Jun. 3rd, 2013 08:31 pm
shapeofthings: (Default)
Taking a walk through the parks of central Hobart as the seasons slide from Autumn into winter...

Cusp Cusp

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Cusp Cusp
shapeofthings: (Wandering)
Tonight I am going to this: MONA Bushfire benefit concert.

Yup, MONA, our crazy-beautiful private museum (MONA) and arts festival (MoFo) people are putting on a bushfire benefit concert tonight on the waterfront and I've just bought myself a ticket.

I could have gone for free entry. Our top-end taiko drummers are performing, y'see, and I was down to be a roadie, but given I was sick yesterday and I'm still limpy from the gimpy knee acting up I passed on my place to someone more able-bodied and was just going to go home and sleep tonight. Friends are catching the concert though, and it'll be ace to see my friends up on stage, the only Tassie act in a show featuring the likes of David Byrne and Neil Gaiman (MoFo just wound up and most of the acts are still in town). It makes me feel a bit better about missing the entirety of MoFo this year too. So after work I'll hobble down to the waterfront and spend a lovely evening in the wonderland I call my home town.

<3 Hobart.

So, yesterday, I started to feel a little less virus-ridden by the afternoon so I hopped into the car and took myself off for a scenic drive in lieu of the walk I'd planned. I picked up a pair of European back-packers in the city and let their destination dictate my route. They were headed out Margate way, so after dropping them off I continued down to the Channel.

At Kettering I stopped off at Nutpatch, a chocolate shop run by a family with a hazelnut plantation. It's a tiny shop and all the chocolates are made on site. I'd been planning on checking it out for months, only to find I'd arrived a little past closing time. The owner-chocolatier was still on site though and insisted I come in, handing me a creme-brulee choc as I entered and happily chatting away. After 3 free samples and a chinwag with Giovannni I bought more than intended and went on my way, following the coastline around to Cygnet in the golden late-afternoon light then shooting home through the Huon Valley.

One day I might buy myself a little place down the Channel somewhere. Perhaps the village of Woodbridge, so pretty nestled between the hills and the water and only half an hour to Hobart. I could have my own cottage and a garden big enough for a veggie patch, some fruit trees, a dog or two and some chickens. It would be lovely, and in my mind's eye I can see it, beautiful.

It's not what I want right now. For the moment adventure is calling and I want to immerse myself in the wider world. I think I'd want to come back here though. This place is home. Not Brisbane, not Melbourne, but my lovely little Tasmania with her wild country and kooky inhabitants, with more artists and scientists per capita than any other Australian city, balanced out by the most narrow-minded NIMBYs and uber-bogans. This strange little island where magic things happen and the Mountain sings to my soul.

<3 Tasmania.

shapeofthings: (Wandering)
I've just had "we all got caught up the fires and survived" drinks with the neighbours. Have I mentioned how awesome my neighbours are and that they have become good friends? I am so damn lucky to live here.

Anyway, they were caught down in Primrose Sands, which was cut off and under severe risk from the fires. I got in touch with them by phone yesterday and was very pleased to see them home today. My uncle and aunt in Lewisham are fine and prepped to evacuate should the fires worsen in their area. My friend in Bicheno is fine and the fire there is now under control. Likewise for the friends in Hamilton I was staying with on Friday night - all calm there now and no immediate threat. An uncle and aunt are still out of contact in Port Arthur, but there's no fire there at present so I'm not worried; just no power or phone communications or any road access.

Of course it's not over yet. The Repulse and Forcett fires are still out of control and if conditions worsen they could take off again. They're both huge too (~10 000 and ~20 000 ha respectively), with massive fire fronts. There's no rain in sight and conditions will remain warm for the rest of the week, though not as insanely hot as Friday, so the fire risk is still very real for a while and the firies are still working very hard.

Someone I know is coordinating the feeding of the fire-fighters up at the Repulse blaze. I've donated four-dozen eggs and some baked goodies and am on duty to keep supplying special-dietary-requirements-friendly treats for the week ahead. They're doing an amazing job and the least we can do is feed them well. Hopefully the garden will recover enough that I can also supply some veggies too in a couple of days. Although I've only lost a few young herbs, the growth tips and leaves are burnt on most everything in my garden, so we'll see how well it all recovers.

The Ladies are doing fine after spending Friday on ice bricks. The two brown girls are even still laying! People are chipping in every way they can to help those who've lost everything in the fires. Humans can be utterly brilliant sometimes.

