Thursday, November 30, 2006


I am sleeping badly at the moment, coughing and semi-drowning in head-cold bilge. I had one quite pleasant delusion when I rolled over and glimpsed my collection of useless nasal sprays lined up - with my glasses off they looked like the minarets of the Blue Mosque.

I was battling to keep all this fluid out of my lungs all last night, and at the same time dreaming of work. I was convinced the choking and coughing was happening because I was editing a particular graphic symbol in Flash MX. There was some problem with that one symbol, something to do with a pointy bit at the top that was irritating my throat. [Flash is notoriously buggy software, and it's not that much of a stretch to think that a corrupted symbol could actually make you choke.]

After a while I decide it was Sally McAteer's fault - she had done some illustrations for the thing I am working on, and one of the symbols she emailed me was corrupt. That scheming minx! [This is in bed at about 3am].

Around 4am I realised I had been a fool. I wasn't even using Flash! It must have been something else on the computer making me drown in bilgey mucus. Maybe a font problem?

Around 4.45am I finally got to grips with the real issue. I am sick. It's nothing to do with work. At all. I am in bed. The computer is off.

Michael woke up at 4.55am and that was the end of my night.

More bowls with another Marcus

I went back yesterday for another bowl, with Marcus William Rees this time. He had a little try last season and loved it. All winter he was asking when he could go again. He applied himself very well, and his two best bowls came one after the other (seen here). He got within about 3 inches, and was very excited, My best bowl for the afternoon (over a bit longerdistance) was pretty much 3 inches off too, and he was very happy to announce that it was a draw.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The schoolboy's first school photo

Look at this beautiful boy! We are so proud of him.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Hijacks 13 d The Bowling Shanes Prem. Def. 10

We lost our first end, (as usual). We romped back into it, taking a 7-1 lead (as usual). We had a little wobble (as usual) and gave them a sniff at 7-5. What wasn't usual was that they took the game right away from us, and we failed to reel them in.

We were one shot down going into the last end. Even Marcus William Murphy [filling in for Dean], the most relaxed man in Southern Tasmania, felt a little tense. Hunter [who has settled in as regular skip] was sending contradictory smoke signals from the far end.

Hijacks' lead sent down a long, long jack, and followed it with a great shot that just touched it and moved on a little. My shot was pretty good but not good enough. His second was almost as good as his first, and they held two shots. I decided I needed to use force to wedge us back into it, and proceeded to completely duff my second shot. It thumped into the back wall way off beam. Dave and Marcus sent down four well-aimed but unsuccessful shots. We were three down by then. Hunter drove and cut it back to two. His second drive was close, but no banana.

Hijacks bowled well all night, and as soon as their luck turned they proved too consistent for us. It was the loss we had to have. Perhaps it was complacency, perhaps it was the absence [at the Gabba] of our gritty No 3 Dean. Marcus gave his all in the Shanes cause, and cannot be faulted. His second shot for the night was his best - see the blue/yellow bowl below. All we can do is learn from our mistakes and get back on the bucking bronco that is Twilight Lawn Bowls. If we don't master its awesome power, it could destroy us.

Lazlo Steigenberger

Will this video link bizzo work? Let's see shall we?

Mr Sunshine

Hello all, I'm feeling bright, perky and gald to be alive! That's better isn't it? Thanks to everyone who gave me a slap around the head and cheered me up.

We finally had a weekend of fair to good weather, so we went to the beach three times. Nick and Anna, Lily and Katherine came by on Saturday morning and we took them for a walk down to Boronia Beach. Well, we drove to the top of the track, then we walked. Everyone agreed it's a beaut little beach, not least because there are shady trees along the back of it.

Later Marcus and I went for a long walk down to the main beach, right along to the rocks at the Browns River end, and home again. Elf and Michael came down to find us when Michael woke up from his nap. Elf was so confident she would find us she didnt take her house keys. They did not find us, Michael refused to walk, they struggled home and amused themselves in the backyard until Marcus and I returned. We took an extra long time as we had found some excellent rock pools and couldn't tear ourselves away from the crabs, seastars, anemones and sea snails. Also we had a swim, and Marcus's first encounter with reasonable size waves at a reasonable depth went very well. He was very brave (for him). I have 99% convinced him to have swimming lessons.

