RDP: Delay


Who hasn’t spent time hanging around an airport due to some unforeseen delay?

Jet taking off at Tullarmarine Airport, Melbourne.
A Jet taking off at Tullamarine Airport, Melbourne.

The first time I ever flew was back in 1977 and my flight was delayed in departing from Melbourne for something like 9 hours. The first few were not too bad. I’d never been to an airport before and David was with me so we explored, we looked at the planes from many different airlines, we got something to eat. I didn’t want to leave the airport because I had no idea how long my flight would be held up. No handy apps to let you know back then. In the end, David had to leave, he had come to Melbourne to see me off on my trip but I had to see him off as he was getting the train back to Adelaide that night. I read the book I had brought to take on the plane and when we eventually took off sometime around midnight I waved away the flight attendant who was serving dinner (at 1 am) and went to sleep.

image Virgin jet
Virgin Airlines passenger jet from 2013.
image jet at airport
Waiting to board

That was probably my worst experience with airport delays. I don’t fly that often but if I go on a holiday or to visit friends and family in Adelaide or Melbourne I generally have to fly. Hobart airport is so small that there really is not much to do, the larger airports in Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide offer a few more places to eat and a few more shops but as I don’t have a great interest in fashions, shoes or bags they don’t really hold my interest. I usually visit the newsagents and may buy a book or a magazine but generally, technology is what gets me through long waits if I’m on my own.

Domestic Terminal Melbourne.
Domestic Terminal Melbourne.

Flying to and from Adelaide from Hobart usually involves a change of planes in Melbourne or sometimes Sydney. Occasionally they can be three or more hours. So what do I do? Well, I usually try to travel with my camera in my hand luggage so I can use the downtime to take some photos at the airport. I also have my Kindle for reading and I take advantage of free wifi at the airport to read blog posts, answer comments and sometimes even write something. Most of the photos in this post were taken while I was entertaining myself during an airport layover.

image travelator
How much time is this going to save you really?

RDP: Drizzle

Drizzly Days

At the moment drizzle seems to be what we are having when it’s not raining. It’s winter here in Australia and the days are short and when it is wet like this it seems to get dark earlier and earlier. Yesterday it was overcast and drizzly all day. It didn’t rain all that much but it looked so much like it was going to that it was not hard to talk myself out of walking to Geeveston.

Dark clouds gather

Today we had a bit of everything. I was at the Op Shop until two thirty and we had a bit of wind, a bit of drizzle and just before closing a bit of sunshine. When I got home I threw a tennis ball for Cindy for a little while noticing that to the north the sky was blue but that looking towards Geeveston black clouds were looming.

Now it’s just after 3:30pm and the rain has come making it dark enough to put the lights on as well as the heater. Cindy has settled down and Polly is parked on the arm of my chair. In another hour and a half, it will be dark. Yes, winter is here.

Late on a rainy afternoon.

RDP: View

My Favourite Views

“You can’t eat scenery.” someone said to me once. I think we had been remarking on the lovely views from a house we’d been looking at. As a practical person I know that’s true but I do like to live in appealing surroundings. Tasmania is a state with some sensational scenery which is why many people from the other states choose to make their home here. The Huon Valley, where I live, is one of the prettiest parts of Tasmania.

boats moored at Franklin, Tasmania

I never get tired of looking at the views of the Huon River. Sometimes it’s mirror smooth, sometimes it’s grey and cold looking.

Cruising the Huon River on Yukon.

Tasmania was a huge apple producer until the 1970s and there are old packing sheds and pickers huts dotted here and there. There are still orchards although many growers have changed to cherries now.

image orchards Ranelagh
Apple orchards at Ranelagh. In the background the range of mountains known locally as “The Sleeping Beauty”.
Wooden building at Policeman’s Point, Huon Valley Tasmania

When I used to work in Hobart I would travel to and from Geeveston on the bus, a trip of over an hour but I never got tired of the views. I imagined all the tourists who would be paying good money to see views that I saw nearly every day.

Passing the Bowls Club at Franklin

Occasionally in winter, there may be a heavy snowfall. Often I want to say to the driver, “Stop the bus!” so I can take photos but of course I can’t do that so I sometimes try to snap a few out of the window.

Taken from the bus window 2015

I don’t actually have much of a view from my house. I can see the road and a row of tall gum trees, not the water or the hills or fields but the views are all around me so I don’t really mind.

Rainbow over the Huon River
Rainbow over the Huon River
image Huon River, Port Huon
The Huon River from Port Huon Wharf. The clouds are tinged with tobacco from a controlled burn in the forests beyond Geeveston.
Port Huon Tasmania

RDP: Prompt


I saw the daily prompt in my feed last night but I’m afraid I haven’t been very prompt in writing a post about it. I had a post to write for our doll blog which I wanted to be published soon after midnight our time and I was watching a very one-sided game of cricket between Pakistan and the West Indies.

