Grey Sky Blues aka The Sea Works its Magic

the beach today is grey
grey sky
grey sea
grey glass
and empty empty empty
rain spits at us
just a little
the seat is wet wet wet
in spit spots
but the sea, the endless sea
pulls us along the seawall
look closely
the reef is there, just under the grey glass
the sky is there, just beyond the clouds
the kayaker knows it
with his yellow tipped prow slicing through the morning
the swimmer knows it
with his stroke stroke stroke across the still water
the footballer knows it
holding his jumper above his waist
as he step, step, step, twist, twist, twists
the dog knows it
head up
head down
tail wagging like this is the best day to be alive

Out and About

We took off today, into the sunshine of a perfect autumn day. I’d had a thought that there might be colour if we went to the right places.

And there was. There was so much colour.

Glorious, glorious colour.

Not sure how to describe this, but for two bob (or even less) my fellow traveller would have been inside fossicking about.

Twas a tad hazy from the top, but still pretty magnificent.

Then we hit the coast.

Anyone pick where this is? It’s just about brand-spanking, smell-the-diesel-from-the-diggers new.

Night of the Notables

This is one of the views from the Docklands Library. It was also the venue for the inaugural ‘Night of the Notables’, hosted by CBCA Vic at the library. The room was full to bursting with Children’s Book people. I caught the train and tram in, and had a vague idea where the library was. Fortunately, guest speaker, Will Kostakis, was on the same tram and although we didn’t speak, I just followed him. Surely he was going to the right place.
Amazing food was supplied by an asylum support group (sorry I can’t remember exactly who it was).

In previous years, the Short List was announced only hours after the announcement of the Notables, and from that point on, the Notables list didn’t get much attention. This is a great way to celebrate the long list and to offer schools and libraries an opportunity to check out more wonderful books. Sadly none of my books made it this year, but see here for the complete list.

Many arrived by public transport, and others drove and parked nearby. However, others parked slightly further away, offering the opportunity to take photos on the way back. 

A lovely night, both inside and out.

Australasian Quilt Show

The coloured pieces in this quilt are one-inch squares. (yes, quilting still speaks the language of inches)
For scale, refer the conveniently visible thonged foot behind the quilt.
It’s hard to fathom the hours spent planning, cutting, sewing and quilting this piece.

I liked the stained glass/linocut sensibility of these.

This was an award winner, best of the best ( I think that means the selection was made from the best of quilts from state competitions). It’s impossible to capture in the photo, the intricacies of the work. This is over two metres wide (see how non-quilt savvy I am?) and longer than it is wide.

I have no aspirations to make any quilts of any level of complexity, but it is fascinating to see the work of those who do.

There was also an exhibition of war quilts made mostly by men. While I saw some war quilts at an exhibition in Queensland (which also featured the Rajah Quilt), there were many more there. Most were made from the wool of uniform etc, some with tiny pieces. They told their own story of war and rehabilitation.

Artfully so

We are members of the NGV but somehow we seem to wait until the final weeks of most exhibitions before we get to see them.
There are two more weeks to see this amazing exhibition with Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei.
It was as huge as it was gobsmacking.

Some of the images were familiar, but it was fascinating to see some of the perhaps lesser known (okay, lesser known to me) pieces.

These three Ai WeiWei images are created with Lego! (note: unaware person included for scale)

Love this exploration of eyes.

I’d seen this image before but familiarity does not diminish its gorgeousness.

While under house arrest in China, Ai Weiwei placed flowers in a bike outside his studio. These are dated photos of all the bunches.

Porcelain flowers. (Ai Weiwei)

More flowers, this time from Andy Warhol.

One whole room was wallpapered with pixelated (?term) images. 

And in a break between Warhol/Weiwei Pt 1 and Pt 2, we popped up to meet Whistler’s Mother. As well as the wonderful painting, the exhibition included some of the influences on Whistler’s work, including this Japanese vase.

And finally, the foyer of NGV offered this beautiful chandelier.

From the NGV we went to Toorak to the launch of Corinne Fenton and Robin Cowcher’s new book, ‘You Have My Heart’ at Corrie Perkin’s new ‘My Bookshop’. There was a crowd almost too big for the room happy to share the magic of a brand new book. Nup, no photos of that. Was too busy enjoying the launch and catching up with people. Too hard to take photos as well.


Every year we meet twice with a group of friends – for nearly 30 years now. The first gathering is a weekend away with our families. When we began there were two children. Now they are all adults, all 14 of them and these days there are always extras. It’s a big wild, messy weekend in group accommodation around Victoria. There’s always too much food, late nights, stories and photos.
The other time we meet is for a dinner with just the ‘adults’ – we’re still searching for an appropriate other title now everyone is adult – and no ‘oldies’ is not a consideration.

And sometimes, there are other events, with some or all of us. Last night, after a quick dinner in Acland Street, some of us saw Jackson Browne at the Palais Theatre .
Like all of us, (and ahem 95 % of the audience) Jackson Browne is no longer a teenager. But man can he still sing. There was no support act, only Jackson, doing two long sets, separated by an intermission. 

The evening remained mild and gentle so we climbed to the 28th floor (oh okay, we took the amazingly swift lift) sipped cocktails and watched the world go by.
A wonderful night with good friends. Life is good.