The second half of January began with an introduction to Lomography. ‘What is Lomography?’ I hear some of you ask. Well, as Mel Dixon explained, it’s a cool type of analogue camera photography where double exposures, coloured filters or weird shaped lenses open the door to a new world of picture taking! Neat huh?
After Lomography, Laurel Johnson was in The Little Mule to teach us A Bit of Basic Mandarin. We got our tongues in a twist trying to pronounce a whole bunch of everyday phrases, and our minds boggled at the idea that two little letters – one sound to most of us – can mean at least five completely different things in Mandarin!
Then, it was back to the People’s Market where genuine Spanish expat Maria Yebra took two sold out classes on Spanish Tapas 101. Maria explained exactly what tapas is and how it came about, and I think succeeded in making many of us itching to set off on a foodie’s tour of Spain. We learnt and tried everything from gazpacho to Spanish tortillas and washed it all down with a healthy dose of sangria. Our only question is ‘when can we do this again?’!
Whilst some of us got our tastebuds tingling with Maria, Cate Lawrence of Green Renters was on the other side of the market teaching the rest of us how to make our own Homemade Bath Products, completely vegan, cruelty free and tailored to our own personal preferences. Oh, and did I mention that it’s heaps cheaper (and more fun) than buying the ready-made products from a shop?! In keeping with the evening’s themes Cate then talked all about DIY – Cordial and Ginger Beer. Again, tasters were plentiful and everybody left with two bottles of whichever freshly made cordial they liked, and the ingredients needed to brew their own ginger beer – either alcoholic or virgin.
The following week we got rather intellectual as Michael Patterson taught us all about Codes and Cryptography. How do various codes work? How do you crack them? And how did they come into existence in the first place? Starting off with the easiest codes Michael helped us work our way up to be top-notch code breakers and even snuck a few hidden messages into his handouts to see who was really ready for the Enigma machine.
Mike Brown then came in to teach us about Solar Power – How it Works. With reference to Australia’s record breaking heat and some rather unhappy dolphins Mike first gave us a brief look at our current, and projected, energy needs and resources before suggesting some possible solutions. And then in was into the hard science. We learnt about band gaps and how light can theoretically produce electricity before discussing different materials and the practicalities of solar power. Lots of interesting discussions later we left The Little Mule more enlightened (if you’ll forgive the pun) and eager to start installing our own solar panels.
For our last, and rather special, evening of the month Felix Scholz of The Tailored Watch took us through the world of Watches: Tiny Wrist Machines. Covering everything from how wrist watches came into existence to how to spot a real Rolex from a clever fake, we developed a new found appreciation for our little time pieces.
Last but not least we came to our ‘special classes’. Britta Lauritzen was teaching us all about Film Techniques, including some of the rules, guidelines and technical details of filmmaking, whilst Clare Burder of The Humble Tumbler was back with her ever popular Wine: A One Night Palate Trainer. Alright, that’s all very cool but what was so special? Well, between them these two classes were our 99th and 100th classes! 100!
What better way to celebrate than with wine and cake?