Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Down Time

Just a quick post this evening.

We (that is Deb, all the Girls and I) are heading off interstate on holiday tomorrow.

We are going to be staying in a town on the south coast of New South Wales (NSW) called Merimbula.

Merimbula is just north of one of my favourite places of all, Eden.

That’s right Eden NSW.

I’ve posted about Eden before, and no doubt I will take a piccie or two while I am away (Ok, Ok, a piccie or two hundred).

I haven’t been to the NSW south coast in winter before so I am looking forward to seeing what we can see.

Humpback whales begin making their way along the coast at this time of year so they could be one thing on offer.

In any case there is a good chance I will bore you with sights from around Eden like:

Twofold Bay;

Ben Boyd National Park.

The local wild life

But we’ll just have to see.

We’ll be away for around ten days. Now the place we are staying is supposed to have internet, but in case it doesn’t you might not hear from me until I get back.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Wild Weather (and an embarrassing anecdote)

Down here in the south of the world it is winter.

Cold wet and (potentially) miserable. Not to be daunted by minor inconveniences like the weather we headed off to the east coast of Victoria.

Not far from Inverloch we paused so I could take some piccies of this abandoned railway trestle bridge.At least abandoned in the sense that it no longer carries a railway. It has been converted to a foot bridge on part of a coastal walk.

Just how close to the coast is shown by this shot under the bridge.
By now the wind was driving a bank of cloud in off Bass Strait. But not all was gloomy, this Callistemon was flowering nearby.
Back in the car we drove along to Venus Bay.

We walked down this path through the coastal heathland to the beach.
I doubt any swimmers would be around to need this sign today.The wind was driving the sea onto the shore and it was now very unpleasant.
But a few hardy individuals were not giving up their fishing for anything.
On the way back up to the car I paused to catch a photo of this beggar (not a good photo I am afraid). A bull ant, these guys are the largest ant in the world. This one was about an inch and a half long.
They are common around Oz, are very aggressive and have a vicious sting.

I had an unfortunate experience with one back in my university days.

Picture if you will Al and Deb making their way along a busy path of the University of New England back in the 1980s. It is a bright sunny day and there are plenty of people around.

All of a sudden Al grabs at his upper thigh and begins dancing around. ‘Something’s in my daks’
Deb looks alarmed, ‘What’s wrong?’
Al continues frantically dancing and clutching at his groin, ‘Ouch, ouch, ouch!’
‘Get your pants off!’
There in the middle of a public thoroughfare Al desperately tears off his jeans.
The culprit: a bull ant.
The little sod got me fourteen times on the upper thigh before I got my pants off.
I reckon these guys are so bad tempered she (the workers of these species are female) probably deliberately climbed all the way up my leg before letting me have it. I am sure she planned public humiliation in addition to the pain.
Anyway back to the main story.

I snapped a few shots of these gnarled roots in the heath. On the way home we stopped at Tarwin Lower near a Jetty on the wetlands.I snapped a few last piccies in the rapidly failing light because by then the moon was out.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Way back on the 8th of June Myrna from 'Night Writer' passed the ‘Happiness 101 Award’ on to me. Things have been so hectic round here that I haven’t had the chance to acknowledge Myrna’s kindness until now.
Thank you Myrna!

I haven’t quite been able to work out if there are any ’rules’ to this award so I am just going to have to follow Myrna’s lead and list ten ‘things that make me happy’ and pass the award on to a few other people.

So with out further ado.

Ten things that make me happy (in no particular order).

Hall, Australian Capital Territory

The cover of my soon to be published book Veiled in shadows

The Aussie Bush
Fitzroy Falls, Morton National Park NSW.

Fitzroy Library, Melbourne Victoria

‘Pink Fingers’ a tiny native orchid, Gundaroo NSW.

Eastern Grey Kangaroo, Honeysuckle Creek Australian Capital Territory

Milecastle 37 Northern Gate, Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland England.

Bay Of Martyrs, Victoria.

German Gun Breech, Captured by Diggers Western Front WWI

Storm-cloud near Toowoomba Queensland

I will pass the award to a number of bloggers around whose blogs I frequently lurk:

B. at ‘B. Miller Fiction

Mary at ‘The Ethos The Logos The Pathos

Theresa at ‘Substitute Teacher’s Saga

Hanna at ‘Musings of a Palindrome

Cynthia at ‘Cynthia Reese

Monday, June 21, 2010


Well I have had a hectic day at work again. The reality (unfortunately) is that services for homeless people get busier in tough economic times.

Overall Oz has fared well in the difficult times that have raged around the world. But things haven’t exactly been rosy, and Victoria is the state that has fared the worst. Which means with unemployment increasing, homelessness has increased.

But enough doom and gloom for one night.

I want to thank everybody who has commented for their feedback on the two versions of my blurb. What you guys have provided is invaluable.

Thank you.

Well now for some fun with some piccies!

I want to share some piccies I took the weekend after my trip to Beechworth.

