If there’s anything or anyone more anonymous and elusive than the anonymous and elusive Voir of Voir Tales then it is a completely unknowable thing because Voir – like gravity or tinnitus – only reveals himself to one of the five senses. Voir is a thing that can only be assumed and speculated about. He seems to be everywhere all at once and nowhere at all.

Last weekend seemed to rise and fall like a sudden gust of wind. It buffeted Voir into my life and wrapped him around my head like a discarded plastic bag. After a struggle to free myself I turned to face the gale and puff! it was Sunday night all of a sudden. Voir was gone. And I was blown away.

It started at the Friday evening opening of the True North Arts Festival. Family friend Pauline – who stopped by our house to borrow some fondant – gave me a ride across Cheddar Road to the fully licenced and elaborate function held in the carpark behind Love Real Estate and Coles Supermarket. On the way Stairway to Heaven was playing on the radio and it was that very song I was quietly singing to myself, draped in the party wig my Facebook likers chose for me, when whoosh…

What follows is a pictorial account of my festive weekend with the fam and my encounters with the illusive Voir.





The Festival Launch Party was a ripper because of the music and the sixteen attendees who included the legendary blues musician Danny Walsh, a lady who was sleeping by the trolley rank and who was still there when the function was being packed up, twelve people who stopped momentarily on their way home from Coles to give their hands a rest from the weight of their shoping bags, and the Mayor of Reservoir, Gaytana Adorna, who was not only a really nice guy committed to the welfare of Darebin but is also great fun because of his name. When I said, ‘Hey, Gaytana rhymes with Banana,’ Voir laughed illusively and whispered something even funnier in my ear which is little too risky to mention on a completely un-anonymous blog like mine… oh stuff it. He said, ‘Cabana.’




I had a sing with the band – Soul Salvation Revue – who were awesome, and I’m including the GIF here despite RM telling me not to because I look like ‘A stinky flasher. Or a cold fisherman. Or John Farnham’.




‘Hey, aren’t you Danny Walsh?’ I said to Danny Walsh who was just hanging out, effusing cool into the party, and after a bit of chit chat I said, ‘I’m not sure I should do this but I want you to meet Voir of Voir tales.’

‘G’day,’ he said to Voir. ‘I don’t think I’ve heard of you?’

‘Of course you haven’t!’ I said, which caused me and Voir to throw our heads back and laugh like the Scooby-Doo villians Alberto and an unnamed accomplice while Danny just blinked at us, perplexed.

A little later when he said he’d never heard of my blog either it was his turn to laugh with Voir and my turn to blink and when I tried to change the subject and asked if I could sing for a little at his gig the following night he stopped laughing and said, ‘No’ in a way that was disappointing but still so, so cool.





I was just a tad hungover when I woke Saturday morning but keen as hell to get down to the festivals Edwardes Street Party which I knew would be bulging – to the point of overflowing – with culture and creativity.




Reservoir Mum and the boys and I were walking down from Spring Street when a random couple pointed at me and said, ‘Hey, where’s your wig?’ and so into my backpack I went to wake it up and give it a biscuit and by the time I’d put it on and adjusted it to look just right we’d walked another hundred meters and POOF – Voir appeared, like a magical leprechaun, to buy a sausage from the aptly named Carbeque. 



There was really too much to see and after a few hours of following the kids from the Makedo Cardboard maze to the free ferris wheel and the theatre sports and all the crazy cool dancers and musicians and I felt so dizzy that we had to crash in front of the centre stage to watch some of the nonstop acts and it was while the freestyle rappers were performing that Maki, the youngest of my boys, startled the whole crowd with his previously untapped potential for interpretive dance. Check him out!




It was while Maki was stealing the stage performers limelight that Tyson took the electrical tape off the coke-bottle-maraca he’d made at one of the stalls and sealed his mouth shut which I’m sure was a pre-planned demonstration/protest in support of asylum seekers. We were pretty concerned, as parents, that he was going to starve to death to make his point and he remained iron-willed and socially focussed for over two minutes until we managed to free him from his concern for others with the promise of a large slurpie. Phew!







