Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Photo of the Day - 29

The Acheron Way
Road between Warburton and Marysville
July 2010

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Photo of the Day - 28

Corner of Lonsdale and Swanston Streets Melbourne
Saturday 2nd October 2010.
The morning of the AFL Grand Final Replay.

Almost empty streets.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Photo of the Day - 27

Camera: SONY

This wall used to a fountain - a wall with water running down it. Photo taken in Melbourne 2009 before the Copenhagen Climate Conference

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Photo of the Day - 26

Melbourne Laneway
Photo by Erin
Camera: Nikon D3000

Friday, 1 April 2011

The quote on the daily calender today is: "The most wasted of all days is that on which one has not laughed" - Nicolas Chamfort. And being April 1, there were a number of laughs. I hid six alarm clocks around reception and set them so that the first would go off at 10.00, the next at 10.01 and so on. Louise heard the first go off, found it and called me to ask if it was me. "What was me?" I asked, and in the background I could hear the next one starting to go off, Louise laughed and hung-up to find the next one. I also made Dianne's mouse move in crazy motions. Ewan, Steve, I and a few other staff members received letters that were filled with stars and mine had a large, fake, purple spider. I think it was Louise. Vanessa convinced Ronnie and Barbara that she was quitting. At 11:50 I received an urgent email from Steve asking that I see him immediately, so I ran upstairs, but he was not to be found, I did a few laps of the building and then returned to my desk which had been decorated by Vanessa, Barbara and Dianne. I think they have managed to get me back from my efforts over the last two years.

Thursday, 31 March 2011


Sometimes I have a horrible sense of humour. In today’s Herald Sun there is a Q&A with Tom Felton who played Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies. On being asked “what's the biggest perk of being a Harry Potter star?” he replied with: "This is gonna sound really cheesy, but one of the greatest things we've been gifted with is we can go to children's hospitals and places like that and really make their day without having to do anything. Especially Daniel - I've seen kids literally wet their pants in front of Daniel! I think it's a priority that we abuse that and make the most of it." I’m imagining Harry Potter stars walking down the streets, causing accidents, and selling clean trousers. For the whole article go to: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/ipad/qa-harry-potter-baddie-tom-felton/story-fn6bn9st-1226031017470

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Photo of the Day - 25

Benalla Gardens - A Rose
Camera: SONY

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Photo of the Day - 24

The Big Friendly Giant - Set Painting - November 2009
Camera: SONY

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Shakespeare Reading Challenge - Hamlet

Nicki Greenberg has turned Hamlet into a beautifully illustrated graphic novel. And it still contains the whole text, as far as I can tell.

Before reading it I was wondering if the pictures would make the play easier to read, however I don’t think it did. It was a bit easier to remember who each character was, but often you didn’t have character names for pages after a character had appeared. I also think that a new reader to Shakespeare would be attracted to the book, but I fear that they would put it down after a couple of pages, as the pictures don’t drastically diminish the difficulty reading this mentally demanding play.

It has taken me many readings to get through Hamlet, and I finally finished it for the first time in Spring 2009. Many unsuccessful attempts made me think Hamlet pointless and dismissive of the hype around the play. When I finally finished it I found Hamlet interesting but I still would not recommend it to other people as I found it physically painful to read. Reading Hamlet again, I have been able to enjoy it more, and understand it better, but I still wouldn’t recommend people to read the dithering Dane.

The pages I enjoyed most were of Ophelia’s decent into madness and death. It’s a bit in the play that seems to dash past, but in pictures, having the flowers grow out of the page, breaking the story squares adds gravity to a serious part which zooms past.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011


There is a nice scene in one of Wodehouse's books which I am reminded of, but I can't find a reference to it on the web. Bertie Wooster is getting ready for a date and he is feeling rather anxious and flustered and he has a conversation with his butler, Jeeves.

BERTIE: Is there any spinach stuck between my teeth?

JEEVES: Have you eaten spinach today?

BERTIE: No, I just thought it appears like crop circles.

I hear Jeeves’s voice as the maître de in the original TV series of Hitchhiker. Finding the proper quote would be a good excuse to read all of Wodehouse’s books, but not today – I have important things to do.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Photo of the Day - 23

Great Ocean Road - December 2009
Camera: Sony

Friday, 11 March 2011

Shakespeare Reading Challenge

There are many different Shakespeare Challenges online. They involve reading from one to 38 plays in a month, or in a year. Competitions that are text focused, competitions that include acting, watching performances, or watching movies based on Shakespeare’s plays.

