Wednesday, September 28, 2011

We went to the Ian Potter Centre of the National Gallery of Victoria this morning, and I liked the exhibition "10 ways to remember the past". One of the artists was Brook Andrew who printed anonymous Aboriginal faces onto metallic cloth in dark grey, making subtle comments about anthropology, White settlement and racism... quite beautiful.

The centre itself is quite striking: all strange geometric panels and pierced steel sheets. I like it but it looks quite mad across the street from a bizarre but imposing former theatre which has an odd combination of Art Nouveau(-ish) and Moroccan architecture!

My god(less) son Flyn infront of a telling piece of graffiti! I love the laneways with their strange mixtures of art plus bill posters...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I'm getting excited!

I'm off to Melbourne on Saturday! Two years ago my last visit to the UK was carefully timed to coincide with Impact 6 in Bristol... and this year I've been lucky enough to get a grant from Regional Arts New South Wales to enable me to go to Melbourne for the conference's first visit to the Southern Hemisphere.

I'm excited for all sorts of reasons: I've never been to Melbourne before; I get to meet up with Ronnie, Caren, Amanda from BookArtObject (two of whom I haven't previously met); I will be able to catch up with Sarah Bodman from UWE in Bristol AND Tim Mosely from Southern Cross University; I'm staying with my mate Willis and his family in an apartment at "Hotel Alto on Bourke" which I now discover is a swanky carbon-neutral hotel (v. posh) AND the programme looks really exciting! I can hardly take it all in... And did I also mention that BookArtObject are exhibiting AND that I'll get to see some fabulous art AND for once in my life I don't have to worry about the cost of getting there and back again? That has been such a relief... thank you, thank you to the wonderful people at RANSW who had some faith in me and were kind enough to give me a Quicks grant. Phew.

The past few months have just flashed by: first the intense effort of getting the show at Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery off the ground, then adjusting to the fact that dearest husband is now away A LOT (probably won't see much of him between now and February, *sniff*), then straight into a full-on recruitment process at darling daughter's school to recruit a Principal while at the same time applying for my TAFE job... and then on into the school holidays and Impact 7 in Melbourne... and so on. It has at times been a bit hairy, and I wonder whether that's the reason why I came down with a stomach bug on Monday and feel as if I've been run over by a bus. I NEVER get stomach bugs: the occasional bit of feeling off-colour, yes, and I do have IBS (not a lot of fun when that hits), but this is something else - completely debilitating and energy sapping. I've spent the last two days somewhat disconnected from reality and feeling rather sorry for myself, but I'm pleased to say I ate something this evening and feel heaps better!

Tomorrow I'm having my hair cut and have one last, big meeting at school and then... I can relax a bit and move on in my head. There's a bit of packing to do, some printing out of tickets and programmes etc., and I'd like to buy myself a little Melbourne map of some kind since I don't have a clue where I'm going (or how), but then dearest husband is catching an earlier plane home than usual on Friday and we're going to enjoy a nice dinner here with friends coming over before I hop on a plane on Saturday.

Monday, September 19, 2011

WARNING - not for the squeamish!

If you're squeamish about meat or you have strong views about vegetarianism then I suggest you don't read this post! Hit the back button on your browser or move quickly to another post... Look away now...

Why all the fuss? Well today dearest husband and I dispatched our first chicken... and I have new-found respect for poulterers because it took us almost an hour and a half to kill, pluck, gut and hang the bird, and it probably takes a professional about 15 minutes.

I can't say that killing our chickens was ever high on my list of priorities, but we were given an extra rooster by friends whose four eggs turned into four roosters instead of four hens, and he was so noisy that even darling daughter expressed the view that she was looking forward to eating him! Dearest husband grew up on sheep and cattle stations and isn't sentimental about animals. Moreover he made his pocket money ferreting, so he's dispatched goodness knows how many fluffy bunny rabbits in his time... He did the killing, and we both did the plucking and gutting. I've now had my hand up a chicken's backside and it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be!

I don't feel bad: if you eat meat, which we do, I think it's far better to eat meat you've raised yourself. Our chickens are organic and they are loved and well-fed, so I can be confident that we're eating good meat. Rocky the rooster had a good life, a GREAT view, and a very quick end. He's now on a plate in our cool room, waiting to be turned into roast dinner on Friday evening when dearest husband gets back from Sydney.

Thursday, September 01, 2011


We seem to be going back to the sort of weather we experienced when we first came to Coffs Harbour: lovely days, then spectacular thunderstorms and some rain in the evenings! Darling daughter has been learning about the Norse gods at school this term, and I'd say Thor and Freya just had a humdinger of an argument and now Thor's throwing his hammer around... thunder that was faintly rumbling way out to sea has circled back and I can hear it much more clearly now and see huge bolts of lightning grounding themselves just off Sawtell beach.

It's a mad week - again. I'm in the middle of a recruitment process at my daughter's school - again, and I'm also desperately trying to finish my BAO books and sort some things out around the house and do some gardening. The gardening keeps me sane! Our wonderful vegetable garden is suddenly full of little green shoots: tall, pale green sweetcorn; thick, fat heirloom pumpkins; fragile stalks of leeks and spring onions; determined little red beetroot leaves; and a host of other things as well. I find myself day-dreaming about the garden, and about the garden book I want to make for myself once I've cleared some other things off my To Do list. Do I want a hard-cover book or do I want to make myself a folder that I can add to...? Should I divide it up into the geographical areas of the different beds, or leave it as a stream-of-consciousness garden journal? How many pockets should I include, in addition to sheets of graph paper/drawing paper/tracing paper/writing paper...? So many options, so many seedlings, so many weeds.. so little time!

Ah... here comes the rain.


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