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Delicious Chaos – Interview with Clare Bowditch

Delicious Chaos – Interview with Clare Bowditch

Delicious Chaos Clare Bowditch Audio

by Ponderings Radio

Words by Kirsten Macdonald

On this planet, there appears to be an advanced species dexterously capable of left and right brain agility which is dangerously marvellous. David Attenborough missed the memo.

Delicious Chaos – Interview with Clare Bowditch

She comes with flaming hair, a voice teeming with talent, rich with humour and she’s a wordsmith and enjoys unusual cups of tea along with the joys of a backyard family jam. She’s an aficionado. Musician, actress, radio presenter, mamma, clever business human and an author…and there is more. But if we whisper ARIA win and Logie nomination, and add in the smattering of awards and deluge of really nice stuff people say about her- there is more than a little wow.  

We are not going to pretend to be cool here. We can’t. She’s thermal. 

Well versed in life experience, Clare Bowditch is a survivor and journeyer and now has more than enough ingredients to deliver a recipe of awakening.

Her new book Your Own Kind of Girl is the full menu of light and shade, this artist has wisdom to impart. The ‘be real’ memoir will no doubt be a refreshing insight to seekers of self-awareness, and it feels like a conversation. 

Treehouse or cubby house? Which one?

Treehouse for me. I wrote a song about it. I did have a treehouse as a kid. But I once read a book by Italo Calvino called The Baron in the Trees in my early 20’s and it was one of the books that inspired a song I wrote called “On this side”- and I also went to a school that had a classroom built into a tree. 

What is your perfect day?

It’s a very simple day. In a perfect day, all my washing is done. I collect herbs from my garden, everyone brings a plate. We get to sing together, and the kids really want to be there. On a perfect day- this is more exciting to them than tech, playing minecraft. My favourite days are always the multigenerational ones, and we might go for an ocean swim if the weather is nice. 

Where is your favourite place to shwalk?

“Shwalking” A term Bowditch coined to name an inclusive style of exercise: that combo of walking and shuffling that is not quite running but feels wonderful).

Anywhere there is a body of water nearby. St Kilda beach. You never know what you will see. 

What is your spirit animal?

The little girl sitting in her bathers on the cover of my book full of chutzpah. Master of guinea pigs…

My fave song of yours is “You look so good,” then when I read the chapter Amazing Life- I had an ‘aha second.’ It got me thinking that this workplace was THE specific cubicle and I have to ask- was it one and the same and what exactly was it that you wanted to touch? 

Hmmm, call centre, character maybe partly me? Mostly or partly fiction. I can tell you it was not the telephone I wanted to touch!

Do you think being a song-writer helped you when it came to writing the book?

For a long time, I didn’t really know how to express my emotions or how to give words to them. I had lots of feelings as a kid, and I thought that the trick was to learn not to speak them. I tried a few alternative routes, and I discovered as young adults, it’s actually a really handy skill to have.

This is one of the gifts of going to therapists and having writers like Stephanie Dowry, Caroline Jones and Dr Claire Weekes in Australia.

These are great women who taught me through their books how to speak about emotions. So this, combined with the love of making music, was a good training ground in a way for writing Your Own Kind Of Girl.

But, I think you can hide behind songs in a way that’s not possible in the writing of a memoir. So there were some really quite difficult growing pains with allowing myself to tell my story in so much detail but we did get there. I am seeing the value of it now.

Most intriguing person you have ever met?

The person I am with at the time, I genuinely believe we are all pretty bloody intriguing at our core. 

Who would you invite to your pool party?

(no hesitation-) Lizzo! I love her! Ohhhh more than one? Hmm, Ru Paul. Friends with opinions. Clem Ford, Zoe Foster Blake, and Jamila Rizvi- there are lots of people I would love to have; my family! Comedy side, someone like Will Anderson, writer; John Marsden. Actually, you know what? I’m more likely to invite anyone who wanted to come! Circa 1999! 

Piece of advice for people trying to make it as an artist and earn a quid?

Work out who you admire or who you are jealous of. Then really look at how cleverly they have worked. Forget the guilt about making money- give yourself permission to succeed and make money as well as do the project.

Learn from those that have been successful. Keep a lean ship- it will work out. When I started, I was teaching music lessons, working in a community house- you just have to start and get out there.

What lead you to write the book?

I had a nervous breakdown at the age of 21, which is the story I tell in the book. It gave me great hope that if I did recover from my nervous breakdown, I would one day write a story about it. I said I wasn’t going to write it until I was really old, but I would write it one day.

So it was with the hope and a promise but not the pressure that I would write it when I was in a better place. Thankfully I did learn how to recover and learn how to maintain my mental health. That was a great skill to learn, particularly in the industry that I am in. That’s one of the stories that I tell in my book as well as the love story.

