-- 10 May, 2009 --

Happy Mothers Day

Happy Mothers Day
Originally uploaded by ** Robyn **.
The kids in the Childrens Choir handed out flowers to all of the women in the congregation this morning. It was very touching when they sang their special mothers song at the end of Mass. I will admit a little tear or two.

Posted by robynls at 12:48 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

-- 11 April, 2009 --

Tulip Tummy

Tulip Tummy
Originally uploaded by ** Robyn **.
We walked from Birkenhead to the best coffee in Balmain this morning. This was part of the centre piece on our table.

I'm not going to tell you where it is 'cause we had no idea where we were!

Posted by robynls at 7:41 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

-- 20 November, 2008 --


The one thing that keeps an exam marker going is coffee ... copius amounts of very strong coffee. Two weeks of 13 hour daze, 4 of them from 4pm until 9pm at night (with an hour off for refueling) after a day at the 'coal face' lead to very tired people. The wall comes looming at about 6pm and that is when the coffee starts to be really important. Stay awake, alert and concentrating on writing that sometimes would put an ant with muddy feet to shame. Stay awake, stay alert, concentrate and have another cup of coffee.

9pm arrives and it is time to go home. Arriving as the crime time TV show starts but too tired to care who dun it! To bed and try to sleep but that's when the coffee becomes your mortal enemy because you are too wired to go off for more than half an hour at at time. Tomorrow you have to get up and do it all over again but now even more tired because of the lack of sleep!

Soon it will be all over and life can go back to what masquarades as normal. It is a year until the next big exam time and the cycle starts again.

Posted by robynls at 10:36 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

-- 06 July, 2008 --

Gratuitous Self Promotion!

I am appealing to all of my friends to go over to Snapfish before the end of July to vote for my entires in the Sydney Opera House photograph competition. It is absolute gratuitus self promotion but hey! I'm being honest :-) If you would like to just take a peep have a look here, here and here

Posted by robynls at 2:30 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

-- 14 May, 2008 --


Originally uploaded by ** Robyn **.
The talk at the art gallery tonight was not very stimulating but the slides were. He left this one up long enough for me to relieve the boredom.

Posted by robynls at 11:16 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

-- 11 May, 2008 --

Mothers Day

Mothers Day
Originally uploaded by ** Robyn **.
Sometimes the celebrations that make other people happy are a source of sadness for others. I approach Mothers Day with some trepidation now that I am alone most weekends then ...

My wonderful Number Two Son gave me these flowers and my heart lifted.

Posted by robynls at 8:53 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

-- 22 April, 2008 --


Originally uploaded by ** Robyn **.
My Photo-Buddy and I have been discussing how much Photoshoping constitute too much. We have been reminiscing about film cameras and how hard your had to work to make a respectable image. Maybe this time I have gone too far.

Posted by robynls at 11:22 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

-- 29 March, 2008 --

Cathedral Mosaic

Cathedral Mosaic
Originally uploaded by ** Robyn **.
I started taking pictures of the cathedrals all from the same point at the west door so that I could compare them but then I never looked at them and certainly couldn't see them together. With computing, there is almost always someone who has done it, no matter what 'it' is.

Big Huge Labs who do Flickr Toys have a facility to make a mosaic of your Flickr pics. It seems to be the toy of the moment among the people that I follow on Flickr. It is great for seeing all of my cathedrals together and to compare them. Click on the pic to go over to Flickr to see it in a more user friendly size.

Posted by robynls at 8:55 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

-- 26 March, 2008 --

No flash, please

No flash, please
Originally uploaded by ** Robyn **.
I went to the Art Gallery of New South Wales this evening for my usual Wednesday evening lecture on art history. I took my new camera and, since I was earlier than usual, I looked around for something to photograph. The Asian gallery reminded me of long ago trips to Thailand so I pulled out the camera to take some shots.

As soon as the flash went off, the guard was on me. "Can you try to stop the flash from popping up", he said.

I'm still wondering what harm the light was going to do to this head that has probably been exposed to the elements for a few hundred years.

Posted by robynls at 9:48 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

-- 25 March, 2008 --

Glastonbury Abbey

Glastonbury Abbey
Originally uploaded by ** Robyn **.
Leading up to the first trip to the UK that The Poet and I went on I spent hours looking at a webcast from a camera set up facing Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire. The very first place that I wanted to visit, therefore, was the cathedral.

