This foggy, frosty early-morning scene belies tragedy hidden in clear view. March 5 2012, will be remembered as the night almost 9000 residents of Wagga Wagga were forced from their homes by the worst flood since 1853 — nearly 160 years ago. Fortunately the city’s levee held and two months later its citizens’ lives have [...] Read more – ‘Frosty morning in Wagga Wagga’.
When country folk celebrate they do it with infectious enthusiasm, and the annual Xmas pageant at Oatlands was no different. But, when I first saw the fire engine, above, go past with its flotilla of go-karts following in a cloud of fumes I felt sorry for the young tykes driving them. Initially what I thought [...] Read more – ‘Country celebrations’.
Finding an overnight campsite in any city can be a bit of a problem, but I’m lucky that I have a fairly regular spot in Hobart right outside a friend’s house. Naturally I operate in stealth mode … curtains drawn and no lights after sunset. Normally a fairly quiet spot, it becomes a bit hectic [...] Read more – ‘‘Parking’ in the city’.
Revisited a favourite pub yesterday in Hobart — The Crescent — and had a lively session with some old friends (and don’t they look like everyone’s grumpy grandpa?). They were in a nostalgic mood, tuning in to YouTube for some jazz classics — on an iPad which Dave, the pub owner, had commandeered so that [...] Read more – ‘A modern twist for old codgers’.
A high pressure system provided two days of welcome relief from constant wind and drizzle and also brought Lake Dulverton’s trout to the surface for some fine catches. Here’s the end of one epic battle with a light line and rod. The three-pound brown trout created an impressive whirlpool as attempts were made to net [...] Read more – ‘Fish fight’.
The whopper brook trout caught yesterday morning was given a honourable farewell last night in Terrance’s smoker. Just 20 minutes of smoking and a half hour of resting and served simply with Turkish bread (the only fresh loaf we managed to get in downtown Oatlands), a splash of lime juice and a cheeky young red [...] Read more – ‘Somebody has to do it’.
Arrived yesterday at a favourite campsite on the shore of Lake Dulverton to find the level has gone up to the highest it has been in 40 years. Could not fish because of the heavy south-easterly winds, but knew a high pressure system was on its way overnight. And I got an early view, at [...] Read more – ‘Early morning wake-up call’.
Many of the buildings along Oatlands’ High Street are lovely Georgian sandstone edifices, especially the old municipal and courthouse buildings. Unfortunately, some time in the 1960s ‘Progress’ arrived in this small Tasmanian town which in those days still embraced the Midlands Highway. One of the victims of the jackboot of progress was the local Post [...] Read more – ‘Ah … ‘Progress’’.
For decades I have made a living as a publisher, journalist, author, photographer, web designer and blogger. At the heart of all these ventures for the last quarter of a century were my Macintosh computers — starting with the Mac Plus in 1986 with its 8Mhz processor, 800Kb floppy drive and tiny mono screen. Over [...] Read more – ‘RIP Steve’.
From a distance, the wake coming across Numurkah’s Broken Creek looked like a snake at first, but its course was too direct. A platypus perhaps, but again too determined, and the platypi I had observed before always left a meandering trail. Grabbing a camera I trailed the creature as it cruised ahead along the bank [...] Read more – ‘Getting along swimmingly’.
Digging through my photographic files to find comparison shots of Lake Dulverton before the 2011 winter rains I found these two that show the heavy waterweed growth that is now totally submerged. They also revealed two potential new sports for the Olympic Games — the 100m dash on water, and syncronised ducking, below. Read more – ‘Avian Olympics’.
Just weeks ago I posted this promise to myself: … I’m heading north before June. Well June has come and gone, and I’m still stuck in Tasmania, and as Robbie Burns said: The best laid schemes of mice and men Go often askew, And leave us nothing but grief and pain, For promised joy! The [...] Read more – ‘Of mice and men …’.
Life can throw a few hardballs every now and again, but today’s sunset at Sorell was a good omen. Remember the biopsy that was delayed that I mentioned at the end of this entry? Well, luckily for me my doctor wasn’t prepared to wait for me to get on the public list again and insisted [...] Read more – ‘A new beginning?’.
Roaring Beach on the Tasman Peninsula deserves its vocal reputation on days like this when strong southerly gales combine with southwesterly swells to send wave after wave crashing to shore. It produces a tumultuous white carpet, beautiful to watch, yet awe-inspiring at the same time. And the roar is constant, magnified by the cove’s unique [...] Read more – ‘Roaring Beach speaks’.
There I was, sitting quietly on a park bench nursing my still sore knee, when I noticed two young girls in bright orange jackets striding along the road above my campsite. Cars and a caravan arrived and the occupants all joined the two teenagers — Teagan and Olivia — for the last 100 metres. Apparently [...] Read more – ‘Everyday heroes’.
As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted … I’d been cruising across Tasmania for summer in big loops based around Hobart as I sorted out a number of medical appointments — annual checkup, dentist, optician, brain surgeon (just kidding … I think). Was booked in for a precautionary biopsy in late February, [...] Read more – ‘As I was saying …’.
Tasmania has a curious autumnal attitude. While it is a beautiful time of the year, with steady weather patterns which ensure lovely windless days with clear blue skies, along come Forestry Tasmania with their non-essential burnoffs. This ‘sunset’ is typical. A lovely day at New Norfolk suddenly goes dark with low-lying clouds of thick smoke [...] Read more – ‘Autumn sunset … not!’.
For want of a nail the shoe was lost. For want of a shoe the horse was lost. For want of a horse the rider was lost. For want of a rider the battle was lost. For want of a battle the kingdom was lost. And all for the want of a horseshoe nail. At [...] Read more – ‘For the want of a nail …’.
I recently found this oasis of retro charm while passing through Oatlands. All was spotless, and everything had its place. I missed a chance to talk to the owners, but I would not be surprised if they lived in one of these houses I spotted the next day in South Hobart. Read more – ‘Retro revival’.
When friends and family asked me why I was heading off to live, work and travel fulltime on the road, I referred them to this quote by G.K. Chesterton: The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a [...] Read more – ‘Why?’.
My yearning to hit the road again was severely hampered for nearly a decade with a mysterious ailment which would flare up intermittently and cause bizarre swelling of various joints and the need for several ambulance trips, extended stays in hospital and time flying by as morphine dripped into my veins, and drains leaked crap [...] Read more – ‘The ‘Road Warrior’ — a little history’.