Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What's Bill Up To?

Remember Bill? From HERE? Well, I sat and had a chat to him yesterday.

Originally I was all fired up to do some exercise. It was a glorious day but in the thick of it I decided that I just really didn't feel like it. You know those days? 'If it doesn't feel right, don't do it'....that's my philosophy these days. I was pleased to see Bill was out and about, sitting in the sun, eating his cereal. I hadn't seen him in ages.

We chatted about his artwork. He's moved on from his 'French Impressionist' style landscapes to groovy, tribal art, clothing designs.....

..... and beautiful Australian landscapes. 

Bill's inspiration for these came from a local Aboriginal women and her stories.

I love his trees. I love their gnarled branches. See the little bird's nest in the branches, in the one above?
Those little dots on the horizon are wildflowers blossoming after the recent rains. The heavy footprints in the foreground are there to show that the land is sodden. 

Bill wrote a poem about the wildflowers. He has beautiful handwriting. We discussed some of his poems and the drawings that inspire his poems.

Bill mentioned that he loves Henry Lawson's poetry. He once had a beautiful big book of his poems. He spoke of it with such longing and fondness. He even uses 'Lord Harry' (one of Henry Lawson's favourite books) as his own art moniker. One glance at his shopping trolley, scant with his worldly possessions, and I knew that that book was no more.

I asked Bill if his moods or circumstances influenced his artwork. He said he drew this one day when a few local people's attitudes were getting him down:

It's called 'Empty Vessels'.

Bill showed me some of the photos a local photographer, Lachlan Gardiner, took of him. The sunset in this one is magical. Look how it picks up the yellow in Bill's flowers:

I told him I loved his flowers and how he varied his floral arrangements each day. I told him I was originally drawn, to stop and speak to him, through the blue flower arrangement he had on his table the first day I met him.

He looked this photo out and gave it to me! Because it has my favourite 'Bill floral arrangement' in it! He said he knew I would like it. It's another one taken by Lachlan Gardiner. I will treasure it. It will always remind me of the time I lived in West End and the wonderful locals I met.

As I was leaving, Bill took a deep breath and said, "smell the breeze? There's no pollution in that today. It's fresh, straight from the mountains". He was totally savouring the moment, the sun, the beautiful day, his blessings, my visit. My fingers were totally numb from that 'breeze', the breeze that Bill lives in 24/7. It was cold. And I was going home to a warm shower. Bill wasn't.

Warm from my shower, I couldn't stop thinking about Bill. I wanted to do something nice for him. Something that would last longer than a warm shower. So I hightailed it down to 'Bent Books' in West End, in search of some Henry Lawson poetry for Bill.


I swear you can find anything in that bookstore! Both books are illustrated with the most glorious Pro Hart paintings. Bonus! As Bill does not have a computer, or electricity for that matter, he does not know I am coming armed with his favourite poetry this morning! I hope it brings him some joy.

Someone, please discover Bill and his talents, so he gets famous and gets a warm house to live in. Everyone needs somewhere warm and safe to live.


  1. AM,

    you wouldn't have been able to have fitted in through the door of the book store- Your angel wings would be too big.
    And I don't know how you fitted into your car to drive yesterday as your halo would have touched the ceiling of the car!

    You my dear are an angel.

    Bill talents are extraordinary aren't they?

    I hope you have a lovely time with Bill today.
    Does he need anything - perhaps you could ask him for us - and we could all rally in together for him.

    Have a lovely day and tell Bill I said hi.


  2. What a wonderful man.

    And you, you are amazing.

  3. What a beautiful post. I can't wait too see how Bill reacts to his poetry books surprise. You such a generous soul A-M and good karma will find you. Have a great day. xx

  4. That is wonderufl A-M!
    May I buy Lord Harry's drawing, the kangaroos on the red earth, four pictures down? Would you broker for me please?

  5. You, my love, are the sweetest, most lovely, most kindest person I know. Just beautiful. SO is Bill.

  6. He's like Ian Fairweather who used to live up at Bribie. Bill's artwork is great. xx

  7. What an extraordinary, heart felt post A-M, it bought tears to my eyes. You are indeed one of the most generous and thoughtful person I have ever met and Bill is blessed to have you in his life. The pictures of the flowers are something I will always be touched by.

    Mrs B xxxo

  8. What a wonderful post to read as I start my day. Will be thinking of you and Bill today xx

  9. I believe that angels walk amongst us all the time. I believe that we all have the ability to allow that angel inside to burst forth and act. I don't believe angels are in heaven but are here on earth as normal everyday people.

