Category Archives: holidays

Tahune airwalk

Seven years ago, we went to the Tahune airwalk, which is in southern Tasmania, just out of Geeveston. It’s part of a site known as Tahune Aventures and I wrote a post about the 2015 trip here.

Tahune Airwalk, January 2015

Sadly, the area was badly affected by the Riveaux Road bushfires in January 2019 and the site was shut for a number of months for reconstruction. It’s now back open so we decided to visit on Sunday.

I didn’t know what to expect, having last seen it as a very lush and green forest area. There was so much fire damage to the area from the 2019 fire, it looked totally different from when we went there in 2015.

As well as the regular signs that describe the landscape and the species of vegetation that you can see, the site has signs scattered round that outline the damage that the fires did and what’s happened since then. One sign points out the extent of the flames, which reached a height of 55 metres, as seen by the charring on one of the trees.

Tahune Airwalk, April 2021

The fire was started by dry lightning in January 2019 and the site was evacuated on 21 January. It affected almost 64,000 hectares of land in the area and, while firefighters saved the visitor centre, the fires destroyed the entrance and exit of the airwalk. The airwalk itself survived but experienced significant damage from the heat.

One of the signs explains that the path to the airwalk has been completely rebuilt in a new location. About 4.5 km of walking track had to rebuilt in the area, which took over a year, and over 8000 plants were planted during that time to supplement the regrowth. Small trees have started to regrow and the ferns and eucalyptus are resprouting. A lot of the trees didn’t make it though, and there are plenty of tree corpses lying around, fallen giants in a devastated landscape.

Repairing the airwalk took a specialist crew of 28 workers, who needed to replace over 9000 bolts, replace 992 metres of guywires and repaint the entire structure. This sounds like it must have been a tricky operation, with a special scaffold needed so that the painters could access the towers, the sides and underneath the airwalk. Not a job I would be keen on signing up for.

Nah, I’m not scared

The airwalk is (to fully quote the website) an elevated 619-metre long walkway 30 metres above the forest floor, with the final cantilever section sitting at a height of 50 metres above the Huon River, with spectacular views to the confluence of the Huon and Picton and beyond to the peaks of the World Heritage Area.

Cantilever, looking out to the Huon & Picton River confluence
Other side of the cantilever

That hasn’t changed. It’s absolutely amazing to be walking through the tree tops and to be able to see these views, even if the occasional wobbling of the platform did make me a little shaky. Heights aren’t my friend, even when it’s perfectly safe. (This is one reason I didn’t sign up to repaint the airwalk. The other reason is, well, I’m not a painter.)

Kramstable braving the cantilever

It’s also encouraging to see how the area is starting to regenerate.

The amount of work that has gone into restoring the area is phenomenal, both by the people and by Nature itself.

Here are some of my photos from the day.

20 for 2020: week 44

Week of 26 October 2020

My 20 for 2020 list.

What did I want to do better this week?
Be calm and enjoy my break. Not go back to work on Thursday and get agitated as soon as I walk in the door.

So, how did that go then?
I didn’t get agitated until Friday. Friday’s not normally a day I’d go into the office, but the promise of road workers in my street all day made the office look like a more appealing prospect. It just happened to be the day someone from the building site next door started a concrete cutting job right outside my window.

It was not pleasant and I didn’t handle it well at all, after an unusually stressful start to the morning.

I did enjoy my break though.

On to 20 for 2020
I sat down last Sunday to review what’s left to do in my list and work out what I can get done in the rest of the year.

Things I’ve started:

  • 7. Complete the Photoshop class I signed up for in 2019
  • 8. Successfully complete my uni course
  • 11. Set up a mini studio at home
  • 13. Read the book Indistractable and do the activities it recommends (at work and home)
  • 17. Learn to use my graphics tablet
  • 22. Commit to (and actually do) a monthly review

Things I haven’t started:

  • 9. Use no camera other than my SLR with a single prime lens for 30 days and post a photo a day for the month
  • 12. Finish the Bored and Brilliant challenge and write a blog post about it
  • 19. Take a class in fermentation
  • 21. Use the sprout jar

Obviously I can tick off the uni course (8) as soon as I get my final result, and there’s nothing more I can actually do towards that. I’m assuming (hoping?) I’ve been successful. I’d be shattered if I fell over on the last assignment and hadn’t finished the course.

The monthly review (22) is something I can’t finish until the last Sunday of the year but I’ve done those reviews every month so far.

