Frank’s hair

Frank’s clippers lie idle on an endless sunny Sunday afternoon on High Street, Northcote.  His orange vinyl bench looks like it has been waiting alongside his customers for decades.

Frank's hair

Sorry James, somebody beat you to it

For my non-Australian readers, an explanation may be in order: James Cook is the English explorer who ‘discovered’ Australia in 1770.  There were, however, around 500 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nations already here; people who had enjoyed vastly complex and varied cultures, and cherished and looked after the land for at least 65,000 years before Cook’s arrival.  The flag in the picture is the Aboriginal flag.


Wee blind doggy

A sightless old dog swayed up to me at an art gallery.  Turned out he was deaf too.  Thirteen years old and in the late, cool evening of his time on earth.  No doubt he misses hearing and seeing things, and a puppy’s energy, but he managed a tail wag in return for a pat, still able to savour small joys.

Blind dog

Why have one scoop when you can have three?

The car designer Harley Earl summed up his design philosophy by asking: “why have just one scoop of ice cream when you can have two?”  Which is why the cars he designed for General Motors tended – like Harley himself – to be on the big side.  But he was onto something.  If ever I am asked to choose my favourite colour, I nominate at least three: red, gold and green (thank you Boy George).  Here are some individual pictures made with each of these colours of a citrine gem, a ruby and a lamp, and one picture (of a Tula sewing machine) combining all three.

Red Gold and Green


Whilst raking leaves, a distant vision of Fuji …

My high school science teacher, Nobby Brotherton, taught me that matter can neither be created nor destroyed.  I am reminded of this every Autumn, when nature chokes off little lives, such as green leaves and bees, and turns the left over parts into something else.  Roots recycling.

Hokusai’s pictures of Mount Fuji crop up in all sorts of corners in his woodblock prints, like a drunk uncle in a book of wedding photos.  Taking sheaves of leaves from Hokusai’s book, this is my painting of our recycling bin on an Autumn day, with a small vision of Fuji rising from a pile of nature’s raw materials.

Wheely bin