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Monday, 3 December 2012

The story behind Winterman

About a 1/4 of women experience post natal depression. I knew I was at risk because I have experienced depression and anxiety in my past and mental illness runs in my family. Something not spoken about very much is ante-natal depression which joined me on and off throughout my wanted, planned and wonderful pregnancy. It didn't cloud every moment, I was just on edge and unable to cope with very much at all. I stopped working mostly, the odd gig and recording/writing day but nothing like I have done in the past. I went to counselling. I stopped looking after my Dad two nights a week (he has dementia and is now in full time care) and I pottered. Went to yoga. Breathed. Walked. Waited.

When Jude was born I was instantly in love. I loved him while he was in my tummy but I literally found it hard to let him go when he came out of me, one beautiful spring morning. We felt safe together, he and I. We liked it when it was quiet. I tried to go out but quickly retreated back to the safety of home. I was obsessed with his every move, I cried when he threw up his milk, I cried when he cried, I cried when I had to make dinner and I sat there looking at my massive washing pile and cried some more. 'It just never ends!' I sobbed to my Mum.

I knew I had post natal depression when Jude was about six weeks old. There comes a point when you pass 'stressed' and cross over into it. I felt unworthy to be his Mother. I felt so sorry that he had to put up with me. I felt useless. Hopeless. I felt worried and anxious a lot of the time about something happening to him.

One of the traits that I believe makes my songwriting come to life is my vivid imagination. I used to spend a lot of time playing on my own when I was a little girl in my own special world. It was safe there, I wasn't judged and I fit in perfectly. I have often in my teenage and adult life spent lots of time daydreaming, which I believe is where my songs come from. I am very connected to that space which is why when I do sit down to write it often flows very easily.

It's hard when you're not in a good place to switch that imagination off. It can get stuck on horrible thoughts and fears. Usually it was picturing terrible things happening, horrible thoughts creeping in before I went to sleep or just going about my day. I kept my eyes open a lot, watching the rise and fall of Jude's chest. Trying to breathe myself. Knowing that if anything were to happen to him, it would be the end of me.

Now as I have healed and we have grown together when I feel those fears (not as strongly I might add) I go to a place of gratitude. I switch off from the fears and remember to be grateful. Gratitude for all that he is and all that I have. My darling almost-three-year-old. The most beautiful person I have ever and will ever know, the love of my life.

So here I am, working again. Singing again. Sleeping again. Being a Mum, a great one mostly. Accepting of my mistakes and being gentle on myself. I am still recovering from post-natal depression. But i am definitely not in it's depths anymore. More like I am sitting on the sand, wondering how I ever got so very lost in that sea and knowing all the things I need to do to stay on the shore.

That was really hard to write but I hope it helps somebody out there feel a little tiny bit less alone.


Sunday, 19 August 2012


Hey Jude,

So we got pretty sick last week hey? It wasn't much fun and I hated seeing you so sad. All you wanted was Mummy and Mummy was only half yours, the other half belonging to my album and all of the little things that needed to get done to get it over the line. Then I got sick too and we just had to stop everything. Stop it all and watch movies. So many movies, so much rest and so much sleep. Nanna and Paul and Dadda helped so much while i rested even more.

Photo by Paul Melnyk

I'm going to make a few changes and a few promises. Not big ones, just little things. Little gaps for us to let more love in.

I promise...

To work on my computer/iPhone during designated times unless there is something TRULY important looming. 90% of stuff can wait. I know that now. I can get so much more done when I am focused.

To do a load of washing each and every day. I get so sad when i feel overwhelmed and when i've let our home be neglected to such an extent. So back to the old 'one step at a time'  saying says Mum.

To try and turn my face away from reality television BRILLIANT AS IT MAY BE and turn my face to my beautiful and patient partner, Mr Floss.

To make a herb garden together.

To play. Lots. Even more than we do now.

Go gently. Be organised. I am a mumma now. It's time. Looking after us is all that will ever matter.

To remember that we are all doing excellent, important and truly wonderful things in our own special way. 