I was not disappointed. In fact I was completely gob smacked! I found that cathedrals are the most extrordinary places. They still achieve the effect of drawing your eyes up towards the heavens with their soaring achitecture.

I had read Ken Follet's The Pillars of the Earth some time before our trip so I had some understanding of the process of cathedral building but it was only when I saw Ely did I truly appreciated the incredible feats of these people. The precision of the construction, given the technology available at the time, is absolutely amazing.

Beginning with Ely, I have always stood at the west door of every cathdral I have visited and taken a photograph down the nave towards the high altar. During the Easter weekend just past I gathered together my collection of cathedrals into a set on my Flickr account. I am amazed at the variety that I have seen in the last 6 Christmases. I hope that you all enjoy my little virtual tour as much as I enjoyed reminiscing.

Posted by robynls at 6:26 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

-- 21 March, 2008 --


OK ... so a bad workman always blames her tools. I have often said that if only I had a better camera the maybe I could take better photographs. Now that I don't have the restraining glace of my DH on shopping trips sometimes my wants get the better of my needs. It did last weekend.

So, new camera in hand , here is my first offering.


Posted by robynls at 2:23 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

-- 05 March, 2008 --

Simply irresistable

Simply irresistable
Originally uploaded by ** Robyn **.
I must confess. I love bags. Bags of all sizes and shapes. I used to tell my DH that I was looking for the perfect bag but now I recognise that I just love bags. So, when the opportunity arises to get another bag, big or tiny, I grab it with both hands.

Moo printing, who are an associate of Flickr, do this tiny wee little bag to hold the cute little Minicards that they make out of your favourite images so forget being cash strapped. I just had to have one and here it is.

Posted by robynls at 10:37 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

-- 02 February, 2008 --

Such neglect!

With so many other things going on in my blogisphere, I have been sadly neglecting my Scratches and Scribbles. This animation of some of my Flickr images is meant to make up in some way for the neglect. My Little Sister invited me to join a Flickr group call 52 Weeks about U - 2008 where we post one image a week to the group to identify that week. I thought of it as an interesting journally technique so have been participating whole heartedly. This animation shows these images.

Posted by robynls at 10:39 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

-- 28 October, 2007 --

Robyn goes to the opera.

On Saturday last week I was lucky enough to get a cheap ticket to Wagner's Tannhauser, performed by Opera Australia in the Opera Theatre at the the beautiful Sydney Opera House. It is only the second opera that I have ever been to. It was 4 hours with 2 intervals and the theatre was VERY hot to begin with. I did enjoy the experience and the company of a couple of other teachers from school. I think that I would like to go again some time.

I have used my ticket as the stimulus for this art journal entry.

Posted by robynls at 4:08 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

-- 10 October, 2007 --

A birthday gift

Posted by robynls at 8:31 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

-- 29 September, 2007 --

Holidays ... at last

I can't even remember what it was like to work a 15 week school term, and yet, at the beginning of my teaching career that is what we did! We have just finished an 11 week term, which is the longest one that we do now, and I am EXHAUSTED!

I now have 2 whole weeks to paint and draw, craft and read, and, more importantly, sleep in! I HATE that 6am alarm. Of course the first most important tasks are to finish 3 essays, write an exam paper for my Year 10 class, get the car serviced, organise a gas plumber to check out the loungeroom heater, get in an electrician to fix the front porch light and a water plumber to fix the upstairs loo and the downstairs shower. That is without even thinking about all of the normal household chores that I have been postponing until the holidays.

If I have ANY time left after all of the chores, I have a queue of books lined up to read. You can check out where my head will be going on the book list in the right-hand column on the main page of this blog. Wish me luck.

Posted by robynls at 12:23 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

-- 26 September, 2007 --

I'm getting old ...


Posted by robynls at 3:49 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

-- 13 September, 2007 --

Never too precious

Never too precious
Originally uploaded by ** Robyn **.

A journal as beautiful as this is an enormous responsibility. I bought it a number of years ago and then haven't had the nerve or the important topic to make any marks on the pages. Why is it that paper becomes so precious?

I don't really think that it is the paper that is so precious but rather that the thoughts and words aren't so precious

I have finally made marks on the first page and will carry it around with me until it is full. Life itself is the most precious of all

Posted by robynls at 2:35 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

-- 11 September, 2007 --

Another card in the pile


Make your own library card here.

