Golden Spring Punch

Sunday Life: November 2016

Here we go: the last month of spring, and the official start of Sydney’s summer party season.

Although the Melbourne Cup is centred in Melbourne, it is the race that stops the entire nation, and we did start the month by stopping for just over three minutes, but not before eating and drinking plenty. This meant that many of us nursed a considerable hangover on the second day of the month, and it was still only the middle of the week!.

This also the time of year when Sculpture by the Sea occupies the Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk to the delight of art lovers across Sydney. This year’s event will conclude today, so if you haven’t seen the exhibition yet, and have sufficiently recovered from Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup shenanigans, it’s time to head to Bondi.

Now! It’s the perfect day for it, and the sunshine and fresh ocean air will do you good …

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Here are some handy hints before you head down to the coastline, and my favourite pieces from last year might also help to put you in the mood.

This month’s cocktail is an exclusive creation of my own. I am carrying over the Pavan and cognac from last month’s cocktail and adding absinthe for an extra kick, and vodka as a mixer for a sweet spring creation that’s just strong enough the get the party going …

Golden Spring Punch

40ml Pavan*
20ml cognac**
20ml absinthe***
40ml vodka****

Method: combine the ingredients in a cocktail shaker, add ice, shake, and serve in a martini glass.

* Pavan is a French liqueur made with Muscat grapes and orange blossoms. It has a lovely, delicate, sweet flavour.
** Try to use a decent cognac in your cocktails. Meukow VSOP works nicely for me as it has a natural sweetness that complements cocktails.
*** Absinthe is an acquired taste. You should always use a good quality absinthe. I like the French Grande Absente in cocktails as it has a subtle taste that blends nicely.
**** As for vodka, I am still a fan of Absolut, as it has a clear, crisp taste which makes it a great mixer.

This is a strong drink, but the perfect solution if you are on the edge of your seat about next Tuesday’s presidential election in the United States. While you are enjoying your Golden Spring Punch, here are a few of my favourite tunes I am currently listening to …

‘Wild Life’ by Client Liaison

This music video is absolutely hilarious and entertaining, yet surprisingly political. With an over the top 80s camp vibe and a perfect funky beat, this is an outstanding single from Client Liaison.

Client Liaison is an Australian indie pop band from Melbourne, and this is a music video you have to see to truly appreciate – so much is going on here that it defies description.

‘Don’t Touch My Hair’ by Solange

Solange Knowles is an American singer, songwriter, model, and actress. She released her first solo album back in 2002, and has produced countless memorable tracks since then.

She is an audacious artist, with an enthralling musical style. I may get into trouble for saying this but, musically, Solange is my favourite Knowles sister …

Don’t touch my hair
When it’s the feelings I wear
Don’t touch my soul
When it’s the rhythm I know
Don’t touch my crown
They say the vision I’ve found
Don’t touch what’s there
When it’s the feelings I wear

Solange’s latest single is a power song for black women, a celebration of black identity and pride. It is also very cool, and a visual feast.

‘Holy War’ by Alicia Keys

This is a powerful cultural, political, and social anthem by Alicia Keys.

This is a poem that stirs the soul – a message that had to be sent, and must be heard.

If war is holy and sex is obscene
Then we got it twisted in this lucid dream
Baptized in boundaries, schooled in sin
Divided by difference, sexuality and skin

So we can hate each other and fear each other
We can build these walls between each other
Baby, blow by blow and brick by brick
Keep yourself locked in, yourself locked in
We can hate each other and fear each other
We can build these walls between each other
Baby, blow by blow and brick by brick
Keep yourself locked in, yourself locked

Maybe we should love somebody
Maybe we could care a little more
Maybe we could love somebody
Instead of polishing the bombs of holy war

What if sex was holy and war was obscene
And it wasn’t twisted, what a wonderful dream
Living for love, unafraid of the end
Forgiveness is the only real revenge

So we can heal each other and fill each other
We can break these walls between each other
Baby, blow by blow and brick by brick
Keep yourself open, yourself open
We can heal each other and fill each other
We can break these walls between each other
Baby, blow by blow and brick by brick
Keep yourself open, yourself open

Maybe we should love somebody
Maybe we could care a little more
Maybe we could love somebody
Instead of polishing the bombs of holy war

What if love is holy and hate is obscene
We should give life to this beautiful dream
Cause peace and love ain’t so far
If we nurse our wounds before they scar
Nurse our wounds before they scar

‘Deep Water’ by Blackfella Films

Deep Water
Deep Water
If you prefer a different journey with your Golden Spring Punch, this month I am replacing the usual literary journey with a poignant visual journey, ‘Deep Water’, and ‘Deep Water: The Real Story’, produced by Blackfella Films for SBS Television.

‘Deep Water’ is a four-part drama series based on an epidemic of unsolved hate-crimes against gay men in the 1980s and 90s in Sydney, Australia. Over 80 gay men were murdered during this period around idyllic Bondi Beach, and elsewhere in Sydney. Most of these murders remain unsolved by a police force that couldn’t have cared less about the death of gay men at the time.

The drama series plays out today, and through a modern-day murder of a gay man at Bondi Beach, it explores the historical gay-hate murders that plagued the area decades before.

Deep Water is confronting viewing. It is thought-provoking, heart-breaking, and anger-inducing.

It is thought-provoking, because you have to wonder how on Earth it was possible to murder over 80 people in the 1980s and 90s with no response from law enforcement or the larger community.

It is heart-breaking, because you can feel the pain caused to the loved ones of those murdered. Partners, lovers, mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers.

It is anger-inducing, because while the loathing of homosexuals is palpable, even Deep Water underplays the homophobic attitudes of the police which is largely responsible for people literally having gotten away with so many murders.

‘Deep Water: The Real Story’ is the accompanying documentary, which explores the same disturbing subject, investigating the real disappearances and murders behind ‘Deep Water,’ and leads to the shocking realisation that those murderers got away scot-free with their heinous hate crimes, and that these serial-killers still walk among us today.

Sadly, at the end of the documentary we are informed that NSW Police was not available to talk to the makers of Deep Water.

Read more ‘Sunday Life

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