Weekend Wander – April

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My view when I got up.

When I woke up the other day I looked out the window and saw sun, bright leaves and no wind. As I am off to Spain, Portugal and Morocco in three weeks time with two girlfriends I thought I’d better get a bit fit. We are on a small tour (with our own rooms so we’ll continue to be friends) and the tour company requires one is able to walk at leasts three kms on cobblestone and up and down stairs. I got dressed, grabbed my camera and decided this was another walking day. I’ve had quite a few of these over the past couple of months.

I had Mr. Penguin drop me off in South Hobart which is only three kms down the road and I decided to head into the city, another three to four kms to the centre. I needed a plan. Elizabeth Street runs north and south through Hobart. I decided once in the city, I’d head straight up this street into North Hobart. It is a slow incline uphill as one walks, enough to get your heart rate up and the next task was to plan my destination. There is a Cat Cafe in North Hobart and I thought I would go there and get some toast and have a coffee to reward myself. Off I went. This is the walk.

 

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I began the journey at the top of MacQuarie Street and headed into the city.
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Once in the city I sat in the Elizabeth Mall and practised a bit of street photography. I do enjoy watching people. This woman had her husband under control and following her without argument.

 

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I liked the shop front signs as the woman seemed to ponder the 3INA Makeup 
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On the north end of the Mall I headed towards North Hobart in the distance.
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I thought I should look up once in awhile. When in cities we tend not to see what is above us. Hobart has some lovely old architecture if one just stops and bothers to look at it. 
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Here is another building that will be 100 years old next year.  
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As I walked along this fenced in churchyard an older man came up to me and stopped. I thought he would ask for directions. I stopped and looked at him. I enjoy talking to people on the street. He smiled and said, “If you ask for sustenance, it will come.” I said, “Yea, you’re probably right.” He smiled and walked on. That’s what I love about walking. 
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I arrived at the Cat Cafe and they were closed. I guess they are taking Easter week off as so many people are doing. I squatted down and took photos of the cats through the window. They all looked fat and happy. 
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Farther on there is a corner restaurant that has all day breakfast. I sat outside and noticed how many dogs were sitting quietly under tables. There were more dogs than prams which always makes me happy. This collie was attentive to a Rottweiler puppy across the way who was chewing on everything he could find under the picnic table while the two women above chatted quite happily. When he started eating the dirt out of a pot plant they intervened. 
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This couple on the left intrigued me. I would guess newly dating. He talked and talked and talked and talked some more. They were dressed in very trendy clothes and have their whole life in front of them. I kept thinking though I wanted to tell the young woman to get up and leave and don’t look back because he had no interest whatsoever in anything she had to say. I think I saw her open her mouth once.  When I went to pay for my coffee, eggs and toast he was still talking. It was definitely all about him today. 
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Now, This guy has a bit of a story. In the Mercury Newspaper there is a classified ad that makes absolutely no sense published several times a week. It is always :Attention- Croatian Name. It mentions something that happened in the 1990’s but is not coherent and monetary figures are involved. It’s like a secret code you’d see in those British crime dramas. He walked past me, stopped turned around and handed me a note. It was a classified ad he had photocopied of the ones seen in our newspaper each day. His English was bad as he explained it to me. I smiled and thanked him for it and he walked on. When I got home, I showed it to Mr. Penguin and he said, “Oh that guy is nuts. He’s in the paper, blah blah blah”. I googled his name and there is an actual facebook posts with more than 1000 followers of people who are trying to decode the messages. People photograph the ads and then between them try to work out what they mean.  I thought, “Wow, a Hobart underbelly.” I followed him down the street and he cut off the main road and went around the back of a pub and disappeared.  I won’t put this photo on the FB page as they have enough to talk about. 
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This is the coded message he handed me. Any thoughts?

I then headed back into the city and turned up the hill towards South Hobart to wait for the next bus home.

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8 kms under our belt today.

 

A Bit More About the Sailing Vessel I Wrote of Yesterday

thumbnail-6I had some interest by some to know more about the boat trip I wrote about yesterday on the Huon River in Tasmania.

I found the brochure from Yukon Tours this morning and thought I would share the information from it with you.  Just a short post.

thumbnail-7The blurb on the back of the brochure describes the boat as this:

Built of Oak in 1930 the privately owned Danish sailing vessel Yukon was rescued in 1997, by Australian shipwright David Nash and his Danish wife Ea Lassen, from the bottom of a harbour near Copenhagen and carefully restored Yukon is available for private and corporate group bookings, accommodating 8 overnight and 28 day guests The crew are ask experienced sailors. They always aim to give you a joyful and safe adventure.thumbnail-5

All Photos are taken from Yukon Tours Brochure.