(PS- We love the love the story- sigh) 

What’s been your favourite bit so far with the release of this book and going on the book tour?

By far, the best part- I was working on a hunch. I suspected that there were other people out there who needed this story the same way that I once did. It’s a story about living with and learning to work with self-doubt.

There’s nothing that triggers self-doubt louder than saying you’re going to write a book about it. It’s been quite a difficult few years getting to this point. So that’s really satisfying.

“I was on a flight, and when the pilot was preparing us for landing he announced that if anyone was looking for a bit of summer reading the author Clare Bowditch had written a book which he just bought in the bookshop and that I was onboard and I would sign books if they asked really nicely.

I just thought that was so funny. I pinched myself. What’s in this wine? You know he was this lovely Brittish guy.

That was bizarre and lovely. He bought the book for his wife- he had no idea who I was and I had no idea who he was- it was a lovely exchange.”

Have you found the book tour part of the process, fun but rigorous? 

It’s just always a surprise and an honour to connect with people. But I am effectively strongest when I am on domestic duties. That’s how I restore so I think it’s probably time for a bit of restorative pottering. It’s really the art of pottering that makes me come back to my centre.

What is your favourite tea?

I have a very special favourite tea. It is a tea that I inherited from my Godmother Rita. It is a fresh pot of tea. It is looseleaf. It is half earl grey, half English breakfast. I know, right?

You realise we’ll be trying this tomorrow?

It’s a strong tea with a good dollop of milk, and when I’m feeling a little crazy I add in another little trick my friend Kim taught me once- I add a knob of ginger. I know it sounds weird, but I’m tellin’ ya, it’s top quality.

What’s next?

Well next I’m actually going to do some pretty serious summer self-care I think. Lots of swimming. In terms of projects, I am finishing an album. I’m also doing a couple of special projects for Audible that will be released next year. But for now, I’m going to spend the summer decompressing.

In the film clip for ‘You make me happy’- you are messing everything up.

From a creative perspective do you sometimes think when things become stagnant or aren’t moving or not- in-flow, there is a restlessness that can happen where you create a little bit of subconscious havoc? Is that where creative juices flow from when things are too still? 

I think that life, as it has presented itself to me, has always offered this chance for chaos. I did ask a set of questions actually in that album: The Winter I Chose Happiness: can we be peaceful, creative moon units and still be productive in our work? So I tried to slow down my life and find this equilibrium that I heard existed and you know it’s beyond me, I couldn’t. 

So I embrace now that delicious chaos of this full dance card of parenthood, animals, creativity and making our living that has some meaning in the world. So I think I understand that restlessness very much. I do think it’s actually just a pretty normal part of the process of living as a human being. We get to choose as creatives what we do with that restlessness which is a great gift- the feeling, the calling to be creative.

Oh my goodness that is the best answer I have ever heard.

(Kate: I think we just wrote a song!)

Is there anything else you would like our readers to know about you?

Just that I really appreciate what you are doing and I think this conversation is worth having, and I wish them all, and you, great courage. Don’t forget to tell your inner critic to eff off if it gets in the way- get on with what you are called to do.

Clare’s book is a best seller and can be found at all great bookstores (including airport lounges).

What Do Peter Hitchener, Chrissie Swan and Debra Hutton Have in Common? They give a sock!

What Do Peter Hitchener, Chrissie Swan and Debra Hutton Have in Common? They give a sock!

Written by Kirsten Macdonald

 

The recent COVID19 outbreak has had a devastating impact on those who are vulnerable in our community, and an Aussie family business is meeting the challenge with generosity so powerful it will blow your socks off. 

The business is Underworks, and the name of the game is undies and socks. However the crisis facing our homeless is no joke, and with organisations like Foodbank and The Salvos getting on board to assist with distribution, hopes are high that the public will get on board using social media joviality to spur donations. 

Dave McNamara, the CEO of Foodbank Victoria, recently assisted with food distributions to the COVID impacted towers in Melbourne, Victoria. McNamara says;

Since the COVID-19 crisis began the demand placed upon the hundreds of charities we support every day has been unprecedented. In the last couple of months, the number of people seeking assistance is up 78% – many of them have never had to ask for help before. We’re preparing for the chilly times ahead, knowing that anyone can make it through winter with a full belly and warm feet. Thanks to #IGiveASock we’ll make sure no one gets left in the cold.

JAX Tyres for Ponderings

So what do the celebs have to say?

Well, when we read the list, it was no surprise, many of these inspiring humans are committed continuously to rolling up their positive impact sleeves.

Peter Hitchener OAM– adored news presenter and journalist

I hope you will join me in posting sock pics to your social media, with the hashtag #igiveasock and tag @underworksaustralia and @foodbankvictoria. Then Underworks will donate an item of essential clothing on your behalf. Let’s do our bit to support this fantastic initiative!

