Now that I am seventy one I don’t have the energy or the impulse I once had. Most things of any note are done in middle years, when I wrote most of my books.
My on-going projects in retirement have been and still are my writing, my painting, and my Hanging Garden of Crows Nest (front and back).
Writing: As far as my writing is concerned I have some irons in the fire still, but with the advent of iPads the future of the book is now under serious review. As a general rule I don’t like to talk too much about projects I am currently working on, so as not to jinx the process (for things most talked about are often lost).
Recent projects include production of a second edition of The Mullumbimby Kid (2012), including new material obtained since the discovery of my brother Jim (in 2003), the publication of my New Collected Poems (Kardoorair Press, Armidale, 2012), now ‘posted’, along with my New Selected Poems on the Internet. These three books may be viewed and/or downloaded for free and shared. Hard-copy editions may be purchased from Woodbine Press (with images of the covers of all my books on the inside of the front and back cover pages).
My latest publication (distributed through Woodbine Press) is Oliver Bainbridge – Lord Nelson’s Great Grandson? (2013).
Painting: I still try to paint every morning, working and re-working small details. My longer-term aim is to try to paint fewer but hopefully better works. I have a Mullumbimby-themed painting exhibition in the Macnaughton Focus Gallery, Tweed River Gallery (Murwillumbah), projecting for August to October of this year (2014), and am currently working on a ‘catalogue’ of Mullumbimby paintings and poems as part of this exhibition (in press), entitled ‘Mullumbimby Dreaming’.
Gardening: My garden is small enough not to be a chore, and a place of reflection and of beauty, in which to observe nature ‘red of tooth and claw’. In recent years I have planted a number of different-coloured farangipanis, to serve as hosts for epiphytes, while cultivating a smaller orchid collection (including some of our Latouria hybrids) in the back yard.