Just bought this lovely painting (detail) from local artist Catherine Hale – stayed in my mind since I first saw it in November. There are two stories about it – Catherine’s sister’s love of hens (chooks, here) and her son getting chickenshit all over him posing for his mum. But I sense other symbols too – the woman is holding three daffodils in her other hand – something surreal and Frida Khalo. And it’s called Beloved.


Perhaps it’s a reward for surviving first week at coal face in many years. Managed two 8 am starts – unlike the students who failed to show for second morning, bless them, so tutorials rearranged to more sensible hours. They are of course delightful – a few locals, many from Sydney and other parts of NSW, a couple from overseas. Like other PR cohorts I’ve taught over the years, half a dozen blokes in a sea of willowy blondes. Also lively smattering of 2nd year journo students contributing their world weary experience.Enjoyed expanding a couple of BP/Quantas stories to illustrate some of the complexities of PR (in contrast to the ‘promote positive images’ idea most students have of the subject). Looking forward to rest of session. Haven’t quite got the hang of distance ed yet = how much direction, how much autonomy do they want? They will teach me no doubt.