January Newsletter 2023

Hand drawn pictures of cricket bat, stumps, a dress, jandels, ice cream, swimmers, sunnies, a hat and the words January 2023

Welcome to another late newsletter this time it is from January. No excuses really just never go around to writing it. January was a pretty good month here is a brief selection of the things I’ve got up to.

Elton John and Ray Cooper

The biggest highlight of the month was going to see my first stadium concert. I got last-minute tickets to see Elton John on his farewell tour. It was at the Sydney Football Stadium and we were lucky to have fine warm weather. It was my first time also seeing Elton John in concert but even more importantly I got to see my first musical hero play live. The amazing, inspirational, charismatic and be tambourine player in the world Ray Cooper, the percussionist to the stars. It was amazing to see Davey Johnson (Guitar) and Nigel Olsson (Drums) still going off as well. The music was a great mix of songs from every era of Elton’s career. The concert was everything I hoped it would be and more. An awesome night.

A short story about how I became a percussionist. When I first took up a musical instrument I was given percussion and I was devastated. The year was 1987, the year before Elton John had performed in a telecast from the Sydney Entertainment Centre with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Mum reminded me that there had been an amazing percussionist with Elton John. His name was Ray Cooper and he became my hero. He didn’t play the drums but the rest of the percussion. To check out the concert there is a dodgy version up on YouTube. To see even more watch find a copy of Eric Clapton unplugged or Music for Montserrat concert (worth watching to see all the best players from the UK from the 60s to the 90s including Elton John, Mark Knofler, Phil Collins, Paul McCartney, Sting, Eric Clapton) (Ok so I could talk about this concert forever, maybe if you want to know more let me know)

Christmas and Camping

So due to Christmas Covid, Christmas was postponed until mid-month. I travelled down to James and Alera’s and due to building works at their place, I camped in their backyard in my never before used tent complete with additional fairy lights. It was a great weekend spent spoiling each other with presents and hanging out watching DVDs and eating.


I watched a lot of sport here are just some of the things I watched.


So I got some sewing done. I finished a couple of projects that have been hanging around. There was a top leftover from going to Brisbane last year, McCall’s M7630. It is my go-to pattern so it came together quickly. I finished a top that I cut out last year the Blusa Fairy (no longer online) by Skarlett Costura. It was a sew-along and it was in Spanish. I learnt some cool techniques and ended up with a nice top. The next project is a 1970s original pattern, McCall’s 3550. I probably cut it out about 6 months ago. Size 14 but it is from the 1970s, so my arms, unfortunately, didn’t fit so had to do some modifications to turn them into puff sleeves. The way the whole shirt was constructed was very different to other shirts I’ve made. I loved the way the facing and collar worked.


For the new year, I have set a reading goal of 52 books. January went fairly well with 3 books.

  • Marple: Twelve New Mysteries by Various writers – I really enjoyed it. The authors put Miss Marple in new environments while keeping Miss Marple as she is.
  • A Scandal in Scarlet by Vicki Delany – Book 4 of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mysteries. Another great cosy mystery in a bookshop and tea room. What’s not to love
  • Peanuts: A Tribute to Charles M. Schulz by Various – I loved this book. Seeing all these artists explore what Peanuts meant to them through their art and comics was intriguing.


This article on Solar sand heat storage popped up and it is quite interesting. Great to see people looking outside of the box to solve some of the big problems.


I’ve been busy planning and booking my epic trip to the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Svalbard and Norway. I’m leaving on Easter Monday and coming back in mid-June. Hopefully, I will be giving updates a little bit more often. I can assure you that there will be lots of photos and maybe even some videos.

OK, I’m done for the month. Almost ready to write this month (February). Hopefully, it will be on time.