Posted by robynls at 10:45 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

-- 18 August, 2007 --



Make your own library card here.

Posted by robynls at 10:27 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

-- 02 August, 2007 --

A new way to journal


Make your own library card here.

Posted by robynls at 7:42 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

-- 19 April, 2007 --


For the past week and a bit I have had the luxury of school holidays. This is one of the joys of being a teacher that people who aren't teacher use to beat us around the head with regarding our career choice. I always find it funny that when I suggest to the mockers that they too could have been a teacher, how quickly they backpeddle. There is all of that dealing with other people's children to be coped with that really puts them off.

Anyway, with all of this extra time on my hands, in between meeting the demands of The Poet and finding one thousand and one ways of avoiding cleaning the pantry cupboard, I have been spending rather a lot more time playing on the computer.

For someone like me who gets bored with any passtime that I can learn about in less than a week, computers are the ultimate toy. No matter how much you think that you know about the world inside the evil little box, there is always more to find out. That is that main reason that I took up a life of trying to teach teenage girls about the joys of computing. Strangely, few of them seem to share my enthusiasm for the subject. Perhaps there aren't enough Barbies or boys involved. After all, how long does it take to learn to surf the net or send an email?

Anyway, all of this ranting is leading to my latest 'black hole' in cyberspace. I have discovered a website where I can not only record my reading and collecting of books, but also share experiences with printed matter with other like minded souls. I am busy rumaging through the piles of portable, paperbased entertainment material that seem to gather around any spot in the house where I settle for more than ten minutes, looking for more ISBNs to add to the list. I think that I am trying to prove to myself that I am more than just a computer addicit. If any of my dear readers would like to find out more about this new addiction of mine then head on over to LibraryThing and see how long it takes you to get sucked down the votex.

While I am at the task of making suggestions for sites to see on the web, I would also like to put in a plug for my Dear Sister's new venture on Flickr. Poor Sister inhabits a household that is heavy with techophiles but, until now, has managed to resist the inexorable pull of the 'ultimate machine'. I should take some of the blame for introducing her to Flickr but after that she is all on her own. It turns out that Sister is developing quite a skill with her new camera and is gradually coming around to sharing her pics with others. Encouragement is always welcome.


Posted by robynls at 10:49 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

-- 12 September, 2006 --

Sydney Tower

Sydney Tower
Sydney Tower
Originally uploaded by ** Robyn **.

I managed to worm myself onto the staff fo a visual arts excursion to Darling Harbour and then the Art Gallery of NSW today. There are 6 VA classes in Year 8 and only 4 teachers on that faculty so they are always after extras on these outings. I have been on either the Year 7 or Year 8 VA excursions for the last 3 or 4 years and, while tiring, they are a lot of fun. The topic that they are focused on at the moment is the built environment so they had to do some pencil sketches of the structures around the bay and then do a little collage postcard. The girls are so uninhibited and have no fear about drawing in public even with the Asian tourists who love to mill around and take photographs with the kids.

After Darling Harbour we got back on the bus and went across the city to the Gallery. We were broken up into two groups. The first group went in to wander around the permanent collection with a couple of the education officers. The rest of us sat outside the gallery making more sketches. I took the opportunity to do a sketch of the Sydney Tower in my Moleskine sketchbook. The girls in my group were not phased at all by their Technology teacher taking to a sketchbook.The education officer who took our little group around was fabulous. I admire these people and envy their job. I think that when I retire I want to volunteer as a guide at the gallery.

Posted by robynls at 9:16 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

-- 13 July, 2006 --

Apple Sauce

Apple Sauce
Originally uploaded by ** Robyn **.
Oh, dear! What is happening to me?!?

After years of avoiding the kitchen whenever possible I am now looking for things to cook that have interesting ingredients that I can draw in my newly started recipe journal. I dragged Number 2 Son through the supermarket this afternoon in a quest for a lemon so that I could make some apple sauce to go with the pork chops that I had put out to defrost. I know that you can buy apple sauce in little jars and bottles from the supermarket but I have been spoilt by some that I bought from Tesco when we were in the UK last December/January. It was nice and chuncky. The ready made sauce that we get here in Australia is more like baby food.

I do hope that my sons find this journal to my newly found interest in the culinary arts amusing when they read it in the distant future. Their memories of me will certainly be of the cans and jars queen.

