shapeofthings: (Hug?)
I got an email today, from the blog:

Hi Toni,

I stumbled upon your site after you left a comment about salad dressings on Green Olive.  I looked at your beautiful photos with a twinge of homesickness – I’m a Tasmanian who has been living in Brisbane for nearly 20 years now.  I feel a pull to move back to my island home, having settled down with my partner and two boys to a semi-sustainable existence on Brisbane’s northside.  The city has changed so much since I’ve been here, people are in so much of a hurry, and since doing a whirlwind trip around the state a few years back I’m now pining for the good life once again. Good luck with your blog, I’ll be following it keenly!


I love what I'm doing over there, sowing the seeds of change, growing pale green things.



In other news, I still have no back fence. The latest promise is Monday. Yeah, worst fencing contractor ever. Work continues to be somewhat insane and with never enough time to get everything done, but I got a pay rise today, and they're making it worth my while.

In better news the knee is definitely on the improve and is one of the few parts of me that did not ache today after taiko. You have no idea how happy this makes me.

Also, I wandered on down to a local school fete tonight, except it was a "night market", with stalls run by all the parents who actually produce things. I went purely for The Van In Black's pho (verdict: totally worth it), ran into a few people I know, finally got to meet some of my favourite Tas food & sustainability tweeps and scooped one of the major lucky door prizes! I won a night for two at a lovely looking Tassie B&B. Now to decide if I go alone, bring a friend or make a gift of it to someone who'd really appreciate it. Perhaps a weekend get-away with the camera and my note-book is in order?

My life is so ridiculously improbable. <3


Aug. 17th, 2012 02:41 pm
shapeofthings: (Default)
Just because Colleague Who Went to Melbourne brought back Haighs chocolate goodies that are Toni-friendly doesn't mean I should eat them. Lunch would have been a much better choice than dark chocolate rocky road.


Oh No!

Jul. 7th, 2012 03:21 pm
shapeofthings: (Hug?)
So, this week work took me to Flinders Island. It was the last major deadline leading up to my holiday and the point where I finally started to relax, knowing I'd done everything I really needed to and had plenty of time left to pack.

The trip went really well and Flinders Island is truly beautiful: I'd like to go back for a few days to explore and to climb Mt. Strzelecki. It was, however, a long trip, with the drive to Launceston Tuesday night then up early for a dawn flight to the island and a dusk return to Launnie, followed by the 2 drive back to Hobart. The plane was a little twin-prop 18-seater, which was much fun to fly in.

Unfortunately on the return flight I was sat in front of a cougher. There's a horrid respiratory infection that's been doing the rounds in Tas that I'd thus far avoided. No longer. I am sick. Flinders Island Flu.

Do not pass Go, do no collect $200, SICK. I'm running a fever and want to do nothing more than collapse in bed for a few days. It's not to be, however, as tomorrow I fly to Sydney, then Monday morning I'm off to Santiago. Today, instead of sleeping, I'm dragging myself through the packing process (it's going exceedingly slowly) and doing my best to keep moving. I've jumped on antibiotics and am filling myself with garlic, lemon, ginger, chilli and honey. All I can do now is hope I feel a little better in the morning.

Meanwhile, here's a little Flinders Island magic from my flying visit. I'll catch you all when I'm back in August.


Leaving Launceston

Walker's Lookout, view to Strzeleki National Park

Walker's Lookout, view to the east

Whitemark beach - not the best beach on the Island, but the closest

Boarding the plane back to Launceston

Island dusk
shapeofthings: (Default)
In Launceston, chilling in my surprisingly fancy hotel room. Early start tomorrow with a dawn flight over to Flinders Island. It should be beautiful.

Life always seems that much simpler when i'm on the road.

Posted via

shapeofthings: (Default)
At Hobart airport, waiting for a delayed flight to Melbourne. I don't know which genius booked is on Jetstar when we've got a connecting flight to make. Hopefully we will actually make the once-per-day flight to King Island.

Finished work at 7 last night, so missed taiko training for the 2nd week running. I'll be on the road somewhere next Wednesday with work, then i'm away so that's 7 weeks wwith no drumming. Unhappiness!

I woke before first light this morning, the sky lightening to reveal the sparkling white of a hard frost. Beautiful.

Posted via

shapeofthings: (Hug?)
Hello again. My hard drive has gone phut so I have borrowed the work lap top overnight to catch up on the digital world. Thankfully I'd backed everything up about a week ago, and I really did need a new computer but I could do without the expense right now. I may see how long I can muddle along with the borrowed lap top, but I do miss Photoshop!