To be as gentle as a calm breeze with you. You are precious and wise and usually need no more than a stern word or a look. And that will be all you are given. No raised voices. No punishments. And the rest of the world will just have to deal with that and raise their children in their own way. 

We are closer than we were last week. All of us. We are bigger and more full of love. I can feel it.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Meeting Tim & Kesh on their hill.

Tim and Kesh Coulson are very much in love. I have felt a strong connection to them in this funny old land i like to call 'blogland' - brilliant i know - and cried tears of joy watching their journey to meet their little Roo.

When Tim asked me to play for Kesh for her birthday i said yes without hesitation. And it truly was my pleasure to be around them.

Jude was awesome. And funny. And he is most definitely definitely definitely two.

Tim took these incredible pictures and wrote some beautiful words on his blog.




x Sarah

Friday, 27 July 2012

Making music, making memories.

Hello music loving friends...

My album is finished! Okay well it's not completely finished. There are no boxes of CDs sitting in my hallway, it isn't even mixed or mastered yet but those things will be completed so so so very soon. I recorded my last ELECTRIC GUITAR part on a beautiful old hofner belonging to Matt Fell (my incredible producer) this morning, then Jude and Paul and I went to the aquarium and celebrated.

Then we went back to our hotel and ordered room service and champagne and celebrated some more. I just sang Jude to sleep with his favourite, Silent Night and he is snoring away in the corner...

Are you feeling left out? I'm sorry! Don't be! I have two extra special BIG shows coming up in August that i'd love to see you at. They are band shows and we'll be playing songs from the new album. Songs that have never been played live before. I rarely do BIG shows, i usually just do little thingies here and there and everywhere but these are big rooms and i'd love your help to fill them slightly. I don't mind a touch of reverb but a lonely echoing voice in a empty room could be a little sad...

So here are the details, you can pre-purchase tickets and they end up being cheaper.

Sarah Humphreys & The Volunteers
& The Lucky Wonders
Lizottes Newcastle
Thursday 16th August
Tickets are $19

Sarah Humphreys & The Volunteers
& The Lucky Wonders
Notes @ Newtown
Saturday 18th August
Tickets are $19.50

xx Sarah

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Geoffrey. My Dad.

I miss my Dad. But then again i always have.

My Dad was diagnosed with vascular dementia in July 2005. In this year i was also engaged, married and lost my beloved dog Snoopy who had been my best friend for thirteen years. It was the start of many ups and downs that would last a few years.

Binswanger's disease has robbed him of a lot of his dignity, and he now resides in a lovely little 'apartment' in a safe complex with 24 hour care at hand. Yeah he's in a nursing home. A good one, we were lucky and patient. My older brother and my Mum looked after him before then. I helped out for a little while by living with him for half the week until I was 6 months pregnant and struggling, physically and emotionally. He now has his own room and bathroom, foxtel, a bigger tv than I do and all his own furniture. He eats breakfast lunch and dinner with people 30 years older than him who fall asleep in their meals though. It's such a sleepy, quiet place.

We were never extremely close. It was always Saz and Mum, Dad and the boys. Mostly I don't blame him for not being close to me; we didn't have much in common.  We have grown closer now that I am older, i make an effort and we talk more, we sing old songs and we recite Banjo Patterson poems together, tears streaming down his face and welling in mine. But sometimes I do mind that we weren't close when i was younger. When I needed him. I know i used to mind. So what if we didn't have things in common, freekin' make something up - you're my Dad! I learned those Banjo Patterson poems for him. Off by heart. I ran and jumped and shot putted and ran and still came last in every race until i discovered what i was good at and stopped going to Little Athletics at Duffy's oval and stayed home listening to, playing and writing music. Good call!

This illness has brought out a softness in him, a vulnerability of sorts. The pomposity is gone but the cryptic crossword lover remains. Who would have thought you could be knowledgeable without being a wanker about it? I jest... I like knowing things that he knows now. Very much.

