Archive for April, 2008


Model Envy

April 30, 2008

Visual Diary

Monday 11 February 2008 – 7.10 pm

Looking at photos of amazing artworks and amazing photos. It makes me wonder, how do I become that good an artist? And what is it those models have that I don’t have? (Evidently it’s not in my haircut because my haircut is the same as many of those models!)

Hmm… must be in the clothing. (P.S. I’m actually taller than this image may imply!)


228. Guitar

April 30, 2008


Photograph, March 2008.

In this case, I’m the model, not the photographer. Playing an A Major chord, in case you’re wondering!


227. Mysterious

April 30, 2008

mysterious self portrait

Photograph, November 2007.


226. Pelicans

April 29, 2008


Photograph, March 2008.

Pelicans in coastal Victoria, Australia.

Australian pelican, Pelecanus conspicillatus.


225. Arabian-inspired foal

April 29, 2008

Arabian foal

Pencil on paper, April 2008.


224. Painting Whales

April 27, 2008

Humpback Whale Painting

Humpback Whale, acrylic on canvas, January-April 2008, 8×8″ (approx 203×203 mm).

This is a rare case of me working on a piece for more than one session. Being notoriously impatient, I tend to prefer to get a drawing completed within a day of starting. This was a deliberate effort for me to try and develop more patience. This painting was developed over the space of a few months, one layer at a time. I’m not sure how successful it is – I am an amateur painter!

It was inspired by a photograph of a humpback whale, Megaptera novaeangliae, and started around the time that the Australian news was dealing with the issue of whales being killed in our territory, against our laws. In Australia, whales are generally considered a vital part of the oceanic ecosystem, so it cause quite a stir when all these animals were being locally slaughtered earlier this year. Strangely enough, at the same time I have been reading the classic piece of literature, Moby Dick. I have found it a fascinating snapshot into human perspectives regarding whales – not to mention all the other deep themes explored in the text. The chapter devoted to arguing that whales are fish, not mammals, was particularly interesting. I wondered if perhaps describing whales as fish alleviates the burden of massacres when these intelligent, family-living, social creatures are cut to pieces.

More information –

– you might find the Animal Liberation Victoria website an interesting source of information regarding the 2008 slaughter of whales in Australian waters. Try or search for “whaling” at

– The Australian Government has online information regarding Australian legal policy directed towards cetacean conservation. Go to

(Links accessed 27 April 2008 10.46 am Australian Eastern Standard Time)


Christianity’s Influence on Western Culture

April 24, 2008

Here are links to some articles on the history of Christianity in Western culture, and Christianity’s influence on the rise of science: – A review of the sociology text “For the Glory of God.” Speaking as a sociology student, it is rare to find sociological texts that accept the possibility of the objective existence of a God – any God! (2004) – According to this article, there are European moves to ban the teaching of alternative perspectives to atheistic evolution. (2008 ) – an exploration of the influence of evolutionary perspectives in the humanities.


223. Stencil Horses

April 24, 2008

stencil horses in acrylic

Acrylic on canvas board, 9×12″ (22.9×30.5 cm), April 2008.

This was a simple painting – I drew and cut out the stencil, painted in the background, then stencilled in the horses. My children were enjoying watching the process, though they expressed confusion and concern that the pink horse was running in a different direction to the rest of the herd. Thus is their introduction to learning to accept that not everyone wants to conform to the status quo.


Vegetarian cravings…

April 22, 2008

For me, reading vegetarian recipes is generally a good indicator that either (a) I’m hungry or (b) I’m needing a health fix. In this case it’s probably both! While I do try to eat healthy and exercise, it seems that I became somewhat lazier than usual over the Easter break. So, here I am, exercising to try and work off the flab and browsing recipes to try and reduce my intake of junk foods! My exercise regime mainly consists of regular fast-paced walking most weekdays; and 20-minute aerobics sessions a few times a week.