Both pages are done in Faber Castell Artist Pens and Koh-I-Noor Watercolor Wheel that I found in the junk that Number One Son left behind when he moved out of home 3 years ago. I bought it for him for Christmas when he was at high school and doing visual arts. He never used them so I don't think that he will mind if I do.

Posted by robynls at 10:04 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

-- 11 July, 2006 --

EDM 75 - SpagBog ala Rob

SpagBog ala Rob
Originally uploaded by ** Robyn **.
I haven't cooked much for years. The Poet and I traded jobs when we got married. I ironed his Navy uniforms and he did the cooking. He left the Navy a long time ago but I didn't take over the kitchen until the Parkinsons made him too unsteady to cook anymore. Now I am in charge the meals a pretty basic. I have started a new Moleskine to record my illustrated recipes for my sons' amusement in years to come.

Here is the recipe -

SpagBog ala Robyn

250gms good mince per person
a large onion
tin of diced tomatoes
jar crushed garlic
tomato paste
red wine
herbs, salt, pepper

Heat some oil in a deep frying pan. Peel and dice the onion as small as nerve and knife skills allow - the smaller the better in my opinion. Add the mince and brown it as you squish up all the lumps. When it looks like you would like to eat it, toss in the diced tomatoes, a teaspoon full of the crushed garlic and a sachet of tomato paste. Stir it all in and turn down the heat. Add some ground pepper, salt - you don't have to tell the kid who doesn't take salt, he'll never know -whatever herbs you fancy - oregano or Italian herb mix is good for the theme and a healthy glug of good red wine. Never use wine that you wouldn't drink 'cause you are going to have the rest of the bottle with the meal. Keep on a low heat for about half an hour, stirring occasionally, to let the flavours mix through. You don't need me to tell you how to cook the spaghetti. Read the side of the packet.

Put some spaghetti on the plate and spoon lots of the meat over the top. Grate some parmesan cheese - you did remember the parmesan, didn't you? - over the meat. Pour a big glass of the red and enjoy!

Posted by robynls at 11:09 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

-- 30 June, 2006 --

Snowy Mountains sunrise

Snowy Mountains sunrise
Originally uploaded by ** Robyn **.
Isn't it interesting how 6am when you are on holidays is a completely different beastie from 6am when you have to get up to go to work!

Holiday sunrises have a beauty about them that are never appreciated through half closed workaday eyes. I wouldn't be able to say if Sydney sunrises look as wonderful as this one does because I am never in the mood to appreciate them on the road to work.

Perhaps trying to see them might put me in a better frame of mind for the rest of the day.

Posted by robynls at 9:18 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

-- 29 June, 2006 --

Yes, Virginia! There is ...

Yes, Victoria! There is ...
Originally uploaded by ** Robyn **.
snow in Australia. This is an idea that some of our northern cousins find as far fetched as the idea of Santa Claus but it is true. Here are the pictures to prove it.

This photo was taken from the ski resort called Mount Bluecow where we have come each day this week with 120 kids from school. Away in the distance is the heighest peak in Australia, Mount Kosiosko, named after a Polish man.

Posted by robynls at 12:09 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

-- 27 June, 2006 --

More blue

More blue
Originally uploaded by ** Robyn **.
Yesterday I sent a picture from my mobile phone of the beautiful blue sky skiing day we were having at Mount Bluecow. I have learnt a lesson about sending messages for a mobile in bright sunlight. You can't see the screen properly and may end up with photos with the tie to mobile phone adornments dangling across the picture.

This is more like it was meant to be like ... I hope!

Posted by robynls at 12:16 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

-- 26 June, 2006 --

Blue ski day at Blue Cow

Blue ski day at Blue Cow
Originally uploaded by ** Robyn **.
This one is for you, Blue.

I thought that there would heaps and piles of snow but not so. There is enough for beginners and intermediate skiers but not enough for the advanced. Not that I am advanced so I am a happy snow bunny.

The sun is shining and we are having a good time for the first day.

Posted by robynls at 12:44 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

-- 22 June, 2006 --

In the shadows

In the shadows
Sennelier soft pastel
on black cartridge paper.
It is the last week of the term and we seem to be running around in circles. While I would love to have some time to make some art, all I seem to to have the time for is making preparation for the ski camp next week. The Poet is going to a respite care centre so he can have a holiday while I am spending time with 120 kids from school. It is also a great chance to get to know the other staff members who are also going. Between now and then is one more get-up, one more school assembly and heaps of tidying up. I might even get to see the top of my desk ... or maybe not.

