Room Reversi & Green Thumbs


Huge I say ‘uge day. Finished laying a long path, began packing the edges, planted tons of seeds, dug up, split and replanted clumps of comfrey and arrowroot. Harvested carrots and began digging what I hope will be the final path to the new compost heaps.

Inside we bought car insurance, sorted toys and swapped our living room and office rooms around. A couple of items still need shifting but the office, bookshelves and couch are set up in their new locations.

I am officially wrecked and tomorrow I am forgoing a day of work for a one day Dubbo trip. We need to visit a number of businesses in our regional center on a weekday. Thankfully leaving the boys with grandparents prior to 7 AM. It will be a massive day involving 6+ hours driving 3 big box stores, 2 supermarkets and a certain government office to officially change N’s name on their systems.

No painting today, but a nice new spot in the house to do it in and a cleaner desk to boot.


The new path connects the garage to two older paths and provides a pair of nice long straights for the boys to ride on with a graded curve between.  The new garden bed made from tin on the left is a right angle isosceles triangle 3.5m on the hypotenuse. The area between the paths is undergoing soil conditioning from a near clay pan state, today we planted a portion of the area with ‘Clucka Tucker‘.

Sweat and tears


A massive day in the garden left everyone hangry and fraught with a touch of sun. Most of a long new path complete and construction of the frame and walls for a new raised garden bed from recycled materials completed. I began filming the build process for this bed but due to lack of foresight lost battery. Tomorrow I plan to finish the path early and get some creative work in, time allowing I’ll begin filling the new bed as well.

This evening we went to the park to participate in the Festival of the Miners Ghost a local event with fireworks, market stalls and music in the main community park. We brought out my big bubble kit to enthusiastic acclaim from the target demographic.



L'Image et le Pouvoir - Buste cuirassé de Marc Aurèle agé - 3.jpg

Image from Wikipedia

Yesterday I began listening to ‘Meditations‘ by Marcus Aurelius which is already pretty incredible. It is hardly an original comment, but it really is extraordinary how, apart from a few points of lifestyle like slave keeping, the day to day life and worries haven’t changed much even over two millennia.

During our time away I have listened to and read a number of books worth discussing. So I will endeavor to work my way through this list in time:

‘A wizard of Earthsea’ Ursula K LeGuin

‘The Fatal Shore’ Robert Hughes

‘Reamde’ Neil Stephenson

‘Quicksilver’ Neil Stephenson

‘Religion for Athiests’ Alain De Botton

‘To Hell and Back’ Ian Kershaw (Unfinshed)

‘Pyramids’ Terry Pratchett (Unfinished reread)

‘A Time Traveler’s Guide to Medieval England’ Ian Mortimer (Unfinished)

“Three Men in a Boat’ Jerome K Jerome and read by Hugh Lorrie (I think I may have talked about this one many months ago in one of the few posts I did while away.)

Sailing to Sarantium & God of Emporers by Guy Gavriel Kay (reread for me at least)

Tonight however, I am leaving it at that.


Sports Day


Crashed early yesterday after a day with a different year one class and mayhap I will tonight as well. Today was a massive inter-school sports day hosted by one of the local mines as community outreach. I had the pleasure of shepherding a kindergarten class through the experience.

Despite best efforts I have a touch of sun and will retire early again. Very keen to get into the garden tomorrow and hopefully get some art made as well.

My new phone arrived yesterday, what a joy functioning, fast tech can be. A chunk of my tax providing a sorely needed upgrade over the iPhone4 that has been limping along in my pocket since Christmas. N is also getting an upgrade over her GS3 to a GS7.

I’ll just keep sharing little things as they occur to me. One at a time is probably for the best though.


L chasing bubbles in the back streets of Barcelona.



I’m painting tonight, roughing out some visualised drafts for evolution cards and maybe tinkering away a bit on a T-shirt image.

I have been torturing myself in dissatisfaction with some cards, in particular the castle card for months now. I have finally resolved to just get on with the evolution cards and leave the terrain cards alone for a little while. I figure provided I can start finishing things again, it will get easier as it goes.

I had another wild and wonderful day with year ones today and I have another lined up at the other school tomorrow. It is an exhausting business and all I want to do is paint and garden.

This sat unpublished in draft a long time. In the end I did get a good bit of painting in but I spent most of the evening having a good chat with an old friend which was well and truly worthwhile.



One of the striking experiences from my first trip to Amsterdam. The Bodyworlds exhibition by Gunther Von Hagens is incredible and confronting. Above the head of a human man plastinated and sliced neatly in half, below the brain, ganglia and primary nerve branches of another human man. 


