Another Country Diary
Links to images and other pages are in blue, mouse-over pop-up comments when I have them are burgundy.
|18 August '02|
at the end of Gibralter Street is the ... Harp Inn Hotel.
It was a great night, and finished with
everyone up and dancing (yeah even me!). We're really lucky that we can
walk five minutes to the pub and see entertainment as slick as this. I
just hope that John and Moya get to spread that pleasure and the work
they've put in this show to a bigger money paying audience.
|19 -20 August '02|
and Monday I played agency producer for Jan. They had a table top TV
commercial to do for the Canberra Sunday Times and no money as usual .
On Sunday I did an animatic using my daughter Aurore's MiniDV camera and
then cut it on the PC. I went into Queanbeyan and bought all the props
and then shot each set-up. It took out most of the day from other
chores, but it meant that when the cameraman with the SP Betacam came
for a half day shoot, I had it all worked out and it went smoothly. We
used my big softlight and I played director, food stylist and props
It was cut the next day at Images Online and the only hiccup was the headline that was partly visible on the folded newspaper. Horror Smash. The client rightly thought that the headline would be distressing for the family, especially played over and over. Greg and Andy at Images tracked a few letters in Adobe After Effects and it read Hobub Smms by the time they finished. Usually we would have a mockup front cover but the redesign of the paper started this weekend and they needed it on air on Wednesday. Although I bemoan the low budget, no time Canberra advertising pressures and complain loudly when Jan gets forced into working like that, I had fun. (And the client loved it and wants another version for their Tasmanian paper.)
|21 August '02|
look at this poster as I step from the lift at the Sydney client's
office where I'm working. It evokes another time and the travel symbolism is perfect. It
always makes me feel good. I can smell that place.
I spent two days in Sydney this time and it will be three days next week, just to get the process going a bit faster. Staying overnight breaks the drag of the long drive and adds another few hours of productive work time in the day. However it also means that I'm away from the the things I love, the garden and Jan.
I've been offered some work in Canberra
but I'll have to finish the other project first or try and juggle them
both in the interim. There's a feeling of dread. It sounds like another of those periods where the
paid work takes over, and the pleasures of working here at my computer
looking out to the yard, will fade. I'm not sure why it feels so 'dark'
this time, as I've done this all my life. Shuttling back and forth from the need to make a living and the need to
recharge the things inside that keep you sane and happy. Living in constant balance means living with less, and I'm no better at that then
you. There's the technology I crave, and the pleasures of eating and
drinking. Making a choice to live a frugal life is a lot harder when you've
also got three children dependant on you for education and their mobile
The book is interspersed with seasonal
recipes I'm not really tempted to try, and the bits of interest to me are the
struggle to keep garden and rural life a part of their lives. There's
bouts of bitchiness between them, often as they say honestly, alcohol
fuelled, and you hear both sides of how they cope. Given the contents of
the book, the Slow Food tie-in seems more like a marketing angle despite
their protestations to the contrary. They do work hard to keep their
food natural and homegrown as much as possible, and I envy their warmer
climate which makes that just a bit easier than here.
So it's going to be interesting (as in
the supposed Confuscian curse that goes "may you live in
interesting times") to see what happens around here.
|22 August '02|
One of the band members of Sydney three-piece Fendahlene, works in the Ad agency were Doug has his office. Doug has promised to see them perform live and always chosen he says, 'to have his Horlocks and hot water bottle and toddle off to bed rather then visit a smoky pub at midnight'.
The band were playing at 7.30 tonight so Doug suggested we visit, and go on to dinner somewhere (Bills 2 as it happened). The back room at the pub filled when the started to play and I thought they sounded ok. with a hint of old UK. Squeeze. I took some photos and gave them the disk. The gave me their self produced CD as thanks. I then realised that illustrator friend Bill O'Donovan had done their CD cover art and website, something I'm sure I was told but had forgotten. If you haven't seen Bill's work, see it now at Secret City. Fendahlene's website is were I'm sure the pictures will end up.
|24 August '02|
music, not electric. Leaving for home on Friday night, I
stepped out of the Broadway shopping centre to the sound of this neatly
dressed older (Greek I presume) man busking. He was playing a recorder and the music
sounded a bit thin and repetitive, but the accompaniment was the thing
that grabbed my attention. On his feet he had layered silver bells that
he tapped and shuffled
as he played.
I put some money in the plastic basket and asked if I could take his photograph. I then tried to catch the passing traffic as a time exposure blur but he was too animated to get a sharp image. I don't know how folk authentic the recorder/bells combination is, but it felt right in a cosmopolitan that he was there.
out of Tarago, just half an hour from home, in the cold full moonlight,
I slowed as a young stag walked across the road. This was the spot I
photographed three deer grazing around Christmas time. He was well ahead
of me and trotted on his long legs quickly off the road and up the
Feeling pleased at seeing him so close,
I was scanning the road for more when a kangaroo came hopping towards me
diagonally across the road. This time I hit the brakes hard and swerved
in plenty of time to clear it, but I was cautious about how they
sometimes cut back in fright. I've always prided myself (and felt lucky)
how in the six years I've been driving these roads, I've always been traveling
at a speed where I can stop, or have seen them in time and slowed. You
train yourself to look for patterns of light and movement that are not
right. There have been some close misses and the only one I hit was
already dead, lying in the middle of the road and I couldn't swerve
around it because of oncoming traffic. It ripped the exhaust pipe out
and the dogs crawled under the car for days, sniffing and licking. I
wrote about how I feel about the roadkills in an
I drove slower the rest of the way home thinking how much it was all like a video game. The windscreen/monitor view, the lack of reaction time and no feeling of impact. The kangaroo's face lit up against the background and the cartoon-like eyes, with the impossible behaviour of the body of the animal tossed into the air, lacking the real effects of gravity. And like a video game I didn't feel anything to kill it. All of which would be an argument for the de-sensitising effect of video game violence except that I never play video games.
The car goes into repair on Monday, if
like last time it will be around $1500 worth of damage. It's all covered by
insurance but there's still $400 in the excess and I've no car for a
week or so. After seeing the deer, I was thinking of the scene in David Lynch's The Straight
Story where the women in a new BMW hire car hits a deer, having done
so just days before. Her anger and distress at having killed 'such
beautiful creature'. Alvin Straight, the lead character is then seen
guiltily eating the meat beside a campfire, while in the shadows, the
eyes and shapes of deer watch on.
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