Monday, November 30, 2009

1997


I have been flicking through my 1997 work diary. It was mostly for work but I drew in it and wrote personal notes as well. Brooded about my 7 or 8 relationships with women that were all not going quite how I wanted. I am amazed looking back at it how many lunches and dinners with friends there were, three or four every week. I fished pretty regularly. I was hard at work on the big pencil drawings that turned into my last real exhibition in 1998. I played soccer, and coached an under 13 team. I actually retired from outdoor soccer at the end of that season.

I also quit my job of five years at an ad agency. There are lots of rough drafts of memos to my boss. He was a mega-rich Sydney ad man who retired to Tasmania, then took over the terrific place where I worked and used it as a plaything.

My brother in law died in December 1996, and that overshadowed 1997, probably more than I realised. I drove up to the coast to spend time with Jacki and the kids as often as I could through the year.
Jan 4 Bought Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh. On the way home ran into Robbie. Walked down to Taste of Tas, had beers and seafood, perved [...] Then pool and beers at Freemasons. Up to Manuel and Nadia's for tea. We made a movie - cutting out heads, hinging mouths, trolling eyes, moved them around with wire - filmed on a video strapped to stroller sitting on top of coffee table.

Jan 12 [Writing in Scots dialect due to reading Trainspotting] Up breet and early to work on the car. Went and played tennis with Sonny, Phil and Bugs. Served like a champion but court coverage pretty piss poor. Painted some more the evenin', Robyn the alky came and watched for a while - bled all over me. Hope she's no got HIU or Hep or anything. Fetched her a bandage.

Jan 22 [From memo to boss] ...Tranny arrives. It was not shot in such a way that it will slot into existing layout. We do our best with it, it is presented. Client hates it.

[I liked to leave post-it notes on people's cars.]

Jan 29 New theory, or new metaphor: girl problems are like a flock of sick sheep. You need to do an autopsy on one [relationship, not girl] to understand the problem. Which one to autopsy, that's the choice.

Jan 32 Caught 3 cod before work at Shag Bay. Used steak as bait, handlines off rocks. Late for work of course. Barby tonight. [...] Barby v. nice. Cod mushy. Made mussel kebabs.

Feb 14 [Manuel's birthday party, weekend in the country]. Caught biggest fish of my life off Southport Jetty.

Feb 15 Played tennis dressed as Capt. Bligh, with Manuel, Mark and Robbie (dressed as witch doctor).

Feb 22 Sam [niece then 6] woke me up every 20 minutes, with drawings. Dad was bitten by ants at Henrietta, five times, pretty crook.

Mar 2 Up about 6am to get at the fish. Nick caught 3 small whiting and threw them back. Both hungover as hell [...] Walked around Dodges Ferry for about an hour. Favourite house: 3 Three Street.

Mar 8 Totally fish free trip with Nick to Cradoc, Lymington, Woodbridge, Kettering. Took Brin [nephew then 5] to Robbies, watched footy and ate marinara with Rob and Manuel.

Aug 6 Melbourne job offer from Mark Grey.

Aug 20 Reasons for quitting [...] Current volume of work is probably not profitable but enough to cripple the studio working at full capacity. Expectation that we will work unpaid overtime for ordinary heavy workload is unfair. Lied to and patronised on issue of computers.

Aug 21 I quit.

Sep 8 1st day at G3 [where I work to this day, for the same boss, after a few name changes and ownership revolutions]

Sep 20 3-0 loss to Phoenix in my last game [...] Disappointed in the result, but also in the effort of some of the guys and in their mental toughness, lack of it. They gave me 3 cheers for my retirement.

Dec 19 Drove up to Devonport with Damo and Leigh for skydiving debut. Lovely warm evening, watched Devonport do blockies in their Commodores.

Family update

Marcus has been in 2 national maths competitions this year. He was given a distinction in the first one, and the other day we heard he pinged a High Distinction in the 2nd one! That puts him in the top 1% in the state for Grade 3. And he's the youngest kid in Grade 2. His teacher showed me a Grade 5 maths test she gave him this morning - he got 98%.

Down at the Gifted Association they say that a truly gifted child is not simply capable of managing at a higher level; give them work from a grade or two above and they will knock the ball out of the park.

So I have taken a few steps back, looked at Marcus with fresh eyes, and said to myself - he is gifted and we have to stay awake to this, and keep bringing him fresh challenges.

