The rest of the trip was spent around Melbourne, visiting lots of friends and family, catching up, being rained on, and trying to not be sick any more. And selling off a few of our worldly possessions that had been in storage for six years and we’d come to realise we really didn’t need any longer. Boy in a box! Playing with Uncle Bryden Playing with rockets, trains and cars Alex with a stolen ginger baby (the Moosling was unimpressed) Watering the garden with Freja Lots of driving through city traffic in the rain = not a fun holiday activity … Continue reading The Australia Trip – Back in Melbourne
At the farm was where everything went rapidly downhill, as I went from being in perfect health, to suddenly being ill and having no voice. The scenery was at flat as ever. Feeding the baby cows (they were scary according to the Moosling, but he was still feeling a bit sick and out of sorts, so lots of things were scary – or “scare-wee”) This wisteria gecko was scare-wee Sitting on the back of the ute, watching the noisy fire (also scare-wee) A big bonfire to get rid of a few things. The added paint cans made for a noisy … Continue reading The Australia Trip – The Farm
We didn’t mean to go to Canberra. But there were friends there we hadn’t seen since I was 39 weeks pregnant. And now we had a three year old, and they had a two year old. And it only added four or five hours to the drive to my parent’s farm! In the end it turned out to be an absolutely cracking idea, despite all the driving. The offspring had a ball playing together. Our friends loaned us bikes, and one of them watched the Moosling, so Alex and I could go off and ride the Mount Stromlo trails with … Continue reading The Australia Trip – The Unexpected Canberra Leg
It all began with an aeroplane flight. Well actually, it began with friends telling us they were going to be getting married in September 2013, but giving us nearly two years notice, so we made cunning plans to be around for their wedding. And to make it a huge trip to visit lots of friends and family. But then there was an aeroplane flight. The weather was perfect, so we sat and stared out the plane window, and confirmed our house wasn’t on fire. Or if it was, at least the whole building wasn’t yet ablaze. We arrived successfully in … Continue reading The Australia Trip – Phase One
I kept worrying we weren’t making enough noise and that bears would come and get us. Then I remembered that it was alright, there was nothing but the deadly poisonous snakes. And they’re nowhere near so good at climbing trees as the bears.
Ignoring the forecast of rain, I figured that it would probably be dry anyway. After all, it never rains at Arapiles. However, I had forgotten to take into account that with the change in government had come a change in weather patterns – since Kevin Rudd broke the drought, it just hasn’t been the same. The bare dirt has gone, to be replaced by actual green stuff growing from the ground – the paths to the climbs are festooned with daisies! And the cliffs themselves seem to be developing a healthy amount of foliage. But anyway, it rained. … Continue reading climbing in the rain at the arapiles
Wisteria Patterson’s Curse
In Australia now. There are many more gum trees than I remember, and birds! So many birds constantly singing and talking and arguing. The birds were somewhere here The houses are also much colder, the confectionery sections in supermarkets much larger, and there are less bears. There were also birds in this tree (not pictured)
As if I haven’t done enough gadding about already this year, I have decided to travel across the Pacific Ocean and go to Australia. And then come back again 3 weeks later. Although I’m tempted by Anonymous Lefty’s noble and environmentally conscious scheme of going by ship, I shall probably just stick with an aeroplane. This is the route I shall direct the pilot to take: Calgary – Melbourne So in two days time I’ll probably be hanging out at an airfield of some sort, trying to hitch a ride on a plane. Or a zeppelin.
Well, not exactly. But sort of. Currently the government is buying back the water rights from irrigation farms in bits and pieces, and more and more people are selling up their permanent water rights and leaving. Selling water has become more lucrative than farming. According to a statement, the Prime Minister also recently announced the Government’s intention to work with irrigation communities to buy out water entitlements from areas willing to move out of irrigation, facilitated by a price premium reflecting the value of water savings from closure of infrastructure such as supply channels. The current chairman of … Continue reading they’re selling my town!
Trying to get an Irish passport might even prove to be more fun than my attempts to get a US visa. Me [back in July]: Hi, so I live in Melbourne, is the Canberra embassy the right place to submit my passport application to? Irish embassy: Yes. The Canberra embassy processes applications for people who live in the ACT or Victoria. If you lived in NSW you’d have to submit your application to they Sydney embassy however. Me: Well, I live in Melbourne, so that’s fine. — Me [at the embassy in August]: So here is my passport application Irish … Continue reading why i only trust embassies as far as i can throw them
A sunset Windmill in station country The Newell Highway River red gums and a dirt road When I was a young girl…. I remember when this was still a lake
The Cape Byron lighthouse. From these photos you’d almost think it wasn’t thronged with tourists. Situated on the most easterly point of the Australian mainland, it’s also Australia’s most powerful lighthouse (which I would concur with, after seeing it beaming up to the Queensland border from the lookout at Echo Point in Lamington NP).
Remember how I tended to get all worked up when in gear stores, muttering to myself, and occasionally curling up into a ball, rocking backwards and forwards, chanting “It’s not right, it’s so cheap, why is it so cheap?”, while chewing on a quickdraw? Well, here’s a sample of some Australian prices.
So, everything is packed into very heavy bags. Item One – Heavy Backpack Item Two – Heavy Ski Bag and Boot Bag Item Three – Crash pad in cardboard box Item Four – Carry On thingos = rope bag and laptop bag Once my plane leaves DC I’ll be landing in Melbourne 28 hours later. Won’t that be fun. Although I’ll start travelling 4 hours before that, so I can actually get to the airport and check in. Then once I get to Melbourne, I have to move house :) Depart DC – 3.45pm Tuesday East Coast US time / … Continue reading see vegas, i told you it would all fit
On the injustice of gear pricing and sales in the USA, and why I will find it very hard to return to Australian climbing gear prices. As a sample, we will refer to the pricing of a Green Colarado Custom Hardware Alien. In the US (from REI, for example), they retail at $US52.50. In Australia, the RRP is $AUD148.50, equivalent to $US111.00. We will now turn to the case of the red (number 1) C4 Black Diamond Camelot. $US62.50 at REI, RRP in Australia of $US89. We may also note that I have NEVER seen an Alien 20% off in … Continue reading injustice
G’day, Bruce! Oh, Hello Bruce! How are you Bruce? A bit crook, Bruce. Where’s Bruce? He’s not ‘ere, Bruce. Blimey, it’s hot in here, Bruce. ……. Is your name not Bruce? No, it’s Michael. That’s going to cause a little confusion. Mind if we call you “Bruce” to keep it clear?
both of the boys are downstairs, hard at work on their boats. they’re both building wooden sea kayaks – one of the kayaks is getting towards the stages of being finished, and actually looks like a boat. the other is still individual bits of plywood strewn across the garage. the whine of the saw is sounding intermittently, as more bits of plywood succumb. meanwhile, it’s 37oC here, and not really the sort of weather i’d choose for doing that sort of thing.