Friday, January 13, 2023


98.6, the norm for body temperature, is around 37 degrees Celsius, which is the temperature in downtown Adelaide today. I’ve moved from the beach paradise in Glenelg to the land of tall buildings and concrete and sun so hot it sears your cheek, sunscreen be damned! Walked to a small river in the park, but not the kind you dip into. The paths alongside were a painful mixture of full-on sun with occasional shade relief. But even in the shade, 98.6 is damn hot!

My day began in cooler temperatures walking to a laundromat, that traveler’s oasis. Miraculously found it and retired to a nearby coffee shop while the clothes spun around. Then back to the hotel on the path by the beach, finishing listening to the 21 hour Audible saga of Demon Copperfield, Barbara Kingsolver’s new novel and a masterpiece. 

Quickly packed my bags and checked out of my room and then off to lunch at a Greek restaurant with Estevao, my beloved companion on the Orff journey who was also a “Key Presenter” at this Conference. His first workshop was with me and my colleague Sofia in Madrid, Spain in 2008 and that workshop, as he constantly reminds us, blew his world wide open and set him down firmly on the path where he was meant to be. The same one Sofia and I have trod and what a pleasure to keep walking it with the younger ones who will carry on. In 2009, he came to my memorable San Francisco Jazz Course and then took Level I and graduated Level III in 2012, our first course in our new Hidden Valley location. Another extraordinary group of people in that class, including Joshi and Sam who played the next ten years with me in The Pentatonics and Jackie Rago, musician extraordinaire who recently performed with Jon Batiste. 

The next year, we invited him to teach with us and since then, Sofia and/or I have shared venues with him in Brazil (his home country), Spain (now his adopted country), San Diego,  Thailand, Turkey and now, Australia. Such a joy to be around this man and such a pleasure to watch his career unfold! The Australians loved him, as I knew they would, and gave him his new Australian nickname—Steve-o! 

Our hosts came by the hotel and took him to the airport and me to my hotel and off I went in the late afternoon heat. Sat down by the bank of the river, began to feel the biting ants in the grass, noticed the couple further down the grassy embankment lying in erotic embrace and remembered my friends and I as kids watching “the lovers” in our nearby park and wondering what the heck they were doing. At the other end of life, I sadly have the same question, with only a dim memory of why anyone would do that. Also wondered whether they were being bitten by ants!

On I walked, from one patch of shade to the next and by the time I arrived back at the relief of this air-conditioned hotel room, I had walked a total of 9 miles in total for the day. With another sojourn out to dinner tonight. Good to be moving again.

Back home, still reports of more rain amidst much flooding around the state. That cold snap late December that paralyzed air travel and went way too far below the zero Fahrenheit line and now close to 100 degrees here. Drought, flood, extreme cold, extreme heat—come on, weather, let's meet in the middle! All of it proving my good choice for the opening rhyme I taught back at the beginning of the Conference:

Whether the weather be cold, or whether the weather be hot.

We’ll weather the weather whatever the weather, whether we like it or not!



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