They were taken at a place called Snob’s Creek. The creek rolls down from the highlands near Eildon about two hours drive from home.

The piccies I am sharing were all taken on my camera, but the credits for these piccies have to be shared between me and Lu, my youngest.

To get to the falls you have to climb down a couple of sets of stairs. Lu paused to turn and take this piccie back up the path.I took a similar one also aiming to capture the roots of this smallish Mountain Ash as they grow over the boulders of the slope. The path parallels the creek as it tumbles down a series of small cascades towards the falls.
At this one I set up the camera to take some long exposure shots in the dark under the forest canopy.The blurred figure in the fore ground is me. Once I set the camera I went around the front to look up into the tree branches.
Lu started clicking away to try and capture me. But of course the exposure was far too long for portraits so I was just a blur.

Another shot from the same position.A third zooming in on the lower cascade.
A fourth looking at the upper cascade.Lu took the camera as we continued down. She paused to take this shot looking down at a small rotting stump.Then, budding photographer that she is, she took another after removing the bottle cap. Can you see she has inadvertently caught her toes at the bottom of both shots :-).

After a bit of a struggle I prised the camera from her hands to shoot this rather attractive boulder in the middle of the stream.Finally, I took a pile of piccies at the bottom of the falls.
And me being me, stuffed nearly all of them. I didn’t notice I still had the ISO set for the dark of the forest so nearly all of the piccies in the relatively bright conditions at the bottom were hopelessly over exposed.

This is the only one that is worth sharing.
But in an effort to be an optimist I am going to take this as a good thing.
Because I stuffed so many exposures, I have the perfect excuse to head back (in the not too distant future) to get some more.

Not that I really need an excuse.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What a hectic week it’s been.

I think this is about the longest time I have gone without posting since I began this blog.

Work seems to have been meeting after meeting leading to one late finish after another all week.

Then finally heading home on time yesterday I got a call from E my eldest, that her car had broken down. So I drove to where her car had stopped and waited with her for the RACV (The Royal Automobile Club of Victoria) breakdown guy to come and have a look.

The verdict, a dead alternator, being new enough to have electronic fuel injection etc her car came to a grinding halt. The RACV guy ordered a tow truck so we had to wait in the cold and dark until the tow truck turned up (it is winter down this way remember).

Anyway E’s car is back on the road today after a new alternator was fitted.

Now finally after close to a week away from the blogosphere I am getting to post.

Tonight I am going to post about two things:

a photo essay on one of our weekend trips;

and another blurb for your comments (assuming you are kind enough)


About a month ago Deb and I drove up to Beechworth North Eastern Victoria.

Our very brief trip (we were in the town for less than two hours) has whet my appetite and I guess we’ll be going back.
Like many Victorian towns it was a gold rush boom town. Most of the buildings in the main street were built in the gold rush days between 1855 and the 1870s.

Which of course gives me an opportunity to get shutter happy!

So while Deb took the opportunity to check out some purveyors of Alpaca fibre, I went scenery shooting.

We parked across the road from the old courthouse.I loved the way the soft light was playing across the front of the building.
Next door is what looks at first sight like an old style gaol (that would be jail). In fact it was the Government ‘Sub-Treasury’I’ll let a piccie explain the building.On the other side of the courthouse is the original telegraph station.

I strolled down the road to snap these autumn colours.Behind these trees is the Beechworth Prison which is still in use as a minimum security facility.Across the road from the courthouse was more autumn colour.Another ‘resident’ of the main street is the post office.I snapped this road sign because I thought non-Aussies might find some of our place names interesting.I guess I should do a post on place names some time. Many of our place names are tedious rehashes (for example I think there is a Windsor and a Richmond in every Australian state), but the names derived from Aboriginal languages are simply fascinating.

Directly opposite the post office is the old Bank of Victoria building.The ‘Bank of Victoria’ basically went bust in the 1980’s and was bought up by another big Aussie bank. So the building is no longer in use as a bank.

And of course all gold rush towns had to have their fair share of pubs.‘The Commercial Hotel’ is a fairly typical Aussie ‘bush pub’ although probably more elaborate than most.

In the side street are a few other interesting buildings including:
the original fire station (still in use).

And ‘J. H. Ingram Booksellers’One wonders if they have any link with the modern international book distributor by the same name?

So that is Beechworth.

Now (once again) a request.

I have been tinkering with my blurb and wonder what you think now.
Here we go…

1937, Ebi Gausel is riding high as a member of Germany’s elite guard, Hitler’s SS.

An unexpected romance arrives in Ebi’s life in the form of the fiery Katharina.
Even with Europe teetering on the brink of war their happiness seems assured.

But Ebi’s certainty comes crashing down as Katharina disappears,
leaving hints of a dark secret.

In a war fought in the shadows…
those who live may do so at the cost of their humanity.

Two lovers united by passion
…and divided by hate.

As they fight for survival…
their most ruthless foe might be one another.