Maker spaces #blogjune

Kim spoke of her maker space in her home that she shares with her partner. It is fantastic to see people’s creative spaces and places!

Here is one of mine.
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My lap.

I blog on my iPad or phone, crochet at the tennis, swimming pool, train, plane (not in the car as I am the designated driver :mrgreen:). I knit while watching TV (my crochet skills are sadly not up to this level).

My craft projects live beside my bed, hanging from a hook on the back of the door. 

My other maker space aka my brain is constantly working, to the point where I don’t sleep at times. It can be particularly active at 2am, at which point I get up to remonstrate with it

Coming home #blogjune

This is my front door, a white door with lead lighting in the window.
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It means I am home, after a long day at work, or from travelling for work. 

Sometimes I have Mooch waiting to be let in at the front door, especially if she has heard the car pull up. If I am lucky, there is a parcel at the door.

Inside it is warm, with a lovely hum from the presence of my family or the central heating.

I have been away from the family for work a bit the last few weeks, and it’s not easy. I am thankful that MrBG is there to keep things ticking along, and I know the kids are in safe hands, even though there seems to be a suspicious amount of white bread and chocolate mousse (in the form of a ‘dairy dessert’) being consumed in my absence.

After the craziness of the last few weeks at work I am glad for a refuge here.

teamfreya #blogjune

Last night I met the governor general and got to take his photograph.
He was present at a launch of a showcase, book launch and portrait unveiling at the university at which I work.
I had been part of the project team which had developed the content for the showcase, and had assisted in sourcing photographs for the history book. It was a heady experience to be surrounded by vice Chancellors, Chancellors, members of the Senate and people who had played a part in shaping the university.
It was especially nice to be there with the project team and see people’s impression of the result.

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Freya was our project manager. She worked with our library director Fides and Phil the technical consultant, cajoled and nagged the project team for stories, chased us up for photos and shepherded us to the finish line. She is also the campus library manager at our Brisbane campus, a mum of 3 kids and keen runner.
It was a blast being a part of teamFreya with Amanda, Kate, Tatum, Susan, Francesca and Bernice.

Review- Spandau Ballet: soul boys of the Western world #blogjune

To cut a long story short, I am an 80s tragic.
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MrBG knows me all too well and last night we watched a documentary on Spandau Ballet. 

Directed by their manager Steve Dagger, and narrated by all the members of the band, it is a tale from their beginnings in North London around Islington to their formation at school, their rise to fame and through to the present day.

The Soul Boys of the title refer to how their early influences were American soul- Stevie Wonder was rated as a strong influence by Gary Kemp, the songwriter of the group.

While one of my favourite songs of the 80s is a Spandau song, my knowledge of the group is patchy. The documentary enlightened me to a few interesting tidbits:

  • Martin Kemp Gary’s younger brother was recruited for his looks (he was a bit of a dish)
  • The eventual name of their band Spandau Ballet came from graffiti in a Berlin toilet
  • Gary Kemp is a wee bit of a control freak (and I imagine was responsible for the documentary’s name)
  • Steve Norman loves speedos, sunbathing 
  • Their look came from being part of the New Romantic movement which formed around the club the Blitz in soho, which also featured people like Steve Strange, Boy George and Marilyn, which you see in photos and footage.

Much of the footage is from home movies, and seeing their earliest shows in 1977 when they were still at school is pure gold. It is this candid footage of these wild boys living it up, with their voices as narrators which make this film feel true and authentic.

Their acrimonious time in court when Tony Hadley, John Keeble and Steve Norman sued Gary Kemp for a share of royalties was dealt with in a broad fashion, and there seems to be an attempt to deal with both sides as objectively as possible. 

It is a nostalgia trip through my teenage years, and it was also fun to see glimpses of Duran Duran as their rivals in pop chart success.

If you’re a fan of 80s British pop, do yourself a favour and watch this DVD.

A room with a view #blogjune

This is one of my favourite places in Melbourne. 
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It is in the Paris End of Collins Street, but it looks as if it would not be out of place in some suburban shopping strip. Nestled above a 7/11 up a set of stairs is a large room, with a mid-century design feel of open space and pine. At the moment, it is Mamasita, but when I first discovered this place, it was the Recorded Music Salon.

It was where 6 years ago, during a lunch date with my friend Pete, I decided to start a blog- this blog :). It was where I would cajole friends to lunch, and where I introduced Mr BG to the joys of Mexican cuisine (that have only been surpassed by tacos from the Mission in San Francisco).

I would sit at those windows and look at the passers by, the people at the tram stop, the trees and the beautiful buildings opposite and think how fabulous it was to be right there.

Dealing with disappointment #blogjune

I have a photo of my sister aged four throwing a tantrum, while my baby brother looks on. I don’t remember the incident, but judging from the context of the photo, she had a toy and had to give it to him, and was none too pleased about the situation.

I have finished watching the season finale of Game of Thrones, and I feel like my sister- I want to scream and yell and carry on, as characters appeared to drop like flies, and I have to wait a very long time to see what becomes of  them all. Cliffhangers suck.

It’s only a TV show and is not real life (though wouldn’t real life be way cooler with dragons?), but there are times when life can be pretty sucky. All you want to do is take to your bed, cry buckets of tears, and self medicate with chocolate, alcohol or both.

I applied for a position at work last year, and did not get it. I had been acting in the position, but there was another candidate who was stronger. It was the first knock back at an interview I’d had in 14 years and it hurt like hell. I will admit that there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth for a day or two, but I remembered what a former library lecturer Walter had told my class. I acted like a professional, did a handover of the role to the new person and moved on to another role- a role, which is one I have come to enjoy immensely.

Out of disappointment can come strength.

Sunday wander and wonder #blogjune

Miss BG noticed a large building while we were shopping on Saturday. Part of Federation University (what used to be the University of Ballarat), the building looked quite derelict and forlorn. 

The little BGs and I went back today to see if we could get a closer look. This part of Fed Uni was once the School of Mines, established in 1870 and one of the oldest institutions of technical education in Australia. It was established to train engineers and other skilled workers for Ballarat’s gold mines. Its focus shifted to other technical pursuits when the mines closed, as evidenced by the Arts School building.
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As we explored we found another part of Ballarat’s history, the  You could still see one of the turrets and the great steel doors. Much of the gaol has been absorbed into the university and only remnants of it exist.
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We finally found the tower, which was cordoned off behind a wire fence. 
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The kids enjoyed exploring and discovering a bit of their town they had never encountered before. It also felt a bit naughty to be traipsing around the grounds as if we were trespassing ☺

Heading home, a bit of sleuthing uncovered the original purpose of the tower. It’s a brewery tower originally part of the Ballarat Brewing Company. The company was established in 1895, and brewed Ballarat Bitter, amongst other beers. It waseventually sold to Carlton and United Breweries in 1958. When brewing ceased in 1989, the property was sold to the School of Mines in 1994.

A perfect way to spend a lovely sunny winter’s day in Ballarat 😀.