2011

Posted in Writing, Year diary on August 13th, 2011

Mid August and not a word for this year so far. A sign of busy times writing a book and tending children.

Last week while I was in London, parts of the city went into free fall. It started in Tottenham and spread to Enfield, Brixton, Peckham and then England: Birmingham, Liverpool, Nottingham, Manchester and Salford, and even sleepy old Leicester.
I went to the Proms and a play called ‘Betrayal’ by Harold Pinter that I had last seen in the late 1970s, and a marvellous Joan Miro exhibition at the Tate Modern. All in between the rioting each night. The streets we walked were clear and clean- the rioting had the effect of making London a pleasant place to be instead of the overcrowded pushing and shoving that is normal. The West End was glossy and gleaming with blazing windows of opportunity for conspicuous consumption. No police and no rioting that we could discern..

Apparently The PM David Cameron is bringing in an American cop from Boston to tell the police here how to sort out the gangs. He might do well to start in the City with the bankers and move on to Parliament where ex members of the Bullingdon club still meet to conspire to loot and pillage the poor. There is a nice letter going around addressed to Cameron’s parents berating them for bringing up such a destructive boy… All the usual cliches are running wild right now and the rest of the world must be wondering what it is like in England. Well there are ordinary people making the best of the situation and pulling together with the usual British style. However there is so much anger amongst all parties it is leading to heavy sentencing - six months gaol for looting bottles of water worth 3.50 for someone with no criminal record who committed a wrong doing in a moment of opportunistic madness. The most powerful comment came this morning from the father of a young man mown down on the street in Birmingham who said: “there is too much anger- we must not give in to that” He is proving to be a man of real influence on hotheads who want to go out and bash Afro-Caribbeans. He is a Muslim.

It all seems a world away from the city suburbia of Sydney where not much happens except the occasional drive by shooting. Even so Mosman made the headlines in Britain with a story of a girl held to ransom with an explosive collar around her neck which the police took ten hours to remove.

Year by year diary

Posted in Travel, Writing, Year diary on March 10th, 2009

2010

Elections Elections Elections

The UK turns Tory aided and abetted by the Lib Dems. Labour out to pasture and a new leader after Gordon Brown retires defeated and depressed.

This year will see an  Australian federal election and the fate of Rudd’s government decided by the press and a gullible public. or am I thinking UK here? All the same really.

For the record, sterling slowly declines against the aussie dollar: 61pence to $1.

Spring in the UK is glorious and the clear blue skies belie the dark volcanic clouds of ash way above. The air is free of vapour trails and noise the 6 days and people here the birds once more around Heathrow and in Kew Gardens.

Autumn in Sydney is bright and breezy. Jessica, the 16 year old sailor, arrives at the Opera House after her global circumvention in her 30 foot yacht to be greeted by the PM and NSW Premier and crowds lining the harbour foreshore.
We sell and move back across the road.  Downsizing is difficult but satisfying.

2009

December: Back to the land of X Factor and sailors going astray into Iranian waters and Tiger Woods refusing to come clean. Oh and yes the war and climate change- occasionally.

November: Interest rates go up again for the third time making Australia unique in the world for this - well it is unique any way but this is an unexpected surprise. For the record
100,000.00 Australian Dollars = 55,490.00 British Pounds a rate of 55 pence to the dollar.

In the Land of Oz while waiting for the recession to become depression we discover that Australia has bucked the trend and is coming up roses. Growth is small but the aussie dollar is king.

On September 24th 2009 the Red Centre came to Sydney turning the skies a murky pinkish brown and coating our tongues and other surfaces with a film of ‘bull dust’. People with memories of the London smogs compared the similar experience.

In Sydney we had 28 ships in 28 days including the Queen Victoria, Queen Mary 2 and the new Arcadia.

I came to Australia with my family for the second time in 1957 on the old Arcadia. I remember the Suez canal as a ten year old and the signs of conflict in Port Said. I kept a journal at the time which was lost.
Resolve to return to blogging. I blame Facebook fiddling which takes up more time than I care to admit.