Add to that, I’m not interested in vegetarian recipes that just take out the meat and add cheese or some sort of soy-based meat substitute. No, let’s get into the real stuff, the raw ingredients combined to make food where you know what it was, it still looks like what it was – where it hasn’t been processed beyond recognition.

I was having a browse yesterday in a bookstore‘s massive health and nutrition section. There were, thankfully, more vegetarian and vegan-friendly books than last time I looked at this topic. There were also the books that are very anti-vegetarian, telling people to eat more meat, more fatty fod, etc. to lose weight!

To try and simplify things, I like to keep the PCRM 4 food groups in mind when planning my menu for the coming weeks:

  1. grains
  2. legumes
  3. fruits
  4. vegetables

This provides a great starting point for developing meals. A variety of each of these types of foods contribute to increased energy and good health (at least, it has for me!).

I also find the Market Fresh website excellent in finding locally available seasonal produce in Victoria (Australia). Here’s what’s available in Victoria in May (from MarketFresh.Com.Au, with detailed descriptions of each product and recipes available on the MarketFresh site):

Avocado (Avocado Pear)
Banana (sugar banana)
Black Sapote (Black persimmon, Chocolate Pudding Fruit)
Breadfruit (Sukun)
Carambola (Five corner, Star fruit)
Custard Apple (Atemoya, Bullocks Heart, Cherimoya, Netted Custard Apple, Sweetsop)
Dragon Fruit (Pitahaya, strawberry pear)
Feijoa (Guavasteen, Pineapple guava)
Guava (Apple guava, Gyayaba, Jambu batu)
Indian Apple
Jakfruit (Nangka Jaca)
Kiwifruit (Chinese gooseberry, Yangtao)
Lime (makrut)
Miracle Fruit (Miraculous berry)
Monstera (Ceriman)
Nashi (Apple-Pear, Asian Pear, Crystal Pear, Oriental Pear, Sand Pear)
Paw Paw (Papaw, Papaya)
Pepino (Melon pear, Papino)
Persimmon (Kaki)
Prickly Pear (Indian Fig)
Soursop (Guanabana)
Sugar Apple (Custard Apple)
Tamarillo (Tree Tomato)
Tamarind (Arabic: tamr hindi (Indian date), Thai: makham, Vietnamese: me )
Amaranth (Bahasa: bayam, Chinese: een choi or edible amaranth, English: Chinese spinach, Greek: vlita (green variety), Thai: phak khom suan, Vietnamese: rau dên)
Bamboo Shoot (Chinese: chuk sun, Thai: nor mai, Vietnamese: măng)
Banana Blossom (Thai: hua pli)
Banana Leaf (Thai: bai tong)
Bean (flat bean, long bean, yard long bean)
Beetroot (Beet)
Bitter Melon (Bahasa: peria, Chinese: foo gwa, English: bitter gourd or balsam pear, Thai: mara)
Bitter Melon Leaf (Bahasa: daun peria, Chinese: foo gwa yip, English: bitter gourd leaves, Thai: bai mara)
Bok Choi (bok choy, pak choi, pak choy, shanghai chinese chard)
Broccoflower (A hybrid mix of cauliflower and broccoli.)
Broccoli (Chinese kale, White flowering broccoli , Gai Lan)
Brussel Sprout
Cabbage (Chinese Mustard Cabbage, leaf mustard, Napa Cabbage, Peking Cabbage, Swatow mustard cabbage, Wombok, Wong Bok)
Capsicum (Chilli, Paprika, Peppers)
Celeriac (Celery root)
Chilli Leaf (English: chilli leaves, Thai: bai prik )
Chinese Boxthorn (Chinese: gau gei choi, English: chinese wolfberry, Vietnamese: kâu ky)
Choi Sum (Chinese: choi sum, English: Chinese flowering cabbage, Thai: pak kwang tung )
Choko (Chayote)
Curry Leaf (Bahasa: daun kari, English: Indian curry leaves, Hindi: meetha neem, Sri Lanka: karapincha )
Drumstick (English: horseradish tree or ben oil tree, Thai: marum, Vietnamese: chum ngây)
Eggplant (Aubergine, Oriental eggplant)
Hairy Melon (Chinese: tseet gwa (mo gwa), English: hairy gourd or fuzzy gourd, Thai: mafeng, Vietnamese: bí đao)
Jute/Jew Mallow (Arabic: melokhia, English: potherb jute or bush okra, Thai: po krachao, Vietnamese: rau đay)
La Lot (, Bahasa: daun kadok, English: wild betel, Thai: bai chaplu , fish plant)
Lettuce (asparagus lettuce, woh sun, stem lettuce)
Long Melon (Fuzzy Melon, White Gourd, Winter Melon)
Lotus Root (Bahasa: ubi teratai, Chinese: lin or leen ngau or lianou, English: lotus root, Thai: rak bua)
Luffa (angled luffa, Chinese okra, loohfas, ridged gourd, ridged melon, smooth luffa, sponge gourd, vegetable/bonnet gourd)
Mache (Corn Salad, Lamb’s Lettuce)
Okra (Bahasa: bendi, Chinese: huang qiu kui or yong kok dau, English: lady’s fingers, Thai: krachiap)
Pandanus (Bahasa: daun pandan, English: pandan or fragrant screwpine, Thai: toei horm)
Paw Paw Blossom (Papaw Blossom, Papaya Blossom)
Pea Shelling
Pea Snow (Chinese: Hoh laan dau, English: sweet pea or Chinese pea, Thai: tua lan tau)
Pea Sugarsnap (Chinese: Hoh laan dau, English: sweet pea or Chinese pea, Thai: tua lan tau )
Peperomia (English: peperomia or crab claw plant, Thai: phak krasang, Vietnamese: càng cua)
Pumpkin Leaf (English: pumpkin Leaves)
Radish (Cheng loh baak, Daikon, Green oriental radish, Lo Baak, Long white radish, Red radish)
Shallot (Eschallot, Shallot)
Silverbeet (Swiss Chard)
Spinach (Malabar Spinach, Slippery Vegetable, English Spinach, Swamp Cabbage, True Spinach, Water Spinach)
Spring Onion (Bahasa: daun bawang, English: Eschallots or green onion, Thai: ton horm, Vietnamese: hành lá)
Sprout (Alfalfa, Bean Sprouts, Mung Bean Sprouts, Snow pea shoots)
Squash (Button Squash, Scallopini)
Sugar Cane (English: sugar cane, Thai: oi )
Sweet Corn (Corn)
Sweet Potato (Bahasa: ubi keledek, Chinese: Faan sue, English: sweet potato or sweetpotato or kumara, Thai: man thet, Vietnamese: khoai lang)
Sweet Potato Leaf (English: Sweet potato leaves, Vietnamese: Iá khoai lang )
Taro (Bahasa: ubi keladi, Chinese: woo tau, English: Taro or dasheen, Thai: peuak)
Taro Shoot (Chinese: woo hap, English: taro stems, Thai: born)
Tatsoi (Chinese: taai goo choi, English: rosette bok choi or Chinese flat cabbage, Japanese: tatsoi)
Vegetable Spaghetti (Spaghetti Marrow, Spaghetti Squash)
Vietnamese Balm (English: Vietnamese balm, Thai: phak leuan)
Watercress (Chinese: sai yeung choi, English: watercress, Thai: phakkat-nam, Vietnamese: xà lách son)
Winged Bean (Bahasa: kacang botol, Chinese: yi dou, English: asparagus bean or Goa bean, Thai: tua pu)
Witlof (Belgian Endive, Chicory, Witloof)
Yam (Bahasa: ubi kemali, Chinese: da shu or tai shue or shuyu, English: yam or water yam, Thai: man)
Yam Bean (Bahasa: bangkuang, Chinese: sa got, English: jicama or yam bean, Thai: man gaeo)
Zucchini (Courgette)
Zucchini Flower
Almond Nut
Basil (sweet basil, thai basil)
Bitter Herb (Chinese: foo yip, English: bitter herb, Thai: phak kuang, Vietnamese: rau đăng)
Brazil Nut
Cashew Nut
Chive (Onion Chives)
Coriander (Chinese: Uen sai, English: coriander or cilantro, Thai: pak chee )
Fenugreek (Hindi: methi)
Galangal (Bahasa: lengkuas, Chinese: hang dou kou, English: Siamese ginger or galingale, Thai: kha)
Garlic (Bahasa: bawang putih, Chinese: da suan or suan tau, English: garlic, Thai: gratiem)
Ginger (Bahasa: halia, Chinese: geung, English: ginger, Thai: khing)
Kaffir Lime Leaf (Kaffir Lime Leaves)
Lemon Grass (Bahasa: serai, Chinese: heong mau, English: lemon grass, Thai: takrai)
Macadamia Nut
Marjoram (Oregano, Sweet Marjoram)
Mint (common mint)
Pecan Nut
Perilla (Chinese: gee so or jen, English: beefsteak plant or shiso, Japanese: shiso (green) & aka shiso (red))
Pine Nut
Pistachio Nut
Rice Paddy Herb (English: Rice paddy herb or finger grass, Thai: phak kayaeng)
Thyme (Citrus Thyme)
Turmeric (Bahasa: kunyit, English: turmeric, Thai: khamin)
Water Chestnut (Chinese: ma taai, English: Chinese water chestnut, Thai: haeo jin)


