The old box

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Sofia, Bulgaria
Sofia, Bulgaria

In the vibrant metro of Paris, you hear her. Mumbled notes are suspended in the stairwell as you descend closer to the platform until finally, you perceive each note just as distinctly as you see her player who sways and squeezes in that same old dance.

In Sarajevo, she arrived at my table, anchored by the pluck of contrabass, and echoing the tears of the singer weeping Sevdalinka.*

Her sound has bombarded passengers on many rusted trams in Sofia. Clasped in an old man’s hand, he maneuvers her and teases her, summoning the old folk modes and beckoning for a coin or two. You’re saddened if the player alights before you reach the centre . It’s a shame for the show to end before your destination is reached. Needless to say, you step into the main boulevard with an extra buoyancy and the barista is as baffled by your jocund conversation as much as your quirky attempts to order an espresso in Bulgarian.

She’s followed me, all over the world. In my travels she weaves in and out and in a pitter patter of fingers on keys I’m transported immediately, on wings of sentiment, pathos and romance.

That old box of acoustic wonders squeezes, tugs and begs you to waltz like the Bohemians, tarantella like the Italians and tango like the Argentinians. Play on accordion, play on. Dance on my friends. Dance on. 

*A traditional genre of music developed in Bosnia Herzegovina that is known for it’s slow, lilting melodies set to poetic text that is typically of a sombre, mournful or poetic nature and rendered with a passionate and emotive vocal tone. 


Picasso in the pool / Picasso en la piscina

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The Swimmer. Picasso. 1929.

Picasso in the pool 

The cap tugs my thin hair, pulling it at the roots, right near where I have my goggle strap. It really hurts, but is nothing compared to the ice cold water that awaits. There is no easy way to get into a pool and get it over with. I’ve tried all the options and attest, nothing works to assuage the bloodcurdling jolt it gives your heart on entry.

I scan the poolside. The serious set is here. One broad shouldered amazon does her arm swings. She twirls from the shoulder blades like a whipper snipper.

I place my kick board at the slow lane as a swimmer shoots off from the wall end, gliding beneath the surface of the water in pursuit of the next lap. That is the thing I paddle and splash for. That kick-off from the wall. Even in the slow lane, you never feel slow doing that.


Picasso en la piscina

El gorro de nadar hala mis cabellos delgados desde sus raíces, muy cerca de donde el caucho de las gafas se ubica, realmente duele, pero no se compara con el agua congelada que me espera. No hay una manera más sencilla de entrar a una piscina y terminar de una vez, sin embargo después de agotar todas mis opciones e intentos, nada funciona para reducir los espantosos escalofríos del primer contacto con el agua.

Al revisar la orilla veo que la bañista elite está presente, hombros anchos y poderosos sacuden sus brazos haciéndola girar como una guadaña.

Esto sucede mientras ubico mi tabla de patear sobre el muro que marca la línea destinada para los nadadores lentos. En la siguiente vuelta se que esta es la razón por la que remo y salpico en el agua al notar que pronto me alejo de la pared inicial. Sin importar que te encuentres en la línea lenta, nunca te sientes lento haciendo esto.

Translation: Fabian Rodriguez

Mesmerised by… Reindeer Herders / Cautivada por… Tsaatan Reindeer Herders

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All Tsaatan Reindeer Herder Images, Copyright by Jimmy Nelson / Todas las imágenes estan protegidas por el derecho del autor Jimmy Nelson. Visite la página

Jimmy Nelson has travailed the globe, snapping images of remote tribal life. Here are his reindeer herders. Just one voyage to capture an archaic way of life. See his website: for scintillating imagery and cameos of a seemingly ethereal, mystical and utopian life.

Nelson has embarked on 13 journeys to date, roaming through Ethiopia, Indonesia & Papua, Kenya & Tanzania, Mongolia, Siberia, Nepal, China, Vanuatu, Argentina & Ecuador, Namibia and India  in search of the tribal mystique that may soon be wiped off the map.


Jimmy Nelson ha viajado por todo el mundo para tomar fotos acerca de la vida en tribus remotas. Aquí podemos observar a los pastores de renos.

Solamente es un viaje para plasmar una forma arcaica de vivir. Visite su página de internet: para apreciar las imagenes asombrosas y camafeos de una forma de vivir que nos puede parecer etèrea, mística y utόpica.

Hasta la fecha; Nelson se ha embarcado en 13 travesias; atravesando por Ethiopia, Indonesia & Papua, Kenia y Tanzania, Mongolia, Siberia, Nepal, China, Vanuatu, Argentina & Ecuador, Namibia & India en busca de tribus misteriosas que muy pronto pueden desaparfecer del mapa.

Translation: Fabian Rodriguez

In the depths of the Pine Forest / En las profundidades del bosque de pinos

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Dance with the Pine Tree. Roberto Manetta.
Dance with the Pine Tree. Roberto Manetta. Available from

The pine tree is heaving  its last perfumed sigh. Lying, spoiled with its trunk severed, the tree looks forlorn on our hardwood floor. Weeping resin.  Viscous amber. My breath catches. Not only due to the crisp, woody scent of the fir tree, but also for the end of a splendid reign in our living room. Its jewels, Christmas baubles, lie scattered around it. Needles are browning, they are brittle now and snap with the slightest pressure. The only sign of our tree’s former glory is the heady perfume that fills the room and upstages our freshly brewed coffee.

The tree is taken out and hurled into the skip bin.

But the scent lingers. If you close your eyes, you could be deceived that there is a pine forest in our living room.


