Category Archives: Derwent Valley

21 for 2021: week 17 update

Week 17/2021: week of 26 April 2021

I  had a lovely day out with my sister and her friend at Mt Field National Park on Saturday, which was great because I could forget all about my to-do list and concentrate on  not rolling my injured ankle clambering over large rocks on the Tarn Shelf. Did I succeed? No, I did not. But I can still walk, so I don’t think I did too much damage.

I still have a tonne of photos to sort through, so here are just a couple of them.

21 for 2021 update

This week in the Change Journal I worked on chapter 5, Digital Detox.

I don’t know that I learned that much from the exercise other than that on a bad day, if I was on social media and email and watching TV as much as I was that day every day of the year, I’d spend the equivalent of 43 days a year doing that.

43 days!!!!

Actually, this is a bit misleading, because I don’t normally watch TV and I have been lately because I watch Masterchef with Kramstable, and I check the Twitter feed about the show on my phone at the same time, so a lot of the time I counted as being on social media was double counted as TV time as well. If I hadn’t been watching TV, I might not have been on the phone either.

 The idea of the chapter is to track your usage over the first four days of the week, to track your non-usage over the last three days and then work out how much time you’d save over a year by not going on the phone. I found that difficult, to actually track the times I thought about picking up my phone but didn’t do it, especially as I was out and away from the journal for most of the time so didn’t have any way to record near-misses. I sort of get what it was trying to do but it didn’t work for me. 

I know what my main triggers for wasting time on the phone are. They are being in between tasks, not being sure what I should be doing or not really having anything to do. I know that on days I have a lot to do and I just sit down and do it, I spend a lot less time on the phone. 

So I found this chapter more of a reinforcement of what I already knew, rather than something new.

Also, I completed 66 days of the habit of doing the pre-work routine (thing 20), which is part of chapter 7, so that thing is done. I’m also working through the journalling chapter (chapter 24).

I did some more work on my resume (thing 18)

Vegetable of the week

Thing 2 is to choose a different vegetable every week from the book In Praise of Veg and make a recipe from the book using that vegetable.

 This week’s dish was Carefree Cabbage Curry (page 456). I’m not a huge fan of cabbage. In fact, I reckon it’s up there with Brussels sprouts and we already know what I think of them. However, Alice says, “Often, when cabbage gets braised, it is shredded, grated or chopped in some way where you lose the beauty of its folds and undulations. Here, the rich golden marinade and equally shimmering gravy only serves to emphasise the grandeur of this brilliant Brassica.”

Wow! What a description. It’s a love letter to cabbage, right? Writing like that is almost enough to turn the most ardent cabbage hater. 

Almost.

For this dish, you cut cabbage into wedges, marinate it and then cook it in what is a very tasty curry sauce. (Note to self: you have run out of Kashmiri chilli.) It’s actually nice.

Marinating cabbage. It’s a thing.

There, I said it. There is a cabbage dish I liked.

I think having the cabbage as such a big chunk bulks it up a bit so you don’t feel like you’re missing out by not having any meat in it. I can imagine I’d make this again. 

I even had nigella seeds already

Regular projects

There are several things on my list that I have made a regular commitment to doing in the hope that this will be more likely to make me do them. I worked on these ones this week.

  • Thing 5: Spend an hour a week working through my annoying undone things list. One hour on Saturday morning. I didn’t do this on Satirday as I was out but I did read a bit from one of the books that’s on the list during the week.
  • Thing 8: Spend an hour a week working on Kramstable’s videos. I worked on this for a couple of hours on Sunday afternoon.
  • Thing 9: Write my mother’s life story. I didn’t get much of a chance to talk to my mum this week, but I got her to identify some people in some old photos
  • Thing 17: Brainsparker gym*. I finished lesson 3 of Module 5.

21 for 2021 summary

  • Things completed this week: 1 (20)
  • Things completed to date: 2 (1, 20)
  • Things I progressed: 7 (2, 4, 5, 8, 9, 17, 18)
  • Things in progress I didn’t progress: 7 (6, 7, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16)
  • Things not started: 5 (3, 12, 15, 19, 21)

Blast from the past

Following on from my 10-year review of my blog, here’s another one of my favourite posts from 2011. This one is from 11 November 2011: eleven, which is about how I spent 11/11/11. Sick on the couch at home, it turned out.

I took a photo every hour that day for the 11Eleven project, which seems to have now disappeared. I don’t know if the book ever happened but I’m pretty sure none of my photos would have made it in!

When did I listen and what did I learn this week?

I went to a webinar on age discrimination in the workplace, which I found very interesting. One of the panelists asked why we have this constant fixation on chronological age, and said that focusing on age to categorise older workers is deficient and limiting. I found Kay Patterson, the Age Discrimination Commissioner, a real inspiration at age 76. This is all going to be relevant to my work in the coming months so it was a useful and thought provoking session for me.