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Remember to take your camera.

Tasmania Huon Valley Yukon Tours – A Great Day Out for a Saturday Wander

On the 30th of March two of my friends and I decided to have a ‘local’ adventure and drive down to the small town of Franklin in the Huon Valley to do an afternoon tour on a small ship that goes up and down the river.

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We had just boarded and this is the view to shore.
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This is the three of us on our Girl’s Day Out. Patricia in the back ground with the glam hair, my 90 year old friend Betty and myself keeping them all in order. You can see the containers the food was in.

We were on the water for about 2.5 hours and enjoyed a brilliant day out of sunshine, mild breezes and the best food. All of the food and wine is produced in the local Huon Valley. We had locally smoked pork (the meat eaters amongst us), salad, pickled onion and radish type treats as well as the best local cheese and home baked bread one could ask for.  The food was served to each of us in, what I can only describe as a small horse trough shaped container.  It was very clever. Everything was packaged up and was a great deal of fun to explore. We found too many goodies to eat to remember. We were busy gnawing our way through it all.

3N3A7304 copyTasmanian wines were sampled as well but as I was driving so my sampling ability was rather limited.  The guy up front told us a bit about the boat.

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I have been practising getting sun stars and was very happy photographing this one.

I think the photos will speak for themselves as to how much fun we had.  It was a wonderful Saturday Wander.

 

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There is a lot of work to keep these boats going. This one has been completely restored and began its life in Scandinavian regions. It was sailed for I believe they said 7 years and once they found Tasmania, they went no farther.

 

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I’m happy they knew what they were doing. I am not a boat person so am really hopeless. 
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We sailed past local paddocks and sheds. Such a gorgeous day but you can see how dry it has been here. We still need rain.
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Dessert finished us off with a custard type dessert and local fresh berries. So good.
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Our hosts were wonderful and I can vouch for them, they never stopped giving us wonderful things and they never stop smiling. 

Until Next Time…..

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I stayed home and worked in the garden. Someone has to do it. Girl’s Day Out. Yeah, Right.

A Couple of Wednesday Notes

Snip-it_1555461772981A friend and I had a fun time at the book launch last week of political cartoonist Jon Kudelka and writer Jim Jeffrey’s book. Mike Bowers, Guardian Australia photographer also came along and facilitated the conversation. The three kept us entertained about their adventures with parliamentarians in Canberra. Their little book is called The Wonks’ Dictionary. This book is very much for Australians as the federal election has been called for the 18th of May. It was an enjoyable evening as they related tales of the Ausssie pollies we all love to make fun of. The jokes about Michaelia Cash’s hair in windy interviews had many wonderful chuckles. It never moves. I won’t even mention the pages they read about Eric Abetz. Let it suffice there were snorts and chortles.

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Another note is our book group read and discussed The Everlasting Sunday by Robert Lukins. This story of the English blizzard of 1962 involved teen boys who were placed at a school/home for “boys who trouble had found”. The reader senses an ominous start to this book from the beginning. The combination of the personalities, leadership of the school and the ongoing blizzard made me a bit on edge. At first I couldn’t adjust to the writing style but others in the group weren’t bothered by it. Too many adjectives and “try hard” descriptors for my taste but I thought the second half of the book was much better. Members disagreed widely on this novel that is the author’s debut and up for several awards. Some loved it, one wanted her money back. I liked the concept for the story. It held my attention and I worried about a couple of the boys. However there was one girl character the group all thought had not been developed enough and we wondered why she was included. A couple of the characters were developed well while others weren’t so much and the inconsistency bothered a couple of our members, myself included. I thought it quite a good book as a debut and would read more by this author. His previous works have been short stories in several literary magazines. I thought the novel began like a bit of a short story that got away from him but settled down into a novel again. I could feel the transition.

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I continue to peruse photography books and magazines in anticipation of my trip in May. The latest one being Why You Like This Photo by Brian Dilg. It opens with a lovely quote by Werner Heisenberg:

“Nobody sees a flower-really-it is so small it takes time-we haven’t time-and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.”

received_344353279619767Until next time.