I have an aversion to know-it-alls and my reactions are always exaggerated by my sore spot which i earned from Dad in my youth. I grew up being condemned for saying 'um' and 'like' and 'hate - it is too strong a word!' And my shows were silly, I turned on the waterworks instead of just accepting a punishment properly, I was spoiled by Mum… I get all of it. I love what it's done for me, I love to write and i can use their, there and they're in the correct way. Most of the time. But you need more than that in a Dad. You need someone who is open and loving and gentle and careful with his gift of a daughter. And thankfully i've dug around and found our relationship later in our lives, that one will just have to do. I'll love him and he'll love me in our own funny little way. And we'll just carry on carrying on.

Until he forgets my name… 

And i will carry on loving and forgiving him. Forever.


Thursday, 5 July 2012

How it feels to make a record when you're Sarah Humphreys

How it feels to make a record.

In less than two weeks I go into the studio to make my second full length record. It's been waiting for a long time, waiting for the right songs, waiting for me to be ready. I don't know if i've ever been 'ready' to make my records. But the time has come for me to step into this for two solid weeks and come out of it with a new baby to take care of and to share. Record number two, she's nearly here!

I remember writing songs for 'record number two' over five years ago in my Kincumber home. I was still married, i was still paying off my first record and I wasn't even close to becoming a mother. Life has changed dramatically. And i'm truly glad it has. There have been many dark moments, wandering through all the unknown. The artist in me doesn't mind what i need to go through in order to bare my soul and write the perfect song for that moment. But I mind very much!

I am not hungry for this world, for this industry, to MAKE IT.

Some (lovely people) have asked…
Do you even want to be famous?
Why don't you go on Australian Idol/The Voice/All the other ones
You'll make it one day.
Why aren't you famous yet?
You just need a manager/a big break/an interview with this person/to meet this person/to go to Paris/To do this show for nothing which is a wonderful opportunity/To go VIRAL *shudders*

After all of these years I can truly say that i am simply a Mother and an artist. I will not strive just so others believe i am deserving. I will make beautiful music out of thin air and I will share it with whoever wants to listen. I will give you my time, I will give you my heart. But this industry will not own me and I will always put my son and my self first, for without those two things - well… the art will just dry up like a drained and exhausted old river. And to have not one but TWO companies who get that, who support that, who love me and my life and my music and my personality for what it is - I am eternally grateful. ABC Music & Mushroom Music Publishing are the backbone to this album, this next phase of my musical career. 

Sometimes the hardest workers just keep working and striving and working til they're all worn out and they're somewhere up a river they didn't even know they were swimming up. It's kind of like me when i've had too much coffee, i'm going really fast but i'm not getting much done. Nothing real anyway. So I will just keep swimming, slowly and surely knowing my time will come. I will get to where I am going, I can't not. In fact, I'm very nearly almost there.

I felt very sad when Seal (yes i'm going to talk about The Voice again) handed his singers a piece of paper which said 
Actually, there is. Balanced, normal, loving human beings know that they are not the centre of the universe. Your best? It's enough. It's more than enough. Success at all costs doesn't work out for anyone around you, not even you in the end.

Thankfully even though i'm a pretty peaceful homebody these days, I do love to share. Songs, emails, text messages, blogs, tweets, status updates… You name it. Except phone calls. Jude HATES me talking on the phone. And why shouldn't he? So add me on all of those thingies. Don't call. You'll just make a two year old cry. ANYWAY I'll be keeping in touch while i'm recording this new beautiful beast of an album. My new word is 'yes!' instead of 'no!' 
I am working with some of the most talented people in this country. Matt Fell. Josh Schuberth. Jeff McCormack. It's incredible. I trust them to know my soul and to know my music. And even when something sounds a bit odd, like 
'Let's record this outside! In a compost bin! With a sitar!' 
I'll be like, 'You know what you crazy old men*? Let's effing do just that!'

*Older than me. Not old ;)

x Sare

The boy getting squished. I love him so.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Birthzillas - Uh oh!

I was a little confused to read a comment on a Facebook post which said something along the lines of 'Tara Moss - a REAL journalist unlike Mia Freedman...'

I thought 'Uh oh spaghetti-ohhh! What's Mia said now?'  I'm a bit of a fan of Mia's. I like her wit, i like that she helps people get their crying trolls* (i mean babies! Babies..) to sleep and i just think she's a cool person. An ordinary Mum doing really great things. I've met and know a lot of them. True story.

