The jab

I take a small risk for the sake of our community, our nation, our world. So excuse me if I was befuddled. You caught me unawares. I looked up to your generation like a child. Through your words I see we are not on the same page. 

Everyone has their own opinion but I can’t help looking at what is happening in the world. It brings tears to my eyes. Getting the jab? That’s a small contribution. I guess I was surprised when a stranger in their 70’s advised they are waiting for a different vaccine to come along. Their choice but I definitely see things through a different lens. This Delta variant…well it spreads like wildfire. We went into lockdown again a few weeks ago.

Stay safe everyone. Thinking of you all.

Photo by Yaroslav Danylchenko on Pexels.com

#Art – Train sketch – Robotic Voiceover

The monotone robot voice “this train will stop at…North Sydney”. Clackety clack clackety clack is what I hear as the morning train makes it’s way over the Sydney Harbour Bridge. I am struck by the solid stance of a health care worker with her badge dangling off her uniform in the main carriage. A girl in school uniform is about to get off when the train arrives.

I sketch basic lines to show the directions that eyes are facing. Not caught up in the detail. This is a basic drawing technique used when artists begin deciding on facial features.

Over the Bridge
Pencil on Paper – 2015 – Dee Grant

#Poetry – Diving off the pier

The water is lapping against the shore as a boat or two goes cruising by. Kids dive bomb into the water as they launch themselves into the sky.

You worry the tide’s not high enough that they’ll hurt themselves when they do, but instead they climb up the ladder with a laugh and giggle or two.

And on the shore us adults peer earnestly for a cry, they may not be our own kids but our community stands by.

BY DEE GRANT 2020

Pirrama Park is on Sydney Harbour to the west side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
It is a treelined family friendly park with barbeques and a boardwalk. The area is one of the most densely populated suburbs with high-rise apartments all around as they take in the harbour views. That makes this park a great space for kids to get out and about in the sunshine and play.

Pier at Pirrama Park on Sydney Harbour

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  • Giggle – type of laugh usually heard in children
  • Dive bomb – dive to get the maximum splash. Most kids start diving and then curl themselves up into a ball. They bend their legs up high, wrap their arms around their legs, and pull their head in before they hit the water.
  • Tide – High tide is when the water is deepest. Low tide is when there isn’t as much.
  • Peer – to look very hard for something

#Art – Train Sketch – Long day

He leans against the clear perspex. Eyes closed. The train sways like a lullaby. It’s been a long day. (Tap on picture to view) In his folded arms, protruding from his satchel a copy of the Herald newspaper. To his right are the main exit doors. This is the afternoon express heading south to Sutherland from Sydney city. 

Sydney trains generally have a top deck, bottom deck, and then a main entry and adjacent  wide space that has seats along each wall. This particular model has clear perspex attached to a yellow handrail that delineates the adjacent seating. In the background on the left the dark space you see is the door  you would open to go into the next carriage. I would have a seat upstairs to have been able to create this one. The pencil is more controlled when I am seated.

Long Day – Pencil on Paper – 2015
Dee Grant

#Poetry – My lighter exploded

My stories are created from true stories shared by people I meet, or places I go. For this rhyme I have included news to show the time lapse of a burning issue. So sad.

Exploding lighter a warning for smokers

It was a lighter he said that she’d thrown on the dash, a lighter that exploded with an almighty flash. My eyes teared up, I knew not what to say. Her face caught on fire and is still scarred today. Through one simple action one life can change course. He shared they made lighters now that don’t explode with such force.

So I looked to the web to see if that was true, and saw article after article of the damage they do. I read on with sadness as from what I could see, little had changed since Leonie’s story. If anything I read of severe burns and life lost, of cheap lighters exploding … and oh what a cost.

There is no moral to this story so I just want to say, that it may look convenient but keep it out of harms way. Respect it’s dangers. Keep it in a safe place. Keep it out of hot spaces and away from your face.

BY DEE GRANT 2020

For Leonie

  • 1987 – Philadelphia, U.S.A – “Bic settled for $3.25 million after the jury found the company liable for the extensive burns suffered by Cynthia Littlejohn, a Philadelphia woman who was on a camping trip when the Bic lighter in her front pocket ignited, engulfing her in flames”.- New York Times
  • 2010 – Wagga Wagga, Australia “Leonie Whittacker has learned, to her cost, just how dangerous cigarette lighters can be. She is currently recovering from third degree burns to her face, neck, and hands after the lighter she was using exploded” – Daily Advertiser https://www.dailyadvertiser.com.au/story/735802/exploding-lighter-a-warning-for-smokers/
  • 2011 – Stephenville, Texas, U.S.A “William B Clemmer, a machinist from Stephenville, Texas was only 56 when he died. His last words, en route to a Dallas hospital, were: ‘My lighter exploded’…(he) died of severe burns over more than half of his body” – Safety Research.net
  • 2017 – Donnybrook, WA, Australia “A young mother has been left with severe burns to her face after a butane lighter she was using blew up”
  • 2017 – Birmingham, England “Rachel Cooper, a grandmother from Rotherham, England, was left with severe burns on her face and chest after a lighter exploded in front of her and her granddaughter” – Good Housekeeping
  • 2019 – “Canton fire investigators believe a cheap, Chinese imported lighter exploded, burning a Canton man and costing him his home and companion dog” – Canton Rep
  • 2019 – Gympie, Australia “Can lighters explode in your car? Gympie resident finds out after 40 degree day” – ABC News Sunshine Coast

#True story: Paying tribute – Family, friends and fond farewells

Going to a funeral online is strange, very strange. But that is ‘the way things roll’ these days with the pandemic. I watched through 3 different cameras, and 3 different views. Each person sits on their ‘socially distanced’ chair. Facemasks are worn as an accessory to somber attire. But I’m looking from a distance, observing from afar. I’m embracing a stilted sadness but maybe that’s what I’m ‘bringing to the table’.

For me the heart of the event was not ‘lost in translation’ within this virtual world. The sadness lingers and translates in ‘pride of place’ speeches and photos heralding the life of someone much loved. They ‘pay tribute’. I feel like a flaneur, slowly considering each word and gesture of his family and friends from a virtual distance. I get to know his family, background, and accomplishments achieved. I’m watching slides and seeing my neighbour from a totally different perspective. It is special and precious.

I am honoured to have made this acquaintance. You see, knowing him at this level was outside my usual ‘frame of reference’. We were neighbours, sometimes chatting at the lift or grabbing a coffee with him and his wife. I had only picked up bits and pieces of their world. But one photo truly resonated with me and put a smile on my face. There he is with his takeout coffee sitting on his walking frame near our local cafe. I can see the exact spot in my mind.

Rest in peace.

Idiom/Phrase meaning

  • The way things roll – how thing are
  • Socially distanced – Guideline for keeping physically separated to reduce the spread of the virus
  • Bringing to the table – your contribution
  • not ‘Lost in translation’ – It was understood
  • Pride of place – treated as the most important thing
  • Paying tribute – honour and praise someone
  • Flaneur – People watching (French)
  • Frame of reference – set of ideas that you base your outlook on