I was also interested to see Hobart Council’s Crowther Reinterpretation Project in Franklin Square. This project provides local artists with the opportunity to respond to the statue of William Crowther, a public figure in mid-19th century Hobart.

The first project is called “Truth Telling” by Allan Mansell, and it considers Crowther’s treatment of Aboriginal man William Lanne (King Billy) after Lanne’s death, including decapitating his body.

There will be four temporary artworks involving the stature over the rest of 2021. While I was aware of Aboriginal people’s bodies having been desecrated in the name of white people’s “science”, I didn’t know about William Lanne’s particular story, and I think this project is a good opportunity to, as the project description says, “acknowledge, question, provoke discussion or increase awareness about the story of Crowther and Lanne”. These are important stories that we need to learn about.

What was the best thing about this week?

The Tarn Shelf walk.

What I’m reading this week

  • On Writing by Stephen King
  • Dæmon Voices: On Stories and Storytelling by Philip Pullman
  • Wanderlust: A History of Walking by Rebecca Solnit

Habit tracker

  • Days I did my morning planning routine at work (Goal = 4): 4
  • Days I did my post-work pack up routine(Goal = 4): 4
  • Days I worked on my art (Goal = 2): 4
  • Days I read a book (Goal = 7): 7
  • Days I did yoga stretches (Goal = 7): 5
  • Days I had a lunch break away from my desk (Goal = 4 work days): 4
  • Days I went for a walk or did other physical activity in the afternoon (Goal = 7): 5
  • Days I shut my computer down before 10.15 (Goal = 7): 7

21 for 2021: Week 4 update

21 for 2021 update

I did a bit more work on my blog this week (thing 13) and posted the second part of my series reflecting on blogging for ten years. 

This includes re-posting a post from each month of my first year over the next few weeks as a trip down memory lane. So for this week, here’s a post from 3 February 2011, which is about why I put in an objection to the local council about plans for building a fast food “restaurant” in the town I used to live in. 

Something that continues to amuse me is that a post I wrote in 2014, originally for a blog (which no longer exists) of a writer who called herself Betty Herbert about kids TV shows, about the show Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom, continues to be my top rating post. Just this week, I got a comment on the post from a reader who watches the show with his five-year-old, which is just brilliant. I blame the monkey kittens for this. 

I’m still working on the “habits” chapter of the Change Journal (thing 4), which has included my pre-work planing routine (thing 20) but as I’ve been off work this week, I haven’t been doing that. I think it’s time to start work on one of the chapters that I can actually complete in a week or I can see this dragging out over the whole year. 

Vegetable of the week

Thing 2 is to choose a different vegetable every week from the book In Praise of Veg and make a recipe from the book using that vegetable. This week I chose wombok, Chinese cabbage, which I already have a couple of salad recipes for that I make occasionally. This recipe, Chang-Ed Wombok Slaw with Plum Sauce (page 94), was also a salad that included radishes, crispy noodles and those spring onions I used in Saturday’s eggplant dish. It was simple.

The biggest part was cutting up the veggies, which I never enjoy doing. The dressing was based on plum sauce, which I had left over from another recipe, and I served it with pork steaks. 

Regular projects

There are several things on my list that I have made a regular commitment to doing in the hope that this will be more likely to make me do them. This is not necessarily so. I’m very good at making commitments to myself and then when the time comes, deciding I want to do something else. It’s something I want to work on.

I worked on these ones this week.

  • Thing 5: Spend an hour a week working through my annoying undone things list. One hour on Saturday morning. This took more like two and a half hours, but I cleared out the bathroom cupboards and made more space for Kramstable’s stuff.
  • Thing 9: Write my mother’s life story. This week, I wrote up the notes from my first meeting with my mum and sent it to her to have a look at. 
  • Thing 11: Complete the Compelling Frame course. I finished the first lesson I’d been working on, completed the second lesson and started the third one.
  • Thing 17: Brainsparker gym*. I did the second lesson in module 2 this week. I found this really interesting as it was all about broadening your knowledge of the field that you work in to tap into emerging trends and ideas from “thought leaders” in the field. It is very similar to an exercise from my career review that I struggled with doing a couple of weeks ago, so I’m thinking getting the same message again so close to the first one is a sign I need to pay more attention to this.

21 for 2021 summary

  • Things completed this week: 0
  • Things completed to date: 0
  • Things I progressed: (7) 2, 4, 5, 9, 11, 13, 17
  • Things in progress I didn’t progress: (5) 1, 6, 8, 18, 20
  • Things not started: (9) 3, 7, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16, 19, 21

When did I listen and what did I learn this week?

I went to the rally on 26 January organised by the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre and listened to some very passionate people argue why this is not a day to celebrate. The words of a young Syrian man summed up my reason for being there best: “I will never understand your anguish but I see it and I stand with you”. 