I've been in a wee bit of a slump these last two days: a combination of crashing back to reality after a wonderful Melbourne trip and a general lack of sleep. My sub-conscious is being very annoying right now, doing the mental equivalent of digging into the bottom drawer and the back of the cupboard to see what emotional debris have collected in the corners. I understand it's a reaction to recent events and perfectly healthy, I'd just prefer if it didn't result in semi-lucid dreams and broken sleep.

Is it just another toni-quirk or do other people have a subconscious that likes to test their true feelings on an issue by throwing up a range of scenarios and evaluating any emotional response? Bah, even my subconsious is a scientist: test, test, test.

So I've been sleeping badly, distracted and a little frayed around the edges. I may have even indulged in a little sulking and eating of chocolate. This evening, though, I've given myself a stern talking to and set about looking after myself properly. If I'm going to insist on living this crowded and complicated life (as it seems I am, since every attempt to slow things down a little is quickly abandoned when something shiny comes along) I'm really going to have to take better care of myself and find some self discipline. That means eating properly, sleeping properly and giving myself time and space to work through assorted cares and concerns.



So tonight I went out into my sorely neglected little garden and picked a bucket-load of kale, made lacework by an infestation of cabbage moths[1], and cooked myself a mountain of kale and mushroom dahl. Shortly I'm going to go tackle the dishes and the washing, then settle down with a mug of sleepy tea and think a little.


Uncertainty around my employment future weighs heavily (desipite having plans for scenarios A, B & C, scenario D - current job ends and alternate job prospect fails - remains a concerning prospect). As much as there are many other things I'd like to invest my energy in, it seems now is the time to focus on my career and doing what I can to build my employment prospects. At least I have a fair idea where I actually want to take my career now: a better position than I was in 6 months ago.

Life is complicated, but it's also full of beautiful things and wonderful people. If I'm going to survive it all I'm going to have to get better at the whole balance thing. I've got to look after myself if I'm going to keep running. *grin*

Much love!

Hah, amusing to see what photos are on my werk computer c.f. backing up my phone.

[1] Because I'm a hopeless hippy an ecologist I dislike using poisons in the garden and generally just accept a portion of my crops will be lost to the snails, bugs and grubs that are meant to be in a garden. Sometimes, however, things get out of balance (especially as establishing a well balanced garden with the birds, bugs and lizards to eat the pests takes more time than one generally gets in a rental) and action must be taken. So today vast quantities of kale were picked, the caterpillars and eggs removed (the laciest leaves will wind up in stock) and the remaining plants coated liberally with derris dust. One day, however, I will have a proper balanced garden!

Ooh, speaking of, I made my first batch of tomato relish for the year on Monday; a colourful mix of yellow Snow White and purple Black Cherry toms. Should be good!


Sep. 26th, 2011 10:45 pm
shapeofthings: (Wellington)
The lovely Miss [ profile] zenandtheart has been visiting for the last few days, and much fun has been had.

There's been epic cheese consumption, drive-by tours, surprise snow, chocolate pudding, sun-lazing, drunken cookery, Monday-night cocktails, the dish-fairy and much excellent conversation.

Meanwhile work is getting scary with everything behind schedule and much to complete before christmas. My non-work time leading up to christmas is also looking remarkably busy, but the next few months are filled with exciting plans and many good things to look forward to. It's going to be a great summer.


shapeofthings: (bloop!)
I had a truly excellent day at work today. I spent an entire 5 minutes of it in front of a computer. The rest of the time I was out and about doing things I really enjoy and marvelling that I was getting paid for it.

Lia-lights Lia-Govenor

My current project involves a good deal of stakeholder engagement (i.e. talking to people in all parts of the business) and requires me to learn more about the sorts of things we do. So to that end I'd arranged to visit one of the power stations nearer to Hobart to chat to one of my "stakeholders" and at the same time get myself a personal tour of the place and take a few photos for the handbook I'm going to be putting together.



I picked Liapootah station because I know R, the production manager there and he's a top bloke. Turns out it was also the right choice for a total geek like me. Liapootah was built in the 50s and hasn't really been upgraded, so it's full of cool 50's and 60's hydro-electricity tech: all analogue gauges and nixie tubes. And because I was so clearly geeking out, R took me into the bowels of the place to explain how everything works.

Tarra-pipes Tarra-penstock

After the sweet tour I then got to drive about and photograph some of the external stuff, including a lovely drive up the forested mountains in the mist in a brand new, high-tech hybrid car.


