Category Archives: family

A visit to the Royal Tasmania Botanical Gardens

In the family I’m from a stroll round the local Botanical Gardens is always in order when one goes visiting a new town. There’s new plants to see, old ones to admire and just a lovely time strolling the paths.

Of course one of the few things on my must do list for Christmas in Hobart was a visit to the Gardens. le Sigh. I love those gardens. I didn’t get to fully explore the Japanese Gardens this time, just had a quick rush in to take photos of the Ginkgo biloba.

Ginkgo biloba

Oh and a little snap of the Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum cv. Utsusemi) as well.

Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum cv. Utsusemi)

Highlights included this Rhododendron Azma in the Rhododendron Terraces

Rhododendron Azma
Mum and Margaret did a lot of this. Botanising we call it, both of them with their BSc hats on.
Mum and Aunty Margaret botanising

 

My favourite area of the garden on this trip was probably the Deciduous Lawn and the Oak Collection.  I had a very nice time taking photos of backlit leaves. The angle of the sun in Tasmania makes it so nice for taking backlit photos.

Like this one (unlabelled tree).
Backlit Leaves
or this one (English Oak Hybrid (Quercus x robur))
English Oak Hybrid(Quercus x robur)
or this one (Pyramidale Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum)).
Pyramidale Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum)
My most favourite photo of the outing was this one, a very quick photo as we got back to the cars. Taken just like that because the light was just right. My cousin Erica and her little bear.
My fav photo of Erica and the little bear

 

Aren’t they just special?

If you want to check out the rest of the photos from our jaunt to the gardens, head over to Flickr to my Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens Set

 

Graduated

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks and the next couple of weeks are going to be just as crazy. I had a post typed up the other week when uni results were released but my phone ate. Suffice to say I did exceptionally well on the exam that I was sure I had bombed out on. Exceptionally well in the sense of jumping round the house like a Maasai at 6:30 in the morning excited.

 

Graduated!

Last Thursday night, I tripped the light fantastic across the stage of the Concert Hall at QPAC. Level of overall excitement that night? Oh, about 300%. This graduation ceremony meant 500 times more to me than my undergraduate ceremony Looking back at that post now makes me realise just how much I’ve changed in the last six years! To start with I now own more pairs of heels than I do flats! I also graduated with a full mouth of teeth (the fake tooth that I had back in 2006 broke the day before the ceremony). Just like my undergrad there was only a small number of people graduating with my degree (13 grads and 5 of us at the ceremony). Unlike my undergrad though, I knew just about everyone graduating with my degree (Graduate Diploma in Business – Professional Accounting) and those who graduated with the Masters as we’ve all done at least 75% of our subjects together. This of course meant that before the ceremony, during the ceremony and afterwards there was lots and lots of excited chatter, hugs, drinks and celebrations.

 

My dearest friend sent me flowers at work which of course made a bit of an emotional mess as it had been a roller coaster day at work. I also got some more flowers, cards, a graduation bear and a bottle of bubbles which made me feel very loved. I’ve had a lot of support from those I work with the last 2.5yrs since I returned from uni and as one of the ladies said “it feels like we are all graduating with you”, so true.

Graduation Flowers

The Accountancy school lucked out and got the evening graduation ceremony. Mum had arrived the night before and was ever so kind to drop me at work in the morning with all my accoutrements. I got ready at work, with a flat iron plugged in beside the ECG machine and a revolving stream of work mothers taking photos, rearranging my dress and what not else. Then it was onto QPAC for the real deal to begin. I met up with T who I started with two years ago and we went off to get robed and played a game of Cinderella trying to find mortarboard that were exactly the right size. Once we were robed it was time for a celebratory glass of bubbles.

 

Graduated!

 

There was then more bubbles and hot chips to give us fuel for the next few hours before we lined up for photos, photos and photos.  Before we knew it it was time for us to head back stage again for our final briefing. We thoroughly enjoyed walking the hallways of backstage at QPAC. It was quite something.  Seats were found on stage and then it was a briefing and then we watched our family start to stream in.  After a bit of waving and pointing Mum found me on stage.