The Shakespeare Reading Challenge has a very tempting completion HERE. And what is nice, is that it has four levels:

1. Puck: Read 4 plays over the year, 1 of which may be replaced by a performance
2. Desdemona: Read 6 plays, 2 of which may be replaced by a performance
3. Henry V: Read 12 plays, 3 of which may be replaced by a performance

To participate, or not to participate, that is the question…

Count me in. I think.

I’ll have to clarify if “replaced by a performance” means acting or watching or either. Six plays over a year sounds sensible - I’ll strive for Desdemona and perhaps read:

Henry V
A Midsummer Nights Dream
The Merry Wives of Windsor
King Lear
The Winter’s Tale

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Photo of the Day - 22

December 27 2009
Camera: SONY

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Family Quotes

My grandmother on organising a new mobile phone:

“I didn’t ask for global warming as I’ve already got it.”

George on Australia’s performance in the Ashes:

“It’s a national emergency.”

Mum talking about her new camera:

"My camera is not to take any photos of coffee ever."

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Photo of the Day - 21

A Sign - I thought this had shades of ACC's 2001
Camera: SONY

Sunday, 27 February 2011

A Midsummer Night's Dream

I have not stuck to my diary of posting dates to publish all the best photos from my Tasmania trip as I've been busy rehearsing for:

STAG presents A Midsummer Night’s Dream By William Shakespeare Directed by Ian Tweeddale at the Strathmore Community Centre, corner of Loeman and Napier Streets, Strathmore (Melway Reference: 16 H 10)

Thursday 3 March to Saturday 5 March @ 8pm
Sunday 6 March @ 2pm
Wednesday 9 March to Saturday 12 March @ 8pm
$20 adult $15 concession $2 discount off full price tickets for groups of 10 or more
BOOKINGS 9382 6284 www.stagtheatre.org/reservations

HELENA: I am your spaniel; and, Demetrius, The more you beat me, I will fawn on you.

HERMIA: How low am I, thou painted maypole? Speak; How low am I? I am not yet so low But that my nails can reach unto thine eyes.

EGEUS: Thou hast by moonlight at her window sung, With feigning voice verses of feigning love.

LYSANDER: You have her father’s love, Demetrius; let me have Hermia’s: do you marry him.

FLUTE: Nay, faith, let me not play a woman: I have a beard coming.

QUINCE: You can play no part but Pyramus; for Pyramus is a sweet-faced man; a proper man, as one shall see in a summer's day; a most lovely gentleman-like man: therefore you must needs play Pyramus.

PHILOSTRATE. A play there is, my lord, some ten words long, Which is as brief as I have known a play; But by ten words, my lord, it is too long, Which makes it tedious; for in all the play There is not one word apt, one player fitted.

LION. You, ladies, you, whose gentle hearts do fear The smallest monstrous mouse that creeps on floor, May now, perchance, both quake and tremble here,

STARVELING: He cannot be heard of. Out of doubt he is transported.

PUCK. If we shadows have offended, Think but this, and all is mended, That you have but slumb'red here While these visions did appear.

MOON. All that I have to say is to tell you that the lanthorn is the moon; I, the Man i' th' Moon; this thorn-bush, my thorn-bush; and this dog, my dog.

OBERON. Ill met by moonlight, proud Titania

TITANIA. Not for thy fairy kingdom

SNOUT: Doth the moon shine that night we play our play?

BOTTOM: I will get Peter Quince to write a ballad of this dream: it shall be called Bottom's Dream, because it hath no bottom;

HIPPOLYTA: never did I hear Such gallant chiding: for, besides the groves, The skies, the fountains, every region near Seem'd all one mutual cry: I never heard So musical a discord, such sweet thunder.

THESEUS: Hippolyta, I woo'd thee with my sword, And won thy love, doing thee injuries; But I will wed thee in another key, With pomp, with triumph and with revelling.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Photo of the Day - 20

Benalla - 2007
Camera: SONY

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Cockle Creek and Recherche Bay

Southern Tasmania is beautiful. Recherche Bay, Cockle Creek… One of the many places that I would love to visit again…

Recherche bay is the site of the first scientific experiments on Australian soil. The French explorer Antoine Raymond Joseph de Bruni d’Entrecasteaux (what a groovy name) landed in 1792 and made a garden and observatory and mapped and named parts of Southern Tasmania, which has resulted in Tasmania having some beautiful French names mixed up with Indigenous and English names. Bruni d’Entrecasteaux’s ships included the Recherche and the Esperance.