So I had a lovely road trip, a brilliant tour and some outdoor time, got paid to take photos and made good progress on my project. Day of win!
shapeofthings: (Me)
Rough day at work today (re-structures and redundancies, yay!), so when I found this fluffy owl puppet in a pile of stuff to be given away I rescued him and had some fun cheering up myself and my colleagues.

Having a hoot with a new friend
Hooray for built-in webcams on work-issue laptops!

His name is Dennis. We had a hoot getting to know each other. =o)
shapeofthings: (bloop!)
You know, that whole work/life balance thing really is a cruel joke.
shapeofthings: (Geek)
I had a rather lovely day today, as far as Mondays go. I got to hide in the lab almost all day, playing with bugs. I even managed to nab the swanky 'scope with the camera for a couple of hours this afternoon. SO of course I had to take a few happy-snaps of the little critters I'd been identifying. Yes, I know, geek.


Aquatic macroinvertebrates. Larval and adult insects found in freshwater habitats, visible to the naked eye (but only just in many cases). Occasionally it's my job to sort through samples and classify the little buggers to Family level (that's before you get to Genus and Species - the really nerdy people do that). The one above here is a fairly big one, maybe 15mm. It's the larva of a type of mayfly. They're predators, these guys, towards the top of the waterbug food chain.


This guy's another predator, even closer to the top of the food chain. It's a dragonfly larvae. He was about 20mm, though some species of dragonfly larvae will get up 50mm - the big cats of the bug world. They're fearsome hunters with funky hinged mouth-parts that they can swing out to grab onto their prey. Yet they grow into such lovely adults!

More bugs, including a close-up of that dragonfly jaw on the other side of the cut! )
shapeofthings: (Devil buns)

I think most of you are off-line by now and enjoying your holidays, but for those still out there in LJ-land, I wish you the very best over the holidays and a truly wonderful 2009.

I got my xmyth present early - that difficult report I wrote about is finished, approved, and sitting on a CD in my back-pack. I'll drop it off at the publishers on my way to work tomorrow. Happy holidays indeed.

shapeofthings: (bloop!)

I've been offered the job. And more money than I asked for.

I've accepted the offer, now we just wait for a formal contract.


Holy fvck! We've picking up our lives and moving all the way to Hobart, Tasmania!

Ah, that heady mix of terror and elation.

shapeofthings: (Default)
I went, I touched, I tasted, I tried, and now I want.


I want the job. I want the career opportunity it represents. I want to beautiful office filled with natural light. I want the co-workers who seem genuine and down-to-earth.

I want the Hobart lifestyle, centred around the waterfront, with proper seasons and clean, crisp air. I want the property prices I can afford and a city built on a more human scale.


I am surprised. I may yet be disappointed. I might not get the job. Or I might, and find it not the match I imagine.

I interviewed well. I am capable of the job. It all depends on the competition.


Now, I wait.

For more reasons to consider, consult the photographic evidence. )
shapeofthings: (Default)
"What we see depends mainly on what we look for." - John Lubbock

So I'm heading off to Tasmania tomorrow, looking for opportunity and potential, and projecting confidence, competence and charisma.

We shall see what comes of it all.

Now I just have to pack!
shapeofthings: (Hug?)
Sideshow Alley @ the Ekka (no, we didn't go in)

My world, she is spinning so fast, so fast; all bearings lost but for bright hope and love's warm embrace. The air itself tastes rich with potential and opportunity, with that unmistakable edge of fear, sourly metallic. Change, uncertainty, counter-punch to certain mediocrity and discontent, with insufficient information to yet make a decision. Cartwheeling round-and-round in chasing the unknowable, seeking fact before fact can form. I won't know what I want until I can touch it, taste it, smell it; cannot promise I won't be denied this chance, yet still find myself investing in it.

watching the Power Surge over the fence

Yes? Let's settle for a maybe, while my bets remain hedged until more is known. If only I knew what I actually want.

I don't need these sorts of thrills

On Friday I'm being flown to Tasmania for a job interview. I am doing my best to catch my thoughts and restrain them, though still they escape, bounding away in a tumble of overwhelming possibility and under-riding uncertainty.

my head spins enough on it's own

shapeofthings: (Hug?)
Hobart Gardens 1

*sigh* It's Sunday and I'm spending the day here in front of the computer, writing a job application. When I'm done with that I need to sort out the data from my honours research for the paper-writing course I'm starting next week.

