Saturday, November 21, 2015


Since visiting Cambodia years ago, there started a family joke (openly shared) that Sara was adopted from that country. Her complexion is darker than ours and we met many young children there with a similar dark skin. So, her parents made up a story and told it to her as a joke, she was 10.

So, nowadays when people tell her she looks like her dad (me) - she replies " ...can't be - I am adopted.."

Monday, November 16, 2015

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Other people's plans

Some years ago, during a dinner conversation I mentioned to someone that my days seemed filled with other people's plans - of their houses, their offices, their staircases, their bathrooms.

The next day, which was a Sunday, I had the idea of drawing plans of their actual persons. I had some acrylic paints and a front panel of a recently dismantled drawer from Sara's room. This is the result - a little bit of tongue-in-cheek 'art'. In case my artistic skills do not make the grade, there is a little bit of humour to nudge it past the the passing mark.

Monday, October 26, 2015

My 'hood

When I first moved to my new office, I joked to my colleagues that I will eat my lunches from one end of town to the other. Since the new office is in the old centre of Kuching, this can be quite an adventure - plenty to experience amongst the streets and alleys.

To date, I have only explored a small number. This sketch is completed while seating at the five foot way outside a tiny Malay shop selling Kek Lapis together with some breakfast snacks.  Packets of nasi lemak, curry puffs and peanut and anchovy crackers.

I tried to convey the activity and the pace of life around me, but I am not able to re-produce the sound of 'tin' (galvanised iron) sheets being hammered into kitchen utensils, water cans and so forth. In the shop just across from where I was sitting, instead of being a nuisance, the rhythmic beating lulled me as I sketched.
Photo courtesy of gazzarooni

Friday, October 16, 2015

One summer a long time ago..

.. I followed Dianne home to Wangaratta, and because I am one half of Min and Sam; she came along, and because it was summer, my sister was visiting; she too came along. Di took us hiking to the 'baked bean' (see above) and then swimming in rock pools.

It was only one weekend and so long ago, it is almost forgotten but these little adventures add up to our Australian experience. Many of the students nowadays fail to take advantage of this opportunity to soak up the local culture and friendship - simply because air-fares are cheap, they come home for summer (and mid semester); because there is a large Asian population, they keep to themselves; because they have to be wealthier to study overseas nowadays, they don't know need to known local culture or people. It is a badge of participation for them - been there, got the degree.

And for that they miss out on meeting families with stories to tell and meals to share, they miss out on driving around country towns in Dianne's dad's 'ute' - and greeted by other people driving in 'utes' - usually a raised index finger from the hand on top of the steering wheel, they miss out on the picnic lunch on top of Mt Buffalo of Salada sandwiches made from a stub of salami from Dianne's backpack and peppers from her mom's garden; they miss out meeting brothers who just had their wisdom tooth pulled out and had to eat mushed up mac-and-cheese for dinner (or tea as they sometimes call it in the country), they miss out hearing about next summer's plans to re-locate the barn, and they they miss out on meeting the dog named Kettle. (?)

And most importantly, they miss out on having a rich tapestry of stories to tell from old black and white photos a generation later..

The barn in Dianne's Farm in Wang

Saturday, October 10, 2015