Bored and Brilliant (12) and the sprout jar (21) are easy and I can do them in less than an afternoon. I just need to make time to do them.

I’ve made some enquiries about a fermentation class (19) but the one I wanted to do earlier in the year (and had booked into) was cancelled because of Covid. So I’m not sure if there will be something I can actually do before the end of the year. That one’s beyond my control.

The Photoshop class (7) is something that I’ve twisted and turned throughout the year and I now have five online courses to do, plus two photography courses all waiting for me to finish my uni course. I also have a book of basic Photoshop tutorials to work through. I think I’m going to work through that first briefly to make sure I have a handle on the tools and techniques that are used in the classes, so I don’t have to keep going back and trying to find out how to do things. I’m going to use my tablet (17) as part of this work so that should cover off this thing too.

I’ve changed the prime lens month (9) slightly. I’m going to spend 50 days (not a month like I had planned) with my 50 mm prime lens on my camera and make a photo every day. You can read more about that on my photoblog. I’ve decided not to use the DSLR exclusively for the 50 days so that I can continue to do my Hobart street corners project and a couple of other things that I’m documenting on my phone. But other than that, the 50 mm lens is it.

Day 1 of my 50 in 50 project

I flipped through Indistractable (13) during the week and started to make a list of the techniques I want to try, most of which I think I’m already doing but I want to go through it again and make sure I’ve got everything out of it before I call this thing done.

I think that’s everything except the studio (11). I technically have already set up the studio. The backdrops are there and Kramstable is using them. He’s also pinched one of my lights. Ha. I just need to work out how to use it for the photos I want to take. What lenses to use and where to put the camera and where to put the lights. And whether I need the flash off camera. Etc.

What did I achieve this week?
My regular check in: I was a little behind on my weekly photojournal photos because (a) I was on holiday so didn’t have access to my photos for half the week and (b) , because I was on holiday, I had way more photos to work through than I would have in a normal week. I enjoy the challenge of making the weekly collages because it forces me to focus on a small number of photos, usually around ten to 16, that document the entire week, rather than (in this case) try and process several hundred photos at once. But I caught it all up by the end of Sunday so it’s back on track.

My Hobart street corners project is up to date.

Apart from those two regular things, I achieved going on holiday and taking lots of photos, and starting my 50 mm challenge.

What didn’t go so well?
I don’t think anything didn’t not go well, apart from the entire day on Friday, when everything was too loud and too bright and I felt completely overstimulated and didn’t behave very well as a result.

What do I want to do better next week?
I guess learning to identify early warning signs of becoming distressed in circumstances like Friday’s and removing myself from situations instead of trying to push through because I “have to” stay somewhere.

Summary for the week

  • Things completed this week: 0
  • Things completed to date: 12 (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 14, 15, 16, 18, 20)
  • Things I progressed: 3 (9, 13, 22)
  • Things in progress I didn’t progress: 4 (7, 8, 11, 17)
  • Things not started: 3 (12, 19, 21)
  • Days I worked on my art (Goal = 2): 7
  • Days I read a book (Goal = 7): 7
  • Days I did yoga stretches (Goal = 7): 0
  • Days I shut my computer down before 10.15 (Goal = 7): 7
  • Days I went for a walk in the afternoon (Goal = 7): 6
  • Days I had a lunch break away from my desk (Goal = 5 work days): 5

20 for 2020: week 43

Week of 19 October 2020

My 20 for 2020 list.

What did I want to do better this week?
Keep tweaking my organising system.

So, how did that go then?
Ask me next week.

On to 20 for 2020
If you read last week’s post, you’ll know I submitted my uni assignment (thing 8) at 11.54 last Sunday night, which was actually 10.54 Queensland time.

My uni is in Queensland . . .

I hadn’t proof read the assignment because I hadn’t left myself enough time, so with the extra hour, I read it through one last time. Maybe two. Maybe . . . I fixed up a couple of formatting glitches, picked up an apostrophe fail and resubmitted it with 15 minutes to spare. So technically, I worked on thing 8 this week.

20201019 The End editThe description of thing 8 is “Successfully complete my uni course and graduate”.

I won’t know if I’ve been successful for a couple of weeks, so I haven’t actually “successfully” completed it. I feel like I can’t cross it off until I know for sure. I mean, I’m confident that I did enough to pass but it’s not my assessment that matters. So, it’s still there, technically undone.

The uni has already told us that the graduation won’t be until next year, which means I can’t actually complete the thing this year. That’s out of my hands but I probably shouldn’t have written it like that.

