Archives for the month of: July, 2014


Oh dear, this year seems to be the year of best intentions. I am so sorry for having neglected my blog for some time. Though it doesn’t mean the Dedes have been neglected.

You might know I have lost a few of my major sources of income at the end of last year and I have been working hard to secure new income streams. Now six month later everything came to fruition at once and this just means I am rushed off my feet to fulfill all my promises. My book of “101 recipes with flour and water” is still not finished, however, I am using it a lot, but I am stuck on 51 recipes.  My backyard chooks deliver an invaluable addition to my diet too.

Recently I have taken on a part-time teaching job. My first salaried job in 20 odd years. Even though I have been teaching for a long time, it was always on a contract basis. It seems with a salary inevitably come the politics… Something I want to steer clear off as much as possible. Navigating the foul ground takes a lot of energy. Believe me, I feel some good puppet stories coming on….

The Festival of Performing Objects is about to start. This weekend I have to deliver the Dedes I want to show in the exhibition. Every Dede is keen to pack up and go. Some of them will just sit in the Gallery for the month, while others will get action in the stop-motion workshops of the last week. I have to make a decision who is going to do what. I did a lot of work in the early days of the organisation unfortunately with all the changes to my working life poor Kim (the manager of the arts centre) had to bear the brunt of the recent weeks. She did an amazing work luring puppeteers out of the underwood. I am very confident it will be a fantastic exhibition.

It looks like we are getting quite a bit of attention. The first article about the event was published this week.

HM puppets 28_7_14

Here is the second film we did last week. This one was created by a group of teenagers as a holiday programme. Pretty slim pickings, but we got there in the end. In this film the kids had to make their own actors and they also created the music, the backdrop and the props. I enjoyed working with the youngsters and I’ve learned a tremendeous amount. The kids on the other hand just thought I was weird… Happy, but weird!

At the moment we have school holidays and I did two puppet workshops last week. They couldn’t have be more different. The one I was so looking forward to was a four morning course where the participants were supposed to do the full monty – creating the actors, coming up with the story, making props and then filming the thing. The other one was just one afternoon in the library, where the participants invented an impromptu story and used the Dedes to act it out.

The course in the library was fantastic. It doesn’t take long to set the youngsters (aged between eight and twelve years) off to come up with a weird and wonderful story. There was no stopping them. All of them were running around making up props and chopping and changing the storyline. One of them sneaked in their own puppet. You might notice the non-Dede in the group picture at the end of the film when they celebrate.

Ah well, the other workshop was totally different. First of all it was a different age range. Here the participants were teenagers and puppets are so uncool. It is strange how kids can be so creative when they are twelve and with their thirteenth birthday all the creativity seems to go out the window. And then when they leave school, they are expected to be creative to find a job….

We did get there in the end, though I don’t know how much sticks in their minds, but I’ve learned heaps.

Here is the film from the library.