Michael said he would only get out of bed and come up to breakfast this morning if I carried him. I was happy to do this as I will take any chance I get to give him a good squeeze. Halfway up the stairs he said I also had to say our phone number. After I reeled it off, he repeated the last 4 numbers and said "that's the chorus".

My younger sister Sally is about to do something that the boys will never achieve - she's giving birth in April! It's really exciting news, we can still hardly believe it. Sal and Matt are dedicated contemporary artists (picture computers, latex, gravel and guitars - not so much the palette, easel and beret) and up to this point their total frugal dedication to the Big A has seemed incompatible with parenthood. But they have lots of friends who are artist/parent equally, so I know they can do it too.

Elf's 40th birthday is coming up. She is planning a cocktail party, and has been in touch with a Cocktails Contractor. This interesting older lady (who admits she likes to combine work and play) left this rather racy book with us, from which to choose a few recipes. At some point one of the nieces drifted off downstairs with it, studied it carefully and left this note nearby.


Obviously, apologies to all family members mentioned in the same post as this lurid though dated bit of soft porn.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Wet Saturday (no.1 non-exciting headline of all time)

Elf gave permission for the boys to wear pyjamas all day. The cricket is on TV, the puzzle books are out. I'm going to do a little bit of sewing.


Friday, November 27, 2009

We need to kill some baddies - let's have a webinar


I don't usually blog about work, mostly because my work is pleasant (can't whinge) but not very funny (can't turn into humorous anecdotes). Today however, I am mocking up a webinar! Which is ridiculous. I am just taking a break from mocking it up to spend some time plain mocking it.

What is a webinar I hear 98% of you ask? It is a web seminar, a live conference on the internet, usually with one presenter and a number of participants. We are going to be making our e-safety material avail... zzzz. Oh, sorry. I fell clean asleep there for a second.

Anyway. It uses an Adobe software product, and I am trying to learn to use it. The demos mostly have bright sensible businesslike meetings between pleasant Americans of all colours and creeds, working out how to leverage sales or what is the difference between romanesque and gothic architecture. And so on.

One of the demos, however, is a virtual meeting on a battlefield in Iraq. The meeting notes pod includes "request airburst fusing on all targets" and "AAA being supressed by friendly forces". The live chat pod features a discussion about blowing up a car with a missile.

CAOC: SERVICE TARGET NOW!
Reaper 11: roger

Apparently, this is how killing actual enemy humans happens now. Nice euphemism in there too.

Monday, November 23, 2009

I name your netball team

I once discussed "netball team names" on the blog. Ever since, this has featured very high in my Google search hits. I just Googled it myself and the Diary is currently 26th in line. Still pulling in a lot of visitors though. many of the top hits are discussing a team from New Zealand that was forced to change it's name when someone objected to The Master Baiters.

Obviously there's a relentless worldwide (or at least Commonwealth-wide) search for good, non-smutty, "different" names. Netball is of course played by womens', mens', and mixed teams. A good list of names will need to appeal broadly. I give you then a list of 25 names I (as a popularly elected netball team name expert) think will equally bemuse people of both sexes and all ages. Of course you can also take these to use for your rock band or racehorse.

Please drop a note in the comments if you are adopting a name for any reason. Oh - I'll even throw in a free logo.

Barcode Barney
Captain Spout
Cold Whelk
Float Spokes
Easy Wizard
Ink Suds
King Edwards
Little Whigs
Mouse Listeners
Norman Mayday
Normal 9
Princess Parsley
Sack of Rome
Shark Padres
Spool Whippets
Soda Doubles
Teacup Pigs
Thought Balloons
Tooth Dentists
Towel Tigers
Valve Magnet
Weddell Seals
Windscreen Gypsy
Yurt Demon
Zebra Cheese

Motivational plod music

The plan was that at least four of us from work were going to do the Point to Pinnacle together yesterday. Our boss, Steve, had a heart operation earlier in the year. He is now a new man, walking everywhere, a bit like a hobo - a fit, tanned film-making hobo. Some of us underlings were going along on this challenging walk to encourage, needle and if necessary, carry the great man.

In the end no-one but me managed to get their application lodged in time. Was this "plan" just a big con to trick me into struggling up a mountain alone on a Sunday morning? Possibly. Anyway, once I found Marcus's iPod that had been missing for months, I was quite pleased to be doing the walk without company, just a few podcasts to pass the time. No-one to try to keep up with or try not to leave behind.

