Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Adelaide trip pictures

Here is a selection of the pictures and explanation of my Adelaide trip. They are in here back to front as ...well I am Linda.
The first one is when we were nearly home.Taken on the Hume highway between Gundagi and Yass, heading north. Heavy rain most of the way home for the 2 day drive. We followed the rainbow home.
The pic above is of the other extreme taken during a thick dust storm in central South Australia.The picture didn't do the dust storm justice, we had to slow right down as it was quite dangerous driving and we could not see far ahead.
This is a big tyre across the highway at a little town called Yamba in S.A. We stopped for lunch here on Saturday. We travelled across four states on our trip. Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, 3500km.
At Waikerie in S.A. we stopped at a lookout over the Mighty Murray River and there were lots of rocks about that looked like pure ochre. I couldn't resist playing with it and ground some down with this pebble. It was soft and silky and had fine sand in it. The aborigines used to use this as paint and trade it with other clans. I have some in my pottery supplies in the shed, it is a form of iron oxide.
Murray river below the lookout at Waikerie. The Murray is the biggest river system in Australia all the rivers on the eastern side of the country eventually make their way and merge into it, right from the top of Queensland down to South Australia. It drains into lake Alexandrina below Tailem bend and makes up the Coorong national park below that then into the southern ocean. Amazing. Seeing the area has always been a special wish of mine.
Murray river, same place looking downstream. It is a different colour here than it is near Albury much further upstream where it is a dark muddy green brown with steep banks and not the big cliffs you can see here. South oz is the driest state in the driest country in the world, The Murray is its main water source.
Waikerie lookout, what got us there. Our poor old ford has a worn out manifold gasket and is starting to sound like a tractor and smell worse, but there was nowhere that we could get it fixed on the ANZAC day long weekend. It got us home, slowly anyway. I reckoned Pete and I have orange livers from all the exhaust fumes we were breathing in. (When they do autopsies on people who have died from carbon monoxide poisoning they have orange livers.)
Sorry these are back to front. This picture is of an archway on Kangaroo Island. If you enlarge it you can see some New Zealand fur seals rolling around with their flippers in the air, and others resting on the rocks. Funny critters and lovely to watch. The things hanging from the ceiling are not stalactites but fossilized tree roots.
The archway again and more seals sunning themselves and resting on the rocks. above and below pics.

This is a pic I took at Kangaroo island also. The island is 155 km at its longest point and the roads there are only 15% sealed. The remainder are dirt made of stuff called laterite which is mostly iron, sourced from the island. The guide was telling us that laterite is mostly iron and when they have storms there it therefore attracts lots of lightning strikes so you get out of the way and head indoors pretty quick when there is an electrical storm around.
There were lots of these little dead, burned bushes surrounding an area called Remarkable rocks. I tried to take a picture from ground level looking through them.I thought they were like gnarly sculpted bonsai trees.
Remarkable rocks. Yes it really is called that. Peter and I. The rocks are set high at the top of a cliff and run down tom the ocean. They really are remarkable. Granite and sculpted by the wind and weather into fantastic huge shapes.The rock that they are perched on looked like it was one big rock and had been worn away by little rivers of rain into smooth shapes covered in that red algae you can see in this picture. They are reputedly very treacherous and slippery when it rains. People have died here by slipping and falling over the edge into the ocean below in such circumstances, I am pleased we had dry weather. Had to hold onto our hats as it was very windy.

