Monday, 23 May 2016

12th National CBCA Conference Sydney

First stop, Walker Books Australia in Newtown to talk about illustrations for 'Bird to Bird', an upcoming picture book. Loving the work of Wayne Harris.

Welcome Reception at Customs House, we walked all over Sydney, then climbed stairs to watch Friday night Sydney go about its business.

In the bookshop ...

 and the trade hall.

Listening to Mark and Terry talk collaboration at the conference and in Mark's office.

The Book of the Year shortlist was announced at noon (ish) on Friday. Delighted to see Sue Lawson's Freedom Ride there and thrilled to see 'Meet Weary Dunlop' on the Crichton shortlist for Jeremy Lord's illustrations. 


Making sure it's still there

At the signing table after our Non fiction session.

We shared cake to celebrate the 100th birthday of The School Magazine. Lovely to meet Alan Edwards who heads the team who have published my poetry, fiction and non-fiction.

The program may be finished but there's still some work to be done

Smoky Sydney

Directions to there

Even Jeannie Baker's materials board for 'Circle' is beautiful.

Watch out lighthouse!

Welcome Carole

Homeward bound.

It was a stimulating, rewarding, exhausting weekend. So many great speakers, events, friends, colleagues. Take home for me? The world of books may be threatened (by the current governmental report that suggests restricting copyright in so many ways and the removal of so many school librarians) but it is still full of passionate book people prepared to fight for our children's access to quality Australian books. 

Monday, 16 May 2016

Life is a mosaic, and then you dance

Can you spot the bird? 

I spent the weekend (well the days of) here at the home of Deborah Halpern, fabulous sculptor and ceramicist, and leader of our two day workshop on mosaics. I was familiar with some of her work before I knew her name.

This is her (and our) workshop. (the yellow top bin gives you some sense of its size.

Each of us would conceive, plan, build and complete a 60 x 60 cm mosaic piece.

Lunchtimes we had to suffer in this boring, non-stimulating environment. Are you feeling my pain?

There was nothing to look at.

Nah, can't keep going. As if being deep in the bush wasn't stimulation enough, the garden and surrounds were full of Deborah's work.

And did we work? Oh, yes we did. All day and into the night. But we finished! All seven of us. Below are pics of the finished works. Can you guess which is mine?


Oops, forgot to get a post-grout pic of this one, but how gorgeous is it? 

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Culturally speaking ...

... it's been a big week. Last night we were in the audience for 'Little Shop of Horrors', a show I'd not seen, although it was much talked about at the time. I'm not sure why, but perhaps it was because I was so taken with the film of 'Rocky Horror', which I saw first at the drive in ahem a year or two ago.

It was a very polished production, the set simple but effective, the puppet stunning and the singing and performances fabulous.
But I wasn't allowed to take pics in there, so here is the Melbourne encountered on the way back to the station.

Today while waiting for a friend so we could see the '200 Years of Australian Fashion' exhibition, I slipped in to the gallery showing 'Australian Watercolours' and photographs by Henry Talbot, a 60s fashion photographer. 

This John Bracks painting is from a series I think, and depicts part of the battle between pens and pencils!

I loved this Donald Friend still life, all wonky and wonderful.

To the fashion. I wanted to get some photos of fashion from the early 1850s, but this was about the only one that fit the bill. I stopped taking pics after this because I just wanted to look.

and then there was a fork and two knives. Yes, it might look like two forks and a knife, but that's not what my friend was sure she'd collected for our lunch.

Tonight is choir, rehearsing with a neighbouring choir.

Monday, 9 May 2016

Sweet and Sour

My dad is currently on a restricted diet which precludes many of the foods he loves.
 My contribution to yesterday's lunch was fruit, preferably some that he could eat. But when I spoke to him to clarify, he'd just stocked up on what he could eat, so there wasn't much point in adding to those.

So I selected as many usual and less-usual fruits as I could find - hopefully something for everyone. And surprise of surprises, he was able to eat dragon fruit! So I've expanded his 'safe' list by one. Win.

I even enticed some reluctant food adventurers to try some something new.

I loved the colours on the platter and the patterning in the pomelo (bottom pic) though who wants to pick out that many seeds? It was a delicate flavour, more gentle than many of it's cousins in the citrus family.

Pomegranite, pomelo and berry
delicious I think them, very
lunch was too short
for them AND a torte
at a lunch both pretty and merry


Friday, 29 April 2016

Grey Sky Blues aka The Sea Works its Magic

the beach today is grey
grey sky
grey sea
grey glass
and empty empty empty
rain spits at us
just a little
the seat is wet wet wet
in spit spots
but the sea, the endless sea
pulls us along the seawall
look closely
the reef is there, just under the grey glass
the sky is there, just beyond the clouds
the kayaker knows it
with his yellow tipped prow slicing through the morning
the swimmer knows it
with his stroke stroke stroke across the still water
the footballer knows it
holding his jumper above his waist
as he step, step, step, twist, twist, twists
the dog knows it
head up
head down
tail wagging like this is the best day to be alive

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Out and About

We took off today, into the sunshine of a perfect autumn day. I'd had a thought that there might be colour if we went to the right places.

And there was. There was so much colour.

Glorious, glorious colour.

Not sure how to describe this, but for two bob (or even less) my fellow traveller would have been inside fossicking about.

Twas a tad hazy from the top, but still pretty magnificent.

Then we hit the coast.

Anyone pick where this is? It's just about brand-spanking, smell-the-diesel-from-the-diggers new.