It all went fairly well. I aimed to get to the top in 3hrs 40mins, and missed that by about 12 minutes. The last 2km were a bit painful. I knew there was a good chance one of my soccer injuries would come to the fore at some stage, and this is when it happened. It's actually a flattish part of the course, so I never felt like I wouldn't finish, but I wasn't able to surge at the end like I'd wanted to.

I got sick of podcasts after a couple of hours. I chose this song to play on repeat (to get me from The Chalet to Big Bend) because it is a real march. After a while I realised the lyrics were quite appropriate, although there was no "ice and snow" this time. I had to can it after about 6 repeats, not because I was sick of it, but because I just couldn't keep up with the beat any longer.

video

Beirut - The Gulag Orkestar - Postcards from Italy
< Click here to buy the track or album on iTunes. Its ace!!!

We were squeezed into buses to take us back down the mountain. I was terrified my legs would cramp and I would have no space to straighten them out, but that didn't happen. I had had to park some way from the start point, and probably the hardest part of the day was dragging myself and all my stuff through the rain, uphill (again) back to the car. Sort of a preview of being really, really old.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Michael looms over Tasmania

Michael asked nicely if I would get the relief map of Tasmania down off the wall. He then played with it for about an hour. Note: even when it is face down he can name the lakes and islands by the inverted flat bits/bumps. Hey - do you like what I'm doing these days with the little writing?

Up

This morning I walked (with about 800 others) from Sandy Bay to the top of Mt Wellington, about 21km, all uphill. Its called the Point to Pinnacle. Took me nearly 4 hours. I might have more to say about this when I have regained the use of my legs.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Quotations from MJR

Michael: I know what 365 plus 365 is. It's six thousand, one hundred and twenty ten.

Michael: Do pirates drive cars made of wood?

This morning Michael got into bed with us, and at some stage he put his hand over my mouth.
Michael: Say "hello"
Me: Huhluhf
Michael: Say "bed"
Me: Behff
Michael: Say "croissant"
Me: [undignified but muffled sniggering]

Disclaimer: The croissant is not a frequent visitor to our table. It was not what I was expecting from the 5 year old at 6:15am.

Recent works by Marcus

Marcus has been drawing more often lately. I really like these very bright, slightly Aztec looking ones. He describes them as "just things that are in my head". When pressed he offered "alien", "face" and "not sure".


Friday, November 20, 2009

Pants of truth

A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on - Attributed to Winston Churchill

For what reason would truth have been sitting around without pants? I think truth was about to go out, noticed a sauce stain on the pants, sponged it off, then threw them in the dryer. Truth probably gave them five minutes on Hot, just reading a magazine to kill the time, then put them on all hot and steamy. Youch.

What kind of pants would truth wear anyway? I think perhaps a no-fuss lightweight flannel peg-top slack. In summer, creased shorts with walk socks.

Obviously the lie is able to steal a march on truth for this simple reason: lies don't wear pants.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hobart, 4:59 Thursday


See Hobart from the point of view of a bored kid in a classroom on the top floor of Rose Bay High School.

Sold




I am very excited to have sold a drawing from my 1998 exhibition, 11 years on! Its a surprise birthday present. In case the recipient is tuning in, I can only reveal weeny snippets.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Disappearing the back fence

Stuck on black paper circles. I can tell you its very therapeutic to walk around putting "holes" in things. Try it.

Holes cut, and fence painted dark green. Also the beginnings of grassy camouflage pattern.


A bit more grassy camouflage. Still definitely a fence. I will continue to work towards a fenceless look. Maybe we should consider a moat, or even a ha-ha. They are due for a revival.

Bird news

This magpie walked in the back door the other day, and started eating bits of cornflake under the breakfast table. I think in another life he did real estate valuations - he gave the whole place a good going over, pretty much like he owned it. Ignored Hattie the cat in a fairly haughty way. After about five minutes he'd seen all he needed to and wandered out the front doors.

These guys stayed outside, thank goodness. They are pretty destructive, so I don't particularly want them around the house a lot, but it was very amusing to watch Hat's reaction to having three cat-size birds trying to psych her out.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Having it both ways

I don't know much about utes or small business. But I thought this was suss.

