Dan Schaumann

Official site of avid traveller and singer/songwriter, Dan Schaumann. Debut album "A Thousand Days Beneath The Sun" out now on CD and iTunes.

Posts Tagged ‘england’

Why I Love The Winter

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November 28th, 2010 Posted 11:30 pm

As the hot and bothersome summer months approach us in the southern hemisphere, I find my friends in the northern speak of the joys of their upcoming winter and their already-falling snow. How I long for the winter to return; how I long to once more bask in the romance of the whitened streets and the puff of those pearly petals precipitating from the heavens above.

My first experience with snow-filled landscapes was here in my own home country, on our grade 12 camp to the Snowy Mountains in the year 2001. A group of about 25 of us ventured 2,500 km down to the township of Jindabyne at the base of Kosciuszko National Park, where we stayed for just under a week, commuting to and from the Perisher ski resort every day. For many of us, including myself, our first journey along the winding, mountainous road between Jindabyne and Perisher gave us our first taste of that cold, white fluff we’d all been dreaming of, beginning in little pockets by the side of the road, and by the end of the commute, culminating in entire mountain ranges blanketed in it.

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Would You Like To Go For A Walk?

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January 26th, 2010 Posted 7:37 pm

“Would you like to go for a walk?” he dotingly asks on her return home from her late summer afternoon shift at work.

“Not tonight,” she replies. “I’ve got too much to do.”

He sets off without her. Perhaps tomorrow she will join him.

Through the field he wanders, graciously using this time without her by his side to set out a potential path for their future afternoon rendezvous.

He runs his hand through the dry, brown wheat as he progresses down the farmyard track. Ever so slightly sharp, he snaps up a scattering of stalks, pulling at the furry spikelets one by one and watching them blow off into the breeze. He dreams of the upcoming day where he lovingly offers a head of wheat to her, its beautiful homegrown authenticity possessing much more meaning than that of a manufactured gift purchased from a florist.

Nearing the end of the field, he opts for a southerly venture along the fen, stopping briefly to admire the family of swans wading through the wetlands. He is all too aware of the bond between the mother, father and three cygnets trailing closely behind, and one day wishes for a similar scene to grace his own human life. He sends his love to the swans and telepathically requests that they meet him there again tomorrow, in the hope that both he and his girl can spend time together treasuring their beauty.

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She Must Have Been Sleeptalking


December 30th, 2009 Posted 9:41 pm

A busy day exploring a faraway city draws near an end, and the two touring sweethearts make their way through the havoc of the inner-northern suburbs to the location where they will retire for the evening. Putting the general chaos of their day behind them, the couple display an ambience of nervous anticipation for the hours ahead, as this coming night is due to be their first spent together. Alone. At one. At last.

Entering the room they reflect on the day’s precedings before making preparations for their inaugural twilit companionship. Nearby, the dull roar of the subterranean carriages shake the walls ever so slightly, in precise harmony with the rumbling of their hungry hearts. She rests her head gently upon his shoulder as he grasps her slightly trembling hands in his, providing a much-needed quietude prior to the forecast storm. A sense of peace washes over as they take in the space before them which they will shortly occupy, their inhibitions gradually fading as the late summer sun merges with the darkening urban horizon. Their surrounding air becomes lighter than light itself; an aura of magnificence emanating from these two perfectly entwined souls.

Sublime to the eye, sweet to the smell and pure to the touch, she remained every inch the beauty he recalled from his yearnful, endless memory. This was a memory that delved back a multitude of epochs, beyond the fruit, beyond the flower, beyond even the fateful event seemingly millennia ago where the seed was first sowed, paving the way for their impending and everlasting reunion. To her, he was the brick, the support, the solid rock she had grasped onto so tightly in the dawning months leading up to and including this moment.

It was a journey of unimaginable proportions and enigmatic synchronicities that finally culminated in this extraordinary state of communion. From every corner of the universe, all entities involved throughout the duration of this amorous journey wept ethereal tears of togetherness, filling the small but intimate room with their unconditional love. Finally, here they were. Alone. At one. At last.

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Things I Will Miss About The UK

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October 8th, 2009 Posted 5:36 pm

* Coleman’s mustard
* Lincolnshire sausage
* The slow food market by the Embankment… mmm spit roast hog, garlic hummus and pigeon!
* Eating organically
* Rachel’s organic Greek style yoghurt with honey, and the Coconut yoghurt as well
* Puccino’s hot chocolate
* Jaffa cakes
* Chocolate that tastes ever so slightly different to Australian chocolate
* Digestives
* (The innocence of originally thinking that Digestives were tablets to help relieve indigestion)
* Yorkshire puddings
* Toad in the hole
* Fish & chips on the Brighton pier on cold winter days

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Plants have emotions too: my personal feelings regarding organics and the FSA report

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August 1st, 2009 Posted 9:14 pm

Those of you in the UK, especially those who I work with, would have heard of the recent report commissioned by the Food Standards Agency, claiming that “there are no important differences in the nutrition content, or any additional health benefits, of organic food when compared with conventionally produced food.”

Of course, the media backlash has very validly pointed out that the report was limited only to comparing the nutritional content of the food, completely ignoring any comparison in pesticide levels and also ignoring the environmental benefits and sustainability that organic farming epitomises. I mean, really… if you had two apples in front of you, one of which was grown on an organic farm the way nature intended, and the other one of which was (and I quote) “sprayed up to 16 times with 30 different chemicals” and grown on land with residual pesticides immersed within the soil, it doesn’t take a fool to work out which one would be better for you! I’m not criticising the methods of conventional farming (as I understand there is still need for it at this stage of the world’s evolution); I’m merely pointing out that the organic method is unquestionably more wholesome to the Earth and to your body.

