Archive for the ‘Penrith Infants’ Category


Threepence – most desired prize at Christmas

Camden Nana’s baking dish,

Flavours of years released into

The great Christmas Day roast.

In this little house in Elderslie

Everything feels just …

Well, … just right!!

Excitement mounts for the piece-de-resistance.

The plum pudding, where threepences hide

And discovery invokes little feet to run to Mum:

“Mum, I found one!”

Read Full Post »

I’m pretty sure it’s Mum & Roge
Who put stuff in our pillowcases.

Me ‘n’ Steve set up our bedroom for Santa visit.

Books on shelves, toys off floor,

Pillowcases hanging off bed-ends.

When does Santa come?
Can we stay up to see him?

He comes with the dunny man at midnight!


Read Full Post »

Anticipation fires up impatience.

Every passing day urgency intensifies.

Four brothers alone

While parents on social trail

And the hunt is on …

Christmas presents? Where? What?

Through cupboards, wardrobes,

Between clothes, in drawers.

Standing on chairs, crawling under beds.

We love the hunt,

Secretly hope for failure.

Don’t spoil Christmas.

Read Full Post »

Shades & hues.

Beautiful shades & hues. (these are not Derwents, though)

My colouring-in techniques are not great.

Loving the beauty of graduated shades & hues

In a full set of Derwents 

Isn’t enough to create beauty.

A determined & tidy start

Falters rapidly & declines …

Into a disappointing (messy) finish.

Persistently sent to Charlie Chuckles.

Acknowledged by certificates of merit

But alas! No prizes.

Charlie Chuckles Club Pin

Charlie Chuckles Club Pin

Read Full Post »

Out of bounds, intriguing, magnetic.

The Brickworks.*

Grounds untended, wild.

Dangerously obscuring the massive pit.

White clay cliffs

Reaching up from

Opaque blue water.

Bright blue.


Painted, unreal.

Discarded, rusted machines

Poke through the surface.

Rocks tossed create ripples.

Water is real.

I love the clay-pit.

And fear it.


* The Penrith Brickworks was opposite the cemetery on Copeland St and Richmond Rd Kingswood. I think it was operational to some extent up until the early 1970’s.







Read Full Post »

Let your indulgences set me free.



Being at odds with my peers

I researched some more on yesterday’s Short Memory

I discovered that in 1972, The Performance Syndicate

Performed The Tempest

In the Chapter House at St Mary’s Cathedral.

Here is an excerpt:

The following year, 1972, saw the Performance Syndicate’s greatest achievement with a highly physical but elegantly simple production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. It was initially funded as a schools touring production for the Old Tote. Later it had a season at the Chapter Housel at St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney and toured nationally. The actors marked-out a circle which became the playing space for this production.

It suggests my mates were right, my wires were crossed

And my charms are all o’erthrown.

But … this is good.

The power of the Macbeth performance is not diminished.

And elusive Mnemosyne closes in on the magical play at the magical venue.



Read Full Post »

Look, there!
In Mum’s wardrobe.

A priceless treasure amidst

The rack of worthless wire.

A piece of artistry.

The design masterpiece

Creating utility and beauty

From the simplest items.

A wooden cotton reel

A few nails

Lengths of discarded wool.


The wooden coathanger

Enveloped, transformed

Cloaked in french knitting.*

from the priceless collection of Bill Joyner


* I could not believe it when, over coffee, Bill Joyner reached into his bag and this beauty emerged. It’s specific story is his and it holds its own significant lessons for life (related to both the vast improvement in workmanship and the dangers of taking short-cuts). But Bill’s personal Alladin’s Cave continues to reflect my own (and yours too, I expect) memories.

Oh! I hope there is no need to remind you that my Short Memories are not meant to be chronological … generally they are pretty random. Anyway, in case it entered your mind … this Short Memory does not have its roots in a 4th Form (Year 10) art or craft class, despite my poor performances in matters crafty.

Read Full Post »

Our cream Chrysler

Roger driving, mum passenger.

Me ‘n’ Steve in the back.

Down Lemongrove Bridge

Cross Henry St – stop on corner – Evan St

Schoolbag grabbed, jump out

Rushing to school (Penrith Infants).

Roger drives off.

A screech, a scream …

Steve’s fallen out.

Didn’t I shut the door?

Thankfully he’s fine.

Tough brother.

Read Full Post »

Early start

Embers still glowing

Wildlife still.

Steve and I, going fishing.

Out into the bay.

Our generous guide Matt Booth.

The haul starts.


We haul, Matt unhooks our prey &

Re-baits our hooks.

He doesn’t toss in his own line.

We show off our brace.

Big smiles all round.

Read Full Post »

Safely home.

Weeks and weeks

Fishing, swimming, learning

Playing games, creating games, treasure hunting,

Just being together.

Protected and blessed and free enough

To discover blurring in the space between

Sky & sea, limited & limitless,

Sacred & profane, self & other,

Holiday for a life of contradiction & paradox.


In 2005 Roger retired after 40 years as CEO of Panthers. I had to deliver a speech on behalf of my brothers and our families. Observations about this holiday (Short Memories: 135 to 142) form the central part of that speech. For me, this holiday is pivotal in understanding how our family “hangs together” – well, it is certainly a pivotal moment for me.

The speech would not have suited this blog, but if you click the link, you’ll find it. On family, leadership, love, dignity.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: