Boxes, Birdhouses and Editing

A lot of long days have left me with not much to say of an evening save a string of Z’s. Nevertheless lots of projects have come together over the weekend and the beginning of this week.

A set of three nested photography sitting boxes. To be used for portraiture in the studio N has just signed a three month lease on.


A bird house.

Assembled from scraps and painted with a stinky old enamel helpfully labeled ‘Stromboli’ found in the shed. 


Puppets are taking over in my classroom. Yesterday I had a mixed group from various grades thanks to a sports day so we made free choice pin and paper puppets like this example which I whipped up in lunch. Today my class began making their own interpretations of the characters in the book we have been reading with the intention that they will then animate scenes from the story.

As noted on insta, we have denuded the entire town’s supply of split pins and I am now desperately hunting more. 

I finished another segment of the costume build video. We didn’t make it out for a costume shoot over the weekend as I had hoped to do. Looking forward to this weekend though.

I desperately need to do away with the huge and unwieldy collection of clips that are clogging up my hard drives. Editing a gogo.

Fell in love with the art and concept of this game:

I am absolutely devastated that I missed the kickstarter (and associated loot) last year. Can’t hardly wait for release.



Snake Bite

I received my first ever snake bite yesterday. Completely harmless and entirely my own fault.

Molasses the python got a a little too eager when I opened his enclosure with my hand in front of his head. I freely admit that it got my heart going though.

A week of very long days has left little energy for making in the evenings.

In an exciting development I now have fish in the classroom. A small school of Jade Perch to be precise.

The aquaponics system is still some way off functional but we have transferred the fish into a pair of the system’s tanks and plugged in some air-stones to keep them happy.

A number of interesting things have caught my eye this week but i’ll limit myself to only a couple.

The animator behind this fantastic little gorgon battle has recently finished a four year odyssey to single-handedly animate a feature length hand drawn film. Very impressive and pretty cool looking to boot.

Deep in the disturbing underweb evil masterminds find perfect matches between pop rap hits and nightmarish children’s television.

If you like me derive pleasure from watching people fail at video gaming in spectacular and amusing fashion. This guy has plenty to offer.


Printing my way through the week.

Yesterday, or the day before, it was this lovely d20 which is unfortunately by my limited testing not a fair die. But it might make a good master for some resin casting.


Yesterday I finally came upon a solution for a problem that has caused many failed prints and succeeded in printing the plunger for this cupcake paper press, also a working set of the golden mean calipers that were my first failed print. It turns out that coating the build plate with glue stick is sufficient to stop builds curling up at the edges and being knocked over.


The class pet has gotten comfortable with me


It turns out that I look pretty good with a monobrow.


Spent what little light I’ve had after work continuing building photo stool boxes.






Snakes & Adders

Armour build video part 4.

Editing part 5 at the moment and stewing on alterations to the weekly maths program as I work.


Of course I found my macro lens just days after purchasing a replacement, but I was glad of it today. My principal caught two baby browns on school property this morning. I took the opportunity to get some closeups of the deadly little buggers.




Today I calculated a rough estimate of my lifetime carbon footprint.

I based my figure on the results generated by a variety of online carbon footprint calculators all of which are a bit cumbersome and I had to make a lot of assumptions. Generally I have erred on the side of more rather than less carbon. I have accounted for every piece of airplane travel I have ever undertaken as either SYD to LON flights or BNE to MEL flights. I have averaged half the electricity usage in my house over two billing periods and multiplied that by my thirty eight years. I have claimed responsibility for the entirety of the pollution produced by my family car, a 2011 Hyundai diesel wagon over a 15000km distance year again multiplied by my entire life. In similar fashion I have accounted for food, public transport, entertainment, electronics, furniture and waste disposal, generous estimates all and with no shortcutting for good behaviour like the limited meat consumption we are striving for or the lifelong composting of food waste.

I have to this point in my life been responsible for something on the order of five hundred and seventy seven tons of carbon emissions.

Using the 25 story ‘Gotham City Building‘ from the Brisbane skyline for scale. 577 tons as 8.2m cubes stacked in an array would approximate something like this:


It seems to me that a significant problem among climate denialism is a lack of imagination. I don’t suffer that problem, quite the opposite in fact.

