We cleared the gate about two thirty and in the way of Woodfordia encountered a number of old friends and acquaintances.

Highlight acts in order of appearance:

Buffy Saint-Marie Living legend. We only caught a couple of songs.

The Long Johns – A really nice blue grassy rock including a sousaphone

HighLife – Full disclosure my oldest friend is guitarist in this band. Fortunately I can honestly say they raised the roof with some tight as afro groove.

Jimmy Davis – Didn’t get the attention his singing deserved from me as I was too busy socialising.

Half Moon Run – Heard the buzz about town that this was the group to see. We were not disappointed they’ve a great big sound that will fill stadiums in the not too distant future.


Dave Callan – Who is a very funny man gave a dance performance like no other. Clearly a lot of work had gone into the choreography but the image of this man in a leotard twerking will not soon leave me.

Blue King Brown – Have always been good and watching them mature on the stages of Woodfordia has been a pleasure.

We finished the evening with the East End Cabaret – Who are a hilarious, sexy and very very rude pair of performers. In this show they were complimented by an AusLan sign language translator who nearly stole the show.


All of this complimented by tasty treats and plenty of delightful, peculiar and engaging street performers, puppeters and cosplaying ‘Game’ players. The game deserves more discussion, perhaps tomorrow.

What fun we had.



N on the way out of #woodfordia last night. #love

A photo posted by Kim Lang (@liatach) on


Days slipping by in Festivus. Lots of Lego, lots of painting, bubble making, a little carpentry and plenty of swimming in the river has occupied our days. I’ve been reading a preview copy of my father’s new novel and Steven Pinkers Style guide. We watched the sadly too long and quite disappointing Christmas special of Sense 8 and I’ve treated a cousin and myself to an on sale copy of ABZU. Which is a delightful aquatic adventure by the creators of one of my favourite games of all time:

Today we are off to the Folk Festival for the afternoon and evening, care of Christmas tickets and babysitting provided by my mother.

A small sampling of our output over the last few days:

This last playing with my new carbon ink Japanese brush pen. Lovely thing.



Rogue One

Last night we spent N’s birthday gift of Gold Class tickets to the cinema seeing that latest film in that galaxy I like.

Fortunately there was nothing else particularly compelling competing with it as the conversation went as follows:

“Which film do you want to see and why is it Rogue One?”

First impressions only this evening.

Put simply it was a joy. Everyone who has seen ‘A New Hope‘ (1977) knows how this film ends. The challenge and the art of it is in giving us a bunch of characters to care about and in making the audience believe that the stakes were high and success in the mission is not guaranteed.

Image result for rogue one images

The characters are engaging, easily empathised with and at times quite moving. The aesthetic and style is absolutely nailed throughout. Hair, costume clothes it fits in right before episode four perfectly.

There are some genuinely wonderful cameos. The reconstructions of some actors are distinguishable as CG but barely and on the whole are an extraordinary achievement. It even has for my money the best cinematic villain of all time showing exactly why he is such an infamous character in fantastic style.

Image result for rogue one images

This shot is not actually in the film. But it looks cool enough to include.

There is none of the pompous ponderous exposition that characterised the prequels. It felt well paced throughout. It is a war movie and for N’s taste it is a little heavy on the battle scenes. That said I think it probably has the best Star Wars space battle to date. The action is compelling, well choreographed and entertaining.


The cinema we went to allowed us to see Chermside shopping centre in full pre-Christmas glory. Packed to the gills and pumping at 11 O’clock at night with more people flooding in as we left, totally bizarre and apparently to be open all night. I’d love to have seen the 3AM wasteland.

Today for N’s birthday we had a scrumptious breakfast out, went swimming and had ice cream at Southbank. This afternoon with just the two of us we pushed our physical limits at Bounce. Which is amazing, if I lived closer I would need a membership as I haven’t had so much physical fun in ages.

Tonight we get to play the Santa game.