One of the goals of Bruni d’Entrecasteaux’s voyage was to try and find the explorer Jean-Francois de Galaup, comte de La Perouse who was last seen in Botany Bay in 1788 heading off towards New Caledonia.

Recherche Bay

"It would be vain of me to attempt to describe my feelings when I beheld this lovely harbour lying at the world's end, separated as it were from the rest of the universe.”
- Antoine Raymond Joseph de Bruni d’Entrecasteaux

Beach at Cockle Creek

Cockle Creek is the southern most point that is assessable in Australia. The beach is beautiful, and when I was there the sky and water were beautiful shades of blue.

Cockle Creek is also host to a sad period in Australia’s history being a centre for whaling in the 1830s. A bronze statue of a Southern Right Whale Cub mourns for all the whales killed in the area. The whalers used to kill the cubs and when the adults heard their cries would run in to see what the matter was and then be killed as well.

Whale statue at Cockle Creek - sculptured by Steven Walker

“The next stop is Antarctica. And it’s not that far away. Standing here, you are closer to Antarctica than you are to Cairns.”
- Australian Government – Department of Resources Energy and Tourism

The southernmost point that you can buy food is Ida Bay. Where naturally I had a Devonshire Tea.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Photo of the Day - 19

White Poppies in East Tasmania - December 2010
Camera: Nikon D3000

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Tim Minchin's Storm

This blog has had a lot of photos as I post my Tasmania adventures. As I haven't written the next chapter yet, here are some WORDS on something completely different.

I received a CD from my friend Julian and on the CD was a particular track that I enjoyed – ‘Storm’ by Tim Minchin. Tim Minchin is an Australian singer/comedian, and a number of his songs promote science over religion. I think there is room for both viewpoints, and Storm is enjoyable and has some interesting points. Storm argues science over naturopathy, alternative medicine, and hippy culture, and is also derogatory about astrology. But it is the rhythms and the poetry of the yrics which makes Storm appeal to me.

Storm is a ‘nine minute beat poem’ where the beat, the tone and the words combine to create the setting.

Inner North London, top floor flat,
All white walls, white carpet, white cat,

Tim Minchin uses both words that rhyme and words that sound and feel like they should rhyme, but actually don’t, which allows the listener to ease himself into the story. The words give the listener a figurative comfy chair and a glass of red-wine as if:

to dinner we've come.

Imaginative combinations of words create fresh images within the listener’s head.

And when she says "I'm Sagittarian"
I confess a pigeonhole starts to form...
And is immediately filled with pigeon
When she says her name is Storm.

And every day references continue to create mood and understanding and sympathy towards the character as we think, yes, I’ve been in that (or similar) situation before.

And across the room
My wife widens her eyes,
Silently begs me, "Be Nice" –
A matrimonial warning
Not worth ignoring,

And try as hard as I like,
A small crack appears
In my diplomacy dike.

Using words in different combinations keeps the listener spell bound wondering what linguistical feats will follow, whilst enjoying the humour in the language and situation.

Storm to her credit, despite my derision
Keeps firing off clichés with startling precision,
Like a sniper using bollocks for ammunition.

And of cause I’m a sucker for Shakespeare.

There are more things in heaven and earth
Than exist in your philosophy.

Lend me your ear:
'To gild refined gold, to paint the lily,
To throw perfume on the violet... is just fucking silly.'
Or something like that.

From Hamlet and King John, but not only these passages felt like Billy the Bard, so I searched and searched and the only hidden Billy the Bard reference I could find was:

And if perchance I have offended,
Think but this and all is mended:

From A Midsummer’s Night Dream. But the sweetest parts of the poem is original Tim Minchin:

Twice as long to live this life of mine.
Twice as long to love this wife of mine.
Twice as many years of friends and wine...

Thursday, 3 February 2011

I want to laugh

I'm reading a book about anti-gravity. It's impossible to put down.

Have you heard about that online origami store? It folded.

I did a theatrical performance about puns. Really it was just a play on words.

Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Photo of the Day - 18

Launceston Church - December 2010
Camera: Nikon D3000

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Signs, Traffic and Things

Driving around Tasmania was a bit confusing; there were more signs telling you when a speed limit ended then telling you what the actual speed limit was. I spent most of my time driving around without knowing what the speed limit was.

Some people told me that the End zones meant to go back to the penultimate speed limit, some suggested to do either 100 or 110kh/hr. And in the south there was a sign that suggested 90km/hr.