Chrissie Swan– bubbly and beloved television and radio presenter

It’s time to sock it up! @underworksaustralia @foodbankaus and @salvosau have banded together to make sure a pair of socks gets onto the feet of a person experiencing homelessness for every #igiveasock tag they count on Instagram. Just take a pic of your socks and make sure to use the hashtag #igiveasock – 20,000 hashtags = 20,000 pairs of socks to those in need. Let’s do this!

Debrah Hutton – magazine editor and esteemed media personality

People needing assistance from @foodbankaus is up 78%. What a tragic stat. Until July 31st for every silly sock n’ thongs post/story tagging #igiveasock @underworksaustralia will donate an essential item of clothing to @foodbankvictoria. It’s cold; its winter, let’s lift and help those in need.

#igiveasock Don’t you?

Anyone care to join me?

Sarah Tiong, lawyer, recipe architect, chef and finalist from Masterchef Australia

In recent months the number of people seeking assistance from Foodbank is up 78% – many of which have never had to ask for help before. Until July 31st for every silly sock post/story tagging #igiveasock @underworksaustralia an item of essential clothing will be donated to @foodbankvictoria to distribute to those who need it most. Let’s help them.

Mishel Karen, teacher, media personality and MAFS star

Australia has just over 116,000 homeless people, with one-fifth of them being youth. Can you help me raise awareness until July 31st?

Plug your socks and thongs – or whatever vibe you’re wearing on your feet, and a pair of socks will be donated to someone who Homeless is in Australia. I want to help make a difference for vulnerable people. We can all do our bit to help. I’ve experienced how lifechanging a helping hand can be for people in need.

Ty Frost, Smooth FMs morning announcer and master of chill

I’m lucky to be in a warm studio playing feel-good tunes with my comfy socks and a mirror ball. I’m happy to be supporting Underworks who are on a mission to raise awareness for the need for critical personal items amongst the homeless and those sleeping rough in our community.

Here’s how you can help Ponderers! 

Post a silly sock pic on your social media account using the #igiveasock and tag @underworksaustralia and you’ll be

donating a pair of socks to an Aussie in need. It’s that simple!

Jump over here for more details: https://igiveasock.com.au

 

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Does the Thought of 2020 “Spark Joy” For You?

Does the Thought of 2020 “Spark Joy” For You?

Does 2020 Spark Your Joy? Pondering Fearlessly With Karen Brooks

by Karen Brooks Ponderings Magazine

Does the Thought of 2020 “Spark Joy” For You?

words by Karen Brooks

It seems appropriate to raise the spectre of the decluttering dynamo, Marie Kondo – someone who inspired an unparalleled cleaning frenzy – as, Janus-faced, we look both backwards and forwards as we reach the threshold of a new year. 

The truth is whether you “Kon-maried” your home or not, over the last twelve months it’s been almost impossible to declutter our hearts and minds as social media and the news are filled with stories more likely to raise despair, angst, anger and frustration. Whether it’s the appalling state of our politics and politicians (and not just in Australia), where not only have humane policies and platforms been belittled and trashed by a variety of leaders and media commentators as “woke”, “lefty” or the product of “inner-city elites”, but climate science has been turned into something akin to a religion/faith which you either choose to believe in or not. 

Just when you think it cannot get worse, as our country burns and lives and livelihoods are tragically destroyed, the Prime Minister goes on holidays offering, as he is wont to do, “thoughts and prayers.” 

What saddens many people (and it breaks my heart) is how denialism, inhumanity, lies and complacency have not only become normalised, but entrenched in our politics and sections of the media and thus cultural conversations, causing huge ideological rifts in families, communities and the nation. 

Remember the adage? Divided we fall.

As the year draws to a close, it’s more important than ever to try and carry over whatever positives we can wrest into 2020 – a year that signifies balance and clear vision – seeing the “truth” of a situation. 

If there’s anyone who has come to exemplify truth and “de-cluttering” the fabricated information we’re being fed, who has cut through the BS, exposing those who wilfully peddle it for what they are, it would be Greta Thunberg, wouldn’t it? 

Described as a “lightning rod” for the climate change movement, Greta is that and so much more. She’s an ardent, positive, no-nonsense voice in a world filled with mainly old white men proffering lame excuses and outright lies, despite the evidence around them and which many of us experience on a daily basis, insulting us all in the process.

 

This young woman has united people across the globe. Using protest and affirmative action, she’s inspired us to shake off inertia and use our voices, our presence – digitally and physically. 

Greta has reminded us of not only of the power and passion of youth, put the conservative older generations on notice, but our own clout. Whether it’s climate change, Indigenous, LGBTQI and women’s rights, gun violence, political and corporate corruption, the overwhelming importance of the arts and a free press in any society, we’re no longer content to sit by and bear witness to our freedoms, rights, our future being trashed, ransomed and sold.