26 January Rally, nipaluna/Hobart

A key message from the day was that we need to learn the history of this place we live on, we need to honour it and protect it. We need to tell the truth about what happened here. There is a lot to learn, a lot to take in, but it is important that we do this. I found myself agreeing with the Anglican Archbishop, who observed that “mature nations tell the truth about their past”. We cannot become a mature nation while we act like a sulky child and our leaders continue to spout the “not gonna, you can’t make me” line. We can’t wait for them to take any action on this. They won’t. They’ll just talk and talk, or else they’ll try to tell us how hard it was for the white people who colonised this land. Here is a post that is worth reading about that particular comment

It feels like the climate issue. Our leaders are not going to do anything because it doesn’t serve them to do so. It is up to us to take the lead. 

I felt drawn to these two quote, both similar but from very different sources. This from Brené Brown in here book Braving The Wilderness (which is a great book and anyone who has ever felt along the lines of “if you are not with us, you must be against us” might benefit from reading it. In fact, anyone who despairs at the shouty, fearful, disconnected world we live in would, I suspect, relate to what Brené says in the book on page 40).

Braving the Wilderness.

The quote is actually from the author Joseph Campbell, and in relation to it, Brene says that while we may be all sharing the same map, our paths will be different, and we must all find our own way.

If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.

And photographer David DuChemin says

As you head into 2021, remember that your journey can’t be measured by the metrics created by other people. Learn everything you can from every source you can, but remember your journey can’t be measured by the footprints of others and you can’t borrow their map. It doesn’t matter where you are relative to others, but that you’re taking the next steps that get you closer to a destination only you will recognize.

What was the best thing about this week?

Having the week off with Kramstable.

What I’m reading

  • Braving the Wilderness: The quest for true belonging and the courage to stand alone by Brené Brown
  • The Queen of My Self by Donna Henes

Habit tracker

  • Days I did my morning planning routine at work (Goal = 5): I didn’t go to work this week, so none
  • Days I worked on my art (Goal = 2): 4
  • Days I read a book (Goal = 7): 7
  • Days I did yoga stretches (Goal = 7): 7
  • Days I had a lunch break away from my desk (Goal = 5 work days): 5
  • Days I went for a walk or did other physical activity in the afternoon (Goal = 7): 5
  • Days I shut my computer down before 10.15 (Goal = 7): 7

The final countdown

For the past four years I’ve spent my Tuesday evenings tucked away in the studio of the Derwent Valley’s community radio station, TYGA FM, bringing back fabulous music from the 1980s that never really went away.

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I haven’t written much about my life in community radio, because there didn’t seem to be much connection between an 80s-music loving tragic and the world I write about here. However, today marks the end of my journey with community radio and it feels like a good time to reflect on where it’s taken me.

I never intended to be on air. It was Slabs’ thing. He was involved with the station from very early on in its life, helping to set it up in 2009. His Sunday evening show is one of the few original shows from 2009 still on air, and he was President for almost four years.

The story of how I came to be involved goes like this:

Slabs and Kramstable filled in for one of the other presenters when he was away for a few weeks, back in 2012. Kramstable loved this, and set himself up as a radio presenter at home. Slabs asked him if he wanted to do his own show, which he absolutely did, and so a couple of weeks before his sixth birthday he launched his show, which was then called Sunday Recess.

I wasn’t going to be outdone by a six-year-old, and I had this germ of an idea for a show of my own, which I developed during my daily walks. (This is where I get most of my ideas.) It was going to be a 1980s music show with a twist. Each week I’d feature an artist who had been successful in the 80s, but rather than look at their 80s material, I’d look at where they’d come from and what they’d become post their 80s career. So I’d take material from their previous bands, later spin-off bands, solo work, work they’d produced, cover versions of their material – whatever they’d done.

The original idea was that I’d play six to eight songs for each week’s feature artist and talk a bit about their history, then for the rest of the show I’d play a mixed bag of 80s tracks from all over the place.

And so it came to pass, and after three or four weeks in the TYGA FM Sandbox, which was our on-air training slot, I did my first show of Octogenarius on 25 September 2012. The first artist I looked at was Paul Kelly, because I could think of no one better than my favourite artist to launch the show. I loved it.

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Notes from my first show

My on-air persona was called Dolly Ringwald, obviously in honour of 80s poster child Molly Ringwald. Dolly may or may not be connected to Dolly Parton, but I don’t think I’ve played a single song of hers on the show.

Over time the format changed, and I started to fill the whole hour with material from the feature artist. This was great, because I could explore their career more fully, but it also started to take a lot of time to prepare. From a few jotted notes, I went to a typed script and a fully programmed playlist that was taking me four or five hours to prepare each week. This isn’t an amount of time that’s easy to find during a typical week, and it started to feel like a burden rather than something I was doing because I enjoyed it.

