Tuesday, 30 December 2008
Friday, 26 December 2008
Wednesday, 24 December 2008
The welcome offered by said hound was followed (eventually)… and reinforced… by the appearance of an acne-encrusted youth of singularly surly disposition whose demeanour suggested that he was being forced to offer service at gunpoint and who made me feel only slightly less comfortable than a pork chop at a bar mitzvah.
The maculate one rummaged in the recesses of a shed, extracted a small handsaw and a measuring stick and indicated I was to participate in their self-service program. I sallied forth as instructed. The trees were a depressing sight and had clearly been pruned by someone in the last stages of dementia. I eventually settled on one and applied myself to the felling. Some 40 minutes later I was still sawing away thinking dark thoughts about ringbarking the rest of the plantation before slinking away quietly. Fortunately further contemplation brought to mind the inevitable karmic ramifications of such an act and I desisted.
Eventually as I was dragging my prize down the hill to the ute the patriarch of the proprietorial family appeared, expressing surprise at my presence and requesting considerably more cash than had earlier been agreed on. I informed him of his offspring’s unusual approach to customer service, pointed out that Christmas-tree sellers (especially those who borrow Santa’s name) really ought not to resent doing business given the time of year, reminded him of his telephonic price quote and wished him a Merry Christmas…
This year the Youngest of the Three and I were determined not to repeat last year’s mistake. We visited the national park abutting my parents’ property at Mount Lofty and engaged in the removal of an exotic weed by felling a small pine tree growing amongst eucalypts on the western slops of the mountain. Oddly it seemed to get bigger and bigger as we dragged it back up the hill towards the ute which [once the prize was loaded] assumed the air of a tree on wheels. Thus cleverly disguised as a small forest we drove home to the farm.
And even though it is in Australia now politically incorrect to publicly wish ones fellows a Merry Christmas for fear of offending immigrants who have come here from other cultures, I hope you do indeed enjoy a lovely Christmas, dear reader. Have a good one, we’ll be doing our best!
Monday, 22 December 2008
this version was recorded in Stockholm but it's no less a pleasant trip back in time...and here's that purple haze....
Monday, 15 December 2008
Monday, 8 December 2008
Saturday, 6 December 2008
Friday, 5 December 2008
Thursday, 4 December 2008
Monday, 24 November 2008
Wednesday, 19 November 2008
Sunday, 16 November 2008
Thursday, 13 November 2008
Tuesday, 11 November 2008
i'd been wondering about the rush of enquiry from north-east USA and i think i may have worked it out...found a friendly article on my work here
Sunday, 9 November 2008
when i was a wee thing one of my favourite books was "Little House in the Big Woods" by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Pa (her father) was often quoted as saying "it's an ill wind that doesn't blow somebody any good". i was minded of this today.
my mother (a pretty impressive gardener with all fingers in green, not just the thumbs) had coaxed a crimson flower from a recently acquired tree paeony. sadly a vicious toddler tornado decided to rip off all the petals. not to be outdone (and knowing my propensity for making strange brews) Mama diligently gathered the petals for me.
here's what they did when i wrapped them in a fragment of silk...
pictured: fresh petals on the petal-dyed silk. to see the original flower in all its glory, visit the blog of the dedicated gardener here
Wednesday, 5 November 2008
this evening i had the pleasure of watching my favourite dance company "Leigh Warren & Dancers" perform in a return season of petroglyphs, which premiered in 2005 (and was the first of my costume collections for the company)
costumes hang in the space, some to set the scene, others for on-set changes
it's fantastic to see one's work come to life on the dancers' bodies. this work is particularly moving as it is performed in promenade with the audience milling about between the dancers - somehow it feels as though one is assisting at a ceremony (and the music, by Australian composer Brett Dean, is fantastic)
here's a bit of the 2005 version
Sunday, 2 November 2008
now i'm NOT trying to upset readers from the sub-continent or be culturally insensitive...but here's a thought. if the plastic non-biodregradable rubbish that drifts around India were instead collected and used as a building material the environment could become much more pleasant for all concerned.
just as straw and old rope is traditionally mixed with mud to give strength to adobe housing, so too plastic could be shredded and mixed with mud to give strength to mudbricks.
salvaged plastic waste could also be used to stretch concrete when pouring concrete slabs. admittedly neither of these two solutions is ideal - but images such as that above are common in India. the advent of plastics pushed the traditional recycled paper packaging (that Asia had down to a fine art) aside. the streets of Indian villages and cities abound with scenes such as the one pictured.
and yes, I am aware that Australia doesn't have all the answers either. here at Hope Springs we try to re-use, recycle, re-invent or reclaim as much as possible but there are still too many things that do end up heading for the landfill.
plastic waste is an insidious problem....and apparently at least 3/4 of the worls's crude oil is guzzled by plastic production. i say wrap your goods in folded bags made from old telephone book paper, avoid plastic as much as possible and direct the few oil reserves we have left to transport needs rather than packaging...