Contrary to our politicians’ insistence that they represent “quiet Australians”, they’re exposed. They don’t and never have: they represent self and shareholder/corporate interests. 

This is why, more than ever, we need to raise our voices – together. Instead of emphasising our differences as our binary-minded leaders do, telling us we’re either left/right, hetero/homo, religious/non-religious, city/country, pro/against climate change (which is ridiculous – are you pro or against a cancer diagnosis?), believer/non-believer, PC/unPC, refuse to be categorised and aspire to demonstrate we’ve far more in common than they allow. 

Not only will uniting and collectively acting and demanding change spark some much needed joy, but it’s our only chance to show we care; to shore up a brighter and clearer future for 2020 and beyond. In other words, as Greta illustrates, we must be the change we want to see. 

Happy New Year. 

 

Libby Trickett, the Woman Behind the Hero

Libby Trickett, the Woman Behind the Hero

Libby Trickett, the Woman Behind the Hero

Libby Trickett, The Woman Behind The Hero

by Ponderings Radio

As one of Australia’s great Olympic champions, we have seen Libby Trickett battle it out in the pool. What we have not seen are the battles with depression that have led her to become an ambassador for Beyond Blue and R U OK?

Behind her beaming smile and warm personality, is a woman who has suffered feelings of severe hopelessness.

However, there is so much more to her narrative. This interview unravels Libby’s quirks and complexities and the wisdom she has learnt from the challenges she has faced and overcome.

You lead your life by example, and it is such a positive one for young women. If you could give your 18-year-old self one piece of golden positive wisdom, what would it be?

It’s probably quite cliché, but I would say you are enough. You don’t need to impress or be something that other people might want you to be. Being yourself is worthy enough. All the things you’ve worked through and achieved mean something. They’re all for a purpose, and although maybe you don’t see it at that time, it all turns out for the best in the long run. 

What are your secret indulgences? 

Ok, this is my dirty little secret. I’m obsessed with true crime. To the point where I’m getting concerned about myself. Anything I can find. Whether it’s on Netflix or a podcast. 

Who is the coolest person you have ever met? 

Meeting Prince William was very exciting and terrifying, I completely muffled my greeting. All you’re supposed to say is “it’s lovely to meet you Your Royal Highness”. I had verbal diarrhoea. The words just fell out of my mouth in no particular order, and then I laughed awkwardly. He was lovely about it, which made me feel less idiotic. I mean he wouldn’t remember me from a bar of soap.

What has been the funniest moment in your swimming career?

When I was about 15, I was standing on the block, and there was a bee buzzing around my head. I tried to swat at it but lost my footing and ended up slipping in such a way that I ended up falling sideways and found myself straddling the lane rope. Not funny at all at the time but it’s quite hilarious looking back on it. The whole squad was there laughing.

On a more serious note, you have struggled with your own mental health over the years. What helped you recover? 

Talking about it has been an essential part of my healing process, especially after post-natal depression. I consider myself strong and independent, but I recognised that motherhood is inherently hard. Regardless if you have a unicorn baby that sleeps 12 hours a night, the different challenges and guilt that comes with parenting is difficult. 

For me, as soon as I started talking about it, the response I received was amazing. Without talking about it, you can feel isolated because you don’t see how many other people are struggling and you wonder why you’re the only one not coping. That’s why if you look at my Instagram, most of it’s just poking fun at parenthood. 

I think it’s important to show that truth and realness because that’s part of the beauty of life as well. It’s not all perfectly curated Instagram accounts, it’s the rawness and the realness that makes life textured and layered and colourful. Social media can be such a terrible thing in terms of creating low self-esteem. 

But on the flip-side, there are these wonderful communities that can be so positive, and I certainly feel lucky with my Instagram, because I’ve received nothing but kindness from people that I may never meet physically in person. 

How has your experience with depression affected your relationships? 

They’ve become stronger. I know that the relationship with my husband Luke has just gone from strength to strength because we communicate. We talk about our fears.

 

When someone with depression reaches out, it can be hard to know what the right thing to say is. What do you recommend? 

 

That’s part of the reason why I’ve been part of Beyond Blue and R U Ok? They have incredible resources. Don’t underestimate asking ‘are you okay’? Maybe the person isn’t ready to talk, but simply showing that you’re there and that you care, is incredibly powerful for the person that might be struggling. Equally as important is listening unconditionally. Not trying to fix them, just listening to what they’re experiencing. The next thing you can do is follow up. Often, we’re like, ‘ok I’ve asked, tick, they said they were fine, they must be fine’.

If you ask again, they might be ready to talk. 

Do you know someone who might need to talk or perhaps you are experiencing feelings you are unsure about or that are creating anxiety in your life. Click HERE TO CONTACT BEYOND BLUE and HERE TO RUOK. 

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