Carved from a piece of sweet chestnut burr by artist Bill Prickett

Milkshake brings RoboCop to my blog

Milkshaking continues to amuse

Or, as I recently read, the activity can be described as "lactosing the intolerant"!

Image by Happy Toast

Guitar gent

How is that 'cat lady' is a thing but 'guitar gent' isn't?

Milkshakes as a statement

Entertained by the trend for throwing milkshakes at right-wing politicians

Gives me an idea for a story about a radical scientist who uses time-travel to throw a chocolate thickshake at a certain younger Liberal in Engadine Maccas during 1997.

Image by HappyToast

Relationship advice

Democracy sausage at stake

This Federal election has seen a record number of pre-poll votes

Currently around 10% of the population has cast their ballot ahead of polling day this Saturday.

The trend threatens an Australian institution: the democracy sausage.

Barbecues at school hall-based polling stations have been a method for P&C committees to raise funds.

If electorates aren't visiting the schools to vote, then they won't be buying snags.

This Yellow Box rocks

Short video about a magnificent Eucalyptus melliodora outside Wagga

It's surprising what you can learn climbing a tree.

This Yellow Box offers a fun climb and a great view of the landscape.

Addressing Leeton's doctor shortage

The Leeton-based Campaigners for Regional Equality is using the Federal election to spark conversation around the issue of the town's shortage of doctors.

Breaking news

Narrandera's newspaper wrote a story about the project I'll be launching next month

My aim is to make Australia's largest playable guitar the most-played guitar in the country by offering a free sample set of the instrument for use in productions.

Read more about the recording session with Narrandera's big guitar here.

Long arm of the law

A few years ago I had an idea for a story in which the Police used an automated program to analyse photos, identify whether a law was being broken and issue a fine

Now wondering should I have thought about a start-up company?

Baking with spinach

In the last week I've tried a baking spinach in a couple of doughs

The bread almost collapsed, in part because the spinach has a lot of moisture.

Last night I tried pizza dough, which is forgiving and my kids seem to like it soggier.

I also like it soggier, as it's easier to roll.

And it means that spinach is non-negotiable with pizza!

At present I'd guess that each cup of spinach requires around 30ml less water.

Both the bread and the pizza bases had around two cups of blended spinach, with their recipes calling for 3.5 cups and 3.25 cups of flour respectively.

The spinach was added and did not substitute for flour.

I also add a tablespoon of chia seed and two tablespoons of hemp seed, as well as a heaped teaspoon of dried oregano.

Writing haiku

I've been writing haiku poetry for years and feel I've been improving

My interest in the short, constrained verse was sparked when I got a mobile phone.

Back in the day the limited number of characters that could be sent by SMS suggested the format would be good to send poems to my friends.

The title of this blog came from one of those haiku.

A few years ago I decided to challenge myself to write a poem each week.

The following year I began writing one each day, a practice I've largely maintained -- although there was a slip last year.

The little I know about haiku comes from following Naviar Records' haiku challenges and the poem shared today came with this insight from Masaoka Shiki:
He advocated realistic observation by “sketching” (shasei) poems and going out into nature with notebooks, thus abandoning the traditional subjects of haiku of the time. His advice for an aspiring poet was, “Use both imaginary pictures and real ones, but prefer the real ones.”

It's an approach that makes sense to me, as I've been writing haiku in response to nature photographs more and more since late 2017.

That was when I collaborated with Naviar Records to develop the Crossing Streams exhibition.

For that Dr Greg Pritchard to run a writing workshop, as he had contributed to the Slow Book Haiku exhibition that I'd invited to fill the other room at the Narrandera Arts Centre.

In his workshop Greg introduced the term 'ekphrasis,' which is a creative response to an artwork.

I'm looking forward to exhibiting my haiku with the photographs the respond to, as well as music I've made, as part of an exhibition at the Griffith Regional Art Gallery later this year.