I realised the hoo haa was over this post. All I read into Mia's post was how sad and hurt she was by being constantly bashed and judged for her birth choices and for teaching her babies to sleep in a way that some people disagree with. And i get it. I also get the other side, as a proud Mumma of one i had a 'birth ideas' A4 page that i carried around with me, i did pre-natal yoga, felt confident and in control mostly. My beautiful, extremely intense, painful and 'i am being torn in half!' natural birth and natural placenta birth IS something to be proud of. I chose to breastfeed, it was hard, i persevered, it was still hard, i persevered, i took it week by week and finally it was the easiest thing ever and we had 16 loving months of breastfeeding snuggles til he shook his head one day and never went on again. Another true story. To backtrack a little, he fed every two hours around the clock. I used a slightly gentler version of the Tizzie Hall 'Save Our Sleep' program when he was 9 months old and he started sleeping.. really sleeping. And i started to get the hang of things. Very slowly.

In no way did my natural and drug-free birth (natural placenta birth too! Did i mention that? Jokes) mean i was out of the woods. I suffered from debilitating anxiety and pre and post natal depression. For Jude's first year i fed him, cuddled him, fell in love, obsessed over him,  cried, napped and worried. That's about it. It's all i could do. I gave up trying to work for the most part. I don't regret it at all, i never pushed myself after that. Ever. I learned to be gentle on myself. I learned to be a Mother. I took advice from column A, and some from column B and the rest of the time i simply made it up.

I get that the smugness is annoying. We natural birthers need to quit that. There's a difference between proud of yourself (as EVERY woman who's birthed in ANY way should be) and being smug. So let's just stop. 

We do on the other hand need to watch out for being one of those storytellers that scare other people preparing to be Mums. It just simply doesn't help. Anything that doesn't empower, uplift and lovingly prepare a woman for what is ahead of her should be shoved in the 'We can swap stories AFTER the birth' pile. Stuff that does help is hand-me-down clothes, making food and tea for pregnant ladies, encouragement, a shoulder to cry on when being preggers gets all too much for some, if you're loaded - a nice pregnancy massage and foot rubs if you're poor.

Calmbirth helps. Pre-natal yoga helps. Counselling helps if you're hormones and weird pregnant lady brain is making pregnancy tougher than it should be. All you are doing is improving your odds. There are no guarantees in life and childbirth is one of the biggest reminders of this.

So at 41+ weeks there i sat on my birthing ball. Praying for a healthy, live baby. Praying for a smooth birth, praying for acceptance of the fact that it would be beautiful no matter what the outcome. And it was. It was simply magical.

I would have swapped my drug-free, short labour for any relief from my post-natal anxiety in a heartbeat. That was hell and it was sad. I'm still sad that i went through that. That i doubted myself so much when i look back and all I see is a beautiful new Mother trying her very VERY best. But we can't play swapsies, we can only play the best we can with the cards we are dealt. 

I am sending all you Mums love. Homebirthers, Elective Casesarian birthers, Emergency caesarian birthers, natural birthers, epidural lovers - all you women making your own choices. 

x Sarah

PS - I would just like to say that i believe a big part of my short labour was that I have MASSIVE child bearing hips that i'm eternally grateful for. My pre-natal yoga teacher Jodi said i was also really bendy and stretchy in that area - I could pretty much lay them completely on the floor in balasana - that's good i think. They make shopping for jeans interesting but that's a whole other story. So we each bear our own cross... Again -jokes. But seriously, these hips!

* - Babies are not trolls. I know this. But seriously the look on a newborn's face when it's been crying for a RE-HEALY long time is somewhat troll like. Jude still has troll-like moments occasionally. I love and will always love my little troll.

Me. At 41+weeks pregnant. Tired but ready.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

A review of 'Him' by Bernard Zuel of the Sydney Morning Herald. No big deal.

Can anyone say 'yew!!' like a bogan?
Oh you betcha. Seriously though, i'm really chuffed. Tears in eyes chuffed.