So rather than stop, I went from a structured show to a show where I played whatever took my fancy at the time. All from the 80s of course. I’d occasionally do a themed show: Hair metal, Pub rock, and a feature called “Dolly’s Diary” where I played tracks from artists who were born on that day. And a Eurovision show to coincide with the Eurovision Song Contest each year. That was always fun.

A highlight was participating in the Women in Community Radio Program in 2014,  which involved managing a small project at the station and presenting a report to the national Community Broadcasting Association Conference. This was a fantastic opportunity, and I met some fabulous women in the sector who are out there doing great things! And the project I did has links to what I’ll be doing a bit later in my #steppingonthecracks project, so I feel like I’m not completely abandoning this part of my life.

But although it’s great to be on the radio, in the past 12 months or so I’ve been feeling that it’s not working for me.

I’m not putting the effort into the show that I think it deserves. I don’t feel passionate about turning up each week and throwing some songs on. I want it to be more than that, but right now there are other things that are more important to me than researching a new show each week. I’ve increasingly been feeling like if I can’t give the show the attention that I want to, then maybe it’s time to step away.

I’d been reluctant to say anything about this because it’s been something that we’ve all been involved in for so long that I felt like I’d be letting the team down if I quit. I know this isn’t the case, and my decisions are my own, but it’s how I’ve felt. Realistically I probably should have done this 12 months ago, but I have enjoyed having a double life and revisiting musical memories from my teenage years. But recently a couple of planets have aligned, and I’ve finally, belatedly, felt able to the plunge. Or jump out of the frypan. Or something.

So tonight is my final show. I have mixed emotions about this because I’m still enjoying doing the show – it’s just that the spark isn’t there.

There are some songs that lend themselves to my final playlist. The Final Countdown by Europe comes to mind, as this was the very last song that was played on Countdown. But if my timing’s right, my last song will be the very first one I played on my first show back in September 2012.

Thank you to everyone who has been on this journey with me and given me the opportunity to have this experience. It’s been fun.

If you feel that way inclined, you can listen to my final show on 98.9 Tyga FM in Tasmania at 8.00 pm tonight or livestream it.

And I think I’ll keep Dolly alive for now, at least in social media so @octogenarius lives, as does TYGA FM-Octogenarius.

And for the history of Octogenarius and play lists look no further than my AMRAP page. And that’s it.

I’ll miss all this, but I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had and for the chance to take what I’ve learned forward into my next adventure.

12 of 12 March 2016 – Part 2

Part 1 of this post, in which I try to get into the habit of an earlier bedtime, is here.

The story continues . . .

I decided that, even though I wasn’t feeling so good, I’d get up and go for a walk this morning. Slabs suggested I sleep in and walk later in the day. While the idea sounded good, I didn’t think this was going to work because it’s cooler earlier in the day and walking in the heat* is likely to have tired me out more. And that’s assuming I’d be able to muster up the energy to get out of the house later. I find it much easier to get my walks out of the way first thing, before I get caught up in everything else I’m doing during the day.

2 of 12: I did sleep in. A bit. For me. By the time I got up and out of the house it was light, so I decided to wander along the walking track, which I can’t often do because it’s too dark most days when I get up.

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3 of 12: I took it easy. No 16 km walks this morning. 30 minutes was about 3000 steps, and I was grateful for the park benches dotted along the walking track, as I needed a rest by this point. This meant that I’d need to do seven lots of 30 minutes to reach my target. This sounded like a lot at 7am, but I was confident it was doable if I rested up in between.

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4 of 12: These signs are quite new. I can’t figure out if the council retro-fitted the dog poo stickers or if someone who was sick of stepping in poo go the shits and stuck the stickers onto the signs themselves.

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5 of 12: The river looking very peaceful this morning.

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I cut my normal route a bit short because I was getting tired and my walk was taking longer than normal. See! I’m not pushing myself.

6 of 12: I used some of my walking time to catch up on my French lessons on Duolingo, which I’d recently started again after a long absence. I followed the principle of making a new habit as easy as possible to do, so I reduced my daily goal to one lesson, which is possible to slot in almost anywhere in my day. I’ve generally tried to do it first thing after dropping Kramstable at school on my way to work. So if you see me walking along hunched over my phone in the morning I’m not on Twitter (probably). I’ll be learning French.

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After breakfast it was time to take Kramstable to swimming. An ideal opportunity to fit in two of those 30 minute walks I need to do. While it’s not the most pleasant and relaxing walk, as it’s mainly along main roads, it’s a good way to get us both moving.

The thing that struck me, as it did last week when we had to walk because Slabs needed the car, was how many cars went past and how few people were walking anywhere – I could count them on one hand each time. Most of the people that were walking were walking dogs rather than looking like they were walking to somewhere for a purpose.