However, it’s my my list, my rules. I’ve already changed one thing, so I can change this one too. Successfully completing the course equals thing done. The end. Stay tuned.

I didn’t work on any other things this week.

What did I achieve this week?
My regular check in: I stayed up to date with my weekly photojournal and my street corners project.

This is a strange week. We get a regional public holiday for Hobart Show Day on the fourth Thursday of October. The Friday is a student-free day at schools, so a lot of people take that day off too and have a long weekend. This time last year, I spent Show Day (and the following day) at my workplace, working on the second assignment of my uni course, which was due that weekend. It’s funny because one of my colleagues has just started the same course and he was talking about doing this assignment and it brought back memories of that for me. It seems Iike so long ago.

The reason I particularly remember it is that Show Day 2019 was the day I forgot to do a Duolingo lesson because I was so focused on the assignment. Duolingo is an app I’ve been using for maybe five years to reacquaint myself with the languages I learned a long time ago at uni and have fallen sadly out of practice in using.

Up until that day, I’d had a streak of 817 days and I was a little annoyed with myself for breaking it. It’s not a big thing to do. It takes about five minutes to do a lesson and I only need to do one every day to maintain the streak. I know the streak really isn’t that important and it’s the learning that matters, but still, 817 days . . . So this week, I clocked up 365 days, and the milestone reminded me it had been exactly a year.

20201023 365 day streakAnd now, the course is over, and I am free!

It’s taking a little adjustment to get used to this. At the start of the week, I didn’t feel like anything had changed. My head was full of the assignment and, my critical voice was busy trying to tell me all of the things I could have done better and telling me I’d have done a better job if I’d spent more time on it. It said I hadn’t done enough analysis and I hadn’t used enough tools and there was probably a spelling mistake or two in there too. As it’s impossible to change any of that now, I’ve been thanking my critical voice for its suggestions and telling it that it’s really not helpful advice any more and that it can stand down now. (That’s the polite version.)

As the week went on, the thoughts about the assignment started to fade, and the critical voice started to get a bit quieter. Those thoughts started to be replaced by the realisation that I don’t have to do anything. What I do next is entirely up to me. Yes, I have a few neglected tasks I’ve been putting off until I finished the course, but in terms of more big picture stuff, I am totally in control.

And what’s more, I don’t have to make any decisions now. I can just enjoy this time of being free, uncommitted and open to exploring the possibilities. It feels good.

What didn’t go so well?
I’m on holidays this week and half of next week. I don’t need to be organised.

20201023 Port Arthur 158 Morning reading editWhat do I want to do better next week?
Be calm and enjoy my break. Not go back to work on Thursday and get agitated as soon as I walk in the door.

Summary for the week

  • Things completed this week: 0
  • Things completed to date: 12 (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 14, 15, 16, 18, 20)
  • Things I progressed: 1 (8)
  • Things in progress I didn’t progress: 5 (7, 11, 13, 17, 22)
  • Things not started: 4 (9, 12, 19, 21)
  • Days I worked on my art (Goal = 2): 5
  • Days I read a book (Goal = 7): 7
  • Days I did yoga stretches (Goal = 7): 0
  • Days I shut my computer down before 10.15 (Goal = 7): 7
  • Days I went for a walk in the afternoon (Goal = 3 work days): 2 (plus 3)
  • Days I had a lunch break away from my desk (Goal = 3 work days): 1

20 for 2020: week 41

Week 41: Week of 5 October 2020

My 20 for 2020 list.

20201006 Lost trolley in Victoria Street 2One from the #losttrolleysofhobart series on Instagram

What did I want to do better this week?
Start to try out the new ideas for planning my days that I’ve been learning about.

So, how did that go then?
I think the operative words are “start to try out” not ‘implement perfectly”. This week was a bit unsettled anyway because I had two days off work to hang out with Kramstable and do school holiday stuff.

20201006 Manicure Barb
Manicare time for me
20201006 Manicure Mark
and Kramstable

I think there is a rule in the universe that says any time I plan to sit down for a day to finish a project off at work before I have some time off, the shared mailbox that I manage (and that is the thing that I allow to contribute most to my inability to ever focus on work for extended periods) is going to explode with things that need urgent attention. It happened last time and it happened again this week. Somehow, I managed to get everything done on Thursday afternoon, though this did involve working two hours longer than I normally would and skipping my afternoon walk. It was pouring rain so it’s quite possible I wouldn’t have gone out anyway, but still, I don’t like to do that too often.I’m still working on making these ideas work for me and I’ll continue with it over coming weeks.

