Choir directors wanted for Ubud, Bali and Queenscliff Vic, Australia

by: Jennifer Richardson on

The Tides of Welcome Community Choir are seeking a music professional for the position of Director.
Experience in music performance and choir direction highly preferred.
Rehearsals are held in Queenscliff (VIC) on a week night during school terms.
To obtain a Position Description contact Carolyn Williams, +613 5258 3367 or

Applications addressing the selection criteria close July 31st 2014.



OR. Are you a choir director that fancies a one month or longer stay in Bali?

There are people lining up to have a regular choir in Ubud, Bali

Contact us for information

Refer a friend

by: Jennifer Richardson on

If you are a teacher or workshop provider or have attended a Singabout event in the past and loved it and would you like to reduce the cost of attending an event soon would you like to reduce the cost of attending that next event? Or would you like to get paid for referring people to these events?  Of course you would!  

We decided that if you have had an amazing time at one of our events in the past and would love to tell others about it you could be rewarded for your efforts. And really what is the better advertisement? An expensive advertising campaign or YOU? 

It's this simple: Go to the bottom of an event page and click on the Tell a Friend link (words)

It will take you to a form, you insert your name, and a few friends email addresses who you know would love to the event and say something about why you are sending it. 

Press submit. 

When one of your friends listed on that form attends the event you get rewarded for that effort. 

The amount paid would be 5%. So if an event is $AUD3000 that's $AUD150 per person that books, pays and attends the event*. 

*Special conditions.
  1. A minimum number of participants is required for an event to go ahead and partners will not be paid if the event is cancelled for this reason or some other unforeseen reason.  
  2. Your referrals must be to people who have not attended a Singabout event in the past.

Pitching your book

by: Jennifer Richardson on

An interview with PYBA and Jan Cornall.

Pitch Your Book Australia (PYBA):  What do you think about the Pitch Your Book competition?

Jan Cornall (Jan): It’s a good way of getting writers to think about presenting their idea in a visual way. Bringing it down to the central question, describing the story arc and identifying the elements that will draw the reader in - these are all useful exercises for writers at any stage of their writing.

(PYBA): Through Writer’s Journey you come in contact with many writers. What are some tips you can give about generating marketable novel ideas?

Jan: I think you have to write the story you are really burning to write, then see where it fits in the market.  Somehow writing for the market without a level of emotional truth doesn’t seem to work, unless you are very clever. It is always good to be aware of the market, to see what’s out there, and where the gaps are. When it comes to pitching your book this information is essential. If you can compare your work to a best seller and at the same time show how it is different, it will help the publisher place your work and assess its market potential.

(PYBA): How does going to a foreign place help with your writing and idea generation?

Jan: Many of the great writers have done their best writing in exile from their home countries. Travel gives you the perfect distance you need for contemplation, looking back, dreaming - all of which are important for writing.

(PYBA): How much should social trends influence your book idea?

Jan: Again I think you have to write the story you really want to write regardless of social trends. That said, there are lots of new genres and sub genres giving voice to new writers due to social trend. So if you can ride one of these waves and situate your work in the right place at the right time, it could be most helpful.

Claire Scobie - Writing between Jobs

by: Jennifer Richardson on

I was talking to a friend recently who was struggling to find time to write a book whilst holding down a job and a busy life, then that same day I stumbled across this old post by Claire Scobie written in 2011 on the same subject. I love it when that happens! 

I think this article is just a relevant today as it was back in 2011 so I decided to share it with you today. I hope you find it helpful.  


Writing between Jobs by Claire Scobie

A question often raised in my workshops is how to find time to write when you already have a full-time job. As writing is such an insular profession, I always enjoy hearing how other writers do it. Last week I went to some inspiring sessions at Sydney Writers' Festival. The weather was balmy, the queues were long—and good-humoured—and writers from around the globe shared their tips to packed audiences.

In one session entitled Au Pairs, two writing couples—James Bradley and Mardi McConnochie, and Mandy Sayer and Louis Nowra—discussed how they live (or not) with each other and their work. James and Mardi juggle their writing careers with two young children under five; Mandy and Louis live 100 metres apart and spend their days feverishly writing apart, and their evenings at the local Fitzroy Hotel in King’s Cross.

But it was when Mardie discussed her latest novel, The Voyagers, that I was intrigued. Mardie has worked as a playwright, written a clutch of novels and works three days a week writing advertising copy. I’m paraphrasing here, but she said that once she’d conceptualised and planned out her latest novel (and she’s a self-described ‘great planner), she then wrote it one day a week, with a sprint of several weeks at the end to finish it, and it took four years.

I’ve heard another writer say that he cut his working week down to four days and took every Wednesday off to write. He preferred taking a day off mid-week, so his colleagues didn’t think he was just taking a long weekend. Another writer friend carves out blocks of time (2 or 3 hours) to write her book in cafes and juggles that with a part-time legal job.

