Week 41/2023: Strange days

It was a strange week

Week of 9 October 2023

School holiday fun (and not so fun) moments

It started off well enough. It was the second week of school holidays and Kramstable and I went to see Barbie at the wonderful State Cinema.

It was a fun day. Shoe shopping, the movie and lunch.

I had two physiotherapist appointments this week. One with my regular physio and one with the foot physio. It turns out I was doing my foot exercises all wrong. There’s too much information involved in explaining how what I thought was a simple foot massage is anything but.

And then, an unrelated injury I saw my doctor for on Wednesday got infected. This required a short-notice visit to another doctor (who was, thankfully, available) later in the week. I went through a world of pain getting that sorted and a truckload of antibiotics, which I’d hoped to avoid. It wasn’t to be, and I’m grateful to have them so the infection doesn’t get worse.


I went to TMAG’s Twist exhibition on Friday.

The word "TWIST" in blue text on a pink background of a sign hanging on a wrought iron fence outside a sandstone building
Twist at TMAG

The title refers to one of Charles Dickens’ works. The exhibition show notes observe that Dickens would explore

issues such as crime and punishment, the dire impact of poverty on women and children and the grim conditions in public institutions such as orphanages, prisons and workhouses. He was as fascinated by the people and social interactions in the far-flung colonies as he was in those of the dirty streets of London. Many of his characters were transported or immigrated to Australia.

TMAG says:

This exhibition brings together artwork by exceptional Australian and Irish artists to engage with Dickensian themes – with a contemporary and quirky twist.

The exhibits were spread all around the galleries so you could see as many as you wanted to, or come back multiple times and see different things each time.

I started in the Bond Store with Fiona Hall’s Hunger for Power / Power of Hunger exhibit, which was made up of works responding to pieces in the museum’s permanent colonial collection.

A recurring theme in these works was ‘bread’, which I think you can interpret in several ways.

An artwork made from bread bearing the words RULE BRITANNIA with the word CRUEL upside down, all in a glass cabinet
Rule Britannia (Fiona Hall)

Most obvious to me was the transportation of people to Australia for “crimes” as small as stealing a loaf of bread so their family could eat. Such is the power of hunger that people do things they normally wouldn’t,  to avoid it.

The other interpretation I had was thinking about the term ‘bread winner’ as the person who earns the money in a household; bread being used to mean ‘money’ and how it’s the people with the most money who hold all the power in our world, and the more money they have, the more they want, way beyond what they need to live. And most of them don’t use their power or their money in a way that makes the world a better place.

Half-destroyed buildings made from bread, atop a grain sack
Wars are fought, buildings topple and people are hungry

There were a lot of interesting exhibits in this show.

Here are some more that caught my eye.

Transhumance (Mish Meijers and Tricky Walsh)

An artwork made up of heads and sticks and the words "the end is nigh"
When we allowed ourselves to be divided

Out of Flavour: Tasteless desires from an avaricious Empire (Sue Kneebone)

A silver cutlery set in a red-lined case. The implements resemble different animal teeth and claws
Zoomorphic cutlery set “evokes the unquenchable greed and folly of the British Empire” in the 19th Century

Do Not Forgive Me (Heather B Swann)

I connected with this piece for obvious reasons, which are likely nothing to do with what the work is really about.

Two feet made from wood standing on glass marbles
Last Night on Earth

I also liked the set of images by Cristl Berg.

A series of six black and white images on a red wall
Untitled by Crisl Berg

I stopped to look at the school kids’ interpretations of the theme “Twist” on the fences outside the museum.

This one is from Year 1 and Year 5/6s at The Cottage School, who say

We were fascinated with twisting colours in an experiment with milk, dyes and detergent. Our banner reflects the idea that ‘your brain and imagination helps everyone create twists’ (Hugh) and think differently.

We investigated that twists are non-directional, not spirals, they change directions, can go on forever, go nowhere and everywhere.

A green and blue swirling artwork on a banner on a wrought iron fence outside a sandstone building
Banner from The Cottage School



Australia had a referendum on Saturday on whether the constitution should be amended to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People by establishing a Voice, which would have been an advisory body to the government to give advice on issues that affected First Nations people.

There were campaigns for and against this. I understand many First Nations people wanted this and some did not. There was a lot of misleading information circulated, claims it would permanently divide Australia and, as far as I could see, a lot of confusion where there didn’t need to be.

A green bench with a pink "Vote Yes" sticker and a small teddy bear with a "Vote Yes" sign around its neck
Teddy says yes

The result was a resounding “no” vote, which we knew by Saturday night.

I have many thought and many feelings about this but it isn’t about me, and regardless of what I think, the country said no.

It’s not a nice feeling but undoubtedly my grief about this pales in comparison to the First Nations people for whom a “yes” vote may have made a huge difference.

I read some comments and thoughts from First Nations accounts I follow and was reminded that

If you’re new to this heavy feeling, it might be worth having a think about the fact that First Nations peoples carry this weight 24/7 everyday for their entire lives. (@LukeDanielPeacock on Instagram).

There is work I have do to.


By Sunday, I was feeling awful. My finger, the referendum result, and an issue with a family member that I though had been resolved but it turns out hasn’t. All I wanted to do was sit on the couch and feel miserable. But, like I said, at least one of those things is not about me, and I made myself go out.

My plan had been for a 12 km walk but I didn’t have the energy for that and my foot was sore. I made it to nine km and decided that was enough.

Walk tracker week 7

  • Monday (2 km): 2.47 km
  • Tuesday (3 km): 3.28 km
  • Wednesday (2 x 3 km): 3.18 and 3.27 km
  • Thursday (2 km): 2.25 km
  • Friday (2 km): 2.38 km
  • Saturday (3 km): 3.20 km
  • Sunday (12 km): 9.24 km

Week 41 summary

What was the best thing about this week?

Spending Monday with Kramstable.

What did I notice this week?

Sandy Bay street libraries are fancier than any other suburb’s street libraries that I’ve seen.

A wooden cupboard with glass doors and wooden drawers set up as a street library
Fancy Sandy Bay street library

What did I learn this week?

I learned to never leave a sharp knife anywhere near the food you’re cutting if you’ll be moving that food with your hands.

On a less painful note, I learned that the Savoy Theatre in London was the first first public building in Britain to be completely lit by electric light.

What I’m reading this week

  • Bullshit Jobs: The Rise of Pointless Work and What We Can Do About It by David Graeber
  • Architectural Photography and Composition by Steven Brooke
  • Do Story: How to tell your story so the world listens by Bobette Buster
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