Merry Christmas to all…

A year has passed already and it truly is hard to believe.  I had been blogging for just 11 months when Christmas rocked around in 2012, and here it is again… You can read my many 2012 posts by clicking HERE.

"Mine host" tucking in...

“Mine host” tucking in…

Last Christmas it was my pleasure to host Christmas Dinner which we hold in the early afternoon, everyone contributes and the host adds the extra “bits ‘n bobs“.  One of our traditions is that if anyone has a friend and/or knows someone with nowhere to go for the Christmas “nosh up”, they’re automatically invited to dine with us. Last year my youngest son’s friend David joined us as his family were away on holiday. Here we are having a great time of it. Cool enough to enjoy the outdoors but not so hot we needed to hover inside under the air-con.

Great tucker... I think I am done

Sylvia, Pat & Culllen... happy times

Our Pied Piper... Lisa Lynn

This year it’s expected to reach 34deg in Adelaide, South Oz.  Not too hot…  phewww!!!     😯    but warm enough to enjoy my daughter and son in law’s pool. They are this year’s hosts and the weather will be perfect for it.

The clock has just clicked over… it’s Christmas Day 2013, and whilst cooking I’ve been enjoying some of my favourite Christmas songs so I’ll share a few before toddling off to bed.

This post provides a clue as to why this is a favourite of mine…. plus I also adored John Lennon    😆

Always played on Christmas Day, when the children were young.

Crazy and corny but I love it. Sad to think that in just a few short years the Aussie icon, the Holden, won’t be made here in Elizabeth, South Australia… just down the track from me    😥

For those who are grieving, you may get some comfort from this post on my “sister blog”…

That’s all from me for now… “Merry Christmas to all and to all, a Good night!!!”

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Copyright © 2013. Catherine Ann Crout-Habel

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What if Today… Was it?

What If Today...

“There is a strange reluctance  on the part of most people to admit they enjoy life.” ~William Lyon Phelps

I love music and how it touches the deepest parts of me. So, I’m sharing this video to hopefully take you to that place inside of you where gratitude resides. Where the calm and beauty of life isn’t affected by the noise of the world. Where today is wonderful and tomorrow will be what tomorrow is…tomorrow.

May you be one of the ones today and tomorrow who admits that it’s a wonderful life and welcomes the new year with an attitude of gratitude for today.

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Merry Month of May – Music Meme

Some of my earliest childhood memories are of mum singing as she went about her daily work, always with a song on her lips and a tune in her heart.  So, it’s with great pleasure that I take up Pauline’s “Merry Month of May Music Meme”.

It’s been fun reflecting and writing about “My first live concert” and “Music to get married by” … now I’ll enjoy working through the entire list, proposed by Pauline, and then reading the reflections of others. 🙂

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(1)   Song(s)/Music from your childhood: The Littlest Angel,  Little White Bull, Where Will The Baby’s Dimple Be?, Davy Crockett, Little Blue Coupe, Rawhide, Ghost Riders in the Sky, the Naughty Lady of Shady Lane.

(2)   Song(s)Music from your teenage years:Rock Around the Clock, Blue Suede Shoes, Jailhouse Rock, Little Bear, Peppermint Twist, Good Golly Miss Molly, Flaming Star, Wooden Heart, Coming Down With Love, Rock a Billy, Blowin’ in the Wind, Lemon Tree, We’re All Going on a Summer Holiday, and lots more… 

(3)   First live concert you attended: Johnny O’Keefe Show… The 2nd and last teenage concert I went to was the Beatles

(4)   Songs your parents sang along to:  Dad: only 2 that I remember.. “The Naughty Lady of Shady Lane & Cock of the North” (opening words only… when he played it on the piano). Mum sang all the time…  My favourite was “Hi Lilly Hi Lilly Hi Lo” which she sang so beautifully and with such feeling.   

 (5)   Song(s)/Music your grandparents sang/played: Don’t remember Grandpa ever singing but he used to whistle tunelessly through his teeth. My youngest son, who never knew my Grandfather, whistles EXACTLY like him 🙂  ~~~  Nana died when I was very young & only remember her being ill but mum used to tell me how Nana would rock my eldest brother to sleep, singing “What will we do with a Drunken Sailor” and one time she rocked so hard the chair, Nana & the baby ended up backwards on the floor.

