The Ghostgum Chronicles A Grey TechNomad's journey of discovery Sat, 08 Oct 2016 14:53:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Frosty morning in Wagga Wagga Sat, 19 May 2012 05:39:43 +0000

Wagga Wagga dawn Wagga Wagga dawn

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 basically returned to normal.

However, the surrounding districts have hundreds of kilometres of fences swaddled in dead grasses and branches as a result of the recent floods. The slowly rotting debris has to be removed to save the fences from rusting and a small corps of volunteers is working to help the local farmers.

It is a daunting task. A strong team of four on a good day might manage to knock the debris off less than a kilometre of fencing.

]]> 1
Country celebrations Sun, 18 Dec 2011 07:58:43 +0000 Post image for Country celebrations

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 was the fire engine’s exhaust turned out to be their own foul fumes from their noisy stressed little engines which sounded like a few lawnmowers from my past (when I had a hated lawn to mow).

It appeared that any vehicle in town and the neighbouring farms that moved — trucks, utes, cars, motorbikes, quad bikes, police cars and fire engines — had been dressed up for the occasion.

While everybody appeared to be enjoying the festivities there were some notable exceptions, including these two working dogs who were obviously very embarrassed to be marching with glittery reindeer horns.

]]> 0
‘Parking’ in the city Mon, 12 Dec 2011 09:04:11 +0000 Post image for ‘Parking’ in the city

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 nearer Xmas and this is what greeted me this morning. The butcher and the delivery man were having a loud joke-filled conversation which woke me.

Of course, the jokes might have had something to do with the angle of the delivery truck too.

]]> 0
A modern twist for old codgers Sun, 11 Dec 2011 04:58:46 +0000 Post image for A modern twist for old codgers

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 he could watch while he served.

The pub also has a lot of books under the counter, some of which can be seen above. They’re not for lending, they’re a superb tool for settling pub arguments, and like all good pubs a lot of lively discussion takes place.

The library does wonders to settle bombast and prejudice. Somehow using the iPad to Google the facts would seem out of place in The Crescent.

]]> 0
Stanton’s makeover Wed, 07 Dec 2011 03:39:06 +0000 Post image for Stanton’s makeover

Just spent a few days blobbing at Stanton, a lovely bed-and-breakfast establishment at Magra, north of New Norfolk … and yes, I camped as usual in Madam Plush.

However, mine host Mark, has decided he has had enough of ‘clients’ and decided to return the property to being a homestead, and a major transformation has begun in earnest.

Martin and Adele, his live-in boarders are both keen gardeners, and together they have begun to revive the veggie gardens of yore, the neglected orchard, and introduced chooks and a horse.

I’ll have more to report when I return for a working bee in a few weeks time.

]]> 0
Fish fight Sat, 26 Nov 2011 22:42:49 +0000 Post image for Fish fight

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 it.

]]> 1
Somebody has to do it Fri, 25 Nov 2011 06:33:27 +0000 Post image for Somebody has to do it

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 wine. Delicious.

]]> 0
Early morning wake-up call Wed, 23 Nov 2011 22:00:26 +0000 Post image for Early morning wake-up call

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 about 5.30am, because my mate Terrance was tapping at my window. A few pleasantries were exchanged but he was insistent.

I looked out to a mirror-calm lake and then my view was blocked by Terrance holding up the 5lb brook trout he had just brought ashore.

Plans were immediately made to smoke a fillet for dinner.

]]> 0
Ah … ‘Progress’ Tue, 22 Nov 2011 20:00:40 +0000 Post image for Ah … ‘Progress’

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 Office which had a makeover along its High Street frontage, luckily leaving most of the existing sandstone extant.

]]> 0
Its what you do … Mon, 21 Nov 2011 02:22:16 +0000 Post image for Its what you do …

Its what you do when the weather is inclement and you have a new camera to play with.

A quick sortie between wind squalls and showers, and a dozen or so clicks later you return home, fire up the computer and see what you’ve got.

Here are two examples, both of which are only showing about a 10th of the full image. Both show impressive detail in shadows and highlights in a potentially difficult high-contrast lighting situation.

I’m impressed. The new camera, a Sony NEX-5N, with an 18-55mm zoom and a 16mm prime lens, is an amazing little camera.

Light, versatile and easy to use, it handles tricky lighting situations with ease. Focus is swift, the shutter impressively smooth and fast (thanks to its mirrorless design), and initial results indicate it is a keeper.

Rather than list its technical capabilities I’d refer you to this review which says it all.

I’m looking forward to putting it head-to-head with my Nikon D100.

]]> 0