And there were difficult winding roads, and I am a good driver and know what I’m talking about, where I was doing 90 and people would overtake me doing over 110. I guess it doesn’t really matter as long as you survive and don’t get a ticket – but I would have appreciated clearer signs.

I was driving through Barrington for no particular reason… ok, I was looking for a coffee… I was flying past and saw a very weird sign, it was one of those yellow diamond signs that tell you to look out for particular animals crossing the road. But this wasn’t warning me about kangaroos or echidnas. Flying past it looked like a dragon. ‘Hmmm… That’s odd,’ I thought ‘I’m pretty sure that there are no dragons in Tasmania.’

There was only one thing to do. I dropped a U-ey, parked the car and hopped out of the car for a closer inspection.

Which made me wonder how often do platypi cross roads? And why do platypi cross roads? Are they in the wrong joke or something?

To answer these questions I travelled to Platypus House at Beauty Point and they were quite surprised to hear of the road sign. But they couldn’t help with any existential road crossing monotreme questions. And I left thinking it was probably just a local who wanted a good laugh.

There are a number of interesting place names in Tasmania. Like Nook as pictured above, but I like this sign that has two interesting places.

I can image how the conversation went:

A: Does this place look familiar to you?
B: What do you mean?
A: It looks a bit like Kent.
B: Kent? Are you sure? Perhaps West Kent?
A: Yes, West Kent.
B: Well... West Kent-ish.

You can imagine my disappointment when I discovered that Kentish was named after a person. Perhaps his nose looked like one of the mountains in Kent…

And the other name is so awesome that I think that nothing else can be said.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Cradle Mountain

I’m not that happy with my Cradle Mountain photos – I think I over exposed all of them. They should be less brown and more green, and the water more blue. I’ve tried to play around with colours but with no success as yet. 300 photos ruined. Oh well, I’ll just have to go again.

I like the warning on the Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife Service website: “Visitors should bear in mind, however, that the wild weather of the Tasmanian highlands often shrouds the mountain in cloud”. I drove from Launceston and when I set out the entire sky was covered with cloud. and as I approached the national park, the sky slowly cleared.

This photo was taken from the top of a nice rock (which I’ve forgotten it’s name) and is a very nice place to sit and soak in the atmosphere.
Nikon D3000 – Zoom: 200mm

There is a Tourist Information Centre a couple of k’s before Cradle Mountain, where you can buy your pass to get into the national park, touristy stuff and a map, and a bus ticket. The shuttle bus takes people from the information centre to Lake Dove, and runs every fifteen minutes or so. It is much cheaper than buying a ticket for your car, and there is not much parking at the lake.

There seems to be two types of people who go to Cradle Mountain. Tourists who just want to cross things off their list and don’t want to walk or talk, and serious walkers who are pleasant to talk to.

There is not much to say about Cradle Mountain. It is a beautiful place. And I would like to visit again.

There are a number of walks that can be done. I walked clockwise around Lake Dove, then up the steep section past Lake Wilks to Little Horn and then back via Marions Lookout. This walk took me about four hours, but includes a good half an hour for lunch and a lot of time taking photos.

Kitchen Hut – I like the three doors.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011


Sheffield is the town of murals. Over thirty murals tell the history of the town and the surrounding area, and it makes it feel that you are walking in a gallery when you stroll down the main street.

Sheffield also has a shop called 'The World of Marbles' it has a studio where you can watch people make marbles - sadly closed on the day I was there - and thousands of interesting marbles.

Some made by people arround the world and some made by Tasmanians.

But bring some money - I brought one for $35 and it was one of the cheapest.

However in the back room there is thousands of cheaper marbles - ones which you could play with.

Sheffield also runs a mural competion every year, entrants are displayed behind the Information Centre. These two entrants to the 2010 competition were my favorite murals, including the murals around town.

'Turangawaewae' by Mark Spijkerbosch

'The Chess Board of Life' by Fereleth Lee

The previous winner also gets to be displayed for another year...

2009 Winner - Mark Spijkerbosch 'Fire and Life'

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Photo of the Day

Shop in Launceston - December 2010
Camera: Nikon D3000

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Senses Garden

Launceston has a beautiful city park. One of the wonderful aspects of the park is its Senses Garden.

It has the noise of fountains, the smells of beautiful flowers and mint and lavender.

And the textures of the plants were sublime – the hedge was unbelievably soft.

I thought it was a wonderful idea to build a garden for the senses and that every city should have places that cater for the blind or disabled and other parts of society.