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…




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.



the big picture

From a moving plane.

Between the beauty and chaos of intense bureau ‘meetings’ of particular places, there is a little more time to look at the big picture. (I find the view from a plane gives you a rather broad scope..) Like in life, between meetings, we are sometimes more able to ponder the bigger questions that enter our heads. Maybe dwell a little longer, think of things from a different perspective. A friend of the bureau was musing earlier in the year what a difference it makes when you have a view of nature from your house to wake up to and contemplate before the day starts. It also seems that daylight, air quality and seeing stars really can shift our minds into new and more exploratory territory. Here are a few questions going around the bureau which we have no concrete answers to, but are always seeking to address. Please get your fresh air, natural view and sense of adventure ready as some of them are big ones.

What is art?

What is community?

What is engagement?

How do we forge true connections with each other as humans?

Is there anything more important than true connections with others?

If you have any more to add or some answers to the questions above, feel free to post them below.

Asking the big questions,

Yours truly,

The A.B.W.



What makes your year worth it?

So it is that time of year when questions begin to surface about the year that has been- the year to come- and people reflect and project about their lives and the lives of those around them.

Some among us may even be focussing on what has made our year worth it.

Personal achievements, contributions to a cause, forging connections with new people, maintaining healthy relationships may feature among those thoughts.

On the flip side, what is it that we feel has wasted the year- made it not worth it?

Goals not fulfilled, fallings out with those we care about, time spent worrying, things we’ve said or done we wish we hadn’t?

I decided on the weekend I would make my Christmas presents this year *spolier for those receiving a gift this year* and went out to buy 8kg of tomatoes, 45 birdseye chillies and some jars to begin the relish making process… 15 hours of cooking time later I was starting to wonder if I shouldn’t have just ordered books online for everyone. Was this time really worth spending on something that may not taste that great? What if it tasted horrible and I had spent so long and nothing to show for it?

Sometimes it feels like our question at the bureau is hard to answer- What makes your day worth it? Sometimes it can be easier to think of what has made your year worth it, your month worth it or even your week…

I know us at the Bureau think about these things a lot- and we’d love to hear more of your ideas about worthiness now and in the new year.

Until then, let’s hope the relish tastes good!