You Make My Dreams Come True

Oh wowzer! We made another film clippy. This was REALLY fun, i think we'll just keep making them!

You can watch it here.

Many thanks to Dane Howell behind the camera, Paul Melnyk & Troy Henderson for being my totally lovely band, The Glass Onion Society, The Hendo family and my lovely audience for joining in.


Thursday, 12 April 2012

I gotst a review, Ma!

And i totes teared up...

'Four years after the release of Sarah Humphreys’ debut album Teapots, Trees, and Lovebirds, the Central Coast songstress has returned with a captivating six-song, home-recorded EP of covers dedicated to all the men who have had an impact on her life, including her father, son, and boyfriends past and present.

It is fitting that the cover of Him is a simple sketch of a bird on a branch with a background of cardboard brown, as like her obvious influences Nick Drake and Joni Mitchell, Humphreys strips songs down to their most simplistic forms, yet retains the feel and passion for the subject matter with her beautifully-floating vocals and tasteful ukulele touches.

Despite the undisputed quality of the songs she covers – including tunes by big-hitters Elton John, John Lennon, and Bruce Springsteen – it is Humphreys’ voice that is the star of the show here. The qualities of her delivery could probably allow her to sing the contents of the phonebook and still be engaging.

First up is ‘Daniel,’ the Elton/Bernie Taupin-penned hit. Fearlessly tackling songs many would consider to be classics, Humphreys makes everything she sings her own. Singing about a blinded war veteran returning home can’t be easy, but she does it effortlessly, with only a subtle ukulele floating in the background of her soft yet intense vocals.

Next up is ‘You Are My Sunshine,’ the old Jimmie Davis tune; covered by every folkie young and old since it emerged in the 1930s, and which Humphreys dedicates to her father. There are hundreds of versions of this song out there (check out Brian Wilson’s masterful take on the 2004, near-mythical Smile LP) and Humphreys does a fine job with it, putting her stamp on the song with a vocal full of relaxed expression and sounding like she really means it.

‘Beautiful Boy’ follows, originally written by John Lennon, and reportedly one of Paul McCartney’s top-ten favourite songs of all time. Dedicating the song to her son, Humphreys again takes someone else’s composition to another level.  While some artists’ choice of covers can leave a listener scratching their head, Humphreys clearly knows the sort of songs that will match her voice and gentle ukulele combination.

Track four is the Hall & Oates staple ‘You Make My Dreams,’ allowing Humphreys to set the folk aside and indulge in some straight-up pop. With snappy hand-claps, soaring harmonies, and tinkling percussion, her version would sound great played live with guitar and drums.

Penultimate track ‘Jesus Etc.’ sounds sparse and downbeat compared to the Wilco original, and could be improved with a little percussion, yet Humphreys does it justice with another beautifully-delivered vocal, while closer ‘Two Hearts,’ a Bruce Springsteen song, sounds so tailor-made for her that it could probably be mistaken for an original composition in circles less-schooled in the ways of ‘The Boss’.

Cover records are often underwhelming and can so easily fall short of their original intentions, but with Him, Sarah Humphreys has delivered a thoughtful and appealing set of interpretations of modern classics. The rich qualities of her singing put her in the same league of many of her more well-known contemporaries, and evoke comparisons to the likes of Sally Seltmann and Holly Throsby. Indeed, if the Seeker Lover Keeper girls ever decided to become a quartet, they should look no further. Until then, we can enjoy Him, and wait to see what Humphreys does next.'


Him is out now through ABC Music/Universal.
If you'd like to buy any of my music, it's available on iTunes, ABC stores, JBhifi or through my website.


Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Happy being Sarah.

Once a reviewer told me my first album was full of cliches. He was a lowly reviewer, but a reviewer nonetheless. I've had many good reviews too by people i never dreamed would listen to my records. (Positive! Always look for the positive!) So i apologise about the 'Happy being Sarah' title but it seemed so fitting. Isn't that why they're cliches? 'Cause you say something and everyone says 'oh yeah sister, amen to that.' Or something similar.

