Thursday, 31 October 2013


JUST SITTING IN BED feeling like i'm getting some kind of wog thanks a germy friend - reflecting on what i've learned since i've been here. it's now in  late october that it's a year since i really started to live here. After moving in mid september and having lots of friends to stay and having a week at ubud writers festival in october 2012 i really didn't experience just being here and all it meant until then.

so   -  I've learned how to use the pump, how the various complicated hose fittings work, their names -  knockers, turf keys, turf valves, etc.  How to clean the filter although i still can't unscrew the lid myself.   I've learned that the  weather has no relationship to Melbourne at all, it comes from a completely different place and has more similarity to Alice Springs.  It's hotter than i expected.   I've learned to always make sure the house is sealed up when i go away in case of a dust storm, how the evaporative cooler works, how the slow combustion heater works.  I now know and have a map of where all the pipes and plumbing are on the place, both house and garden.   I've learned not to swim in the river alone because of currents and cold spots that can be disorientating.

It's been interesting to observe the whole small town life,  the way everyone knows everyone and what they're doing, everyone knows i'm 'the artist who lives in clarkie's old house' while i don't know most of them.   There are rivalries between wentworth and mildura.   Wentworth often feels and is left out of things, being over the river and in a different state.  We're just working hard right now to be kept in the name of the mildura/wentworth arts festival.  Mildura thinks there's an aboriginal problem in Wentworth, and there just isn't.   only half an hour between the two towns but it may as
well be a day.

Wentworth and Mildura are each about the most remote towns in their state, Wentworth even more so because it's only tiny.

I'm getting to learn a little about the birds, they come and go at different times, the kingfishers have just returned for the breeding season, the cormorants are gone right now, pelicans are thinning out but thank goodness there's hardly a time when they all go.

I've learned that wenty is a long way away for mildura tradies, it's been a real pain trying to get a completed bathroom out of them.  the first one still isn't finished, the rest of the work will be done by wentworth tradies if i can find them.

An important thing i've learned is that no matter how dry everything gets, it's amazing
how plants regenerate with some water.  Rainfall in minimal but after a couple of days heavy rain (i only remember that twice in the past year) everything just springs back, things i thought were dead suddenly green up again.

that's enough for now, but there's lot more.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Monday, 28 October 2013

jacarandas are out

i've put my hand ceramic in the birdbath -
slightly spooky but i like it

Next door, the wood ducks are everywhere, strolling in groups all over the lock lawns and
on dan's nature strip.   such pretty birds


NO ARGUMENTS NOW - he is the best baby in the world,  no - the universe :0)

Sunday, 27 October 2013


AM I MAD?   or is this toast on my plate 
the image of a holy dog?

i can hear mum
now    'anne,
stop playing
with your

mashed potato
castles with 
pea decorations
were my 


this morning on the river

I spent all day backwards and forwards between the new print studio in the garage and the house, transporting materials and furniture, doing some things with the interior to make it more like a studio and i have to say it's coming up a treat.  feels like a lovely big airy space.  dust will be a problem, i'll keep lots of things covered when i'm not in there and see how it goes.  there's plenty of natural light, the floor is strong, the space is large and the ceiling high.   all good.   

dinner last night was at the sally and mark hederics' house, a lively group, slow cooked goat (shot up in the bush by steve) and beautiful roasted veges

edi in the bath before heading off to bed, what a little livewire she is

coming home past the lock,  the water's like a mirror at night

Friday, 25 October 2013


LOTS OF THINGS happened today  -  no time for photos.

at 8a.m. shaun the plumber arrived with 3 offsiders and they spent about five hours (what's that going to cost me!! :-O)  beavering away out there refiguring the plumbing, directing the washing machine water out to the garden, undoing the mess they created by joining the toilet and bath plumbing, cleaning out very old pipes  . . .  they were there when i left for a meeting at artback about the mildura/wentworth arts festival.  
it was good to meet paul (director of festival) and his wife and to talk about
wentworth's essential participation with paul and anne from artback.  i'm very
much a newie in town, so it was an introduction to the whole thing for me.