On to 20 for 2020
Again this week, I was focused on my uni assignment (thing 8). I didn’t work on any of my other things. I was thinking on Saturday afternoon when I was out walking how weird it was that at the same time next week, I’d only have one day of the whole course left.

20201011 Uni assignment editMuch reading matter for my assignment

It seems a bit unreal. And a lot of the time it’s not the actual work that’s weighting heavily on my mind. It’s just knowing that it’s there. Even when I’m not actively doing it or thinking about it, just knowing that I have to do it takes up a huge amount of mental energy. It will be a huge relief to free up that space in my head. At least, I hope it will be!

I spent most of Saturday sorting through the conversations I’d had with people and the questionnaires they submitted and trying to make some sort of sense of it so I could put it into my report. I am constantly amazed (and delighted) that almost every time I get up and do something else like go for a walk after I’ve been focusing for a long time, I get a new insight into what I need to do or how I can do it better.

What did I achieve this week?
My regular check in: I did my weekly work on my photojournal and my street corners project. Just for this next week, I’m going to be easy on myself if I don’t do them. Being one week behind will be okay and I’ll be able to drag that back on track. But I know that if I let myself get any further behind it will be too easy to get even further behind and I’ll end up with the mess I had before I caught up.

I did get the work project to the point (again) where I could hand it back to my manager before I had my day off, so I was happy with that. It seems to be one of those projects that keeps getting worked on, forgotten about, dragged out again when someone remembers we have to do it, worked on again . . . I really want it to be over and done with. It’s another one of those things that takes up an enormous amount of mental energy just to know that it’s there and not finished.

What didn’t go so well?
I still think I’m letting myself get distracted by things instead of focusing on my work, especially my uni project. I set up Habitica so that I lose health if I check social media during the work day. This is working well (as long I as I’m honest about it) but maybe I need to change it to be for any time I’m working on something I want to focus on.

I need to revisit Indistractable (thing 13)!

What do I want to do better next week?
All I want to do next week is finish my project report and hand it in. Nothing else matters, really.

I’ll keep working with the planning system and tweaking it to suit how I work.

20201011 Pepsi 6Pepsi the chicken

Summary for the week

  • Things completed this week: 0
  • Things completed to date: 12 (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 14, 15, 16, 18, 20)
  • Things I progressed: 1 (8)
  • Things in progress I didn’t progress: 5 (7, 11, 13, 17, 22)
  • Things not started: 4 (9, 12, 19, 21)
  • Days I worked on my art (Goal = 2): 3
  • Days I read a book (Goal = 7): 7
  • Days I did yoga stretches (Goal = 7): 0
  • Days I shut my computer down before 10.15 (Goal = 7): 6
  • Days I went for a walk in the afternoon (Goal = 5): 5
  • Days I had a lunch break away from my desk (Goal = 5): 7

20 for 2020: week 29

Week of 13 July

My 20 for 2020 list.

After a week off that I really needed, it was back to work this week. Kramstable was still on school holidays. I’m glad that he’s able to do his own thing for most of the time now, so there is no longer this crazy juggle of work hours, annual leave, vacation care and other family members every 10 weeks or so to make sure he is suitably supervised in the holidays. Sometimes it used to feel like if we weren’t in school holidays, I was planning for the next set. There are some things I don’t miss about having a younger child, and that is right up there near the top of the list!

I had a lovely day out with Kramstable, my mother and Slabs on Wednesday. This included us taking him to an activity that my mother had been doing with him in school holidays since he was about six, but she needs someone to drive there now as she doesn’t drive any more.

Kramstable also needed some help with filming some scenes in the city for a project he’s working on. As I stood in the middle of a public street watching his camera and tripod while he made the shots of himself he needed, it occurred to me that first, unlike me, he had no reservations whatsoever about setting up his gear in public and paid no attention to the people wandering past looking at him. Second, I felt a whole lot less self-conscious being with him than I do when I try and set up my camera on a tripod in the street. I think there’s a lesson or two in there somewhere.

My uni program (thing 8) sent through the learning guide for the next module (the last one!) and I printed it off so I can flick through it before the module starts. For the final module, we have to do a workplace project that applies some of the things we’ve learned throughout the course to an actual work situation, so I’ve started to give that some thought and to talk to a few people about what I might do.

