Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Enjoying the moments when they come: Ella Hooper "The Red Shoes"


(My Dorothy's waiting for me as I went into my last brain and spine MRI.
Photo via Melt Images)


To say the last few months have sucked healthwise may be an understatement. I'm in Over It mode at the moment. I have a stack of referrals to organise and bloods to get done. But instead the paperwork is sitting under a pile of worn-once-but-not-so-pongy-that-they-can't-be-worn-again clothes, a heat pack, and brain-shaped squeezy ball. Get another needle stuck in my vein or binge watch Season 3 of The Walking Dead? It's not a hard decision. Add in that I am on day nine of a headache that has really only differed in intensity from clutching my head and sobbing and sitting on the couch breathing through the pain, and well it's been a funfest of epic proportions. So when friend and fellow patient, Belinda, sent me a tweet mentioning red shoes and Australian musician Ella Hooper I was a tad intrigued.

Regular readers know my love of red shoes. I made my own pair to say "Screw You!" to illness. They are on my header and business card. I indulge my fetish for red shoes at every opportunity, though sadly my quest for red boots continues. And I am wearing my Dorothy's to every medical appointment for a year to raise awareness and funds for Dysautonomia here in Australia. Friend and fellow patient, Kate, even made me a red superhero cape complete with a sparkly Dorothy shoe on the back. I may have a bit of a red shoe problem. But it's a good problem, as problems go. So no intervention required.

I have followed Ella Hooper since the mid 90's when I first sat in my car listening to her and her brother Jesse's band, Killing Heidi, on Triple J Unearthed. Hailing from the small Victorian town, Violet Town, it was easy to relate to Ella, as a fellow Victorian, rock loving, country girl. Killing Heidi's, Reflector took off, and both Weir and Mascara became regular features on Australian radio, and our loungeroom. Weir may have ended up as one of those songs where my boys were known to plead, "Really? Not again, Mum." But hey, as a Mum, you get to tell your kids to suck it up until they reach the age where they finally realise that your music choices are actually quite fabulous. (Many music battles have been fought over the years. The battle over Jeff Buckley's version of Hallelujah was particularly hard fought. Whether I crushed their child brains into submission by repeated exposure, or they simply became old enough to realise the magnificence of the song, I don't know. But I do feel it is a sign of parenting done right.) Having watched Ella more recently on Spicks and Specks, and various Rockwiz episodes (love this duet with Dan Sultan), I also suspect she'd be a great chick with which to have a glass of something fermented, or a coffee. And that my friends, is an important factor in music selection.

But I digress. 

Ella put out a call to her fans to send in pictures of their red shoes to be added to the lyric video for her new single aptly titled, *The Red Shoes. Being a top chick and fellow lover of the red shoe, Belinda kindly pointed this out, and I of course sent in a picture of my Dorothy's. And lo and behold, there they are in Ella's video!



The song is cracking and if I could dance without falling over and face-planting amongst my rapidly reproducing dust bunnies, I would. Red shoes aside, she had me at the first burst of guitars and I was sold after the first couple of lines.

I woke up with courage
What else is there to do?
My love don't worry.
I'll put on my red shoes

Perfection on so many levels.

After much in the way of shitty health and general ennui of late, it's one of those little moments in life that make you sit up and smile. It's kismet, baby.

Mr Grumpy had agreed that we could drive to Melbourne to see her perform for the single launch but unfortunately the venue is down a set of stairs in a basement. And as much as I am keen for adventure, zooming down a set of stairs in a wheelchair, whilst fodder for Funniest Home Videos, may not be the best option. After much lamenting of my bodgy weak legs and declaring a pox on both their houses, Mr Grumpy has mentioned that he'd be happy to piggy back me down the stairs so I can go. So there may be hope yet. Will keep you updated.

But in the meantime enjoy the explosion of red shoe magic and cracking tune. Turn it up, dance, and remember to embrace those moments when they come.

Michelle :)

*The Red Shoes is the third single from Ella's upcoming debut solo album Tongues.

Ooo look mine and my red shoe sista, Belinda's shoes. 
And a subliminal flash of Dysautonomia.Woo Hoo!
It really is the little things.

Remember to head on over here to donate to my Clicking My Heels For Dysautonomia, raising money for the Greg Page Fund for Orthostatic Intolerance and Dysautonomia research, at The Baker IDI. Thanks to the generosity of many we've already raised over $2,000, keep donating and hopefully we can reach $10,000.


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