Rocks at Remarkable rocks. This looks like a big eagles beak to me.
Fantastic sculptured shapes, same place.
Remarkable rocks from further back.
Part of the tour we went on at Kangaroo Island included a free flight Raptor show. This is the National Parks and wildlife guide with a Wedge tailed eagle. Australia's biggest eagle and the second biggest in the world after the American bald eagle, except the wedge tailed eagle has a wider wing span. This guy was such a pet and here you can see him enjoying a scratch and cuddling up to his trainer.
The wedgie again wings outstretched. I used to watch these guys sitting on my front veranda at Junee. Circling high above rocky hill and riding the thermals while hunting. The other birds don't like them, I guess they would be pretty threatening. Anyway they try to chase them out of their area and I watched many an Aerial dogfight between the eagles and magpies. One day when I was watching the eagle got p***ed off with the maggies that were harassing it and pulled one of the magpies straight down out of the sky. It didn't get up again.
Sad to say though that farmers don't like these eagles and think they take their lambs. They don't, their diet is rabbits and small rodents, which would be of benefit to the farmers.They are not endangered as far as I know but their numbers are dwindling from farmers killing them off and from habitat loss. They have no predators and are at the top of their food chain.
This is Casper. He is a barn owl, isn't he beautiful. He was sitting on my knee when I took this picture. He was trained to hop on each knee around the front row of people at the show, and was given a little bit of meat for each one he stopped at, watching his trainer all the time to see where the next tasty morsel was coming from.
Casper again, sitting next to me.We were allowed to pat him with the backs of our hands as touching him with our fingers would take the bloom off his feathers.
This is a Kookaburra. He is the largest of the kingfisher family. This bloke came from Queensland, the Queensland ones have the blue bit on their wings. He isn't really a raptor but he is a meat eater. Otherwise known as the Laughing Jackass or Blue Winged Kookaburra. There was a pair of these in the show, we were asked to stay sitting down because they swoop down low over the crowd when they come in to land and they know we are supposed to stay seated and they can get upset when things don't look right to them.
This little guy is a kite. They are the ones you see hovering over prey along the roadsides then suddenly diving down to grab a mouse or grasshopper, they have fantastic eyesight, much better than us humans do.
These guys are Australian fur seals.We were allowed on the beach with them on the Kangaroo Island highlights tour, which is what Pete and I went on, but had to keep at least 10 metres away from them. The ones in the pic above are young teenage males, they are like teenage humans in that they like to spar with one another and try it out on the young girls. But it is the big daddy guys that get to have all the fun.
Female Aussie fur seal. This one came towards us, and quite close, and we had to be still and quiet to not upset her as they can become aggressive if threatened. The N.Z. seals are smaller and darker than these guys. There is a colony on the island of over 5000 of them. They come ashore to rest after being at sea hunting for three days at a time and their pups wait for them to return for their next meal. The females fully grown are 180kg and the males can get to 350kg in weight.
The plane we went to across to Kangaroo island was a little 10 seater. I loved it. The weather was clear and so we had a great view. The flight took 35 minutes and I enjoyed watching all the gauges sitting right behind the pilot. In this picture we were heading in to land on Kangaroo island. The tour cost a bit but it was great fun and better than having to drive miles back down the coast from Adelaide to where the ferry goes across to the island.
Above Adelaide. I think I remember seeing the population of Adelaide being 1.3 million, I am too lazy to look it up.
The plane we went to Kangaroo island on.
This is in Adelaide at the Jam factory. I always read about this place and wanted to go there. It is famous for the arts and pottery. Nowadays as pottery is less popular than glass, it is going in that direction but I did see some excellent porcelain work in the shop there. These guys are working glass. I was talking to the artist, whose name is Michael Moore, he said they were making a centre piece for a corporate customer. Interesting stuff, he had an exhibition of weird and wonderful critters made out of glass and gave me a book / pamphlet about his pieces. My teacher at Canberra Potters society used to work at the Jam factory and many great Aussie potters had their start there too.