I'm keen to find a new job (and this one's permanent and pays better, even though it's in Horsham), and I really want to get my research published, but damn I miss weekends. And evenings. And leaving the damn house! (That is all.)


Feb. 20th, 2008 08:20 pm
shapeofthings: (Default)
All packed except for the paperwork - click through to flickr to read notes.

I'm off to Townsville again tomorrow. An overnight trip. I'm running a workshop up there on Friday, and I have a thousand things to do before I go, but right now I'm avoiding all of them. Why? Because right now I can't think over the noise of my inner petulant toddler grizzling that I DON'T WANNA GO!

I'm tired. So very tired. I haven't allowed myself enough rest to recover from a recent bad gluten episode and the associated insomnia. Entirely my own fault: my decision to spend the weekend running around, joyously doing stuff, instead of getting the rest I knew I needed. Now I've gone from being ahead at work and on top my to-do list to woefully behind, apathetic and recalcitrant*. The booklets may not be finished, the case-studies are unfinished and I may have nothing ready to present, but at least I've packed! *sigh*

I fly out at 4:20 tomorrow afternoon. I'll get home again around 10 o'clock Friday night. And now I've completely wiped my weekend clean of social engagements. I was very much looking forward to a Saturday morning trip to the markets and a Sunday outing with friends, but what I really need this weekend is rest. I desperately need to catch up on sleep, and can think of few things better to do than finish my book and potter around the garden. This weekend I'm going to listen to my body and give it the loving it needs. I just have to survive 25 hours in Townsville first!

Food for the trip (I haven't had much luck with gluten-free food in Townsville previously, so I'm not taking the risk so far) - click through to flickr for notes.

* I shall forever be grateful for one Mr. Paul Keating for introducing me to the word when I was 14.
shapeofthings: (Eye)
A few months ago I made mention of attending a work dinner in fancy-dress. The gallant [ profile] fivecats requested photographic evidence of the night's constuming endeavours.

The mystic mystress
The lady Ivanka considers her charms cards.

Well I've finally got around to processing all those shots. It took a while, especially as I decided on a visual style reminiscent of slightly faded 1-hour photo prints (which worked, for the most part, I think).

Serial heartbreaker and cutlery cad, Borys the knife (and occasionally fork or spoon) thrower.

The full set of images can be found on my flickr account here, along with mini-biographies for each subject.

Mystic madness
She's a mystic and she'll never, ever be understood.

But for those disinclined to do so, may I introduce Borys, the cutlery-chucking Serbian stud and his lovely lady, the Croation manic mystic Ivanka.

What exactly do you mean by target practise? Madame N and Borys get cosy.

Needless to say, their passionate relationship frequently disintegrates into destruction. Ivanka over-dramatically blames that floozy psychic Madame N.
shapeofthings: (geek)
Powerhouse lights

This week I'm supposed to be working from home to write a conference paper and have some time to recover from 4.5 weeks in the field (where I accumulated over 2 weeks of over-time. Unpaid, of course). On Monday I spent 5.25 hours in the office. On Tuesday I went to the radiographers and the dentist and spent 4.5 hours in a meeting. Today I skyved off. My excuse: it's suddenly gone cold and rainy and it was too hard to fight the urge to hibernate. So the paper has not yet progressed beyond a sketch of the basic structure, and tomorrow I'm supposed to go into the city to sit in on an important discussion for a few hours. Erm...

Still, I haven't really been all that idle. Since field work finished I've:

* been to the doctor. I am now immune to the chicken pox, tetanus, polio and whooping cough.
* been to the dentist. My winsdom teeth stay, but I need 2 new fillings and an old one replaced (damn fluorosis)
* had my hair cut and returned to its natural colour (take that, sun)
* convinced Alex to solder the dodgy speaker jack on the PC speakers (aka house stereo) and car remote
* bought a new mouse and video card after the scroll wheel on old mousie died today (can't complain, it was a freeby 4 years ago - always be nice to the IT people)
* cleaned out the wardrobe and draws (and realised how few clothes I have that actually fit)
* been shopping for useful things
* spent some quality time at the cafe 'round the corner

Oh, the new video card is because the old one liked to throw tanties and get its memory worked up into infinite loops (bad video card, bad!), meaning photo processing was regularly interupted by icy freezes and teh BSoD*. Consequently I'd rarely process more than 3 photos in a sitting. The consequence of this consequence is a huge back-log of photos from the last 18 months and I'm fresh out of excuses.

At some point I really do need to write that paper though...

* blue screen o' death

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