20200719 Writing in the coffee shop

Sunday morning coffee shop writing


I proved yet again to myself that I am perfectly capable of focusing on work for long periods if I set things up properly and know exactly what I need to be doing. On Friday, after spending most of the week catching up on what was going on and following up all the mundane things that seem to form the bulk of my job at the moment, I turned off my email and teams chat, set my status as “do not disturb”, put on an out of office message that said I was busy, and sat down for four hours to work on the project I had wanted to finish before I went on leave. It was brilliant! I got so much done and ended up with it being at the point where I was actually comfortable to send it to other people for their input.

This is how I work best. This is how I get things done, and it feels so satisfying to have done this work. My next step is to figure out how to bring more of this type of experience into my work day and try to minimise the time I spend in “reactive mode”. This is a work in progress and I’m going to keep tweaking and refining what I do to find a system that works.

On Wednesday, I went to the garden centre to get a new pot for my sadly neglected indoor plant. While I was at the counter, I asked the guy what I needed to do to repot my orchid (thing 20). Well, I asked him after a couple of attempts at trying to speak to him while he was checking out my other items and ignoring me while he spoke to the customer at the other check out about golf. It turns out they didn’t have what I needed anyway so I have no problem with not going back there to get it. If they aren’t interested in helping me because golf is more important to them, I’m not interested in giving them my business. I went to another garden centre on Saturday, got what I needed and repotted the orchid. Thing done.

I spent some time on the weekend sorting and editing photos from the 2019 Open House Hobart weekend that was held in November. I had been posting my photos on my (other) blog, fell a bit behind and never really caught up. Now I’m up to date. Eight months late, but it’s done. (Check them out here. You know you want to!!)

20191110 OHH-384 Dorney House-Edit

Esmond Dorney House, one of the fabulous buildings open on the 2019 Open House weekend

It felt good working on my photos again and I really want to be doing this every day (and getting stuck into thing 7, the Photoshop class). Finding a consistent time every day that I can do it is what’s proving challenging at the moment. But hey, four days a week is better than three days last week, is better than no days!

Summary for the week

  • Things completed this week: 1 (20)
  • Things completed to date: 11 (1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 14, 15, 16, 18, 20)
  • Things I progressed: 1 (8)
  • Things in progress I didn’t progress: 5 (7, 11, 13, 17, 22)
  • Things not started: 5 (2, 9, 12, 19, 21)
  • Days I stuck to my 15 minutes creative habit: 4
  • Days I read a book: 6
  • Days I did yoga stretches: 4
  • Days I was in bed by 10.30: None. Most days I’ve been close to 10.30 but I’m doing that thing where I’m quietly packing up later and later and edging my bedtime closer and closer to 11.00, a bit like the dog gradually edging itself off its mat closer and closer to the fire so no one notices until it’s taking up the entire floor space and not a single part of it is on the mat.

20 for 2020: week 28

Week of 6 July

My 20 for 2020 list.

I had been looking forward to this week for a long time. After the chaos of last week at work and spending the entire weekend working on my uni assignment (thing 8) that I had handed in with the mantra “it doesn’t have to be perfect; you just need to pass” playing off against “you should have put more work into this” in my head, I was ready for a break.

If I hadn’t had a holiday booked, I wouldn’t have been at all surprised if ”should-me” had requested an extension on Friday to give me more time to finesse the assignment. Thankfully, I did have plans and what I handed in on Sunday was it. I’m glad, because it forced me to submit something that I think is good enough but is by no means up to the standard I expect.

Ha! Take that, “should-me”.

This week’s destination was Bridport, a small town on the north coast of Tasmania. I believe I went there once when I was a baby, and there is some family folklore story about me having been kidnapped by “Uncle Charlie”, who I think was my grandmother’s aunt’s husband. The actual truth is far less dramatic. From what I understand, Uncle Charlie simply decided to take the baby (me) out for a walk and didn’t bother to tell anyone, and they all went into a bit of a panic when no one could find us. I must have been returned safe and sound because I’m still here.

20200706 Clouds near Barnbougle 2

Chasing clouds in the middle of nowhere

I have no memories of the place, so it was all new to me and I was happy to not have any particular plans in mind other than wanting to visit Mt William National Park, on the north-eastern tip of the state, and take lots of photos. I certainly did that.

20200706 Old Pier Bridport 37

I got a bit obsessed with the old pier

It was great to get away. I let myself sleep in and I missed my morning walks and mindfulness sessions (goodbye, 100-day streak). I didn’t do any reading and I didn’t do my daily yoga stretches. I made sure I got right back into all of that when I got home though. I’ve put too much work into these habits to let them go after a couple of days off.