I've had an interesting week, i hopped on a plane and visited beautiful friends in Melbourne. I played a show and had a meeting with my publishing company.I barely made any money but i didn't mind, the gifts i received on this trip meant more than money in my purse.

The Wesley Anne, photo by Oliver Happy.
I am constantly in awe of some of the people that work at Mushroom and the way they have supported my career through the birth of my child, through the phase i went through of only writing dark, slow and sombre experimental type music and much more too. Instead of feeling pressure i feel an uplifting sense of gratitude for their patience and understanding. And they get me. They get that i'm not shooting for the moon. I just love to write, make good records and be a good Mum. A good person. They love me as i am.

I also parted ways with my management team after over a year of working together. It was swift, it was sudden and it was clean. Sometimes people are in your life for a little while until you both agree that 'our work here is done.' I believe that i needed help in starting up my musical 'career' (Sometimes the word 'career' seems so annoying to me.) after such a long break where all i did was pat my son's head, nap and breastfeed. I'm pretty sure i did other things too but those are the things that stand out to me. Now i feel like it's time for me to take over things myself again, with more confidence and a belief in myself. I lost that. Anyway. Short story really, we had different ideas on who Sarah Humphreys is. Was. Whatever.

'I'm happy being me. '
'We're not happy with that.'
'I'm happy being me.'

There are enough people in the world on YOUR wavelength to not bother with the people who aren't. There are enough people who like you, just as you are. You don't have to break, you don't even have to bend. You can just wish them well and go on your merry little way. You can have a little cry. You can have a big cry. Or you can just simply let go and swap your contacts list, fix up any outstanding bills and return to being you.

Off to The National Folk Festival in Canberra tomorrow, i should finish packing our woollens right now but i needed a morning to just drink tea and read your beautiful little writings. I have a bunged up nose so i think this decision is wise. A morning of rest. Meetings with ABC next week about when i'll be recording and releasing my next album. My second full length album. I'm more than a little bit excited and very ready.

So there you go. I'm happy being Sarah. I accept who she is, how she looks, how she is. It feels nice to say that. To all of you. (All seven of you.) ;)


Tuesday, 27 March 2012

In an ordinary afternoon...we made this!

One afternoon last week, the boys and I decided to make this film clip. It took a couple of hours to set up the big lights, make myself look pretty, whack on a new (vintage) dress (it was a bargain and i bloody love it) and do a few takes of the song.

I'd love you to watch it, share it and absorb this beautiful Wilco song. I've cried many a tear listening to Wilco, i've rocked my baby boy to sleep listening to their collaboration with Billy Bragg and singing Woody Guthrie lyrics. It's close to my heart...

My first little clip with many more to come... 'You Make My Dreams' is halfway finished.

Things are happening, it's awesome. This balancing act is working out. Phew.


Saturday, 3 March 2012

So, About Him...

Him is my new recording. It's my first little toe dip in the water since i became Jude's Mumma. Everything surrounding this EP makes me smile and/or feel emotional and I'd like to share some of the moments with you.

I chose six songs, one of which only made it onto the record by sheer luck because i promised my manager Chris I'd only do five. It was a small project and we had a limited amount of time and our budget was little. But if i got this one in one take, could i put it on? Please? Okay he said. And one take, 'Two Hearts' became a member of this ukulele family of songs. I won! I heard this song on a mix-tape some guy made me.. I chose each song because it reminded me of a man in my life.. and all of these songwriters are male. I wanted to interpret their words and their feelings through the eyes of a woman.

Being a person on stage has it's benefits. Even when it's a small stage like most of the ones I'm on, people still put you on a pedestal. Especially boys. Boys love girls on stage. At the beginning they're all like 'You're so awesome' 'I love that song' 'You're on stage, oh wowsy.' Well they don't SAY 'wowsy' but that's what they're thinking. And the stage lighting, especially if it's the warm tones makes an average girl look like a sexy mama. Kinda. In the right dress...

