Archive | April, 2014

there’s a goddess in the laundry…

23 Apr

Today I was playing domestic goddess ! Transported back to my childhood in the 60’s laundrywhen my Mum and Nan managed to fill their entire day with getting the laundry done.

As I have admitted here before …when it comes to laundry I am not a match on my forebears; in fact when it comes to most things domestic … I get by… but I am certainly no Martha Gardener.

Anyway today was a perfect autumnal day, I had a pile of washing AND a pressing assignment to write. Now as many of you have heard me say…there is no better motivation for housework than a looming essay. I managed to get several loads of washing done and hung… then shuffled and rehung…then folded and (no …not yet ironed) while contemplating whether or not to start writing.

Here I am writing to YOU while still thinking about where to start the essay. Good thing I work best under pressure, eh?

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wayfinding gone feral…

22 Apr

Today I met a friend for coffee in an unfamiliar… yet ‘oh so familiar’ shopping mall in Sydney. I say unfamiliar because it is not one I frequent normally… yet familiar because once inside, that are all so ‘same same’.

That is … except for the carpark.carpark

Oh my goodness I felt like I was driving in a foreign country as I tried to negotiate the unfamiliar space, complete with construction work…barriers…one way signs and temporary redirection signs. The markings on the ground were confusing to say the least with arrows having been re-routed… and at one stage I found myself going up the down ramp !!!

wrong wayNow I don’t know a great deal about traffic flow …BUT I was part of a “way-finding strategy working party” (yes I work for a Gov’t Dept)  for a new Health facility …and I know that the signage in this particular car park would have failed miserably on any way-finding measurement scale.

Shame on you Macquarie Centre …lets hope the new look centre is worth all the bingles, road rage, lost cars and frayed nerves.

Here endeth the rant 😉

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round the Aussie block

21 Apr

Well here we are home again after travelling 2600 km around the country block and my mind is overflowing with meaningless trivia ….I love an educational adventure so in the interest of sharing, I’m happy to summarise some of my more useless observations:

  • the smaller the country town ~ the larger the skate park.
  • the number of stars on a hotel/motel sign does not indicate the comfort of the mattress (nor the water pressure in the shower).
  • every country town seems to have a High Street, a Queen Street… and a Commercial Hotel.
  • coastal cows definitely look happier than their inland cousins.
  • Black Rd leads to Green Lake and Green Rd leads to Black Creek.
  • there really is a ‘potato protection’ zone (I’m still not sure what they are scared of)
  • honey bees flat their wings up to 11,000 per second
  • liquorice is made from the root of the liquorice plant  (I’m sure some of you knew that …but I had no idea).

Finally …. we could have travelled across 3 or 4 European countries in the equivalent ‘drive round the Aussie bock’ but would we have had the same open space, country hospitality and endless skies?…..doubtful.

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cats… pigs… kangaroos…and black ice

20 Apr

After another day of road tripping,  it’s hard to single out one particular highlight or blogworthy moment… So many bizarre and interesting sights.P1130621

Like yesterday, the changes in landscape have to be seen to be believed…  we left the lush green grazing land of the Murray Valley and headed into the High Country, crossing the rugged great dividing range before emerging back into the wide open spaces that looked like a moon scape covered in huge P1130647round granite boulders …it was as if there had been a nuclear attack and we had missed the news (which would have been very possible given the remote location and lack of phone or internet reception).

Throughout the 500 plus kilometres, I was struck by the seemingly unnecessary bends in the road…I mean had we driven in a straight line I reckon it would have been a 300km trip.. Now I’m not silly … (noP1130665 comment please) I DO realise that if there is a mountain or a lake there needs to be consideration of the best way over or around it…. BUT there were so many wide open spaces where we twisted and turned for no obvious reason…and I began to wonder if the road gangs responsible got bored and decided to get a bit creative with their graders.

I know I am not a geologist or a road engineer, but seriously did it need to be that complicated?

At one point we were winding through one of the more scrubby landscapes and came across…

sign #1 care black ice on road...then

sign #2 pigs on road…then finally

sign #3 cats crossing…and bugga me a cat ran across the road as if on cue…all this as we negotiated the twists and turns that could easily have been a a straight road…and NO mention of the kangaroos that appeared from behind the bushes when we least expected them.

If anyone reading this blog has a clue …I would appreciate an explanation… because it sure doesn’t make any sense from where I sit.

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birds of a feather ….

19 Apr

Another day of  road tripping across the great Aussie countryside and I was struck by so many things.

  • The fact that the landscape seems to change so dramatically every few hundred kilometres,
  • That the difference between NSW and Vic is minimal….yet he difference between NSW and QLD is vast.
  • That we have SOOO much spare space ( yet  why are we worried about refugees?… but this is not  political forum ..so forget I said that)
  • That every square kilometre is beautiful.
  • That we really ARE the LUCKY country despite our State or National politics….

BUT on a serious note … I have been wondering about birds. With the wide open spaces and huge skies, you can’t help but notice the small things. One of which was the formation… and flight of flocks of birds.birds in formation 2

Now I am not an ornithologist, so I have no idea what kind they are….. but on our drive from Swan Hill to Beechwood today, we were entertained by many flocks of birds that looked like they were in training for the synchronised swimming events at the next Olympics.

At first it was like seeing sign-writing in action,  soon we realised that it was in fact birds…. and I couldn’t help but wonder WHY???

Who is the leader? how does he/she decide the formation? What happens when they get tired …and WHAT IS THE POINT???

As entertaining as this whole thing was…. I really want to understand the purpose….and what happens when one or more don’t want to play ?? where do THEY go??

I wonder …..?

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in abundance…

18 Apr

So many kilometres…so many observations.

Its been a day of huge skies and open space with a few quirky and notable localities…I wont call them towns …because I always imagine that towns are alive and house people… not so in many of the addresses we passed.Galore

The most amusing was “Galore”.. a teeny location with a sign to identify that we were in fact there …one house…and a community hall. It was amusing from the point of view that when  I googled a definition of the word we found:

aplenty, in abundance, in profusion, in great quantity, in large numbers, by the dozen

Ironic ??mmm I think someone goofed 😉

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counting sheep…

17 Apr

We had a very pleasant day soaking up the country air and taking in the sights of the Riverina … but as usual I was prompted to wonder about the meaning of life. The life of a sheep that is …

Driving along, the vast paddocks spread for miles on both sides of the long straight road…and you can’t help but notice the sheepclusters of strangely proportioned creatures whose lives seem somewhat  meaningless as they wander aimlessly.

I watched as there seemed to be no real pattern to their movements…and despite the saying that we follow like a bunch of sheep.. THEY didn’t seem to be following anyone.  There they were in small groups (family groupings?? I wondered) in the middle of no-where. What a strange existence.

I wonder what they think ?…. I mean..DO they think at all ? (I’m sure they must)  I wonder what they wonder while they just hang around waiting to be shorn or turned into a BBQ.

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