Category Archives: General

Revisiting McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park:

Revisiting McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park, I took so many photos that my computer is overwhelmed, and only down loaded one photo. So folks, this is it for today. I need to get the computer man to work out what has happened.

This park didn’t let me down, the boys were delighted to return, running around, knowing where their favourite sculptures are, as well as discovering the new ones in the most recent survey. The bush landscape was looking refreshed after rain.

International Year of Light

Sydney Harbour lit by fireworks New Year Celebrations 2015. Photo: Sydney Morning Herald

Sydney Harbour lit by fireworks NY 2015 Photo: Sydney Morning Herald

‘The International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies, 2015 (IYL 2015) is a United Nations observance that aims to raise awareness of the achievements of light science and its applications, and its importance to humankind. IYL 2015 opening ceremonies will be held 19-20 January 2015 in Paris.’

There is so much exciting news regarding this topic on the Internet. Competitions for children plus lots of scientific and art related projects as well as looking from the past to the future.  Discoveries abound, so shall Include just another snippet from Wikipedia:

‘Scientific anniversaries[edit]
The major scientific anniversaries that will be celebrated during IYL 2015 are:

1015: Works on optics by Ibn Al-Haytham
1815: The notion of light as a wave proposed by Fresnel
1865: The electromagnetic theory of light propagation proposed by Maxwell
1915: Einstein’s theory of the photoelectric effect in 1905 and of the embedding of light in cosmology through general relativity
1965: Discovery of the cosmic microwave background by Penzias and Wilson, and Charles Kao’s achievements concerning the transmission of light in fibers for optical communication’  Thanks to Wikipedia for their information on this subject.

 Credit: Studio Roosegaarde 125th anniversary of Amsterdam Train Station

Credit: Studio Roosegaarde
125th anniversary of Amsterdam Train Station

Do any of you have things happening near you to celebrate this very special year? My beloved is painting in his unique way which inadvertently celebrates 2015 as the International year of light. A peek at his new painting soon.

Merry Christmas!


Blogging has become a burden, so I am taking a break. Summer has arrived with all the jobs that need doing outside: Cleaning gutters, distributing compost, refilling compost bins, weeding, trimming and watering. Of course, there are the satisfying jobs like picking raspberries and snow peas too.

Sitting inside is an enjoyable winter activity. Writing will take a back seat as December is a time for family coming to stay, and others visiting.

I shall be back from time to time, but no longer as a daily visitor to your blogs. A bit of peace, I can hear you say. Yeh!

Shall be back to bring updates on how Chris’s painting is going. Maybe there will be some writing when I catch up with the backlog of chores to complete. I know you are all probably feeling the same pressures of the festive season.

Wrapping Santa presents and making sure all the children’s’ presents are bought and wrapped is the pleasurable part of this time of the year. Preparing the Christmas tree is another joy, especially seeing the faces of the children when they arrive. Warmest wishes to you all, especially those of you in the Northern Hemisphere, and cool good wishes to those in the Southern Hemisphere! Merry Christmas to you all!                                                                    Thank you all for your wonderful support, visits and comments, I do appreciate you all.


McClelland Sculpture Survey and Award 2014


David Horton In pace (in peace) After Verrocchio’s Doubting Thomas. For Dad 2014


The McClelland Sculpture Survey opened today with perfect weather. There were crowds attending. We appreciated seeing the sculptures in the bush setting as well as seeing the plantings we did some years ago now. I shall post just a few of the 33 sculptures in the prize.


Matthew Harding Void 2014 won the $100,000 McClelland Sculpture Survey Award 2014

Sonia Payes Re:Generation 2014

Sonia Payes
Re:Generation 2014

Phil Price Chrysalid 2014

Phil Price
Chrysalid 2014



Australian Computer Terminology: Getting ready for Broadband in the bush

As I have a very love/hate affair with my computer, I related to this e-mail, I hope you enjoy it too!  Broadband was a project started by our last government, to enable fast communication, it has since been cancelled for an inferior model that favours city people. I guess someone in the outback, tongue in cheek wrote the following:
LOGON: Adding wood to make the barbie hotter

LOG OFF: Not adding any more wood to the barbie.

MONITOR: Keeping an eye on the barbie.