The pastel sketch on black cartridge paper with this entry is the result of Monday night's art class. We had the same setup as last week ... the one with the candles back there a couple of entries ago. This is another corner where the light shone through an old cane chair that must have featured in thousands of art work made at the Ku-ring-gai Art Centre. There were some really strong shadows made by the art light and some more subtle ones cast by the overhead lights. I made it look sort of like a bag of bones.

Posted by robynls at 9:29 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

-- 12 June, 2006 --

A Meg moment

A Meg moment
Originally uploaded by ** Robyn **.
When we came home from our last trip to the UK in January we realised that it would almost certainly be the last time that we could travel. With this in mind and remembering the lovely moments that we had with the kitten, The Demon, at Headland Warren Farm, we both independently decided it was time to get another cat.

Off to the RSPCA with the idea that the cat would choose us, rather than the other way around. That is exactly what happened when this little minx emerged from a hiddy hole and stood at the wire of the enclosure, demanding to be taken home.

In the 6 months that Meg has been a member of our family, she has become very important in our lives. She keeps The Poet company during the day when Number Two Son and I are out at work. In the afternoon and night, she keeps me company, mooching around my feet while I watch TV and work on the computer and sleeping at the foot of my bed during the night. I'm not sure that I could do without her anymore.

When the boys were little I would bring them something, usually a little book, home for them when I went shopping. Now I do that with Meg. I thought she would love the lamb's wool offcut in this picture. I put it in front of the fire where she loves to lie, now that it is cooler. Meg sniffed it, picked it up with her teeth and fought with it then tossed it aside. Now she has decided it is nice to lie next to it.

The little bear was meant to replace one of my own that Meg keeps stealing to play with. My bear was a gift from Number Two Son's girlfriend; a souvenier from her trip to Scotland. She still steals my bear and rarely plays with her own.

Posted by robynls at 2:56 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

-- 09 June, 2006 --

EDM Challenge 66

EDM Challenge 66
Pencil and watercolour on
watercolour Moleskine
In this challenge we were asked to draw a fire hydrant and then to write something about fires and firemen. In Australia fire hydrants are holes in the ground, not the elegant structures that appear on the streets in the US. Rather than do a picture of one of these steel covered holes, I have used my watercolour Moleskine to do a sketch of a fire extinguisher in one of our classrooms.

When I was a little kid, my Dad was a fireman. I can remember (vaguely) him being away from home at all sorts of odd times when he worked his shifts. For years when we drove through the suburb where his firestation was located, someone would point out that that was where Dad used to work.

The only bit of his uniform that was left after this stage of his life was his great big leather belt with a very hard brass buckle. It hung over the knob of the diningroom door. When we did something naughty, Mum would tell us that we should be whooped with the belt. Of course, she would never do such a thing but she did have the three of us well and truely bluffed.

Posted by robynls at 3:52 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

-- 04 June, 2006 --

Coffee Smoothie

Coffee Smoothie
Originally uploaded by Robynls.
A week or so ago, I wrote about my breakfast treat. Today I managed to hold off long enough from drinking it so that I could sketch in my new Moleskine watercolour book.

I have fallen into the habit of getting up around 9 on Sunday morning, getting breakfast for The Poet and then rushing off to the shopping centre. My excuse is that I need to go early so that I can score a parking space close to the supermarket, which is true. I do have an ulterior motive, though.

There is a lovely little coffee shop at the centre called The Loft Cafe. When The Poet was in hospital I would take myself there for breakfast before doing the shopping, then going to visit his mum and then going off to spend the afternoon with him. His mum is gone now and he is home but I still love to treat myself before doing the weekly groceries.

My favourite breakfast is a toasted slice of raspberry and pear bread, a large glass of freshly squeezed orange juice and a mug of cafe mocha. The last time I took The Poet to The Loft he had a coffee smoothie. Since then I have replaced the hot coffee with the smoothie and today it became a subject for my Moleskine art. I wonder if it qualifies for Meal Mole.

Posted by robynls at 4:18 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

-- 20 May, 2006 --

Number One Son

Number One Son
Originally uploaded by Robynls.
Since the recent graduation ceremony, I have been thinking back to when my first clever son graduated from his nursing course with an honour too.