Of course, if you’re an early riser you can do what Bryce Courtenay did, and get up at 5 am and write for three hours before going to work. Or if you burn the midnight candle, like Téa Obreht, whose novel The Tiger’s Wife was named on the New Yorker’s list of Top 20 Writers under 40, you can write all night. During one chilly New York spring, 25-year-old Obreht would start at 9 pm and write til 6 am.

Whatever your bio-rhythms, it you only have small parcels of time to write, it helps to break down your project. Set yourself tasks (for 20 minutes or one-hour) and stick to them.

These days it is such a luxury to be able to write full time. But it’s heartening to know that you can do it in between everything else. Sure, it takes longer, but if you have a book at the end, it’s worth the effort.

So how about you, when do you fit it in?

Gado Gado

by: Jennifer Richardson on

Ok I'm living in Indonesia and here is one of my all time favorite versions of Gado-Gado that I found online! It's so good I had to share it with you, it's by Wil and Wayan

Gado-gado is one of Indonesia’s most famous dishes, and with good reason– it’s delicious! The combination of sweet, spicy peanut sauce with crisp vegetables and soft potatoes or congealed rice really is something a bit different the first time you try it, too.

There is no set way of making gado-gado. In fact, the word ‘gado-gado’ has another application in the Indonesian language for talking about things that are ‘a bit of a mix’. For example, if someone speaks a mixture of Indonesian and English in one sentence, people might jokingly refer to is as ‘bahasa gado-gado’ (gado-gado language).

So, in keeping with the spirit of gado-gado, please see this recipe as flexible. Once you have the peanut sauce, try using it on other vegetables, too. The only rule is to keep the vegetables crispy and have something else soft in there to soak up the sauce!



250g beansprouts

250g green beans

100 gr cabbage

Peanut Sauce:

125g roasted or fried peanuts

1 small chilli

2 cloves of garlic

25g palm sugar (or 2 tbsp brown sugar)

2 kaffir lime leaves

2cm kencur (white ginger – if you can get it)

salt and pepper (to taste)

Nice things to mix it up with (any or all of the below):

boiled new potatoes (quartered)

lontong (congealed steamed rice)

fried tofu

fried tempe

boiled egg


  1. Either blanch in boiling water or steam the vegetables then leave them to one side.
  2. Fry the chilli, garlic and kencur over a medium heat for a couple of minutes then remove from the heat and grind in a pestle and mortar, slowly adding the peanuts and continuing to grind until it is ground finely. Mix this mixture with two cups of water then transfer it back to the pan.
  3. Bring the mixture to the boil then add the kaffir lime leaf, palm sugar, and salt and pepper then simmer until thickened slightly, stirring constantly.
  4. Once the mixture has thickened, remove it from the heat and leave for at least a minute to cool.
  5. To serve, put the vegetables in a bowl along with the other ingredients you would like to add (potatoes, longing, tofu, tempe, egg) then pour a good few spoonfuls of the peanut sauce over the top and mix it all together.

This can be served warm or cold but always make sure you add the peanut sauce just before you serve it. A sprinkle of fried shallots or peanuts on the top gives the texture a little more interest and a handful of prawn crackers gives it a real authentic touch. You could also drizzle some kecap manis over the gado-gado for a bit of extra sweetness or add some sambal (chilli paste) for a bit more punch.

Salamat Makan.

Click here for more recipes from Wil and Wayan >>

Email us if you would like to learn Balinese cooking with experts in Bali (and all there is know about making the perfect cup of coffee!)>> 


by: Jennifer Richardson on

Lyrics to the wonderful South African song 


uKle ... Zontaba
Stimela siphume South Africa

Kule ... Zontaba
Stimela siphume South Africa

Kule ... Zontaba
Stimela siphume South Africa

Kule ... Zontaba
Stimela siphume South Africa

Thula Baba - An African lullaby

by: Jennifer Richardson on

Thula Baba is a popular Zulu lullaby.

This lullaby is sung by a mother to her child, as they await the return of their husband/father who has gone away to work. It’s a beautiful song with a powerful message.  

Zulu Lyrics

Thula thul, thula baba, thula sana,
Tul’ubab ‘uzobuya ekuseni
Thula thul, thula baba, thula sana,
Tul’ubab ‘uzobuya ekuseni
Kukh’in khan-yezi, zi-holel’ u baba,
Zim-khan yi-sela indlel’e ziyak-haya,
Sobe sik hona xa bonke be-shoyo,
Be-thi bu-yela u-bu-ye le khaya,
Thula thula thula baba,
Thula thula thula sana,
Thula thula thula baba,
Thula thula thula san.

English Translation

Keep quiet my child
Keep quiet my baby
Be quiet, daddy will be home by dawn
There’s a star that will lead him home
The star will brighten his way home
The hills and stones are still the same my love
My life has changed, yes my life has changed
The children grow but you don’t know my love
The children grew but you don’t see them grow