DOWNLOAD: Getting the firewood off the ute.

HARD DRIVE: Making the trip back home without any cold tinnies.

KEYBOARD: Where you hang the ute keys.

WINDOWS: What you shut when the weather’s cold.

SCREEN: What you shut in the mozzie season..

BYTE: What mozzies do

MEGABYTE: What Townsville mozzies do.

CHIP: A pub snack.

MICROCHIP: What’s left in the bag after you’ve eaten the chips.

MODEM: What you did to the lawns.

LAPTOP: Where the cat sleeps.

SOFTWARE: Plastic knives and forks you get at Red Rooster.

HARDWARE: Stainless steel knives and forks – from K-Mart.

MOUSE: The small rodent that eats the grain in the shed.

MAINFRAME: What holds the shed up.

WEB: What spiders make.

WEBSITE: Usually in the shed or under the veranda.

SEARCH ENGINE: What you do when the ute won’t go.

CURSOR: What you say when the ute won’t go.

YAHOO: What you say when the ute does go.

UPGRADE: A steep hill.

SERVER: The person at the pub who brings out the counter lunch.

MAIL SERVER: The bloke at the pub who brings out the counter lunch.

USER: The neighbour who keeps borrowing things.

NETWORK: What you do when you need to repair the fishing net.

INTERNET: Where you want the fish to go.

NETSCAPE: What the fish do when they discover a hole in the net.

ONLINE: Where you hang the washing.

OFFLINE: Where the washing ends up when the pegs aren’t strong enough.

Teaching Maths:

Since nearly everyone has an interest in education I thought this may explain the changes in teaching from the middle of last century through to the middle of this. (OK Australians, dollars didn’t come into being until 1966, but the content is otherwise very similar. Lighten up!)

1. Teaching Maths In 1950s

A logger sells a
truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production
is 4/5 of the price. What
is his profit?

2. Teaching Maths In 1970s

A logger sells a
truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production
is 4/5 of the price, or
$80. What is his profit?

3. Teaching Maths In 1980s

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100.
His cost of production
is $80. Did he make a profit ?
Yes or No
4. Teaching Maths In 1990s

A logger sells a
truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production
is $80 and his profit is
$20 Your assignment: Underline the number 20.
5. Teaching Maths In 2000s

A logger cuts down a
beautiful forest because he is selfish and
inconsiderate and cares nothing
for the habitat of animals or the
preservation of our woodlands.
He does this so he can make a profit of
$20. What do you think of this
way of making a living? Topic for
class participation after
answering the question: How did the birds
and squirrels feel as the logger
cut down their homes? (There are no
wrong answers, and if you feel
like crying, it’s ok).
6. Teaching Maths In 2050

هاتشيرو تبيع كارلواد من نهاب 100 دولار . تكلفة الإنتاج هو 8 دولاراً . كيف الكثير من المال ولم؟

Meander Melbourne Walking Tours: Pollies, Dollies and other colourful characters. bag presented to us at the beginning of the tour, with water and information booklet. bag presented to us at the beginning of the tour, with water and information booklet.



I had an early start this morning to get to the train by 8am so that I could meet up with this tour in the city. Having lived outside the city boundary since I came to Victoria, I have much to learn about the city of Melbourne. A school friend, Alice, supporting a neighbour who is starting up a tour business, invited me to join her. Her cousin, Fran, whom I hadn’t seen since childhood, was also there, an added bonus.

We were Mea’s first group, and being such a small number meant it was informal, informative and fun. Booking can be made on 0406 59 33 88, or on


So here I begin with some photos of the hidden

Our guide, Mea, bi-linguist, (Dutch and English) dressed in C19th costume.

Our guide, Mea, bi-linguist, (Dutch and English) dressed in C19th costume.

architectural treasures and a taste of her entertaining stories. We began at the Princess Theatre on Spring Street. I shall copy out a handout, reproduced with the kind permission of the Princess Theatre staff about their ghost:

Foyer of Princess Theatre

Foyer of Princess Theatre

Federici’s Ghost

“Melbourne’s Princess Theatre has it’s own ghost. Or so nearly thirty well-authenticated sightings would have you believe.

