Up Warburton way

We spent the weekend in and around Warburton, east of Melbourne. Friday night continued the rain of Friday day and brought with it power outage. The power outage took not only our electricity but also our water (electric pump for water from tanks) – a minor concern given there were multiple people staying in this out-of-town house and we were all attending a wedding the next day. 
But we managed. An emergency call to us when we were en route guaranteed candles and some resourceful water gatherers (outflow from an overflowing water tank) meant all was fine for that evening. Noone could do the dishes though. And there was a slight frisson about showering on Sat morning. 
Luckily the power was restored sometime over night and we were all sparkling clean for the wedding (as were the dishes although we left them at the house)

Sunday dawned with clouds that gradually burned off to bright blue skies. 

It was also a day of rest, at least in short bursts. 

 Some relaxed more than others. Others drank coffee and ate cake.

School Magazine centenary, World Poetry Day

It’s World Poetry Day! Let’s celebrate!
world poetry day 
2016 marks 100 years since School Magazine began publishing poetry, fiction and non fiction into schools and beyond. What a wonderful achievement by so many wonderful people. What a great magazine!
100 yrs school magOver the years, many of my poems have appeared in the pages of School Magazine, and the team there continue to accept my poetry. Each poem is illustrated and it’s always a delight to see what images the poems inspire.
I love Matt Ottley’s illustration for ‘On a Country Drive’. This poem was born on a trip home from the north east of Victoria after a weekend away, but one phrase – ‘paddock-coloured sheep’ I’d written on the back of an envelope while on another trip away, this one to Queenscliff. I’d tried many times to put that phrase into a poem and only this time did it work. 
A lot of my poems are word pictures, an attempt to capture an image, a second. 
‘Tropical’ is about one of my favourite flowers, the very showy but not very long lasting passionflower. Another wonderful Matt Ottley illustration.
I hope the School Magazine continues for many years to accept the work of writers and illustrators and to offer young readers such a variety of story types. 
Happy Birthday School Magazine! Happy World Poetry Day. 
ps other Australian poets will be blogging today and thereabouts including Lorraine Marwood
Jackie Hosking, who started it all, has a full listing of other places to visit.

The benefits of early rising

This morning I headed off before the sun was up. The sun was tipping and the world was yawning and stretching as I turned along the Geelong waterfront.

I got a car park, had time for coffee before meeting Sue Lawson and Scot Gardner for a day of workshopping on the far side of Geelong.

Home again, home again jiggedy jig, ready for tomorrow. I love what I do.

Tucker Rd Literature Festival

Today I was part of Tucker Rd Primary School’s Literature Festival. Together with a host of authors and illustrators we delivered workshops to Gr 3-6 students. My groups drafted poems on Australian animals.

There was also a book launch, a quiz, book sales and book signings. It was huge. It’s organised by resident wonderkind Robyn Donohue who leads enthusiastic teachers in preparing all the students. It’s hard to imagine a more prepared, warmer welcome.

The classrooms were decorated with work the students had completed 

… and I caught a photo of Adam Wallace standing still. it doesn’t happen often!
Thank you to Robyn and everyone at Tucker Rd. It was a delight.

Obsolete words

Can you reintroduce any of these fabulous words into your everyday conversation? 

Snoutfair: A person with a handsome countenance

Pussyvan: A flurry, temper

Wonder-wench: A sweetheart

Lunting: Walking while smoking a pipe

California widow: A married woman whose husband is away from her for any extended period (locally and historically ‘Bendigo or Ballarat widow would work) Also FIFO widow?

Groak: To silently watch someone while they are eating, hoping to be invited to join them

Jirble: To pour out (a liquid) with an unsteady hand eg he jirbles out a dram

Curglaff: The shock felt in bathing when one first plunges into the cold water

Spermologer: A picker-up of trivia, of current news, a gossip monger

Tyromancy: Divining by the coagulation of cheese

Beef-witted: Having an inactive brain, thought to be from eating two much beef

Englishable: That which may be rendered into English

Resistentialism: The seemingly spiteful behaviour shown by inanimate objects

Bookwright: A writer of books

Zafty: A person very easily imposed upon

Indian summer

We of Melbourne Town are less accustomed to consecutive warm days than those who reside elsewhere. Particularly at this time of year. Well, anytime really. But the warmth combined with the time of year is certainly giving us some spectacular sunsets. Which is something I’m happy to celebrate.

 And then there’s the wonderful Sun Theatre in Yarraville. Any film is better when lounging in leather luxury. Sitting outside on the now permanent park watching the evening fall was alright too.