Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Papua New Guinea Book Week 2016

I was lucky recently to have an opportunity to visit Papua New Guinea with Tina Clark, Judy Horacek and Phil Kettle. There were some restrictions on our luggage allowance as we transitioned from our international flight to a smaller local plane. But as you can see, we managed.

We nearly lost Phil before we even reached our destination, but luckily the jungle gave him back.

This is the view from our guesthouse ...


... and the flowers in my room

This gentle giant guarded the guesthouse for us for several days.

This is Mt Lamington which last erupted in 1951 and is not due to erupt again until around 2051-ish. 


More of the view.

Judy and I spent our week at Hopis School, seeing all year levels each day. Some we saw solo, others we team-presented.

They were all very excited about Book Week.

There were so many beautiful flowers, it's no surprise there were gorgeous and huge butterflies - none of them consented to be photographed.

This is a bougainvillea - so vibrant and vigourous.

There was a welcome reception for us at Popondetta Secondary College, and there was cake!

Early stage one students proved very adept at boat-making.

Mt Lamington again, from a different perspective. Stunning.

Intrepid travellers: Phil, me, Tina and Judy.

Seed pod? Clogs? You decide.

Nursery for young palms

Even younger palm seedlings.

Pawpaw should only ever be eaten straight from the tree - so sweet.

Loved these tok pisin signs. If you read them out loud, you can probably work out the advertising claims.

Book Week celebrations complete with book readings.

 Book Week 2016 PNG style - note the three official languages. (there are 850 distinct languages ...)

Tip toe through the palm trees. Okay, Land Cruiser tip-toeing.

The patterning of these palms was stunning.

Almost, but not quite, ripe berries.

Ever wondered where WWII bombs ended up? Oro Bay. That's where. All detonated now.

Our chariot approaches.

Tina and Judy

Moi and Phil

 Breakfast in Port Moresby.

How sculpture-like are these leaves?

And last, but not least, frangipani.

We had a rich and rewarding stay in Oro Province and hope we get another chance to visit these wonderful schools, their students and teachers.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Historic Australian Quilts

NGV (National Gallery Victoria) opened an exhibition of historic Australian quilts this past weekend.
There are many glorious quilts on display and sometimes what hides on the back is as fascinating as the front. The above is the reverse of a hexagon quilt, showing the paper that held the fabric 'square' (hexagonal?) while the pieces were sewn and the quilt assembled. They tell their own story of the occupants life, and included shopping lists, writing practice and more.

Not every quilt was designed to grace a bed. Some were made for the Victorian parlour table. This one was edge with lovely lace.

Not a great photo but this quilt was like a mosaic, each tiny hexagon perfectly in place. Three of these hexagons added to about the size of a 5 cent coin!

I love that the tacking stitch is visible here, though none of the actual sewing is evident.

If you love cats, this is the quilt for you. The owner/maker loved cats and horses. She had been a dressmaker and the horse below, which was on the same quilt is beautifully decorated.

Each quilt told multiple stories: of the construction, the fabrics available at the time and the skill of the maker. This quilt and more by the same maker told a life story. In the pic above the words under the couple read Ășnhappy honeymoon! But on another part of the quilt an old couple are shown, so perhaps their lives improved?

The Rajah quilt was there too. It's quite fragile and is hung at 45 deg from vertical and in low light behind glass. Not easy to photograph, but the seat in front of it was full of conversation and a variety of stories about people and their connections to this wonderful quilt.

If you love quilts, history and/or story, you can visit this exhibition at NGV Australia in Fed Square in Melbourne. I've been twice already and intend to go again soon.

Friday, 15 July 2016

I have a visitor!

Some years ago (not that anyone is counting) I 'met' Kay Crabbe via an international children's books website. It took many more years of emailing before we met in person. We've stayed in touch and it's lovely to be able to share in the release of her first novel, 'The Pearl-shell Diver', published by Allen & Unwin and 'Out Now'. 

The cover is enticing, the joyous leap into the water tempered by the presence of a sailing boat and an underwater diver. 

I asked Kay some questions about how she came to write 'The Pearl-shell Diver', which is set in the Torres Strait over 100 years ago.