Sunday, October 26, 2008

Go go go Royal Hobart Show

In Hobart and southern Tasmania, the fourth Thursday in October sees the annual public holiday that is declared for the Royal Hobart Show (Show day is also traditionally the day to plant your summer tomato crop, and other horticultural products). Being dutiful southern Tasmanians, Katie and I trooped out to the showgrounds at Elwick with Caroline, Rob, Bea and Eddie for a bit of a taste of the fair.

For me, it brought back a heap of memories of childhood visits to the Show with Mum, Dad and Brent. back then, when Tasmania still had passenger trains, they used to run specials from the city out to the Showgrounds. Now, there's no special buses, but they do run the normal suburban service every thirty minutes. Integrated and innovative public transport, that's what we're on about folks!

We went through the cattle and goat pavillions, as well as the "Life on the farm" pavilion, which was filled with lots of touchable livestock and was a hit with the kids. Incidentally, sponsored by John Gay and the friendly folk at Gunns.

Speaking of woodchips, Katie and I wandered down the side of the showgrounds, via the Tasmanian Devil conservation stand,

and through to the woodchopping arena, where we watched a couple of heats of the big men doing battle with vertical logs. It was a great sight, watching these blokes sink their axes into the hardwood, managing to get through in just over twenty seconds. And these guys were the veterans!

After the excitment of the chopping, we made our way over to Sideshow Alley, where Katie had the pleasure of sinking five ping pong balls down a rotating clown's gob to win a lovely pair of fluffy dice.
And we got some hot American donuts, from the van that has had the same tape recording blaring from its speakers for at least the last 35 years. See them being made (link to crappy recording I made with my phone)!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Post Wedding Shindig in Hobart

Katie and I hosted an afternoon tea at our place yesterday as a bit of a Hobart celebration of our wedding, four weeks ago (pictures coming SOON!). It was a beaut day, I think 23 degrees was the temperature. Katie and Mum baked up several storms...the highlight had to be the debut of the 38-cupcake cupcake tree!

Much bubbly and Bonnington Brewery Pale Ale and Munich Lager was consumed in the sun, and beyond. Twas a fantastic day, and great to be surrounded by friends old (Mavis at 96) and new (Max at about five weeks), and lots more in between.

There's a few more pix (thanks to Jan for whipping off some photos) of proceedings sitting with Smugmug right here.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Nightclubs are hell.

I used to thank bouncers and door bitches for deciding I wasn't the quite in the demographic that they wanted to let into their nightclubs on the odd occasion I was dragged along after the pubs shut. Charlie Brooker in the Guardian verbalises my hatred of them like no one else has before.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Ich bin ein Hamburger

Or something like that. Our German mates gave us a Moulinex mincer as a wedding present. Tonight we had hamburgers made with mince we ground from round steak.

Bloody hell they were good.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

A quick scoot up the Valley

I scored a couple of glass fronted cabinets on Freecycle yesterday. Only problem was they were in Hamilton, about seventy Km away from Hobart, up the Derwent Valley. dad and I went up there this morning to collect. the furniture was half gone and rubbish, but it was a good excuse for a drive on a beautiful day. Grabbed a couple of great pies at the very friendly Platter Pie Cafe in Hamilton, and a refreshing ale and some cheap eggs at the Gretna Green pub.

There's no quick marriages on offer at Gretna Green in Tassie though. Which is cool, cos I'm already hitched! :)

Photos of that auspicious event will be up here very soon. Watch this space....

Sunday, October 05, 2008

The spectral memorials that haunt our roads

They started in San Francisco, spread throughout the States and are now appearing in cities worldwide ghostly white bikes adorned with fresh flowers that mark the spot where a cyclist has been killed. As they begin to appear across Britain, Geraldine Bedell talks to the creators of these poetic shrines and the victims families.

".....The British ghost bike phenomenon remains much more diffuse and less well understood. A memorial to James Foster in Essex Road, on the Hackney-Islington border in London, has recently been vandalised; it is now missing its front wheel, pedals and handlebars and hangs off its post looking battered and lost. James's friend Sarn Baggett, who built it out of spare parts at Mosquito Bikes, where he and James both worked, says all the components were unusable. Perhaps the vandals didn't understand the bike's significance, although it is also possible that people in London are simply less civilised and sympathetic than those in New York.

James, who was 37, was pushing his bike across the road when he was hit by a car driven by 24 year-old Sabrina Harman. She was over the drink-drive limit and speeding and had a previous conviction for drink-driving. She had been banned for a year and still had not regained her full licence.

Foster was well-known and much loved among London cyclists. A tall Tasmanian, with long red dreadlocks, he shared a house with nine other Australians and New Zealanders. Baggett remembers him as 'a classic gentle giant with a massive smile', while his friend Therese Kilpatrick recalls 'a quiet, exceptional person who was incredibly generous with his time, who respected everyone'. He loved cycling and skateboarding and anything to do with adventure; he was also deeply concerned about the environment....."

Click here for the full story