Bronwen’s Birthday Book | Mon 16th to Fri 20th Nov 2015 — Ned Martin’s Dot Org

Monday 16th November – Spectre


I got a call in the morning from James, who had some work for me to do, so I spent the rest of the day working from home.


I picked Bronwen up from her parents’ place, where she’d been fixing her Mum’s haunted laptop, and drove to Sing’s Asian Kitchen. It was quite busy, and almost everyone was the same age—I think they must have been uni students celebrating having finished their exams, though Bronwen thinks they looked too old. We had green curry Thai with tofu and coconut rice, and then drove to Southbank Cineplex, where we watched “Spectre”, the latest James Bond movie, to celebrate our eleventh anniversary—you can’t get much more romantic than that.

Tuesday 17th November – Buying Bronwen’s Birthday Book


I worked from home.


After spending far too long looking online and coming to the conclusion that I had left it too late and it wouldn’t be possible to buy Bronwen a Kindle, I phoned David Jones in the city who had run out, but who told me that Dick Smith at Garden City was reporting some in stock. I drove to Garden City, and after walking through the shopping centre for several hours, found Dick Smith, and found that they had one Kindle Voyage left in stock. I bought it, and—after not finding any suitable books at actual bookstores—stopped at the op shop on the way home  where I found a $2 copy of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility, which I can hopefully cut out and embed the Kindle in.


I stayed up late trying to make an email template work, for work.

Wednesday 18th November – Gluing Bronwen’s Birthday Book


I did some more work, and wasted lots of time trying to make an animation animate, then wasted even more time trying to figure out what phone to buy, before driving over to Maz’s place where we clamped and glued Bronwen’s birthday book.

Browser tabs as Ned tries to figure out what phone to buyPainting the book with glueSpilling the glueClamping the book to dry

Thursday 19th November – Drilling Bronwen’s Birthday Book


I rushed over to Maz’s, where he drilled holes into Bronwen’s birthday book, and I cut out the middle. It turns out it’s quite hard cutting a book, and I now have blisters. We then glued the insides together, clamped it all, and I rushed home where I sat it in the sun to try to dry it quicker, popped a ribbon around the Kindle (because it turns out it’s nearly impossible to get out it otherwise), wrapped it all up, had a shower, and jumped back in the car to drive to town.

Maz drilling the book (through a washer)Maz cutting pages from the bookMaz cutting pages from the bookCutting pages with a scalpel took a long timeThe pages which were removed from the bookGluing the insides of the cut part of the bookLetting it dry againThe finished productMaz opens the bookDemonstrating the concept with Maz’s KindleThe book ready to receive its KindleBronwen’s birthday Kindle VoyageThe book all wrapped up


I drove into town and picked Bronwen up from her work, and then drove to Mu’ooz, where we met Bronwen’s parents, and had a pre-birthday dinner—traditional Eritrean style, without any cutlery.

While we were at dinner Greg from the Festival Watch department at Woodford phoned up Bronwen to find out why I wasn’t in his list of people who had applied for Volunteer Security, so I’ll  have to sort that out tomorrow.

After dinner we drove to Bronwen’s parents’ place, where we had tea and Bronwen opened her present. She was a little confused to receive an obviously second-hand Pride and Prejudice (and Sense and Sensibility) book at first, but after a little coaxing to make sure she turned enough pages, she came across the Kindle hidden inside, and everyone thought it was very funny.

Dinner at Mu’oozBronwen unwraps her present with her MumBronwen is surprised to find a Kindle inside her book

Friday 20th November – Bribing Woodford


Everyone said there was going to be a heatwave, so I stayed home and hid. I tried to bribe the people at Woodford to get them to make a second Bar Ninja, but apparently I needed to have offered them a powered caravan, not just Byron Bay doughnuts, so it failed and I asked to be moved back into the Festival Watch pool, where I’ll presumably be picked to work with Bronwen, as per our original plans.

No worries,

Yeah WFF staff don’t respond well to bribes, unless it is a caravan under a tree with power.