As I watched the never-ending stream of cars go past, I wondered how many people were driving because it was quicker and easier than walking. After all, most people are busy, and taking an hour out of your day to walk to somewhere you could drive to and back in ten minutes is a big chunk of your day. Unless I’ve had no car, I’ve always jumped in the car and driven to swimming. It’s so much easier, I can leave a lot later and I have more time at home to do stuff like checking Twitter. I mean vacuuming the floors.

(What followed here was a ramble about the time needed to walk, slowing down, using the time as one-on-one time with Kramstable, environmental concerns about using the car for short trips. Followed by the eventual realisation that if I get up at the same time, walk for an hour less in the morning and walk to swimming instead I’ll still have the hour I would have saved by driving, plus all the other benefits. I’ll save all that for paspresentfuture: the director’s cut.)

8 of 12: Kramstable had a good swimming lesson.

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9 of 12: While we were up the street today we noticed someone had tried to set fire to the community notice board. Nice one.

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Also up the street, we learned some new roundabout etiquette where you indicate you’re going left before you even get onto the roundabout, and then go straight, confusing the hell out of people who are trying to cross the road. A change from the usual “indicate right when you’re going straight” crowd.

10 of 12: Washing day for the leggings!

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11 of 12: Today’s leggings. Today’s step count: 21,406. Two days to go. I might just make it.

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12 of 12: I made lasagna tonight. This is one of my favourite epic dishes that takes all afternoon to prepare. So you know that I’m not overdoing things, I had a rest first. And I went to bed early.

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* By heat I mean anything above about 18 degrees when the sun is shining. The sun here is burny and melty, and saps my energy every time I go outside, regardless of the actual temperature. I’m told the sun is more intense in Tasmania than in other places, and I find it to be really uncomfortable to be outside in. I hate walking in the sun.

Walk in her shoes – Day 1

Day 1 of Walk In Her Shoes. It’s finally here!

I got up at an hour that most people would be fast asleep (this is becoming my new normal anyway so I can get things done in the morning that I’d never do if I slept later, but that’s for another time).

I started doing a form of meditation about three months ago, which is where you focus on your breath. I do that first thing after I get up. I’m really good at it. True. I can get to three breaths before I’m distracted with thoughts that I get carried away with for several minutes until I realise I’ve lost focus and go back to the breathing. For three more breaths, until the thoughts creep back in again.

I’m so good at sitting still sometimes my Fitbit doesn’t register that I’m awake and records my meditation time as sleep.

I know right!

I digress. I’m talking about walking.

I went for a 30 minute walk this morning in the cold and dark. Woohoo. It was really cold this morning. Like thick leggings, two jumpers and woolly socks cold. It had warmed up by lunch time, which was when I decided to go for a walk. I had to change into something more suitable and realised that, as it was my work at home day, I could have reshuffled my hours and walked earlier in the morning. But no, I had to pick the hottest part of the day.

I walked to the Esplanade and walked the walking track past Tynwald Park and back to The Avenue, which is the opposite way I usually do that track. I remembered the reason why as I climbed the eleven million steps to the top of the hill.

20160308 WIHS Combo 1

I made a couple of Periscope videos as well. I thought I might do that for a few of my walks this week. Not sure if I can post any of them on here. I will if I can work out how to do it. Otherwise I’ll post them on my very active and well-known Facebook page.

20160308 WIHS Combo 2

The other end of the walking track – open space to be sold off for development; the nearby community food garden; and Willow Court Barracks

I was still about 5,000 steps short when I got home, which I eventually knocked off this evening when, thankfully, it was cooler.

So Day 1 is down and I’ve met my step goal on what was always going to be one of the most challenging days, so I’m happy with that.

Like I did last year, I’m going to wear different leggings each day for a bit of fun. Here’s what I wore today.

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I have a couple of new pairs to try out over the week. I’m spoiled for choice.

Looking forward to tomorrow.

12 of 12 November 2015

Thursday. Work day. Early start day, though it seems like there have been more early start days than not lately.

1 of 12 – Showers were forecast. They arrived.

1 of 12 - Umbrella

1 of 12 – Umbrella

2 of 12 – Yesterday’s haul of letters seeking further donations from charities I have donated to. Now attempting to get off their mailing lists.

2 of 12 - Mailing Lists

2 of 12 – Mailing Lists

3 of 12 – 3.10 pm. Still raining.

3 of 12 - Still raining

3 of 12 – Still raining

4 of 12 – Knopwoods Retreat. It’s closing down next month. It’s not closing down. It isn’t closing down but it won’t be Knopwoods.

4 of 12 - Knopwoods

4 of 12 – Knopwoods

5 of 12 – Appointment with my wonderful massage therapist, who, my neck and shoulders have been urgently informing me, I haven’t been seeing nearly enough.