then melbourne artists trevor and mimmo (hope that spelling is right) arrived and we all had lunch. they came back to my place for a quick visit with steve hederics (artback)     I always enjoy showing people around and we talked about house swapping (trevor is in abbotsford).    i'd like to be able to do that in future, it's good for everyone involved.

after they left i've spent the rest of the day with a bucket of warm water and sugar soap, the hose and a broom, and i've been cleaning out and scrubbing the garage,  i've just realised there's a view of the river from the window.  it
was so thick with dust i didn't know  :0)     it's feeling good in there already.

now i'm going through my big bag of vietnamese silk clothes getting ready for artback's bi-annual 'art market'.   it'll be fun to have a stall and meet more

and the bath is filling up right now, it'll be interesting to see what happens when i empty it later.

well i've had my bath and it was delicious, with candlelight and frangipani soap, deep deep water and solitude.
and it's been emptied and all the water has disappeared with no flooding under the house.  WHOO HOO!!

pretty candlelight,
a holder anne l  gave
me for my birthday
and the others are
from the famous
tip shop

Thursday, 24 October 2013


janet with a big bunch of hippeastrums
from the garden, they've been so
prolific this year, masses of them
. . . OR JANVAN - in the tradition of branjelina,
tomkat and jenfred  :0)     

janet and bevan headed
off early and i spent the day
dealing the shaun the plumber
as he tried  to puzzle out
the laybyrinth under the
house that is my plumbing.

he's pretty sure he knows what
to do to stop all the water from
the bath and washing machine  bubbling up under the house.

feeling better, i spent the
day sorting out the inside
studio room and setting up
the print studio out
in the garage.

till next time - we had a lovely time

Wednesday, 23 October 2013


I introduced janet and bevan to 'gilda' tonight,
great to see that terrific film again - probably the 
twentieth time for me

very tired   i fell into a bit of a funk today - just overwhelmed by everything.   it was good that janet and bevan are here,  nice to have friends around when things are getting to be too much.
we had lunch at trentham estate on the river, third visit in a week for me.  the food is just terrific and we were entertained by some poor bloke who was trying to moor his houseboat between two others. there was heaps of space but it took him four goes, and he finally settled for further down river.  
we also called into the art centre for a look around.  it's a strange place, doesn't really feel like a gallery, more like just part of the arts centre building.

details of rio vista, the old chaffey homestead which adjoins the arts centre.

janet discovers a 'janet tree' in the arts centre foyer

 introduced janet and bevan to aroundagain, mildura's amazing tip shop where i bought an extension dining table last week for ... wait for it . . .  $5!

lovely janet weeded two sections of garden for me while i lay in a tizz on the couch.


BOY!   the plumbing is really a mess, there's water in a big pool under the house. previous owner wendy's son-in-law paul came round to explain where the septics drain and says the plumbers have joined the toilet and bath plumbing up together - it's all wrong so they're coming this afternoon.  the plumbing here is weird and complicated and dates from before the days when paul was involved with the house.   hope they can work it out without pulling up paving.   it's stressful dealing with all this unfamiliar stuff,   the pump's also giving me trouble again.   the downside of this beautiful place.  very windy today too, so i'm feeling ick!

lucky janet and bevan are here, we're going to trentham estate for lunch.


first we assembled the press in the garage, it's going to be a great workspace, so much room and the benches and shelves that are already there are perfect for printmaking.

bevan was fishing so janet and i took the bottle of moet they'd brought
and went down to the riverbank to celebrate the installation of the
etching press, nothing less than moet would do :0)



the pelicans were 
hanging around waiting
for bevan to catch
something - it didn't
happen though.  the
closest thing to a 
catch was a weird 
dead fish that floated
by - the pelicans were
mesmerised by it -
couldn't take their
eyes off it.

it must have been old - the pelicans had a few goes
at it but shied away, must've been off