Reflections on the (Wimmera) River: I Met Horsham

Woman is standing in bureau doorway:

“What are you doing? I said at the chemist- there’s a Bureau of Worthiness down there- what’s that? And they didn’t know either.”

we ask her the question…

“Not a damn thing. I’ve just signed my mother into care. So nothing. Yeah. I’m having a miserable day. Well, you made me laugh on the way past, anyway.”

Making our way through the fog to talk to the people of Horsham


Fragmentary thoughts in numbers: (An homage to a man who likes to score the events in his day out of ten)

1. What amazing crisp and cold mornings. Fogs and cold toes. Greys and David Lynchian white from a lookout. (9/10)

2. No bullshit. People were direct and to the point. No flowery, warm fuzzies or hippy vibes here. A quality that was quite becoming once you got used to it. (7/10)

3. The White Hart Hotel. I miss it already. The front bar with people deconstructing the news stories as they watch the tv together. Debating the issues. As Jimmy said ‘this is a real front bar.’ Yep. (8/10)

4. Parmas and pies. A lot of them. As our resident food reviewer can attest to- large variance in the bakeries within walking distance. (ranging from 5-8/10)

5. We got adopted. And we loved it. The ‘sham felt like a little home away from home for a minute there…(9/10)

6. Lastly, a little excerpt from the show for those of you who couldn’t make it…

I have this picture in my head when Jimmy tells me about talking with Tim. I see them in the shed- sharing ideas, stories and opening up about what their experiences have been growing up on a farm. I think about their relationships with their fathers, their grandfathers and I think about what it means to inherit. I realise the ways in which they are communicating- putting themselves at risk- no matter how small- making themselves vulnerable in front of a new acquaintance- is something that their fathers and grandfathers may never have done. As Tim had mentioned, men and emotions were not an easy thing- especially on the farm- especially with other men. I wonder how things have changed so quickly- how in just one generation these men have come to talk- to connect, to engage and be open with each other. These thoughts, this change and this human connection makes me feel warm inside. Yes,- it sounds obvious. Or like a throw away comment, but I really feel warm inside. I feel warmed by this taking place- by imagining the two of them, really enjoying each others company, really sharing themselves and the stories of their childhoods.

Funnily enough, when I asked Mark if the connectedness he felt had a sensation – he also said it felt like a warmth inside.

Maybe this warmth is especially noticeable with these cold mornings and nights in Horsham.


We are on a mini hiatus here at the bureau…

But please don’t hesitate to contact us with any news or visit our Facebook page.

Until next time…




The boundary of the unknown


‘Certainly for artists of all stripes, the unknown, the idea or the form or the tale that has not yet arrived, is what must be found. It is the job of artists to open doors and invite in prophesies, the unknown, the unfamiliar; it’s where their work comes from, although its arrival signs the beginning of the long disciplined process of making it their own. Scientists too, as J. Robert Oppenheimer once remarked, “live always at the ‘edge of the mystery’ – the boundary of the unknown.” But they transform the unknown into the known, haul it in like fishermen; artists get you out into that dark sea.’

-R. Solnit

Princes, Polites and Cacas are just the beginning

One of the many characters of Hindley Street.

One of the many characters of Hindley Street.

We have arrived…

In a lair that dwells underneath the infamous street, The A.B.W are sinking their toes into the steamy asphalt of Hindley Street, Adelaide.

Whilst all members of the Bureau have been here before, this visitation and investigation has already begun to challenge our preconceived notions of what we thought we once knew of this place.

The mythology that surrounds it, the assumed knowledge we have of it, the memories gained and lost on this street are truly fascinating us.

We have visited the Adult Bookshop, Quirky Stylin, Lucky Thai Bell, Phat Coffee and talked to many people on the street and passing through.

One man yesterday, when I complimented him on his singing voice as he pushed his frame along the uneven footpath said I was the first to ever think he had a good voice.

On the list of things to do are:

Go to Hellenic Travel

Go to Madame Josephine’s and Crazy Horse on the same night

Research Grimm’s Tales

Do a count of the CCTV cameras

Stay on Hindley Street overnight…

We are certainly only at the beginning of what is going to be a great and big time here on Hindley.

Stay tuned….


the A.B.W.

Quoting the quotes

A few buildings in Tokyo

A few buildings in Tokyo

“Not to find one’s way in a city may well be uninteresting and banal. It requires ignorance- nothing more. But to lose oneself in a city- as one loses oneself in a forest- that calls for quite a different schooling”

In Benjamin’s terms, to be lost is to be fully present, and to be fully present is to be capable of being in uncertainty and mystery…And one does not get lost but loses oneself, with the implication that it is a conscious choice, a chosen surrender, a psychic state achievable through geography.”

-Rebecca Solnit talking of Walter Benjamin and losing oneself in A Field Guide to Getting Lost

Soon, we at the bureau will be choosing to surrender to Hindley Street in Adelaide’s West End…we set up shop on October 21st so stay tuned for more details..

yours truly,

the ABW.






pictures speak louder than words

an unexpected alleyway theatre.

an unexpected alleyway theatre.


flying co-pilot in from Tongatapu to Haapai.

flying co-pilot from Tongatapu to Haapai.

a flooded carpark on my street which turned into a portal to another world.

a flooded carpark on my street which turned into a portal to another world.

attention being paid to a hurting building in paris.

attention being paid to a hurting building in paris.


A quiet alleyway early one Hong Kong morning. Just after this, a man who was smoking and making fresh noodles said hi and offered me some food.

A quiet alleyway early one Hong Kong morning. Just after this, a man who was smoking and making fresh noodles said hi and offered me some food.


a few photos from the album that respond to our question here at the bureau…

you’ll be hearing more from us west-side (from hindley street) soon.