All together, Archie, Lewis, Tyson and Maki spent three hours on the free Ferris Wheel and the repetition of watching and waving at them for so long caused my eyeballs to move up and down involuntarily like there were Katy Perrys appearing everywhere I turned until RM and I dropped the boys off at Nanny and Gramps’s house so that we could head back to experience the festival’s nightlife child-free.




RM and I got back to the festival at 8.30pm to watch one of the many musical acts happening in greater Reservoir. Our choice was Pool Hall Blues featuring stalwart and champion of the harmonica Ian Collard and the so-cool-you’ll-catch-a-fever-from-just-talking-to-him Danny Walsh. Check out this craziness. He’s playing his neon guitar on the bar!





I was just a tad nervous when Danny spotted me in the crowd because I’d been cyber-hassling him like a mega-troll, recruiting the Reservoir Dad Facebook Likers to go to his page and leave this message: “Danny, please let RD sing with you tomorrow night”. And didn’t they come charging over the hill all cavalry-like to support me! Danny was so effectively hassled and cornered that he actually changed the name of the gig to ‘Pool House Blues – Danny Walsh with Reservoir Dad’. When Danny finished playing on the bar I tapped him on the shoulder and he said, ‘Ten seconds of one song. That’s all’ and I said ‘Okay Danny.’ The photo above was taken towards the end of my third song. Danny is an excellent musician but I was a little annoyed with him because he kept playing what he called ‘original songs’ instead of the ones I was singing. For example, when this picture was while I was singing Sweet Child Of Mine and he was playing a song I’d never heard of. That’s probably why all but three of the crowd dispersed as if the bar had been hit by a tear gas bomb. All in all it was a great experience and something I’ll always treasure and I’m sure we’ll be a better musical duo once we iron out those few issues. Thanks Danny! It was a blast! (PS. You can find the music sheet for Sweet Child Of Mine here.)









We trudged on towards the Darebin Kite Festival Sunday morning and while the kids and RM were keen to fly some kites and talk to some of the local Greens politicians and pet the animals at the petting zoo I was hyperventilating over the possibility of meeting Voir again.

Had I been too over the top in my need to befriend him? Had I told him I ‘loved his stuff’ in a way that he might consider ‘gushing’? Did my laugh-crying at his jokes appear forced and insincere? Had I followed him into the toilets one too many times? Was I occasionally inappropriate in how I touched him? Did I copy numbers from his phone when he wasn’t looking? All these complicated questions have a common answer – yes – but as the kites appeared on the skyline I continued to hope above all hope that the wind would pick up and Voir would go POOF again to appear before me just one more time.

The day was a fun one but every encounter and every experience was infused with my search for Voir…


Voir? Were you in that elephant?




The expression on that little girl’s face made me think she’d seen Voir. I mean, why else would someone be that excited? The sudden explosion of raw joy was passed onto me like a contagious yawn and I was following her line of vision and mentally running in that direction with my arms out even before I turned to see that there was nobody there.




Hours passed and we had much fun and a plethora of frivolous moments but as the Kite festival drew to a close I had to accept that there would be no more sudden gusts of wind to bring blogger hero Voir back into my life and – perhaps coincidentally, perhaps not – I couldn’t get my kite up.



Iphone pics 010

But luckily RM and the boys could!



I’m almost certain that I’m not sure I’ll ever see the elusive Voir again and it is that near certainty that confused me so much that I kept visiting Voir’s website every hour from the time we returned home Sunday night and – oh my god – how thrilled do you think I was to see myself in one of Voir’s blog posts? Hey? How thrilled? This thrilled….


Please go to the blog post I appear in and leave this comment for me – Voir, please don’t get out an intervention order on Reservoir Dad. He’s nice.’

And if you missed the 2014 True North Arts Festival make sure you schedule it into you daily planner now because you’ll get to see some of the greatest entertainers in the world and become a better person on multiple levels but even more than that, if you’re really lucky, you’ll feel a sudden gust of wind and the slap of a plastic bag against the back of your head and when you turn around to face the gale and free yourself…