This is Lacepede bay near Kingston east of Adelaide. I lashed out here and bought a half lobster and prawns and oysters for our tea, but OH YUM!
Big lobster at Kingston. He is for sale as is the cafe/ touristy thing behind him, can you afford him? He might be a bit tough to chew on though.
Now we come to the Coorong, which is where we stared the adventure. The Coorong is a spit of land and sand dunes that seals off lake Alexandrina from the sea. The Murray river drains into Lake Alexandrina and they have it sealed off to stop the salt water coming back into the lakes.We couldn't get across to the spit because we couldn't drive over there without a 4x4 and we didn't have a canoe, but we had a good look on the other side anyway. The spit runs for over a hundred km along the coast. The pic above is of some plants that I though were pretty. They were on a sand dune and had succulent type leaves, obviously adapted to salty soil conditions. Don't know what they were called.
The Coorong fish nursery. Looking into the water below a little wharf we could see thousands and thousands of tiny fish. We did throw a line in, but being amateur fishermen and so many tiny fish to prey on, the fish were not hungry.
The little wharf at long point in the coorong national park. we had the whole place to ourselves, lovely.
The main reason I wanted to visit the coorong was the birdlife there. The area is famous for it. Sorry this is a bit blurry but you can still read it if you enlarge it. It is a very environmentally sensitive area due to the decline in the quantity and quality of the Murray river waters which feed it and from human intervention. It is like a giant bird and fish nursery.
We stayed at Meningie for 2 nights in the caravan park and there is a pelican colony there. Here I tried to get a pic of them but they took off to the safety of the water again. This is only a few of the number that were there. It looked to me like they were a group of youngsters with a few older ones to guard them. The younger ones were more grey coloured and the older ones had their full black and white colouring.
Silver gulls on the shore at Lake Albert. Lake Albert joins up with lake Alexandrina.The caravan park at Meningie is right on the banks here.There was a few other bird species amongst them but I don't know what they were called. Might have been avocets.
Oh! this was in the Coorong national park. Just look at this! A breeding colony of black swans, hundreds of them. My photos can not do this place justice. You can hear the surf thundering in just across the spit from here.
This was the first place we stopped on the Coorong. I was amazed to find that all of those rocks you can see in this picture are made up of millions of shells concreted together over millennium. I actually bought a bit of it home with me as a souvenir.
Here I am at the caravan park enjoying a bottle of Brown Brothers Moscato and oysters and prawns for an entree that I got in Kingston. Very laid back.
These little guys were at the caravan park at Meningie too. Loving having some green grass to chew on.
Part of the pelican and silver gull colony living on the shores of Lake Albert. Pelicans are so big and ungainly it looks like it is a real effort for them to get off the ground.
A fisherman came along the beach and dumped some fish heads for the birds, so I got a bit closer to them to take pictures.
Reminds me of a silly tune that my kids used to sing when they were little.
"Fish heads, fish heads, rolly polly fish heads, Fish heads fish heads eat em' up, yum!"
I was fascinated by this. Yes the lake really is pink. I have never got to walk on a salt lake before.
I took heaps of pics of the patterns that the salt crystals made as they dried and lifted up in big sheets.
A hand full of salt. Crust and crystals.
Pink salt lake between Tailem bend and Meningie. Like I said my pics don't do it justice. You can see where someone in a 4 wheel drive tried to drive along it and got bogged. Hah serves them right. Silly buggers.
Last picture is on the way south across the Hay plains. This area is amazing. As flat as a table top for miles and miles, as far as the eye can see. No trees except to mark the progress of a water course.The vegetation consists of tussock grasses, salt bush and spinifex otherwise and big bindies which stuck in my shoes and tried to transport themselves in my car to kinder places. The pic is meant to be a bit of a joke, I took it to show the highlight of the Hay plains. And... that is a man made bit of dirt. Some of the land out at Urana is like that , where I lived for 6 years. There are lots of Emus and Kangaroos out here, so not a good place to travel the roads at dusk and dawn, of any time of night for that matter. As we were traveling along here I had an old Aussie bush ballad going on in my head. Flash Jack from Gundagi, it is about a bloke telling of his shearing travels and prowess in the area.

