bilateral kellerberrin

April 22, 2005

Kellerberrin Friday 22 April 2005

Filed under: keller dailies — Lucas @ 8:37 pm

I dream about making up new templates for a blog. Surprise surprise.

its good to be back. I felt it as soon as we passed out of northam, and the feeling grew towards tammin. This place feels like where i need to be, for the moment. Which seems to click with my impatience to get out of perth and frustration and the delay. I’m not sure why, exactly, i feel good here. Is it just because it’s where i’m “supposed” to be – because I have a “job” to do here, even if its unclear what that job is? Or because for the first time in ages, I can be quite selfish with my time, and pursue trains of thought without being dragged off by the backwash of accumulated tasks? Could it simply be about having a big light apartment all to myself?

We stopped in at cunderdin on the way back from perth yesterday. I was keen to meet bob, the printing press fella who is the father in law of swimming pool julie. I was not disappointed. Bob has some beautiful old machines – an A4 press, an oversize A3 press, and real old fashioned letterpress machine, which he can use for rubber stamps, and producing wrist bands for concerts etc. Bob’s set up is really versatile. He can do carbon paper books with different numbers on every page. He prints the Bandicoot express, the Cunderdin gossip sheet, and it looks beautiful with its clear black text and bright red masthead. Bob’s business, Foil Print, is the only printery between Northam and Kalgoorlie, so its not surprising that he’s so busy most of the time. I told him about my workshops with the Cunderdin school, and that we might lean towards doing something which uses his printing services. I gave him some examples of printed projects I’ve done in the past, which helped him understand where I was coming from, I think. I asked if I could come and hang out while he’s printing the next Bandicoot, if I wasn’t going to be too much trouble.
two of bob's printing machines

Roger left yesterday. He’s off to sydney to take a course in video production at metro screen. He popped around after lunch to say goodbye and we had a coffee before pauline came and whisked him away. There are some things that he and i had talked about doing together (playing chess, oiling the prev cross) which we never got around to. It makes me realise how quickly my time here is going to go from now on.

I met Tony yesterday again at the co-op. He was doing some shopping for his mum. “A son’s work is never done” he kept repeating. He also executed a great belch and announced “better out than in!” Can’t argue with that. Tony told me he had been born in Sweden, and I said yes, he definitely had that Nordic god look going on, Thor or something. He recommended the orange and mango you make up from the small carton, rather than the big plastic bottle I had picked up.


I’m still very unsure as to where all this is going. What will I do with all this text? When will I know? What strategy should I adopt for sifting through it? How much should I edit out? No doubt some of it is quite boring.

I’ve been continuing with the book Emergence – Johnson talks about how cities are grand information storage and organisation systems. Each person in the city goes about his or her business. In doing so, the “citizen” crosses paths with many each carrying out their own agendas. No-one has any concern for a larger pattern formed by the sum of thousands of these individual activites. But one does emerge. Neighborhoods form, businesses cluster together. Certain districts in the city become better for getting this done or finding that product. This in turns produces more growth – the city reproduces itself. However, this does not happen linearly. There needs to be a “critical mass” for these clusterings to occur.

Kellerberrin does not have that critical mass. Shops are empty, “depopulation” is a term you hear a lot. It’d because the economy here hinges on the land, and the land needs fewer and fewer people if it is to stay profitable. Living in this kind of rural community has instead become a “lifestyle of choice” for most of the people here. They do not wish to move to the growth zone. As a result, some of them put in a lot of extra effort to keep that lifestyle alive. To create opportunities, to encourage business activity, to get more people involved in social and cultural events. Most of the time, these extra roles are voluntary. It’s as if the place is a wonderful old grandpa gone into retirement, who still tinkers around and takes odd jobs every now and again. Everyone loves having him around – he symbolises a part of ourselves we don’t want to lose.

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