But it's not real. And it wears off. And you're left with plain old Sarah. I like her. She still writes songs, she is quirky and loving and warm and sometimes gets grumpy but she's cool. But she's nowhere near as cool as the girl on stage that they first met. And she doesn't constantly wear 60's vintage dresses. Sometimes she wear jeans. And the reality sets in. So a song or two on this EP are for one of those boys. The dick boy on stage that liked the girl on stage.

One song is for my Dad. We used to sing this song in the car together when i was REALLY little. He loved Country & Western tapes and would always have one playing in the big brown Ford Falcon that we called 'The Beast.' My Dad and i haven't always been particularly close, he had a lot more in common with my older brothers and they did lots of sporty, blokey things. He spent more time with his home-made BBQ to be perfectly honest, burnt everything to a crisp, the sausage. I also lived with my Mum most of the time, so it was just my Mum and I from when i was nine onwards so there wasn't heaps of Dad time. But we loved each other, in our own confused way. We've gotten a lot closer now that I'm older and he isn't as well. A lot of things have been forgiven, a lot of water under the bridge. Lots of tears, lots of love, lots of singing. He cries every time i sing. It's really hard to not get choked up when my Dad is at a gig.

Another man came into my life when i started to make this EP. I cleverly asked him to take photos of my recording session and then dropped not-so-subtle hints that i thought he was a sex-bomb. Whatever that is. But seriously, he is so tall... We eventually and awkwardly began dating and getting to know each other and he really does make my dreams come true. He's a wonderful, well-rounded, kind and very nice looking man. I should have assigned vomit bags for this post...So i sing that song for him now every time it comes up in the set.

Daniel is another song i used to sing for Jude when he was in my tummy, i thought of naming him Daniel but decided the song was far too sad. I used to put this record on and dance around the house, hand on belly. My best friend lost a friend and his name was Daniel, they played this song at his funeral and it matched word for word how everyone was feeling and the life that this young man had lived. The story and the song stuck with me and i had to put it on here.

My son. My sunshine. My beautiful boy. When he arrived into my life i couldn't given my guitar, my songbooks, my heart, my life away. I fell in love hard. I was an exhausted, breastfeeding mother functioning on very little sleep. I tried to play, really I did. I tried to gig, really I did. But it just didn't work for me. My life was about the health and well being of my son and myself. All i could do was look after us both, and now when i look back - i know that's more than enough in your first year  of having a baby. I am much gentler on myself now. And toddlerhood brings with it sleeping through the night, a little boy who weaned himself at around 17 months with a shake of the head and a Mummy who is in complete awe of the gorgeous human I've created.

So there he is, Him. Some little stories anyway. If you feel like having a listen or feel like buying my music, you can buy it here or you can download it from iTunes or you can go to any record store (JB-HIFI and ABC shops are my main stockists)

Oh and these are some of the photos Paul took while i made it. Adam Toole (my engineer extraordinaire)  took the last couple.

*I'm aware that a lot of these songs have additional writers and info, however i've just listed the version of the song and artist to keep it simple.

Monday, 20 February 2012

To slowly close a door.

Last week i had the privilege as a writer signed to Mushroom Music Publishing to spend some time at a songwriter's retreat in the Hunter Valley. I organised for Jude to stay with his Dad (which he does every week at some point anyway) and put it out of my mind until the day before. I burst into tears. I got anxious and afraid of my old life that didn't fit me anymore. Feelings of unworthiness and being out of my depth surfaced. But i went on packing and after several (million) kisses for Jude, i walked out of the door.

An early train ride calmed me, as they sometimes do. Lots of time to reflect and even though it's not quiet it's quiet compared to a little darling boy asking me questions, grabbing my head to face him and requesting often; 'Don't want Mummy to talk!' if i dare speak to others when he feels like it's the perfect time to have a discussion about Owls. Again.

I felt at ease by the time i was there and back in one of my elements, the gorgeous and rich sea of days and nights on end of music. 'This used to be my life, living and breathing music.' i thought. Hmmm. Yeah a lot of it used to be drinking, smoking, watching tv, procrastinating, boy watching and sleeping in too. But the rosie's were on..