All among the wool boys, all among the wool,
Keep your blades full boys, keep your blades full,
I can do a respectable tally myself
whenever like to try
and they know me round the back blocks as
flash Jack from Gundagi.

That is the chorus anyway. The station names in the other verses of the song include some of the ones in the Hay area.Willandra, Toganmain, Tubbo stations are some of the big famous ones out there.
Out here there are huge sheep stations, nowadays owned by big corporations who have been buying up all the water allocations in the area. My dear old beloved Murrumbidgee river winds its way through the plains nearby, it runs into the Murray river between Euston and Balranald south of Hay.
Well what a long post that was eh! It was fun doing the trip and I hope you enjoy my sharing it with you.
Love Linda.

Monday, 27 April 2009

Sunday Scribblings "Follow"

I am back after my South Australia adventure. We traveled about 3500 km all up on the trip, that is just the km showing on the car's speedo, without the side trips we traveled on the little plane and bus when we went to Kangaroo Island.We saw the Coorong, the city, desert, etc. Lots and lots to tell but later.
So Follow!
What do I follow, or who?
Musicians that I follow, or whose talents I enjoy, I guess that is a way of following.
I always loved Billy Joel, especially his lyrics that can make me happy or bring me to tears but always are wonderful and have special meaning to me. Point in case- the songs, Honesty, Always a woman, Just the way you are, who doesn't want to be loved like that? Italian restaurant, Leningrad, always makes me cry, ah, so many great songs.
Also love the style of John Butler, my nieces say I should have been a hippy liking that sort of stuff, he he.
Jimmy Barnes, love his gutsy voice and especially his soul deep album. only seen him live once but it was fantastic.
Natalie and Nat King Cole, both of them. Saw Natalie when she came to Australia years ago and that was great but was a bit disappointed because I thought the performance was too polished and never deviated from the way you hear her sing on the albums and I thought she should have put a bit of grunt into it. But never mind, still great.
Mozart, cool and calming, great when you have to drive through the city peak hour traffic or when you are driving through the beautiful Aussie bush, sets the mood beautifully.
Red hot chili peppers, good for singing along and if you want something more fast paced.
Anything 70's and 80's Aussie rock, a great period for Aussie pub music.
Gutsy woman jazz/ blues singers.Anyone who has that special quality in their voice that I feel.
Janis Joplin, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, etc etc all that old style rock that today's teens refuse to recognize as the fore runners of today's music. Often had my kids say when something comes on the radio rehashed "How do you know that song?".
One of the things that I love to follow are some of the things I did on the trip we came home from just last night.
The Australian bush. Love it, draw from it. Peace, strength, beauty, serenity and a special toughness that makes me feel that the earth is going to survive and be here long after we, as a species, is long gone. Have you ever traveled through the Australian bush and watched the light play with the trees and plants, highlighting, changing sparkling on the leaves. Seen the subtle nuances of the colour changes between the earth and leaves and the bark on the tree trunks and the way they grow and adapt to their respective environments. I can never understand how anybody could look at a tree or plant and not see it's beauty, or just see the dead leaves, wood and fallen bark without seeing that a part of nature's regeneration process. So beautiful. If you have not seen like that, try. The life that they protect and harbor, the birds, insects and animals. Maybe that is one of the reasons I have liked living in Canberra. Australia's bush capital. We have such a beautiful world, look at it.
I would follow, and follow to the end of the earth, my husband, I love him and want to be with him for the rest of my life. But we are damaged and I still can not get what happened out of my mind, I am trying, but it is stuck in there, even though he says that is all over with. I need to be stonger, and know if I was, that I probably would not still be here now, most women would not be, but I want to be, but there you go. Follow.
That is all this post.
Love Linda.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

New prompt, "Tell a Tale"

I went to bed too early tonight and am wide awake at 2.00 in the morning. Not a good idea to go to bed so early. Anyway. I found this new writing site via Anthony North's blog, he puts up a list of them to encourage writer's creativity. Thanks Anthony. You can find a link to his blog on my side bar if you want to have a look.
The site is called "Tell a Tale" They put up a picture to write about and set a word limit at 300 words, and you get a point or two for doing it right. Well I don't always follow the rules, and points, well not worried about them, and I don't know how to transfer the picture on the site across to my blog so, if this doesn't fit in with the rules so be it. But here is my first try anyway.
The picture was of a man whom I surmised to be on his death bed, he is watched over by a grey haired Dr and the late afternoon sunshine is streaming through the window across his body showing the angles of the patients face and body. Let me see if I can paint a picture with words for you so you can see what I have interpreted.