His graduation ceremony was held on a night of the most tremendous rain storm and, of course, we were running late to get to the venue. All of the convenient parking spaces had already been taken. It is amazing how many disabled folk there are when conditions are poor. I droppped him off with The Poet close to the hall so he could practice his nursing skills getting his step-father inside while I drove away to get a space in a muddy corner that no-one else wanted.

It was worth every moment of slogging through the rain and the mud, and then waiting, patiently clapping for all the students who went before him. He was the top student in his course and received this rather stylish glass trophy for his efforts.

We celebrated with a great meal and a tasty bottle of wine at a rather smart Asian restaurant in one of Sydney's up-market suburbs.

In the years since his graduation he has been working in a retirement home where all of the oldies think that he is very special. They have just found out something that his family always knew ... he IS very special!

Posted by robynls at 4:05 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

-- 19 May, 2006 --

Number Two Son

Number Two Son
Originally uploaded by Robynls.
My very clever son who has just graduated with first class honours. His degree is in computer science (like his mum) ... and his drawing skills ain't half bad, either.

Posted by robynls at 6:39 PM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

-- 14 May, 2006 --

Webcam Wonder

Webcam Wonder
Originally uploaded by Robynls.
Homage to Michael Nobbs.
Yesterday I heard about a magical piece of software and a service called Skype. It is a communication service that allows FREE voice communication via the computer. Always up for something for nothing, I downloaded the software and, after installing it, allowed it to scan my Outlook contacts list for other users. Astonishingly, 5 minutes later I was engaged in a lengthy conversation with a writer friend of The Poet's who lives in Canberra.

Today I bought The Poet a webcam with a microphone so he can talk to DN too. No installation runs smoothly so I am waiting for Number Two Son to come to the rescue.

This is the webcam that I bought for myself weeks ago and have now been inspired to install. My installation ran as smooth as silk. Now I am just waiting for one of MY friends to come up with a Skype subscription and a webcam, too.

Posted by robynls at 6:57 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

-- 11 May, 2006 --

Hurry up and wait

Hurry up and wait
Originally uploaded by Robynls.

When I was at university I did a subject with the impressive title, Operations Research. In this course we learnt about the study of queueing theory. Queueing theory looks at algorithms that determine the requirements to maintain a queue at a given level. I can understand why banks and other places that deal with walk in customers would not wish to have queues of zero length but it would appear that hospitals, and other places that ask you to make an appointment, have not heard about this area of mathematics.

I often wonder if I am asking too much that an appointment made should be kept as close as possible to the time agreed. After all, if I were to make an appointment to visit a client or prospective employer, it would not be a good thing to arrive an hour late. This week, I have attended a GP's appointment where I waited for half an hour past the time agreed on and a hospital appointment for The Poet, pictured here, where we were called in a whole hour later than the time given. This last was especially annoying since they asked us to arrive half an hour before the time, so we sat in the waiting room for a very long time.

It is completely beyond my understanding why they can't do a simple little bit of arithemtic to figure out what time the average visit will take and then make the appointment times of that length. Instead the times are compressed into some impossible to maintain schedule that leaves clients grumpy.

At least I had the fore thought to take along my new Moleskine and a pencil to capture the moment. BTW we were not going to the Nuclear Medicine Department. It was just what I could see from the MRI waiting room.

Posted by robynls at 8:00 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

-- 03 May, 2006 --

Chapel lantern

Chapel lantern
Originally uploaded by Robynls.
Eight years ago I would have been facing my first Parent/Teacher night here at this school. My card would have been fully booked because way back then parents would encourage their girls to take computer courses because they thought that they would need the skills in later life.

The girls still need the skills in later life but now parents see them skillfully using the Internet and chatting in the chatrooms and think that they know it all. Unfortunately, they don't but it means that my classes are very small these days.

At least the long wait between one interview and the next gave me the time to go and sit in the cool autumn sun and sketch the lantern on top of the school chapel. I have been promising myself to do this for almost all of those eight years and now I have.

I still can't draw straight lines.

Posted by robynls at 6:10 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

-- 18 April, 2006 --

EDM Challenge 63

EDM Challenge 63
Originally uploaded by Robynls.
The Poet and I have lived in our little house for about 15 years. For most of that time we have shared the house with my two boys but now this is just one of them still here with us. In the front garden is an enormous Liquid Amber tree. It is about 15 metres tall. I think that we actually bought the tree rather than the house. It is always the last in the neighbourhood to loose its leaves in the autumn and the last to get them back in the spring. The dried leaf in the drawning opposite is left over from last year because the tree is still green.

