Monthly Archives: May 2013

From 1903 to 1921, the Brisbane prison complex on Boggo Road housed women prisoners.  What became No 2 Division is now heritage listed and open to visitors of a different kind to those who came to see inmates before 1989 when this Division closed. You might notice how the prison entry sign was adjusted when the women were moved on and the men moved in.

Here are some ten photographs, one of which comes with a language and a spelling warning.  I have played with some of them (colour to black and white for instance, and one of the prison cell block that felt quite church-like to me, so I’ve added some age and light for fun).

HM Prison for

guard towersuperintendent's living quartersbarb wireprison signatureyard graffiticell block entrycell blocksay what you meancell window

I can’t remember when I drew this.  I was sitting by a public swimming pool in Mackay while the kids in the family played nearby.  It could be 7 years ago, but I think it’s longer – probably more like 15 years ago on an earlier visit.  I had purchased some watercolour pencils and had some time to play with them.

It was a nice surprise to find this as I was looking for sketch materials to take on a long trek west that begins late next month.

Pool - Mackay c 1990s

Parson's chameleon

May I formally introduce Calumma parsonii.

He brings back memories of rainy night walks to find these amazing reptiles in Madagascar.

The lesson from this drawing – more practice required to find the balance between the intricate detail and ‘less is more’.



Ku-ochef Karaage Donclose up Karaage
Yuen's Marketdashi stockOn an expedition to Sunnybank’s fabulous range of Asian restaurants and food stores last week, the Japanese stock ingredient called dashi was on top of the shopping list (thanks to the generosity of a Japanese friend of my sister who shared her recipe).

Before hitting the grocery store we headed for  lunch at Ku-o Japanese restaurant.  For around $10 each we each tucked into a Don – a full meal in a bowl with accompanying mini-odon, salad, pickles and iced barley tea.

This is Kagaare Don (fried chicken).

Then it was straight into Yuen’s Market to enjoy the shelves stocked with so many unfamiliar items that implore you to buy them and head home to find out what and how you might use them.

We stocked up on mirin, soy sauce, potato starch and momen tofu.  The dashi was a little harder to find.  Directions to Aisle 5 narrowed the search.  Just add 2 cups of water to each sachet and you’re away.

shopping basketBefore heading home, I stocked up on some fruit and vegetables and was also happy to find goat meat in the butchers which made an amazing slow cooked curry on Saturday night.

Saturday lunch – behold the Agedashi Tofu.  Recipes vary slightly but the basics are the same and there are many available on the net. Simple and quick to make – it’s a great winter warmer. Here’s one from Charmaine Solomon on the SBS food website.

Agadashi tofu

Tonight’s pen sketch was testing  3 new fine point black pens.  Then it was plus pencil plus charcoal plus markers.  One of the pens failed the bleed test with the markers.

photo-9 photo-11

Our differences are superficial; our likenesses are fundamental. For we are all members of a single race – the human race.  

This afternoon while I was browsing the net for content ideas for my Now and Then social history blog, I found this tangible product of friendship and collaboration in the e-book collection of Project Gutenberg

This cook book was produced in 1951. I wonder so many things about it. Did the women come together one evening to collate and bind the books? Is it string or wool that holds the fragile pages together? How many copies? Who typed them? Who penned the title page? Who crafted the foreword? Who are the women in the photograph? Where are these women now?

In informal gatherings, at our pot-luck suppers, sewing bees, teas and coffee hours, the women of the Friendship Club have gained insight into each others problems and re-affirmed their confidence that if people of different races, creeds and national origins would but have the opportunity to know and appreciate each other, it would be a long step forward towards solving some of the trying problems which face us all.

Friendship Club Cookbook 1Friendship Club Cookbook 3

Friendship Club Cookbook 2

Friendship Club Cook Book 4

Bircher Mues

The Project Gutenberg EBook of Friendship Club Cook Book, by The Friendship Club of Madison WI

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at

I may have been the only person walking around Byron Bay lighthouse yesterday pleased to see a sign on the lighthouse tower to say that the interior walk to the top was closed due to maintenance work.  “It’s not the walk, it’s the stairs”, to paraphrase Elaine Stritch.  Any which way, there was plenty of other beauty to capture.

Byron Bay lighthouse walkchrome hand rail after rainByron Bay lighthouse walk 2Byron Bay lighthouse walk 5Byron Bay lighthouse walk 3Byron Bay lighthouse walk 6

This is my new routine.  If you don’t count the fact that I’ve only been to life drawing at the Arthouse Hotel twice, and it’s only if my work takes me to Sydney on any given Monday night.

This one’s entitled – if you just let the pencil go loose and a bit stabby, it can work out better than the sketches where you concentrated a bit too much.

Note that hands, faces and feet are still lingering in the too hard basket.

Model - 29 April 13