FOWC with Fandango: Humdrum


I think my life is pretty humdrum. I guess most of us do unless perhaps we have a fast-paced exciting job, or are a celebrity. Even then if you are, for example, the Queen, travelling all over the world to attend events and observing local customs or entertaining Presidents and Prime Ministers is probably pretty humdrum. She’s been doing it for over 65 years after all.

Elizabeth II at the Queen's Birthday Party (2018).jpg
By Ralph_PH - 
This file has been extracted from another file: QueenbdayRAH210418-110 (41713184062).jpg CC BY 2.0, Link

My point is that what seems humdrum to me might not seem so to you because it is different from your everyday life. In this blog, I like to write about everyday life as I experience it. I write about sausage sizzles on election day, events in my local area, going to cricket matches and so on because to someone else that might be really interesting or at least different. That’s why I find it interesting to read about the daily lives of others. What are their towns like? What is it like to live in a big city, or on a farm or in the desert?

Huonville, Tasmania

Shopping and eating are different in other places. I’ve never been inside a Walmart. The nearest K Mart is more than 60km away.  I didn’t know until I became a blogger what “half and half” milk was. If we have it at all we don’t call it that. An American penfriend who once visited me back in the eighties was amazed that we put beetroot on burgers and vinegar on chips. Tasmanians like their chips with gravy though and I still find that bizarre.
This one's for @breadandmeatnyc ...a tyical suburban Australia burger with 'the lot'; bacon, egg & the quintessential beetroot #burger #sydney #realsydney

I’ve learned that in Switzerland shops frequently close for religious holidays. Here they really only close for Christmas Day, Good Friday and ANZAC Day. It’s not important stuff but it’s fascinating how much the same we are but at the same time so different.

The humdrum can be a source of fascination.

Share Your World 2019: 27 May

Sharing My World This Week

Do you consider yourself a pessimist or an optimist?

I used to consider myself an optimist for most of my life but the past five or six years I’ve become more of a pessimist. The stupid people seem to have the world in their grip and I sometimes feel the only way to outwit them is to die but of course, that’s probably just what they want.

Can War ever be just?

Probably not, sometimes we think we’re going to war for the right reasons, to defend our homes and families or protect weaker people; but who decides when we should go? Politicians; and they have their own agenda and the power and influence through the media to convince people to do what they want without necessarily telling the real reasons.

Think about the people you love most in your life, what do you do for them?

I would never let someone I love go without if I could help them. I wouldn’t let them struggle alone when I could support them.

Are you health conscious?

Am I health conscious? No, I try not to be excessive in what I eat but I don’t enjoy exercising. I like to walk but I never enjoyed playing sports and find repetitive exercises boring.

Gratitude, Thankfulness, Wonder, Awe and Joy!   

I’m grateful for my pets, my garden and the creatures that visit it.

This is the space where you share, if you’d like to, something that falls into those categories.

 I hear so many stories of people who are homeless, living in vans or sheds or renting houses that are so expensive they can barely manage. I am thankful that  I have a home of my own.

The house on the highway.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Hands

Human Hands

The last time I did a challenge involving hands I was able to go out and find a few interesting models or photos of hands but not this time. It’s been very wet for the last few days and doesn’t look like improving.

I wondered if it was possible to take a photo of my own hand. It is if you use a smartphone and hit the button with the knuckle of the other hand while using it to hold the phone. Not the most flattering photo of my hand but it worked.

My hand

Looking back over my old cricket photos I found some featuring hands. These were all taken at a match I attended in 2010.

Mitchell Johnson
Michael Clarke and Ricky Ponting.
Ricky Ponting Bellerive Oval 2010


Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Small Subjects

Miniature Models

I’m very fond of miniatures, dolls houses, model railways, anything like that. These first three photos were taken at the Dollhouse and Minature Fair in Hobart on a couple of different occasions. You can’t get much smaller than a model in a matchbox! The names of the clever model makers are included in the photos.

A mini room in a matchbox.
A mini scene in a doll-sized suitcase.
Model thatch cottage.

This little doll was part of a lot of dolls house stuff that Naomi gave me one year. It’s not really a toy but it is very interesting. We think it dates from around the 1930s and was made in Germany.

Old hard plastic doll inside a bunch of grapes. German, I think.

This last one was taken the day that Naomi brought all her dolls house furniture round to my house and we spent the afternoon identifying and photographing it. Actually, I was still photographing the individual pieces a few days later. It looks like a crazy furniture shop.

All Naomi’s dolls house furniture.


A Photo A Week Challenge: Endings

The End of the Line

As a railfan, many of my memories revolve around endings. Naomi and I started to travel on steam train excursions when we were in our teens in the 1970s. Regular steam train services had finished and it was a time when many country railway lines were being closed and torn up. We went on many “Last Train To…” trips.

SAR Pacific 621 at Adelaide station

We used the Refreshment Rooms at places like Riverton and Bowman’s just one more time, We visited the towns of Moonta, Kadina and Wallaroo during the Kernewek Lowender, the Cornish Festival.  We went to Loxton and Renmark and various little places that were little more than a platform and a sign. We had wonderful times. All those lines are closed now.

Bowman’s Station South Australia

We also saw the end of various suburban branch lines, the line to Penfield with its loop, the line to the Holden factory, even the factory is gone now. It hit us hard when the passenger service to Bridgewater in the Adelaide hills ended. We used that one a lot and when the line from Glanville to Semaphore closed in 1978 that seemed even worse.

