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.
July 2009
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Echoes (and being auntie)

Last Saturday I kidnapped the three eldest of my Tasmanian nieces and nephews (aged between 5 and 10) and took them for a drive and a play. First stop was a really good playground, where it was proved that one of the things that aunties are good for is to run around in circles pushing/pulling the […]


Uphills and I have a love-hate relationship. Even when I was younger and fitter, with knees less shonky than they are now, I always found uphills challenging. It doesn’t take much of a slope to get my heart pounding, and my face red and sweaty; and I’ve always said I prefer my uphills in the opposite […]

A few degrees

It didn’t just rain yesterday, it snowed. I thought it was a bit cool! As is usual, it only snowed on the mountain, but it was a magnificent sight when I got up this morning.

It’s amazing what a difference a few degrees can make.

Hobart is 5° further south in latitude compared to Melbourne, and this means […]


View from my office window earlier today

I don’t know how it is for other people, whether they have landmarks or places that serve as touchstones or anchoring points, almost tied up with their very identity, but Mt Wellington is such a place for me. Whenever I fly into Hobart I always look out for it, […]

It won’t last …

I arrived at the University of Tasmania today, and they gave me an office with a nice empty desk and clear bookshelves. 

Those of you who know the state of my Melbourne office will be wondering how long it will last.

I can tell you: 

About 10 minutes (in fact, I had to clear it again, in order to […]

Hidden gems

One of the things I like about geocaching is that it takes me to places I’ve never been, even in areas I thought I knew. I came back to Tassie this weekend, on the ferry, and drove down to Hobart from Devonport. Of course I couldn’t waste an opportunity to find some caches, and one of […]

The “Forget It” List

I have a “To Do” list itemising things to be done before I head off into the sunset, but at T – 44 hours some of the items have, of necessity, been transferred to the “Forget It” list. These include:

Tidying my office properly (this probably has the advantage of ensuring that no one is tempted to […]

Flotsam and jetsam

I moved house three years ago, but have never really completed the “moving in” process. In fact, the problem started in the chaos of packing up in my previous abode: I had intended to cull some of the flotsam and jetsam of my life before moving, but I ran out of time, and so the wreckage […]

The 11th Commandment, Saint Sansartorial and Wellington

I enjoy witty signs, and as I strolled the streets of Wellington today I came across this one behind St John’s church.

Not long after this I hit the ritzy shops of Lambton Quay and as I passed the 247th shoe shop (what is it with Wellington and shoe shops?) and decided not to bother with any […]

I vaguely recall having a memory once

I like conferences. I like catching up with people who are kind of my “once a year” friends: I get to see them at conferences but rarely between times.

The big frustration for me, however, is that sometimes I can’t remember their names/interests/where I last met them/etc. Today, for example, there were at least two people that […]