Saw an ad on telly last night. Starts with a bloke sitting in a chair, pretending to answer the question "What do you want for Christmas?" One of those genuine, I'm-not-an-actor-at-all, regular looking guys. Honesty - the whole thing was just dripping with honesty. In a self-effacing way with a wry grin he said "Well, less work... more fun".

Then it turned into an ad for the new Ford Falcon ute. Hey! Whoooo! Loads of V8 fun! Zoom! Zoomy zoom! Great if you like that kind of thing. Look at this guy, wind in his hair, he's left his troubles behind and he's just gunning it down a country road. Good on ya, fella!

Then a big graphic drops in and a matching serious voiceover says "Hurry - 50% government rebate when you supply an ABN number, runs out soon!". So how does a business-only deal on utes equate (legally) to less work/more fun?

Australia's biggest scam - busted.


On the left, Kevin Rudd - supposedly Australia's Prime Minister. On the right, Tony Jones, supposedly Australia's leading hard hitting political interviewer. Any night of the week, you can see them supposedly debating issues, supposedly getting a little bit cross with each other, getting "with all due respect"-y with each other. Except "Kevin" is always on a screen on the wall. never face to face. He's in "our Canberra studio" or he's live by satellite from "Tabekistan".

Come on everyone. Wake up! It's the same guy! And there's no such place as Tabekistan - I checked. It's a big scam - well "Kevin" - you're busted!!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Dogs' home visit

Yesterday we went out to the dogs' home to see who was in residence that we might want to adopt. It's out at Risdon Vale, past the jail. It's a fascinating place, actually. The dogs live in rows of outdoor enclosures. Each row is built into a bank of earth with grass growing on top (they were mowing them while we were there). The enclosures are very sheltered from the weather and insulated by the bank.

The mutts were very lovely, mostly pretty placid. There are tons of volunteers and a few paid staff, by the looks of it. Lots of signs everywhere instructing the volunteers "DO NOT LET KIMMY'S FEET GET WET" etc. I was really surprised by how strict they are with the adopters. First, it costs $250 - $270 for an average dog - if they are older there is a special price to make them more attractive. The prospective home is inspected for suitability, height of fences etc. I don't know if they do a background check on you but I wouldn't be surprised, they are very thorough. All of this is great for the dogs, of course. As Elf said, it ensures that anyone who walks out with one of their dogs really wants one of their dogs.

I was very impressed with the girl on the front desk. She was professional, that's all. She knew her stuff, no nonsense, no luvvy-wuvvyness. I think she said at one stage "there's not many out there now but this time last week we wuz chockers", but this was a smart cookie. Well done Dogs' Home I say.

We did not find the dog of our dreams. We will try again in a few weeks maybe. We also dropped in to the RSPCA to see what they had. Their dogs are either boarders not for adoption, or real tough cases, for people with tons of space, time and patience only I would guess.

The RSPCA is also the home of Jim the Donkey (sponsored by George Self Real Estate). As we were leaving, Michael was in a bit of a strop for for some reason. Elf had just the thing to distract him from his worries. "Hey Michael, look at the donkey's penis!" she said. Well, it was impressive.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Soccer / discus / fence hijinks

Indoor soccer resumed last night after a three week rest. Last roster we played in the top division, where we don't belong. We won 1 game from about 10 and finished second-last. We are now back where we belong in the softy division. Last night we conceded the first two goals then came back to win 8-3.

Marcus did very well at Little Athletics today, with PBs in 70m and 200m sprints and the discus. His previous best discus throw was about 8m, and today he launched it 3m further, a big effort. Michael is now too old for the toddler race (scene of occasional glory last season), but so far he has not been interested in signing up for the Under 6s. Despite this, when he is there with me, he is constantly asking me to race him here and there. Today after the competition was over he wanted a go with the discus. At home this afternoon he was practising his long jump into a patch of dirt. I will keep the cajolage going and just see how we go.

I had a plan to cut holes in the new back fence. Elf was about 90% against this for various reasons. I wheedled her back to about 80% against, and that was enough for me. I borrowed Nobody's circle cutter this afternoon. I made 4 quite neat holes in the fence before I broke the shaft of Nobody's circle cutter. (if you are reading this Nobes, I am on my way to K&D right this second). Anyway, this is a minor setback. Tomorrow I will resume cutting holes, then I am going to paint the thing green. Then I am going to get in amongst it with a paintbrush and a variety of darker and lighter greens, and give it an all-over grassy texture. If it doesn't look great, I will just photoshop it and post it here as it was supposed to look. It will be all grown over in a year's time anyway.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Zebra cheese in the news

Worldwide interest in zebra cheese: steady.

