So for my birthday this year – the first one without Claytie since I turned 18, I did two things that have had a big impact for me….I had a party of sorts, and I went on a trip to Uluru. I will tell you about my trip another day, this story is about my new obsession!

My ‘not a party’ party was held at our local pub. It was an open invitation to anyone who wanted to come. Dinner if you were hungry or just a drink or two … and Karaoke! I LOVE IT! I have been going almost every Friday night since April – barring those weeks that were lock-down affected. I know the regulars, and they know me. We haven’t really spoken a whole lot, but we’ve bonded all the same. I know their names from their stage announcements and I know who’s got it and who just wishes they did. The boys behind the bar know how I like my steak cooked and if I’ll be having a drink or not depending on who I am with – mostly my drinks are free, and I’ve been known to help tidy up at the end of the night.

My Kids think I’m completely and totally bonkers- as do a lot of other people!… but it’s good, clean fun, and if I wasn’t doing this, I’d be on the couch at home with my two dogs for company! Music and singing changes your mood – in my case for the better, and the people watching is spectacular! I love getting out and mingling with new people, or the kids and their friends. It’s new and fun, and safe! This is all part of the next that is now… this is me, being brave and going out.

I very rarely get up on the stage, although it has happened, but getting up to dance is another story, I’m all for that!! Abba is usually my go to music of choice. I’m not what you would call a great singer – Unless it’s in the shower or the car, I’m pretty shit! … but I have the best time!! I love the sheer (drunken) joy that people feel singing their hearts out. Those that can actually sing, and those that think they can. I love the people watching…I love knowing what kind of night it will be, based on who walks in at 9pm and which DJ is in charge for the night. The whole thing makes me insanely happy.

The regulars have the system down pat. They come in and load their favourite songs… usually 3 each, and they vary wildly from Journey to Frank Sinatra, Matchbox 20 to Michael Bublè, Shannon Noll to AcDc…they have their moment in the spotlight and are generous with their praise and support (mostly!). There is a real camaraderie between them and it’s uplifting to watch.

There are the ladies that come dressed to the nines, with their ‘Farrah Fawcett’ hair, only drink water from home and knit (yes, actually!) while waiting for their songs to come on. You have those that are dedicated followers of the circuit, those that just love the limelight and others that are in it to win the $50 draw that happens twice each night. Mostly they chose the same songs from week to week, but every so often they will surprise. – usually if too many people sing along with them on their first song of choice and steal their spotlight.

In between the regulars, you have those that are celebrating birthdays, out for dinner with friends or just stopping by on their way to somewhere else… They end up on stage, mostly in groups and rarely know the words to their favourite songs. The awkward dancing is icing on the cake for me. My favourite nights are when the company owner is the DJ and the ‘cuzzy-bros’ are singing… but every Friday makes me happy!

And then there is me!…Friday night Karaoke has become something of a ritual for me, and I miss it when I don’t go. It finishes the week on a high note for me every time! Sometimes there is a whole group of us going, sometimes just one or two… and if no one is keen I’ll go on my own! It makes me happy… and that counts for so very much in this world of figuring out what comes next! If you’re looking for something fun to do – come on over and join the fun, I’ll save you a seat!! xx

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