But we all know that, and that’s not really what I came here to talk about…

I feel really strongly about this issue for another reason, and it’s not one I’ve talked about much yet, as it’s more of a personal / intuitive / spiritual logic that I live by, with little scientific substantiation to back me up. But I do feel the need to talk about it now and share my beliefs, especially following the FSA report.

As some of you are probably aware, over the past few years I have developed a keen interest and belief in the yin-yang, the chi, the karmic cycle, the life force, the universal energy, the process of creation – whatever you would like to call it. I try to apply these beliefs to my own life, sometimes successfully, other times not so much, but the gist of it is that if I think positively and emanate positive energy, then I will reap the benefits with a positive life, whereas if I think negatively and emanate negative energy, then life becomes a living hell. And I’ve had enough experiences matching up with this approach to know that it is a true belief for me. I guess there are a lot of people who live by these ideals too, however for me it’s definitely more of a spiritual thing as opposed to a psychological Dr. Phil kinda thing.

But what has this got to do with organic food? Well, similarly to my own life, I also apply these beliefs to food, both in animal form and plant form.

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Keep Your Eye On The £££

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April 12th, 2009 Posted 7:20 pm

 The other day I stopped by the cashpoint at Thornton Heath, to withdraw a bit of spending money to see through the weekend. I put my card in, keyed in my PIN, pressed the button that said “£30”, took my card out of the machine… and walked off without the bloody cash! I didn’t even realise until about half an hour later when I went to pay for something and my wallet was empty. I felt like such an idiot!

Skip forward to today. I decided to go for a walk to Croydon to get out of the house, and before too long my thoughts progressed to my absent-mindedness at the cashpoint the other day. 30 quid was a fair amount of money to let go of, but hey, it did teach me a lesson, and I did find comfort in knowing I would have made the day of the next person to use the cashpoint.

Whilst deliberating the hidden meaning behind my lost money experience, as one does when one is alone and has nothing better to do or think about, I noticed two girls walking towards me. As they drew near, I saw what looked like a folded brochure slip out of one of the girls hands, unnoticed, and onto the ground. We walked past each other without acknowledgement, and I inquisitively approached the dropped article to see what it was. It was £15.

Yes, I did give it back, and the girl was very thankful and surprised that she ever saw the money again, given that we were in an area like Croydon! But what are the chances of that? To have lost money, then to be thinking about the experience a few days later, and at exactly the same time to witness someone else lose money?

I feel I’m becoming Synchronicity Central. Stay tuned for more as they happen. And go put an entry into the lotto too 😉

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Posted in Blog, Reflections

Ben Lee: Much Respect To You

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March 28th, 2009 Posted 9:55 pm

Last Wednesday night I went out to IndigO2 (a venue inside the Millennium dome at Greenwich, London) because O2 had kindly put on a free gig headlined by Australia’s very own singer/songwriter extraordinaire, Ben Lee. Who can’t say no to a free gig?

I’ve always been a fan of Ben, not a die-hard fan or anything, but enough to appreciate his sentiment and follow his career over the years. I’d seen him perform once before in Brisbane back in 2005, not long after he released Awake Is The New Sleep, and I left the gig quite impressed with his showmanship and his ability to work the crowd. He was most definitely a born entertainer.

His gig the other night was no exception to this – from the moment he walked on stage he had the audience in the palm of his hand. He quipped about the set list he’d scribbled on the back of a packet of Sainsbury’s hummous, before taking us on a philosophical journey of his beloved pop music. He brought us back to his breakthrough song of 1998 where he wished we were all wrong, then he regrouped by inviting us all to take part in this together. By the end of his performance the crowd had clearly caught his disease, and we all walked off into the dark with a sense of coming so close to a ripe, numbing sensation of no guilt and all pleasure.

Song-lyric puns aside, there was one tune in particular that Ben sang which really, really intrigued me. I’d never heard it before, and at the time I was under the impression that he had written it himself. I found out later that it was written by a guy called Kristopher Roe and originally recorded by the band he fronts, the Ataris, who I remembered from a few years ago when they did that version of Don Henley’s Boys Of Summer. The song by the Ataris that I’m referring to here, though, is aptly entitled Ben Lee, and the lyrics are as follows:

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Posted in Blog, Music

Random Musings About Great Britain

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June 29th, 2008 Posted 11:05 am

Well I’ve been in this lovely country now for about four days and as much as I miss Australia it’s so amazing to be on the other side of the world experiencing a different culture! So I’ve sat and compiled quite a list of random observations and things I’ve learnt that make this place what it is 🙂

* 99% of houses are built out of either stone or brick
* If the streets aren’t narrow enough, the footpaths are even narrower
* Massive traffic lights. And they go yellow agan before they turn green
* Big white-on-blue arrows to remind you which way you turn around a roundabout (presumably so Americans know what to do?)
* If you ask for a large cappucino, they give it to you in a soup mug. Don’t ask for a muggucino cause they don’t know what that is
* Strawberry picking is a very popular pasttime for locals on a Thursday afternoon
* They sell alcohol in grocery stores!

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Posted in Blog, England, Travel