Sunday, September 27, 2009

New Windows and unsnapped wonders

We made our shortest ever visit to the shack on Friday; we were only there for about 18 hours! But it was important to see our new windows before we leave. We were very pleased with the job that Jarrod Poke has done: neat joinery and a tidy worker, so there was little mess to clear up.

The new kitchen windows
They seem huge! We plan to have roller blinds.

Bathroom roll-out.

Bathroom #2.
This one is fixed. There will be a net curtain.

Kitchen windows outside.
I would really liked to have primed the wood.

Bathroom windows outside.
The frames will be iron blue, like the other windows.

Despite a gloomy weather forecast it stayed fine for our trip up on Friday arvo, and remained very pleasant for the early part of Saturday morning, which gave me the opportunity to cut the forest, sorry I mean grass, while Jeannie dusted inside. I was nearly finished when Jeannie rushed out mouthing words I couldn't hear with my ear muffs on, and brandishing the binoculars. A whale! A Southern Right Whale, we think, just past the far point on the Table Cape side, heaving its tail out of the water and crashing it down in a mass of spray. We watched it for quite a while before it moved off eastwards.

Then just time for a coffee on the deck, before jumping into the car and heading south, since the Mortons were coming to dinner. As we drove south, listening to the Grand Final on the radio, the sky over Campbelltown got pitchy black and we drove into a fantastic hailstorm. The road was quickly white and the noise so loud that we couldn't hear the radio at all (and there are distinct chips on the paintwork!). Thunder and lightening too, before we drove out of the other side.

The weather hasn't finished with us either, since a violent southerly gale blew up in the night with torrential rain, several trees down and the creeks all running bankers. Roll on those balmy days in San Antonio!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Geelong to be here?

Last weekend we were in Geelong for the biennial Conference on Science and Christianity, organised by ISCAST. The main speaker was Prof Simon Conway Morris, from Cambridge, and we had just been hosting him in Hobart. He does a very good impression of the rumpled Cambridge don, kinda neo-Chestertonian. I love the story of GKC who sent a telegram to his wife one day which read "Am in Market Harborough Stop Where ought I to be". I can imagine Prof Morris sending something similar from Hobart. But the visit here went well, though I was glad when it was over.

This was our second visit to Geelong, but better weather this time allowed a little more exploration of their fine waterfront. One of its features is a host of bollards painted, rather whimsically, to represent people, and apparently some local stories.

Geelong waterfront
No takers for the seawater pool yet

Botanical gardens
Nice cactus beds

Jean liked these metal trees

The rather nice botanical garden has this very proper lady and her butler. But why the slight blush? From behind we see that she is discretely nicking a few cuttings.

Caught in the act!

Then there were bathing beauties and lifeguards, but why is one of then carrying a seagull? and why do two of the others have black eyes?

Note the seagull in a bag
The rabbit turns up in many places

Two lovely black eyes
(But why?)

The waterfront extends right around the bay and offers a pleasant stroll and many opportunities for food and coffee. Having visited the interesting wool museum last time (Geelong was the main port for wool export and has many impressive old warehouses), we went to see the art gallery. Amongst the good things there we found this charming little statue. Why hasn't someone made a replica for sale? I'd buy one.

About half life size

And this week in Australia I couldn't finish without noting that it's the footy grand final this weekend and that Geelong are playing for the third year in a row. We were in town in 2007 on the day they won, but this year we were there for their victory in the semi-final. Hard to over-emphasise how important footy is for the town and indeed most people. They play St Kilda on Saturday afternoon. Go Cats!

The Geelong strip is blue and white, but the style has changed a bit

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Spring has sprung

Despite the grey, wet weather of the last couple of days there is no doubt that spring has arrived at this end of the world, and we don't even need the official date of 1 September to remind us.

So here are a couple of pics from the garden to prove it.

Jeannie has a nice patch of hellebores that brighten the winter garden

And I love camellias!

Old EG Waterhouse makes a fine annual display at the front steps

And a dish of "hoop petticoat" daffodils on the front step

We shall be leaving all this soon for Texas (2 October) and I'm wondering what to do with the vegetable garden. Probably plant a few things early and hope for the best.