Sunday, June 19, 2005


Up at the crack of dawn and off to Belgium. We are staying at a beachside resort, Bruge. Brendan and Kylie are staying at a youth hostel to which we are not invited but we have a good hotel with a full smorgasbord breakfast.


Narda’s entry for Saturday, June 18, 2005


It’s so much fun to be in Holland. I love the food especially. And riding bikes is the best. Now I have the extra bonus to see my darling boy again, with his sore foot, which worried me so much. That foot was a saga; he spent nearly 2 weeks in the Royal Adelaide with ‘Cellulitis” ..blimey..have to look that up. It must have been serious and he said it was extremely painful. If I could have taken the pain from him to me I would have. Such an emotional thing, mothering…sometimes I don’t know how it is possible.

We’ve just returned from visiting Tante Willy; she’s lending us her car for a few days and we’ll drive off tomorrow, through Scheveningen, then on to Bruge in Belgium. We’re enjoying a beer and some blue cheese. Reink is sleeping on the boat these days. He’s completely given us his place, very generous. We spent some time NEW SITE = JULY 2014 - - Today in Utrecht looking for the connections to get our video camera working again. It’s 10 pm, and still light outside.

Nearly time for bed.


Friday, June 17, 2005


I realize this is out of sync with the actual days of the week but when I uploaded to our blog earlier in the day at the local Utrecht Internet Café I left off the file for Friday, June 17, 2005 and the only reason I wanted to include it is because it is about a moment I had been wondering whether it would ever happen. Of course as Narda says no one would ever read any of this anyway except maybe a couple of our family members but this does serve another purpose. Because of all that happens in life we forget what happened at different times and where it was at that. Just NEW SITE = JULY 2014 - - Today we struggled to remember where in the world we were when we walked to a small town near a place we were staying and had dinner. The more places we go to the more difficult it is to remember where different passing thoughts of something that happened actually occurred. We have been on the road since we met four years ago. In that time we have lived in two places in Adelaide and three in New York. I don’t know if it is Narda or me, I did live in ten houses in ten years with my children between 1985 and 1995 and Narda was a bit more stable in her life but we have only seen a small part of the world.


Finally feel alive after almost twelve hours of sleep. Hello Holland.


The four of us were to ride bikes for a day into the old town but Brendan broke the chain last night so he and Kylie rode bikes and we took a bus. I had my big moment to contend with – to find the result of something I began at the beginning of 1991. Back then, living in Victor Harbor with Sacha and Leigh and wondering at the age of forty-four what I should do in life. I had sent in an application several months before to begin university at Deakin in Melbourne. At the time I thought I would give a bachelor of arts a go, never really believing I would complete it. 1995, after too much work for any human being; raising kids and studying and finding money to live on, I thought ‘why stop now?’ I had a BA in journalism and decided not to ever do anything with the degree after seeing how dishonest the media really was so I applied for an honour’s degree in children’s literature and by the end of 1995 I was applying for a Masters.


I thought I was pushing the envelope going for a Masters. At the same time I started my BA of computing science at Flinders because now I was becoming obsessed with school and learning. Furthermore, with the World Wide Web starting to become a way of life (having been ‘invented’ a mere four years earlier) and not being able to afford a new enough computer to get online I needed the university system to be a part of this new world. At the beginning of 1995 Flinders University had two computers online then soon after a room with ten of them. I was spending more and more time at university to use this wonderful new way of being connected with the world. My master degree was on ‘The influence of the Internet on literature’.


Toward the end of my Masters in literature and computers I had the strange and far out notion of getting a PhD. I even got a book out of the Flinders’ library on what a PhD was and what the procedure was for getting one. I remember one evening shooting hoops with Sacha in our backyard in Hackham and explaining to him that I was going to apply for a PhD which would mean, if successful, I would be a doctor. I was doing a lot of picture poems at the time and I jokingly said I would be a Doctor of Picture Poems. I was concerned what my title would be thought; would my Doctor of Picture Poems be shortened to Doctor of P P or even worse would I become Doctor PP or even the P Doctor?


I completed my Masters and applied for a PhD at the University of South Australia. The only catch was that I could not continue my BA in computing science at Flinders. The choice was either to have a degree that I could get employment with, like a BA in computing science or a PhD which was an academic degree and probably not as employable. I started the PhD thinking I would do it on my art-writing and it all seemed so simple. However, my supervisor, Jackie Cook, (and yes I did make the mistake once of actually calling her Captain Cook to her face as that is what I said when I was not with her and it slipped out unintentionally but she just laughed and said she was called that at school) thought that it would be best to do my PhD on something else and I came up with the idea of doing it on online communication; “Conversational analysis of chatroom “talk” would become the next seven years of way too much labour. I was soon not only raising two children alone but I was working two jobs and doing my university research.


I often thought not only that I would not complete but that I was not capable of competing. It had only been seven years earlier when I started the university game and back then my ex-wife confidently informed that I would never finish my BA as I was not smart enough. This all begin in March 1998. Seven years later, NEW SITE = JULY 2014 - - Today to be exact, at the Internet Café in old town Utrecht, I received an email saying that at the meeting of 14 June 2005, some committee gave the final approval for me to graduate. Far away from NEW SITE = JULY 2014 - - Today and this place all this began. Back when I started this educational trek I never considered finishing it or of living anywhere else than I was at that moment, in Australia. I thought by the year 2005 Leigh would be a major league baseball player and I was not sure what Sacha and I would be doing. Leigh’s future was the only sure thing, perhaps it still is.


We went out to dinner tonight to celebrate my completing this PhD. It must be the time of year we do these journeys but it did not get dark until after ten PM. Of course I did not get up until after 9.30 this morning so now at 11 PM it seems time to wrap up a day that had some sort of closure following so many years of work. I should find out in the next couple of days whether I will graduate on the sixth or on the seventh of September and considering I need to be back at work on the seventh in New York I am hoping it is the sixth.


NEW SITE = JULY 2014 -

NEW SITE = JULY 2014 - - Today working on picture poem links starting around "better" (June 12, 2014). Picture poems are the digital format of work I did as a street artist in New Orleans in the 1970s, as well as New York City, Honolulu, San Francisco and Adelaide South Australia.

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