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 2024
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[I actually wrote this blog post in September, nearly six months after I first thought of writing it, but I’m placing it in the collection where I had intended it to be, in April, and writing it as if I had written it then … although I now know what the months after April look like.]

The […]

Not biting

Fishing has not been a family tradition. The most memorable attempt at fishing was probably around 35 years ago on a family holiday to Maria Island. There were fish in abundance at the jetty, and to us children (actually, as oldest child, I was probably an adult by this stage) it seemed a sure thing that […]

Mt Charlie ghosts

A trip to Melbourne for a conference allowed me to plan an extra day doing a little maintenance on some of my Victorian caches. The most problematic one — in terms of damage and distance to travel to get to it — was on Mt Charlie, about 50 minutes north of Melbourne, not far from a […]

Kicking things off

Embarrassing though the evidence may be in retrospect, let the record show that I was, in all likelihood, the first girl to play on a boys’ soccer (football) team in Tasmania (date: probably May or June 1974). I played in both Grade 5 and Grade 6. Our school’s soccer strip was maroon and light blue, which […]

Back to childhood, for a sugar overdose

One of my work colleagues shares my birthday, but as an American, had never experienced a typical Australian children’s birthday party. In a fit of silliness, we decided that we should celebrate in that style, with a throw-back morning tea that celebrated the good, the bad, and the ugly of kiddie culinary splendour from the 60s, […]

High school ghosts at Second Bluff

I decided to go for a little kayaking jaunt on this Saturday morning, putting in at the boat ramp near Rosny College, and making my way across Kangaroo Bay, around what I call Bellerive Bluff, and then paralleling Bellerive Beach until I reached Second Bluff, which separates Bellerive Beach from Howrah Beach. Although I have walked […]

Bad pun 8

This bad pun dates back to 1998, as a result of a very fortuitous circumstance unlikely to happen again. I was in Newfoundland at the time, and had met and become friends with a younger couple at Church, Doug and Helena Jole (they have remained internet friends since that time). Also at Church there was a […]

Reliving some misspent “youth”

During the late 1980s and continuing into the mid 1990s I was working on my PhD in the maths department. Initially I was in a shared office with two other PhD students, Nick and Tim, and it was here that two rather memorable indoor games were invented (well, memorable to us anyway).

The first, “egg squash”, involved […]

30 years of the Macpac Cascade

I’m about to do a serious bushwalk for the first time in a while, and I have been upgrading some of my gear. Most of it is well over 20 years old but still functioning, because it was good quality in its time. However, some items are getting a little too worn or are just a […]

12 of 12, November 2015

Two months ago the 12th saw me in Melbourne; that’s where I ended up again today. The in-flight magazine had only one sudoku, and that had been half-completed by some previous passenger, so I abandoned my pre-take-off ritual and settled down to get some assignments marked, working my way through three before I drifted off as […]