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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Burning tins at Dark Mofo

I never quite seem to optimise my Dark Mofo experience (Dark Mofo is a mid-winter arts festival held in Hobart), and this year was a worse than usual example. I had taken some friends, but we weren’t quite sure what was where, and were disinclined to wander aimlessly in the hope of seeing things. We found a few installations, but probably missed quite a few interesting ones. We did manage to find the big installation of small fuel-filled tins that must have had some people holding their collective Occupational Health and Safety breaths, and here a few photos.

12 of 12, June 2018

My computer is suffering from an attack of the sooky-la-las. It claims its brain is full. Since I use this as an excuse for my own poor performance I suppose I should cut it some slack. What I haven’t done, however, is tell it that a replacement is being sought.

One of my PhD students is getting very close to submitting her thesis. This means reading it.

After some uncertainty about what I’d be able to do this year, it has turned out that I am able to go to my usual mid-year conferences. This is me making a hasty booking for some accommodation in New Zealand, with haste necessary because everyone else had been able to get in early. (I should point out that, even without extenuating circumstances, it is quite conceivable that I would still be doing this in a last-minute rush!)

I’ve been trying to get in a daily walk to rebuild some fitness. Unfortunately Hobart had a major flood event in May and this is what happened to the bridge and creek in the gully near my office. There are signs suggesting you’re supposed to detour, but it is actually still crossable with care … and I may have done just that.

It was a misty sort of day, and there were some interesting cloud effects across the river.

Another nearby gully was a mass of autumn leaves.

The sky was a yellow-grey, creating a moody background for the houses along a nearby ridge.

There was some dampened ivy growing over a retaining wall, and big drops of water on another plant.


In the late afternoon I had to pick up a friend’s daughter from her netball game. This isn’t her team, because I took a photo of the wrong court.

After dropping off my friend’s daughter (a bit of a drive), I headed home, via the gravel road that makes a convenient if messy shortcut on the hill behind my place.

And then it was time for dinner. I didn’t learn how to cook poached eggs until very recently, and I still don’t do it particularly well, but this was pretty yummy.

[The “12 of 12” project involves taking 12 photos on the 12th of the month, on whatever takes your fancy. I have been doing this since 2009; this is the 106th instalment.]

Moods of the Mountain #98

Here’s a Monday morning rainbow to start the week, complete with a bizarre patch of cloud right in front of the Organ Pipes.

The full “Moods of the Mountain” collection is here.

Randalls Bay with the APs

I think I’ve used the term “APs” in this blog a few times but have not explained it. In Dickens’ Great Expectations the character Wemmick takes care of his elderly father, whom he refers to as “Aged Parent” or, more frequently, Aged P. It is but a short abbreviating step from this to “AP”, and then easy to ascribe it collectively to both of my esteemed APs.

Anyway, I took them for a drive today, and we called in at Randalls Bay, which was a favourite picnic spot when I was a child. It’s a peaceful, sheltered bay, with a narrow strip of beach and cliffs at one end.

There was also a small flock of swans bobbing about and enjoying the peaceful location.

It’s kind of nicely symmetrical that it’s now me taking my APs to places instead of the other way around. 🙂

Midlands 2018-#2N

After that lovely sunrise I headed to Campbell Town to run the year’s second session of professional learning. Again, I had neglected to interrupt my chauffeured drive to take a photo en route, but on arrival I was bemused by this cat lurking underneath the water trough.

Moods of the Mountain #97

Another morning sunrise, not unlike that shown on Moods of the Mountain #96 a month ago at the end of April, but this time occurring half an hour later. I love its rosy glow.

The full “Moods of the Mountain” collection is here.


I will freely confess that I have an addiction to spreadsheets. My finances are recorded in a spreadsheet, there’s a whole bunch of Scout data stored in different spreadsheets, I use lots of them for my work where I often simulate probability situations, and sometimes my spreadsheets get turned into full-blown data-bases.

I will freely confess that some of my friends know about my addiction to spreadsheets. They stir me about it from time to time.

One of them may even have got a little bit carried away with her stirring, giving me the world’s most awesome T-shirt for fans of spreadsheets.

I love it, and so we went for a drive so we could take a photo of it (yes, I know we didn’t have to go for a drive to take the photo, but we did).

And there was a digger which needed to do some digging. 🙂

[Warning: Inappropriate breast cancer humour coming up. Since we are on the subject of T-shirts, I had a silly-but-not-acted-upon idea for a post-surgery T-shirt that says “Nothing to see here” … and when I shared this thought with my breast-care nurse, she told me of one she had seen or heard of which said “Of course they’re fake, my last ones tried to kill me”. 😀 )

12 of 12, May 2018

And so life gets back to normal.

My lounge room is a mess of works-in-progress and drying washing;

there were work samples to prepare for my students for an assessment task that they have to undertake;

in the afternoon I got together with some of the Scouts to do some badge-work … in which we (a) totally failed to work out where we were using backbearings,

(b) did some tent maintenance,

(c) allowed tent-maintenance to degenerate into sword-fighting with tent-poles,

(d) did some construction,

and (e) completed all of this under the watchful eyes of some hardworking, highly active leaders; 

before I bought a steak sandwich for tea;

and headed home to get stuck into preparing a caramel tart

and a stir fry for tomorrow night’s family dinner that I am hosting;

after which I wrapped up the day by reading aloud a chapter from Anne of Windy Poplars, an over-the-phone tradition with a friend of mine that is now into the fourth of eight books in L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables series (and at this point I conclude the single sentence that makes up this 12-photo blog entry with a closing parenthesis and a full stop).

[The “12 of 12” project involves taking 12 photos on the 12th of the month. This provides the opportunity to get snapshots of different aspects of your life, from the mundane to the fundane. I have been doing this since 2009; this is the 105th instalment.]

Midlands 2018-#1N

I had been engaged by the Department of Education to run some more state-wide professional learning for maths teachers this year, but the program was delayed due to my health situation. Finally, in May, we had the first session. As I was chauffeured by the organiser, it wasn’t until we got to Launceston that I took some photos of autumnal leaves near the Tram Sheds venue (and then similar circumstances — me not having to drive — meant that I have been rather lax about continuing this photographic tradition this year, despite making several northward trips … so this might be one of only two records of my 2018 Midlands journeyings).


Moods of the Mountain #96

Sunrise on a late April morning.

The full “Moods of the Mountain” collection is here.