On Sunday we had a party in the Botanical Gardens for Marcus's mate Ruben (no E). That went off very well. Ruben is a big fan of the Cactus House, so that's where they had his party. Marcus is a big fan of the Antarctic House (actually sub-antarctic, as the mural painted around the wall includes a rabbit). It was realistically cold and windy in there.

In the afternoon we drove to the rock-pooly end of the beach (everyone was very tired) and showed our rockpools off to Elf and Michael. Marcus ran up and down the beach like a loon and had to swim again. I was feeling poorly and couldn't bring myself to. Whatever the weather, any way you slice it, the water here is very cold.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Truck carrying house flops over going around a corner

Oh, and apparently the truck carrying half of our old house flopped over going around a corner a little too fast down near Carlton somewhere. Had to get a crane to get it back on its wheels again. House a bit squashed here and there, but no harm done eh? She'll be right. A few broken windows? Lets in the lovely breeze on these muggy evenings.

Sick as a parrot

No blogs. Sick as a dog and/or parrot, whichever whinges more. Deafened by silence in response to house moving photos that I (myself [personally]) thought were staggering. Having a little sulk. Hmm. Time for another nasal congestion tablet.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Now we're getting somewhere

xxx Cascade Rd is now a vacant block. We took the boys up for a look after work last night. They were very interested and not at all alarmed. Elf is extremely excited and just wants to spend all day sitting around in the dust, dreaming. The block does look quite small now. The outlook from the backyard is so lovely - it will be great if we will be able to see through the new house from front to back as planned. We have a similar elevated outlook from inside upstairs and especially from the front deck.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Its gone!

It was the wierdest feeling. There were a few scary moments, but it seemed to go well. Poor Judy was so anxious she threw up a few times in our back yard. No-one involved had a hard hat except the stop & go man on the road.

Unfortunately we had to head back to work before the 2nd half of the house was moved. More photos at

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Evil santa shreds with ukelele at the lawn bowls

I hope I haven't used that title before.

The Bowling Shanes Prem Def 21 d (Insert Name Here) 7

This was fancy dress round. We mustered two Santas, a formal black tie with novelty moustache, and a "70s pimp" - purple polyester pants, basically.

And, that's all I can think of to say about bowls this week. We won again, which makes seven out of seven. We actually won the carton this week too. I found it hard to keep my concentration on the game last night - I kept thinking it would have been a lovely evening for a walk. I can't even remember the name of the opposing team. I think we need a loss to inject a dose of reality.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Oh my God!!!

This is the excavation for the crane to remove the house - the big stuff is underway. We had palpitations when we saw it.We didn't think they would be digging out quite this much. Our whole front yard is now someone else's "clean fill".

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Chonk pops the question

Elf's brother Chonk (Edwin) has finally proposed to Irma, the Swiss-Texan, and she has accepted! We may be on our way to a wedding in Switzerland! Or Texas. Next year! Or the one after. When the fog in the crystal ball clears we will be able to plan something. Hopefully the boys will be pulling in $$ as child models or chess prodigies or something by then.

In further news, the house that was our home will be rent asunder and trucked away on Thursday morning, 23rd November. We are going to be in position to watch some of it I hope. Will it scar the boys mentally? I really hope not.

And my mum and dad and my niece Pip will be arriving tomorrow to stay the weekend with us, which should be fantastic. As long as the snow stays away.

Boring Blunnies

Elf reports: I told the Marcus that I'd bought a Christmas present for him and Michael [a little trampoline - shhhh.] He looked quite pleased and didn't ask anything. Later, when we were leaving Tradewear - having bought the boys' new Blundstones, Marcus quietly asked on the way back to the car...'Um, mum... are these boots our new Christmas present?' (sounding worried) - 'cos if they are - well, they're a bit boring' (he said boring in a very apologetic way).

