Oh dear me. It’s happened. I knew it would. There are two days here where I used my father’s camera, then went back to Bathurst, and now I don’t have any pictures for those two days. So let me owe you two and let’s move on.

In fact let’s move on all the way to moving in. Today we moved into the new place! Well, by move I mean we signed the lease, and moved most of the stuff and almost none of the furniture out of the old place, and allowed Sax to get acquainted with everybody. I got this picture as we took a late lunch break;

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This picture sponsored by Colonel Sanders? I’d say I wished that was the case, but I couldn’t handle eating KFC every day. It’s the kind of food where you gotta let the memories die before you want it again.

Anyway, from L-R, Spud, Lydia, Ryan, our impromptu toilet roll/ hand towel in front. Spud and Lydia are our new house mates, along with Richelle from the apartment. Not pictured in this photo but definitely present is Sax, so there are six of us sharing a house. Sax doesn’t get to vote in household decisions, but neither does he have to do chores, so that’s a decent trade off.

That’s it for moving (today, anyway). Always remember, there is no greater symbol of friendship than someone who helps you move house.

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Baldy Arch

Sunday was on the agenda, and Ryan, Mum and I shipped off to Gundagai for a tour of the Bald Archy art exhibition.

The Bald Archy, a political satire of the Archibald, Australia’s most prodigious art competition, was started in 1994 by Peter Beatie. Peter may or may not be a Gundagai local, but forget Peter. The thing to remember about the Bald Archy is that it is judged by a sulphur crested cocaktoo (and I would think that the viewer votes also count for something).

Unfortunately there are some policies about posting pictures of other people’s artworks online before they’re judged, and so I don’t have any pictures of the art itself. You can check out some of it here (and if you’re in the position to catch the exhibition in its tours around Sydney and such, I’d highly recommend a look). That nude of Dame Edna was certainly a sight to behold.

Luckily for you and me, the Bald Archy starts its national tour in the Old Gundagai Gaol – that is to say, Gundagai’s old jail, not the jail of Old Gundagai. The jail itself is an interesting building with a lot of character, and what appears to be minimal security measures allowing for some great views over the town;

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There’s also this fantastic sculpture on the grounds;

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Run rabbit, run!

I’d love to enter the Bald Archy or the Archibald one day. Pity I can’t paint! XD

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Red Feather Boa

Book launch! >:0

From early morning to mid-afternoon, we were busy. I was left home alone to get ready while Ryan, Mum, Richard and Sax went to help set up the book store. To pass the time I took a bunch of self photographs, none of which were as full-bodied as this;

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Not like I was nervous or anything.

By time I got to the book shop, Between the Lines in my hometown, Tumut, it was too late for nerves. There were things what needed doing and needed doing now. The working crew posed for this picture before getting back to intensively hard labour, as the first of the crowd arrived;

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We had Sax there in his tuxedo as well, but he must have missed out on that picture. He joined us in wearing red and black.

While we set up drinks and food (non-alcoholic wine, cheese, biscuits, cabanossi, etc), Ryan rigged up some speakers beside the counter, and cranked Parov Stelar. If you haven’t heard of Mr Stelar, check him out here. The music is very cool, and very much set the mood for the launch.

By then, guests were arriving, and after I was introduced by the guest speaker (a librarian of the year winner, Kristen Twomey, who was just as cool as custard), it was time to get down to signing dem books.

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Signing is most definitely the toughest part of being a published author. What to write! I did manage to sign one book at least with a picture of a rainbow and a unicorn.

Well, lunchtime came and went, and we called it a day. We had a great crowd and a constant stream of people into the bookshop. Ryan and I thought we’d wind down with a Japanese lunch. I suppose the waitress thought we were gangsters.

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We weren’t the only ones exhausted that night. Poor Sax, out of his tuxedo, could barely keep his eyes open:

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I don’t blame him; he had the tough (self-imposed) job of eating any feathers which detached themselves from my boa.

And that was that! Now, if I’m really lucky/ lazy, I can reblog this to my writer’s blog. Thank you to everyone who came along to the book launch. You made it a wonderful morning. This song goes out to you.

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Cupcakes on Fire

Last night I was playing Far Cry 3, and finally on the second island, and I was in a jeep and close to a story point so I figured I’d drive over the hill and do it.

Now as my car bashed down from the hill crest towards the base, flames leaping from its engine, my character says to himself, “Gotta be quiet. Can’t let anyone see me. Can’t kill anyone and give myself away.”

At this point I’m fifty metres from the base and fully ablaze. I leap from the jeep, on fire, as it slides burning down the hill towards the base, frantically slapping out the fire on my arms as the jeep explodes, and a tyre goes bouncing into the point, where I am, I remind you, about to invade in full stealth.