Travellin’ Thursday- Willie Smith’s Apple Shed

received_2397288277216558I am going to Europe for a month in mid-May with two girlfriends. I will be doing more serious photography but will also use my Samsung phone for facebook, Instagram and blogging in short spurts. I would like to share some photos with friends and the Penguin will be leaving this page and travelling with me too. I won’t forget him this time. I’m going to be on a tour with 20 people max and going to Spain, Portugal and Morocco.  Mr Penguin is staying home caring for our creatures. We are known for doing “his” trips, “her” trips and “our” trips. He recently did a “his” trip to India, now it’s time for a “her” trip. We will do an “our” trip at the end of the year.  This arrangement is probably why we’ve been married for almost 50 years.received_340757306791783

I have not done blog posts on my Samsung tablet so I am doing it now and seeing how it comes out. I don’t want to take a laptop and download the raw photos and edit, etc while travelling. I think this might work.

There are often times I’d like to write up a quick book post or local adventure at night from the comfort of my bed without firing up the big desktop.

20190410_143019Today we went to Willie Smith’s Apple Shed with two other couples. It is a renovated shed that has an apple museum, cider distillery and restaurant with all local Tasmanian food. It’s great. We sat at big picnic like tables, drank wonderful Tassie red wine (though I was limited as I was the driver) and ate wonderful food. It was a clear, sunny autumn day and we had many laughs. One example was the conversation between two of our friends, one a former Catholic priest who remains very spiritual and the other a devout atheist kept us entertained. It was all very good natured.

Autumn in Tasmania is glorious with the light especially. We don’t get the bright reds and oranges as much as North America but yellows and russets and all shades in between into lighter oranges are beautiful. 20190410_143143

On the way out we picked up some Indian apple  chutney, apple jam and apple brandy of which I have yet to taste. Tasmania is the apple state of Australia and you would not believe how many wonderful varieties of apples there are. Yet our grocery stores seem to sell only about four varieties. The rest are exported all over but mainly to Japan. One must travel to local markets or food stalls to get some of the lesser known varieties. If you look at the photos you can see the apples, yes these are real, with their name printed below each one. Quite amazing really.

I hope this post is formatted okay because if this works I will certainly have more posts to share while on the road. I think I’ve said enough for  Thursday Travel.

Until next time…

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Two Wonderful Photography Books

This past couple of weeks I’ve been reading a fair bit but the books I want to share with you today are in the subject of photography.Snip20190408_5

The first one is the Autobiography of Ansel Adams. This book presents the life story of one of America’s best known and most popular photographers and environmentalists of the 20th century. Adams was also a teacher, musician and crusader over the last six decades. He was born in 1902 and lived until 1984. This autobiography came out the year following his death in 1985.

I am in the middle of this book now and am loving it. He was an excellent writer and there doesn’t seem to be a lot he leaves out.  I am also finding the history of California (he grew up in the San Francisco area) fascinating. He talked about the big earthquake and fire of 1905. There is so much that happened during the first 2/3 of the 20th century and he describes it through his eyes.

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Ansel Adams

That alone is interesting enough but then he goes on to describe his love of music and studying to be a concert pianist.  The art scene in San Francisco in early 1900s was just brilliant and very energetic.  He hung out with artists, poets and the people who started the Sierra Club. He got to know Yosemite National Park like the back of his hand, long before it was recognised as a national park. He had strong ties to the southwest of the United States.

Some of his descriptions of climbing the rockiest areas in Yosemite carrying his camera and all the gear back in the 1920’s is exhausting. Photography back then was very different than it is now. He studied shapes and lighting more than colour as colour wasn’t possible back then.  The work that was completed in the dark rooms was interesting and difficult. Snip20190408_9

The reader learns of his wife, friends and parents as the years go by.  It is a well written biography and I would recommend it for anyone who loves photography, music, the arts or American history of the western states.

