One of the great arts of conversation.


“A conversation is a dialogue, not a monologue. That’s why there are so few good conversations: due to scarcity, two intelligent talkers seldom meet.” Truman Capote

It was a very warm day, and the entertainment flowed.

No one was the least bit concerned about the bloke with the camera.

Any other day and these shots would have been very hard to get.


This was one of the first shots that I got that day. A longish lens helped. They were aware of me, but they did not seem to care. I guess it helped that I was far enough away to not be able to hear.

“Conversation should be pleasant without scurrility, witty without affectation, free without indecency, learned without conceitedness, novel without falsehood.” William Shakespeare


“Silence is one of the great arts of conversation.” Marcus Tullius Cicero

This lady was listening intently which gave me the opportunity to get in close enough to capture the detail.


Photo Credit:


Awesome movie.

There are times when, as a photographer, you feel a bit like the Gene Hackman character. You have captured a moment in a person’s life and frozen it for inspection.

The People You Meet and the Books You Read.

“You are who you are today because of the people you meet and the books you read”

Charlie Jones


Being able to get out and about is one of the great delights of home schooling. You are not restricted by the walls of a classroom and the restrictions placed on you by our modern obsession with ‘health and safety’.


Photo credit:

Our home schooling journey included many excursions, some special and ‘one off’ and others normal and ‘every day’. Life is for living and children are interested in the everyday life of their adult parents. I have mentioned elsewhere that we turned our weekly supermarket shopping trips into an investigation of prices and value for money in our local area. This was practical maths in action not to mention all the work that went into deciding which foods should be included in the survey. This project led on to a discussion of which goods are made in Australia and which companies are Australian owned. This led to an investigation into what goes into our processed foods and what affects these ingredients have on us. The boys got quite good at understanding what the various codes on the containers meant.

One of our regular journeys took us to Knox City Shopping Centre. Now, I’m not a big fan of shopping centres, and I never have been but this was where Dymocks book stores had a branch which stocked an extensive range of Star Trek books and our boys were avid readers in general and specifically of this series.


The staff and the owners got to know us very well and would often stock certain titles because they knew the boys would be interested.

Money was always tight at our house and being on one income didn’t help but we somehow found the money for books. We were so pleased that the boys enjoyed reading and we wanted to encourage them.

After a very pleasant time at Dymocks1 we would wander over to the food court for a sandwich and a drink.

Our favourite place was Cafe Navona where we were often served by an older waiter named Chris. Our boys named him ‘Farouk’ because he reminded them of a character from the movie “The Castle”.


Chris was always friendly and would spend some time talking to the boys and it got to the point that we would all look forward to seeing him and disappointment would set in if we turned up on his day off.

As the boys grew older and began their working lives we stopped visiting Knox City, or should I say that when we did go there we got in and out as fast as possible.

Amazingly the café is still there after all these years though the bookshop has gone (the ABC shop is the only bookshop left at Knox City). Naturally we were pleased to see that one of our old haunts was still in business so my wife and I stopped for refreshment. I spoke to the young lady who served us and tried to describe Chris to her and asked what had happened to him. She said that he had passed away a few years earlier.

I was surprised by how upset I was at hearing this news. Chris was only one story in our long adventure but I felt sad to think that he was no longer out there doing his thing.

I sent a message to Andrew and Matt letting them know that Chris had died but we have not had time to discuss him since. I’m not sure what their reaction was but I know that I am sad.

Chris was an important part of our journey and I would like to think that he is up there somewhere serving delicious sandwiches and teaching young people the value of gentle conversation.

Thanks Chris, you are remembered.


Terry Barca is the author of ‘SCHOOME: An Adventure in Home Schooling’

Belgrave Busker’s Festival

It was a very hot day but it was also too good an opportunity to miss. This is the second year that the Town of Belgrave has run their Busker’s Festival. The local community radio station and the Traders Association got together last year and away we went. I missed it last year so heat or no heat I was not going to miss it this year. I dusted off my very ancient old Olympus digital and my grown up son brought his whizz bang modern Olympus and we had a great time. I hurt my back at one stage trying to get an interesting angle but that just serves me right. Do I have a favourite shot? Probably the kid standing on his head. He held that pose for quite a long time while I tried to wake up my ancient camera. He wasn’t posing for me he just liked the way the world looked from that angle. Another favourite….. The small dog. I sat down close to him while he was barking at the people going by, when I called to him he stopped barking, turned around and posed for me. When I had finished he went back to barking at everything that moved. Very cool. As always there were excellent shots ‘that got away’. Sometimes because I would get too interested in the acts and forget to take pictures and sometimes because I could not see that a photo was blurred and did not take another (ancient old camera has a very small screen and in strong light my ancient eyes cannot tell if a shot is crisp or not.) In a way it takes me back to my film days when it was only your instinct that would get you a good shot and you had to wait till the film was developed to find out. As always the performers were interesting but so were the audience. It is often difficult to get good candid shots of ordinary people because they get weird when they see a camera, but on this day in this small town there were cameras everywhere so no one was very worried…… result, some good candids of the crowd. The bloke in the red robes is our local wizard. He’s a cool guy and a welcome character in the area and yes he always dresses like that. I love the dog straining on the leash, he was very upset by something that had just gone out of frame and he was also a bit of a distance from me so I hoped that my hurried shot had worked out. Obviously, it did. The boy with the traditional aboriginal instrument was amazing….circular breathing….quite a skill.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABelgrave Busker's Festival