Thursday 22nd

I read a whole lot of nothing particularly interesting today. One of those days in the News where everyone is very excited to speculate about all the stuff they don’t know. This was facilitated by two hours spent in a windows O’Brien waiting for a windscreen replacement. Very impressed with their service overall. Windscreen insurance options are so worth it.

Also a quite quick and successful trip to the new nearby IKEA to secure N’s Christmas present. No spoiler she picked it, a new new Langfjall office chair. from here on out neither of us must cripple ourselves in 60+ year old dining chairs to work on our computers.


I have a couple more childhood walking paths to include in my post of a few days ago, but I would still like more.

Having a play in Illustrator and watching some media this evening. Leaving off with this lovely clip made using E-life and fractal simulations.

Max Cooper – Order from Chaos – Official Video by Maxime Causeret from Max Cooper on Vimeo.




Safe and sound in Brisbane though still a bit shell shocked from the drive. We are in Brisbane until Christmas day, lots to do and many people to see.

Updated yesterday’s post with the first response.

I’ve still been posting plenty of arthropods to Insta, haven’t shared them here in a while. This is merely the most recent.

And Brisbane welcomed us with a lovely afternoon storm.

Welcome to #brisneyland

A video posted by @liatach on





800m of Childish Freedom

Somewhere in a photo album there is a photo of a a 6 or 7 year old me dressed in stonewash and a loud 80’s shirt standing proud as punch with a bright red and orange BMX in front of my mothers house in Balmain. This house:

Photo snapped by my good friend Steven Kiernan on the way back from dinner a few nights ago.

That bike granted me freedom. A great deal of freedom. Much as the cop in ‘Stranger Things’ describes it; ‘A bike Like that is a Cadillac to these kids’. With it I had freedom of the neighborhood and I used it. The most common journey for me was of course the seemingly epic ride to my school of the time. This weekend I decided to see just how far that really was. As it turns out it was only 800m and often done in company but often as not alone or on foot. The route I most often took is plotted below.

800m of freedom. Also of note at the time Mort Bay park was a derelict and forbidden wonderland that I was furiously lectured for exploring more than once. 

That journey is illegal now. Until the age of ten NSW children are apparently unable to even cross the road without assistance and police have been known to threaten DOCS involvement for independent children even when crossing a road is not required.

I was lucky then and lucky as a teacher at West End, my year four class of two years ago repeatedly won the ‘Golden Boot’ award for active travel with 100% of students walking, riding, Public transporting or Park and Striding (Driven but dropped off 500m distant). That is a rare thing and a credit to the West End public community. But only a handful traveled truly independently. I have also lived on the main access street for one of Brisbane’s most prestigious private boys schools and the twice daily traffic jam of furious, stressed and ultimately dangerously driven luxury vehicles is memorable by comparison. Self reliance is not a skill that gets magically switched on at eighteen, it takes years and experience to develop. Only by giving children the trust to find their own limits and learn their confidence in their own abilities can it blossom. I believe walking to and from school independently is one of the safest and best ways for children to develop resilience and self reliance.

We are looking to live in a town/ village or community where children still play outside and where trusting children is normal. Such places do still exists but they are rare.

I would really like to see some more examples of others childhood walking journeys.

Not for competition mind,


but because I think it would be nice to have a raft of good digital reference to use as a reality check for the more extreme variety of hysterical parents.  It is easy enough to do.

Start at google maps.

Search for the school or other feature you travelled to independently.

Select the directions button





Change the start location to where you began your trips and select the method of travel. You can drag the line of travel to match your preferred route.







Screen shot the result. In windows the built in screen cap utility ‘Sniping tool’ can be found by beginning typing its name in the start menu. On Mac, buy a PC.

I kid, I kid. Command + Shift + 4 will give you a custom area screen cap.

Upload to an image host of your choice, or email them to me to edit in here.

Thanks for participating.

Also check out free range kids if you like the idea.


Edit: First responder, my brother in law Ken Wilson provides this map of his walk from about grade 3 (probably 8 or 9 years of age) onwards with his sibling. Sandgate is a major road but the crossings are clear.

