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.
January 2019
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More further adventures of the Three Wise Men

Many years ago — almost certainly before I was born — my paternal grandmother, Nana Chick, took some decorative wood-turned curtain-rod ends and some rather bold paint colours and created a set of Three Wise Men as Christmas decorations. Somehow they ended up in our family where they have gained folkloric notoriety, with their kitsch brashness […]

Christmas 2014

It was a happy family gathering for Christmas. The long-running tradition of having it up at Fern Tree at the house of one of my Aunts continued, with the usual traditions of pudding and cheese straws and banana crush and curried eggs and coconut ice and lots of other stuff (not necessarily in that order … […]

Tasman Peninsula camera test

The two Saturdays prior to this one had been taken up with marking duty, with a couple of stacks of assignments to return to students. This meant that I was feeling a bit antsy for a trip outdoors, not least because I’d recently purchased my long-promised half-century birthday present and hadn’t really had a chance to […]

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 […]