SAR RX class locomotive at Glanville,
SAR RX class locomotive at Glanville, Outer Harbour Line (South Australia)

David worked in the old Adelaide rail yard for several years and eventually, we saw the building he worked in demolished to make way for an updated depot where Naomi and I worked a few years later. Now that too has gone, replaced by Adelaide’s new hospital.

My memories of rail in South Australia are both happy and sad.

*Note: Some of the photos I’ve used here are not mine but I needed them to tell the story. The others were taken by David when he worked in the old Adelaide Yard and on some trips.  I can’t always remember who took what from those days as we were both photographing the same things although usually from different points of view. Generally speaking, if it has people in the foreground it will probably be mine and if it is in black and white more than likely his. These pictures were all scanned from photos so the quality is not great.

RDP: Snow

Snow Days

People are often surprised to learn that it snows in Australia. It’s not like the snowfalls you get in Europe or the USA but parts of Australia get snow in winter. We even have ski resorts in the mountainous parts of NSW and Victoria.

As I am from England I saw snow as a child but then we moved to South Australia where once in a blue moon there might be a little snow on top of Mt Lofty (727 metres above sea level) On these occasions it would make the news and anyone who was able would rush up to the summit to see it before it melted. You had to be quick!

Consequently, David grew up never having seen snow. Then we went overseas. His first experience of snow was in Siberia.

David in Irkutsk, Siberia
Wooden house near Lake Baikal, Siberia 1990

Here in Tasmania, the most southerly state in Australia, it snows a little more often than it did in South Australia but rarely enough for me to still get excited about it.

People who have lived here all their lives tell me that winters used to be colder here and that once Mount Wellington (1,271 metres above sea level) had a covering of snow it would remain that way for several weeks but now the snow may only last a few days. I’m blaming climate change.

Snow is most likely to fall in Tasmania between June and October. The first few years we were here it tended to be more towards September-October but the last few big falls we’ve had have been in June or July. Oatlands, where Naomi lives, gets a bit of snow in winter. I remember the first time I was there house sitting for her in July 2008 and it started to snow heavily one day. It was about minus three degrees outside but I was so excited that I put a pair of track pants over my jeans, an extra pair of socks and gloves and went out to take photos in the middle of the snowstorm.

Snow in Oatlands

I saw one other lunatic out doing the same thing. The next day the snow was still on the ground so I managed to get a few more photos but by mid-morning it was all gone.

As Geeveston is 60km south of Hobart it’s not unusual for the hills around the area to get snow in winter although it doesn’t usually last long here either unless it is very cold. A few of my friends who live on properties out of town get snow in their gardens. However, I’ve only had snow in my garden two or three times in nearly 17 years of living here which is somewhat disappointing to me.  Last year a friend took me out to see the snow just outside the town which was fun.

View from the front porch. 2015

I probably would not like it if we had so much snow that we had to shovel our way out. It would make getting around for me harder than it already is but it is pretty to see once in a while.

Snow in Geeveston 2017

Share Your World: 20 May 2019

Some Silly Questions:

Is it better to suspect something (bad or hurtful) and not know or to have your worst fears confirmed by sure knowledge?

Sometimes one and sometimes the other.  I can be a bit of an ostrich and sometimes prefer not to know things that seem scary to me. It’s probably better to know and take steps to deal with a problem but if for example, someone doesn’t like me, do I really need to know that?

What makes you laugh aloud?   Crack up?   Laugh until your sides split?   When was the last time you had a great big belly laugh?

Never ask me “when was the last time you did so and so” because unless it was in the last week or so I probably won’t remember. Naomi and I often have conversations where we both end up laughing out loud over some silly thing, don’t ask for examples, I can’t think of any.

I also find there are some books that make me laugh out loud. That tends to make people look at you funny if you are on the bus. Whenever I read Gerald Durrell’s “The Picnic” or “My Family and Other Animals” I always laugh out loud. Emily Kimbrough’s travel stories usually have the same effect.

Do you suppose Noah had woodpeckers in the ark?  If he did, where did he keep them?   Apologies to the Darwinians in the crowd…this is merely for fun, okay?

Well, if he was taking two of every kind of creature he had to didn’t he? And there are still woodpeckers.  I guess he had an onboard aviary as you would not want all those birds flying around pooping on everyone. Did they have wire in Noah’s day? Could two woodpeckers do major damage to a sturdily built ark in 40 days and 40 nights? Maybe God just told the woodpeckers to be good. (I believe in evolution but I like the story of Noah’s Ark even though it’s totally impractical.)

Why is “Charlie” short for “Charles when they are the same number of letters?

In this case when people say “short for” I think they really mean that it is an informal term for the name Charles. Chas would be short for Charles I guess.

Thankful, Joyful, Grateful

What happened in your world this past week that made you feel thankful, joyful or grateful?

It was my birthday yesterday and I received a few cards, yes some people still send them, and good wishes from friends and family.  I was grateful they remembered. We had a nice sunny day on Saturday for our big sale at the Op Shop which I was thankful for as I was working outside. It was a really pleasant day until I got home and turned on the TV for the election results. I haven’t felt joyful since.

Some of the things we were selling.
Some things we had for sale.