My Degree and My Muse(s)

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monster tree

Writing is not my “thing” at the moment. However, I wrote so much this week that I used up a whole pen. A new pen actually ran out of ink! I usually lose them first. It sounds contradictory, I know, but I’m studying at the moment, studying Psychology. As with many subjects we embark on, it is a can of worms. You (me) may think you know something, but as soon as the education starts, you are reduced to realising how little you know, and how much there is to learn. That’s not a bad thing.

Since I started studying….and stopped writing on my blog, I have done fairly well. Mostly Distinctions, but I did almost fail statistics. In my defence, I had taken on too many subjects. Studying Psychology, you can’t afford to fail Statistics. I actually didn’t realise this when I embarked on this degree. I imagined helping people create a good life through adversityy, that’s what I want to do. I’m actually an Accountant and don’t have any difficulty with stats so I guess I just was complacent.

Anyway, in the time that we haven’t spoken, I did get an award from the Dean of Swinburne University of Technology, “To recognise your excellent performance in Media Studies”. It’s on my wall, and I have left space for more.

So, I may have used up my pen, but pencils and pastels have become the medium of my “muse”, so I thought I should post a couple of pictures that I have recently done. I now go to a 2 hour art class on a Monday. It’s like the “ever-lasting-gobstopper” and seems to keep me inspired until the next week. I’m really enjoying finding a part of myself that hasn’t truly been explored before and appreciate the input of my art teacher, Claire Sunderland, infinitely.

 

 

 

 

think and speak love

Think love and Speak love

 

My Heart Weeps

My Heart Weeps

THE MICE ARE SMOKING AGAIN

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jiltaroo:

A while ago I had a crazy dream…just crazy enough to appeal to this amazing artist at Happi Anarchy to bring to life. In my original email to Mia.S, I said that I would like to invent a ‘dream camera’. In the interim, this is as close as it gets!
THE MICE ARE SMOKING AGAIN

Ok so here it is. My dream.

My father grew up on a farm and as children, we were lucky enough to go there on holidays where we rode horses, swam in the river, rode around on tractors and explored the old farm buildings at the top of the hill.

In my dream, an old wooden shack had appeared from nowhere. It was nestled in between the old barn where the disused Clydesdale harnesses hung, and the old dairy which had since been turned into a piggery.

I was living on the farm and had allowed an old man to move into this rustic little building. He was alone and lonely, and somewhat gruff. One day, I decided to visit and invite myself in for a cup of tea. I knocked on the old wood paling door and listened for his booted footsteps. After a while the door creaked opened and there he appeared; hat tilted down over his face and casting a shadow over his unwelcoming visage. Smoke poured out from around his dusty, suited shoulders and poured out the door.

Knowing that he wasn’t permitted to smoke in the house, he gruffly announced, “The mice are smoking again”. I was surprised at his outlandish lie; obviously it was him that was smoking. Seeing the disbelief on my face, the old man stepped to the side to give me a view, and there gathered behind him were what seemed like hundreds of mice. All were balanced on their back legs and each held a lit cigarette between their 1st and 2nd claws. A hundred thin trails of smoke rose straight up to the ceiling, where they wavered, then combined to make a swirling smoky cloud. The man looked at me with a stern eye, as if to prove his point.

The old man casually swung the door open further. A small gas lamp sat on a low table, generating a soft yellow light. At its edges, I strained my eyes to see, and as they adjusted I could make out the bodies of mice lounging on every available surface; the arms of lounge chairs, the hearth, the table.

The old man had told no lie, the mice were smoking again.

It has taken me a few days to write this as I was trying to work out how it could be drawn. The initial perspective of looking through the door is too narrow to capture the mice fanned out behind the old man. Then, after that, there is the perspective of the mice in the room with the light. After much consideration, I think this would be done best as a series of three pictures. The colours in my dreams were dark and natural woods but with the highlight of the light behind the man, the smoke and the mice.

These are my thoughts….but I am very interested in yours. Would you be up to it? I’m sure if you are able you would do it justice. I would just love to see my bizarre dream in art form.

One day, I’m going to invent a dream camera. How cool would that be!!

Looking very much forward to hearing your thoughts Mia.