(6)   Did your family have sing-a-longs at home or a neighbours: Mum used to buy copies of the “Boomerang Song Book” every time a new one came out and she and I would learn the words of all the new songs and sing to our hearts content.  Sometimes my brothers would join in. For years, every Christmas Eve, mum & I would sit out the front and sing Christmas Carols for hours.  My mum, my girlfriend and her mum (Margaret & Mrs Jordan) used to drive regularly from Adelaide to Mildura (to visit their “rellies’) and we’d sing all the way there and back.  My unanswered question still is: … what did “The Sergeant Major” DO after that second kiss???… they never would tell us but would just laugh their heads off …

(7)   Did you have a musical instrument at home:  Mum bought  a 2nd hand Pianola from a work colleague’s brother so I could learn to play and my brother who didn’t have the use of one arm could still be involved in the music making. She bought it on “Layby” and seemed to take forever for her to pay it off.  My eldest brother had a guitar. My youngest played piano and was very good at “Alley Cat”. Dad taught himself the Piano Accordian, mouth organ, piano. He used to play “the spoons” & graduated to a set of “bones” (yep real bones which I still have) Dad also made an apparatus for himself which would hold the Mouth Organ so he could play the Piano Accordian and the Mouth Organ at the same time…

(8)   What instruments do you play (if any): Piano very badly,  Irish Whistle reasonably OK… with tunes I know but takes a long while to learn them.  Bodhrán quite well and I love this best of all 🙂

(9)   What instruments do you wish you could play: Wish I could pay Piano & Irish Whistle properly…

(10)  Do do/did you play in a band or orchestra:  Used to play with “Celtic Music Club” which are a part of the “South Australian Irish Australian Association”. We’d play for a “Bush Dance” at club once a month, St Patricks Day and at various country festivals.  Also used to be one of the “musos” every Friday night at the Governor Hindmarsh Hotel.  It’s the companionship in the “making” of the music that’s the joy and I love the “protocols” when playing in such a group. e.g. who is permitted to initiate a tune etc…  

(11)  Do you/did you sing in a choir: Only at Primary School because I was forced to and used to get growled at for singing out of tune… so then I’d pretend to sing and get into trouble for that.  Was a bit of a no winner…

(12)  Music you fell in love to/with or were married to: “We’ll Build a World of Our Own” … also when hubby and I were first dating we went to see the movie “Dr Zhvago” and I loved “Lara’s Theme”. “My Guy” by Mary Wells – I used to go into the top room and play it REALLY loud at the time that mum was so critical of my boyfriend/ fiance who later became my husband.

(13)  Romantic music memories: A boyfriend was “lead guitarist” in a cover band for “The Shadows”.  My girlfriend’s boyfriend played “rhythm guitar”. We’d go to their concerts, sit at a table close to the band, carry their guitars & act very smug and superior when the other girls were “swooning”.  My excuse is that I was very young and I thought that was so so romantic. ha ha ha…

(14)  Favourite music genre(s): Folk Music, Country & Western, Celtic Music, Australian Bush Ballads.  I love the Bagpipes.

(15)  Favourite classical music:  Because I was a dancer… it’s Swan Lake, Giselle & Nutcracker Suite 

(16)  Favourite opera/light opera:  mmmhhh???

(17)  Favourite musical: Bye Bye Birdie, Cats, Jesus Christ Superstar

(18)  Favourite pop:  Don’t Worry Be Happy, Shuttupa ya Face, Pushbike Song,

(19)  Favourite world/ethnic: Celtic

(20)  Favourite jazz: Jazz does nothing for me at all

(21)  Favourite country or folk: So many it’s hard to pick but particularly like Johnny Cash; Ring of Fire, Walke the Line, Folsom Prison Blues. Also Peter, Paul & Mary… The Seekers

(22)  Favourite movie/show musical: South Pacific, Oklahoma, West Side Story,

(23)  Favourite sound tracks:  As above

(24)  What music do you like to dance to: Age & infirmity have curtailed my dancing but I’d dance to anything.   Earliest memory of music to dance to is “Sway”.  I was very tiny, dad would push back the kitchen table and he’d dance me around the highly polished lino floor with me standing on his feet.  This is how I learnt to dance. Mum & Dad were beautiful dancers.

(25)  What dances did you do as a teenager:  Started with jive and then moved with the trends… to the Twist, the Stomp etc. My three brothers & I would gather our friends & records and we’d regularly have “record parties” at various houses on a Saturday night. I used to wear out a pair of moccasins each night and it took hours to starch & iron the petticoats…  I also enjoyed “progressive dances” like “Military Two Step” and “Canadian ???” The “Duke of Erin” was another favourite but not many my age enjoyed those … and I also loved any sort of ballroom… the “old chaps” were the best to dance these with.  

(26)  Do you use music for caller ID on your mobile:  No

(27)  What songs do you use for caller ID:

(28)  What songs do your children like or listen to: Now they’re adult I can’t really say … as children “Aga Doo” was a particular favourite. Mr Clicketty Cane, Spaghetti Bolognaise, Alice the Camel .  Teenagers… Redgum, Uncanny Xmen, Cold Chisel, Abba were some of their favourites. My youngest Grandson adores “Celtic Thunder” and tells me Damien is his favourite.  Grandaughter is mad about “New Direction” … or is is “One Direction”??? … {chuckle}

(29)  Favourite live music concerts as an adult: Lord of the Dance, Cats

(30)  Silly music memories from your family:  Purple People Eater, A-hab the A-Rab, The Thing, The Battle of New Orleans, Itsy Bitsy Teen Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, My Old Man’s a Dustman, Does Your Chewing Gum Lose it’s Flavour on the Bedpost Overnight… are some of the tunes.  Silliest family fun thing was that we’d go to the “Drive-in Theatre” every Saturday and whilst waiting for it to get dark music would be played over the speakers. When “The Little Blue Coupe” was popular we used to take turns in beeping the car horn in time with “beep” in the lyrics. Loads of fun …

(31)  Silliest song you can think of: “The Thing” – just WHAT was it he found on the beach “that bright & sunny day” and couldn’t get rid of ??? …

(32)  Pet hate in music/singing:  None really, except neighbours playing really loud music early hours of the morning with “base” turned up SO high it makes my walls vibrate… grrr

(33)  A song that captures famiy history for you:  Bound for South Australia” and also “The Song of Australia”… then there are the songs like “Just a wee Deoch & Doras” which reflect my heritage.

(34)  If you could ony play 5 albumns (assume no iPolds or mp3) for the rest of your life what would they be: Songs of the Protest Era, Treasury of Australian Music (2 records), Hard Day’s Night, Oklahoma

(35)  Favourite artists (go ahead and list as many as you like):  Elvis Presley (but only in the early days), Roy Orbison, Petula Clerk, Rod Stewart, Abba, the Beatles, Dig Richards, Cliff Richard, Little Patty, Johnny O’Keefe, Cilla Black, Tommy Steele etc… 

Thanks Pauline… the remembering has been great fun.

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Merry Month of May – Music to get married by

Some of my earliest childhood memories are of mum singing as she went about her daily work, always with a song on her lips and a tune in her heart. So it’s with great pleasure that  take up Pauline’s “Merry Month of May Music (& Melody) Meme”.

It’ll be fun retrieving memories and reflecting on how music and song has been, and continues to be, an important part of my life, especially when the going gets tough. It’s also an opportunity to share a little of my own life story with my beloved children, and grandchildren, and have fun doing it 🙂

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The theme I’ve chosen today relates to the date, i.e.10 May 2012, which is  my 45th Wedding Anniversary and was prompted by Pauline’s suggestion of “Music you fell in love to/with or were married to”. 

I was 17years old and Steve was 16 when we met, fell in love and before long decided that a life together was what we wanted more than anything else in the world. Incidentally I’m now horrified at the thought of my 14 year old  Grandson making such a decision in a little over 2 years time, but that’s life, eh? … 

Not surprisingly neither sets of parents were happy, however they did agree to our Engagement, which happened on 27 Apr 1966, and it wasn’t until plans were well under way for the Wedding to take place the following Dec 12, that first one set of parents withdrew permission and then the other. Then the first changed their minds but the second continued with their refusal. It was like being on an emotional roller coaster.

At that time you could only marry under the age of 21 with the approval of parents or a Judge and Court Order… so, we eloped. Steve joined the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and, after basic training at Edinburgh Air Base, South Australia, was posted to Wagga Wagga, New South Wales. I followed him, lived in the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), gained employment as Secretary to the OC (Officer Commanding) at the Base and we applied to the Court for permission to marry.

It was all very romantic and my favourite song, at the time, was “We’ll Build a World of our Own” by the “Seekers”.

Sadly the marriage ended after 20 years, almost to the day, and the following song personifies this.