Another memorable event for which we booked our first ever Airbnb (Affiliate link) the opening one off performance of the Edinburgh International Festival. Deep Time was projected onto Edinburgh castle and the cliffs below with musical accompaniment by Mogwai. Mesmerising and almost vertigo inducing the projections were superb.

It was really very special and our apartment on the royal mile set the standard for all the excellent Airbnb accommodations throughout the rest of the trip. In fact every apartment we booked that way was wonderful in one way or another. By contrast, our other goto accommodation site was often extremely disappointing.





A very long, wild and eventful day with a year one class and for joy I have them again tomorrow. A tutoring client and two community events attended to this evening as well. All polished off with some fantastic TV. Ep 4 of Westworld and Ep 1 of Blackmirror Season 3.

Creative work confined to an on the fly art activity and a bit of mental effort on costumes and cards.


I have sooo many graffiti pics, I may have to do a super post to share highlights from a few capitals. These vivid monsters were on a route I cycled more than once in Amsterdam. 



Music Teacher for a Day


Thanks to a last minute call in at ten to eight, I spent my first ever day as a Music teacher today. I do not, it should be noted, play an instrument. But I can follow a lesson plan and manage a rotating selection of classes effectively. Today we learned about how music has changed through history. Listened to parts of Haydn’s Surprise Symphony and Beethovens 5th. Played musical statues and beat detective.

We had fun and I found and used this rendition of ‘Tikki Tikki Tembo’ repeatedly with the younger grades, as a good example of musical storytelling.

I have not made anything creative since coming home other than gigantic bubbles in the back yard for the entertainment of my children and to test the latest batch of my big bubble juice. I neglected to have N photograph me, but I’ll remember next time.


We have watched and listened to many things since I last reported in. Just now we are watching week to week on ‘Westworld’. I am loading up on docos to side watch while painting and I’m just now queuing up the new ‘Black Mirror’s’ which I have been looking forward to. N may take some convincing to begin ‘Black Mirror’ as both seasons so far have had some pretty traumatic episodes. ‘White Christmas’ (no link lest it spoil you) the Christmas special from season two gave me some very special nightmares.




The best thing I watched on the plane home was ‘Zootopia‘ which is an absolute gem. Very clever, very funny and very mature at handling racism and stereotyping at a level appropriate to children. Nothing remains memorable from the flights out in way back in May but that is hardly surprising.







Almost three weeks back and Cobar is beginning to feel like home again. We have settled in and are currently expecting to spend the remainder of this year and the 2017 school year here.

Tutoring and teaching work has started trickling in and the projects are piling up. A class at the local state school for next year is looking like a promising prospect and there is no shortage of relief work available regardless.

The problem with leaving blogging even a few days, let alone however many months it has now been, is that every gap adds to the amount that needs told and makes the posting more daunting. I’ve had plenty of excuses for not posting but ultimately I use this blog to track my work and I have not, aside from a couple of small things I will share over coming days, been working.

That has changed, the posts are coming back.

I do after all have a lot to track.

Projects currently in the works:

Valley cards galore. I am really behind the curve on these. I’ve been experimenting with ways to improve my work flow a bit over the last week. Not much to show for it yet though.

Editing and sorting travel images. We have so many…


Near the top of Ben Udlaidh


At the peak of Liathach the lower western peak beyond

Editing and posting a couple of short vlogs from travel. Including crossing the pinicles (a section of the Liathach walk part of which is just visible in the lower left of the image above)

Creating costume armour and weapons for the children’s Christmas presents to order.

Extending garden paths to use up the last remaining brick piles, making room for food gardens and giving joy to little boys.

Constructing more raised garden beds for food production. The Cobar tax on fresh food bites hard.

Getting the hens and tractor back from the farm. Surprisingly three of the four survived the winter. I had half expected a fox or snake to have taken them all.

T-shirt print image ideas x3.

Children’s books x3.

Polishing a giant fresnel lens.

Fencing the front yard. For child safety and so the hens will be able to free range more.

Re-creating my classroom charts and displays. I gave away most to peers in Brisbane and I may yet have a class of my own next year. Timelines, wordwall headings, behaviour charts all need recreated.

Trying to find a way to see some of the Great Barrier Reef over the Christmas break as it is N’s birthday wish.

Deciding how and where we will live post 2017. There are many possible options right now.

Getting fitter again.

Habitualising blogging again. See you tomorrow. 😛