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.
December 2015
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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 […]

Happy Christmas 2015

It’s that time of year again — that is, way too close to Christmas day, and with that heady mix of winding down and outright panic that comes with things ending and things still to do. This has been a difficult demanding year, and I’ll be glad to see the back of it, although my head […]

Walls of Jerusalem – Day 4 – Time to go home

I arose just a little too late to get the best of the mist effects on the lake, but it was very beautiful with the reflections in the still water and ethereal wisps of fog.


Of course, the mill-pond calm did not remain so for very long since both my brother and I are veteran rock […]

Walls of Jerusalem – Day 3C – To Lake Adelaide

With mountain climbing now crossed off the list, it was time to have lunch and move camp … once the grasshopper had been encouraged to hop off the tent.

There is no formal track down Jaffa Vale; it’s just a case of going downhill until you hit the open sedgeland around Lake Ball, and then making your […]

Walls of Jerusalem – Day 3B – The Temple

The morning was barely half done by the time we got back from Solomon’s Throne to the track junction and so, despite knowing more uphills were involved, we decided to go up The Temple as well. This mountain, in the middle of the Walls, is not as high as some of its neighbours, but it was […]

Walls of Jerusalem – Day 3A – Solomon’s Throne

I’ll admit that my brother’s suggestion that we climb Solomon’s Throne had filled me with a little trepidation, even though the existence of a route is clearly indicated on the map. I mean, there were several factors to justify my trepidation: (a) it involves an uphill, (b) there are scree slopes, (c) I don’t have a […]

Walls of Jerusalem – Day 2D – Sunset from the slopes of Mt Jerusalem

The long summer days meant that we could do some more exploring in the evening after dinner, and we decided to go in search of some sunset effects. We thought that we’d go up to the Jaffa Gate saddle, but there was plenty of time and light so we continued further up the Mt Jerusalem track […]

Walls of Jerusalem – Day 2C – Pottering around Jaffa Vale

It was still only mid-afternoon when we returned to Jaffa Vale, and although the “boys” (my brother and his son) were happy to take it easy I decided to wander partway down Jaffa Vale towards Lake Ball. As I explored the area, checking out the start of our route for day three, I startled a wallaby […]

Walls of Jerusalem – Day 2B – Mt Jerusalem

After lunch we decided to walk up Mt Jerusalem, which is about 2km and 200 vertical metres from Dixon’s Kingdom. Its north-western face is known as the East Wall, since it sort of marks the eastern end of the actual Walls of Jerusalem area.

The clouds and moon were having an interesting interaction on the way up, […]

Walls of Jerusalem – Day 2A – Herod’s Gate to Dixon’s Kingdom

It was a relief to make it through the night without an attack of cramp, and a joy to wake to sunlight and morning mist clearing from the peaks.

We had breakfast, dried the tent (a lot of internal condensation, unfortunately), packed up, shouldered packs, and headed up to Herod’s Gate. I took quite a few photos […]