El árbol de pino exhala su último suspiro perfumado.  Sin esperanza alguna, con su tronco seccionado y con un aspecto melancólico, se encuentra yacente en nuestro piso de madera mientras descarga lagrimas de resina   y ámbar viscoso.  Mi aliento se detiene  no solo por el aroma de madera fresca del abeto, sino también por ser el final de su esplendido reinado en nuestra sala. Sus Joyas  y adornos navideños reposan a su alrededor. sus agujas frágiles ahora de color marrón sucumben con facilidad,  el único trazo de su antigua gloria es su embriagador perfume que inunda nuestro aposento y a la vez eclipsa nuestro café recién preparado. El pino es exilado y arrojado al contenedor de basura pero su fragancia permanece  Si cierras los ojos, podrías creer que hay un bosque de pinos en nuestra sala.

Translated by Fabian Rodriguez.

Day 365 at a bookstore

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ImageStepping into the threshold of a bookstore is always the same. Regardless of whether the store lies on home turf or is in some lane way in Bulgaria stocked with literature stamped in Cyrillic, the experience is always the same.

In any given store, I will manage to locate an item of my fancy. Desirous of a slippery embossed hard cover, wooed by the inner parchment, I’ll be ensnared by the merchandise. Always.

Some bookstores give me rustic worn leather to sit myself. There I muse and flick, flick and muse, through pages.

But I’m a fickle mistress. I adhere to no genre or classification. Instead, I swan between photos of Chinese street food, philosophy, entrepreneurship or art. On a given day, I may be noting down a recipe to choux puffs, on another, puzzling over grammar exercises checking my score in the final pages religiously. Novels are flicked to the end. Jokes are laughed over too raucously for the other clientele with my companion. Sometimes, I go to the language section and just ogle. I just stand there and imagine under what circumstances I’d be possessed to study Hebrew. Or Urdu? Anyway, what do their orthographic scribbles look like? Before I know it, I’m skimming to the third chapter and have found a few novel Tagalog idioms.

Bookstores provide one with the chance to sift through a wealth of New Year’s resolutions. The thing is, they are not just open for one day of the year. Tonight, I’ll roam one. Maybe I’ll learn Urdu after all.

Urban Etude and “The Gallery of Air”

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-Sorry, I thought you were awake as I saw you had seen my message on facebook at 8am….Oh, right. Yeah, me too. Actually I wake up at 8 and go to the toilet then have a coffee and cigarette, then back to sleep for a few hours. Yeah… It’s amazing that the coffee doesn’t keep me awake.

The platinum bobbed lady in her white linen flicks the pages of her Vogue. The tips of her smile lengthen and she winks elegantly at me.

The young guy on his phone continues

-Yeah, I’m just like so stressed about this t-shirt. Like, when can I get it from you? … I know, I was going to speak to her but she’s really bipolar sometimes, you know?

The bob jiggles as the elderly lady giggles, this time aloud.

-What a stressful and fascinating life he leads,

she muses to me.

I grin back, sheepishly observing the lines of her face – creases of life long vivacity, I suspect.

I slip my phone back into my bag and we start to chat. About Vogue, about travel, about Brighton and the leafy streets of Surrey Hills all the way to Flinders Street. Her sapphire eyes glint with wisdom and humor. Is it loneliness I see too?

Yesterday, I attended the latest offering from the National Gallery of Victoria- Melbourne Now. I entered a curtained exhibit coined “The Gallery of Air”. In a small space, assembled like a thrift shop, the artist, Patrick Pound, draws the the viewer into a semantic game. Contained behind the curtain are objects collated from NGV’s permanent collection that allude to the idea of air- a quirky print from Goya (nothing unusual for Goya) titled, “Blow”, a whoopee cushion, a barometer, a pipe; even the finest porcelain urns depicting winged celestial beings silhouetted in relief against duck-egg blue. This morning I was wondering, what would I assemble if I were to create my own “Gallery of Air”. I’d be at a loss to create it however, for I’d need to place this moment on the train in there and no curtained room can contain the dynamic exchange of heartfelt conversation, that flows un-stifled like a current, from an elderly lady, unhampered by the trappings of technology. Image

Diva Bombing©: Operatic Party Crashing

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Diva Bombing©: Sarah & Fabian as Rosina and Lindoro from The Barber of Seville
Sarah & Fabian diva bombing as Rosina and Lindoro from The Barber of Seville

What is Diva Bombing ©???

Imagine a party or corporate event. Not just any party. The guests are chatting and milling about, tapas going down smoothly with Champagne. Then, all of a sudden, an actor arrives and transports you to another city- Seville, Paris, Rome… And you are surrounded in a few moments by comic repartee, theatre and the golden tones of opera all within a comic sketch.
Hijacked by theatre, the room erupts in music, laughter and intrigue. Despite the French, Italian, German or Spanish that is sung, you will definitely understand the story behind the melody as two characters in complete costume play out the events with zest, humour and panache!

We will bring operas most sensational and romantic love stories right to your event!

Featured opera excerpts include-
Madame Butterfly, Romeo and Juliet, Carmen, La Boheme, Rigoletto, The Magic Flute, The Barber of Seville, The Marriage of Figaro and many more!!! We even do some Musical Theatre, Operetta & Cabaret, including hit scenes from the  Sound of Music, Candide, Oklahoma, South Pacific and West Side Story.

For an impromptu preview into Diva Bombing© at work, please click on the link below!

To book Diva Bombing© for your events or celebrations in Melbourne please contact the artists via the contact form below or call direct to +61 402 001 420


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