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Boronia Beach

It's been a strange day. Repeated showers of hail all over town, and snow on the mountain in mid November. Its was 5° when Marcus and I drove past The Mercury on our way to swim (indoor, heated) at about 3.30. It's tentatively fined up this evening but still cold like the frozen-pizza-and-icecream aisle.

I've just been for a light post-dinner walk to the beach - Boronia Beach. Its beautiful! Very very small, hemmed in between rocky headlands. It is not far at all (I was there and back in 20 minutes) but there are a lot of steps down and, regrettably, back up. It takes some finding too, as you need to go down what seems to be a driveway for a ways before the gate and a sign appear on your right.

It is reputed to be a nude beach. I can honestly say I saw no clothes at all, but then I was the only one there. Hopefully if I continue taking walks on my own there I won't be arrested for lurking. I'll try to take a photo next visit.

Monday, November 13, 2006


I am feeling like a small endangered rat kangaroo today, and so I say (if you bend down to listen) - "eep".

The boys have been generally pretty excellent lately. They are having in-depth conversations. Marcus is always trying to teach Michael things. He has also had a massive creative outburst of drawings lately.

We have New Kingston Friends. Elf and I actually met Mel on a plane some weeks back. We went to visit her and met her Canadian husband Greg and her boys Mason and Dylan, who are about a year younger than Marcus and Michael respectively. They live about 10 minutes walk from us in Kingston Heights (ooh la la) - which although lower than our place, has a better view of the beach. The boys all played very happily, except poor Dylan was ejected from the room several times so I played witrh him instead.

They are top folks and we really liked their chocolate brownies. Incredibly, at their wedding their parents recognised each other. Mel's uncle had worked in the same office as Greg's dad in Colombo in 1955.

At large in St Kilda

The flu has given me a hangover without the fun drinking part. I have drunk litres and litres of water over the last three days. My body is trying very hard to flush out something or other. The glands in my neck are swollen and my throat feels like I have been eating large triangular things.

I woke up feeling not too bad, considering. I set off at 8 am to walk to my old place in Elwood for a look. I didn't take long to change my plan. It was, in all objectivity, a dull part of Elwood, and why the hell should I walk that far? So i just schlepped through St Kilda, enjoying the eclectic architecture, as far as the Elwood canal. Phew, the canal is still better in photos than in real life.

I skipped back to the hotel in time to meet Alex and Suparna for brunch. Fruity porridge on account of my throat. They are very keen to have kids, and we talked a lot about that stuff. I was showing off the award to them when I somehow poked myself in the face with it and drew blood. Then Roz and Mike and their kids Cooper and Kenzie arrived. Mass rearranging of chairs and dragging together of tables. I was carpeted by a staff member who said "Did you do this off your own bat or did you organise this with a host?". It's their way around the waiter/waitress thing I guess.

A man ran through a busy and complicated intersection diagonally, flat out, fists pumping, mullet trailing behind, carrying two litres of milk. He looked a lot like the guy in the 4 Corners doco on ice, the new scary drug. A little later a plodding, nodding, shuffling guy went past, in the same direction, with two litres of milk, with just a little bit missing out of it. He was less exciting and I suppose no-one is making documentaries about him.

Fitting right in so well I nearly missed him, Brown walked past gingerly. I hailed him. He gave me a few of the details of what I had missed, then went off to do Christmas shopping. Christmas day might be interesting at his place. Pink had already gone past looking credibly human, with his sister who lives in Melbourne.

The trip home was ragged but pretty uneventful. Beige had bought some fancy speakers with "signature yellow woofers" and everyone had to take turns carrying them. He cannot make any serious purchase on Tasmanian soil. I shared a bus home to Kingston from the city with a large contingent of facially pierced yoof who had been to a beer festival, and had cartons of Beers of the World to prove it.

