A Very Ska-ry night

This post has nothing to do with environmentalism, nothing to do with treading lightly and certainly nothing to do with the oft quoted suggestion that “all those greenies want to send us back to the caveman days”. No this post is simply about a family having a really awesome night out.

We planned to go to WomAdelaide, the world music festival in South Australia but when push came to shove it turned out we didn’t really have the funds to do so. What we did decide though was that we would try and scope out some of the acts when and if they came to Melbourne. You can imagine our happiness when the Melbourne Ska Orchestra announced they were going to be playing at the Melbourne zoo in one of their ‘twilight series’. We saw these guys, who draw from the heyday of ska and influences like Madness and the Specials at WomAdelaide last time we went and they were fantastic. Since that day Felix keeps asking to go back to Adelaide to see them again despite, as their name suggests they hail from here!

So it was that at about 5:30 we jumped into the bikes and headed off to the zoo. We’d known about this for a while so some planning had been done. Carrots and cucumbers in an old yoghurt container, Pic 4tzatziki from the local store in one tupperware, some fresh bread from the local bakery, some fruit and a 1/2 chicken from up the road into another tupperware. The picnic bag went in as well with knives, forks, plates and most importantly wine glasses to be filled with champagne for us and the milk that was in the thermos for the kids. It’s been hot and still around Melbourne over the last couple of weeks but with a bit of wind from the ride it was really pleasant and 20 minutes later we rolled up to the zoo.

Bikes were locked up, the couch (that’s it in the front of the bike) and the picnic blankets unpacked and in we headed, with some amused looks from the security person checking our bags. We set ourselves picture 2up on the grass in front of the stage and got to the serious matter of dinner. There’s no BYO (bring your own) at this gig so we buy a bottle of sparkling wine there that the zoo has sourced from Victorian vineyards and from memory using organically grown grapes, and it’s pretty good.

The sun sets, the music starts we pack up the food and relax into a night of dancing, laying back and relaxing, visiting the meer cats and lions (which is quite different at night) and chasing the children as they run riot around the grassy space. The horns, drums and rocksteady rhythm suit the space and the vibe is truly good. It was definately amplified, but I wonder whether it really needs to be, there must be more than 20 people on stage and they are pumping our some seriously big sound.

When we are all well and truly danced out we wander back to the bikes and very casually ride home, enjoying the now cooler air and talking to the kids about all the stars that they can see. They’re pretty wrecked so they don’t talk much, they just ever so slightly lean on each other to suggest that if we rode for long enough they might just pass out on each other. We hit home slightly tipsy, tired and with a real serene sense that it’s been a great night.

Thankfully the kids finish the night of by going to bed without complaint and even sleep in until almost 8.

Day’s later it occurred to me as a neighbour started talking to us about “all the things you guys are doing” that he thought we were on some sort of self imposed torture. Well I hope this short summary of an awesome night can make people think that maybe a low energy future doesn’t have to be worse than what we have now. Sure it’s going to be hard and there’s going to be some bad times, but maybe with a change of thinking and some changes in behaviour we can end up treading more lightly and having more fun doing it.