Posted by robynls at 6:57 PM | Comments (17) | TrackBack

-- 17 April, 2006 --

Holiday bliss

Holiday bliss
Originally uploaded by Robynls.

Posted by robynls at 7:42 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

-- 16 April, 2006 --

Arty thoughts

Arty thoughts
Originally uploaded by Robynls.

Posted by robynls at 5:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

-- 10 April, 2006 --

Thumbs up

Thumbs up
Originally uploaded by Robynls.

Posted by robynls at 1:48 PM | Comments (11)

-- 05 April, 2006 --

Challenge #61 - a grouping

A collection of rubber stamps
Originally uploaded by Robynls.

Posted by robynls at 7:29 PM | Comments (11)

-- 31 March, 2006 --


Originally uploaded by Robynls.

Posted by robynls at 12:28 PM | Comments (8)

-- 30 March, 2006 --

Doing it in public

Doing it in public
Originally uploaded by Robynls.
Periodically on the EDM discussion list someone will ask about getting over a reluctance to draw in a public place. Every now and again a member will proudly announce that they pulled out a sketchbook in the park or Starbucks and captured a moment of their day. Today I responded to this occasional thread by saying that I was past the stage of being embaroussed about drawing in public and can quite happily bore The Poet to tears while I draw when we are having a coffee but I can't draw in front of my friends. I think that I am afraid of being seen as a show-off. One person on the list suggested that I say that I was doing an assignment for my art teacher. Great idea, I thought. I could even use it with the girls in the classroom. I took my pencils and Moleskine into my Year 8 Wood Technology classes in the last 2 periods this afternoon, thinking that I might sketch the girls during a quiet moment while they were working. The blank space below is the result of my efforts during 1ΒΌ hours.

Posted by robynls at 4:18 PM | Comments (3)

-- 27 March, 2006 --

7th Heaven - 10 of them, actually!

7th Heaven - 10 of them, actually!
Originally uploaded by Robynls.
Look what the postman bought me today ... 10 beautiful, new Moleskines ... and at almost half the price I can get them in Australia, including postage. I found them on eBay - I'm an addict - and bought them in bulk to get a cheaper price. By having a heap of them, I tend to be a little less precious about them and actually get on with the business of filling them up.

Posted by robynls at 5:05 PM | Comments (9)

-- 24 March, 2006 --

Regular mocha

Regular mocha
Originally uploaded by Robynls.

Posted by robynls at 4:14 PM | Comments (5)

-- 23 March, 2006 --

EDM Challenge #59 - Signs of Spring

At last ... Autumn
At last ... Autumn
Originally uploaded by Robynls.
Watercolour pencil on Moleskine

Posted by robynls at 11:47 AM | Comments (13)

-- 24 February, 2006 --

Jazz at The Smugglers

Jazz at the Smugglers Arms, St Erth Praze, Cornwall
Rotring clutch pencil with 0.7mm 2B lead
on Moleskine
I have been tagged by Linda - check out her wonderful watercolours.

Four jobs I have had

  1. Teacher
  2. Database analyst
  3. Sales assistant in a jewelry shop
  4. Photographer
Four movies I can watch again and again
  1. Dirty Dancing - love the music and Patrick Swayze is OK, too
  2. Sister Act - I work in a Catholic school so it helps to like it
  3. Ghost - Patrick Swayze is actually REALLY yummy
  4. Whale Rider - see it and I won't need to explain
Four places I have lived
  1. Ryde, NSW
  2. Wollongong, NSW
  3. Maclean, NSW
  4. North Ryde, NSW - come full circle
Four TV shows I love
  1. Ready, Steady, Cook - 'cause I can't
  2. Midsummer Murders - lovely English village scenes
  3. Doc Martin - Cornish views
  4. Sea Change - have to have an Aussie show
Four places I have holidayed
  1. Cornwall
  2. Devon
  3. Thailand
  4. Red Centre
Four of my favourite dishes
  1. Chocolate icecream
  2. Chocolate tart
  3. Chocolate mud cake
  4. Chocolate mousse
Four sites I visit almost daily
  1. eBay
  2. blueskystudio
  3. Allakhazam
  4. The Daily Sudoku
Four place I would rather be right now
  1. Dartmoor
  2. Cornwall
  3. Jazz at the Smugglers Arms in St Erth Praze
  4. anywhere cool - I am sick of hot, humid weather!
Four bloggers I am tagging
any volunteers? Don't want to 'volunteer' anyone.
  1. -
  2. -
  3. -
  4. -

Posted by robynls at 2:17 PM | Comments (5)

-- 25 March, 2005 --

Sorting out my life ...

