Diane Greenwood

Thinking about…

Canberra – National Gallery – Masterpieces

So, it has been a while since posting. There are a few reasons for this, but I will catch up on my posting before I let the news go on the journal. 

On the weekend of the 26-28th March Jesse, Russell and I went to Canberra to the National Gallery to see the Masterpieces from Paris. There was a lot of media around the event and there were comments from other friends that had travelled up from Melbourne that the line up was 3-4hours long. The actual gallery extended it hours and the exhibition to take the load of people coming through and the three of us could not have let it slip buy Australia (cause we were not going to Paris any time soon!)

So we drove up on the Friday night after work. Arrived at Uncle John’s at 1am. Thank you so much for having us and seeing us for 5 mins before you went to bed. 

Jesse getting car ready

Jesse driving

Russell in car

Me in the back seat

Saturday we went to the Portrait Gallery and to see how long these lines really were. Sure enough it was pretty long and the estimated wait time was about 2-3 hours. Our tickets were for the Sunday so we had plans to get there early and sit in the morning line to get in as best we could. 

The  Portrait Gallery was pretty interesting. Architecturally as well as the paintings and sculptures it contains. The building itself was light filled and the walls within floated as the exhibition hung from them. The architect is a Sydney based firm JPW – Johnson Pilton Walker. I particularly like some of their cultural and masterplanning. 

We then had a quick stop in at Urban Food which was followed by some time in bed for me. I was exhausted!

Sunday was the day of the National Gallery visit. It was an amazing experience. We strolled across Canberra from our car park with hot-air-ballons over head. It was a beautiful morning. The line was not too bad and we were entertained by a lovely lady and man playing French tunes as the line built up. We were in the first group let in and I should say that the true experience was dappled by the amount of people in the room at anyone time. There was not enough room to fully appreciate, or step back from the painting and see the entirety. I surprised myself with a clear draw towards the pointillism work, but was still amazed by Starry Night. One other area that I liked was the bold colours that impressionists started to take from Japanese influence. This was something that I did not know previously. 

Morning balloons

Gallery front, we sat in the line at the end of this tent entrance

French music

After the gallery we visited Parliament House.

We ended the weekend with a visit to my cousin Mags – and her dog! Thank you so much Mags for the goodies for the trip home. A great weekend. Sorry it took me so long to write about it. 


MIA in the Daily Telegraph

Taken from the Daily Telegraph on Monday – 29th March 2010
Danny’s unusual commute

Kayaker Danny Blackwell has one of Sydney’s most unusual commutes to work where he kayaks from Fairlight to Walsh Bay. He will kayak from one side of Lake Victoria in Africa to the other in July to raise money for orphanages in Africa.

If you can support MIA in anyway visit them, look at the 10 for 10 projects … only $10 a month … come on peeps … $10 is 1 less bought drink a week – to make a difference.

reduce … reuse … recylce …

Someone recently asked me if they could recycle meat trays. Here is a brief look at recycling – or you can look here. that covers meat trays.

What can you put in your yellow bin?

Most councils recycle 1-3 and many recycle the full range. The materials that are accepted depends on the waste recycling contractor and facilities that the materials are taken to.  

PET   Polyethylene terephthalate – Fizzy drink bottles and oven-ready meal trays
   HDPE  High-density polyethylene – Bottles for milk and washing-up liquids.
   PVC  Polyvinyl chloride – Food trays, cling film, bottles for squash, mineral water and shampoo.
   LDPE  Low density polyethylene – Carrier bags and bin liners.
   PP  Polypropylene – Margarine tubs, microwaveable meal trays.
   PS  Polystyrene – Yoghurt pots, foam meat or fish trays, hamburger boxes and egg cartons, vending cups, plastic cutlery, protective packaging for electronic goods and toys.
   OTHER  Any other plastics that do not fall into any of the above categories. – An example is melamine, which is often used in plastic plates and cups, nylon and acrylic.


One thing that had stood out to me while doing my PDC is that people today often use the 3-R’s to justify products in the consumer world. REDUCE REUSE RECYCLE! Which is great to do generally, but I think that society relies too heavily on Recycling and not a lot on Reuse or Reduce.

A word of encouragement – Reuse and Reduce, before you Recycle. GO GREENER!

Just a scary piece for you: The United Nations report: Contaminated water now kills more people than all forms of violence including wars http://on.cnn.com/doETH7


While I was in Uganda on the Permaculture Course my friend Kate mentioned her partner was on tour in Melbourne at the Arts Centre when I got home. So I made sure I caught him and I was NOT disappointed.