Ahh! Old man. This is so, so, different to what I have done before. I have sat so many times thus with a patient but never one so close to me or so dear to me as you are.
I see you and remember you and our times together.
now the skin is stretched taunt across your face and body
Your body is no longer able to process the sustenance that is provided it and is so thin and angular
the late afternoon sunlight shining on it from a benevolent star
adding golden warmth and shadow
Your body.
Body that has in it's time on this plane of existence, done all that a body was built to do.
To live, to love, to create, to build, to procreate, to destroy , to nurture, to .......
and done it all well.
Now ravaged and worn by the life you have lead
and winding down to unconsciousness and towards it's last breath.
I am communicating telepathically with you
How many times have I sat here over the last week ,
watched and willed your chest to rise again
that faint pulse beating to continue in your neck to show me that you are still here with me
But I know it is your time,
to move to the next plane and you are ready for it
I sit here with you to farewell you on your journey
I have no right to try to stop you anymore for my own purposes
So when you are ready, go
move to take the hands of those long gone loved ones and others who are there to welcome you
to lead you through the gates
to a place where the pains and things that mattered so much in this life will matter no more
and you will be at peace
Go with love
God bless.

So there tis' my first go at the new site.
I have sat with people and said goodbye to them like this. I worked in a hospital for 14 years until I moved to Canberra where I am now, and talked telepathically with them to say goodbye. I have seen this scene many times over. It isn't always sad to say goodbye when you know that someone is suffering and it would be a relief for them to go and they are ready to go. When working in the hospital, especially with long term patients, you can become very attached to some of them and get to know them as friends. I have many memories of such people from my time there. I also know that when it is your loved one lying there in the bed it is a much different situation.
But I didn't get to do that with my Dad when he died.
Love Linda.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Sunday Scribblings, "Scared"

The Sunday Scribblings prompt for this week is "Scared". What scares me. Lots.
The thing that scares me most is that something might happen to hurt, injure or do worse than that to my children and loved ones.A real mummy type fear, I guess most of us have that one don't we?
Scared of
motor bikes, ......they kill
fairground rides......tipped upside down and spun around
the occult.........black arts
being held down.......I fight
big animals.........fascinate and draw me but scared of them still
having my feet off the ground.........never even rode a push bike
fighting...............don't like the consequences, except for if I win, he he
losing control of my emotions/ temper........always try to stay in control of them, hate when I don't.
lightening near me.........lovely to watch but....
centipedes...........these guys really creep me out. Especially the giant red ones we have here.
poisonous snakes.............isn't everyone?
dishonest people who con me too easily.......I am gullible with these types of people.
being alone..............always thought I would like this but after trying it, after a few days, didn't.
fakes...............I loath this trait in others and would not allow it in myself.

Hey on a lighter note!
the antitheses could be;

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with string
these are a few of my favorite things......
Yeah still crazy.
Not as bad as last week and the week before but worse than next week, hopefully.

Linda ism for the week.
"Scared is just one "r" away from scarred."


Yesterday we went walking around the lake with our doggie and had fish and chips for our good Friday lunch. T'was good, and I even got to use up some of the calories I consumed from the fried food which upset my tummy because I have not been eating that type of stuff lately.
The autumn colours are just starting to develop in the many deciduous trees planted all around Canberra. The oily dark burgundies, browns, reds, yellow and oranges. The colours should be in full glory in the next week or so as it starts to cool down further into the new season. It got down to a minimum temperature of 5 Celsius a few nights ago. Good weather for snuggling down into the quilt and staying in bed late of a morning. Mmmmmmmmm.
During the week a mechanic tried to rip me off. He told me that my car needed $3150 worth of repairs done to it, which is twice the amount that my whole car is worth. When I showed someone the list of what needed doing they told me that most of it was over priced and of minor consequence. I did not go back to them, so he lost a customer over it. I got the things that needed fixing done else where and will be leaving the rest of the little bits and pieces until they really need doing. Off that list, of importance were a number plate light bulb, which I might have been booked for, 2 front tyres and a wheel balance. My little old car is running fine otherwise. The shock absorbers might need some work in the future but so far.........So..........Mr Mechanic go take a long walk off a short pier.
Bye for now.
Love Linda

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Sunday Scribblings "Celebrate"