I was the 182nd person to graduate on Thursday night. That was a lot of names to read out before me! QUT was live streaming the grad ceremonies but unfortunately only two people I know were able to watch the stream. For the rest of my family and friends the website kept crashing. :( :( :(

When the ceremony was finally over after much, it was time for lots more hugs, excited chatter and what not with another round of celebratory bubbles. Smiled so much all night. Then we had to return our gowns and head back to reality. Reality for me is just under seven weeks left at my current work before I head off into the big accounting world. Going to be a bit of a change!

Graduated!Graduated!

and that is how I graduated last Thursday night.

The Hippeastrums say hello

 

Hippeastrums

Well I must say I hadn’t planned on it to be over two months between posts but such it is.

In that time uni has been well uni. It’s my last semester and and the two subjects I’m doing are ones that require a lot of brain wrangling.

Textbook pages a flutter

 

I had a birthday. I’m now 27. Gosh, it’s hard to think that this time ten years ago  I was busy decorating my formal dress, having fun and looking forward the two and a half months I was having going round the world instead of going to schoolies.

Tim tam pikelet stack

 

The girls at work made my desk into a “winter wonderland” aka filling my drawers and covering my desk with very finely shredded paper and then wrapping it all up in bubble wrap and presenting the above tim-tam wrapped berry and cream pikelet stack to me as my cake.


Bubble wrapped

Mum sent me a bunch of flowers to work which was very nice.

Birthday blooms from Mum

My birthday presents to myself was a tablet (Google Nexus 7) which I love and would be more handy that I imagined in the past few weeks, a pair of new shoes and nose surgery.

Nexus 7

These are my shoes. They’re silver. Oh so pretty. Oh so comfy. They Spin in silver from Ecco.

Shoes, Silver Shoes.

 

For the last couple of years I’ve pumped drugs up nose on and off in a bid to clear it. I’ve not really smelt or tasted things very well. One reason, why I’m always slightly paranoid about people’s response to the food that I make; does it taste ok? That all came to head earlier this year when I got sinus pain whilst flying. A change of nose drugs didn’t really do much so it was time to consider other options. I had a septoplasty and turbinectomy at the start of the uni mid-semester break.

Gosh, I’m still in recovery and if it wasn’t for those who I’ve spoken to who’ve had the the surgery previously I would seriously be questioning why I undertook it. Imagine a tap on your nose that you can’t turn off and splurts out rubbish down your nasal passage and your throat all day long.   I work in the medical field, I’ve seen, read and heard enough gory surgical tales that 99.9% of it is water off my back. Facial surgery though is that .1% that makes me go argh. I do though get a kick out of the fact though that I can now say I’ve legally used cocaine.  Yep, it’s commonly used during nasal surgery as a local anesthetic.

Roses from work in a Figgjo Flint Lotte jug

Work sent me these lovely pink roses (I can sort of smell them) and no, they didn’t see the irony in sending me roses as they came from head office and not my office. We got a laugh out of it though. I also finally picked up the Figgjo Flint Lotte water jug that I’ve had my eye on for some time.

 

Bed time

Now it’s time to have a little nap before I venture off to uni this afternoon. I’m not using four pillows anymore but am down to two pillows. The blanket came from the farm, the pillow and sæng cover are from Ikea, love those dots.

And here is another photo from the garden to sign off with. I’m so happy it’s finally raining! Not only to settle the dust so it doesn’t irritate my nose but to water the garden and to give the tank a good fill. Not sure about you but my water tank has been empty for almost two months. A Pale-headed Rosella (Platycercus adscitus) enjoying the Grevillea.

Lorikeet

Heading west from the Toowoomba range to Millmerran, Queensland

This weekend just gone I took a five day weekend and headed south of the border. Well really more south west but it was definitely across the border. I put on a number of caps for the trip, I was an interstate removalist,  a fruit wholesaler, a handy person, a providore,  a general hand, a driver and countless other caps.

Yep, I packed up the car and went to visit Mum. I left Brisbane on Wednesday night and after a taco dinner (south of the border … ) with some dear friends I headed to Millmerran for the night. I penned typed this little rhyme after getting to my accommodation for the night. It pretty much summed that leg of the trip up.

