Monday, May 25, 2009

Bridgewater Jerry, 22 May 2009

View down Warwick Street to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church.
Click image for full size

The Bridgewater Jerry has been lurking around Hobart a fair bit over the last week or so. Finally I remembered to take my camera with me.

There's a few more photos here.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Monday-Friday: Mild Mannered Hairdresser

....But when Ben hangs up his shears for the weekend, no rabbit is safe from his steely gaze.

There's some more photos here*

*may contain dead furry friends.

Project Scrumpy 2009

Click thru to Bonnington Brewery for some fine action pix of our first foray into the murky world of scrumpy making.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Cidermaking-a noble art

One of Julian Temperly's offciders fills our barrel on the way to Butlins

Julian Tmperley, of Burrow Hill Cider fame has been granted the freedom of The City of London. Which apparently gives him the right to drive sheep over London Bridge.

Julian's the guy who brings the much-loved Cider Bus to Glastonbury festival every year.

He has been selling his fantastic scrumpy at Avalon since the first festival in 1971.

I've been to his cidery on at least three occasions, the last being our infamous trip to the All Tommorrow's Parties festival at Butlins in Minehead. We filled a home brew barrel with Burrow Hill Scrumpy (at a pound a litre or so!) and proceeded to drink it all over three days. A shedload cheaper, and a load more refreshing (and alcoholic!) than the slop lager they were flogging for four quid a pint! We were quite creative in our methods of smuggling past the door goons.

Anyhow, congratulations to Julian on his award. May the Burrow Hill flow for many years to come.

Coincidentally, I'm collecting 250 litres of apple juice from the Huon Valley this afternoon for the very same purpose; that of making loads of scrumpy. Watch out for my flock coming over the brow of the Tasman Bridge! Though I don't think cidermaking is a guaranteed direct path to freedom (of the city).

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Fiddle de de POTATO


THOSE of us fortunate enough to reside on this island of Tasmania will be all too aware of the infinite variety of potatoes grown and sold in the land of Van Diemen.

When I moved from Hobart to Sydney (via Orange) almost two decades ago, I was horrified to discover that the only taters available in the shops were washed, brushed or new. The streets may have been paved with gold, but there was not a Pinkeye or Bismarck to be had.

One of the issues with having such a bountiful supply of numerous spud species was remembering which tattie was good for what method of preparation, eg mashing, boiling, salad, chips or roasting.

Well, help is at hand, my fellow Tuberites! The good bureaucrats at the Department of Primary Industries and Water have put together a chart which cross-references TWENTY FIVE varieties of potato against six methods of preparation.

I saw a printout of it stuck to the shelf at the Hill Street Grocer about a year ago, and saved it to my web favourites very soon after that.

And now, dear reader, I share it with you.
Click here, listen to the government, and never wonder what makes the best mash ever again.

Tassieblather, the consumer's friend.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Wrongfully Imprisoned for 27 years, but cough up for room and board.

Andrew Mallard has been awarded $3.25 million as compensation for the twelve years he spent behind bars in Western Australia for a murder he didn't commit. This figure is nowhere near a just amount for the more than a decade spent behind bars. No amount of money can ever compensate for that loss.

In the UK on March 9 this year, Sean Hodgson was released after 27 years in prison. He was, like Mallard in WA, banged up for a murder he didn't commit.

Hodgson will undoubtedly be eventually compensated by the British Government for this miscarriage of justice. Unlike Australia, however (as far as I am aware), he will have his payout docked for almost three decades' worth of room and board (or "saved living expenses" as they call it). His lawyers estimate this will be at least 100,000 pounds. Don't believe it? It's happened before!

Greatest justice system in the world, eh?

Monday, May 04, 2009

As Cities Go From Two Papers to One, Talk of Zero

March 12, 2009
The New York Times

As Cities Go From Two Papers to One, Talk of Zero

The history of The Seattle Post-Intelligencer stretches back more than two decades before Washington became a state, but after 146 years of publishing, the paper is expected to print its last issue next week, perhaps surviving only in a much smaller online version.

At least Denver, Seattle and Tucson still have daily papers. But now, some economists and newspaper executives say it is only a matter of time — and probably not much time at that — before some major American city is left with no prominent local newspaper at all.

Many critics and competitors of newspapers — including online start-ups that have been hailed as the future of journalism — say that no one should welcome their demise.

Read the full story here.

Stop press

Stop press

Across the country, local newspapers are being cut to the bone or closed down. Is regional journalism doomed? And if it is, what does that mean for local democracy?

Read the full article here.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Braz and Scott age disgracefully

As per the previous story, I turned forty recently. Braz followed last weekend, on April 26. To celebrate these auspicious events, we had a party on March 28 at the Derwent Mercantile Rowing Club just upstream from the Tasman Bridge on the Derwent. It was a grand affair, with two barrels of ale, a disc jockey and lashings of beetroot and chocolate cake, lovingly baked by Katie and Sophie, to Caroline's recipe.

It all ended in tears and the crack of leather on skin. Wouldn't have had it any other way.

There's some photos here (NSFW in the slightest).

And Simon has an album of photos here. Some general Hobart tourist snaps mixed in to the bag, as they came down from Sydney especially, as did Louisa from Vegas. Thanks y'all!

My Birthday

It was my 40th birthday over a month ago now. I think I've now adjusted enough to life in my fifth decade to release stories and photos of this event.

For my actual birthday, Katie took me to a town a bit north of Hobart called Melbourne.
For lunch, we went to a fantastic restaurant called Transport, where I had rabbit, and Katie had Wagyu Beef, washed down with lashings of expensive wine.
It was fantastic. We stayed at the Rialto on Collins Street, a flashy five star joint that had only just been reopened. Quite a stunning setting, the main atrium is actually an old laneway between two former market buildings.

After a post-lunch siesta we headed west on Melbourne's fantastic public transprt system (that makes Sydney's look like downtown Berlin, circa August 1945) to my cousin Andrew's pub, Grumpy's Green, where we met up with Alexis, John, Robbie, and Phil. Oh and the landlord, who insisted that I sample all manner of strange ale, lager and porter. Unfortunately, nobody thought to take any photos.

Anyhow, that was my actual birthday, March 25 to be precise. Thank you Katie for making it so amazing, and for helping me to ease into my dotage that little bit easier.