Monthly Archives: October 2013

adventuring – Hobart penitentiary chapel

While I’m on leave, Monday is my day for adventures.

I take Juniordwarf to school and then I have the whole day in Hobart to explore while I wait to pick him up at the end of the day.

The first week I went to the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. Last week I went on a short excursion with Juniordwarf’s class in the morning. In the afternoon I decided to do a tour of the Penitentiary Chapel in Brisbane Street.

This is a building I’ve been past countless times, and I vaguely remember having been on a tour in my childhood. I didn’t remember much at all about it, so it was all very new to me.

ImageIt turns out that the building was originally built as a chapel for convicts who were housed at the Penitentiary, which spanned pretty much the entire Campbell Street block from Brisbane Street down to Bathurst Street, and (up to Melville Street) is now the headquarters of the Tasmanian Ambulance Service.

There is a low stone wall along the block that used to be 20 feet high, but the only suggestion the wall was ever this big is these stones at the back of the chapel building in Campbell Street.


The reason a chapel was built on the gaol site was that the convicts who were housed there were attending church at St David’s, in Murray Street, and not all of them made it there every week, so it was decided to build a chapel on-site.

The chapel was designed by the architect John Lee Archer, who designed several public buildings in Hobart, including Parliament House (which was originally the Customs House). One of the features was the tiered seating, which allowed for the construction of solitary confinement cells underneath.

ImageThe convicts entered from within the gaol complex.

ImageThis is what it looks like today:

ImageVery soon after the chapel was built it was decided that there was a need for somewhere for overflow members of St David’s to go to church, so members of the public were allocated to the North wing and a tower providing a street entrance off Brisbane Street was added. Because of the design of the tiered seating, the people had to climb several flights of stairs to get into the chapel. The clock tower is still standing.

ImageThis is what is looked like from Brisbane Street:

ImageIn total, 1500 people were accommodated – 500 in each wing.

Since its construction the complex has undergone many changes. The chapel no longer exists, having been converted into courtrooms in the 1850s.

ImageThese courtrooms were used until 1983 and the prisoners were moved to Risdon Prison in the 1960s.

ImageThe tour was fascinating and I was disappointed to have to miss the end of it because of some unexpected events. Barry the tour guide was enthusiastic and very knowledgeable about the site, and it was great to explore somewhere almost in my own backyard that I might never have thought to visit if I hadn’t been at a loose end that day.

ImageIf you’re interested in Hobart’s history, the Penitentiary Chapel is definitely worth a visit.


taking back control

I had a crappy day today. Probably worthy of a FFS Friday post.

I moped around a lot while the following conversation played itself out in my head.

Me: Everything sucks. I’ve been on leave for more than two weeks and I haven’t done anything I wanted to do.

Other me: What do you mean, “wanted to do”? You’re on leave. You don’t have to do anything.

Me: Yes I do. I had this list of things I wanted to get done when I was on leave. I wanted to sort out my meal planning and find out more about the food I want to be eating. I wanted to sit down and work out some goals and things I want to be doing. I was supposed to rest, relax, recover, reassess and refocus.
I wanted to do yoga every day, do some relaxation, draw stuff, write stuff, sort out my baby photos and make an album, work on Juniordwarf’s DVDs, catch up on some scrapbooking, sort out my filing system, clear out some clutter, get my first veggie bed going, make a herb garden, weed the front yard . . .

Other me: Hold on there. When were you going to do all of this?

Me: Well I have four weeks leave. That’s a whole month. So I was going to do house and garden stuff on Tuesdays, photos and scrapbooking on Wednesdays . . .

Other me: Did you think about this?

Me: Of course I did. I have heaps of time.

Other me: Really? Every night is normal. You have all the things you do at nights to do then. Weekends are the same. Mondays you’re in town. There’s been a public holiday and a student-free day in there. The time you have free is the time you would have been at work. The rest of your time is already taken up. So no, you don’t actually have four entire weeks to do whatever you want. How many hours do you work?

Me: 5 or 6 hours a day.

Other me: Then that’s the time you have to do this huge list of things. Plus a couple of hours you aren’t travelling.  So maybe 7 or 8 hours a day if you don’t do anything else.