Rosalie Gascoigne

I can’t paint, I can’t draw and I can’t weld, but I can see an empty space and I know what to put in it. - Rosalie Gascoigne.


I was just prowling the library for an art book to take home along with my reading, when I found one about the late Rosalie Gascoigne. Wow! I had forgotten how stunning her work is. The really striking pieces like those above are made from sawn reflective road signs. There is a wide variety of materials and colours but generally she worked with discarded man-made stuff found in the landscape, but not part of it.

She is represented by Roslyn Oxley 9 gallery, which has a big web gallery of her work.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Scout and Michael

Michael's good friend Scout and her family came up for morning tea yesterday. She and he have a lot in common, and it was great to get a chance to watch them working off each other over a few hours. Before she arrived, Michael made a "love-o-scope" for her. It was a sheet covered in love hearts and "I ♥ U" then rolled into a cylinder. When you look through it it tells you if someone is lovable or not. Elf passed. Marcus was apparently even more lovable. I was "a bit" lovable.

Scout's parents Paul and Phoebe are illustrator/animators, recently moved to Hobart from Bowral, NSW. They are really nice people, and it was pleasure to just hang out awhile. Elf made florentines, which were delicious but very solid. She had made one giant florentine and cut it into wedges. Each wedge was about the size of a mobile phone, with a solid base of Cadbury Dairy Milk about a quarter inch thick. I think there's one left, I am just going to see if I can track it down.

Postscript: as usual Michael and I, and Paul and Scout arrived at the same time this morning at Prep. Both kids had something for sharing they were really thrilled about - Scout had a caterpillar and Michael had a map of New Zealand he had drawn, coloured and cut out.


Saturday morning jumpfest

At Little Aths on Saturday Marcus had his first go at the high jump. He jumped the low bar very confidently, with a really good technique. Once it reached above 75mm his confidence wavered and his technique got lost. Still, a great start. He was really encouraging to the other kids too, which is always so good to see. After a while I realised the kids were all doing it - clapping each other and geeing each other up. (Which is not usually the case). Something about the physical layout of the high jump, and the last-man-standing aspect of it, seemed to engender a new team spirit in the QLA Under 8s.

There are 10 - 12 boys each week. Marcus sometimes places 4th, usually 6th - 9th, and only once before has placed 2nd. The emphasis is always on personal bests, and there is no fuss made about placings, which is terrific. However, I was thrilled for him on Saturday at the triple jump when he finished 2nd behind the wonder-boy Ben A. Ben holds most of the u/6 and u/7 records and is now starting in on the u/8s. On Marcus's first attempt he jumped a huge PB. His next jump was longer. For his last jump they had to move the take-off mat back, and it was bigger again, but couldn't be measured as he had overstepped.

Jokes : |

On Friday night we fetched up at Imp and Ed's for dinner. Afterwards Karri and Michael were sitting together in one of the big armchairs. Karri is 8 and she likes to mother Michael (5) somewhat. She had decided to read to him, unfortunately from a book of jokes. They sat there with matching solemn expressions as she churned through the classics.
What's black and white and red all over. A newspaper. Why wasn't the teddy bear hungry. Because he was already stuffed. Why did the pony lose his voice. Because he was a little horse.
And so on. As they gravely demolished joke after joke, I was in fits at their perfect stone faces. At last Karri said "Well Michael, that's half the book. How about you go upstairs and play?" His face lit up and he was gone like a shot.

Michael teaches diagramatically about:

"Brain Training" by means of the Nerve Game

The bug food chain

The human digestion process. All of it.

The West Atlas oil spill off the Kimberley coast, Western Australia

Teeth

How Surtsey [an island off the coast of Iceland] was formed.

The snail farm



Some of the stock from Michael's snail farm. Silvertrail, Slugton, Slipy, Slimetale and Shelly.

Universe Poem by Michael

Stars & galaxies form & die
The sun is always shining
Spacemen go to outer space
I hope they say goodbye.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Gates


The back fence has finally been re-erected, 2 years after moving into the new house, and two days after its old friends the wattles were removed. I never pictured it looking quite this... bald. I want to cut circular holes in it so we can still see Michael scamping in the dirt, but Elf will not let me. Maybe we should have gone for pickets like at the front. Its all so obvious, now.