I also made up for skipping my daily 15 minutes of creating the past few weeks on Saturday, when I sat down for four or five hours and edited a bunch of photos from the trip.

20200707 Eddystone Point Lighthouse 27

Obligatory lighthouse photo (larapuna/Eddystone Point)

As for my 20 for 2020 things, I didn’t do much at all.

Uni doesn’t start again until next month so that’s on hold for a couple of weeks.

I had a look at what I wrote in my monthly review (thing 22) last week and pulled out the main things I said I wanted to work on in July.  One of those is to figure out how to take the focus that I know I have when something is important enough and time critical (aka my assignment) and apply that to things that are still important but perhaps there isn’t as much riding on.

I think I need to revisit Indistractable (thing 13).

20200711 Journalling at the ccoffee shop

Catching up on the week at the local coffee shop

I used my graphics tablet for some of my editing (thing 17). Well, I used it for five minutes until Photoshop crashed. Does that count as progress? Yes, yes it does.

I took the photos that were the reason for setting up the home studio (thing 11) but I didn’t do any more to work out how to set that up, so I won’t count that.

Overall, it was a nice relaxing week, and I really needed the break. Back to work next week while Kramstable has another week of holidays. Lucky him!

20200708 Platypus Park river walk 07—marshes

I felt a bit Famous Five traipsing about in the marshes

Summary for the week

  • Things completed this week: 0
  • Things completed to date: 10 (1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 14, 15, 16, 18)
  • Things I progressed: 2 (17, 22)
  • Things in progress I didn’t progress: 4 (7, 8, 11, 13)
  • Things not started: 6  (2, 9, 12, 19, 20, 21)
  • Days I stuck to my 15 minutes creative habit: 3
  • Days I read a book: 4
  • Days I did yoga stretches: 3
  • Days I was in bed by 10.30: 3

20 for 2020: week 6

Week of 3 February 

School went back this week. I had the first two days off with Kramstable before I went back to work and he went back to school. I always find January a bit unsettling because there’s no real routine. I work longer hours at the start of January to cover some of the days leave I need to take at the end of January before school goes back, so my normal routines never quite fit the January days. Some of them are long work days and some of them are no work days when I spend time with Kramstable.

QNTI20200205 Waiting for Mark at school edit

Back to work colours

The family issue I’ve been dealing with has added an extra layer of complication into the mix, as has having to undergo a fairly extensive process of self-analysis for my uni assignment (thing 8) in only three weeks. The time I’d like to have devoted to this wasn’t available to me and I had to make use of the time I did have to do this as well as I could.

I spent several hours undistracted in at work on Saturday trying to complete the assignment and then I spent an excessive amount of time on Sunday being incredibly nit-picky to try and get the word count down. It was a frustrating process because every time I read it through, something else occurred to me that I needed to say that was relevant to the assessment criteria. I spent hours shuffling and reshuffling sentences and paragraphs until I had a story that flowed well and said everything I could reasonably expect to cover in 1500 words. Except that it was closer to 2000 words. By this stage, after two days, I couldn’t bear to read through it again and try to cut more out. Removing anything else would have disturbed the flow and lost important parts of my story so I decided to hand it in and accept any consequences for exceeding the word limit.

This was a self assessment and personal development plan and what I wrote relates well to other development work I’m doing, some of which made it into the essay and some of which didn’t. The stuff that didn’t make it in is still important and I’ve kept it to feed into my master development plan. (That sounds more impressive than it is, but I’m working on it.)

After the family issue and the intensity of the uni work, I’ve tried to re-establish “normality” by being more committed to the “just 15 minutes” of my creative work first thing after my walk. This week I did it every day, an improvement on last week’s two days. During this time, I worked on my photo project (thing 1) and on some other photos I wanted to edit.

I had a bunch of photo collages for my journal (thing 4) ready to print as a result of last week’s sprint to get all of 2019 finished last week and then forgot to take them to get printed on tightarse printing day, so they can wait for another day. In the meantime, I have eight collages already printed, so I trimmed them all down ready to stick in the book. Progress.

Setting up the studio (thing 11) isn’t as big of a thing as it might sound. I got a dodgy backdrop and lighting kit from eBay a while ago to experiment with portrait making. It also has a green backdrop that Kramstable is interested in for his videos. There’s only one or two places in the house where I can set it up, and it has to be packed up again when I’m done with it; I can’t leave it there all the time. So this week I moved a pile of stuff away from one of the potential setup areas, got everything out of the box and that was enough for now. At least I made space.