Needless to say the mission was still more of a success than that time I was about to liberate an outpost, ambushed by a tiger, and had to run screaming for help into an enemy hive with a tiger mauling my back.

Far Cry 3

Funnily enough, that’s also the outlook I had today, as we were going mad getting things ready for tomorrow’s book launch. Posters up, check. Radio interview, check. Article in paper, check. Bookshop booked, clothes found, snacks – oh my glob snacks. Friday was truly a day of snacks.

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Luckily Ryan was there to help;

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Still, I have to say, even though we got through what we needed to, the overall feeling pervaded as such;

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Ah, to be photogenic.

Let’s launch this book into space!

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The Giant’s Birthday

Today was my father’s birthday, whoo! Happy birthday! Although he has recently moved onto the street sweeper, for many years he drove the garbage truck for town, and loved it.

I bought him a toy garbage truck as a present and filled it with nearly 800 grams of chocolate. It was a lot of chocolate. Pity he’s on a diet!

Anyway, he was really happy with the truck, and spent a long time checking out the various features (it’s quite articulate for a toy truck). The photos I got of this aren’t especially adventurous, but he had a fantastic look on his face, and so I give you these three…

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Seeing how the truck works. Note the candy all over the table already.

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Figuring it out…

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And voila! Making it happen.

It was great to make a big kid so happy. :D If only my mother were so easy to buy for…

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Painting the Giraffe Red

Just before we begin, here’s a really good picture of a giraffe, from here:

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Although looking at that site, I don’t really believe they created the picture, nor speak English in any way familiar to you or I. Hm.

Anyway, forget that. This week, because I am such a pro artist (lies), I was asked to give a half hour drawing tutorial at the beginning of each of my mother’s art classes. She’s an art teacher specialising in all things paint, particularly acrylic, and runs seven classes for adults per week.

Since teaching anybody anything is not a virtue I possess, I sat down long and hard to think about how the lesson would go. I needed something to sketch which would show the basic principles of using geometric figures and simple lines to create a proportional figure. Something different and interesting, that most people hadn’t drawn before, and that would take about half an hour.

Hm, I thought. Giraffe.

And so, at the end of today’s lesson, which was the first of five, we ended up with these:

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While we had a variety of giraffes in the end, everyone had a good time, or so they tell me;

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How cute are they? Thank you to Chris and Marj for posing, and everyone for having me. Both the teaching and the drawing were good experiences.

Hey! I was also on the radio today. I did an 18 minute interview and felt very popular afterwards. To celebrate, Sax got all tuxed up, and we hit the town!

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And wow. Just wow. Being a “grim and shabby” dog owner, I got a kick out of this article. Ten interesting dog facts. It involves pictures of “Friend Dog” and “Jealousy Dog”. Check it out!

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Beauty in Ruins

How cool is this:

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Kalvantin Durg near Panvel, India. Just incredible. I would really, really love to go there. And then there’s this:

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Angkor Wat Temple in Cambodia, the largest religious monument in the world, dated from the early 12th century. A city of temples…

Completely different is this lovely fishing hut in Germany;

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There’s no end to beautiful things in this world. And an end, so to speak, of a thing’s original function, is sometimes the pathway to a much greater beauty. I don’t mean to say I desire an end to any thing, but there is a point when what is human-made is reclaimed, and it’s at that point the contrast between our instincts to survive and our instincts to prosper seem most perfectly balanced.

That said, also living closely in tune with your environment is also very beautiful, and far more of a goal than simply letting nature take over and drive out the humans, or after the humans have been driven out. I think as humans we have this arrogance in thinking we’re not part of our environment; because we can make structures and move around, we think we’re removed from the system. But we’re very much a part of the system. And when we acknowledge this, that’s the time we become able to live our potential as humans, as living, mortal beings, rather than something above and beyond.

To assume we are immortal, to assume we are removed, in a world where mountains crumble and oceans recede, is a very, very silly way to think.

Well, I didn’t go to Cambodia today and I didn’t go to India or Germany either; in fact I encourage you to take a look here at the source of the pictures. It’s a most beautiful and unexpected album.

Hey! Where I did go today was the radio station today. It’s neither remote or lying in ruins, but I did have a certain sense of adrenaline as I waited to speak to the host.

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All those nerves, and it turned out my interview was the next day! Oh well. While I was at the station I got to meet one of my local heroes, Harry Hill, who writes a lot of (colourful) history on the area. He’s a pretty cool guy.

On air tomorrow, oh my!

Where would you go if you could? To any one of these places, or somewhere else? How much does abandoned porn float your boat? Although if it’s an abandoned boat, it’s probably on the lake floor…

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