My average output appears to fall somewhere between nine and sixteen tons per annum. The significant amounts of plane travel this year have pushed me upwards of twenty tons.

Damn right I live in the first world.

If I continue to err on the generous and I give myself a generous lifespan of say ninety six years my lifetime output will be one thousand four hundred and forty seven tons.

But I have decided that I want a Carbon Positive life.

I want to make sure I take more carbon out of the atmosphere in my life than I put into it. Leave it better than I found it as it were. To that end I am going to actively reduce my own emissions but I am also researching meaningful carbon offsetting techniques with which to meet this goal.

One of the concrete things I took away from ‘This Changes Everything‘ (Which you really ought to read) is that most carbon offsetting is total bullshit. Lots of dodgy operators and Howard era economics like ‘not cutting down this forest is a carbon offset’. Even so if I were to take the easy option and use, for instance one of the tree planting services listed here, as they are at least actively removing carbon from the atmosphere, I would be looking at a cost between eighteen and twenty five thousand dollars. Which needless to say I don’t have to spend. The how to accomplish this goal will is a work in progress.

Lots of ideas floating around, more are welcome.

Doubtless lots of work to do.







A Very long Drive

We left at half six and arrived in Riddles Creek just after 5 this afternoon. I am not looking forward to the return trip when we will not be able to depart until after our appointment with the school at midday.

Planning on exploring tthe local area over the next two days,  perhaps some bush walking, perhaps a trip to Ikea,  maybe even check out some land.

I believe this was taken in Goolgowi.


Mobile internet only for the next couple of days. Lovely Airbnb but no internet.

Crivens! its been over a week

One of the problems of going a few days without posts is that a psychological barrier is formed about sitting down to creating a new post. I mean look at all the things I now need to post about, worse still look at all the art I haven’t made this week. This has not been helped by ongoing bedtime battles that have pushed well into the evening. We have now resorted to denying daytime naps whenever possible. This does not work on days that involve driving as F will invariably be out like a light by the bottom of the driveway.

I have been working but not as I gauge it, creating. I’m plugging away at my best man’s speech. A tedious process but important. I’m off to Amsterdam this weekend for a stag do. Late next week we will be heading south for our friends wedding, visits with Welsh relatives and to the delight of all a trip to Legoland.

I’ve finished a book or two. N and I slammed through ‘Reamde‘ by Stephenson. Which is a ripsnorting adventure story with some interesting ideas mixed in. It is more a piece of airport fiction than the mind stretching Spec Fic I have come to expect from Stephenson. N and I were completely hooked so it did its job well.

I finished ‘Slaughterhouse Five‘ by Vonnegut which has been on my reading list for years. Vonnegut is a favourite of mine so this classic has been a bit of a glaring omission. It is a strange book, deserving of a post all its own at some point.

Now listening to ‘The Fatal Shore‘ By Robert Hughes. As always finding the heartless barbarity of Edwardian and Victorian English systems confronting.

We’ve been on exploratory adventures within the region most days. North to Fort William through Glen Coe, South East to Doune castle and the Wallace Monument in Stirling, twice to Glasgow and on many small walks. Even to a small event hosted by a local amateur naturalist club. Where we participated in opening and cataloging the catch from moth traps set the previous evening. After which we had a lunch overlooking Castle Stalker. To my chagrin we have been up no mountains yet. I hurt my ankle last weekend being silly in the garden. Fortunately not badly and I’ve recovered fast.


Took a drive through the ever spectacular #glencoe today.

A photo posted by @liatach on


#headshot #caughtbyhand #golden-ringeddragonfly #macro #insect Cordulegaster boltonii

A photo posted by @liatach on

Robert the Bruce @ the #wallacemonument #scotland

A photo posted by @liatach on


Many more pictures to share that I have not Instagrammed but the upload function is glitching. I’ll try and include them tomorrow.




