Wow!” Three weeks in a row.” This has to be a new Gertrude record.” If you”ve been reading regularly for a while, then you”ll probably be curious to find out how my various hobbies are going.“ Work:” (Oops!” Note to self:” Mustn”t think of work as a hobby; not the serious commitment that employers are looking for.” Gee, I hope the Glorious Leader isn”t reading this.)” All right, scrap that one.“
Learning the Organ:” Published in the 1970″s, the Yamaha Electone Organ Student”s Manual is a complete course of 60 songs that takes the learner from the elegant simplicity of Merrily We Roll Along, right up to a stunning special arrangement of I Could Have Danced All Night.” Even though I”ve had the organ a couple of months now, I”m still stuck on number 12, Que Sera Sera.” Is it just me or does anyone else find these songs singularly uninspiring?” And I do have to be careful, because I have an impressionable young child around.” I cannot begin to tell you of the horror of practising song number 5, only to have Wildflower start singing it in the bath.” “Kumbaya, my Lord, Kumbaya”"??.” NOOOOOOOO!““
Singing:” Have I ever mentioned this one before?” How the nuns at school instilled in me a love of regular singing, as well as an impressive knowledge of the upbeat hymns of the 70″s?” No?” Well.” Keep it to yourselves.” Unfortunately, the nun”s instruction didn”t extend to building a love of performance.” Still, singing is the only thing that makes doing the dishes bearable.” I like to start with a bit of early Joni Mitchell and some Rickie Lee Jones on the glassware, move up to some Australian folk classics on the plates and bowls, and then perhaps a bit of Jethro Tull or Cream for the saucepans.” Depending on my mood, of course.” Sometimes, if the dishes have piled up a bit, I like to do my solo version of the entire soundtrack of the musical smash hit, Hair.” And if things are really bad, there”s no choice but to sing Frank Zappa”s The Dangerous Kitchen, and be done with it.“
Cleaning the House:” Who am I kidding?” That”s not a hobby, it”s a chore.” Although I was rather amused recently to participate in this exchange.” Wildflower:” Mum, will you play with me?
Me:” No darling, I have to clean the house.“
Wildflower:” It”s not fair!” You always get to do what you want!“
The Guilt Quilt:” Less said the better, although I have moved the offending object to a prominent position in the lounge-room and banished the television to the shed, so conditions are right for some progress.
The Australian Gothic Horror Novel:” I”m really getting into this.” Lord knows what the postmodernists would make of it, but stuff “em, I say.” Psychoanalysing ratbags.” But listen, did you know that the Scots crime writer Ian Rankin auctions off his character names for charity?” You bid on the opportunity to have your name used for a murdered prostitute or something.” Cool, hey?” So, I was thinking, if anyone wants to get their name into a possibly never-to-be-finished or completely unpublishable novel, let me know.“
Everything Else:” Life is a hobby, ladies and gentlemen.” Take your diversions and distractions where you find them, so that your character may be enriched and enlivened for the important battles, the big decisions and the serious work of the world.