Jenny

Originally posted on HAPPI ANARKY:

mice beensmokingagain LAST MONTH THE ABFAB JILTAROO WROTE TO ME ABOUT A DREAM SHE’D HAD, “THE MICE ARE SMOKING AGAIN”. HERE’S SOME OF WHAT JILTAROO WROTE ;

“I knocked on the old wood paling door and listened for his booted footsteps. After a while the door creaked opened and there he appeared; hat tilted down over his face and casting a shadow over his unwelcoming visage. Smoke poured out around his dusty, suited shoulders and trailed out the door.
Knowing that he wasn’t permitted to smoke in the house, he gruffly announced, “The mice are smoking again”. I was surprised at this outlandish lie; obviously it was him that was smoking. Seeing the disbelief on my face, the old man stepped to the side, and there gathered behind him were what seemed like hundreds of mice. All were balanced on their back legs and each held a lit cigarette between their 1st…

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Australian Women – Australia Day 2014

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Periferal Vision

I am an Australian woman,

And proud of this scene,

I was thinking today,

About what it should mean.

I have grown up in suburbs of leafy green trees,

And gone to great schools with and without fees,

I have run on the beach, and swum in the surf,

But now that I think of it, I’m English by birth.

My childhood was free of the terrors of war,

My parents were loving and lived by the law,

I played cricket and football in the streets near my home,

And my father was strict with boys and the phone.

Now I’m an adult, a mother and friend,

With children I’ll love until the world’s end,

There are stresses and hardships, we all have those,

But look what we have right under our nose.

A country that’s unique, varied and bright,

That I’ve travelled around on horses and bikes,

I love the bush, the dirt, our animals and sea,

And relish our cultures and fine history.

I’m an Australian woman,

And don’t mind a beer,

Quite partial to a man,

Not shy to shed a tear.

BBQ’s, beaches, ball sports and sun,

We are lucky to have these chances for fun,

Restaurants, wine and freedom of speech,

People that listen, learn and then teach.

This is my story, my steps are my own,

Plenty of others forge their way in this zone,

Far from the shore of their cultures and roots,

But proud to place feet in Australian boots.

Congratulations to those that celebrate this day,

Whether it be by BBQ, or in your own special way,

Australian women are not all the same,

But who cares if we all have a similar aim.

No matter your culture, race, tint or breed,

As long as we share the same basic needs,

Happiness, health, peace love and life,

Australian women can stand and unite.

Hello Everyone…it has been a long time!

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Just a quick note to everyone.

My life has changed a lot in the last year. Firstly I went back to work in my old job as a Financial Accountant for 6 months. Sadly, circumstances changedImage after 6 months with the lovely Director that rehired me becoming gravely ill. It was never going to work anyway as my superior never liked me anyway. It was a very difficult situation.

Anyway, all for the better, I am now studying  for a Degree in Psychology and have moved to my dream home (except for the fact that I don’t own it). I now have 8 chickens, a rooster, a drake and a duck. my boys love the space we have here and it is amazing that in the middle of suburbia, we are living in this piece of heaven.

My oldest son just celebrated his 15th birthday, and I built him a massive slide in the back paddock. We also set up a tent for all of his friends to stay in for the night, and Liam had his first go with the “whipper snipper” to clear a space for a bon fire.

It was an awesome day and night and then another day with a really wonderful group of teenagers. xxxImage

Cattle Tsunami

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cattle through townDaylight arrived all too quickly and the sounds of Australian bird life seared my conscience like a hot poker through jelly. We have beautiful birds over here, however, the sounds of Galas and Cockatoos are raucous, indelicate, and a far cry from the tranquil twitter of blue birds that Cinderella or Snow White are known to wake up to.

Breakfast was a wholesome plate of eggs and bacon; it was going to be a monumental day. The 2000 head of cattle packed the Deniliquin sale yards, and when we arrived with our horses and dogs, their impatience for freedom was evident from their restless surging bodies and associated bellows, bleats and snorts.

A rough plan and route had been discussed with the team the night before; a team that now included my friend Denise who had recently secured a droving job with a friend my boss. It suited her to a tee as she was off the land and had grown up riding horses and working on her family’s dairy farm near Shepparton. It was amazing to have my friend to share these experiences with.

The route that we were to take the cattle via avoided the core of town as much as possible, but it was impossible to circumvent civilization completely. Our major obstacle was to be the bridge over the Edward River on the other side of town, but to get there we had to navigate the streets and traffic along the way. My mission was to ride at the front of the mob as the lead, giving the stock and stockmen a focal point to follow. Those that were bringing up the rear and riding along the sides of the mob were to guide and mold this surging, steaming mass behind me as if it were a single entity. Good luck with that.

Of course, the stockmen were supported by a multitude of dogs, eager to pat the bubble wherever it bulged and strained with the urge to pop and spill out of control. They made it an art, it was their art. Being at the front, I missed a lot of the action; dogs shooting off to curb in  recalcitrant calves, whips cracking, shrill whistles and loud whoops. The cattle were hungry and easily distracted from our master plan and it took a great deal of skill and unity from the stockmen, dogs and horses to hold the fragile meniscus from rupturing.

At one stage, so Denise tells me, a frantic Hotel Proprietor desperately guarded his freshly cemented double driveway from an unwelcome re-texturing. Amazingly, and to his credit and the delight of onlookers, his antics paid off. By the time the cattle tsunami had subsided, no hoof prints marred his slab. His flapping arms, heaving belly, mottled face and bulging eyeballs would have been enough to terrify any beast into submission, by all accounts. Personally, I would have liked to have seen just a splattering of prints at the edge of his concrete as a tribute to day we drove our cattle through the thriving town of Deniliquin.

A House Needs a Heart

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old french doorsIt was exciting to be staying in a house rather than a dilapidated old caravan for a change. On the eve of the day we were to take the cattle through town, we stayed in the abandoned house belonging to the stock owner.

The shack had no electricity or gas, so we brought in our gas lamps and camp stove from the caravan to cook dinner. I had shot a rabbit that afternoon and was determined to cook it for dinner. Shooting for me is not a sport, but in reality, I should have fed it to the dogs like we usually did. I have since learnt how to cook rabbit and it is a bit more of an art than I had anticipated with delicious results if done well. We were hungry, we ate; it was disappointing.

It was going to be a big day the next day. We had 2000 head of cattle waiting in the sale yards for us to funnel through the busy country town of Denileqin. Although we were in a house, it was only the shell of what it once would have been. The high ceilings with neglected ceiling roses and peeling architraves echoed the spirits of a warm and happy home. It made me feel lonely and I longed for the happy home that I had grown up in.

Earlier, before the light had faded, we had set out our swags in our chosen bedrooms. Mine was big and airy with French doors opening out onto a courtyard. In the daylight it felt inviting and warm and the view from my double doors was that of the mystifying Barmah State Forest where we had earlier mustered the cattle from. An enormous blue centipede with a myriad of fine red legs decorated the lank and dusty orange curtains hanging either side of my view.Blue Centipede

Long grasses and seeding weeds grew forlornly between the cracks in the bricks of my courtyard, and an unattractive concrete well stood unapologetically to the side of the abandoned retreat. The urge to look inside was overwhelming and with the expectation of finding tadpoles, green algae or perhaps just smelly stagnant water, I ventured over to peer inside.

With a sharp withdrawal of breath, and an instant rush of adrenalin, my body jerked backwards at the sight of the King Brown Snake undulating in the green, stagnant, tadpole filled maw; just inches from my nose. How do these wells stay so full anyway? Well I guess a well is a well and that is why they exist. Evidently, they just keep on filling up even when forgotten and disused.

My heart pounded violently, but at odds to the cold and gripping fear, I couldn’t restrain the urge to crane back over the cracked edge and wonder at this fear inspiring creature. I had never been so close to a deadly snake before, and my skin crawled with its inexplicable affect on me, but I couldn’t help but wonder about the fate of this animal as it would surely lose its battle with the vertical edges of its ultimate crypt.

I searched around to find a long forked stick. Tentatively, fearfully, I snagged the beast in its hook and carefully lifted the snake above the lip of the well. In an uncoordinated movement, fuelled by terror, I flicked the snake into the bushes beyond, shoving the stick away from me with it.

With a pounding heart, a centipede broach on the drapes, and the absent warmth of those desolate echoing rooms, the shroud of sleep crept slowly over my conscience that night.

An Email Exchange about the Sandy Hook Shooting

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From: Jiltaroo <wordpress@freerangekids.com>

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