 

 

The second book I’d like to share is one by (still living) Joel Myerowitz. The book is called Aftermath.  It is a compilation of photographs from the terrorist attack of the World Trade Towers of New York City of 9/11. The book is a huge, coffee table sized tome that takes two hands to carry it. You need to set it on a table to read it. I don’t usually read anything about that day but this book is important for one reason.  After the attacks happened, New York City officials completely surrounded the site in high fences and secrecy. No photos were allowed.  This day was going to go completely unrecorded photographically.  Mr. Myerowitz spent days making friends with some of the officials

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Joel Myerowitz (from his web page)

onsite, especially a group of police officers.  Many of those working the site thought the pictures should be shared. It was almost as if it was being covered up. Eventually as he stalked the area daily, making himself known he began getting into the site and taking the photos of the cleanup that continued for a long time. He donned a hard hat he found, dressed the part, found various pieces of things he could wear from the workers and started photographing various angles of this disaster. He was thrown off the site several times but he kept going back. The photos are amazing and one feels as though they are penetrating all angles of the destruction of so many buildings. There are also quite a few photos of the surrounding buildings with all their windows blown out and missing walls. One can see into all the offices with the missing walls.  The portrait photography of the workers is also very interesting to look at. He captures so much emotion in his photography. Many stories are being told within the site.
Snip20190408_6This book has made me think quite a bit. Had this single photographer not persevered to such an extent the whole incident would have been visually lost. The bureaucracy around the cleanup was quite interesting and I paused many times not believing what I was reading. 

Mr. Myerowitz was born in 1938 in the Bronx, New York and there is a wonderful short biography of his achievements here.  He continues to teach photography. He is well known for his street photography especially and he is on Instagram (here)  if anyone is interested in seeing what he is doing currently.  There is a vast store of knowledge and photographs that can also be searched on google under his name. Snip20190408_10.png

I always think I enjoy reading fiction the most but it seems the older I get the more I enjoy reading non-fiction, especially in learning what so many amazing people, both alive and now gone have given to the world. It is probably a way of distracting myself from the horrible world leaders we seem to have now in so many countries. I wish the good people of the earth got as much media coverage as the awful ones. The world would be a more inspiring place. Snip20190408_11.png

Holiday by Stanley Middleton- 1974 Booker Prize winner.

From Good Reads:

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I have only recently finished reading this book. I heard about on a blog post on Booker Talk some time ago. (Read her review here.) I remember the review appealed to me so I ordered a copy from Abe Books.

From Good Reads description:

Edwin Fisher is on holiday at the English seaside – but this revisiting of childhood haunts is no ordinary holiday. Edwin is seeking to understand the failure of his marriage to Meg, but it turns out that her parents are staying at the same resort – whether by accident or design – and are keen to patch up the relationship. As the past and his enigmatic wife loom larger, deeper truths emerge and the perspective shifts in unexpected ways. This is an extremely subtle story, a consummate portrait of English provincial life told with all Stanley Middleton’s artistry and depth of feeling. It was joint winner of the Booker Prize in 1974. Review quotation: “At first glance, or even at second, Stanley Middleton’s world is easily recognisable…The excellence of art, for Middleton, is an exact vision of real things as they are. And because he is himself so exact an observer, his world at third glance can seem strange and disturbing or newly and brilliantly lit with colour.” (A.S. Byatt).

(From web page Brief Biographies).

The author, Stanley Middleton was British born in 1919 and died in 2009.  He attended schools in Nottingham, England. He had a military career during the second World War serving in the Royal Artillery and Army Education Corps. 

He wrote many short stories and novels with characters mainly being drawn from the middle classes. He enjoyed studying people whose lives had stopped in a middle of a crisis and analysed how they dealt with it. 

Snip20190401_2He wrote about the complexity of the human characters and this comes through in this book. He didn’t believe novels needed to be intense stories but but he certainly created obstacles in the way of his characters. He then devised ways of getting through the issues he raised.

I have only read this one book by him but would not hesitate to look at others he wrote.

I really enjoyed the writing in this book. I thought it was excellent. There were many times when I felt I was standing beside Edwin as he walked the beaches and chatted to the locals.

The story takes place over one week’s time but it seems a much longer period of time. The story goes back and forth from his early marriage days to current days as the protagonist is struggling with a current separation and ‘where to’ from here.

The characters are not always likeable, especially his wife.  I just didn’t see what he saw in her but then as the reading continues the reader understands a physical attraction to her and hope for future changes. Relationships are definitely not straight forward and this book is an excellent example of that.

The interference of his in-laws is aggravating too but many of us married people can understand this happens.  Sometimes trying to sort out marriage issues is impossible to do by oneself. 

I kept reading because I really wanted to know if all of the issues were going to be resolved satisfactorily.  Nothing in this book is tied up neatly.

If a you enjoy a leisurely read where the characters breathe onto the page and you care about them then this book is for you.  

This book shared the Booker Prize along with The Conservationist, by Nadine Gordimer in 1974. Snip20181102_18

(I will add it to my Century of Books which I add to over time very, very slowly.)