News Limited

We have had a busy couple of days including two very late nights, a wedding reception and a ridiculously expensive trip to one of my favourite book shops on earth.
I’ve had this post stewing since I saw this headline in an unmentionable fast food restaurant on the way to Orange 3 Days ago.


Now the Murdoch press prints ridiculously inflammatory bullshit all the bloody time. On this occasion whether due to hunger or general irritation I let it get my goat, snapped this pic and stewed on it until the next day when I noticed a post about it on r/Australia where upon I posted a version of the following rant. But I missed the peak of discussion as the post was slipping off the front page by then.

  1. First and foremost, despite indicating that the picture is an example of the children’s art work, the picture is clearly digitally fabricated adult work masquerading as childhood scribbles. It is my understanding that there is a legal requirement that this is acknowledged and it way well be on page 9 but I and many others didn’t open it to check.
  2. With direct experience I can pretty much guarantee that this whole exercise began with student concern NOT as is indicated in the article by the teachers ideological positioning. Students likely came into the class with questions and enthusiasm about a news item they had been exposed to and wanted to know what they could do. I have direct experience of students coming into class concerned about refugees, turtles and plastic bags and shark finning. In each case I have encouraged the creation of letters, posters and petitions as ways to communicate their concern. Directing these students energy into writing letters to a Senator seems a pretty good response no?
  3. Since when was children caring about the treatment of other children an ideological problem?
  4. What the actual fuck is wrong with these people?
  5. If your first response when a child asks you to help get other children out of concentration camps is to question who told them about the camps and attack their educators instead of you know, praising their compassion. Then you are not a moral authority and are in fact a human of questionable ethical character.

The Murdoch press has been screaming ‘Fire’ in the proverbial crowded theatre for too long. It either needs to be dragged kicking and screaming into legal requirements for honesty and good faith reporting or to be dismantled.

Start right now with a Murdoch blocker. You wont miss them, but they will miss us.

Persian Fire

Safely in Sydney and enjoying the hospitality of dear friends.

Almost finished listening to ‘Persian Fire‘ by Tom Holland. This is the second book of his I’ve read and again I am amazed by the way he can string disparate threads of history together into a cohesive narrative. I am also amazed by how much of ‘The 300‘ is actually historically accurate. The book and film are far from without fault and there is a fair bit of artistic licence at play but the actual blow by blow account is surprisingly close to the mark. As recounted from the record by Holland and as compared by me to my own fallible memories of both book and film from years past.

As with the previous Holland book I have had a number of misconceptions corrected and learned a great deal about civilistations who’s innovations in government and diplomacy are still in effect today and I still have maybe 3 hours to go.


Late Mail

Safely in Orange.

We’ve forgotten surprisingly little in our packing and nothing we cannot do without. We are however without Christmas cards.

We waited for the postman to depart this morning and I was glad we did as my EFF Sticker pack arrived just in time along with some mail spam from a Charity which has now outspent my one time purchase/donation soliciting more money from me in glossy printing. Unfortunately despite paying a princely sum for good quality printing and ordering almost three weeks ago, our cards did not arrive in time. Oddly the component of the order you would think would take longer, a personalised mug, has come. Compounding the irritation our card design includes the year and will thus not be useful next year.

Monkey Day

It is Monkey Day.

Not of real significance to me.

Part of my daily teaching routine is checking the ‘On This Day‘ Wikipedia page. It is always the day of something, though I’ve never noticed this one before. Monkeys are cool, apes are even better. Cut out Palm Oil!


Image from my collection, origin unknown, even Tinyeye is of no help. 


Tomorrow we depart on our festivus adventure.

Today we have created a web of irrigation poly that will allow our nominated waterer to set three timers every other day and thereby keep our garden alive in our absence.

Our rough itinerary includes;

A night in Orange, a few days in Sydney, a night on the road north, a few days in Brisbane and a week in Maleny before making the return trip to Cobar.

I need to get packing and I’m hoping to put the sewing machine to work before bed.