______________________________________________________________

2008 Seems to have passed by without comment

And yet there was so much happening:

On August 4th Lulu Elizabeth Candy Shannon arrived in the world and made her first impact

In September the credit crunch became the bank meltdown and the global market fell into disarray from which it has yet to merge.

In November Barack Obama became President of the  USA and we all felt hope again.

2007 Highlights

July The Tour de France starts in London: the only two days of sunshine after weeks of rain and floods.

March: Uluru (Ayres Rock) and Kata Tjuta (Olgas)

At Longitude 131: 10 kilometres direct to the face of Uluru
Rain on the Rock turns it into a grey beast and the red desert into speckled green.

February
Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth 2 converged in Sydney harbour over 40 years since their predecessors did the same. QM2 blocked our view of the Opera House as she turned on her way into Garden Island to dock. When QE2 arrived and passed QM2 they sounded their horns to one another barely audible under the helicopter noise above. Thousands gathered on the many harbour foreshores and the traffic all over the city snarled up. QM2 left that night. Later in the week QE2 crept quietly out hardly noticed.
——————————————————————-
2006
In Sydney in the summer is hot and humid. A time to stay quiet and soak in the relaxation..

The first version of a website dedicated to Emma is finished and I have put some of my diary entries on this blog and linked to the site.

The UK in springtime: where else in the word would you get daily rain combined with a constant threat of drought?

It is June 2006 and World Cup fever runs high:

The English complain about the hot weather and lack of water in their first match against Paraguay.

In their very first World Cup victory, the Aussies come back from behind to beat Japan 3:1. Later they go out to a dubious penalty to Italy.

England is out: the ten men of England- minus Wayne Rooney battle on heroically and are knocked out on penalties by Portugal. National gloom coupled with relief in quiet corners.

Now both my teams are out.

Then Italy wins the cup!

Another gloomy drug doped year for Le Tour. Landis is shamed.

No more heroes.
————————————————————————-
2005 I went to Italy, England, Vietnam, New Zealand and Heron Island on the Great Barrier Reef.

Practice-Based Research

Posted in CCS-blog, CCS-announcements on May 25th, 2007

A description of Practice-Based Research is now on the CCS web site.

Topics include:
Practice-Related Research
Practice and the Role of Research
Differences between Practice-Based and Practice-Led Research
CCS Doctoral Programmes
Historical Background
The PhD and Knowledge
Outline for a Practice Related Thesis
Advice to PhD Students
Questions and Answers
Definitions and Terms
Bibliography
Ethics

Uluru at Longitude 131

Posted in Travel, Uluru on March 30th, 2007

The ‘ Tent’ is as far from the real thing as anyone not disposed to camping could wish for. Plump pillows, beds, cushions and an uninterrupted view to the Rock 10 kilometres ahead.

The first evening a table under the stars or rather the clouds that proved all too hard to penetrate. Our star master performed a tour de force inspite of the absence of the very reason he was there. Aboriginal and Greek stories came to his (and our) rescue. As before on Heron the Southern Cross eluded me.

The first morning we walked 7 kilometres around the base and saw the dawn strike the face into gorgeous red. Our small party trekked purposefully around the perimeter of the object of all our interests.

In the women’s cooking cave at sunset next day the rains came and all at once the Rock assumed the skin of an animate creature as the torrents poured into black stripes. The oxidised red surface turned instantly into a smooth lumbering soft grey beast. Our shivering group huddled back on the coach patiently longing for the comfort of tent city.

Here the world is as far away as you could hope for too. Only the people are there to remind you of civilisation and eveything it represents.

Uluru from Longitude 131 uluru

Creativity & Cognition 2007 Tutorial

Posted in CCS-blog, CCS-announcements on February 20th, 2007

A proposal for a one day tutorial called ‘Understanding and Evaluating Creativity’ to be given at Creativity & Cognition 2007 was successful. Linda Candy and Zafer Bilda are joint presenters.

