Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Day 303
I managed to squeeze an hour for sketchercising between taking my mother for a late afternoon outing in more pouring rain and coming home to dinner which Tor had cooked. The university and city mall areas are closed until next Monday due to severe hail damage last night but we didn't get hail - just a total 0f 70 ml of rain in the last 48 hours. However, as we have no garage, we have blankets ready to cover the car should we be suddenly deluged with hail - oh, for just ordinary soft rain! I cycled to Manuka so I could draw undercover if the rain should begin again - of course I was struck by this girl with a red dress and yellow hair. In reality, she didn't look so sour - I realize I must do pastel large or fit less in - using the bumpy side of the paper makes it extra hard to get the detail, though I like the pattern it gives on the dress. 10 km cycle

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Day 302
Off on my bike again - I really didn't feel like it but once I was wizzing down the hill towards the lake, I was glad I'd made the effort. I cycled to the art school library and stopped to watch the nearby building workers - this guy was operating a lift and most of the time seemed away in a dream. I think he'll be in trouble for wearing the wrong hat. 12 km cycle

Monday, February 26, 2007

Day 301
I just had a slow walk around the suburb today and spied the herald of autumn - the beautiful yellow autumn crocus - hooray. 4 km walk

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Day 300
A busy Sunday as usual, so after Sunday evening dinner with my parents over, I went off for an evening ride. I'm still feeling flat and was sure I would see nothing to sketch but I was intrigued by the way the light was reflected differently by these various trees, and the fence too. There was also a convenient lampost to stand under. The night is so peaceful and it always feels as if there's much less friction between my bike wheels and the road - don't know how that can be?

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Day 299
I did a long cycle ride this morning but had no time to stop and sketch, so I went for an evening walk. I often pass this cosy sofa with a stripey rug on a verandah which is always lit though I've never seen anyone sitting out. It's hard to see anything because of a thick hedge but I like to peer through anyway. 25 km cycle, 5 km walk

Friday, February 23, 2007

Day 298
I rode to the other side of town to enjoy some sketching at the annual agricultural show. It was hot and I was tired and flat from yesterday's news about my cousin and it was hard to sketch, not just watch the world passing by. I most enjoyed seeing the farmers talking/supporting each other in these difficult times. Ambulette was having a bad show day - she was excluded from judging on a technicality but now she gets to be a blog star. 24 km cycle

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Day 297
A very full day. I cycled over and around the lake to meet up with the homeschooler group who were picnicing. It was lovely to catch up with old friends and we got around to discussing what approach to take with the Education Department which is nibbling at the legislation without consultation. Before I left, I sketched this couple who had been enjoying watching the children swim in their clothes. Then a session with Mum, home to cook dinner and off to a textile meeting. Back to discover an email saying that my aunt and uncle have had to rush home early as their daughter, my cousin, has been seriously injured in a car accident - aaargh. 17 km cycle

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Day 296
I went for a cycle ride this morning but had no time to stop and sketch. So this evening I put on my plastic gardening clogs and went out with an umbrella to enjoy a thunder and lightening storm with pouring rain. Every few minutes, the sky lit up a sort of lilac colour. It was much scarier than the hoons. I tried to catch the feel with pastels when I got home. 12 km cycle, 1 km walk

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Day 295
I had to return to the library today to sort out why the books I returned last week are still recorded as borrowed in my name - sigh. As I knew I would sketch another library reader, I stuck a snippet of today's paper down to experiment sketching over. 14 km cycle

Monday, February 19, 2007

Day 294
Not much time to exercise today as the morning was spent doing town things in the Blue Mountains and in the afternoon we drove home after putting my aunt and uncle on the train to Sydney. During a quick evening leg stretch, I sketched these ibis having an evening feed. 4 km walk

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Day 293
Looking west, away from the Three Sisters - we did several more short walks this morning and then went to visit Jenolan Caves, a cave system about an hour west of the Blue Mountains. At the end of the day, we walked to this lookout again - there was a storm on its way, seemingly slow moving but it soon was upon us and we just got back to the unit in time - along with a tiny lost terrier dog, frantically checking every house without luck. Fortunately, it had a phone number on its tag and we were able to leave a message - at 11.30pm, its owner came to collect it - it had strayed a long way.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Day 292
Ralph and I, with Monica and Alan, drove for about 4 hours to the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney. We did a number of short walks to look at views. This is the most famous - of the 'Three Sisters' at Katoomba - here floodlit, and sketched with the last of the western sun. 4 km walk

Friday, February 16, 2007

Day 291
The first unpleasant late night walk- the hoons were at large in Yarralumla. From several cars, they yelled obscenities and threats at me so I changed direction and walked to the shops where there were people dining. On my return, I saw they had been doing burn-outs in the street. Hoon is an Australian colloquial word meaning fast, reckless driver or loutish, aggressive youth. 4 km walk

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Day 290
I took Monica and Alan on a walk to Yankee Hat rocks. We set off early to see the kangaroos before they retreat to the shade. Today there were lots and the females always remind me of the poem Kangaroo by D. H. Lawrence which I leart by heart soon after we arrived in Australia. Below is an excerpt.

