Archive for the 'Writing' Category

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.

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

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.

My Daughter Emma

Posted in Writing, Cancer Journal on May 10th, 2006

In March 2003, Emma had her first operation; in July, the second and the cancer seemed to accelerate remorselessly from then on. In less than a year she was dead.

In February 2003 we met en famille in London for a last meal before our long journey to the southern hemisphere. She was clearly not well and could hardly eat. I felt very reluctant to leave and it came as no surprise really that almost as soon as we arrived in Sydney, we learnt that she was to have an operation. We had to leave for New Zealand almost immediately and, as luck would have it, were out of phone contact because my new Aussie mobile did not have roaming activated although I was assured it would be working. When finally we did speak she was upset not to have heard from me. I was shattered by her frantic and desperate anger with me and suddenly terrified of what was to come.

I always keep a diary when travelling but the kind of journal I wrote from July 2003 was altogether different. It was handwritten in hospital waiting rooms, on trains and planes and in the dark hours of the many wakeful long nights. Every so often I would type it up and add reflections when a little distance gave me better insight. Looking at it again I am puzzled as to how I sound so rational in what was a confused and anguished time. Even now, three years after, it is painful to read. The extracts on this blog are linked to a new web site dedicated to her memory.

www.emmacandy.com

Recent Publications

Posted in Publications, Writing on November 2nd, 2005

After nearly two year’s work the a special issue of the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies finally appeared online in June 2005. It includes a paper that brings together the final outcomes of the COSTART project.

Edmonds, E.A., Candy, L, Fell, M. Pauletto, S. and Weakley, A. (2005). The Studio as Laboratory: Combining Creative Practice and Digital Technology Research, International Journal of Human-Computer Studies Special Issue on Creativity and Computational Support, Vol. 63, issue 4, August pp 452-481.

Edmonds, E.A., Candy, L, (2005). Macaroni Synthesis: A Creative Multimedia Collaboration, September, YLEM Journal: Artists using Science and Technology.

Bloggery beginnings

Posted in Travel, Vietnam, Writing on October 29th, 2005

Back from an amazing two weeks in Vietnam and ready to embark on an experimental blog writing life style.

At the time I felt envious of the blog owners who could capture a sense of the experience as it was happening like virtual post cards! There were Internet cafes where you could get your fix daily. The best I could do was to write my travel journal from hand notes taken on the journey. This means (for new blog peekers) the travel posts are in reverse. The entries are made in date order and are a way off completion. Keep watching this space!

Vietnam in 14 days

Posted in Travel, Vietnam, Writing on October 28th, 2005

lotus2
In the past two weeks I have had the privilege of travelling through an extraordinary country. Having lived my student days in parallel with the Vietnam War (to the Vietnamese, the American War), I needed to catch up with Vietnamese life as it is lived today. Until 1995, it was a closeted world but in ten years the transformation to a market economy is remarkable. And yet it is still a single party state, run tightly by the inheritors of Ho Chi Minh’s struggle for an independent nation. Fighting the invader has been long familiar: living the peace is posing all kinds of new and relatively unfamiliar challenges.

The journey passed through cities and villages, high country and coastal plains, rivers and bays. A modern life-style: motorbikes, mobile phones and iPods, mysterious masked girls riding side by side with elegant women in high heels.

A rural living by ancient methods: water buffalos ploughing rice paddies and limpet hatted workers weeding vast spaces by hand; ripened rice is cut by scythe and stacked, collected by hand cart,then beaten and cleaned by straw brush on the roadside before being shovelled into bags ready for collection. And then there are the more up to date methods like motor bike bearing chickens and pigs in cages!

The fourteen day trip was spent in the company of our tour leader and local guides and eleven other total strangers all of who became a kind of surrogate family, sharing meals, boat, coach and air trips and novel experiences. I came away promising to return: the people, the landscapes, the scenes of working life, the organised chaos of the traffic, are unforgettable.

Memory Place

Posted in Writing, Cancer Journal on March 1st, 2004

There is a place for remembrance near a tree on the edge of the fields near the village. Today I placed a stone from the Simpson Desert and a striped shell B brought from a beach near Edinburgh with her casket. And wild daffodils from the garden at home.

Face forward

Posted in Writing, Cancer Journal on February 23rd, 2004

Feel very desolate all the time and am trying not to give in to my darkest thoughts. If Emma could face such suffering and the prospect of death with courage and wit and without recourse to anything but her own self-reliance and the support of her family and friends, then I can too. We have our children and friends around us and baby Emma who is such a treat. Life will go on with wonderful memories. And she goes on publishing- this time in the Daily Mail next Tuesday.

Life on the Web

Posted in Writing, Cancer Journal on February 18th, 2004

She lives on in her web log. The word got round and what was a partly secret journal known mainly to strangers became a way that friends and friends of friends got to know her and posted their responses to her brave spirited journal entries. These speak of a witty, humorous, lovely young woman who touched all who met her and left an enormous gap in the lives of her family and close friends.

From across the world we have received so many messages from friends and colleagues. Having read her journal, they feel they know her a little. One old friend said he had spent two hours early on a perfect Sydney sunny morning reading it and wondering at her courage and vitality.[John Hughes who died suddenly in 2006]

The messages are all about her courage, her sense of humour and marvellous wit. She has been understood posthumously for what she truly was in life. She would have laughed to hear that said. She never really realised how much she meant to the people she touched with her strong and irreverent spirit.

The Guardian G2 special ran a 4 page special with Emma’s words only. She would have been ecstatic and highly amused to imagine her new fame! The Daily Mail wants to run it too. Having to fend off TV interviews too. Our girl is keeping me on the run as usual.