Thursday, August 27, 2009


Ever owned a beagle? If you have then you would know just what an adventure that can be. If you haven't then let me fill you in on a few of their 'delightful' ways.

Don't get me wrong - I love my beagles... Yumi is the tricolour and Jomi is the tan and white.

Now lets see - where to start...

They have a very sensitive nose - like most dogs you say - yes - but no... that's what they love to do sniff sniff sniff sniff sniff... their nose never leaves the ground. You can never let them off lead or they just might not come back.

Call them back I hear you say... Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha... this is where their attitude comes into it. Beagles have the attitude of a cat! Let me explain. A cat has the attitude that "you know what, I hear you, I know what you're saying, I understand what you're saying, I might even agree with you, but... you know what, I don't feel like listening right now... be gone peasant!"

And so too does a beagle decide "yeah, hear ya, don't feel like doing that."

Then there is the eating... yes all dogs eat - but do they eat everything! There is no such thing as a satisfied beagle - their tummy is a bottomless pit ever wanting to be filled. "What do you mean that is all the food there is? I want more!" There is a plus side to this of course - a beagle will do anything for food!... hmmm - except come back when they are on the hunt - it just isn't going to happen.

Then there is the eating of plastic, plants, washing, dog house, blanket and ... ahem ... 'recycled food' (you will just have to figure that one our on your own).

But... with all their idiosyncrasies... I wouldn't give up my two beagle for anyone. They are loving, gentle, friendly little dogs that are happiest when around their 'Mum' and 'Dad'. What more could you ask for?

So I will happily continue to live with the "double double toil and trouble" with two little beagles.

Monday, August 10, 2009

What have we been reading?

@Kimberlie: What have I been reading lately?
Urusla Le Guin's 'Annals of the Western Shore'

If you are into all things mystical and magical then I am sure you would thoroughly enjoy reading these books. Aimed probably more toward the young adult (or the young at heart).

The books in the trilogy share the same imaginary world; their plots are set among small city states and independent polities, on the western shore of a continental land mass. The culture is at a generally medieval level, with traditional crafts but no advanced technology. The three books share some characters; the protagonists in Gifts reappear as supporting or minor characters in the later books.

- centers on two young people, Gry and Orrec, who struggle to come to terms with inherent psychic abilities. They live in a poor, mountainous, and culturally backward region, famous for its "witches". Gry is a girl who can communicate with animals. Orrec is a boy whose supposed gift of "unmaking" is apparently so dangerous that he voluntarily goes through life blindfolded, to avoid causing destruction. The story reveals how Orrec and Gry cope with their gifts, and eventually leave their mountainous home for the wider world.

Voices - tells the story of Memer, a girl who lives in an occupied country. Her home, Ansul, has been conquered by the Alds, a desert people from the east, who are now its brutal and superstitious occupiers. Memer secretly learns of a world of suppressed books and writings, and falls in love with her people's ancient literature; she meets Gry and Orrec, who come to Ansul as traveling storytellers. Together, their entwined fates play out against the outcome of the political struggle of Ansul and the Alds.

Powers - Gavir is a slave who develops a gift for precognition. He is trained to serve as a teacher for a noble family in the city of Etra; but personal tragedy drives him into the life of a hunted wanderer. He endures adventures, challenges, and suffering.

You can read more about the 'Annals of the Western Shore' and Ursula Le Guin at

I thoroughly enjoyed reading these books and have now moved on to more of Ursula Le Guin's writings - but you will have to wait to hear more on that later...

So for now - head on down to the bookstore or library and grab yourself a copy of these books and let your imagination run wild in a land unknown.

Friday, August 7, 2009


Ah Bailey McDog... thompsoncooke's wee little mascot.

In true thompsoncooke form she has stuck with the black and white colourway - with just a hint of red worn on the very stylish, oh so popular, fashionable collar. Short white socks are naturally adorned on all feet for that elegant touch of class.

She is a bit bigger now than this photo, but just as cute as ever. In fact, she celebrates her first birthday on 18th August 2009. Happy Birthday Bailey!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

TRIUMPH TR5... In the Beginning

In the beginning... there was this tired sad little red car. Triumph TRRRRR (TR5) was her name.

Every day for the last four and a half years she struggled to get back in shape as she once was in her glory days.

Now we come to a time where she is nearing her transformation - she will be young again - carefree and fly like the wind!

When you may ask?... soon ... very nearly soon...

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Kaye went to the John Brack exhibition in Melbourne.
Fantastic review - a definite must see!


John Brack Men's wear 1953 National Gallery of Australia

On 11 February 1999 the distinguished Australian artist John Brack died in Melbourne. An exhibition of his work entitled John Brack: inside and outside, which had been planned for some time, is being held at the National Gallery of Australia until 14 June 1999.

John Brack was one of Australia's most outstanding artists. He was born in Melbourne in 1920, and his work first achieved prominence in the 1950s. For over forty years he was at the forefront of Australian art and produced some of our most iconic images. More than any other Australian artist of his generation, Brack was a painter of modern life - its starkness, its shadows and its brooding self-reflection. His work is characterised by a kind of caustic realism and a strong sense of alienation, undercut with dry, sardonic humour.

The inner world of John Brack provides sharp insights into Australian suburban life, yet these are not without compassion and a sense that the artist himself is engaged within the world he portrays. In his journey from the 1950s to the present Brack became increasingly concerned with a visual language which is intensely personal, yet also able to convey observations on the larger questions of human existence.

The National Gallery of Australia has a wonderful collection of works by John Brack - paintings, prints and drawings - which are showcased in this important exhibition. John Brack: inside and outside comprises 50 works, mostly from the NGA collection, with some loans from private collections.

For more information see their website at

Monday, August 3, 2009

1929 Ariel 500cc OHV Twin Port

1929 Ariel 500cc OHV Twin Port - welcome to the thompsoncooke family!

You came to us as one... alas now you are in a myriad of pieces and have a very long journey ahead of you.

Lets just cross our fingers and hope that you don't have the same fate as the infamous TRRRRR that is yet to be seen after so many years restoration!

Friday, July 31, 2009


TR5 - will it or won't it be ready to pick up next week?
It's always next week, next week, next week!

Oh the years spent on this project... after four and a half years it is nearly here... or so they say. When I see it I will believe it!

@Kimberlie: "I have worked here for three and half years and I am beginning to think that this magical TR5 that is so talked about is a complete hoax! What TR5?"

@Richard: "It's real! It's real! Otherwise it is one expensive hoax! Where did all my money go?"