You gotta love teenagers. Masses of them, gathered round the barbecue, just generally hanging out, sitting on each other’s laps, drinking, laughing, drinking, playing computer games, cranking the music up, eating everything in sight, smooching, drinking, playing Lego…

Oh yeah, not kidding. The kids and I were were playing Lego inside, and one by one, as they passed on the way to here and there, a teen would stop, sit down for a few minutes, start picking up pieces… the littlies moved on, but the teens stayed.
By the end of the afternoon, we’d turned this:
into these:
One by one, I’m bringing them over to the LUG Side…. 🙂


So here’s how my job can eat my life:

Australia Day means families. Families mean a family-friendly event. 5000 people on the foreshore, which means hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of kids.

Kids means face painting. Ask them. They’ll tell you.

When your face painters pull out three weeks before the event, this can be construed as a problem. It can also be construed as a problem. I know I repeated myself…

Solution: put the call out amongst our local artists. Gather up a crew of volunteers, equip them, train them, stick them in a marquee, open the lines and cross your fingers.

And it worked. Bloody brilliantly, as a matter of fact. But it also meant that I had a car full of face painting kit in my driveway all weekend. Just sitting there, in my car, all painty and kiddy and sitting there.

Come on. What would you do?

In my defence, I only did one each 🙂

Hulk not mad. Hulk just disappointed.

Is it a panda? Is it a skull? Either way, the 10 year old hates it. Five minutes with a wash cloth and…. 

This is me, sticking to writing…


Let’s be honest: unless you get lucky, you’re going to earn the square root of fuck all by being an author. So the only way to remain sane, and not take a hammer to the windscreen of every DB9 you see cruising past with some mouth-breathing troglodyte at the wheel just because he managed to get off the mine site without a dose of the clap and with his bankroll largely intact, (this is me not being bitter. You should see bitter…) is to divorce yourself from money and understand that it is only necessary to feel a sense of being rewarded for your work. Not all rewards have to be financial.

Which is my way of saying: I’ve worked for t-shirts.

Which is also my way of saying: it has been my inordinate pleasure to spend my recent evenings in the company of the delightfully baroque Pyrotechnicon- The Further Adventures of Cyrano de Bergerac by Himself (Dec’d) by the equally delightful and baroque Melbournian writer Adam Browne, which I am fortunate to be beta-reading.

Adam is an artist with words, what would flippantly be called a ‘wordsmith’ by those who don’t know just how fucking impossible it can be to build spires and rainbow bridges and gossamer spaceships using nothing more than a clear mental image and a sense that you’ll never, no matter how much you rage, describe it as perfectly as you see it in your mind. His short stories are invariably tours de force, and the novel manuscript– wonderfully illustrated by the man himself– is a perfect distillation of the soaring joy that Adam brings to his craft. The wordplay is joyous, the characters are exercises in bravado, and the whole thing is an explosion of bravura that has me rocking back in my chair and barking with mirth on a regular basis.

Pyrotechnicon is due to be released by one of my favourite small presses– Melbourne based Coeur de Lion— in September, as an ebook and limited print edition. If you’re after a taste of what to expect, Adam has been posting teaser illos on his blog over the past few months.

As Molly would say: do yourself a favour…


So the secret to blogging success, apparently, is to do it regularly. Pick a day of the week, or two or more, and no matter what, make an entry on that day. You build up trust within your readership, and regular updates lead to repeat readership.


Lot of wevver we’ve been ‘avin, innit? 🙂

So it’s been more than a month, and there’s a very good reason for that– I keep my day job out of this blog, and my day job has been mad. Apart from being the lead officer on our Australia Day Celebrations, a task that ate my January, I’m also involved in the preparation for two major art exhibitions which will eat, respectively, my May and July. It’s a fantastic job, but sometimes it takes over.

Still, there’s been a bit of action going on at the Battheim: for starters, we’ve decided to sell up and move closer to the kids’ new school. Those who’ve been to our current house will attest to the fact that it’s freaking huge: 2 stories, and enough room to fit 7 or 8 residents, which was fine when we had 7 or 8 residents to fit. But we’re due to drop from 6 to 4 in the coming year, as our eldest and his best mate depart our rooms for digs of their own, and this place is just too damn big– and too damn expensive– to suit a family of 4. It’s time to rationalise for life in a smaller, cheaper house.

Simplify, simplify, simplify.

So it’s reno time, and cleanup time, and sitting down in the evening to watch Get It Sold and Selling Houses Australia and the like time, and losing my weekends to the garden time. Not to mention realising just how much shit my house is filled with time.

So our weekends are booked for the foreseeable future, it seems. Every time I move house I swear it’s the last time, that I only have one more move left in me, that I want to stop and put down roots and actually see the gardens I plant grow to maturity, and give my children a sense of security as they grow through childhood. But it’s okay, because I reckon I have one more move left in me……