    You are one. You must be in a good place to hear your angels voice inside you and feel compelled to act.

    Bless you and bless Bill who is obviously an angel too.

  10. Thank you for sharing this wondeerful man with us all - and thank you for getting him a Henry Lawson book. Halfway through your post I had decided that I would go and buy it for him - not particularly practical as I am down in Adelaide! I sent big hugs to you when I got to the end. Please pass on a smile and a hug from me to Bill next time you see him. xo

  11. You would not have thought me much of angel this morning when I was sounding my horn at two old ducks causing traffic chaos in peak hour this morning. Far from it. "If you can't decide where you're going ladies, just pull over". But thank you for your kind comments anyway. A-M xx

  12. He's going to love the books! His handwriting is so beautiful and quite unusual for a man and his new drawings are great :)

  13. Thank you A-M, what an absolutely beautiful post. You are indeed an angel. Everybody has a story don't they and so many of those with bigger stories to tell hide many outstanding talents. I feel sure that someone reading your blog has connections in just the right place to make a big change in Bills life. Hope you enjoy your morning with Bill, Cheers Robyn

  14. A M such compassion you have ! So nice
    to see these days, with the hussle and
    bussle of busy life styles. Wish Bill all the best, tell him Im waiting for his big break. Hope he enjoys his new books

  15. A-M I love your posts about Brisbane and the wonderful people in it.
    Except they make me homesick.

    Your frustration in peak hour traffic only makes you normal and reminds us we can't always be the most thoughtful or the most considerate but can still make a big difference in the lives of others.

  16. Tears for your thoughtfulness remind me often to stop and smell the roses and be happy with our lot in life for we are truly fortunate beings in this country of ours....

  17. Oh, A-M... your boys have no better role mother than their mother who has the kindest of hearts. Blessings on your kind soul and may only good things come to you as you have so much to give.
    thank you for sharing a good story in this world that can feel so negative.
    Will keep Bill in my prayers - please post on his reaction when you give him these books.

  18. I was reading this post with such anticipation, hoping that 'we' (note that I am living vicariously through your good deeds) would get a chance to find the book for him and there would be a happy ending. I can't wait for the next instalment now! I hope Bill gets somewhere to be warm and safe soon.

  19. What a gorgeous post! Bill is so lucky to have someone like you who has taken an interest in who they are and what they're about. Lets hope someone discovers his talents and puts them to good use. Looking forward to hearing about his reaction to the books.

  20. What a clever lovely man and yes he does have beautiful handwriting. I bet he loves his books.

  21. Oh what a wonderful gift you have done A.M I was thinking I bet you will get that for him while I was reading your post I hope he get's noticed too, amazing man that deserves more.

    looking forward to seeing his reaction when you pass on your gift. :)))

  22. So many of us just walk on by, not bothering to care, a bit of compassion can go along way. You have a good heart

  23. A-M you are a wonderful person, truly.
    Sadly a lot of people would have avoided eye contact with someone like Bill. The Bill's in our would make us sit up and take notice and enjoy every minute of our life and not take anything for granted. A couple of bad turns and we could be in his shoes. I am not sure if we would be as gracious and positive as him. A morning walk can bring such unexpected joy in so many ways.
    If you know of anything Bill may need let me know too.
    A-M you are a gem, (and just not semi precious).
    Warm wishes,

  24. Thank you A-M for taking the time to show Bill humanity. A chat and a smile goes a long way, the gift of books is the icing on the cake - though I am sure the 'cherry' will be when those people in the right positions find out about Bill and ensure he can live safely and continue with his beautiful work.

    I'm wiping tears from my cheeks.

  25. You really are a wonderful, compassionate person. I wish I could be more like you.

    You are right though, when you say we should be thankful for what we do have and not complain about what we don't. I thank God everyday for my blessings in my life, and I am a much happier person for it.
    God Bless you AM, good things are coming your way!

  26. A-M, I "loved" this post- so beautiful, touching and such a wonderful reminder to live in the moment and appreciate everything that we have. What a perfect gift for Bill- perfect. He is doing to love it! You are a gift too!


  27. First time I've visited your blog - and what a post to read! Thank you for sharing this beautiful story. I'll look out for Bill if I'm around West End...

  28. Bill has such an amazing talent! I pray that someone who knows how to market his work comes along soon, so he can enjoy a more comfortable life. I have no idea how much his pictures are worth but I would be interested in buying one.

  29. God bless you A-M. I wish I had a friend like you.


Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave me a comment. I love hearing from you. A-M xx