July 24, 2013

The world’s easiest exercise for health and happiness

Posted in health, life, music tagged , , , , at 7:52 pm by Margi Macdonald

Everyone knows we’re all “supposed” to do a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day.
But what if it’s raining?
Or joining a gym and actually using your membership makes you want to crawl under a rock?
Or all those repetitions make you want to shriek, because they’re just plain boring?
Or you don’t live in a safe neighbourhood?
Or you feel really self-conscious about moving your body vigorously when you’re in public?
Or it’s too darned hot out there?

Well here’s your answer: conduct music!
Do it with passion.
Do it in your pyjamas, or dress right up.
Do it with a friend or when you’re feeling lonely and bored.

Here’s your inspiration… Enjoy!


January 21, 2012

A little something for your Saturday

Posted in life, music tagged , , , at 8:00 am by Margi Macdonald

Song: The Ellie Badge
Composer: Michael Giacchino

November 1, 2010

A rose in any form

Posted in fragrance, life, love, music tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 9:00 am by Margi Macdonald

Chartres Cathedral — rose window

Why do we love roses?

Blue roses – yes or no?

What fragrance would a blue rose carry?  Sweet, ethereal and fresh, or oddly un-rosey?

Tell us what you think and feel about the idea of a blue rose, or an other rose.



Chartres Cathedral-rose window. Dimitri B on Flickr. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

blue_rose. elbfoto on flickr. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic


Composer: Elena Kats-Chernin (1957- )
Performers: Nicola Sweeney (violin) & Sarah Nicolls (piano)

October 19, 2010

You belong here

Posted in health, life tagged , , , , , at 9:01 am by Margi Macdonald

Thank-you for visiting.

Visitors and readers are the lifeblood of spaces like this, and are part of the warp and weft of a good blog.

In our stories and conversations, we weave a tapestry of shared experience, knowledge and wisdom.

These pages are for you… tell us…. what would you like to see, hear and discover?

What interests you?

Which health and well-being topics would you like to explore?

Put the kettle on, make a cup of tea, sit a while, and spend some time exploring the archives.

Never miss a new article; be sure to sign up to receive updates by email, or by RSS.

You belong here.


Image: A Mon Seul Desir – from The Lady and The Unicorn Series of Medieval Tapestries.


August 22, 2010

“Music in the age of soundbites”

Posted in health, life, music tagged , , , , , , at 8:00 pm by Margi Macdonald

Still Life with Musical Instruments, Pieter Claesz,1623

On the day after my country’s national election – preceded by weeks of dispiriting, spiritless and unedifying national discourse – this address by renowned Australian conductor Simone Young found its way out of my kitchen radio, and into my mood.

Put the kettle on.

Put your feet up, and hear why excellence, the arts, artistic heritage, and creative expression are good for us.

Available from today – 22 August 2010 – for the next four weeks. Be quick!  You’ll be glad you listened.

2010 Peggy Glanville-Hicks Address – presented by Simone Young AM

August 15, 2010

It’s time for some music

Posted in health, life, music tagged , , , , , , at 8:45 pm by Margi Macdonald

It’s been a while since I posted any music here.

So today, sit back and enjoy this live performance of one of the world’s most exquisite pieces ever written for piano.

Chopin’s Piano Concerto No 1 in E minor Op 11; 2nd movement.

Watch as Mr Fichman enjoys and becomes part of this piece.

Apparently Chopin in this movement wanted to describe the feelings we might experience when our eyes alight upon a beautiful landscape.

Where did this music take you?

What did you feel or remember as you listened?

Why do you think music makes us feel profound emotions?


Image Evening #1 1982-1983. The great Australian painter – Lloyd Rees 1895-1988

June 23, 2009

Music for the Spirit and the Heart

Posted in life tagged , , , , , at 9:26 pm by Margi Macdonald

Last night I took Mum to hear and see the Australian Chamber Orchestra who are currently playing their Great Romantics tour. A public thanks to my daughter for the tickets!

This was an especially poignant and serenely happy evening, as Mum is now recovering so wonderfully from her recent misadventures-amongst-the-medicos. Mum gave me my love of classical and chamber music.

Music is part of life, of breathing, of heart-beating and of love. Only fragrance, scent, stench and aroma can open us even further to the profound, the mysterious, the sacred, and the emotional.

The evening was finely judged, elegantly played, and really quite perfect in every way.

For about sixteen years now, I’ve slipped into some other place each time I’ve attended an ACO performance. Sometimes challenging and almost excoriating, other times effervescent or tragic, or beauteous, or funny… yet always music for your spirit, or your mind, or your heart, or your laughing muscles.

Go there. Re-visit old masters, or try something new. This is not an orchestra of older men wearing penguin suits, as you’ll see here:

The ACO also led me to the music of Arvo Pärt, who has described his music thus:

I could compare my music to white light which contains all colours. Only a prism can divide the colours and make them appear; this prism could be the spirit of the listener.

My favourite work of his – Alina – is the one you are are most likely to hear in the clinic.
In this Masterclass, you can see and hear him play and talk about this work. Mr Pärt would also be a very fine acupuncturist, should he change direction!

Why not purchase a high quality performance for your i-thingy, or your old stereo, or your whatever? You might like to start with this… am trusting the subtitles are a lovely counterpoint to the music and the images.

June 12, 2009

Creativity, joy and youth

Posted in health, life, love tagged , , , , , , , , , at 7:27 pm by Margi Macdonald

There’s always something quietly wonderful about being a parent.

My youngest offspring turned 16 recently, and I’m drinking in every moment of her blossoming, as she moves well beyond ‘kid’ to woman.

What has this to do with health and healing … and you?

During  the past 20 years I’ve learnt that expressing our creativity, and sharing it with others, is fundamental to life and to good health.

In our creative acts, we harness and move a primal, vital energy.

Sharing the results of our creativity, speaks to others, and communicates our innate connection with each other.

I’m not necessarily talking about the ‘big’ creative works of famous artists, authors or musicians. Rather, I’m thinking of the ‘little’ works, the ones which might look, smell and taste like a carefully prepared meal, a well-made cappuccino, the fun of messing about with pavement chalk on the back wall, of singing in the shower, of poking some flowers into a vase.

And yes, sometimes our kids do something special, and their creation becomes an affirmation of life and joy.

So, for your viewing pleasure, and to tweak a little smile into your day, I present to you, this stop-animation Circus Freaks, designed, crafted, produced, directed and animated by my daughter and several friends. You’ll find they acknowledged themselves, the pony and the musicians over there on YouTube. If you like the music, buy it. If you like the animation, tell us!

What did you create today?

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