222. Strange Sights in the Backyard

April 22, 2008

what the kids do for entertainment

Photograph, September 2007.

I walked outside to find this doll’s pram (stroller, perambulator, whatever you prefer to call it) hanging off the washing line. The kids must have been bored. It creeped me out at first!


Irritatingly Large Trains

April 21, 2008

irritatingly large train

Sunday 10 February 2008 – 2.09 pm

At a park – as usual, for a Sunday. It has a MASSIVE steam train sitting here. It’s an old engine that’s been parked and painted. I can’t get over how big it is.

[Me, asking my husband – who works in the rail industry – if trains are meant to be that big.]


Missing the home country…

April 10, 2008

Leongatha, Looking East 1906 – image from Wikipedia.

Trapped in the suburbs can be a bit of a nightmare for an individual like myself – rural born-and-bred, love the country, miss the country, don’t enjoy hectic lifestyles… My creativity tends to become starved, too, when I want to paint or draw something beautiful, yet all I see out my window is houses, roads, the “garden” (weeds) of our rented home, and innumerable cables – electricity lines, phone lines, cable tv lines, tv aerials… How much tv do we need, anyway?

For the first 23 years of my life I lived in the little piece of Australia known as Gippsland. A beautiful place, it is marked by clean beaches, mountainous country, and tracts of temperate rainforest.

Map of the Gippsland region, from

My particular hometown is in the South Gippsland region, in Leongatha; though I also spent a few years in Churchill (near Morwell). These days I’m far far away, and how sad it is!

I’m regularly telling people that they should check out South Gippsland.

Conversations have ranged from:


“We’re thinking of getting out of here and moving to the country. We just don’t know where to go.”

“South Gippsland.”

“You like it there?”

“I love that place! I just didn’t know how much I’d taken it for granted until I moved away.”


“We want to go on a holiday, but we’re a bit sick of going to the same places. You know anywhere with a nice beach?”

“Ah, you’ll want Inverloch (near Wonthaggi). It’s clean, sunny, and has a variety of beaches. I used to go there all the time when I was young. We were there most weekends during our childhood summers.”


“You know anywhere we can go for art / craft / gourmet food / food markets?” [Select most appropriate.]

“You want Gippsland. It’s farming country, so they have plenty of homegrown cheeses / foods. There’s a lot of artists down that way…”

You get the idea! I thought I’d share a few links about the Leongatha area, including tourist information, job opportunities, and historical bits and pieces. (All links believed correct at time of posting and accessed 10 April 2008.)