Drove on the Gore,
It’s a bit of a bore.
Catching shut-eye in a donga,
Going to read about Beluga.

Of course, I didn’t actually read about Beluga but it was the only word that I could think of that was even close to rhyming with donga.

If you need a place to stay in Millmerran, I recommend the Millmerrran Village Caravan Park. Clean, tidy and very helpful staff.

My donga in Millmerran ticked all the boxes for somewhere to crash for the night and I had the best shower there I’ve had in some time, oh the water pressure!

Arty shot of autumnal plant in the caravan park.

Breakfast shot. The contents of that PET bottle? Orange juice squeezed by me (well perhaps the Kitchenaid), good hit of Vitamin C.

Cacatua galerita! Lots of them. These birdies were part of my first mass bird sighting of the trip. There would be many more. The size of this flock would be chicken feed to what I would see south of the border. Still, I do love a Sulphur-crested Cockatoo. They are just such personable birds.

Bye-bye Millmerran.

From Millmerran I headed onwards to Goondiwindi or Gundy if you speak the speak. My stopover in Gundy will be another post, ahh sweet Gundy. Gundy was where the op shop deities started to shine on me. Oh sweet Gundy.

Props to you if you picked the source of the post title. According to last.fm, I’ve played this song nine times, I’ve actually played it whole lot more than that, the OCMS CD had a period of very high rotation in the car.

That sums up the first leg of my road trip. What I’ve not told you about is the fact that I managed to get lost take a creative detour both going into and out of Forest Lake on my way to dinner (all those darn changes to those roads) or that the cloud was so thick heading up the range and through Toowoomba on Wednesday night that I barely got above 20km/hr for that stretch …

Dinner

Because tonight is the one night of the year pancakes are a totally acceptable dinner. Mmm pancakes! or pönnukökur to be more correct, since the only type of pancakes this house knows is Icelandic pancakes (well and also the Ayrshire pancakes that my maternal grandmother used to make).

There is only three types of toppings pancakes in our family can have and that is red jam (any berry or rhubarb jam) with cream, golden syrup with cream or brown sugar, lemon juice and cream. Yep cream is just as important as pancakes when it comes to pancakes!

This picture though, tells a lot more than just that I had pancakes for dinner but it about the Icelandic pancake pans that Karl brought over with him for my Christmas present in 2008, Grandmum’s narrow metal flip, the paper towel holder that Grandad made and of course a Lotte plate…

Here is hoping that you too enjoyed pancakes at some stage tomorrow and I’m looking forward to eating the leftovers tomorrow :)

The London to Cape Town ERA Rally

I really meant to post about this quite a few days ago, since there is only two days of the rally left I best do it now!

My uncle and cousin are just about at the end of a 29 day or 14,400 km mad dash from London to Cape Town in their 1923 Vauxhall OD 23/60, known as Penny. Penny (and my uncle) is quite the adventurer having completed the ERA Peking to Paris rally in 2010 and coming 2nd in the pioneer class.  The original plan some time ago was to do London to Cape Town in their “everyday” 4wd but look at the picture below and I think you can understand why Penny is doing London to Cape Town and not the Landcruiser…

This is them a few days ago barrelling down a road between Moyale and Marsabit in Kenya. The photo is by Gerard Brown who is the rally photographer.

 

They are currently placed at 31 in what is now a field of 41 cars, pretty darn impressive for a car which is the oldest in the rally by 41 years … The second oldest car is a 1964 Volvo PV 544 C. The rally was designed for “classic rally cars”, those rally cars of the 60s-80s, that are the type of cars you think of when you think major long distance rally. They’ve done really well climbing up from 40th which at the pointy end of the rally I would really say comes down to how well they prepped Penny to start off with.

One of the coolest features available to us rally watchers is the yellowbrick car tracking, at any time of the day you are able to see where all the cars are located and what speed they are travelling at etc. If you’ve got some time to spend I highly recommend having a poke round the rally website but also looking at the various participant blogs etc

I leave you with this photo also by  Gerard Brown. This is what happens when you run out of petrol 500m from the petrol station. I’m betting that is one tale those locals will be talking about for some time to come.

Gerard Brown