More around my suburb

One of my favourite sounds in Willimbong is the Leeton Childcare Centre fence, which featured in the Waipukurau Park track on For 100 Years.

I've posted a recording of this fence previously.

Methinks, it should have been impossible
Not to love all things in a World like this,
Where e'en the Breezes of the simple Air
Possess the power and Spirit of Melody
-- Samuel Coleridge

Vintage Canberra

One from the family home movie archives, a Super 8mm film shot by my parents in the early 1970s -- who both feature, along with my uncle Andy and his car, which was used by Queen Elizabeth II during her tour in 1954.

It takes a community

My despair  for the future of human society started last year when I read comments from people intolerant of children on airplane flights. Yeah, I know kids can be a nuisance but it's not hard to block out their noise -- easier than blocking out the noise of the plane for me.

At the time I thought about how all these whinging adults were children once but probably don't have kids of their own. Then I started thinking how in some cultures the community takes responsibility for raising kids and realised people were assuming the future generation was in fact someone else's responsibility.

I was thinking about this again on the weekend when I took my kids to the playground in the centre of town. Some people, youths most likely, had tied knots in the cable that hangs the seat from the flying fox. I guessed it helped them use the flying fox but I use it fine without tying a knot in it and it was kinda tricky to get it back to the state where my kids could use it again without assistance.

Soon other parents were at the playground with their kids and we shared the flying fox for a while until the kids wandered onto other equipment. Then I heard a mum saying the kids would need to put their shoes back on because of the broken glass.

And then I saw all the empty bottles that had been all over the ground all along. They came into focus and I joined other parents in collecting the remains of Friday night teenage binge-drinking, which seemed obvious based on the sugary alcoholic drinks that had been consumed.

Broken glass in playgrounds is a regular hazard because the teens like to drink in these locations and, since they're probably already breaking the law, they don't seem to think much about littering.

It seems to me that teenage binge-drinking and the resulting vandalism, assaults, council levies used for cleaning, etc. are all part of the problem of people deciding that introducing their children to drinking responsibly is not their responsibility. These older children aren't quite adult enough to drink properly and so they consume crap and make a mess.

Since it wouldn't be interesting for most kids to drink at home with their parents, I think this is an area where a responsible adult could provide guidance. Which led me to think about the idea of using role models and then to realise that it takes a community to tackle social problems caused by alcohol since the law is ineffective or not policed.

Ideally I think the drinking age needs to raised, mostly because studies show the brain continues to develop into our third decade, but also because it's become a woeful rite of passage for many. While raising the age at which one can buy alcohol, I'd like to see encouragement for parents to introduce their older teens to alcohol in appropriate supervised social settings, like offering half a standard drink with dinner occasionally, as a way of establishing safe drinking practices and appreciation for how this social lubricant can be used responsibly.

Elephant hiding in jungle from lava

My four-year old drew this picture yesterday and I think he's done a good job showing an unusual scene simply.

Ink on canvas

Been working on canvas recently to prepare an entry for the local art prize. Pictured here is a portrait of my partner I drew from a photograph.

Top Shelf crossover

BoingBoing put me on to Top Shelf, a publisher of excellent graphic novels who hold an annual sale I patronise. Last year a stack of kids titles appeared and my son was very impressed, enough that he started seeking other titles by artists like James Kochalka -- whose Sketchbook Diaries are great.

The other day my son said he'd spotted James in the Pirate Penguin Ninja Chicken book he's read every day since it arrived six months ago.

Here's a picture from Kochalka's work

And I like Kochalka's sketches of other artists

But the other thing that got me excited was seeing Rich Koslowski's King in the pic at the top too. Here's The King, which is a great read and I like the music focus in all of the Koslowski I've read

March around my suburb

In previous Marchs I've featured my other blogs and some of my published writing and photography, this year I'm going to focus on the suburb of Willimbong.

One thing I like are the trees which grow under the power lines.

The power lines are a feature in themselves but the bonsai-like trees which have been shaped over years have a lot of character.

I also like how the sounds of the former swamp can be heard after rain.

I need to focus

Another great track from Fankx, whose Breaking Bad remix I previously posted.