Thursday, August 31, 2006

More additions

Went back down to Centreway, and found that someone's added more stuff:
More additions


I went down into Centreway yesterday, during Pain in the Arts (the Credo art group) because I've been working on a piece that's based on a photo I took there.
I found all these plastic hooks stuck on one of the walls, so I left a keyring with my high school's logo on it, and a key for a padlock that I no longer own. It was still there this morning.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

More skating

We've had to find a new carpark to go skating at, because when I was in Sydney some people who use the carpark we'd been skating at complained to the management, and so we got told by security not to skate there any more. At the new carpark we can skate on the roof, which is nice, but the concrete is a lot rougher. At the place we were going before the concrete was really smooth, so falling over didn't hurt a lot.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

God's voice in the chaordic advice of loved ones

I came to a realisation this afternoon, as I was sitting against the heater reflecting. I'm not sure how literally true it is, but I think it is true, in some way.
It seems sometimes like the people who are important to me are pulling me in different directions. But what I realised was that all of these people want good things for me. God is using each one of them to show me different things that are important for me to consider.
From what seems quite chaotic and confusing, only a good end can come, if I'm attentive to God's voice.
That realisation made things easier for me to understand, at least for that moment.

The tale of Mikey and the clothes drier

Last night Nathan's friends Mikey and Kaiwan stayed over, because they missed the last train home. This morning Mikey was trying to dry his shoes in the clothes-drier. They were making a lot of noise in there, and they kept on kicking the door open. So Mikey ended up sitting against the door.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Multiple exposure experiments

Just been down in the church sanctuary experimenting with multiple exposures.

The problems of bigness

Over the last month or so at Street and Hospitality Team meetings we've been discussing the fact that some days there seem to be more people coming to Credo for lunch than we can really cope with.
The lunches started about twelve years ago, when the church invited some young people to move into the building and try to connect with the church's neighbours, particularly people who were part of the street culture. One of the first residents was a chef, so they started inviting people that they met in the street to come back to their place for meals. Through word of mouth, more and more people heard about it, and it got to the point where there were so many people coming over for meals that they couldn't all fit in the apartment. So the basement of the building was cleared out, and it became Credo Café.
Credo is supposed to be not just a place where people can not just get fed, but find hospitality, a community to support them and a place where they can feel at home.
These days we're cooking enough food for sixty people, four days a week. When there were less people coming to lunch most people who were at lunch would have known each other, and when someone new turned up it wouldn't have been difficult to make sure they were welcomed. However, these days there are so many people coming in that it's not really possible for everyone to know each other, and there are often quite a few people that no one from the Street and Hospitality Team knows. With so many people it's not possible for us to spend enough time with everyone to gain their trust. With lots of people in Credo, it also gets very crowded and noisy. Because of the lack of relationships, we've also been getting quite a few people complaining if they don't like the food, or if we've run out of cordial or coffee, which isn't something you'd do if you were just over at someone's place for lunch.
So the problem is that there are a lot of people who need food, and that we are the only people in the CBD who regualrly offer a free lunch. However, with so many people coming to lunch, we're not able to sustain community as well, or offer a safe, secure place for people who don't have their own homes.
One of the things we're doing is putting together a proposal to the city council to start a service that is able to feed lots of people reguarly.
We're also thinking about how we can develop a more meaningful connection between the food that is eaten in Credo and the people who eat it, so that the meals are better appreciated. One of the ideas we have is to try and grow our own vegetables, and to involve as many people who come to lunch as we can in that.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Electric Television

Chris Morphew and his cousin have been doing a video-podcast called Electric Television. It is about a community television station, and is rather amusing. You should watch it. Especially Episode 6, where Sandra reads my letter.

Sunday, August 13, 2006


Why is Victoria like a doughnut? Because there's a hole in the middle!
(A Ballarat joke, making fun of Bendigo)

Why is Bendigo a hole?
(A dysfunctional Ballarat joke, unintentionally making fun of Ballarat)
Well, yesterday afternoon we (me, Nomes, Damo and Nigel) headed out to Bendigo for Ali's birthday party.
When we got to Bendigo we started off trying to just find the way to Ali's parents' place by luck, but that didn't really work, so I ended up calling Ali and getting directions from his dad several times. After several u-turns we made it there. Think it was about 5 or 6pm when we got there. Had a barbecue and salads for tea, and then headed out into the bush to have a fire.
It took about half and hour to get to this quarry where the fire was. Took this 15-second exposure of Damo:

It's a bit blurry, but I still like it. Took one of Ali and Kate as well, but it's too blurry:

Ben had his poi, so Ray and Ben did some fire twirling, and later Ben set up this poly-pipe canon that one of his friends made him. You had to spray hairspray in the bottom end, screw a lid on, and then use an stove-lighter to ignite it through a little hole in the pipe. After a lot of disappointing attempts we managed to shoot some tennis balls a fair way, and lastly we shot a tomato straight into the air. It made a very loud noise, and was never seen again.
At about midnight or something, Damo said he wanted to go back to the house, and me, Nome and Nige decided to go back too. On the way to the quarry we'd used torches made from branches with strips of old blanket wired around the end, but they'd all been taken by people who'd left earlier. So I decided to take off one of my sockks and tie it around a stick for a torch. Ben poured kerosene on it, and I lit it off the fire, and we headed off. We were going to go back exactly the same way we'd come, which started off with us heading up a pretty steep hill. Ali's sister, Stef, said we should go a different way that wasn't as steep, and then get straight back on the track, so we tried that, and ended up not being able to find our way back onto the track. We decided to head in the direction we reckoned Bendigo was, based on stuff like the noise ofo cars and dogs, and lights from the city, which we could see from the top of hills. After about ten minutes of walking the sock-torch went out, and we realised that we could actually see better without it.
After about half an hour of walking we arrived at the back of some houses, presumably part of the housing estate where Ali's parents lived. However, there didn't seem to be any way of getting past the houses and down into the street without jumping someone's back fence, into their backyard. So we decided to turn left, and go along this track that followed the back fences of the houses, hoping there'd eventually be a path down to the street.
Well, we got to the last house in the street, where the housing estate ended. Unfortunately we couldn't just go around the outside of the last house, because it was really steep, and the forest was really thick there, so I decided to see if I could just jump the back fence and get down to the street though the backyard, seeing as this house just had a really old, short wire fence. Made it down to the street, and headed back up to the others. Halfway back I heard this little metallic 'ding' noise, and thought, Oh [excrement]! They've got a dog! But I couldn't hear anything moving, and there were no more little metallic 'ding' noises.
So we all got down to the street, and walked along it until we found some street names we recognised from when we were trying to find Ali's parents' place the first time. So we got home at about one o'clock, I think.
I don't think I slept at all last night because all night Nigel was either using a chainsaw or snoring, I'm not sure which. We got back here at about twelve, I think.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Found this in Turner Alley (off Swanston Street, just north of Bourke Street) just after lunch:

Jesus goes for a walk on the lake

Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. 'It's a ghost,' they said, and cried out in fear.
But Jesus immediately said to them: 'Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid.'
'Lord, if it's you,' Peter replied, 'tell me to come to you on the water.'
'Come,' he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, 'Lord, save me!'
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. 'You of little faith,' he said, 'why did you doubt?'
And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, 'Truly you are the Son of God.'
(Matthew 14:22-33)
Was reading this at Sacred Space before admin meeting this morning, and was struck by the fact that when Jesus' disciples see him they think he's a ghost, just like they do at the end of Luke's gospel, when Jesus is resurrected (Luke 24).
Another thing I was thinking about was that I often think as though if I don't have enough faith then God will just let go of me. But in this story, when Peter doesn't have enough faith, Jesus compensates and pulls him up out of the water and saves him from drowning.

Monday, August 07, 2006

No more Sydney...

Didn't do much on Friday, because it was raining heavily all day in Sydney. Ended up just hanging around the backpackers, reading Life, the Universe and Everything, listening to Hilltop Hoods, and watching/making fun of Windtalkers with some English backpackers. Wrote a little bit too, including this, which I don't think is finished:

It's a present

It might seem to us like this leaf's been thrown away.
That doesn't mean it's rubbish.
It's probably not going to make us any money.
But we don't have to sweep it away out of resentment.
What would make us think we had the right to do that anyway?
It actually contains a secret message. It's probably not a message any of us will ever consciously understand very well. But we don't need to understand it, just to receive it. The deep, buried bits of ourselves know what to do with it.
It's going to self-destruct. But that will take a while, and it's components will go back down into the earth to feed other messages.
So it's not rubbish.
Friday night I went down to Circular Quay, even though it was still raining a bit, and took a few long-exposure photos.

Saturday morning I met up with Dave (a friend from Ballarat who now lives in Sydney) and hung around the city and Circular Quay and had lunch. It was raining a fair bit still.

At one point on the plane flight back to Melbourne there were ice crystals forming on the outside of the windows. It was pretty cloudy where we started the descent, and it was a little bit turbulent.
I'm glad I'm back now, because I've missed everyone.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Pop art and street art

Moved my stuff to the new backpackers. Seems a lot cleaner and tidier, and it doesn't smell. There seems to be a lot of students staying there.
Ended up wandering around Surry Hills today, and eventaully finding Paddington. Was a lot of street art in Paddington, compared to anywhere else I've been in Sydney.