Volunteers Coordinator
Queensland Folk Federation Inc
promoters of
Woodford Folk Festival – 27th Dec to 1st Jan
Festival of Small Halls
The Planting Festival

From: Ned Martin
To: Volunteers Coordinator, Queensland Folk Federation Inc
Subject: Bar Ninja (includes bribery, doughnuts, and a very long email)

Hello Sophia, 

Sorry for all the messing around and thanks for helping out :)

My attempts to bribe the bar people with doughnuts have failed! I probably should have thrown in a massage at Shangri-la as well...

As per our recent phone conversation, if you could move my volunteer application back into the Festival Watch pool, that would be great!

Thank you very much :)


Printed on 100% recycled electrons.

From: Bars Manager, Queensland Folk Federation Inc
To: Ned Martin
Subject: Bar Ninja (includes bribery, doughnuts, and a very long email)

Hi Ned,

I have just received this email off Kim. This is more of a question for Karen and Myself opposed to the commercial activities.

After a discussion with Karen in regards to this, I’m sorry to have to squash your idea, however we cannot increase the Bar Ninjas position to 2. This roll isn’t really enough for 2 people. On top of this the increase of Volunteers has reached it’s absolute limits having quite a few new Departments created this year. This has expanded the volunteers pool beyond its limits- resulting in strict cuts to volunteers numbers where ever possible.

I do hope you understand. I think Festival watch would be a perfect alternative for yourself and your Partner.

Thanks for expressing your interest in the position however, and hope you have a lovely year.

Kind Regards,

From: Deputy General Manager, Queensland Folk Federation Inc
To: Ned Martin
Subject: Bar Ninja (includes bribery, doughnuts, and a very long email)

Hi Ned,

I’ve passed this on to Anika. Unfortunately we can’t add additional positions to this area as it is really a one person job. As much as i’d love to if this happened across all departments we would very quickly double the amount of volunteers which just isn’t viable.

Although, I did enjoy reading your convincing and well crafted email :)

Look forward to seeing you at the festival in whatever capacity.



From: Ned Martin
To: Deputy General Manager, Queensland Folk Federation Inc
Subject: Bar Ninja (includes bribery, doughnuts, and a very long email)


How are you? How’s Woodford coming along? I’m always amazed you can turn random chaos into a huge festival. It must be magic. Don’t forget to make sure the weather is good!

I’m told you should always start on a positive note, so…

I’m fairly sure you can’t do anything to help me, and that you’re very busy doing actual important things and avoiding exceptionally long and annoying emails from people like me, but I figured it can’t hurt to try—I’ll even bribe you with Byron Bay doughnuts if that helps! Maybe even the extra-expensive ones without holes in them.

Then you surprise them with the negative part, like so:

I have a terrible, terrible problem. (It helps if you imagine ominous, sad but scary music here - the sort where you just know something bad is about to happen.)

The problem is, I made the mistake of applying to be volunteer security with Festival Watch (because it sounds quite similar to Bar Ninja) with my girlfriend because I didn’t know there was going to be a Bar Ninja role again, and then Anika asked if I’d like to be the Bar Ninja again so we set about finding another role for my girlfriend that would fit in with me being Bar Ninja.

However, despite looking around for other roles my girlfriend was unable to find anything (everything is pretty much full now I think) and the boss guy from the Festival Watch Volunteer Security role that we both originally applied for called her up last night to tell her that they pair up each girl with the same guy for the duration of the festival (apparently volunteer security is teams of two, a boy and a girl, who wander around the festival together finding baddies—sounds a bit like the start of a TV show?), so she’s not so keen to be paired up with the same random guy for the whole festival, considering we originally applied for it together and she assumed she’d be working with me.

Ideally, I would much rather do the Bar Ninja role, as I enjoyed it last year and felt like I had the chance to make a difference there (and I was looking forward to challenging myself to do a better job photographing stuff now I’ve upgraded my camera gear, which caused me grief last year), but having been unable to find another role for my girlfriend, I think I’m ethically obliged to stick to my original plans :(

So you need to make the bar ninja a two-person role! Then it’d be perfect! Or have two bar ninjas, that’d work too I guess! It’s the only solution to my terrible dilemma!


Ned – by far the best Bar Ninja ever (and experienced Byron Bay doughnut eater)

Printed on 100% recycled electrons.


Today was Bronwen’s work’s “fourth quarter party”, so I drove into town to pick up Bronwen after she’d finished there.