On my first step into the kitchen this morning, my bare right heel crushed the life and a significant portion of goo out of a large grey slug. I recoiled, looked at my foot, looked at the mashed gastropod, had to stop and explain what had happened to L who was coughing. Helpfully he informed me that:

“That came out of mouth.”

“No, no it did not.”

You have not been to the Upside Down L. Nor will you, ever. Ever.

Shuddering as I began attempting to rid myself of the slime in the bathroom sink. More difficult than you might imagine, scrubbing brush, soap and hot water were required to remove the film of grease like gunk on my foot. My best guess is the slug and its companion found on the bench made their way up the greywater pipe from the garden into the sink. There are probably cheap comparisons to certain topical politicians but lets not get bogged down.

The day has been all uphill from there. Sorting the shed to make room for my new Mitre Saw 😀 and just generally making the space workable again. A whole family trip to the dentist with not a single problem or filling required. Productive classroom preparations and organisation with delightful help from L choosing poster locations and geeking out over the 3d printer.


A swim, a sublime meal of grilled peach and white cheese salad with pesto chicken skewers. A good day till the end, despite the gruesome start..


Shopping Run

Two very expensive days later. We have been to Dubbo and back, had a date night with film and dinner, visited, Bunnings, Clark Rubber, Big W, Target, Aldi and Coles. We have new tools, new underwear, classroom prizes and cupboards packed to the brim with food.

We have been needing to make a shopping trip since getting back to Cobar as we have spent more than the total cost of fuel, accommodation and meals from this Dubbo trip as extra on food alone by shopping exclusively in Cobar over the past three weeks. The start of work crept up on us and it became Sunday or not at all for a few more weeks. We bit the bullet and as shocking as it is driving home with $600 worth of food in the car, if it can last us a month supplimented only by milk, bread and fresh veggies when these run out it is definitely worth it.

Tomorrow we all have Dentist appointments and I have classroom setup to do. Work begins for me on Wednesday and my students next Monday. Eager as I am to break out my new tools, first I will need to make space in the shed for them to live by tidying it up.

We went to see Lion. Which is moving and beautiful, a perfect date film, if a bit harrowing for parents of a four year old.  Not a dry eye in the theatre by the end, The cinema was roasting and became positively humid. Patel is a joy to watch and the role is well inhabited, the children are excellent.  As the film is clearly Oscar bait, I feel it is probably only really a contender for Cinematography, which is sublime. Somehow the protagonist’s journey is not, despite the rich storytelling, enough to carry best actor.


Invasion Day

Australia Day is growing ever more contentious.

Initially I counted myself very firmly in the change the date camp and in truth I still lean that way. A number of things I’ve read recently have had me questioning the wisdom of that position and what the likely outcomes would be.


Indulge me and say for instance we change the date of Australia Day to May 8th or better still sometime late in the year when we are desperately short of public holidays and make it, like Easter, a floating holiday so that it always falls on a weekend, say the last Friday in November. Guaranteed long weekend, no need for sickies, warm weather, an altogether good time to celebrate what is great about our nation. Also keep the 26th of January as a public holiday rebranded as for instance Reconciliation or Survival Day. Invasion Day simply isn’t going to fly. All sounding fair enough so far I’d hope.


My concern is about what happens on January 26th that first year. Because there is a significant section of our community that is not going welcome or readily accept this change. How significant I don’t know, maybe within a decade they will have dwindled into insignificance. Right now I suspect the proportion is quite staggering, possibly as high as 30% of the general population who will resent and actively resist the change. Even with a bonus public holiday. How these people are treated will have very serious ramifications for us all.

Even the proposal for this change is creating deep divisions within communities. I don’t feel the potential consequences are being given enough discussion. If for instance this issue became a cultural touch stone to One Nation voters or Rise Up Australia, which seems quite likely to me, we would be looking down the barrel of some serious and ugly disrespect and push back both on the day and in the polls with our own inflammatory demagogues picking up even more seats in our parliaments. Thereby imperiling many of the gains in social justice fought for and won in past decades.

I have seen it suggested that we could practise a different way of conducting Australia day. Start with a fire ceremony, an acknowledgment of country, broadcast speeches by the PM and a select few of the new Australians of the year reflecting upon our history and injustices and challenging all Australians to find ways to improve our country together in the year ahead. Start and finish with national minutes of silence across all media, one each to reflect upon the past and look into the future. After midday fire up the barbecue, eat and celebrate what we have become together. I don’t have the answer and by dint of my heritage my opinion has limited weight.

Finally, in all honesty I think changing the date and signing a treaty, much as with marriage equality and a Federal ICAC is an inevitability it is merely a matter of time and political integrity. One of which we have, one we don’t.  How well the transition is handled will determine whether it is an act of healing or deepening division.


Making Progress

Foam work and time line labels ate the productive hours today. Only three elements and a little glue required to be ready for painting now. What a relief it will be to have that project complete. The elements remaining are the cloak attachments and the sword and shield, principle pieces for which are now all cut. I am way behind on build videos and going to devote some time to trying to finish one tonight.

I had a question about the time line I’ve been making and I guess I have not explained the project very well so far. A time line is a pretty indispensable teaching tool and pretty much every classroom needs one. In the past I have bodged up something similar, but without as much detail or orderliness as this new one. Typically a class room time line is used to order a small portion of events around a specific topic like the ‘Gold Rush’ or ‘Ancient Rome’. I have always found such time lines inadequate, they don’t have room for broader consequences or causes and they rarely give a contextual relationship to the students lifetime. This project is an attempt to create a timeline that includes at the start a whole bunch of critical events and dates as well as the lifetimes of a great number of famous historical figures.