Painting the town red with Mr Brown

How did the ATOM Awards go? Well, we left with one of the sharp little perspex fellas, but we were hoping for 2 or 3. We won Best Multimedia, for the Uluru - Kata Tjuta DVD. We had two of the other four nominations in this category, so that in itself was a pretty good effort.

Mr Brown commenced sinking beers before we even left the office. We reached Melbourne in fair to good condition. (Note, if you can detect a smug tone of detachment here its because I was on water all night on account of flu thing.) On board the plane I copped a brisk elbow to the head from a hostie during the safety mime show. Avoid 10C on the Jetstar Hobart flights.

When we got out of the cab in front of our hotel, Mr Beige looked up and down Fitzroy Street muttering to himself "where can I buy some underpants?" When we assembled at the George Hotel across the road for a few more nerve-settlers, Mr Beige had gone off to apparently "meet a friend". Sharpest dressed was certainly Mr Pink. Mr Brown says he looked up "lounge suit" in Wikipedia but still appeared in jeans.

We whizzed off to the glittering function, Mr Tan leaving the company Amex card behind the bar at the George. Inside the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Federation Square we met up with our Melbourne-based designer Ms Cerise, our former editor Mr Purple, and our receptionist Ms Magenta. We hadn't seen Cerise for ages so we filed past and kissed her on the cheek. I was told I was "slobbery".

We entered the cinema, raked at an alarming angle. The compere, Denise Scott, looked like she was at the bottom of a well. She amused herself making the artsy filmo types uncomfortable with some arse jokes then finally got on with it.

It was too stuffy and a bit boring for me, in my intolerant fluey state. Elf called to tell me Michael had used the word "magnificent" to describe a piece of LEGO armour, so I used that as my pretext to hang around Fed Square for a while, find a bottle of water and enjoy the warm evening. Mr Beige (looking very comfortable downstairs) was doing the same. Eventually we slouched back in again. Just in time to see us miss out on a couple of awards.

Thingo Media, with whom we are collaborating currently, won two awards in a row. Mr Tan seethed. Our smokers left en masse to seethe while smoking. We missed another one. I was busting. Finally came the Best Multimedia, and... fffffffah, we got one. If we'd dudded that one with three of the five nominations there might have been a scene. I thought that was it for our nominations, and rushed out.

Emerging from the stylish ACMI toilets (the only place without lively plasma screens), I met Messrs Brown, Beige, Purple and Tan, muttering and ordering drinks. I had missed our last chance, and so had we. There were only two nominations for Best Website, and we didn't get it.

Ours was Dust On My Shoes, a big budget whopper with ABC, TECC and Australian Film Commission money. It was my entire working output for about nine months, not to mention the masses of work contributed by others at Roar, original music written and recorded, travel undertaken across Europe, the Middle East and Asia... yadda yadda.. Very wide in scope anyway.

The winner was, by Jasmin Tarasin. Its a lovely site for a film production company, (much like ourselves). She has done very well to beat our site that simply dwarfed her project in scale and funding. We were glum about it last night but there you go.

Crumpler Bags sponsored the awards, and each winner was given a Crumpler with their pointy trophy. I decided we might as well make a statement, so I got the bright red backpack out of its polythene bag and put it (the pack) on over my suit. I wanted to say - "make no mistake, I am a WINNER".

We wobbled out into the night like the lost patrol at about 11 in search of dinner. We were a leaderless rabble by this stage, with Brown and Tan focussing on more drinks and only Beige lending me any real support in getting the tooth into some food. If I recounted the places we went you would not believe it plus it would be boring.

I aggressively charged into a Greek place that looked OK and had no queue. I had decided to cut myself loose from the pack. Everyone ended up sheepishly coming in and having Greek too. Then I caught a cab home. You can only drink so much water, and I was saving some energy for the morrow.

Unsurprisingly, Brown and Tan continued to go in hard, and flew home the next day without bothering with sleep. They were spurred on by Purple (who seems to have friends with "stuff" and "gear" in every club in the country), and accompanied until dawn by Pink. Apparently "sleeping and eating's cheating".

I had my best night's sleep in ages.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Lounge suits mandatory

I am off to Melbourne with my workmates shortly, to attend the ATOM Awards. I think it stands for Australian Teachers of Multimedia. We have seven nominations so I hope we will bring home a number of awards. I am suffering some kind of fluey thing, and plan to have a quiet and early night.

I had a terrible night's sleep, waking every 40 minutes. I was terribly cold all day yesterday, then terribly hot all night. The wierdest things is that a lot of old bumps, bruises and knocks from years ago returned to haunt me last night. I am alarmed to think these things don't go away, just subside and wait for the right virus or bacteria to thrust them into the limelight again.

My brain is working at about 3/4 pace, so I hope I am not required to make any sparkling conversation tonight.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The old house is looking amazing

Click on the title of this post to see a small photo album of Terry and Judy's progress. Lots of Lath and not much Plaster.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Bowling Shanes Prem. Def. 12 d Ride-on Bowlers (?) 10

Our scheduled opposition didn't show, possibly fearing they would be crushed by the Shanes juggernaut. Some likely lads who were just hanging around the place were welded into a fighting unit by Merv and took us on. They actually played very well, and we were in trouble at 0-4. We got back into the game, details elude me now.

We were one shot up with one end left. Their lead sent down a corker that stopped dead centre about a metre short. My first was a backhand that snuck in around him and carried the kitty away beautifully. His 2nd was a bit long and wide. My second was a forehand that nudged the kitty back towards my first into a beautiful ménage à trois. Probably my finest ever pair of bowls.

As usual, my work was given scant respect by those who followed. The lead is like a conceptual artist, and unless someone takes the trouble to document his ephemeral work, no trace of it remains at the end of the performance. My sensitive bowlcraft was blown away by a bloke called Nathan with full-blooded drive (at his 2nd attempt), but we hung on to take a point and the match.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

OId diary notes

In the moving process I found a diary from 1995/96. Here are a few entries.

22/4/95 [Christchurch NZ] OK Flight. Spectacular Mt Cook and glaciers. Sharing room with old japanese man. Went up gondola - dark, not great. Excellent silver tussock grass. Odd cars. Say "hooray" for goodbye. Bit worried about VISA. Choc and pumpkin muffin.

24/4/95 [Kaikoura NZ] Out of bed at 5.45. Must get alarm, I was waking up on the hour. Fought to stay awake on the bus here. Amazing countryside - very green. Double road tunnels. Surf pounding - gray day. [Later] Not a great day. Seal swim cancelled due to weather. Hired wetsuit - swim best forgotten. Cadbury chocolate fish. Dog in a paper bag. Late swim, saved the day. Long chat with 2 girls from Sheffield and 1 tall dutch girl. Bodysurfed in the dark - moonless, black sand.

25/4 [Kaikoura NZ]
Anzac Day
Kaikoura Bay
Happy Hours as Usual
blowing a gale
of rain and hail
but dress strictly neat casual

WHALE WATCH CANCELLED. To Picton - amazing clouds around hills. Paua patties $1. Most of town seems to be made of Hardiplank.

15/8/95 Picnic? Walk on the domain. Saw a goose on the roof. Very foggy - drizzling. AMP Building. Man blowing nose + shining (?) combi van.

3/?/96 First group meeting Nick, Anna, Rob, Manuel, Chris. Agreed to stage show in Oct/Nov. Venue undecided. Gen. theme - whimsy. R wanted Tasmanian Whimsy but was shouted down. Sally to join if she wants - and 'approved' as suitably whimsical. All agreed we hate the word 'whimsical'.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Marcus dressing up!

We recently had a breakthrough, with Marcus getting his face-painted. He used to object to it as he was worried no-one would know that it was him inside. He also let me dress him up for a grand final day at Friends - he wanted number 10. He's a bit small to be Greg Strafford, so he might need to be the previous No. 10, Nick Daffy.


