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.
February 2019
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Scout leaders exploring their artistic sides

Today I found myself at Carnacoo, a campsite north of Launceston, for Scoutfest which is a leaders’ training/renewal/fun weekend. It was good to meet different Scout leaders from around the state, and exchange ideas. We divided ourselves up into patrols on the Saturday and selected our own goals for the day. Our group decided to head […]

Creative acts of kindness

People have been wonderfully supportive to me lately, in lots of different ways. I just wanted to share a few special acts of kindness (but in highlighting these particular things I don’t want to neglect or fail to acknowledge and express my gratitude for all sorts of other kindnesses that I haven’t documented here, from hugs […]

Crafty Christmas elephants and penguins

A very dear friend of mine is fond of elephants and last year I thought I would do a wood carving for her for Christmas. I had a small flat slab of Huon pine — a lovely softwood which is easy to carve — and, having done a couple of bas relief plaques to celebrate some […]

A Bushwalker’s Prayer

I wrote this poem back in August 1990, but it came to my brother’s attention a day or two ago via a time capsule (long story). He set the poem with one of his amazing photos of Russell Falls. We both have a soft […]

Happy Christmas 2016

[Dateline 22 December 2017: Whoops, in the rush to head off on the “Big Trip” I forgot to post this last year! I think I remembered to mail all the ones I intended to send; they may even have arrived earlier than they usually do because I had to get them done before December 15! Anyway, here is the […]

Happy Christmas 2015

It’s that time of year again — that is, way too close to Christmas day, and with that heady mix of winding down and outright panic that comes with things ending and things still to do. This has been a difficult demanding year, and I’ll be glad to see the back of it, although my head […]

12 of 12, April 2015

I’ve had the idea for this month’s 12 of 12 for a while now, but wasn’t sure if I’d have time to pull it off. Even going for the rough-and-ready approach I’ve taken these still took a bit longer to do than I could really afford, but I had some fun doing them.

So, I present my […]


Our most recent Loose Canon project has been a program of music for a Maundy Thursday “Tenebrae” concert (which is often* held on the Wednesday evening before Maundy Thursday). In a Tenebrae service there are readings and music, with the church in near darkness, and candles are extinguished one by one as the service progresses.

The music […]

Happy Christmas 2014

I’m not entirely sure what happened to November or the first two-thirds of December, but here it is, December 21, and I’m not at all ready for the end of the year let alone 2015.

I have, however, managed to “do” this year’s Christmas card, despite the fact that my computer was out of action for nearly […]

The trumpet shall sound … as shall 300 voices

The folks at the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra decided that it would be a good idea to have a sing-along Messiah this year, and 300 or so people agreed with them (plus the audience).

The requirements were simple: you turned up for rehearsals on Friday night and Saturday, and then it was performed on Saturday afternoon. Since there […]