Still, as they say, better late than never. That may certainly be true of blog posts, better to put one up late than not at all but when I speak of the other kind of prompt I’m not so sure I agree.

Everyone is late once in a while and I am no exception. Sometimes it’s not our fault, traffic, unexpected events, getting lost, waiting for other people. Sometimes it is our fault. When David and I used to go to shopping centres we would split up to pursue separate interests and make a time to meet up. I was nearly always at least a few minutes late coming back to him because I was busy looking at Barbies in K Mart, Target or Big W. Luckily he never minded, he was very patient about that sort of thing.

Adelaide Railway Station

Some people are never prompt though. Naomi and I often spent literally hours at Adelaide Railway Station as teenagers waiting for a tardy relative to meet us. This was before mobile phones remember; although we probably wouldn’t have had them even if it wasn’t. We’d lose time when we could have been at the shops or doing whatever else we’d planned to do. Why did we wait? Well, we always thought she’d show up on the next train so we’d wait another half an hour and then another (the train only came every half hour). We thought it would be rude not to be there when she arrived. The most annoying thing about it was that when she eventually turned up she never acted like she was really sorry about the inconvenience. She knew we’d wait.

Adelaide railway station concourse

Eventually, though we got fed up with it. We’d wait for half an hour in case she’d just missed the train and was on the next one and then we would go. We figured if she didn’t have the manners to be on time why should we waste our time waiting?

RDP: Islands

The Fascination of Islands

Island is a word that conjures up fantasies. Some people dream of beautiful tropical islands with sandy beaches and blue seas. For others, and I’m one, I guess the idea of being isolated and surrounded by water is the fascination. Even the word island conjures up the idea of something beautiful, who daydreams about ugly islands?

Stroma mausoleum and houses

For some perhaps an island life would be too lonely. I guess you would have to be tough to survive on an isolated island with harsh weather conditions, little employment or entertainment other than what you made for yourself but some people wouldn’t live any other way.

Driftwood, Bruny Island, Tasmania

The Swiss Family Robinson made island life sound quite attractive but Robinson Crusoe was lonely until Friday and Tom Hanks certainly didn’t enjoy much of his island life in “Castaway”.

Tasmania is an island, the island state which is part of the island continent of Australia. I think living on an island definitely gives you a sense of separation from the rest of the country. Tasmanian’s often refer to people from other states just as “Mainlanders”. It wasn’t long before David and I started to do that too much to the amusement of his family.

image Spirit of Tasmania
Boarding the Spirit of Tasmania

The most fabulous island of all must be that uncharted isle where fish, coconuts, and pineapples are plentiful and there are no predators except friendly apes. You know the one, you can find materials to do anything there except repair a hole in a boat.

RDP: Pink

Don’t Pinkize Me!

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with the colour pink. I don’t dislike the colour.  I like it, especially in nature. A walk around my garden would easily show that.

pink rose in the back garden.

Ground cover rose grown from a small pot.

No, I dislike the way that pink is used to represent women and girls all the time. It’s as if we can’t be happy in any other colour.

When a woman takes part in a predominantly male sport like motor racing you will often find her team in pink overalls or the car is pink. That wouldn’t be annoying if it wasn’t nearly always the case.
Karolina i Silvette

Pink is used a lot to promote women’s issues. Breast cancer for example. In Australia, everyone knows The McGrath Foundation who raise money for breast care nurses, a very worthy cause let me say. The organisation was founded by Jane and Glenn McGrath in 2005 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Glenn was a well known and popular cricketer so the Sydney Test  Match is always their biggest fundraiser for the year. The players wear pink caps, the commentators were pink ties or even pink suits and the crowd is generally a sea of pink. Again I don’t think this is a bad thing.Jane McGrath Day - Day 3 at the SCG//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

I just sometimes wish someone would come up with a different marketing idea that’s all. Apparently, it wasn’t always this way. I didn’t know this but up until the 1940s pink was generally associated with boys and blue with girls.

While these days pink is seen as a more feminine color, it wasn’t always that way! In an article from Smithsonian.com, it says that in 1908, “The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.” It was around the 1940’s that these colors switched.

Nearly all girls toys incorporate pink. People go on about diversity but the recent 60th Anniversary Barbie was literally pink from head to toe. Pink hair, pink outfit right down to stocking and shoes. She looks like a lipstick! Does anyone remember when Barbie was not associated with pink? No? well, I’m older than she is so I do.

One of the 60th anniversary Barbie’s Photo from Mattel.

So as I said, I don’t dislike pink; I do dislike how commercialised the use of it has become. There is a whole psychology around colours in marketing. I don’t like it because I don’t like being manipulated.

Flowers in my kitchen


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