Archive | April, 2014

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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road trippin memories …

16 Apr

Well four full on days of Uni are done… World Voice Day is beginning to wind down… “Mr 50Something” has arrived in Wagga Wagga (down the road from Gumly Gumly) and its time for some road trippin….time to get out there and absorb real regional Australia.

splatt 2Funny how we all jump at the chance to fly the globe and see what the big wide world has to offer … while right here on our doorstep, there is so much to see. I must admit to being guilty as charged to an extent, however this little sojourn will retrace one of my early life adventures….

My talent for causing all sorts of medical curiosities began down this way some 42 years ago while on a family caravanning holiday. I became ill on Christmas Day in Swan Hill.. and was rushed into the local (and VERY regional) hospital where they managed to drag the local Butcher (oops I mean Surgeon) away from his pork crackling to come and remove my appendix.

That in itself is a reasonable story …but add the fact that it was 43 degrees and my family (and other travelling companions) were stuck in the local caravan park for 2 weeks while I went on to develop a massive infection, and have my belly explode open….(SPLATT!!)… made it quite an adventure.

OOPS! Swan Hill WAS meant to be an overnight pit-stop.

I have vivid memories of Dad visiting daily ‘to keep me company’ wearing his dark sunglasses and finding the comfy chair in the corner so he could be cool and have a snooze. More power to him I say … because I STUNK… I mean like rotten meat (damn that butcher), He always was my hero !! 😉

Anyway all these year later , and by a series of very odd ‘coincidences’  I discover that the hospital is located on “Splatt St” … So what??? I here you ask  .. Well Splatt is my Mum’s maiden name (and, lets face it, not exactly Smith or Jones)… something tells me I need to visit… so here we go with a sense of adventure and fingers crossed..

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world voice day

15 Apr

 

 

 

 

Tell the world that today is …885978_502274659808486_1563844202_o (2)

CLICK to see the Voices in the Valley

celebrating in song

first world worries …

14 Apr

This morning when I was jumping into my nifty little hire car to head off to the classroom for another day of growing my brain…I was suddenly hit with panic. I COULDN’T FIND THE CUP HOLDER !! coffee-to-go-since-1890

OMG What would I do with my take away skim milk, extra hot, extra shot, decaf cappuccino??

Who (in these days of all things instant gratification), would design a car that deprived me of my ‘coffee to go’?  I couldn’t possibly wait until I drove 10 minutes up the road.

But relax… of course Mr Toyota had my best interest at heart, and after a little poking to see what popped, a cup holder appeared right there at my fingertips.

Phew.. crisis averted (great start to the day that crisis intervention was our hot topic of learning).

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what ARE we thinking ???

13 Apr

Whoever said that Uni is a good idea for a “50something” ??? I mean really, who am I kidding ??

I love the idea of learning, and I love the idea of being a student…. sitting here in a hotel room with a glass of wine, cold chicken and textbooks …. but even more than that I love the idea of writing (and if that means essays …. then so be it) … BUT why go to these lengths I ask myself, as I balance 3 blogs and 3 FB pages ….isn’t that enough ‘writing’ for one person ?

At the end of the journey (IF I work in the field)  I will command approximately half of what I get paid now …so there is no economic sense whatsoever….BUT the satisfaction of finishing it can’t be measured in dollars (I keep telling  myself).

Onward and upward the end is (almost) in sight.end in sight

Meanwhile let me share a little trivia that caught my eye today ….

No doubt,many of you subscribe (or have been subscribed to)  numerous online shopping list serves, you know the ones … cudo, living social, catch of the day etc etc etc … well it never ceases to amaze me the array of “BARGAINS” on offer that we never knew we needed.

Mostly I just hit that good old delete button … but the title  line of this one made me laugh…. what WERE they thinking ?? It read :

Colonic Hydrotherapy Treatment | Mouth-Watering Lebanese Feast

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 I mean ….SERIOUSLY ???

pardon me if I repeat myself

12 Apr

…and I could (repeat myself that is) …with yet another public toilet adventure that happened today …. BUT I wont.

What I do want to talk about is our crazy habit of giving towns double (repeat word names) … Here I am tonight in Wagga Wagga.. yet all Aussies that I know, call it Wagga, and somehow when I hear the whole title I think people are trying to be funny, or mock the place..

When I left the airport  and was 5 mins down the road and came across the town (well call it a town  at a stretch …)gumly gumlyI was prompted to investigate. So… having settled into my hotel room, I resisted the urge to prepare myself for day 1 of Uni tomorrow and instead I consulted Mr Google about this silly name thing…. I was astonished to find that there are over 60 Australian locations whose names are duplicate words.

Not surprisingly many of them are Aboriginal names and apparently the reduplication is an indication of emphasis (if Wagga means crow then Wagga Wagga means MANY crows.. ) BUT what I don’t get is why we pick and choose which ones to abbreviate to one word … I mean why do we all call Wagga Wagga Wagga … but we don’t call Woy Woy, Woy??.

So many questions and so few answers …

 

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11 Apr

There is so much to say today and I don’t know where to start…

Do I tell you about getting locked in the carpark at work late last night when my car  was on the outside..AND it was pouring rain and dark… AND I needed to phone the security company to come and let me out (those of you that know me will see the humour in that).  I made the call and the guy sounds irritated and I realise that he thinks it’s a hoax call …I humour him and tell him, “no this is not my special phone voice just for you … it’s the one I live with and I am about to expire trying to have this conversation with you” . He sent a car around to let me out of jail … but not before I was wet cold and hungry.

So then the sun came up and it was the day that my 2 amazing vocal buddies and I have been waiting for … our very own World Voice Day Concert ~ “Voices in the Valley” !!  It was a fantastic accomplishment and an emotional ride as we watched the 10 performances demonstrate one by one WHY voice matters … and what an exquisite instrument it  can be.

Warm and fuzzy feeling cartoon

I’m not going to rave on about it… BUT I AM going to bed tonight with a warm and fuzzy inner glow….feeling loved and supported by family, friends and workmates who know how important it is for me to be involved in celebrating what it is to HAVE a voice… after almost 8 years without one.

You all know who you are  … love you long time.

inside out