5 of 12 - Massage

5 of 12 – Massage

6 of 12 – This was a car park. It was going to be an apartment building and car park. That’s all come to a screaming halt and it’s going to be a car park again.

6 of 12 - Carpark

6 of 12 – Carpark

7 of 12 – Post-massage drink at Preachers.

7 of 12 - Preachers

7 of 12 – Preachers

8 of 12 – 173 Macquarie Street. This was my dentist’s former office. I thought it was going to be done up and extended as part of a new hotel that was going to be built. It’s actually been demolished.

8 of 12 - 173 Macquarie

8 of 12 – 173 Macquarie

9 of 12 – Tour of the town time. The main street has its Xmas flags up. I used to get annoyed by Xmas stuff being around in shops and everywhere in October and November. I no longer care. It’s not important. Whatever floats your boat.

9 of 12 - Xmas

9 of 12 – Xmas

10 of 12 – McDonalds. This used to be a historic hedge that had to be retained as part of the conditions of approval of the development. It is now neither historic nor a hedge.

10 of 12 - Historic hedge is no more

10 of 12 – Historic hedge is no more

20151112-10B HIstoric Hedge is no more11 of 12 – The old timber yard. Still concretey.

11 of 12 - Timber Yard

11 of 12 – Timber Yard

20151112-11B Timber Yard12 of 12 – Dinner out. Just because.

12 of 12 - Dinner

12 of 12 – Dinner

12 of 12 September 2015

A boring Saturday at home. The first day of my “let’s try getting up earlier and doing some things I have to do in the morning instead of lazing around and then having to rush out the door at swimming time because I couldn’t be bothered having breakfast and getting dressed until 10 minutes before we had to leave, and having all the things not done at the end of the day.”

20150912-02 Early morningThat seemed to go well.

1 of 12 – It’s been a cold winter. Really cold. Just lately there have been signs it’s coming to an end, but we all know that this is just a teaser before we’re plunged back into freezing temperatures. But for the next couple of days, it’s going to be really nice. Forecast top today: 20 degrees, actual top: 22 degrees. Quite a contrast with where we’ll be in two weeks.

1 of 12

1 of 12

2 of 12 – Juniordwarf volunteered to make us coffee this morning. He used to do it all the time a couple of years ago but fell out of the habit. Unfortunately the coffee machine goes through temperamental phases, which makes coffee very hit and miss. Today was one of those days.

2 of 12

2 of 12

3 of 12 – One of the things Juniordwarf does is help make breakfast when we have eggs. Now that the chooks are laying again, we’ve got a good supply. Fresh eggs, sautéed kale and my favourite bread from Pigeon Whole. Nice way to start the day. And yes, I do have my breakfast on Juniordwarf’s “Bunnykins” plate.

3 of 12

3 of 12

4 of 12 – I had to prune back this boronia (I think) bush because it was in the way of me being able to see where the chooks are. By “prune” I means chopping off anything in my line of vision. Note to self: clean kitchen window.

4 of 12

4 of 12

5 of 12 –Swimming lesson day.

5 of 12

5 of 12

Remember a couple of months ago when I didn’t have anything to take photos of so I went for a walk around town. (It was actually May) Here are some updates.

6 of 12 – Not so much an update as something totally new. This building has been a couple of restaurants since we’ve been here, but has been empty for several years. Looks like it will be back in use again soon.

6 of 12

6 of 12

7 of 12 – Lees Corner. The old site of Banjo’s, the lolly shop and Sintonic, which burnt down in 2012, and has sat unused since. They are now making it into a small park until the owners decide what to do with it. The work started in May. Apparently it was supposed to be finished by the end of May.

7 of 12

7 of 12

8 of 12 – Happy springtime!

8 of 12

8 of 12

9 of 12 – Old cottage, meet new hardware store. Bad luck if you want any light. In May this was the site of lots of puddles and diggers. It used to be the site of old fruit packing sheds.

9 of 12

9 of 12

10 of 12 – Anyone want to buy an old supermarket?

10 of 12

10 of 12

11 of 12 – This is the latest addition to the Willow Court site – new gates in front of the old Barracks. (I know. It’s been there several months. There are conflicting opinions on the suitability of this style for a historic site.)

11 of 12

11 of 12

12 of 12 – We are very lucky to be able to have Two Metre Tall Beer-fed Beef delivered to our front door.

12 of 12

12 of 12

12 of 12 May 2015

Better late than never . . .

Today was forecast to be a day of wild weather, with severe weather warnings left right and centre.

I was home today, which meant I had to make sure the fire stayed alight, that the buckets were under the right place in the laundry to catch the drips and that the chickens didn’t get eaten by feral cats. Actually I don’t think the feral cats were out today. They’re all in cavity between the dining room floor and my study ceiling. At least that’s what it sounds like. That or an actual person is in there. Maybe an escapee cannibal convict. Just my luck.