I had my hearing test (thing 16). Lots of things came out of it, including some issues that are related to my master development plan. It’s interesting that health issues in one area show up as problems somewhere else and the solution is not always as simple as addressing the presenting issue. As the audiologist said, everything is connected. Among other things, I was assessed as having a low noise tolerance, which explains why I always feel so anxious and tense when I’m in noisy environments—and “noisy” for me is a lot quieter than most people would consider “noisy”, so it doesn’t take much to trigger this. Not an ideal situation when work in an open plan office! The next step is to talk to my GP about how I can manage this.

It was a full-on week.

Summary for the week
• Things completed this week: 1 (16)
• Things completed to date: 3 (10, 16, 18)
• Things I progressed: 4 (1, 4, 8, 11)
• Things in progress I didn’t progress: 5 (3, 6, 13, 14, 22)
• Things not started: 10 (2, 5, 7, 9, 12, 15, 17, 19, 20, 21)

19 for 2019: week 19 update

Week of 4 May

I don’t have a lot to update this week. I went to work, had a training course and went to a wedding (yay!).

I had a nice day walking around Launceston on Friday (more than 33,000 steps for the record) before I was struck down with a cold that has put me out of action since then (not yay!).

I took some nice photos though. 20190510 Launceston 00620190510 Launceston 013You can find more of the photos on my photoblog.

I watched the first half of the next assignment for the photo course (thing 1) and did a bit of work on one of the assignments in Lightroom (thing 19) but I haven’t finished it.

That’s about it!

Status for week 19

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

19 for 2019: week 5 update

19 for 19 update: week of 28 January 2019

This week’s baby step in taking better care of me (thing 6) so that I can do the things I want to do this year is to focus on breathing. I have learned that diaphragmatic breathing helps to activate your parasympathetic nervous system to bring you back into a state of calm, rest and repair after a stressful situation has occurred. I am seeking out times when I can spend a couple of minutes focusing on my breathing to try and make this breath something I do more naturally, especially when something happens that I would normally react to in the moment. Using the principle of habit stacking, which James Clear explains in Atomic Habits, I’m finding existing habits that I can stick the new habit of deep breathing onto.

One of these is drinking water, which was last week’s baby step. I’ve stuck the word “breathe” onto my water bottle so that every time I pick it up I will be reminded to sit down for a moment and take a couple of deep breaths. I wished I’d had a nice fancy sticker with the word breathe but I also realised if I waited until I’d found the perfect sticker I’d never do it, so I used what I had. It doesn’t look good but it does the job. And done is better than perfect.

20190202 Water bottle edit

Remember to breathe

I was on holidays this week so I was pretty relaxed. I watched five of the photo course videos and took some photos of my chickens in lieu of “wildlife”, which was the actual assignment for one of them (thing 1). I edited some of them in Lightroom (thing 19) and as a bonus, started learning about the healing and cloning tools in Photoshop. I did another assignment after that, so I’m now up to day 16.

I finished two books this week (thing 5).

La Belle Sauvage had been on my to-read pile since last year and once I got into it I found it very hard to put down. I finished reading Let me tell you about a man I knew in a day. I don’t remember the last time I read an entire book in a day!

I made three photocollages for my 2018 photojournal (thing 11) and I set up my 33 Bottles of Beer spreadsheet in Google Sheets (thing 12),

Kramstable and I had some adventures together. On Wednesday, after the fun (not) task of buying his new high school uniform (yes high school!) we visited the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, which is a great place to visit. It’s always interesting to see what grabs his interest each time we go there. This week it was the museum cart, which is an ever-changing display of objects in clear perspex boxes, the history of the gay rights movement in Tasmania, the thylacines and his old favourite, the ice in the Antarctic section. I was quite taken with this chair, which is called Splash, by John Smith (2011), and the display of Tasmanian geology.

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Splash chair

20190130 TMAG 3

Tasmanian Geology

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The always wonderful Bond Store staircase


20190130 TMAG 1 edit


I was also intrigued by the different pelvis shapes of the thylacine skeletons and asked TMAG on instagram if this was an actual difference between male and female thylacines or if the bones had been set at different angles. They said that the skeletons were put together in 1922 by a man named T.F. Moore, a Melbourne taxidermist and skeleton articulator, and that they didn’t know the reason for the different angles. They suggest that the wires may have loosened over time due to movement between museums or age, but the female (front) is more accurate. So there you go.