Delicate mother Kangaroo
Sitting up there rabbit-wise, but huge, plumb-weighted,
And lifting her beautiful slender face, oh! so much more gently and finely-lined than a rabbit’s, or than a hare’s,
Lifting her face to nibble at a round white peppermint drop, which she loves, sensitive mother Kangaroo.
Her sensitive, long, pure-bred face.
Her full antipodal eyes, so dark,
So big and quiet and remote, having watched so many empty dawns in silent Australia.
Her little loose hands, and drooping Victorian shoulders.
And then her great weight below the waist, her vast pale belly
With a thin young yellow little paw hanging out, and straggle of a long thin ear, like ribbon,
Like a funny trimming to the middle of her belly, thin little dangle of an immature paw, and one thin ear.
Her belly, her big haunches
And in addition, the great muscular python-stretch of her tail.
There, she shan’t have any more peppermint drops.
So she wistfully, sensitively sniffs the air, and then turns, goes off in slow sad leaps
On the long flat skis of her legs,
Steered and propelled by that steel-strong snake of a tail.
Stops again, half turns, inquisitive to look back.
While something stirs quickly in her belly, and a lean little face comes out, as from a window,
Peaked and a bit dismayed,
Only to disappear again quickly away from the sight of the world, to snuggle down in the warmth,
Leaving the trail of a different paw hanging out.
Still she watches with eternal, cocked wistfulness !

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Day 289
I cycled to to pick up the car but it started to pour so I didn't do any sketch. Instead I snatched an opportunity while waiting for a restaurant meal at the Yacht Club - there was a procession of couples clutching tickets for a Valentine's Day dinner cruise. This fellow looks as if he's already eying off someone else! 12 km cycle

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Day 288
I cycled to Woden to get a few groceries, then in the opposite direction to Parliament House to sketch at question time. This event is held Monday to Thursday when Parliament is sitting. Usually there is no need to book. One is not allowed to wear hats or scarves unless they are 'dress apparel' - whatever that is - nor take in books. Sketchbooks, however, seem to be allowed and I was told, "yes", I was allowed to draw but I suspect they have never been asked that before and simply haven't yet made up such a ban. The Prime Minister is 'answering' a question - not really - just getting on his soap box, the Speaker, on the left, screeched constantly. Kevin is to the right and opposite Mr Howard and the alien-looking creature at front right is Peter Garrett (ex Midnight Oil? band), now opposition spokesperson for the environment. He really is very huge. 20 km cycle

Monday, February 12, 2007

Day 287
I cycled into town today, to pick up a free offer of a set of energy-saving light bulbs. Then, as my trouser situation is getting dire, I had a look at the new autumn range. Not really my scene - for 20 years, I have made my own using the same pattern but even having cut the pattern down, it's still too ridiculously baggy. I discovered, along with another woman, that if you want a 'mature woman style' in a smaller size, you have to ask for the model to be de-robed because the store only orders one each of the slimmer sizes and the models wear them. I never thought I would 'achieve' this. I am not this slender, however - the trousers were pleated at the back to hold them up.! 12 km cycle

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Day 286
On Sundays, I do weight training - why isn't there a greater variety of wheelchairs? It can't be necessary to have a 20kg chair for a 45 kg person. Anyway, we had a nice outing with my aunt (Mum's sister) and uncle and I did lots of lifting walking and pushing.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Day 285
We're still carless so Ralph and I cycled to the fruit markets to stock up for the next week - 4 panniers worth as we are doing quite a lot of the catering for family this week. Ralph cycled home with the super perishables and I stayed on to do a sketch. There were lots more people but I couldn't really put them in after I'd done the fruit stands, then the little girl came and loitered just long enough to include her. When I got home, I cycled off to the supermarket. 20 km cycle.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Day 284
I am 2 days delayed in posting and have lost my mini moleskine with today's picture - another library fellow. I think I've left it in my uncle's hire car which has been returned and will have to wait til Monday to see. Until Monday 19, posting will probably be irregular as I have my relatives staying and the computer is just outside their room, so I won't be able to post late evening as I usually do. 12 km cycle to Woden ps.Found my book inthe picnic bag :)

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Day 283
Another of my 'men at the library' series. This fellow kept moving but always returned to the pencil in mouth position - he didn't use it for writing at all. I'll have to go back again tomorrow to return the overdue books that I forgot. 12 km cycle

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Day 282
I cycled to Manuka this evening against strong wind but on the way home I enjoyed about 4 km with barely a pedal pushed. The above scribble was an exercise in noticing how the heads get smaller as the picture recedes. Today, I cleaned the super-disgusting grease trap and surrounds of the fan above the stove - well now I won't have to do it for another few years - and then it will be Ralph's turn! 10 km cycle

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Day 281
"I want to go for a swim too." I did the usual cycle round the lake - early to avoid the heat - and spotted this retriever tied to a 'no dogs' sign, waiting while his owner had a swim. I think Blogger is trying to make me update too. I refused, so I wasn't allowed to post but now it seems I can. I will have to back up my blog(s) before I do but am too busy now - doing a 5 year backlog of cleaning as my rather more house-proud English aunt and uncle are coming to stay. :) 17 km cycle

Monday, February 05, 2007

Day 280
One day, some men came and took away half the house. The curtains were still hanging in the windows and the soap still sat in the laundry cupboard. I saw this on my return from dropping off the car to be fixed. Ralph hit two kangaroos when he drove to the mountains at night last weekend. 20 km cycle

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Day 279
Another busy Sunday - so I did an evening ride round the lake stopping to do a sunset view - mistake! especially given our difficulties with the scanner which is over-exposing. 17 km cycle

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Day 278
This is the track to Hermione's bench. It was dark this evening when I passed by after cycling round the lake but there was an enormous blush of a cloud. 17 km cycle

Friday, February 02, 2007

Day 277
I was out all day today, so it was another evening excursion for exercise. Now I have a front and a back light for my bike so I did a quick, hilly ride to Manuka to find some people and light. The proportions look all strange in this crooner - the guitar is certainly too small but other than that I can't pinpoint what's off. He was a funny guy - just singing for himself really - he only had 20c on his plate. 10 km ride

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Day 276
Last of the light. Unexpectedly, I ended up doing an evening walk - setting off to Hermione's bench at 8.00pm with a chilly wind. This is looking west to the Brindabellas from the point near Hermione's bench. 6 km walk