In a few minutes I'm going to walk down to see Hobart Kat and take her some home-made lemon & raspberry sorbet. Kat's family home burnt down a few years ago, and although the whole family survived, the smell of fire is not a pleasant experience for her. Right now Hobart is hazy with smoke and everything smells faintly of burning. Sorbet will help.

If you want to help out those who've lost their homes to the fires, you can donate here: (as you can see, I've donated my photos - hey, it's a start!). In the meantime, please send rain!

Hell's gate
shapeofthings: (bloop!)
4:30 pm and it's still over 40oC (that's 105 F for the 'Merkins). Blah.

There are currently 41 fires burning around the State, according to Tas Fire Service, with two rated as severe with property at risk.

I worked from home today so I could keep an eye on the chickens. Just as well really, as the ladies have been feeling the heat and I've had to break out ice-bricks and the sprinkler for them. I suspect I won't be getting any eggs for a few days.

I haven't got any work done since the temps hit 40 as it's just too hot to think (yup, I'm a bad employee). My place has good thermal design and it's significantly cooler inside than out but it's still got to be over 30oC inside. I'm going to head off for a cold shower shortly in an effort to revive myself.

The garden is a very sad place right now. The beds I managed to soak for a couple of hours last night as well as mulch look like they'll be ok, but the ones that only got a hosing and mulch aren't doing so well. Still, I think I'll only lose a few young herbs and everything else will recover (though my harvest will be less), which is better than I was expecting. I'm really glad I got out there yesterday and spread around a couple of bags of stable straw despite the heat and wind.

I'm hoping to head up to Hamilton to spend the night with friends tonight, but I'm waiting for the heat to ease so I can give the garden a decent watering, plus we're keeping a close eye on one of the severe fires that's out that way. The air conditioning in my car is really only useful for de-fogging the windscreen, so it won't be a pleasant drive (especially as I don't have a garage, so my car has been baking in the sun all day) but it will be really nice to see D and to get out into the hills. If only it wasn't so damn hot!

If this is the climate change future, I think I need to move even further south!

Her imperial cluckiness
shapeofthings: (Mount Wellington)




Wellington <3
shapeofthings: (Default)
It snowed today! Just a fine sprinkle on the very top of the Mountain when the sun rose this morning, then later a significant fall down to at least 800 m. Now it's raining outside and the temperature's just about zero, so I expect there will be another light dusting up there come dawn. It's March on the island of January-to-March summers and winter is sending her chill breath down the Mountain already.

Blogged over at a breath of winter and the search for home - Why the coming of winter has me moving house and what makes somewhere a home.
shapeofthings: (Default)
Lindisfarne Bay
Autumn afternoon, Lindisfarne Bay, Hobart
shapeofthings: (Sizer-fish)
It's another of those stunningly beautiful Hobart mornings, the sunlight slanting across the Derwent making the waters sparkle like sapphires, the Mountain wearing a cape low, fluffy clouds, pockets of sunlight and shadow dappled across the slopes.

A perfect morning, warm and rich with possibilities, and yet, walking to the office from the bus, one discordant thought echoed: I need to get off the island again. It's time.

Time to reconnect with the rest of the world, to dip my toes back into the rushing tide of humanity for a few days, long enough to refresh my perspective lest I become another parochial Tasmanian, staring at the big city highrises in slack-jawed wonder.

Good thing I'm off to Melbourne next weekend. It's been almost six months: most definitely time.


Flinders St 2
shapeofthings: (Wellington)
Today, whilst running errands on my lunch break, I stumbled upon this beautiful busking performance in the middle of the city mall.

Just magic!

And while I'm pulling files off my phone, here are a few snaps I've taken around this little city. I don't tend to carry my camera around with me, but fortunately my phone is generally near to hand as all too often there's something worth capturing.

IMG00161-20110504-0825 IMG00439-20111115-0827

IMG00394-20111013-1357 IMG00391-20111005-1139

IMG00296-20110628-0759 IMG00465-20111209-1840

Graff IMG00283-20110620-1530

IMG00229-20110610-1759 Ample

I have grown to love this place. So often it makes me smile, gaze in wonder or flat-out laugh. Ah, Hobart.
shapeofthings: (Wellington)
Oh yes, MONA FOMA is back again this summer! Sadly it's not free this year, but I'm happy to shell out money for this roller coaster ride through the artistic fringes.

Bring it on!

shapeofthings: (Default)
Woke up, it was a Hobart morning, no sunshine did I find,
But the grey outside my window was shifting with the wind
And I set out with my camera to see what was around.


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