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.
October 2018
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Too nice a day for marking another thesis

Or, indeed, doing any of several other things that are swamping me.

In fact, I did get some work done on the thesis and other jobs, but it was a Saturday, and a glorious day to boot, and there was a little kayak trip that I’d been wanting to do with my brother, and so upon seeing […]

Stealth Ninja Santas

It’s nearly Christmas, and therefore time for the annual Secret Santa Cookie Drop Run. This year’s exercise in advanced sneaking and delivering  techniques involved one of the nephews from last year’s run together with his next-down sister, who was experiencing her first secret Christmas stealth manoeuvres. My Mum (their grandma) had done all the baking in […]

Taking the Mickey’s Beach turnoff

Mum and I took advantage of the day’s glorious sunshine, and went for a drive down to the Huon, Cygnet and Channel area, partly to revisit old family picnic spots. Randalls Bay* was an intended destination, and having enjoyed a short stroll along its shore I decided to head to nearby Egg and Bacon Bay. On […]

Six wishes for a dollar

On Saturday afternoon I joined my Hobart brother’s family for a stroll along the Pipeline Track at Fern Tree, with our initial destination being the Wishing Well.

It was a glorious day, the air was redolent with damp bushy smells, and the mossy banks beside the track were trickling with the groundflow of water from recent rains […]

First ever overnight hike

My Dad has been scanning some of his old slides, which include photographs of various family events over the last several decades. He came across this one from my first ever hike. He and Mum took me in to the original Lake Pedder way back when I was 7, just before the lake was dammed and […]

46. Family [100 poems challenge]


46.          Family

When we were young—three girls, two boys—
We generated lots of noise:
The raucousness of childhood games,
Odd arguments, and calling names;
Some sneaky pranks and telling tales,
Accompanied by laughs and wails.
Though now we’re older, more assured,
It’s not quite clear that we’ve matured,
There’s still some teasing, prods and pokes,
Rude belches, chaos, silly jokes;
Our banter, mischief, devilry
Are simply sibling revelry.

21. Vacation [100 poems challenge]


21.          Vacation

Pristine lake and rugged mountains
Blood red sun and smoky sky
Sloping tent-site, run-down campground
Mining town, its glories gone.
Ancient kombi jammed with camp gear;
Further filled with Mum and Dad,
My four siblings, me as well, with
Room enough for two Dutch hikers.

10 May 2013 (technically the other side of midnight)


Comments: These are my memories of a holiday […]

8. Innocence [100 poems challenge]


8.          Innocence

A dark-haired child,
Relaxed and breathing steadily,
Eyes closed,
Tousled head on the pillow,
Face in repose
Lit softly by the faint hall light
Filtering past the shadow
Watching from the door.

I’m sure my mother knew
I wasn’t really asleep,
And that tucked beneath the blankets
A torch and book awaited her departure
So that I could finish one more chapter,
Maybe two.

27 April 2013


Comments: […]

Walking on air

Today was a public holiday, and I decided to have a relaxing day. I picked up Mum and Dad and we headed down towards Geeveston, where I decided that I’d like to visit the Tahune Airwalk. This is an elevated walkway that takes you above the temperate rainforest along the banks of the Huon River, climaxing […]

50th wedding anniversary

Four days after Christmas my parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Their children (including me) organised a low-key casual barbecue for family and special friends to mark the occasion, held at the Waterworks Reserve which is a lovely bushy picnic area located on the boundary of Hobart as it turns into the mountain. After some initial […]