Life is full of ups and downs, happiness and sadness, joy and pain and so it was with our marriage.  Without the pain you can not know the joy and it’s the happy times, the fun, laughter and especially our beautiful children, and now grandchildren, which remains with me and continues to enrich my daily life.  Thanks Steve.

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Let's go Merry Month of May-ing

Let’s go a Merry Month of May-ing

 Copyright © 2012. Catherine Crout-Habel. Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family

Merry Month of May – My first live concert

Some of my earliest childhood memories are of mum singing as she went about her daily work, always wth a song on her lips and a tune in her heart. So it’s with great pleasure that I take up Pauline’s “Merry Month of May Music (& Melody) Meme”.

It’ll be fun retrieving memories and reflecting on how music and song has been, and continues to be, and important part of my life especially when the going gets tough.

“Fun & Frivolity” is the name of the game… so why not join in and do it your way… Oooh… am I channeling Frank Sinatra now? 🙂

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Looking through the list of suggestions, “No3 – First live concert you attended” pops out at me as Johnny O’Keefe and the Delltones flash before my eyes, “SHOUT!” rings in my ears along with the screams of hundreds of teenage girls. Technically speaking it was not my first live concert but all those chidren’s shows paed into insignificance when “The Wild One”, Johnny O’Keefe, came to town.

It would have been about 1960, I was in the early years of High School and only allowed to attend the “Johnny O’Keefe Show”, at Centennial Hall, Adelaide, South Australia because my eldest brother, Ken, was chaperoning. So, so exciting!  The memory is indelibly imprinted on my brain.
 
     *  Girls were crying, screaming and fainting.
     *  The noise shook the walls.
     *  Police officers patrolled the front of the stage.
     *  “The Wild One” unbuttoned and flung back his black coat, showing 
         the red lining, and the screaming was ear shattering.
     *  I cried with happiness.
     *  My brother was grumpy ‘cos he couldn’t hear a word.

These were the early days of “JO’K” when he was still quite “wild”, by the standards of the day.  As his TV career took off, with shows such as “Six O’Clock Rock” & the “Johnny O’Keefe Show” he quietened down somewhat, even when he was singing “Shout”.  Am glad I got to see Johnny when he was still rather “naughty” 🙂

Choosing a favourite song to share was not easy.  “She’s My Baby” came runner-up simply because this version of “Shout” truly represents that memorable night of my first “adult” live show.

Here’s Australia’s “Wild Child” of the 1960’s for your entertainment and amusement… enjoy.

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Copyright © 2012. Catherine Crout-Habel.  Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family

Let's go Merry Month of May-ing

Let’s go Merry Month of May-ing

Fun with “The Purple People Eater”

Seems to me that after all the sadness of ANZAC Day, see:

Tribute to our ANZAC Diggers
The Solitary Battlefield
The ANZACS and the Vietnam War 

it’s time for some fun and laughter.

My three brothers and I enjoyed  many of the crazy songs of the 1950’s. Sharing one of my favourites and remembering that my brother John did a real cool drawing of “The Purple Peope Eater”. Until seeing John’s drawing I thought this crazy “people eater” only ate purple people so I was safe 🙂   Enjoy…

Copyright © 2012. Catherine Crout-Habel. Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family

“Rusty Buckles”

Henry (Harry) Eden Crout, my paternal grandfather, was a clarinet player in the 2nd Dragoon Guards (Queen’s Bays), served in the 2nd Boer War and remained posted to South Africa for a total of 7 years, as part of the “occupying army”.

Marie, and their baby daughter Annie Ruby Crout, did not join him and I imagine this is because he most likely did not get his Colonel’s permission to marry.  In such cases the Army refused to accept responsibility for the soldier’s family. It’s a long time for a family to be apart which may explain later events.

For now, let’s listen to “Rusty Buckles”.  Why “Rusty Buckles”? … Well, you might ask 🙂 …

RUSTY BUCKLES

"Bays" Drum Horse - 1904

The regimental quick march of the Queen’s Bays (2nd Dragoon Guards). Published in 1952, it is a quickstep adaptation of the Regimental Slow March.
The regimental nickname-‘Rusty Buckles’- originated in the 18th century when at a parade shortly after the regiment returned to England from Ireland it had steel buckles on its saddlery and harness, whereas all other cavalry regiments had changed to brass. Steel buckles were liable to become rusty in wet or damp weather- hence the nickname. 
 

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(c) Copyright 2012. Catherine Crout-Habel. Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family