2021 Festive Season

Happy birthday David Bowie.

I had the best Christmas day. My daughter and son-in-law hosted a beautiful lunch and our family enjoyed being together with food in the garden. I was enthralled by my grandson and was in bliss watching how he navigates his backyard and extended family. It was the best day ever. On Boxing day I visited my son’s new place and enjoyed a stay with him and my son-in-law showing me around their new neighbourhood and home and enjoying more delicious food.

I’ve spent a little time working on my new place, which still hasn’t settled, so I haven’t done anything major yet. It’s been good to be in the space and I’ve changed my plans a few times due to noticing more.

I’ve been listening to a lot of astrologers and have found out there are many systems, which has set me back a little as I try to work out which is most relevant for me. I have relistened to the Mystic Medusa rant on Saturn in Aquarius “Imagine if we had basically highly qualified public servants whose role it is to enact the will of the people.” That was in reference to technology that could allow the people to vote on each issue. Saturn in Aquarius sounds promising and then it will be followed by Pluto in Aquarius.

I watched a 6 season series on ABC Iview called Stella, a BBC production. It’s a lighthearted comedy about a community and there were so many beautiful scenes in it.

I listened to an old lecture from Margaret Atwood from 1994. I have no idea how I came across it, to be honest, but still gold. She has a brilliant sense of humour.

I’ve consumed a heap of other media as well. In between sitting outside watching bees buzz around on my unmown lawn and catching up for coffees and chats with friends. I’ve continued my daily practise learning Portuguese on Duolingo.

I’ve made some progress on the book about The VRI experience and completed my first interview this week with a past staff member. There is still so much to do. Time is strange because I often felt like things weren’t happening fast enough and I wasn’t doing enough. Looking back though, a lot happened, more than I realised.

I’m very grateful for my own experience of 2020. As far as the new year goes I am looking forward to Chinese New Year on Friday 12th February. The year of the Ox sounds better than the year of the Rat.

Guard your joy at this time.

Films during the Easter 07 holidays

The film ‘300′ was based on a graphic novel. I found that interesting as I brought a pile home from the school library to read. I haven’t made much progress with them. There is an interesting one on Chinese Myths that I will use with the year 7’s for Imperial China topic. Getting back to the film though, I really enjoyed it. It was a great heroic, action film.

Children of Men was a futuristic look at a bleak reality where no more children can be born. It was a really well done film and is one of the best I’ve seen lately. Great characters, particularly Jasper, played by Michael Caine.

I finally saw The Prestige on DVD these holidays. I have been longing to see it and will watch it again because it was great. I wanted to see it because of my long term facination with David Bowie and Tesla. It was also a good story with an interesting outcome.

I partially viewed the DVDs The Guardian and Memoirs of a Geisha I couldn’t really get into ‘The Guardian’, even though I am a big fan of Kevin Costner usually. Andy loved it though. ‘Memoirs’ was ok but I kept getting interupted and only really partially saw it after restarting it three times and now I can’t be bothered with it. Not meant to be!

The real dissappointment for the holidays was the Australian film Boytown. It was corny and terrible. I guess it was the subject matter of a boy band that killed it. I usually enjoy Glenn Robbins and Mick Molloy, but think this movie was pushing it a lot of the time.

Comics, Cartoons and Graphic Novels

Head Trip – Don’t Ya by *shinga on deviantART

David Bowie should definately have stayed! This cartoon captures the voice of the young people I teach.
In my ‘Creative Writing’ student group at school last year I had a couple of highly talented young people who expressed themselves wonderfully using this form. They created wonderful drawings and turned them into stories. This year not one. The group of young people enjoyed writing, but not in this form.
I must admit I haven’t taken much of an interest in this form either, so I am going to challenge myself to read a graphic novel this year and to use more comics and cartoons in my teaching. I want to ensure I don’t limit my students to my own tastes.
When I was a kid I remember my dad reading the ‘funnies’ in the newspapers and laughing and then passing them to me to share the laughs. I often didn’t find it that funny. I think I found it annoying that he found things funny at that hour of the day. I was frequently tired and cranky in the mornings. Now I get up early and don’t communicate much in the mornings and progress through it much better, not having to talk for a while.
I did like political cartoons though and often laughed at those. I need to give them a go and find out more.