Bush Tucker

April 10, 2008

In doing research for my university assignments on the land rights social movement among Indigenous Australians, I have come across a lot of references to Native Australian foods. Add to that, our local supermarket stocks a variety of Native fruits as relishes and sauces, and we have the beginnings of an amazing variety of foods long ignored in the west.

I found a couple of websites that discuss Native Australian plants as food:

Australian Bushfoods Magazine

Bush Tucker (The Epicentre)

Bush Tucker Plants

Aboriginal Diet and Nutrition (Better Health Channel, Victorian State Government)

My interest in this topic was probably sparked when, as a teenager, I attended a garden nursery open day, which included a short lecture on Indigenous plant foods of south-eastern Victoria, Australia. (The links are related to the region in question!) Add to that the fact that I am vegetarian, and so am always on the lookout for a variety of plant-based foods to bring variety to our eating plans!


221. Clouds In Summer

April 8, 2008

Photograph, January 2008.

Summer around here begins in December and ends at the end of February. We’ve been suffering from a drought for the last few years, so there are few things more glorious than clouds. I took this photo on a January day, hopeful for the rain to come. Since then, we have had plenty of rain. In fact, last week we caught the tail end of a cyclone – for the first time in recorded meterological history in these parts, if I remember correctly. Crazy winds caused AUD$millions in damages. The power went out in many places. Here we were treated to a 6-hour blackout, but in other areas some people were without electricity for days. Some people were even killed in the storm.

So, there you have it – it never rains, it pours… and gusts and wails and destroys stuff.

Something so gentle and calm about simple white clouds on a summer day!

PS. wordpress has changed a bit just recently, so I’m still getting used to the new methods. Apologies for the double photograph, I’ll work on doing it right next time!


My photos in Explore!

April 4, 2008

Scout Explore

1. Amused Self Portrait, 2. An Early Self Portrait Experiment

Explore is a Flickr.Com ummm thing where the best / most popular photographs appearing on Flickr are shown to the world. Apparently two of my self portrait images have been in Explore (though unfortunately they fell out!). They are shown here on the bighugelabs Scout tool.

My husband’s had more success than I have. Here’s his photos:

Matt or somthing flickr explore

1. Contrasting expressions, 2. Untitled, 3. A new way, 4. Experimental Narcisism, 5. Untitled, 6. Untitled, 7. Jonquil, 8. Drop,

9. Red Silhouette, 10. Untitled, 11. Dreams, 12. Back to the future, 13. Duckies


Trying my hand at modelling

April 4, 2008

It’s me – yay!

Friday night dvd sessions

Part of me is a raving attention seeker. So, how better to fulfill that in trying my hand at amateur modelling? I think a lot of the photos are funny, some of them are silly, and the rest are just me being me. I do enjoy making people laugh, so I think that’s the element you’ll see most in barely effortless’ photos.


220. Guitar Grrrl

April 3, 2008
Guitar Grrrl
This is from a series of recent photos of me and my guitar. This one wasn’t one of the best, I think it gives the illusion that my chin is massive. Oh well…


April 3, 2008
Sepultura – “Territory”
Unknown man
Speaks to the world
Sucking your trust
A trap in every world
War for territory
[Lyrics excerpt from]
Ahhhh…. what better than to spend a quiet night in, watching mud-covered guitarists screaming about the perils of racism? This song was one of my favourites when I was a senior high schooler.

I Can Dream That I’m Someone Else

April 3, 2008
Skunk Anansie – I Can Dream
Pain is your beauty
It hurts the vision in your eyes
Your eyes are smiling now
They watch me cry, they watch me die, watch me die

I can dream, I can dream
I can dream that I’m someone else
I can love, I can love
I can love – whoa – love someone else
My saviour, my darling

[Lyrics excerpt from]
This song takes me straight back to my teen years! Memories of late-night radio listening, pumping up the guitar sounds. Good times…

The VB Symphony

April 3, 2008
This is sheer brilliance!
To explain it, here’s one of the original VB ads. Listen carefully to the music and you’ll realise how brilliant the symphony is!
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