Well I suppose even Daleks feel the cold and it was quite cold the night I went to the QVMAG museum in Launceston to see the dinosaurs. After we had seen them we wandered around for a bit before deciding to go and look at Jupiter and Saturn through the huge telescopes on the lawns outside. On our way we passed this fellow rugged up for a cold night also. I thought he should have had a glove for his plunger too.
Now something I do not accept as art is graffiti. I hate seeing paint plastered over the sides of buildings, under bridges, on buses and trains, at railway stations and so on. People try to defend it saying it is street art. Vandalism is not art and there is no place for it in society.
I was in New Norfolk recently and we came across the back of this building which had been painted probably by an artist with these colourful murals. I was very taken with it and thought it looked fantastic. I expect they were having trouble with graffiti artists messing up the back of their business and got sick of cleaning it up. It would be a great shame if someone messed this up. I would much rather see this than so called street art everywhere. This is much better than the boring grey besser blocks too.
While I was on holidays with my friend Phillip we decided that we would go to the Queen Victoria Museum in Launceston to see the dinosaur display. We had seen a poster about it on a wall while we were shopping in Launceston one afternoon. When I told Vanda about our plans she mentioned that they were having some special night openings that we might enjoy. This appealed to us as we like going out at night and let’s face it there isn’t much to do anymore unless you like current movies or fine dining. Phillip and I are not into either so it’s a band if we are fortunate enough to find one or a pub meal and the pokies. We embraced the chance to do something out of the ordinary.
Years ago now we had wanted to see a display of dinosaurs and jumped into our car to go to one we thought was in a place called Mount Monster. It was a long drive and we did not see any signs pointed towards the dinosaur park we had heard about. We drove on several kilometres and no dinos to be seen anywhere. We would have been happy with just one in the end but we had to abandon the idea entirely. After driving what must have been close to one hundred kms from Adelaide it suddenly hit me that they had really meant Mount Monster was some ruddy great hill and not a dino park at all like Phillip had been told by some friends. Well we had a nice drive and a laugh about it at least. The day was not wasted. So fast forward nearly thirty years and we finally got to see some.
Well I have to say we were both very impressed. The dinos moved and roared and really looked authentic. They even blinked. They had done a wonderful job in creating them and making them move. Below is a slide show of the dinosaurs. I apologise for not knowing the correct names of the dinos. I did not write them down.
There was a lot more going on at the museum apart from the dinosaur display. There were telescopes outside and we were able to view Jupiter and Saturn. I was amazed that I could actually see the rings around Saturn when it was billions of miles away. The astronomers said they were hobbyists and were only too happy to answer any questions put to them about their interest. It was a full moon too so we were treated to the beauty of the moon as well since it was a very clear night. It was freezing queueing for the telescopes so we went to the cafe inside the museum afterwards and treated ourselves to hot chocolate and cake.
Other things going on were lectures on the stars and science and planetarium shows. I would have loved to have seen the Apollo 11 display but it was not on that night and since Launceston was 113 km from my house I did not want to drive back again as we had already been there for shopping and the casino. I should say that all of this was for National Science Week and was well worth the long drive there and back. Below are some images of the program I saved from the event for anyone who would like to see what else was on at the museum during National Science Week last in August of this year. I think you can just about read the little writing on the program.
I thought that I wasn’t going to get to the Hobart Model Train Show this year. Naomi and I had planned to go on Saturday and then my real estate agent rang to see if he could show the house that day. When we have a viewing I need to be at home so that I can take Cindy for a walk while the potential buyers are there. As there are few buses on Saturdays and they were coming mid-morning my chances of going out were nil. I had arranged to have groceries delivered Sunday, a day I rarely go out, but luckily I was able to switch my delivery to Saturday afternoon and free up Sunday for the outing.
As I’ve been going to the Model Train Show every year for a long time now I have seen a lot of the displays before. However, as I only see them once a year that doesn’t really worry me. I tried to look for some new angles to photograph the trains from.
Naomi and I both like the British themed layouts because they remind us of our early childhood. We didn’t travel on trains too often but the town scenes always seem vaguely familiar to me.
We both liked this layout with its rows of terrace houses and the painted backboard which gave the scene more depth.
We also enjoyed talking to some of the operators. As we love miniature things as well as trains we appreciated the detail in some of the scenes. I think that some of the people who build model railways are very creative and imaginative. They create little scenes which if you spot them may tell a story or make you laugh. One gentleman told us how he’d cut down a model figure to sit inside a car but the figure had folded arms so he didn’t look like he was driving it. People mentioned this so he made up a story about how one of the locals liked to walk his dog off-leash but the dog was badly behaved and would run on the road. The man in the car knew this so he was sitting with his arms folded patiently waiting for the dog to get off the road. It was true. I saw the dog myself.
There were a few layouts based on places in Tasmania and South Australia. The Gawler layout that I wrote about last year was there again and we especially enjoyed seeing that because it was a place we knew quite well at one time and the Redhen railcars were part of our lives for a long time from our early teens through to our thirties when we were cleaning them at the old railcar depot. I do hope someone models that one day. I’d like to see our old workplace in miniature.
We stopped to say hello to Peter Fielding who as usual had brought a small but detailed display. This year he’d brought “The Poo Train” which showed trains that carried manure. Peter likes to educate and entertain the children but poo was a bit much for us so we just had a quick chat before moving on.
As usual, the Transport Museum volunteers had fired up a locomotive to give rides in the yard. We didn’t go for a ride this year because we’ve done it many times but we did stop to take some photos before we left.
Since the first Huon Valley Midwinter Festival inspired us to celebrate rather than hibernate in the middle of July back in 2013, the event has grown in reputation and scale, outgrowing the Willie Smiths Apple Shed site. This year it relocated to the Huon Valley Showgrounds at Ranelagh, a couple of kilometers down the road.
Organisers put a lot of effort into logistics and into creating an environment that aimed to match the rustic charm of the old apple orchards from which it sprang, so it was perhaps unfortunate that the weather really decided to test the celebratory mood by turning on rain, sleet and snow (on the surrounding ranges) for the weekend. But if you are serious about celebrating the coldest, darkest, wettest time of year, then you need to take the weather in your stride, whatever it brings. And put your gumboots on!
I’ve been watching the Men’s Cricket World Cup over the past month and I may have watched a little too much cricket because this morning while I was at the Op Shop I suffered two earworms. First, it was the New Zealand National Anthem and then later the West Indies Cricket Anthem. I should explain for non-cricket following readers that the West Indies cricket team is a confederation of several Caribbean countries and as playing several anthems at the start of each of their matches would be somewhat impractical they have a special cricket song instead. The song I’m sharing today is not it though. Instead, I’m sharing “Dreadlock Holiday” by 10cc from 1978, back when I didn’t like cricket. This song came from an album called “Bloody Tourists”.
I have always had a soft spot for New Zealand and for some reason their anthem seems to me to be one of the most beautiful ones I’ve heard so I’m going to share a version of it with you to finish up. You may not understand most of the words but the girls have lovely voices.
This song by V Spy V Spy was released in 1986 and I relate to it, even more, today than I did then. It makes me both sad and angry when fine old buildings are knocked down only to be replaced by ugly concrete stacks especially when those stacks are so badly built that people can’t live in them as has happened in two recent cases in Sydney. It makes me mad when people are made homeless because a stupid reality show buys the boarding house where they lived to refurbish but not as public housing; or when the refurbishing is just a token saving of a facade. Our cities are losing their character forever. This song is a musical rant about that.