Blogging seems to be consuming my life lately. I have found a number of fellow travellers whose words I would miss greatly if I didn't read their blogs each day - people like Michael Nobbs in Wales, John Bailey in England, Blue in Cornwall and Nancy Gandhi in India. I am gradually gathering a group of virtual friends in many corners of the world. Links to their stories can be seen in the column of the right of this page.

My own blog is also providing me with a place to express myself in a variety of ways - drawing, painting, poetry and text. I have found lately, though that it has been difficult to keep up with both my art blogging and my travel tales as they have become tangled together in this blog. It has led to a certain amount of procrastination in both areas as I try to decide which should appear next.

With this in mind, I have decided to separate the two topics of interest and have set up a new blog in which to write my travel tales. All of the previous travel entries have been moved over there, leaving this blog for sharing my art and poetry. If you are one of the kind people who subscribed to this blog in order to read my travel stories and/or see the photographs that accompany them, you may care to register over there to be notified of the updates which I now hope may become more regular.

The new blog is call Postcards. Click here to be transported to my travel tales.

Posted by robynls at 2:57 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

-- 28 February, 2005 --

Thought for the day ...

I was in need of a prayer for a meeting where I had been 'volunteered' for the task. Not being Catholic, in a Catholic school, I tend to resort to other people's poetry when called upon. I found the following, which makes an interesting contrast to the section of dialogue that I quoted in this entry.


You are me, and I am you.
Isn't it obvious that we "inter-are"?
You cultivate the flower in yourself,
so that I will be beautiful.
I transform the garbage in myself,
so that you wil not have to suffer.

I support you;
you support me.
I am in this world to offer you peace;
you are in this world to bring me joy.

    Tich Nhat Hanh
    in Call Me By My True Names: collected poems of Thich Nhat Hanh

Posted by robynls at 7:21 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

-- 05 December, 2004 --

Yum cha experiences

Yum cha is the most confusing, bewildering, fantastic way to eat a meal. At the very best Chinese yum cha restaurants, there are queues of people, mostly Asian, waiting for hours to get a table. Table space is at a premium. It is a very good idea that you don't push your chair back too vigorously or too widely because you will end up sitting in the lap of a diner at the next table or crashing into one of the many trollies laden with mysterious Chinese niblettes.

Before you have barely settled in your chair, the trolley pushers zero in on your table and begin hounding you into accepting a plate of whatever is on their cart. Most of the morsels come wrapped in sheets of rice noodle so that it is impossible to distinguish between vegetarian and flesh, chicken or prawn, boc choy or rice.

The meal is accompanied by copious amounts of green tea poured into little cups with no handles. In the beginning, the tea is so hot that the ends of your fingers become all red and tingley. The waiters, alerted by the upturned lids of the pots, continually refill the tea pots with more hot water over the top of the tea leaves that you started out with. The tea changes from a pale green colour to more recognisable tea colour and then back again to a washed out green as it is watered down. The idea of yum cha is that the tea is the centre of the experience and the food is secondary but it seems that someone forgot to tell both the diners or the trolley-pushers.

The best accompaniment for a yum cha meal is a Chinese or, at the very least, Chinese speaking friend who can take control of interacting with the trolley pushers. This will ensure that you don't end up with dumplings hiding mushrooms or shellfish. Your friend should also take responsibility for the mysterious gridded card that is stamped with dark and dangerous rhunic symbols every time another plateful of food lands in the middle of your table. It is also very nice if your generous Chinese friend offers to take responsibility for the bill when it arrives.

Yum cha is the exception to the rule that that says that you always feel hungry an hour after eating a Chinese meal. If you feel hungry any time within a week following a Sunday yum cha then you haven't really been trying hard enough. Yum cha should make you feel deliciously blotted with food and waterlogged with tea and completely ready to spend the rest of the afternoon dazing in a comfy armchair in front of the television.

Posted by robynls at 8:00 PM | Comments (9)