‘Mother India – 21st Century Remix’ performance piece. Written and produced by Alvin Seechurn (DJ Tigerstyle), Matt Constantine and David Shaw.

First of all, location. location and weather. The curve bar at the Arts Centre never has a dull performance and it is such a good spot to attract people and keep a crowd focused. Nestled between two buildings it made a perfect backdrop for the movie to adorn the National Gallery wall while the MI21 musicians sat on a stage in front. The weather was coming down from a 32 degree day and we grabbed a table early enough to be able to sit outside, with drink in hand, and enjoy the performance. 

The music was amazing and at times I struggled with picking to watch the musicians or the movie. Both were climatic at times and the music really does serve the contemporary crowd watching on. Ah a wonderful night, os much so that I am going back tonight in the hope for another great evening. 

Thanks MI21 and also thank you to Kate for the lovely card and your photo’s from Uganda. Hope to see you soon. xo

Me, Matt (the Cellist from MI21 – Kate’s partner) and Jan from Uganda

Matt playing the Chello

Although blurry – this shows all the people, in deck chairs, at the tables, standing.

Caboose + Coffee

Alright, so now that I am back from Africa I have decided to change a few things to help me mentally and socially get through some of the things that I learnt and experienced on my travels.

So number 1: Fairtrade Coffee. Ethically, yes, we bang on about this to everyone. Last year I was still surprised to be asked by one of my friends “what is fairtrade?”. We buy it at home and my office is very good as they have it and support the ethical nature behind it. Occasionally I am in need of a coffee fix and I just grab one where I can – this was a combination of rushing in and out of the office while focusing on my deadlines for work. No longer is the case. I have taken the time to do my fairtrade rounds and have found Caboose in City Square. When I need that hit I no longer go for ease, I go for a walk, get some air and take my friends with me to chat on the way.


Secondly: No more paper cups. Again, I would for convienience almost get one everytime I got a take away coffee. Not any more. I do not leave home without my keepcup and I have pulled out from the back of my cupboard my University of Waterloo stainless steel mug that sits in the car for the dire need of transit coffee. Also I try and get coffee have in when I can, not only does that not use paper, but it means I am not rushing here and there.

Lastly: Relax Time. So Russ gets into work at about 7.45-8am … I am not letting my life slip into work-a-holic mode again and so I come here and sit until about 8.55am adn then head into work. I sit and read the paper, read my book (currently reading Architects of Poverty), done a few sketches, spoken to some birds, enjoyed the sun and air and basically sat and had some time with God. It has only been a week and a half, some days it is hard to stay there, but I think that I could get used to this – the price of a ‘fairtrade coffee’ is small if it makes me relax and take the day in a lower gear.

Wow, I think that I like coffee!


that stands for Sustainable Living Festival. Which was grand!

I have not posted for a while, but I thought I would start with some links and inspiration from the festival last weekend.

Let’s start with the one that I have used every day since the festival – Shop Ethical (iPhone Ap) – which is basically the book as an application that links live to research and background data for the reason that it is either non-ethical or boycotted. Very good for that supermarke trip if you have to!


Other really good finds of the day were:

  • Social Studio – a non-profit, design and studio based clothing brand from a skilled young refugee community
  • Lopees – an environmental Reusable Envelope for business’
  • Rad-Pads – cloth menstrual pads (Great, great, great – I may seem too excited about these, but I have been looking for them for a while)
  • The Sharehood – neighbourhood sharing resources
  • Friends of the Earth – lots and lots of links and resources, political stance and great connections
  • Send me Seeds Pip – a seasonal seed subscription – WHAT A GREAT IDEA FOR A GIFT!
  • Australian Ethical – Investment and Superannuation

Obviously this was not everything, but these were a few stand outs of the many that were there. You should come next year!

Also, my apples seem to be very ripe early this year – in fact there are none left on my tree, which is rather dissapointing. There could be a few other reasons – because Stanley was helping me eat them, the lorikeets were beautifully hanging and eating them (I couldn’t shew them away!) and we have also found a little mouse/rat thing (that we have named ‘ratatouille’ poking around). Stanley has now become a little obsessive complusive and sits and waits for ‘ratatouille’ each night at the tree – I think that he wanted all the apples.

Apples from the garden

Stanley helping me harvest the apples

Stanley still can’t believe that I am home!


Is Chapati the same when you are not in Africa?

So I am sure that if some of the people I spent time with in Uganda could read this post they would wonder why I just cooked chipati’s. Each morning and afternoon tea we were treated to chipati and sweet banana, sometimes with no banana and sometimes with egg (straight from the chickens!). I can see why people may have had a few to many – but personally I loved them. 