20190130 TMAG 2 edit

The mystery of the thylacine pelvises

TMAG isn’t on my list but it was still a fun day.

We went to kunanyi on Friday. This counts as thing 15 because I didn’t say I had to do it by myself! It takes a bit of planning to get there because we needed to catch a bus to town and then another bus to Fern Tree and those buses only go once an hour. We headed in a bit earlier than we might have needed to because we weren’t sure the later bus from home would quite get us to town before the Fern Tree bus was due to leave. That gave us enough time to go to the coffee shop before heading off on our adventure.

I wanted to do the Fern Glade circuit, which would take in Silver Falls and get us back to Fern Tree in time to have lunch at the Fern Tree Tavern. That was the plan. I got a bit confused because I’d seen two descriptions of the circuit and they were both different so I said to Kramstable that we’d just start walking and see where we ended up without worrying too much about whether we got to where I wanted to go. I figured, and he agreed, that we were there to have a nice walk on a mountain track and that just being there was the point, without any real expectation of getting to a destination.

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Nice walk

As it turned out, we ended up doubling back on ourselves but we eventually found the right way to the falls, which were lovely.

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Silver Falls

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Near Silver Falls

From there it was easy to find our way back down to the park, the pub and lunch. I’m glad we did do the double back because we would have been too early for lunch if we’d gone the right way in the first place!

20190201 Lunch at the Fern Tree pub 2

Relaxing at the Fern Tree Tavern

We had a nice lunch and had 50 minutes before the bus was due so we relaxed on the very cool chairs for a bit, walked a short way along the Pipeline track, and then caught the bus back to town.

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The Pipeline

Fortunately for us, we made it back just in time to catch our bus home. We saw it pull up at the stop as the bus we were on was pulling in to its stop on the other side of the road. A frantic dash to wait for the lights, cross the road and run (yes, run) to the bus, which was just late enough and had a lot of people getting on. A most satisfying end to what had been a lovely day out.

Status for week 5:

  • Things completed: 3 (1 this week)
  • Things I progressed: 7
  • Things in progress I didn’t progress: 2
  • Things not started: 7

Things completed

  • Thing 9 (9 January)
  • Thing 8 (21 January)
  • Thing 15 (1 February)

Southwest Tasmania Day 2 (part 2)

Read part 1 here.

After lunch, we headed off in the opposite direction with the intention to see the Red Knoll Lookout. It starts with a 40km drive back the way we’d come yesterday to the turnoff to Scotts Peak Dam.

About 2.5 km along the unsealed road was the Creepy Crawly Walk. Here we were back to the nice walks with formed tracks and duckboard. I won’t include any spoilers but the track is aptly named.

After that lovely stop, which was closer to a 10-minute walk than the 20 minutes we expected, we continued for another 32 km or so past Edgar Dam and Scotts Peak Dam at the eastern end of the lake. Scotts Peak Dam was built to dam the Huon River. At 43 metres high, it’s only a baby compared to the Gordon Dam. Edgar Dam is even smaller, 17 metres. There’s no public access to either of these dams walls.

20180712-131 On Scotts Peak Dam Road

View from Scotts Peak Road

Passing the two dams, the road takes you to Red Knoll Lookout.

20180712-142 Junior at Red Knoll Lookout

Kramstable working out where he is

It’s a place you’d want to spend an entire day, from sunrise to sunset, watching the light changing and photographing the different moods of the rocks and the mountains. And probably more than one day because of the fog in some places and the clouds over the mountains. It’s not the sort of place to visit once and say you’d seen it.

20180712-154 Red Knoll Lookout

Scotts Peak Dam

20180712-155 Red Knoll Lookout

Scotts Peak Dam

But it wasn’t that type of holiday so we didn’t stay long. (Longer than the guy who turned up, parked his car in the spot I was taking photos, wandered round for a couple of minutes and then left.) I got some nice enough photos but I can see the potential for a lot better ones another time.

There are more photos from Red Knoll Lookout on my photoblog.

We made a couple of stops by the Sentinels on the way back for more photos in the afternoon light (you can see more of the photos here).

20180712-185 The Sentinels

The Sentinels Day 2

Our final stop was Teds Beach just out of Strathgordon. It’s a basic camping area with electric barbecues and some nice lake views. It was getting a bit dark for decent photos with a hand-held camera by this time.

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Teds Beach late afternoon