Kim Richey & I.
I worked with a wonderful lady named Kim Richey and we wrote and recorded two songs in a little over a day. I felt it was time to tackle my separation from my husband in a song. So we did. I haven't written about it before. The song is called 'To Slowly Close A Door' - It's a sad and sweet goodbye song, i think it has a lot of peace in it.

These are the words..

'Come a little closer and i'll tell you things I never could before
Breathe a little bigger now, it's a wonder how we got to where we are

Long way we've come a long way
Long way we've come a long way to slowly close a door

Nothing could be sweeter than our Sunday's child, full of grace
We were so much younger the pieces all fell in place

Long way we've come a long way
Long way we've come a long way to slowly close a door

And there is more than enough

*Epic guitar solo by Matt Fell*

We've come a long way to slowly close a door.'


So i guess my message is in this blog, if there is one, is that even if it feels difficult or scary to remember the creative version of yourself, the person you were before you became a wife or a mother, a carer or a workaholic - whatever - please let her dive into something every now and then. You can talk yourself out of anything, you're a pro at it. You're even rewarded for it most of the time and called 'selfless.' But please, don't.

x Sarah (Jude's Mum. And so much more.)

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Best (op shop) day of my life.

I walked back up the browny-red coloured stairs with happiness in my heart and my arms full of op shopped bargains and announced to Paul that this was indeed, the best day of my life.

'Of your life?'
He said sweetly.

'Yes. Well it was definitely a moment.'
I answered.

I occasionally exaggerate. But here is my loot and i've been staring at it all since i got it home. Paul can't believe how happy it made me.

Jude is so impressed with his haul... 'Doggy!' Oh Doggy!' he said about his $3 xylophone. There were 4 others there, someone must have been ridding their lives of doggy xylophones... (FYI - It was The Smith Family @ Bateau Bay - behind Bay Village if anyone needs a xylo-fix)

From left to right. Kinda.

Dress for this lady's baby Olive (the embroidery is gorgeous) - $5, Vintage floral dress (with original tags!!) for Coco - $5, Red bloomers for Olive - $3,  Sailor suit for Jude - $4, Brown slacks for Jude - $4, Metal dump truck - $5, Blue papier mache box - $3, Floral saucepan (mint condition) - $2, Doggy xylophone - $3, Wooden necklace - $1, Clay necklace - $1, Brown glass bowl - 25 cents, Vintage floral mug - 25 cents, Wooden bangles - 50 cents each and my favourite find - brown leather sandals for Jude - $2. And they're a perfect fit. Was swooning over saltwater sandals but they were a little pricey for my darling's growing tootsies.

How blessed am i?


Chockers of blessed.


Wednesday, 18 January 2012

When We Met...

When we met
It was true love at first sight.
I remember not being able to believe that you stopped crying when you heard my voice.
I remember feeling like a powerful and strong woman for enduring childbirth.
I remember being so afraid that something, anything, could ever happen to you
The kind of fear you know only when you are a parent
You try and deafen it, cover your ears, busy your mind and your hands and your heart
But it creeps in. 
I want to strap you in a stack hat
Lock all the doors
Keep you by my side forever
But i love you too much to keep you cooped up
In my cage of adoration.
I can only imagine God loves you
And knows of your specialness too.
My little darling sweet pea.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

With resolution at my side.

I think i have just thought up the two most boring resolutions of my life. It's almost embarrassing for me to admit to them, for my fear of being 'boring' overrides many many other fears in my life.

So here they are…

To be more organised
To get more sleep.

Wow. I almost fell asleep just then…

Sometimes living a 'fly by the seat of your pants' kind of lifestyle is exciting and liberating. But for me it's become quite soul destroying and fills me with anxiety over the smallest of things. I have literally burst into tears sometimes at the thought of what to make for dinner, realising i haven't got any of the ingredients i require, have over-scheduled and under-planned my week and have stayed up too late writing/reading/facebooking/tv-watching/god-knows-what-else-ing.

So instead of it being exciting, it's actually become quite stressful. And i'm done.

So this year i am letting go of the teenager within and embracing the woman i know i am. The peaceful, capable, organised, loving, energised mother, musician, girlfriend, family member and friend. 

Not just for me… for him