Big week

I started this post on Sunday, was interrupted by tiredness and a call for cuddles. Monday evening we had a black out that lasted well into Tuesday morning. Tuesday we had a dilema with Boris the dog which preoccupied us until late that evening. Yesterday was my birthday and we didn’t get home until quite late in the evening. Which brings me to today which was lovely but thanks to inconsistent routine bedtimes have been prolonged battles of attrition and I am sitting down to write now at 10:30PM having gone for an evening walk up the mountain side to check the Hydro inlet and give wee Boris a ‘poopurtunity’. It is still light though fading now and the midges as ever, are awful out.

The Boris Dilemma

Tuesday evening while continuing to clean the guest house N noticed that Boris the lovely old Scot’s terrier mutt who is our charge and pride and joy whilst we look after ‘Arichastlich’ was missing. We begin searching for and calling him high and low all around the property inside and out of the house which we had left open as we came and went from the guest house. Our initial theory was the he must have heard some thunder which we with vacuum cleaner going had not and in true doggy fashion freaked out and gone to ground. We had witnessed this behaviour first hand the previous day when he had hidden under the boys beds at bed time due to far off and not very loud thunder – not helpful, but understandable-. So we concentrated first on hiding places within the house and around the grounds. Only once sure that he was not there did we begin to widen our search down the road in each direction, contacting neighbours, checking up the hillside, with tup and horse in the field we visit daily. Eventually we bundled everyone into the car and set off down the road stopping to call out. In this way some two awful hours later we found wee Boris hanging out in the car of a camper by the river some kilometers down the road.

The explanation for this we now think most likely is that Boris as is his way jumped into the car of some random who had stopped to look at the pigs in the neighbouring field and as he previously did not wear his collar at home assumed he was lost. The camper who was caring for him reported that he reportedly tried to get into a number of cars and nearly been taken by a driver of a white van with him to a town some distance away. But having encountered a camper staying in the region had left him there. Would he have made his own way home? There is really no telling as he was clearly making himself at home in the camp.

The relief at finding Boris cannot be overstated, he is without doubt the most precious of our charges here. I made sure to take a few beverages back to the camper in thanks.

Yesterday I wanted to do get some history in on my birthday so we visited Kilmartin to view sculpted stones, cairns and these standing stones which are part of a lunar observatory over 5000 years old now and perhaps even then, in a sheep field.

Kilmartin-stones1 Kilmartin-stones


Found a bunch of interesting wee beasties to photograph this week.





Apart from a little work in Illustrator, a little speech work and an hour’s painting on the castle card I have done shamefully little creative work this week.



Eye of Newt

The rope swing  with big red rubber buoy up the back got plenty of use today. We also visited the horse and tut (ram), these two bachelors occupy the field opposite the house and both are ever eager for attention much to the boys delight.  A spot of fishing for tadpoles in the pond nearby. Caught the first newt I’ve ever handled, a feature of practically every British children’s book. Salamanders and the like are exotic to me. They look remarkably like miniature crocodiles hanging in the sunlit water just below the surface.

Primary care and odd jobs precluded creative work until it was to late to want to start.

Been doing plenty of readings from this hilarious translation in my admittedly dreadful accent:

See yon snake! Is he daft or no? There’s nae such thing as a gruffal … Oh!

A photo posted by Nadine (@nadinemmitchell) on

#millipede found cleaning and put outside. #macro #arthropod

A photo posted by @liatach on


This list, well lets just say it isn’t getting any better. The opposition could do worse than just replacing their entire campaign materials with a link to it.

Interesting parallels in Kings Cross’s history with current developments. Hopefully no murders this time around though.


Seven Days


7 Days until departure. Well eleven days until the flight, but we will leave Cobar direct from work at the local Catholic next Thursday driving through to Orange. I have another day with the Public on Monday and hopefully another day or two in between by early morning call out. There is so much to do in preparation, I’m kind of glad I haven’t yet gotten a booking for tomorrow.

Planning on an early morning tomorrow to catch some meteor action.

Hopper found in the playground. 70mm #grasshopper #orthoptera #insect #macro

A photo posted by @liatach on

More #grasshopper #orthoptera #insect #macro

A photo posted by @liatach on


Small progress on a political poster, I may need to rework a significant part of it as I spent to long looking at propaganda reference and diluted my own vision a bit. Going back to castle card after a few days away from it this evening.


I do indeed want limited edition print of the ‘Discworld Massive’ just cant justify 50 squid this week.