Meanwhile down the front the new sliding gate was finished today. Its got one of those little clicky closer things, which I can not get to do its thing. I'm sure its just me.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

I know this is not Twitter, but...


...I just ate a biscuit that tasted like Perkins Paste. I thought you should know.

Puzzlers


The boys were nutting this out cooperatively this morning at about 6.20 when I got up. Such super duper chaps, with brilliant agile brains. Even at 6.20am.

Not the greatest day

Yesterday, Marcus chipped a couple of teeth playing soccer, and one was loosened a bit. Elf took him to the dentist, and they have patched the teeth, but now we will have to watch closely to see if the loosened tooth discolours, which might indicate it is dying at the root.

Then, council contractors cut down the wattles giving our backyard shade and privacy. No warning.

Finally, I got an email from a client for which I am doing an animated map. I thought I had finished it, and I was pretty happy with it. Now they have decided they want it to be Google-Earthy, and use satellite images instead of the nice, clear, graphic flat colours I have used. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Swami Ramakrishnan Dog Grooming

As part of Elf's New Business business, I applied for an ABN, Australian Business Number. When I was entering Elf's name, I had a choice of about 100 honorifics, over and above Mr, Ms and Mrs. These included;
  • Abbott
  • Admiral
  • Baroness
  • Bishop
  • Count
  • Deputy Superintendent
  • Earl
  • General
  • Honourable Justice
  • Lord
  • Mother
  • Rabbi
  • Rector
  • Regimental Sergeant Major of the Army
  • Sister Superior
  • Squadron Leader
  • Station Master
  • Swami
  • Vice Admiral
I have a very clear picture of an Australian Tax Office waiting room filled with the appropriate vestments, robes, handmaids, moustaches and hats. They make small talk as they wait for a synthesised voice to call the number printed on the ticket clutched in their / their disciple's / their valet's hand.
Earl: So, Sister Superior. What have you got on the go?
Sister Superior: Well the Swami and I had that wood fired pizza place, went arse up sadly, but we had this idea about portable dog grooming. And you?
Earl: Yeah, books of vouchers, bit of advertising sold already, you know. Use the contacts. I see the Bishop is back again. Oh God, he's coming over. Hi Bish.
Bishop: Hi Roger, Janice. Wow. Thought I'd seen the back of this place when I launched the mini-golf centre. What numbers ya got?
Etc etc. Writes itself really.

Crazy domain bargains!!!

I have just registered a domain name for Elf's new business. I don't want to puncture the burgeoning street buzz by telling you what it is called, but it has "lady" in the title, and is nothing remotely racy.

However - while registering at Melbourne IT, they suggested I check out the sweet deals on some "related" domain names. Here are some of their suggestions, with prices.
  • arablady.com $2,144
  • ladiesjumpers.com $1,649
  • ladiesswimsuit.com $1,599
  • ladiesleathergloves.com $1,549
  • ladieswetsuit.com $1,499
  • ladiesgirdles.com $1,399
  • ladiesponcho.com $1,399
  • ladiestuxedos.com $1,399
  • ladiesleatherchaps.com $1,399
  • pirateladies.com $1,349
  • ladiestrousers.com $1,349
  • ladiessock.com $1,349
  • ladiesgolfpants.com $1,349
  • bookieportal.com $1,349

Ruth Frith & Helen Searle

I just read a fantastic story in The Age's Good Weekend section - its not online or I would give you a link. The World Masters Games were on last month in Sydney. All the usual heart-warming stuff has been in the papers, but I didn't pay it much notice.

However - this story is about a woman who represented Australia in the 1958 and 1962 Commonwealth games and 1960 Olympics, and she is still competing. Which is pretty amazing. But not only is she still shot putting and throwing the hammer... so is her mother. Who she coaches.

Helen Searle is 70, she is the daughter. Her mum, Ruth Frith (100), used to go along and watch her compete in the Masters in the 1970s.
"I used to sit in the grandstand and watch and everyone would ask "Will you mind my bag, Mrs Frith?" This went on for years until suddenly, at 74, I said "oh heavens, I've had enough of bag-minding. I'm going to have a go myself!"