On Saturday we walked with the boys the length of the beach to Browns River, and back again. I found a forked stick and dragged it behind me, making a "road" of two parallel lines. The boys followed it wherever it went, so I did loop-de-loops and wiggles and big curves. I exhausted myself first, of course.

There were lots and lots of yachts. The little sabots were flibbiting about with eight-year-olds at the helm. There were some bigger yachts with red sails, I think they are Lasers. It was very scenic. The Esplanade was lined with cars, but apart from the yachtsfolk there was scarcely anyone on the beach. Strange. People seem to drive to the beach, sit and eat chips and drive away again.

Mum reminded me on the phone last night that there is another little beach, that is actually a bit closer to our house. We will have to extend our explorations in that direction.

Drought and rock n roll profanity at South Arm

On Sunday we drove in a big circle to get to South Arm. We had not visited Jonathan, Monica, Lena and Elise and for a long time. Their place is very dry. The girls have a bath together in a baby bath, then they use the water on the garden. Jonathan's tractor has broken down, and is now parked just outside the picture window in the bathroom, providing an interesting rural view when seated on the toilet.

NIck and Anna and their girls had taken a drive to the country too. Nick and Jonathan and I usually go for a blokey walk around the property. I am hopelessly urban, and always score very badly on this part of the visit, but N and J continue to take me along with them. They are probably hoping I will learn to stand on the clover and not the vegetables. Past experience suggests they are wrong. Jonathan said that a neighbour of his commented that the soil is so poor there that growing anything is essentially an exercise in hydroponics. Hence the clover, which is green manure, just grown to be dug in to enrich the soil. Also - garlic needs to be in the ground earlier in winter than onions. I will read back over this blog before my next trip to South Arm, and perhaps also borrow a ute and dog.

After elevenses we all went along to the South Arm Primary School Fair. We had a pretty good time, but there was a teen rock band playing Metallica as we arrived. They were good, but that's not what I want to hear at a primary school fair on Sunday morning. A bit later they had moved onto Killing In The Name Of by Rage Against The Machine. I thought, surely they aren't going to do the part where they sing "F@&% off I won't do what you tell me", about eight times in a row. I was wrong, they did it loud and clear. Ahem.

Friday, November 03, 2006

I can't believe its not paint!

We got a big graphics tablet at work a few months ago, for a freelance film editor to use. Better for his bad back than a mouse, or something. Anyway, he's finished up now, and it has just been sitting around neglected. I am very slow at taking up new methods, so I have been looking askance at it. Just occasionally I have plugged it in and had a tiny play with it, but not for long enough to really see if I like it.

So I brought it home for the weekend and I have just broken through and got some results that make me feel like its worth persisting. This is a pretty terrible painting in terms of colour and composition, because I am way out of practise, but the painty effects I feel are really nice. It looks like it would take a while to clean up after.

This painting has a scan from a Russian dictionary in the background, and a scan of a coin print in the top corner, but is otherwise all digitally created.

Some art school stuff

I just found a folder full of graphic design exercises from Art School, c 1988. I was doing rough layouts with photocopies and watercolour. Them was the days.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Bowling Shanes Prem. Def. 13 d The Bowling Shanes A 6

Difficult mizzling conditions. Derby game against juniors. In the absence of Dave (buttock strain, 1 week) young Andy made step up playing against old team-mates, acquitted himself well in the big league. I applied some physical pressure to young Richie, skip of the A, with a shoulder charge at change of ends. Put him off his game for the duration - he is contemplating stepping down from the top job.

Hunter skipped the undefeated Shanes Prem. Def. as we established a 9-1 lead that was unassailable in the conditions. I bowled pretty consistently and was happy with my contribution, except that I stepped in and started removing bowls at what I thought was the close of an end, when there was one bowl left. I had moved one and was reaching for the second. I was on my way to the clubhouse to tender my resignation when I was called back and persuaded to continue playing.

So, the A have been tempered in the flames of a complete baking from the seniors. They will be a better side, and individually better people for it.