Friday, July 29, 2011

Is home where the art is?

I have stuff deposited all over the world, but all of my art collection is here in regional Australia. Does that mean Albury is still my home base?

I feel I have at least three homes now: Albury, Kuching and New York (where I'm headed next). Am I just being greedy?

I've spent the past three weeks catching up with friends, family, acquaintances, runners and dogs. I've been to a funeral and the movies, to the podiatrist, optometrist and dentist, and to exhibition openings at Albury Art Gallery/Library/Museum and Wodonga Artspace. I've been taken for walks by my happily rehomed dogs Butch and Charlie, and for long runs in the early-morning fog by crazy runner pals. I've spent time with two dear friends I wouldn't have seen if their visits to Albury hadn't coincided with mine, and with another who made the time to visit from out of town. I've flown to Sydney to spend two days with Chris.

When I moved back to Albury in 1995, I felt I was on my knees. This place got me back on my feet. It's because of Albury and the friends I've made here that I can now do what I'm doing. Albury will always have a large part of my heart ... and, for the time being, all of my art.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Albury, Oz

I'm now back where I started my journey in May 2010, but only for a month. There's quite a bit to catch up on...


I loved spending time with my Kuching family. Min and Eng and I did some very early-morning runs (4.30 am!) in the lead-up to the Wees' KL half marathon. I'm very taken with the "Kuching Shuffle" training technique and have shown Di and Fran here in Oz how it works. I really enjoyed the long runs with Min and the breakfasts afterwards with Sam, Eng Hooi and Belinda, and William and Jackie... Dinner with Habitat for Humanity visitors from NZ. Lunch with everyone at Design Network Architects. Also spent quality time with Emily and Rita, Maz and June (who took me to karaoke and prayers at the central mosque), Josephine, Ramsay, Michael and Moses, Bernard, and Abdullah (our fourth city in five months!). I spoke with a group of high-school kids about my career, and celebrated Father's Day with all of Emily's family. Belinda drove me to the airport, where I got to see the Wees on their way to KL. Can't wait to see them all again next May.


Chris met my flight from Singapore. The last time I had seen him was in Canberra in December 2008. We stayed at Eco Lodge in the Glasshouse Mountains. Went for a walk halfway up Mt Tibrogargan, which I then ran twice around the following morning. We met up with my relations June and Kevin for a great walk up one of the other spectacular mountains in the area, then had lunch in Caloundra. Amazingly, we ran into my cousins Ken and Faye just walking along the seafront. From Glasshouse Mountains we went to Expedition and Carnarvon National Parks, where we camped for over a week, sometimes in what Chris calls "wild camps". I did a number of runs, and we went for lots of walks. The walk up Carnarvon Gorge to Big Bend was a highlight, and I loved the Amphitheatre.

We made our way back to Brisbane via Dalby and Bribie Island, where we had a fun night and day with June and Kevin. Spent the last night in Brisbane with young rellies Jaye, Christos, Kellie, Cassie and Lachlan. Saw a Surrealism exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art and had a quick look through the Queensland Art Gallery. I'm hoping to stay on Bribie for a month early in 2013, with Brisbane just an hour away by train.

Flew to Melbourne, where I spent an hour talking with new friend Kay while we waited for our flights.


I arrived back in Albury in time for dinner with my sister Deb and brother-in-law Steve, who had collected the key for the apartment I'm staying in on the main street. The big Art Deco exhibition at Albury Art Gallery and Library/Museum opened the next night. Saw many people I know, and met others I had been working with on the catalogue for the show.

Saw my Mum, and my dogs Butch and Charlie on Saturday. Mum is well, apart from having a cold. Butch and Charlie didn't recognise me initially! We went for a walk in the cold with Therese, Jules and Yvonne.

Dinner that night with Deb and Steve and my nephew Mitch, who is now out of the brace he has had to wear since breaking five vertebrae in a motorcycle racing accident some months ago. He's a lucky boy.

Went to the Dogs' Breakfast on Sunday. Good to see Kay, Lyn and Graham, and other friends and their dogs.

Spent some time with Dotti and Rob during the Art Deco walk in the afternoon.

Caught up with Barb and Bill, who were up from Melbourne, and Therese and Gary for an hour before Gary and I went to the movies to see "Oranges and Sunshine". Always great to see B&B. I'll stay with them next month for a few nights.

Dotti and I had coffee on Monday. She brought a couple of my kilim rugs that she's storing for me to put in the apartment where I'm staying.

Ran Tuesday morning with Christine (a fabulous catchup-on-news run), and on Wednesday with Di and Fran. The hardest run I've done in a while! Fran scored an entry to this year's New York marathon in the lottery and will stay with me on Central Park West for a few nights.

Dinner with Mum on Wednesday, and with Jan and Pete and Jo last night. Much to talk about! Had lunch with Kate from Bright.