Sunday Scribblings prompt for this week is "Celebrate".
Boy is that a hard one for me in my present frame of mind, it might be cathartic though for me to work on, mightn't it. I am still a bit crazy here, up and feeling o.k one minute and down the next with everything that has happened going back and forwards through my brain and torturing myself with the details.
Celebrate, well last time I celebrated was a couple of Saturday nights ago when I was back in Junee. It was my old workmate Leonie's 50th birthday. So I went along to the party at the bowling club to see her. She always throws great parties and is the one person I know who can be termed the most social and popular person I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. There were 5 of us girls working at Junee hospital that were turning 50 this year, Leonie was the first of them. Lindy, Anne, who I went to high school with, Raylene and I were the other four. So 1959 must have been a year for good people.
Anyways I went to the party and talked to and hugged everyone and danced and sang, because that is what happens at Leonie type parties, even though she does have the occasional drink she doesn't usually , she does not need to use alcohol to have fun. She had a local guy, Peter Hook, who was up on stage as the D.J. and whenever her favorite singer John Farnham sang a song she jumped up there and danced on the stage. So funny, and typical Leonie. She loves to have a good time and always encourages you to join in and do the same. So I celebrate Leonie, who has reached 50 years old and is a great person. She does not have the perfect life, marriage and whatever else but she celebrates when ever she can and nothing holds her down for long. She has lots of friends and makes friends easily by drawing people to her. In the picture above, Leonie is the one in the middle, I am wearing the orange shirt (with my big mouth flapping) and Fiona is on the other side. It was taken last weekend in Wagga when we had lunch together. Fiona was also a workmate from Junee hospital but moved to Western Australia probably 2 years ago and was back for a visit. Her home town is Urana where I lived for 6 years, while my hubby worked on the council there, so we have that link, I knew some of her family there but not her, as she was a bit younger and still in her teens when we lived there. My daughter was born while we were living there. Funny old place Urana , when we lived there, there was about 400 people in the town. I think there are less now and it is dying. It was sure looking very old and shabby last time I drove through there a year or so back.
I also celebrate new life. Another friend in Junee, Linda, became a grandma for the first time last Saturday night. Her daughter Deanne gave birth to a daughter of her own, a lovely new life, weighing in at 7lb and strong and healthy, named Tiane. So welcome Tiane.
I also celebrate my children. My sweet daughter Anne-Marie, who is studying at university in Wagga in her second year of a psychology course. My second son David, who is such a strong and happy, social person and my eldest son Michael who has suffered depression for years but since moving to Canberra is moving forwards with his life and is a good guy (always was, just didn't believe it or want to prove it). He got his driver's licence last week and bought his first car, so that is a really big step forward for him now he can be more independent.
I would like to say that I celebrate my marriage to Peter but at the moment I am still too battle scarred to do so. We are together and working on things and talking, probably better than we have ever talked together but it is still Early days and I am still feeling like shit, and as I said before, still up and down . But isn't make up sex great. He he. We have so much history together and I can not imagine ever losing that, but things have definitely been damaged. I guess I wasn't ready to lose everything we had in our past or planned for our future together, so I am holding on. I love him though I haven't been liking him much lately, but I want to get that back, then there is the trust issue.
We are planning a trip to South Australia in a few weeks time and taking the caravan with us. I have been down there a couple of times and he hasn't been to S.A. at all yet. I want to see Goolwa and the Coorong. Goolwa is the town where the Murray river meets the sea and the Coorong is an environmentally sensitive national park with a long narrow spit of land that is between the coast and the sea and is full of wildlife, especially birds, but is damaged by global warming etc and may not be there as it is forever, as a consequence. The Coorong is where the "Storm Boy" movie was set and filmed. Then we might take a bus tour of Adelaide, which is better than finding your own way around. You get the commentary as well, that you wouldn't have known about touring by yourself. Maybe take the Barossa valley route ( big wine making/growing area) on the way back, we are not much on drinking but it is an area that is very pretty and well worth the tour. I don't mind a wine, or should that be whine lately, but am certainly no connoisseur, in either form of the word. Anyway, our plans are not set in concrete at the moment, we will just do it and see where it leads us. Should be good, especially looking forwards to the precious time by ourselves together. The map we were looking at last night said that it is over 1100km, one way, by road from here.
So celebrate.....
Good and bad
and in between times
They are all part of your journey through life
Remember that none of those times will last forever.
Bad returns full circle to good
Even though it may take a while
Good can become bad
But indifference can lead to either.

Thank you everyone for your comments and support over the last few weeks I appreciate your contact.
Love Linda.