Me: That’s heaps of time to do stuff.

Other me: And what happened on the days you tried to work on 5 different things?

Me: Um, everything was really rushed and I felt really stressed and I ran out of time to do everything and dinner was late and I went to bed really late and was exhausted the next day.

Other me: What did you tell yourself when that happened?

Me: Schedule Less. Allow More Time.
But I haven’t done anything and I feel really stressed and overwhelmed and I’m supposed to be relaxing and resting and taking it easy and sorting myself out.

Other me: So why aren’t you?

Me: I don’t know. All those things, they’re all part of it, and I need to do them now because it’s not like I can take a month off whenever I want, so I have to make the most of this time. But I’m just wasting time. I feel just as overwhelmed as I did when I was at work

Other me: So you’re going to go back to work just as stressed as when you left?

Me: Um. Oh. I see.
I don’t know what to do.

Other me: Well what’s the point of taking leave?

Me: To take care of myself.

Other me: Is overwhelming yourself taking care of yourself?

Me: No.

Other me: Then I want you to put the list away.

Me: But . . .

Other me: And I want you to think of one thing you will do tomorrow for yourself. Just one. And I want you to do that thing. Can you do that?

Me: Yes, I think I can.

Other me: Will you do that?

(to be continued)

sunday selections – tasmanian museum & art gallery

Here are some photos for Sunday Selections (if you can get past my ramblings on why I have these photos). Sunday Selections is hosted by River at her blog Drifting Through Life, and I have been an occasional participant over the past few years. It’s all about posting photos you’ve taken but never shown anywhere – and I have heaps of those.

If you’ve been persisting with my on-again off-again blog efforts, you’ll know that I’ve been through a fairly stressful time at work, and as a result, I decided it was time to take some time out just for me.

I decided to take four weeks of long service leave, which was not an easy decision to come to. I always thought I’d take long service leave when I had something particular to do, or an overseas holiday to take. But I got to the point where I realised that in almost 20 years of (almost) continuous work, I have never taken any leave longer than about a week to do whatever I want to do.

I know I’m incredibly lucky to been employed for this period of time and I’m grateful for the opportunities that I’ve had. Some of the work has been challenging to my beliefs at times, but I’ve also been fortunate to have pretty much always worked with people who have supported me, challenged me and put up with me.

If you’d asked me 20 years ago where I’d be in 20 years time, I doubt I would have said “the public service”. It was the last place I ever expected to be.

I’m going to explore this a bit more later, because this isn’t the point of this post.

The point of this post is that I am on leave, and part of my plan was to have adventures. Juniordwarf thought this was very exciting, and when I asked what he thought I might do, he said, “I don’t know, they’re your adventures, not mine”.

So the plan was to go to places I hadn’t been to, or places I’d not been to for a long time.

Mondays are adventures in Hobart days, and I have a huge list of places to see in Hobart, which I’m not going to get through in four weeks.

My first port of call was the newly refurbished Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery. Juniordwarf’s class went there earlier in the year and I’d wanted to go with them, but I got caught up at work, so I missed out.


It was a great first adventure to have. I found myself moved to tears, excited and inspired, and it has set the scene for my upcoming adventures.

ImageThe story of the Europeans’ arrival in Tasmania stirred a lot of emotion.



There’s a whole room devoted to the Thylacine




Model cottage



I remember a lot of these stickers from my childhood


Puppets from iconic Tasmanian puppet company Terrapin


Stairway to nowhere

the cult of scrapbooking

I had a conversation with some Twitter friends last night, who mentioned that they thought scrapbooking was scary and that they couldn’t understand the “cult” of scrapbooking.

This got me thinking about what scrapbooking really is, and why I do it. If you’d told me ten years ago that I would have a house with a craft room* full of scrapbooking supplies, I’d have laughed and said there’d be no way I’d ever be involved with the cult of scrapbooking.

I wrote this post a while back, which explains how (and why) I started out.