Found a gallery of this pop artist called David Egan who does paintings and silk screen prints based on U2 songs.

Goodbye backpackers, hello other backpackers

Turns out that the backpackers that I've been staying at actually closes today. The staff only got told yesterday, and I only got told about fifteen minutes ago. The guy who was in the army for twenty-five years seems to have done a runner, because he owes a month of rent. So I'm going to be staying the other two nights at another backpackers, owned by the same company.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Art and stuff

This morning I went to the Museum of Contemporary Art, and saw some stuff from the 2006 Biennale of Sydney and Bangu Yilbara, an exhibition of contemporary indigenous art.
Had a falafel roll for lunch at Circular Quay. (Last night, on the phone, Dad asked if I'd been to Circular Quay yet, because when he went there a pigeon crapped on him. He also said that the roads here were designed by the cattle from the First Fleet.)
In the afternoon I had a look at some exhibitions at Customs House, one about this architect called Harry Seidler who designed a whole heap of buildings around Sydney, and one about this laneway called Rowe Street. I've barely noticed any laneways in Sydney. (Maybe the lack of laneways is why there's not much street art?) Apparently Rowe Street was a really nice little laneway, but they demolished it. I miss Melbourne's laneways.
Also went to the Art Gallery of New South Wales, to look at more of the 2006 Biennale of Sydney. In their permenant collection they also had a heap of great stuff by Arthur Boyd, Sidney Nolan, Albert Tucker and Russell Drysdale. There was a screening of This Sporting Life, a British New Wave film about a violent rugby player and his relationship with his landlady. Was pretty full on, particularly considering when it was filmed. After the film I went to St Mary's Cathedral to pray for a while, and then I went back to the backpackers.
Hadn't been back here long when Craig called me and said, 'We're in Chinatown. Where the crap are ya?' So I told him where I was and met Craig and Ted outside and we walked the streets for a bit. Ted said that no-one from Sydney actually uses the tram, but that at least I haven't used the monorail, because that would be really touristy.
Tomorrow I think I'm going to head out to Paddington. Apparently there's a lot of little art galleries out there.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

More police

When I went back to the backpackers a couple of hours ago there were two police officers just going in. Got my computer out to recharge the battery and write my journal, and one of the staff, a lady who sounds Dutch, came into the room, followed by the police officers and the lady who's always talking to people who aren't there. All the stuff she had on her bed was gone, and they emptied out her locker, and then escorted her out.

Days 2 and 3

Decided to try and find the Harbour Bridge and Opera House again yesterday. On my way over there I stopped in this courtyard between a whole heap of hotels and office buildings, to have some sandwiches for lunch. While I was eating, this guy in blue overalls came over and asked me if I'd studied law. I said I hadn't, and asked why. He said that he'd been walking along the road and the police had pulled over and jumped out of their van and told him not to walk on the side of the road or they'd throw him in the back. He wanted to know from me whether they were allowed to do that. I said I thought they were probably bluffing, because they know they have more power than civilians. He said that they didn't have more power than him because they were fat and slow and he could have easily outrun them. He said that next time the police bothered him he was going to tell them that he knew they were just bluffing, tell them they're garbage and that he's going to report them to their superiors so they get suspended, and then run away. He told me all that and more about twenty times. He kept saying that he had to go and get lunch, but then starting the whole story again. He also wanted to know if I was part indigenous.
After I'd finished my sandwiches I walked down through The Rocks, which seems to be an area full of old fashioned buildings, and came to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Took a heap of photos.

Then realised with a surprise that I could also see the Sydney Opera House, across Circular Quay. Walked around Circular Quay to have a look at the Opera House, which was very beautiful.

I liked the fig trees more though.

Went back to the backpackers in the afternoon and ended up falling asleep for a little while, because I was really tired, even though I managed to get a reasonably good sleep Sunday night, after the old English lady stopped talking to people who weren't there.
Was sitting on the balcony last night, reading Restaurant at the End of the Universe. This English guy came out for a smoke, and we had a chat. He asked where I was from, and when I said Melbourne he was surpised because he thought I sounded English. He said he's been in Sydney ten weeks, and spent about AU$12 000 on alcohol. This middle-aged Australian guy came out for a smoke as well. He said he'd been in the army twenty-five years, served in Cambodia and Sarajevo, and was retired now. He's been staying here three months, and is going to have to move out on Sunday because the place is closing down, and being turned into a nightclub or something.
Haven't done much today. Been reading. My feet have been sore from doing so much walking in the first two days. Went to the National Maritime Museum, but it wasn't all that interesting. Am currently in a park in Glebe, eating chips and a spring roll. There's a currawong that keeps trying to steal my food.

And I came across some more familiar-looking street art on the way over to Glebe.