Busy Times

It’s Monday night and I’ve just had another day at the Royal Show in Perth. I’ve gotta say it’s bloody exhausting with always something happening, always something to keep an eye out for and today it was especially warm. The combination of all of those things meant that I’ve actually just woken up after a brief nap on the couch. Anyway, I guess it’s time for an update on the last week, including my final day in Sydney.

Last Sunday was great fun. We had a meeting of our art group, Hawkesbury One, which included lunch at the Museum Of Contemporary Art, Kate and I went to the Art Gallery of NSW for an public lecture on Aboriginal art and then Damien and I had dinner at our current favourite restaurant, Becasse just down the road in Surry Hills where the meal and company was, as usual, excellent!

It’s two and a half years, now, since Hawkesbury One began and we are now the proud owners of ten works of art. Collectively we own works by Adam Cullen, Patricia Piccinini, Neal Smith, Michael Bell, Dorothy Napangardi, Clinton Nain, Destiny Deacon, Arryn Snowball, David Rosetzky and Shaun Gladwell. After such a busy time, we had decided to spend 2005, however, targetting fewer, but more significant works. We discussed the relative merits of Neal Smith, Sangeeta Sandrasegar, Irene Torres, Jan Nelson, Paul Wrigley, Shaun Gladwell and Richard Wastell, deciding that in 2004/2005, we would focus on “upgrading” our Neal Smith purchase and focussing on a major purchase of a work by Gladwell and Wastell. We bought the Gladwell piece this week!

After lunch, Kate and I went to see a new exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW, featuring 300 works, including bark painting, sculpture, weaving and works on paper by Western Arnhem Land artists called Crossing Country. While we were there, one of the artists, Jimmy Njiminjuma spoke – in his own language with an English translation – about some of his own works and of other artists he knows. The artist I enjoyed most was a bloke called Peter Marralwanga who is featured strongly in the collection of Janet Holmes a Court. I really enjoyed the strong imagery of his work, which was mostly natural pigments painted on bark. The exhibition continues until December 2004.

Having had such a terrific week back in Sydney, I wasn’t all that excited to be back, especially on Monday, but after a few days I’m happy once again… too busy not to be, I guess.

Sue is in town for the Anglican Church Synod. She’s staying in Fremantle and we caught up for a while yesterday, chatting about this and that. A friend of hers from Melbourne also came along for my “Visitors Guide To Fremantle Tour”. The highlight, they both agreed was Little Creatures Brewery, where we ran into an Anglican Minister who said that she’d preached twice that day and it was time for a nice beer, a nice meal and a good book.

The other news-worthy event in my life that I thought I’d write about is my decision to participate in the National Novel Writing Month which is described as a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1.

The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30. Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over talent and craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.

Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It’s all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.

After brief consideration of the impact this could have on my life, I decided I would register.

But what would I write about, asked my friend and fellow ABBA-fan, Damien on Microsoft Messenger? While at first I considered writing a porno (joke!!!), I eventually settled on a novel based around the ABBA song, The Day Before You Came with each line of the song relatinh to an event in my (made up if needs be) life, each of them a vignette into a more complete character. Or at least that’s the plan… as I might not end up doing it after all.

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