The aim of the tutorial is to provide the participants with an understanding of the significance of creativity for interaction design and to give guidance about the design and evaluation of systems with respect to their role in creativity support. Participants will also be provided with tools for analyzing and evaluating situations in which creative engagement and interaction may be taking place.

OBJECTIVES ARE:
• Provide up to date knowledge about creativity from research and practice
• Provide an understanding of the significance of creativity for interaction design
• Provide guidance for the design and evaluation of creativity support tools
• Provide an overview of methods, tools and techniques for observing creative activities
• Describe a video based methodology for demystifying creative processes
• Engage participants in exercises for studying and analyzing creativity and creativity support

Creativity and Cognition 2007

Back to basics

Posted in CCS-blog on November 1st, 2006

Everytime I go to my blog I find it has reverted to plain old blue and white instead of my lovely shades of pink and red.

What is happening???????????

Now about to ‘correct’ it…again and again….

Changed back 6 feb 2007 hopefully for last time but no iis back to blue….

The Meaning of Meaning

Posted in CCS-blog on October 26th, 2006

Of new kinds of art works that are not readily accessible, people often say things like..but what does it mean? I liked this response:

“Meaning begins in the words, in the action, continues in your head and ends nowhere. There is no end to meaning. Meaning which is resolved, parcelled, labelled and ready for export is dead, impertinent - and meaningless.”

Harold Pinter, writer, author of The Birthday Party, in a letter to Peter Wood, its first director, 1958.

PLAY.orchestra

Posted in CCS-blog on October 21st, 2006

PLAY.orchestra is an interactive sound installation situated outside the Royal Festival Hall on the South Bank of the Thames. 56 plastic cubes and 3 Hotspots are laid out on a full size orchestra stage, each cube containing a light and speaker.

It is a collaboration between Central St Martins, South Bank and the Philharmonia orchestra. Have a look here for details:PLAY.orchestra

I tried it while in London in September. It generated plenty of fun amongst the participants: somehow sitting down down on the cubes seemed to encourage communication.

The bluetooth interaction seemed not to be working- or maybe my phone was not picking it up. I have not had much luck with bluetooth in public installations e.g the Sydney Custom House installation recently.. has anyone had more success?

Two Years On

Posted in Writing, Linda's Web Site, Cancer Journal on August 9th, 2006

In 2005 I went to Italy, England, Vietnam, New Zealand and Heron Island on the Great Barrier Reef.

2006 has been a quieter year so far. Sydney in the summer is hot and humid. A time to stay quiet and soak in the relaxation..

The first version of a website dedicated to Emma is finished and I have put some of my diary entries on this blog and linked to the site.

The UK in springtime: where else in the word would you get daily rain combined with a constant threat of drought?

It is June 2006 and World Cup fever runs high:

The English complain about the hot weather and lack of water in their first match against Paraguay.

In their very first World Cup victory, the Aussies come back from behind to beat Japan 3:1. Later they go out to a dubious penalty to Italy.

England is out: the ten men of England- minus wayne Rooney battle on heroically and are knocked out on penalties by Portugal. National gloom and relief in quiet corners.

Now both my teams are out.

Another gloomy drug doped year for Le Tour. Landis is shamed.

No more heroes.

‘Thin Slicing’ or the ‘quick and dirty’ way to knowledge

Posted in CCS-blog on July 20th, 2006

‘Thin slicing’ is the ability of the mind to find patterns in situations based on very narrow slices of experience. It is why people can often make accurate judgements in very rapid timescales that are better, or at least as good as carefully researched results. Malcolm Gladwell gives some remarkable examples of how it works in ‘Blink’, the successor to ‘The Tipping Point’. The more I read, the more it makes me doubt the value of standard forms of research. He is not arguing that snap judgements are always better but that we should take more notice of them…

Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking