29 January 2012

Classic Cinema

I saw a film from 1954 - On the Waterfront:

Of course, the young Brando gives an entrancing performance, but the music is excellent. The genesis of Bernstein's West Side Story (1957) is evident in the score.

The Postcard Project

Good evening.

Still: Yellowstone documentary

This is a moose having a drink.

Still: Yellowstone documentary

If I had a pet moose, I would call him Zeus.

Postcards I have made and sent lately.

Involving a frog.

There was much jumping required to travel from Canberra to Albany.


Five business days to anywhere in Australia.


This postcard on the other hand went to my neighbours.

They live ten metres from me. The postbox is 100 metres away and it went who knows how many kilometres to be sorted and delivered the next working day.

The answer to the question is joy.

The hippopotamus drawn by Tibor Gergely in Animal Orchestra (Copyright Little Golden Book) was just very inspiring to begin with. I had no idea what to do next. The musical sentiment of the conductor reminded me of the finale in Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. My neighbours are English and German. It became an opportunity to write out this power-filled poem in the original language with translation.

Luckily I had told one of the neighbours I was sending a postcard. It was surprising, but obviously not inconceivable.

24 January 2012


The commonest item I see dumped curbside in Canberra is old CRT televisions. They will be fairly useless, unless hooked up to your Betamax player or the like, when the switch to a digital signal is complete.

For some reason, there is no hard rubbish collection in Canberra and you actually have to pay a specific fee for dumping these things. Although plenty of people seem able to afford a cheap new LCD television, no-one is particularly eager to then fork out more money to dispose of the CRT. When dumped, these televisions gather into small groups and demonstrate their instinctual herding instinct.

As a testament to say, rampant consumerism and materialism, you could build a wall out of them at least a few metres high, stretching for miles, but CC came up with a better, slightly more practical idea: using paint pens to decorate them with song lyrics and faces.

Seeing as they were dumped and had been there over a week, I don’t see the crime involved. Defacement of rubbish perhaps? In the balm of a daylight-savings lit Friday evening we sat down and got to it. CC executed her planned drawing with precision, whereas I felt the need to make it up as I went along.



While we were working, I said to CC, “This is making me feel like a hipster and it’s not a good feeling.”

The odd thing was that the televisions disappeared the next morning. I was surprised that a council ranger would pick them up on a Saturday, seeing they had been there a week already. Perhaps they were eager to prevent a fad from starting. The other possibility is that someone decided they would make nice objet d’art.

I can see they might look interesting on top of 9 foot perma-pine poles.

23 January 2012

Tech Support

This is what an annoying brother I am.

Having complained to my sister about getting spam from her old hot mail account, she tried to delete it and messaged me asking for help (in grey).


A few weeks ago, I was talked out of leaving this note next to the barbecue in my shared yard. I felt guilty too, because perhaps it was rude, especially depending on your sense of humour and/or English comprehension skills. It is really punny and if I hadn't written it, I never would have composed a proclamation for the flies either.

Yes. Someone did probably forgot a carrot while they were peeling it. So I claimed back the note, put the naked carrot and peel in the compost and left behind the peeler. Then, in the mood for cleaning, I swept up piles of dead flies that had expired at the entrance door of the complex over Christmas, encanting,

"Know this then is a passage of doom,
Fly not this way,
Or seal your fate at death's gate."

Of course the next day the maintenance man came to clean everything.

21 January 2012

Now with smurfs

Has any item,
before or since
the UHU stic,
done more to advance
the cause of craft
for all humanity?

Smurftastic powers included

recycled wallet



construction materials

20 January 2012

Not really a day for sleeping in with catfight outside my window @ 0530.

Bonsai forest detail, cypress

19 January 2012

Glow worms

Okay, a quick post before goodnight.

My Derwent metallic pencils got a workout on the weekend. They always seem to come in handy when insects are involved.

After a funny conversation with some friends, I decided to draw them a glow worm.

CC pointed out she didn’t know glow worms only had one eye.

“The things you learn!”

Preliminary sketches

The Public Service Part

In the maelstrom, the firestorm that has been evoked over the Capital by Public Service Circular 2012/1, ahem, yes, indeed; this is my Official Statement, before the Fire Department comes and burns all my books.

"Rumour?" writes dear reader, the author, "I read in a blog comment at Grog's Gamut, that an ex-employee found copies of his letters to the editors of various newspapers on government policy faithfully attached to his personnel file under an FOI request or some such years later."

Parteth the Onne

If you therefore are a Public Servant reading this in your performance of an official capacity of enquiry deemed to be in the public interest, not excluding because you are what could be broadly understood by the people of Australia to be a "secret agent", take further note next.

Please faithfully reproduce all written matter herein (in being this blog) faithfully on 150 gsm white A3 paper, with a 7cm bleed all the way round; photos on archival paper, A4, matte, unless their native resolution does not allow it.

For this I thank you.



Like it says in the Introduction on my Profile.

Parther the Two

If you are still a public servant reading this in a capcity that the public would deem to be in their interest, because you are at work, then you are a genius for having found this, like all public servants are geniuses.

You should probably keep reading this to reward your geniushood!

Just don't let them see you, because unless you are busy making my book, reading this can only be considered worky if you need creative inspiration, want to understand the meaning of the universe and everything.

Partest the Three

In which I save all my best jokes for later.

15 January 2012

Today is orange day


roasted butternut squash, corn, carrots


soup of sweet potato, more carrots and squash.

Outside is no sky to be seen.

01 January 2012


in Canberra and back to work this week after over six month off.

I am pretty worried about how I will cope with wearing shoes again, but am feeling positive about returning to a routine and being paid normally. I really would not have coped without the support of famiy and friends over the last six months.

My garden managed nine days of my absence well. Sure it appreciated a good drink yesterday, but I could see some species were doing better for a lack of water. The sun nearly slayed my rosemary, the only not succulent/cactus present, but it revived overnight. The weather was pretty mild over the Christmas period I think, but looks to be getting proper summer hot in January.

It seems obvious to me now that many of my specimens will not get any bigger due to the size of their pots. So I am heading out into the shared courtyard garden where space and my time allows. Pretty much all I have can go in the ground, which when I have a proper garden it mostly will. Also evident that I have overplanted some pots, so repotting into bigger pots and spreading things out will keep me busy for a while.

You probably remember the butterfly pot below. To me, it is mostly useless as a pot and looks much better on its end, so it is simply for display now. The other pot is quite new, finished just before Christmas. I still feel ambivalent about it. Literally it hurt my head to look at sometimes and the design is incoherent I feel. Still, it was a chance to try some new techniques and I incorporated a broken plate in the rough shape of a bird. The vision got a bit lost due to continual inspirations, no drawing of a design and making it over a few sessions.

It is very bright though and today after sealing the grout, I planted the cotyledon into it. The roots of this plant had spread to fill the original pot, even though it wasn't pot-bound. I have watched it getting juicy for a while. The plant I cut it off a few months ago in Ainslie must have been at least a metre by a metre. All the original leaves of the cutting are still going strong. Here is hoping it gets to show off more now and with size manages the look of the pot a bit better.

When I am planting, pruning, playing I often chuck leaves etc off my little balcony. It was amazing to see a tiny succulent had landed in a cobweb and started to form roots there. I have been potting scavenged sempervivums and echeveria above the soil and they love it because they can grow aerial roots easily. In fact, it is probably better not to plant them until they have formed these roots, but I can be impatient.