It occurred to me that it’s really something I’ve been doing in one form or another, on and off, for a lot of my life, before I took it up as an actual hobby. As a child I used to make scrapbooks of things I collected, like pressed leaves and flowers. I used to stick photos in albums and write about them. And I made a 3-volume set about our one and only family overseas holiday.

As I grew older I used to keep journals that I’d stick things that I picked up during the day into, and I suppose the closest thing to my scrapbooks would be the book I made about Slabs’ and my wedding and honeymoon.

I also like to put my favourite photos in albums and would often stick a note in there about whetever or whoever the photo was of.

I’d class all of that as scrapbooking in the sense that I was recording events in my life and presenting them in a visual way that I liked to look at.

I’m not sure how I got into scrapbooking the cult hobby. I remember getting interested when my sister-in-law visited and I took her to a couple of the local shops – the first time I had ever set foot into such places (the post I linked to tells that story). I eventually bought some materials, did a couple of pages, took a class and it developed a life of its own after that.

I guess I thought it would be something that would make my photos a bit more interesting, rather than just keeping them in a shoe box putting them in a plain album. It also allowed me to be creative without having to actually draw/paint/be in any way artistic. (It also revealed a very pedantic side of me, that insisted things be lined up millimetre-perfect and that the colours be perfectly matched – this is not good for me.)

I never went much for fancy pages with lots of embellishments. A lot of my layouts are simple, usually with lots of photos and often with a grid layout and minimal other stuff. The focus for me is the photos – and, much as I dislike doing it – the journalling on the layout that tells the story of the photos.

I think that’s why Project Life in its original form was so appealing to me. Because I’ve been using Project Life as a way to display most of my photos over the past four years, I haven’t been doing a lot of paper scrapbooking. So I’m not sure if I’m a proper cult member or just a hanger-on.

I have two three “work in progress” files that I put partially finished layouts into, usually either because I can’t work out how to finish them or because I’m missing a product that either I don’t have at home and/or the shop doesn’t have. They tend to stay in there a long time.

Last night I decided I was going to finish some of them. In the end I completed three unfinished layouts and did two new ones from scratch. I think this is some kind of record for me.

So here they are:


One from the unfinished pile. I ended up just drawing a border around the photos to give it a more defined look. Then I  punched the right hand side border to make that page a bit more interesting. I resisted the urge to fill in the white space.


This is one I started ages ago, and hadn’t got around to printing out the text. It’s supposed to be about all the mistakes I made when trying to take baby photos.


This one has been in and out of the “in progress file” many times.


I started and finished this one last night. After I’d done it I realised I had already done a layout with similar photos from a few weeks earlier. And used exactly the same title.


This is a 6×12 layout, which will fit into one side of a divided page/photo protector in my Project Life album.

*AKA my office, my study and the bunker, depending on what I’m doing at the time.

12 of 12 october 2013

On Saturday the 12th of October I was home with Juniordwarf most of the day and we did our normal ‘Sleepy and Junior Day’ stuff (other than going to swimming because it’s the school holidays).

1 of 12 – He’s stopped doing yoga every morning with me on weekdays, but he still gets up to do it on weekends.

20121012-03 Yoga DVD

2 of 12 – Yesterday we spent some time cleaning out his bedroom and getting rid of a lot of the papers that were piled up on his desk. He now has a desk he can actually use.

20131012-02 Bedroom

3 of 12 – Teddy School has been back for a while on a much smaller scale (there are only six teddies in the class) and tomorrow will be the last day of their term, after which the teddies will go back to work. As a special treat, Mr Juniordwarf decided to bring in a fruit platter for them on their last day. He planned this ages ago, and said we had to go to the supermarket on the 12th to get the fruit for the platter, which he’d be bringing in to the class on their last day. It was written on the calendar and he’s been looking forward to it for a couple of weeks, ever since his relief teacher brought in a fruit platter for his (real) class on her last day with them last term.

20131012-04B Supermarket 2

4 of 12 – Poor old hand mower really can’t cope with our sloping, bumpy, holey back yard.

20131012-05 Lawn mower

5 of 12 – After a period where he was scared of the chooks, now he’s fine with them, and loves to pick them up. Polly is the easiest one to catch, so she’s the one that gets carried around all the time.

