Monthly Archives: March 2016

Variations on a Theme

As a teacher of Chinese calligraphy, an art form that is difficult to master, I like to remind my students that it is better to write one or two characters well than fill pages with flawed characters. As a master of flaws, … Continue reading

Posted in Craft, Diary | Tagged , , , , | 16 Comments

Good Friday Market

The rain has brought out the bamboo shoots.  I’ve noticed them in my garden and here they are at Paddy’s market in Flemington.  I’m glad that mine are much smaller and more manageable. The change of weather seems to have … Continue reading

Posted in Diary | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

“They’re so Ghastly I Love Them”

Late last year I took a pottery course at North Sydney Community Centre but when I tried to reenrol this year, I was told that the course was full.  At a loose end, I decided to take a three-session Saturday … Continue reading

Posted in Craft | Tagged , , , , , | 20 Comments

Easy Pattern for a Lazy Knitter

Yesterday I taught my last Chinese calligraphy class for the term.  I’m on holidays until May 3!  I had decided on a month away in Scotland but at the last moment before booking, gave my holiday money away to Wayside … Continue reading

Posted in Craft | Tagged , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Session 16 – Introduction to Chinese Calligraphy

This will be the last session of an eight weeks course that was extended to a second term.   Last week we had an examination and I was astonished to see that students were having difficulties getting past question 1. … Continue reading

Posted in Chinese Calligraphy | Tagged | 8 Comments

Broken Promise

The sun rose and I had a few hours in the garden but by the time my friend and I were sipping our morning coffees it started to rain.  The weather bureau retracted its earlier predictions; now it will be wet, dull … Continue reading

Posted in Garden, Urban Orchard | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Before Sunrise

Every morning I am touched to read emails that were written to me after I had gone to bed the night before.  Most of my friends know not to call me unless they want to wake me; so they write. … Continue reading

Posted in Diary | Tagged | 12 Comments

Track 5 by Aurora Schwaner (Writer’s Ear 1st Prize)

Originally posted on Translations from the English:
My 10 year old daughter Aurora won the Writer’s Ear prize at her elementary school. The contest, sponsored by the Staunton Music Festival, involves students listening to a musical selection and writing a…

Posted in Poetry, Poetry Translation | Tagged , | 6 Comments

The Rain Came

We’ve had a hot humid month in Sydney but early this morning the rain finally fell.  The temperature dropped to a cool 20ºC overnight and there is a hint of autumn in the air. The heat of the previous weeks … Continue reading

Posted in Diary | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

A Post I Loved

If one can have such a thing, this is my favourite post but I should be using the past tense:  it was my favourite post.  Last Friday, when I crossed the railway bridge at the Flemington produce market, Ang pointed … Continue reading

Posted in Diary, Travel | 5 Comments

Session 15: Introduction to Chinese Calligraphy

As this is the penultimate session of our course, I would like to ascertain whether the students are confident in their basic techniques. Although this is a composite class, I have set an examination at a beginner’s level for all … Continue reading

Posted in Chinese Calligraphy | Tagged | 4 Comments

The Second Time Around

Some things only work in pairs – scissors, shoes, socks.  After knitting my first sock, I felt compelled to knit another.  It was easier the second time around.

Posted in Craft | Tagged | 13 Comments

Session 14 – Introduction to Chinese Calligraphy

Those who practice Chinese Calligraphy have a choice of scripts just as calligraphers of other languages do.  China’s ancient civilisation, vast regions and huge population offer the budding calligrapher a range of scripts that would fall into the hundreds, if not … Continue reading

Posted in Chinese Calligraphy | 7 Comments

Mission Accomplished – (Sock Saga Finale)

A sock is born. Hand knitted with four 5mm bamboo double ended needles approx. 50 gr. /90 m worsted weight yarn (20% alpaca, 30% wool & 50% acrylic) a little skill and a lot of time and patience Thanks to: … Continue reading

Posted in Craft | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

Why I Kept Trying (Sock Saga IV)

I don’t want to be beaten by a sock.  How lame would that be?  However, I don’t want to risk my sanity or raise my blood pressure either so before I started again, I looked up ‘The Benefits of Knitting’ … Continue reading

Posted in Craft | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

Around the World in Twelve Months

When I started this blog with WordPress a year ago, I was content with having a place to put my writing.  Like having a pigeon hole for my manuscripts, a desk at a study hall or a quiet room in a … Continue reading

Posted in blogging | Tagged , | 4 Comments

If at First you Don’t Succeed (Sock Saga III)

According to the written instructions on the sock pattern I was ‘on the home straight’.  I am not familiar with sporting terms but I think it meant I was ‘getting there’, like the horse in the last part of a … Continue reading

Posted in Craft, Diary | Tagged , , | 15 Comments

The Getting of Patience (Sock Saga II)

Australians knitted a million pairs of socks for the troops during WWI ( World War One) and three times that many in WWII.  I’m not sure if my first sock  will be ready before the next global appeal for socks, since … Continue reading

Posted in Craft, Diary | Tagged , , , | 18 Comments