The Bare Essentials

Greetings me hearties,

The world has changed during the end of year break:

Notably we have closed the door on 2020, over-trumped a very poor lead (the language of card games), stopped biding our time and ventured fourth to embrace 2021 with hesitant but much more hopeful smiles. After the ball-breaker (see # i) that 2020 threw at the planet, from most reports, New Year’s Eve was suitably subdued for everyone. I curled up on the lounge with my Victorian visitor, Percy the girl rescue-dog, for company then wandered outside about midnight to welcome in the year under a bright, starry sky while Percy fertilized the back lawn. There was very little excitement to be heard from neighbours and the district was unusually still, clear and quiet.

It’s possible I made a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight. The first time I did so I was probably about 15months old and I seem to have followed suit each year, ever since so, it’s odds-on I made the same resolution again somewhere deep in my consciousness while staring in silent wonder at the 2020-21 midnight sky. However, it was such a lovely cool night that perhaps I forgot. Does that mean I don’t have to carry through?

# i many words have been used to describe year 2020 – check wikipedia before goggle closes it down in Australia…..but if you are of a delicate demeanour, please forgive my bluntness and idiosyncratic use of language. Ballbreaker seemed the most fitting word to describe 2020 and all that happened last year.

Gallery News:

We will all be back on board soon, prow forward to the wind and oh so proud of our doughty little ship with it. Both the planned for and the unexpected will happen but what would life be without a few challenges to shake up the condiments jars? Ship ahoy and let’s go sailing, sailors!

The first challenge for Sanya the Magnificent and David the Chair is in order. I have arranged for Life Drawing participants to hang their choice of their works on the Gallery and Atrium walls. Some works will be marked for sale, many works will be unframed, some works may be incomplete or tarnished/marked. This is an informal exhibition of drawings by artists in your Gallery 1 community who rarely have the opportunity to show their work. And, just this minute, I have decided to call this un-curated, democratic, community-based, free spirited exploration of drawing of the human body, ‘The Bare Essentials’.


Life drawing is possibly the most ancient of drawing applications – the roots of drawing the naked human form from life in the salon dates back to the 1500s but there are many, many earlier cultural references to be had: cave walls, papyrus, mosaic – artists have always appreciated the human form and sought to reproduce it. As Life Drawing participants, we honour an ancient path.



First port of call in 2021 of the formal exhibition calendar will be Life@Death. L@D is Dieter Engler’s child and given the difficulties presented last year when the L@D exhibition opened just as COVID restrictions hit Dieter has decided to run again with ‘REQUIEM’ as the theme for 2021. Artist in residence, dates and information to follow soon.

Committee Report:

During the last Committee Meeting of the year there was much anxiety expressed and an embarrassing level of competition engaged in, for the honour of being the last Committee member to be introduced to you, our readers/followers of the Blog, for 2020. Excitement from the Committee about Members’ appearances in the Blog has, quite frankly, reached fever-pitch and as Blogger, I have found, on many occasions, the need to retire to a dark and private room and turn off my phone once the Blog goes LIVE. Emotional reactions from subjects can be simply overwhelming!

Against this background, I inadvertently let it slip at the Committee Meeting that I needed to discuss an issue with Gavin Dennien, your Treasurer. As a Treasurer type (see Mayhem Biggs character analysis – introverted thinking) Gavin is a characteristically reticent person. Applying my extraverted thinking type to reel him in….sorry, sorry: I meant to say “explain the benefits of being known to you, our readers, as an individual”, I proffered:

a/  there is an obligation on me to familiarise the readership with the nature of those who work tirelessly for their benefit

b/ I naturally take this obligation seriously inn the extreme &

c/ while sincerely appreciating that not everyone is comfortable with the known universe being aware of their personal foibles via this Blog, it absolutely is best practice to let moi in on one’s deepest, darkest secrets in order that I do not inadvertently hit upon those self-same secrets and, in complete public error, reveal them to one and all!

“Tell me your life, Gavin!” I said.

He went away and after thinking about it, he did.

For Gavin, it’s all about music. Gavin admits he dreams of being the re-incarnated Julius Caesar and so, as a way to realise this ambition, he has become a weekend toga warrior and has amassed a quite sensitive and extensive collection of Julius Caesar artefacts.



Many years ago, relying on an under-reported fact that the young Julius C. began his career as a drummer boy for the Roman invaders, Gavin began an international search for the drum, the cords, the drum-sticks – nay, anything that could be claimed to be part of the drum-kit of the young Julius Caesar. Those who profess to know claim Big Julie always campaigned with a drum-kit close by and lonesome, late night drumming could oft be heard by the Legionaires on nights of the full moon while they whittled, waited and prepared for the morrow’s battle.



Miraculously, Gavin is now in the possession of a remnant drumstick – more of twig really, that a swarthy, cloaked man in a dark alleyway in Morocco guaranteed was an authentic part of the kit of Julius C. It had been held and guarded by that man’s family for millennia but that man had borne no sons and recognised this as the sign that the time had come for the drum-twig to venture forth to conquer new worlds – onwards to the land of Oz no less!! Gavin was on-hand, honest and as passionate in his quest as the new dawn: the drum twig was his to have!

When Gavin trips the ivories fantastic and beats out the rhythm with a stick it’s the history of the ancient world he is playing to. Salutations Gavin: the triumph is yours and your secret is safe with us!

ps. I hope Gavin doesn’t have to take out extra insurance for the toga

pps. I am not, have never been expert in or studied Myer Briggs psychological profiling.


Return of the Bookworm

One Hundred Years of Dirt by Rick Morton


For me the Xmas break is always a time of reading so, many books later I have decided to review an autobiography for you: One Hundred Years of Dirt by Rick Morton. A Sydney friend posted this book to me before Xmas.

Rick Morton is well entrenched in the writing business: now senior reporter for The Saturday Paper, he has had a long, multi award-winning career as a journalist for various national dailies. One Hundred Years of Dirt is stylistically both a break from journalism, yet not. In this piece the author is simultaneously writer and story and it is at times a bitter, heart-wrenching, honest reveal of how a life can be lived in today’s Australia, of how, in the lucky country, just how tough things can get.

The opening chapter begins with preparations for a wild-pig hunt. In now-time, Rick’s sister is into wild-pig hunting and has invited him along. While the read may get less bloody, it does not become less brutal. As a reporter, Rick Morton has covered some important, dangerous and critical issues in Australian life and politics. The story of his own life may be the most difficult, yet compassionate piece he has written. Enjoy.

Welcome back. Stay safe.



Video of the Week

Gallery One Life Drawing Group Exhibition


Play the Video or watch on YouTube


Photo Credits

Photo by Ilona Frey on Unsplash Julius Caesar

Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash -Coins

Photo by Alejandro Cartagena ??‍ on Unsplash -Art gallery Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe

Photo by Alexander Yemchenko on Unsplash Drummer

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash Spiritual Jurney