20131012-06 Chook

6 of 12 – Slabs made some cupcakes for his training course today and there were two left over for Juniordwarf and me.

20131012-07 Cupcakes

7 of 12 – After a lot of yard work, by mid-afternoon I was exhausted. Time for us to sit on the park bench and relax with a drink.

20131012-08B Wine glass

8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 of 12 We decided to go out for dinner for a special occasion, to a restaurant called Tynwald, which is very much a special occasion place, where we haven’t been for at least two years. We weren’t sure how Juniordwarf would go at his first ‘grown-up’ restaurant, but we spoke to the chef before we booked to find out if they could cater for him – he said everything would be fine and they’d find something for him.

20131012-11A Tynwald Menu edit 1

They had Two Metre Tall Ale. Yay!

20131012-11B Tynwald Drinks edit

We started with a tasting plate that included halloumi cheese, asparagus with a lemon sauce, a spicy pumpkin coconut soup, the most divine onion crème brulée and chicken liver paté. Juniordwarf got a special mouse entrée, which was a beetroot with prosciutto ears and a piece of cheese. He thought it was great, and very quickly ate the mouse’s cheese, followed by its ears, but he stopped at actually eating the beetroot.

20131012-11C Mouse and Cheese edit

He tried pretty much everything on the plate, but wasn’t keen on any of it except the soup. We were happy he’d tried all the different things, even if he didn’t like them.

We know how much Juniordwarf likes pumpkin soup, so asked if he’d like soup for his main or if he wanted to try one of the mains. He wanted soup, so he had more of that (with coriander pesto – it was sensational). Slabs had the veal and I had wallaby with native pepperberry jus. Everything was glorious, as we’d expected, and Juniordwarf loved the soup.

20131012-11D Main course edit

Then, despite my sugar ban, I gave in and had the most indulgent chocolate lava pudding for dessert. It came with a poached pear, so it was a healthy option. The boys both had the apple pudding with salted caramel sauce and ice cream. On reflection, we should have just ordered some ice cream for Juniordwarf because he lost interest in his dessert after he’d finished the ice cream. So I might have had some of his apple as well.

20131012-11 G Dessert 1 edit

He was pretty tired at the end of the night, but he’d been a pleasure to go out with and he really enjoyed himself. (Especially when we went into the lounge room with the lights off and cracked one of his glow sticks that he got at his friend’s party a couple of weeks ago.)

30 days of lists – day 29

I finished List 29 a few days ago, but am still thinking about List 30 – the final list for the 30 days of lists challenge.


Day 29: Next month’s plans.

Next month (is now actually this month) is going to be fantastic. I’m taking some leave to hang out with Juniordwarf in the school holidays, and then I’m taking four weeks off work to give myself a proper break.

I’m excited!

The last time I had any length of time off just for me was, well, never. I had several months off for maternity leave. Not really a break. I had a longer break when Slabs and I got married, but that was mostly spent getting married, travelling and then recovering.

So have finally listened to Me-two and I’m going to take some time to rest, relax, reassess and refocus.

I really enjoyed writing that list.

30 days of lists – days 25-28

Almost there! Just two more lists to complete for my first ever 30 days of lists challenge.

It’s been fun and made me think a bit, but I haven’t really been interacting much with the other people who have been doing the challenge.

Day 25: My family’s quirks

ImageThis was one I had a hard time with – identifying my family’s quirks. I’m sure people outside my family could come up with a much bigger list. It’s one of those things I think I’m too close to.

Day 26: Rules for being my friend

ImageI chose to interpret this more as giving people advice on how to deal with me and my particular preferences and personality, rather than as “rules” which seems a bit harsh and prescriptive.

Day 27: Favourite courses, classes and workshops

ImageI went way back to high school for this one! I was reminded about Grade 9 English by a conversation I had with someone on Twitter. It’s funny sometimes how you get allocated to a teacher you think you’re going to dislike, only to have them end up as being one of the most memorable teachers from your school life. I had a similar experience with a boss once. Never pre-judge.

Day 28: In my fridge

ImageHa! I didn’t forget the wine this time!