One night we also had Rolex for dinner from local Ssanje, which I must say I went back into town for another one a few days later. This is not my video but shows well what a Rolex is. 

We also had Chapati a few times in Kenya and I can remember when Nikki asked me if I had ever had it before. Now I can saw yes I have had chapati and I love it.

So on Saturday night when Nikki came over for dinner I made Rolex for her. I think that I can get better at this. Hope she liked it!

How to make chapati

Oh and by the way, I am obviously back in Australia and just getting back into the swing of things (and getting stuck into my garden!)


Finally in Cape Town

So Goodbye Uganda! What a wonderful experience and I hope it will not be too long before I return. I travelled to Johannesburg on the 29th January and I was meant to stay there for one night cause I couldn’t get a connecting flight. I sat down to have a coffee and then my mum got on the phone and she had managed to get me a flight to Cape Town that afternoon. So I quickly ran to my check-in and now I am sitting here in Cape Town with my family. Thank you so much mum (and Neil) for getting me here!

The first look at table mountain – ah!

Kombi along the beachfront

Mum and I making redwine and chocolate cake for our family get to gether

This one is for Kel!

On Sunday Anne and Dave put on a Braai for our family. What a wonderful day. It was just so nice to finally sit and relax and see my Granny and Mornie. What a pain to be stuck half way around the world. It is so good to be here with my mum and Neil. We have got so many things done in the last couple of days and it ahs been nice to hang out with Anne and drive and reminisce about my Mum’s past and her stories. Very special times.

All of us for lunch

Neil, Megan and Andrew (our twin cousins)

Granny and Mornie

Margie and Mum

We went to the Boulders for a drive, these are some of the penguins there

From above

Twin penguins

One day we went for a drive into long street and this is Anne and Mum at a a cafe for coffee

PDC Finale, Lake Mburo and Leslie’s Paradise (Kigungu Village)

On the last night at Sabina we had a big big party and as a part of it we all had to have a little performance. My part in the night was playing an instrument that Will put together with a ‘thong’ and also playing the drums with Charles on the adungu. It was a great night and it was a good end to such a good corse with heaps of new friends.

Everyone performing

Little Rona dancing for her performance

Dan, Will and Amanda doing their performance of a ‘Ugandan Rap”

Group Shot

The last couple of days with some of the people from the PDC. We made it to a little National Park at Lake Mburo. Kate, Estelle, Daimen and I were lucky (or unlucky) enough NOT to get banda’s for the night and so we ended up camping with the hippos right beside us. I kept of thinking of Neva and how she would not approve of the sleeping arrangements given her escape from a charging hippo. It was actually a very relaxing couple of days and we went for a walking safari which meant we got up close to the animals with nothing between us and them except a guide and an AK47! Also we spent some time reading and laying in the sun.

These are my clothes drying and in the lake infront you can see how close they were

This is the warthog from inside our tent

I loved how they knelt to eat

Lots of hippos


Buffalo and Hippo

Sunset from our camp site

Kate, Estelle and Daimen on our walking tour with the guide, the animals were so close

Impala licking the salt from the salt water hole

Our guide, showing us Bush Berries

We made our way back to Kampala in a very interesting fashion. Now that I look back on it it was quite a fun trip, but along with a fight to get onto the bus, ending up on a 3 hour matatu, drinking and seat belt conversations along the way, Daimen, Estelle, Kate and I will not forget it at all.

After the Lake we caught up with Leslie from the Permaculture course. She offered us a place to stay and we found her house within a small paradise backing onto Lake Victoria. We spent Tuesday 26th January 2010 on Lake Victoria, in a traditional boat watching the sunset with a beer in hand. Ah what a tough Tuesday.

Lake Vitoria Boat Trip

The Boat on the Lake




The boat docked at Leslie’s place

Our safari tent accommodation in paradise

Bukenya, Daimen, Estelle, Kate and I infront of Lake Vitoria

A toad at our tent

On the last day of my stay Leslie organised for Rowe, Kate and I to visit Kigungu Village. This is a little fishing village on Lake Victoria surrounded and boarded by the airport on one side and the lake on the other. We were visiting to talk with some women from the village about a future project. There is so much opportunity in this country to make a difference. Let’s see where this takes us.

Rubbish disposal point in the village

Some local fish – we had a taste!

Were they cooked the fish

Jerry cans

Firewood for fuel being delivered from the islands

Little boy fixing a fishing net at the side of a boat