We've been spending a delicious amount of time close to home over the last couple of months. A few trips here and there of course, but lots of time for fires, cooking, playing with assorted instruments we keep finding scattered about the house, and playing tunes with friends. (And the clowns from the Maleny Show)
Out and about:
After May Day up the mountain, Nicole launched into a new series of workshops with Helena and Andrea from The Voices. (John made it along to a couple of sessions for specialised boy-singing tips). But of course there was time for post-workshop riverside picnics.
Two weeks after climbing the mountain to dance up the sun, the Dark Side Morris were back in action at the Brookfield Show. A fine display of choreographed stick-thwacking, fire-twiddling and tattercoat-flailing. We played a blustery outdoor set against a backdrop of show-jumping ponies, interspersed with the lilting cries of the calling of the piglet races. A proper country show.
May also saw us begin the process of recording the new album. We once again had the great pleasure of being in the studio with Pix at the controls. And John raced off to Longreach (the birthplace of QANTAS) for a teachers' professional development day with Musica Viva.
June - Palm Creek and the first Winter School
We were delighted to be invited back to North Queensland for the Palm Creek Folk Festival. A terrific festival under the shadow of the mountains near Giru to the South of Townsville. We had some time with Nic's family and soaked up the sunshine.
Even in the tropical North, the art of Guinness Pouring is practised. Here's the President of the Townsville Folk Club pouring a pint for all of you who couldn't make it (And then Paul drinks it to rub it in).
Our other big project for June was the Maleny Celtic Winter School. We helped organise this weekend of music classes in our new home in the hills. Our first school was a great success, with over 100 students coming along for fiddle, flute, mandolin, guitar, bodhran, singing, dancing, and harp classes. Here's a collection of the photos from the weekend.
And now we're looking forward to some more work in the studio and a trip to Mackay, before John flies off to England in the middle of July.