Dramatis persona*

helenhead Helen Chick

I've always wanted a bumper sticker that said "I'm a female, LDS/Mormon, Scout leading, geocaching, piano-playing, bicycling, mathematics educator with a PhD in maths ... and I VOTE"!

I think this makes me a minority group of cardinality 1!

* Since there's only one of me and "personae" is plural (I think), I've gone with dramatis persona.
September 2020
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Rules for Christmas Songs

A couple of weeks before Christmas it occurred to me that there were certain conventions that applied to music at Christmas, with the first item on the list below popping into my head after I’d heard some rendition of “Little Drummer Boy” on the radio. Over the next several days some other “rules” occurred to me […]

Shrubbery, 10 months on

At the very end of last year, I did something about the skinny little strip of wilderness that runs alongside my drive, and planted a large number of seedlings in my quest to have a shrubbery. At the time, with the seedlings so tiny as seen in the post I made at the time, it was […]

The consequences of taping up some boxes

Nearly five years ago, I spent an evening in Oxford packing some books into boxes as one of my friend Anne’s projects to provide medical texts to under-resourced students in Zimbabwe.

A couple of days ago I had an email from Anne informing me that the coordinating student has now qualified, and, what’s more, is now directing […]

Jewels of the solar system

While I was at the Lowell observatory there was something in the souvenir shop that caught my eye, and after a brief moment’s thought I decided I had to have one.

It is made of different stones/minerals; the asteroid belt is there, and a single small metal sphere represents Pluto and the Kuiper belt dwarf planets and […]

Sunny Sunday stroll

On my way to my sister’s place for Sunday family dinner I stopped off near Mortimer Bay for a quick stroll, and took a couple of […]

I want … a shrubbery

My place has a very long driveway, with a narrow border between the fence and the concrete. Until a couple of days ago this had been a rocky-bottomed skinny ditch, that, left unattended, would fill with weeds. As a welcoming garden, this was clearly unacceptable.

There was only one solution:

“I want … a … shrubbery”*

So, after months […]

Pretend garden

I’ve been here for nearly two years and have done next to nothing with the garden apart from mowing the lawn occasionally and glaring at the bamboo. Actually, I have done more than just glaring, as I have removed some of the new shoots when they’ve reared their ugly heads, but removing the little thicket is […]

Summer’s last hurrah

Given the duration and warmth of this year’s summer, this post’s heading may be a little premature. That said, however, today was one of those glorious balmy late summer/early autumn days, and given that daylight saving time ends in less than a fortnight (and with autumn equinox already passed) the evenings are getting shorter, and soon […]


I have now been back in Tasmania for over a year. The house that I bought was brand new, and one of the implications of this was that there was no phone connection. I figured I’d get a line put in within the first few months of arriving, although I knew that the main reason for […]

Street name calling

It’s not entirely clear how official this is (Google Maps doesn’t have it, the Tasmanian Street Atlas doesn’t name it, but at least one government source does include and name it), but I came across this little laneway on […]