1 of 12 – I imagine that 59 k/h gust of wind is what woke me up at stupid o’clock, after a night it took me hours to actually get to sleep.

Wind gust. Thanks.

Wind gust. Thanks.

2 of 12 – All the warnings.

20150512-02 Current weather3 of 12 – The main street reflected in Flywheel’s window. I wish they were open on Tuesdays!

20150512-03 Flywheel4 of 12 – This is the former Woolworths supermarket. Something is going on in here. I’ve heard rumours, but I don’t know.

20150512-04 Old Woolies5 of 12 – It was replaced by this.

20150512-05 New Woolies6 of 12 – The old timber yard and dry cleaner and café have been demolished to make way for a hardware store, garden centre and 52 car car park.

20150512-06B Timber Yard7 of 12 – The other side. A big puddle and some diggers.

20150512-07A Timber Yard8 of 12 – You know how you go into second-hand and antique shops and you see stuff you used to have in your house when you were a kid? I present this example.

20150512-08 Antique Shop9 of 12 – This was The Spud Hut for a couple of months, with local veggies. It’s been closed since Anzac Day when their front window was smashed, and they’ve decided not to re-open their retail outlet.

20150512-09 Closed10 of 12 – The old site of Banjo’s, the lolly shop and Sintonic, which burnt down in 2012 and has sat unused since. They are now making it into a small park until the owners decide what to do with it. The work started last week and it’s meant to be open by the end of the month.

20150512-10 Lees Corner11 of 12 – I’m trialling a new notebook setup before I commit to buying another Midori-style book.

20150512-11 Notebook12 of 12 – I bought this very funky purple screw-on desk lamp a couple of weeks ago so that I can see what I’m doing when I’m cultbooking.

20150512-12 Desk Light

12 of 12 April 2015

Today was the Derwent Valley Autumn Festival, which is one of the biggest events held in the Valley each year.

The weather forecast wasn’t sensational, but there wasn’t any rain or wind forecast, so we had everything crossed that it would be a nice day. It was a chilly 7 degrees in the morning when we woke up, and by the time Juniordwarf and I arrived at the festival just before 10.00 it was 11 degrees. I wished I’d worn some more layers, as the day’s top was only 15. At least it didn’t rain!

1 of 12 - Pre-show selfies

1 of 12 – Pre-show selfies

Juniordwarf and I were scheduled to do a half-hour slot on our community radio station’s outside broadcast from the festival at 10.00 but, due to circumstances beyond our control, we ended up doing the whole hour until 11.00 – which is Juniordwarf’s normal timeslot on the radio, but today he’d been looking forward to getting off early and looking round the festival, so he was a bit irritable during the second half hour.

2 of 12 - On air (thanks to one of our lovely volunteers for taking the photo)

2 of 12 – On air (thanks to one of our lovely volunteers for taking the photo)

He’d been eyeing off this climbing maze from where we’d been sitting, so that was the first place he went to.

3 of 12 - Kid heaven

3 of 12 – Kid heaven

20150412-13 Climbing maze

$5 to play for as long as you like, though I’m not sure it means you get to abandon your child there while you go and explore the rest of the festival. Thankfully I had another responsible adult (Juniordwarf’s grandmother) with me, so I could run off and do a couple of things I needed to get done while he was having fun.

4 of 12 - This looked like fun

4 of 12 – This looked like fun

There was heaps of stuff to do and see and eat and drink.

We bought chocolate wheel tickets.

5 of 12 - Lions Chocolate Wheel

5 of 12 – Lions Chocolate Wheel

We won nothing.

We checked out the local railway society’s display.

6 of 12 - Derwent Valley Railway

6 of 12 – Derwent Valley Railway

Juniordwarf lined up very patiently for a long time to go on this attraction. I know it’s heaps of fun for the kids, but it always seems weird to hand your child over to a complete stranger who then seals them inside an oversized beach ball!

7 of 12 - Juniordwarf getting blown up inside a beach ball

7 of 12 – Juniordwarf getting blown up inside a beach ball

7 of 12 - Who knew rolling around in over-sized beach balls could be so much fun!

8 of 12 – Who knew rolling around in over-sized beach balls could be so much fun!

9 of 12 - Lots of people

9 of 12 – Lots of people

One of the new features of the festival this year was the Taste of the Valley, where local producers talked about their produce. We were treated to a lesson in making beef stock and sauce by the fabulous Ashley from Two Metre Tall.

9 of 12 - Our favourite mad scientist brewer makes beef stock

10 of 12 – Our favourite mad scientist brewer makes beef stock

I thought the raspberries had finished for the season and was pleasantly surprised to find lots of them at Westerway Raspberry Farm’s stall (probably should have taken the picture before I started eating them).