The story began on 3rd March 1888, the opening night of Williamson Garner and Musgrove Opera Company’s production of Gounod’s Faust. The theatre was then known as the New Princess Theatre. Fredrick Baker, an English baritone who found it expedient to go under the Italian sounding stage name of Francesco Federici, played Mephistopheles. Baker who came to Australia under contract to George Musgrove, was a singer of standing, having created some of the Gilbert and Sullivan roles in the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company in England the America.

As the opera ended, the approving audience saw Mephistopheles throw his scarlet cape around Faust, whereupon the pair disappeared into sulphurous smoke and fumes to descend via the stage trapdoor to the nether region.

As the trapdoor disappeared from sight, the audience saw Federici raise his arm feebly before his eyes, but they put that down to exhaustion from the very fine performance he had just given. But Federici had succumbed to the heart disease that had been troubling him for nine years. As the trap reached the cellar floor he collapsed. He died in the theatre’s green room soon after.

The legend of Federici’s ghost started that very night. Some of the cast claimed Federici was there with them to take his curtain call on that and succeeding nights. Stagehands and players began to tell of strange presences brushing past them in empty corridors and backstage, and of unaccountable lights.

But there were even more sightings. George Musgrove himself once took exception to a lone figure in evening dress that he had seen at rehearsal, despite all his instructions that nobody was to be admitted. By the time Musgrove had completed his complaining, the figure had gone!

Subsequent sightings were usually made by firemen left to patrol the empty, half-lit theatre after the crowds had gone. In 1917 one of them even called out to the wardrobe mistress who was working late, to share the experience of a sighting with him. They both claimed to have seen a figure sitting quietly in the second or third row of the dress circle, about the centre of the row. Most of the firemen took their experiences calmly enough, as if it were only to be expected on the Princess Theatre job. But when one summers night the great dome of the theatre was left open because of the heat, the one fireman saw a figure in full evening dress standing in a shaft of moonlight on the stage. When he failed to send his hourly ‘all’s well’ signal to Eastern Hill Fire Station, the brigade rushed to the theatre. They found the fireman huddled in a corner petrified with fright.

Even to this day, each production that plays at the Princess, at least one member of the company has an encounter with Federici. It is never a frightening experience though; we say it brings the production ‘Good Luck.’”

Princess Theatre Foyer

Princess Theatre Foyer

This story provoked much discussion over lunch, at the end of the tour. Now I shall just add some photos from the tour, not divulging more stories about the prostitutes who had very colourful stories, hopefully to entice to you take the tour!IMG_0685 IMG_0691


The old and the new

IMG_0705 IMG_0703


Gordon House originally built to house actors and other theatre workers and their families by George Coppin. Original concept didn't work out and became lodgings for single men for most of the C20th. Now a hotel.

Gordon House originally built to house actors and other theatre workers and their families by George Coppin. Original concept didn’t work out and became lodgings for single men for most of the C20th. Now a hotel.

IMG_0698 IMG_0697 IMG_0695

Heteronyms and Homographs for a bit of fun:

Homographs are words of like spelling but with more than one meaning. A homograph that is also pronounced differently is a heteronym.

You think English is easy??
I think a retired English teacher was bored… THIS IS GREAT!
Read all the way to the end…
This took a lot of work to put together!

1) The bandage was wound around the wound.
2) The farm was used to produce produce.

3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

4) We must polish the Polish furniture.

5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.

6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

10) I did not object to the object.
11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

13) They were too close to the door to close it.

14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.
15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.

16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

Let’s face it – English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren’t invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet, are animal organs. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn’t the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?
How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out, and in which an alarm goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

PS – Why doesn’t ‘Buick’ rhyme with ‘quick’?

You lovers of the English language might enjoy this.

There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is ‘UP.’
It’s easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP?
At a meeting, why does a topic come UP?
Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report? We call UP our friends.
And we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver; we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen.
We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car.
At other times the little word has real special meaning.
People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses.
To be dressed is one thing, but to be dressed UP is special.
A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP.
We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night.
We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP!
To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look the word UP in the dictionary.
In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4th of the page and can have UP to about thirty definitions.
If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used.
It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don’t give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more.
When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP.
When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP.
When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things UP.
When it doesn’t rain for awhile, things dry UP.
One could go on and on, but I’ll wrap it UP, for now my time is UP, so . . . it is time to for me to shut UP!