My time line will be 14m long and will stretch across the whole wall above my whiteboard and around the corner slightly at each end. It will use a log scaling to allow inclusion of the big bang at the left end and one hundred years in the future at the right. It will have 1m for this year, to the left and right of this year 1m for ten years in the past and future. Beyond them another meter to the left and right for the 100 years before and beyond that. After that it extends only left each meter a length of time ten times the previous. Most of the final meter is unnecessary as the Big bang will be right at the right edge of that frame but it wont fit otherwise.

Today I added another twenty or so name and event labels and then began the odious task of transferring all I’ve made so far into Indesign as Illustrator was beginning to have serious difficulty with the file size.




The Big Clean

Preparing for the term ahead by sorting, repacking and cleaning each area of the house systematically.
Today emphasis was on our front storage room which had, due to repeated rummagings by both myself and the boys, deteriorated. Also contended with laundry and toys throughout the house. A good start, but the Shed/ Laundry, mud room, back porch and study all remain. In addition to some yard maintenance and mucking out the hen house.

The heat as always lately was intense, so we hid for a time in the aircon and I took the time to work on timeline labels, the number of which is now well and truly out of hand. Repairing a number of items of clothing and a faulty door lock. Also a couple of new classroom posters:

Ready for lamination. I have others waiting for access to a colour printer.

Time on my Timeline

Brutally hot day and the pool was shut for a memorial service. Terrific storm this evening has washed the heat away, likely to be worse tomorrow though.

Made my classroom time line and labels to laminate and attach to it.

Lots more labels to make, once you get started it is hard to know where draw the line. A small sampling below.


After a good meditative start and a nearly 6k run the rest of this day simply evaporated into meal times, naps and swimming. A little work related reading and housework and continuation of the parenting course with N.

I experienced my first print failure due to the existing spool holders inadequate movement.

But got the Spirograph made yesterday working properly:

I’ve been avoiding comment on the orange man’s inauguration. But I do want to share the immense pride at the vast numbers of women and their supporters who have turned out to marches globally to denounce Trump and all he stands for as well as celebrating diversity and resilience.


I also need to address the large number of really heartfelt ‘Thanks Obama’ memes being shared around and while he has been without doubt the most progressive American president of my lifetime I am concerned that the rose coloured glasses shouldn’t rapidly become opaque.

A lot of the Obama legacy will be dismantled or used as a tool of oppression in the coming years and some of the responsibility for that rests firmly on his shoulders. The fact that Trump is even in the White House now is still to my mind very much the fault of the DNC with whom Obama also has a very close relationship.



I began setting up and cleaning my classroom in earnest today. Which also afforded me opportunity to make my first prints on the schools 3D Printer. There remains a lot to do. But I have a space arraignment that I am happy with for now and I’ve found some treasures hidden in the cupboards, a couple of powered microscopes, lots of paint and dice. Happy days.

I won’t have students until Feb 6th as I’m in NSW’s western district. Work officially starts the Wednesday prior but that is professional development. I have planning and decorating to do.

#firstever #3dprint on the #3dprinter that lives in my new #classroom. #win ! #spirograph #pla

A photo posted by Kim Lang (@liatach) on

Spirographs FTW.

Also finished attaching the pvc scale armour pieces to L’s Sir Vader tabard. A few foam details; Including a cloak attachment, a sword and shield and we are all set for painting and calling this particular project done.



Yesterday was one of those days where everyone got up on the wrong side of the bed. Things went from bad to worse at the breakfast table where even the bananas were not of acceptable standards. Things improved by the time we finished the day with a family barbecue and sun headaches. It was a hard day compounded by relentless heat and irritability.

Today a heavenly break in the weather allowed a very productive day. Knocked out a few little jobs in the garden that have been waiting for soft ground and cool conditions to be completed. Also made a lot of progress on the Sir Vader costume, which is now almost ready for painting.


Finished Stephenson’s ‘Quicksilver‘ this morning which has taken a while to get though, having first attempted it in Scotland. Already almost finished book two of eight ‘The King of The Vagabonds’ (technically published in the one volume with the first). It isn’t often that I hear nine plus hours of an audio book in one day though.


Sunburned Toes

And other joys of life in Western NSW.

Our ongoing war with cat heads on the property progresses.

For now only a small area remains afflicted until next week when another thousand will appear. A spot of extra fencing to stop the hens going under the house is responsible for the burnt toes. The sun is brutal before nine at the moment and woe betide those who step out unprepared.

We have the sewing machine back, cleaned and repaired. Sewing is a whole lot more fun with a machine. Hoping to finalise the costume within the week now.

I finally started the day with a 6AM run and swim. It feels good, now I just need to keep it up every other day for a while. Other habit tracking is going remarkably well and likely due a post at some point soon.

Spent the heat of the day sorting super and health insurance technicalities. It seems one of my super accounts was charging double the required amount on insurance because I hadn’t identified my risk status to them.

Exploring Thingverse looking for some useful trinkets to try as my test prints. Enjoying scouring youtube for wonders and peculiarities. Like the Exceptional Reggie Watts: