. Back to the Plot
Square one. You realise that, like the Na’vi, you’re living on a plot of soil – well it was, before you had it concreted a decade ago. It’s out with the concrete and in with a magical, Pandora-style vege & herb garden. Out with that designer pebble courtyard and in with a luscious little lawn. Trimming inches Hand Mowing imageoff your waist as you trim the grass with a dinky little push-mower, you’re in tune with nature. Exercise, now integrated into daily home-living, is not only burning off calories, it is increasing your metabolic rate and your lean tissue mass! Every muscle sings as you dig compost and plant and weed your green heaven. Gathering your very own harvest, you thank the goddess you haven’t lost the plot.

2. Out with Labour Saving Devices
Was there white-ware on Pandora? You didn’t even see a laundry, let alone white-ware. You realise over-civilization has you in its deadly, muscle-wasting grip. No longer. You’re washing laundry by hand, picturing yourself dressing real scanty like the Na’vi once your new body is fully formed. Hanging clothes out in the sun, your big-stretch regime has new meaning. Everything hums as you ‘vacuum’ the floor with your hand-sweeper (remember those cute Eggbeater imagepush-things grandma had?). Manual labour is back ‘in’ as do-it-by-hand beaters, graters, peelers and lemon-squeezers consume energy – yours, not the environment’s. Your thighs are lithe from constant knee-bends, your arms are firm enough to go sleeveless and you’ve actually got a waist! But what to do with the waste? A boomer truckload of white-ware & electrical gadgetry is donated to those in need – frantic parents with a house full of kids to raise, for instance. You are now free to fight the good fight …

3. Facing the Cold, Hard Fax
On the 3D battlefield, you were in retreat and your stomach, in advance.  You stand on attack, bravely facing the fax – the cold, hard truth aliens have been bleeping to humans since consumerism took over planet Earth. It is this:
Consume Less. If you have surplus fat, you’ve eaten more calories than you need. There is no way to shed weight, and keep it off, other than eating less and exercising more. End of transmission. Gulp. Blush. Surely the facts don’t have to be that black & white? That cold?

Luckily, you’ll only need to eat moderately less, and exercise moderately more – that’s hot! But you soon go cold realising it has to be ongoing. As it turns out ‘cold’ and ‘hot’ are your friends’ – extreme temperatures can increase your metabolic rate by up to 20% – it’s all gong to work out as you work out.

Yoga imageIt’s off to hot yoga, or at least a weekly sauna. You jog in the winter air, take bracing, short, cool showers and go easier on the central heating. Being cold makes you fidget, but fidgeting is also your friend! According to US research, fidgety humans are more likely to be slim than laid-back humans. Movement, of any sort, is hot – that’s cool!  You pace around. You rapidly improve at Forward Bend imageyoga, Avatar suppleness now yours to show off! You’re stronger too as you do a little weight-lifting at the supermarket, grabbing five pounds of butter in each hand and carrying them up and down the aisle. You’re so smart! But your stroppy playfulness is short lived. It dawns on you that this 10 lbs of butter is how much extra fat you’ve got stored inside you. Groan. You’re gonna have to do the calorie drop sometime. You decide to ditch the butter … a good way to up your health as you lower your carbon footprint as well as your weight.

If only you could get it over with and go back to normal life. But no, it’s not a quick fix. It’s going to take months to lose that weight in a healthy way, and the rest of your life to keep it off. Yes, you’ll have to permanently eat less if you want to keep your new Avatar body. You won’t be able to go back to the amount you used to eat, because your Avatar Metabolism is slower. It’s slower because you have less weight to carry around.  It’s slower because you now eat less. You’re not so hungry because your stomach has shrunk, (and that’s one big stretch you’ll never need to do again!) You will eat less from now on. You’ve faced the cold, hard fax. They took a bit of digesting … but at least you’re digesting something!

4. Learning New, Ancient Ways

It’s induction time; you’re the chosen one – the one who will be super-gorgeous, lithe, fit, muscle-endowed and trim. Your hope for a bright future lies with the alien ancestors. You’ve already started Echo Living, so you’re well on the way backwards. Step further now, into the ancient ways …

~ Mining Precious Minerals
Planet Pandora’s bogglingly valuable mineral, ‘unobtanium’ is not nearly as in demand on planet Earth as the one you’re discovering: ‘weightlossium,’ which is highly active when you get back to the essentials; minerals & vitamins. You discover seaweed, the ultimate mineral-rich food, and other ancient, super-foods. Every calorie counts. You go nutrient-rich – wholefoods, high in nutrients, low in calories; juicy fresh fruit & vegetables being the most valuable. You tread carefully with energy-dense foods – refined, high in calories and low in nutrients; gluggy fries & donuts, and ‘empty’ foods like candy for instance. You start digging into the garden instead of digging in at the bakery, dessert restaurant, sweet shop, or fast food stop.  You’re high on nutrition, low on calories. Your new culinary goldmine is raking in the profits.

~Becoming Unrefined
Leaping around in the wild, you’re eating foods as nature made them. Nothing is refined on Pandora – no food industry exists to refine it. No fillers, additives, artificial preservatives, colours, flavours, humectants, emulsifiers, sweeteners, acidity regulators, modified genes and other profit-making, up-sizing ingredients. Your taste buds burst you into new heights of ecstasy.

Dinner imageAs you serve up dinner in your little cabin, you’re doing the diet and it’s delicious! All the vitamins you need are within the healthy, natural foods you love; (though being vegan on Earth you take B12, maybe Vit.D). Sitting on the throne, you reach a new level of ‘regular,’ enjoying kiwifruit, delicious whole grains and the all that natural fibre without even thinking – each day is a moving experience! What a relief – returning to your, natural, unrefined, radiant self! 🙂

Tell us how you go experimenting with your new Avatar body – or at least what you think about ‘weightlossium!’ There’s more coming up, so look out for Part Two … (it will find you if you subscribe by email, top right column). May the force be with you!

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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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Fun in the studio

David Radha & Geoff

NOVEMBER: The single is out – yey! I can’t wait to get onto the next one; I’m working on chord charts for all my songs in preparation, as I’m not sure what song we’ll tackle next … 

Working on kids songs in the studio at present, plus composing and recording some songs to help children learn to read.

Here’s  David Antony Clark (left), sound engineer, Geoff Duncan and your truly. Geoff is about to launch power-chord land on electric guitar –   Geoff, you’re great! And so is Evan Williams, our wonderful drummer.  Thanks guys!

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