10 of 12 - Raspberries

11 of 12 – Raspberries

We bought soap from the lovely Veronica from Veronica Foale Essentials and her able assistant Kim, who was SUPER HELPFUL!

11 of 12 Soap by Veronica

12 of 12 Soap by Veronica

Unfortunately I missed out on seeing the snakes this year. They are usually a highlight for me, but we didn’t get there before they packed up.

Just before we started getting ready to leave, Juniordwarf wanted to take the camera for a while. So as a special bonus, here’s 12 of 12 from the festival from Juniordwarf’s perspective (slightly cropped but otherwise as he saw it).

It was interesting to see the things that caught his eye. I think I should let him do this more often!

1 of 12 – That looks pretty good.

20150412-02 Autumn Festival

2 of 12 – Cute car

20150412-04 Autumn Festival - Wine Car

3 of 12-  Jane from Two Metre Tall in action

20150412-05 Autumn Festival - Jane

4 of 12 – Pat from Tynwald Estate with some of their Wessex Saddleback ham.

20150412-08 Autumn Festival - Tynwald

5 of 12 – Jam from Westerway Raspberry Farm

20150412-10 Autumn Festival - Berries

6 of 12 – A random festival goer enjoying a Forester Ale from Two Metre Tall

20150412-11 Autumn Festival - Me

7 of 12 – Veronica and her able assistant Kim and a lot of yummy soap

20150412-16 Autumn Festival - Kim and Veronica

8 of 12 – Big Red Box

20150412-17 Autumn Festival - Big Red Box

9 of 12 – A very large dog (he cut its nose off)

20150412-19 Autumn Festival - Dog

10 of 12 – Some coats.

20150412-20 Autumn Festival - Coats

11 of 12 – Wandering players

IMG_1104

12 of 12 – One of the four entertainment stages

20150412-27 Autumn Festival - Band

 

 

Walk In Her Shoes – Day 7

Well, this is it – the end of a journey that started back in January when I signed up to do CARE Australia’s Walk In Her Shoes Challenge for the second year.

Since then I’ve been gradually increasing my daily step goal from 13,000 in January to 25,000 for the week of the challenge. I originally set a daily goal of 20,000 steps, but I really wanted to beat my 2014 step total over the week of 183,214 steps. So to do that I’d have to do just over 26,000 steps a day.

My other goals were to beat my longest walk from last year of 12.21 km. Then I said bugger it, I want to walk 15 km. And we know what happened there. My other goal was to walk 6 km in less than an hour.

Today was Day 7 of the challenge, and I’m happy to say I walked at least 25,000 steps every day. I’ll know my final total tomorrow, but I feel confident I’ve eclipsed that 183,214 target. And I achieved my other two goals as well. *Happy dance*

So instead of going on about steps and stats (I’ll do that tomorrow), today I thought I’d post some photos from my walk this morning. After about an hour I got sick of Runkeeper and turned it off. I just wandered around, taking photos. I even ran for a bit because I think I miss running.

I walked up the same street three times trying to get a decent shot of the sunrise.

20150322 WIHS Day 7 05 Sunrise

Autumn is in the air, but it was hard to find a scene that would prove it.

20150322 WIHS Day 7 09 Autumn

We have mist.

20150322 WIHS Day 7 11 Mist

The river looks beautiful with the mist.

20150322 WIHS Day 7 13 Derwent

Then we get to the top of the hill.

20150322 WIHS Day 7 14 Mist

And we get a great view from here.

20150322 WIHS Day 7 15 Derwent

Both ways, up and down the river.

20150322 WIHS Day 7 17 Derwent

I love this one from the Esplanade. The three dots in the middle of the picture are ducks I didn’t even realise were there until they flew past me.

20150322 WIHS Day 7 18 Derwent

I tried to get a decent photo of this spider’s web, but it didn’t quite work out. The phone camera does have its limits.

20150322 WIHS Day 7 22 Derwent

Finally, I’m sure you want to know which leggings I was wearing today to round out my week of leggings.

20150322 WIHS Day 7 23 Leggings

It’s been a great journey, and I felt really happy this evening when Juniordwarf said he’d donate $20 of his savings to my fundraising. I didn’t want to pressure him, but just explained what I’d been doing and why. He said he wanted to help the people that CARE helps, and said he’d contribute. It was a lovely moment.

Tomorrow I’ll be getting up early to go for a walk because I don’t want to break the habits I’ve been building up over the last two months, but I can guarantee I won’t be doing anything near 25,000 steps.

My fundraising page is here if you’d like to contribute, and I’ll be doing a final post next week on my total step count and my thoughts about taking part in the challenge this year. There might also be a report on what Zoe’s been doing, since she seems to have abandoned me!