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Showing posts from June, 2009

Landing in Cairns

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Thursday, 25 June

I landed in Cairns this morning; the flight from Sydney took three hours. It felt good taking off from the cold dawn tarmac, to watch the city submerge into playbox houses beneath me as we zoomed far away and into the cloudy altitudes where no-one and almost nothing exists, barring the promise of heaven in the form of mystical cotton-balls in the sky.

And where mortgages and property values hang as utterly meaningless and frankly absurd concepts..

As we descended into Cairns I noticed how different the landscape underneath me appeared. There were swirly rivulets and rivers that no doubt carry crocodiles and other tropical delights. On the ground I realised how majestic the area around Cairns is, the city being surrounded by mountains and tree-covered peaks. Sometimes these peaks were covered with clouds, though in this latitude they resembled heat-packs in the sky moreso than mere clouds. Cairns in the dead of winter is about the same as an average Sydney summer’s …

hunters hill & woolwich

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today i met up with sarah at a park in woolwich for a historical walk around the hunters hill area. hunter's hill and woolwich are situated on a peninsula that juts off gladesville just over the bridge from drummoyne when driving in from balmain or rozelle. neither of us have ventured into the area much at all during our lives so it was of great surprise and delight to us to discover and walk through this historic area. there were spectacular water views, tree lined streets and frontage of houses that sprouted liberal and varied amounts of wonderful foliage. the houses themselves were amazing, there were sandstone cottages (hunters hill is known for its sandstone), beautiful weatherboard cottages and loving restored federation homes. the area felt genteel and safe and unlike many other blue-ribbon areas it didn't have a narcy edge to it. we felt comfortable walking the streets of this fine area that - whilst being close to the inner & northern western suburbs, the no…

shurrup Suit!!!

You know, sometimes I do have this fantasy of the world blowing up and our civilisation collapsing along with it, to see the whole structure and edifice coming down like fluff cards, bringing down volumes of dust and rubble that'll see the end of us all.

Many are predicting that this will happen one way or the other, and not before too long too.

I mean, I love life. I love nature, trees, walks in the park. I love the people I love, I love acoustic guitars made of beautiful wood, I love ukuleles, I love garden-fresh salads....

it's just that...I'm continually dismayed at civilisation's drawing card - money - and the power and sway it has on people, along with the bondage, burden, sacrifice and humiliation it inflicts upon the majority of the world's people and their lives, particularly us lot in the west.

How capricious is investment. Investing in property for fuck's sake, or the friggin' share market. The non-Westerners (and Easterners) had it right by livi…

port arthur...

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Port Arthur in Tasmania is an amazing place. A 90 minute drive out of Hobart, Port Arthur is blessed with a stunning natural harbour and lush green vista of rolling hills. It is also home to a penal colony that flourished in the 19th century and today there is a historical site that is maintained by tourist dollars.

The tourist site is fabulous. The site is open from 8:30am in the morning up until about 9:30pm at night, when the last ghost tour ends. We got there in the early afternoon and stayed for the ghost tour in the evening under full moon.

There's an eerie vibe when walking through Port Arthur. It feels pregnant with the pain of anguish, yet there is a tranquility that calms this to some degree. You can almost hear the moans and screams of generations past as you wander through the remains of the penitentiary, the asylum, or the dark cells where some patients or convicts were locked away in total darkness for days on end.

As I see it, the entire system of convicts sent …

the hare and the tortoise

Ever had the wish that when some prick does something mean to you on the road, that you'd drive past them and witness some imagined misfortune of theirs and you'll be able to stick your tongue out at them?? I've had that fantasy and I suppose everyone has. Well in Tasmania this actually came true.

We were leaving Port Arthur late, at about 9:30pm. The speed limit was 80 kilometres per hour although my instinct was to drive slower at 60ks. It was very dark and the roads were windy. All of a sudden Sarah and I witnessed a menagerie of animals by the side of the road upon which Sarah insisted with a shriek that I slow down to 40ks. I obliged almost begrudgingly, yet my irateness quickly turned to eager compliance as I realised that if I had been driving faster I would have easily knocked over one of these sweet creatures. For example, a small wallaby by the side of the road began hopping in front of the car as soon as it saw our headlights. If I was driving faster than…

Allez vous-en

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I'd only been away from Sydney a little less than two weeks. We've seen some lovely places, particularly throughout Tasmania, of which we visited the giant Huon Pines & eucalypts and the Port Arthur historical site. The hotel in Hobart was particularly fabulous as it encompassed a wide view of the charming city. Everywhere I went I wondered if "I could live here". Sarah & I had this discussion everywhere we went. With Melbourne we both decided, well, not really. Perhaps the city takes some getting used to. It's difficult to find your centre in Melbourne, it's sprawling and flat and I couldn't quite grasp my sense of place or direction while I was down there. When I was driving out to Box Hill for example I felt like my car was stationary whilst the scenery in front of me moved through me, like a 3-D film, hardly changing for 40 minutes. The nicest thing about Melbourne for me was driving into it at night. As we were encroaching the city …

Maton Factory tour

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On the Thursday morning of 4 June, while passing through Melbourne, I had a chance to take a little excursion out to the Maton Factory in the eastern suburb of Box Hill and attend one of their fortnightly tours. While Maton build both quality acoustic and electric guitars, it’s their acoustic guitars that they are mainly known for. The tours last for 90 minutes though unfortunately I was half-an-hour late to my tour, my lateness being due to my inability to recognise the distance from Fitzroy to Box Hill on the map. I thought it might only take me five minutes to get there, instead it was a 40 minute drive! The eastern suburbs of Melbourne are a little reminiscent of Sydney’s north shore although the streets seem to be gridded in squares and it’s all relatively flat.

I hadn’t missed much of the tour. I found out subsequently that the first 30 minutes consisted of a tour of the de-humidifier room and the loading in of the woods. I appeared at the point in the tour where we were sh…