Sunday, April 26, 2009

beached as


Sydney is fantastic! So sad to be leaving Hattie tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

chooky chookerton.

Today Robena and I got to help paint the shade structure in the Violet Town park. A huge mural is getting painted on the inside of the roof.

Tomorrow I leave for Sydney. It looks like Hattie and I may only be couchsurfing for one night and then renting a campervan for the rest of the time we have together. Blue Mountains, here we come!

Working at the Salamanca market in Hobart was incredible. Kate sells vintage clothes
that she finds at op shops, and 5 of her friends do the same so there is a nice congregation of cute second-hand clothes available, and then everyone watches eachothers' stuff when they want to wander off into the market.

Christian sold the coolest wooden furniture and tool boxes. I so want to learn how to make my own. I'm thinking of taking a wood working class next year.

Violet Town (population: 600, give or take)- This place has such an amazing active community.

Some highs:
-Staying with foodies is the best! I've never eaten so well in my life.
-Bottling 30 year old port. Golly gosh its bloody delicious!
-All the incredible local wines. My wwoofer hosts spoil me!
-Olives! I'm having a love affair with them at the moment.
-Fresh grapefruit every morning from the tree in the front yard.
-Staying up at the co-op owned ski lodge over the weekend, playing cards by the fire, calculating how many miles are in a light year, and learning to de-bone a fish.
-I finished the book Jitterbug Perfume. It is now one of my favorite books.
-The adorable Violet Town Saturday market.
-Harassing the single chook that lives here. I named her Chooky Chookerton. She hates when I follow her around.
-Riding the 4-wheeler out in the bush.
-Finding a rare legless lizard and trapping it in my Sigg bottle. There is an extremely well-funded wildlife service dedicated to preserving the habitat of legless lizards, so if you find them on your property you could have some help improving your land.

Some lows:
-On the ferry back to the mainland I sat next to this man and it soon became apparent that he had a nasty cold. He began coughing every 5 minutes or so, neglecting to cover his mouth. He pulled out some packaged snacks and chewed so loudly with his mouth open that I really started to feel ill. He had his headphones on because he was watching a movie on his computer so maybe he couldn't hear how ridiculously he was smacking and slobbering. Just then an announcer came on the overhead and told us not to change seats even if there were empty ones. Dude kept coughing and I kept cringing, and I thought no way am I spending the next 10 hours next to this snotfest. I changed one seat over, next to a nice quiet man whose breathing was inaudible. When snotman finally turned off his computer, he put his seat back, turned his body so it completely faced me, then fell asleep snoring loudly and coughing in the exact direction of my head. Suddenly the seat between us did not seem like a wide enough distance at all, but there was nothing to be done. I turned to face the quiet man who kindly offered me some earplugs. My savior! Without them I would have probably freaked out at the drunk German men who stumbled in from one of the bars and kept squeaking their chairs and laughing loudly, exclaiming that the squeaking sounded like a bed in a love hotel and completely ignoring the fact that they were surrounded by people trying to sleep.
-Being discovered by a mob of bees while I bottled the port. Being surrounded by drunk bees makes me edgy.
-Having the 4-wheeler's brake wire snap while I was going down a steep rocky hill.
-Discovering that my legless lizard really did have legs! Tiny and hard to see, those little buggers!

sheep bones and huntsman spiders

I made this while I was up working in the hills. There are so many sheepy bones everywhere! They die of natural causes since there aren't any predators. There has been sheep on this land for so long and the bones just hang around forever, so they have accumulated over the years.

I found this bugger outside my bathroom door. I couldn't even think of a name for it because my heart kind of came out of my throat. This is the biggest wild spider I have ever happened across. It could have covered the palm of my hand, not that I would ever let it! While I locked myself in the bedroom, my wwoofer host picked it up by one of its legs and put it out in the garden, telling me that they only eat flies and its the little ones I should be worrying about.

Today I got to take the 4-wheeler up into the hills to remove invasive plants and fill up bunny holes so they will leave and take the foxes with them. The foxes and the rabbits were brought over by the British to be hunted for sport. I can't think of anything more bloody stupid then introducing a foreign species so you can hunt it for fun. When the foxes aren't munching on bunnies, they are chewing up baby wombats and native birds.

Parrot outside my bedroom window:

Yummy lunch on the porch:

Thursday, April 9, 2009

So many roos!

I finally have had my fill of roo sightings. On the train to Violet town I saw like 20 roos in a field being chased by two floppy doggies. It was the cutest thing ever! And now where I am staying there are plenty of roos, wallabies, and parrots. The massive hills behind the house kind of remind of The Hills Have Eyes sometimes, but more beautiful (lots of wildlife), less scary (no inbred cannibals). My host used to own a restaurant that served local seasonal foods, so she is an amazing cook. I am definitely taking some recipes home with me. Tonight we are going to go see some Tibetan monks play music. Yesterday I got to watch them make a sand mandala and it was the most incredible thing ever. The finished thing looks like this:

But the way they do it is beautiful too. The monks pour millions of grains of sand from traditional metal funnels called chakpur. This website shows the process:

Anyways, I have to get back to work. Love love!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

3 steps for getting over big scary possibly poisonous spiders

step 1: don't think about them while you are trying to fall asleep

step 2: wear gloves when you are cleaning out cluttery cobwebby basements so as not to feel exposed

step 3: when you encounter an enormous black spider like none you have ever seen before, give it a daggy name and pretend its your new friend

Today I met my new friends Matilda and Roger. At first I thought their thick legs were initmidating but as soon as I got to know them they were alright. Friends don't come crawling onto your bed at night. Nope, friends stay in their homes in the basement where they belong. I hope. Somehow the fact that I sleep with two giant cats comforts me a bit. I can't imagine anything getting past Clairy and Claudie.

Matilda and Roger:

The only reason I can sleep at night:

I saw the most incredible art exhibit today. This woman created sculptures of what she imagines people could evolve into someday. They were the most creepy awesome creatures ever and were super detailed. Their arms had hair and veins under the skin and even moles. And some had really strange orfaces all over their backs that were giving birth to furry creatures that looked like wombats. Some of the creatures were sort of rodentlike and looked like baboons. One was suckling a human baby. Another scene was of a little girl in her bed cuddling one of these creatures. I've never seen anything like it before. I wish I could have taken more pictures but it wasn't allowed. I was only able to sneak this one:

Kate and I passed the Steve Irwin ship today. It looked a bit banged up. It was attacked while trying to stop Japanese whalers from reaching their ridiculous quota.

Also I think Hobart has more rainbows then anywhere else in the world!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Here are a few of my fav moments captured on film. The computer I am on is cave-age slow, so it was a challenge to get these babies up at all. And everytime I try to put labels under each picture, blogger goes all wonky and stacks each word on top of eachother on the side of the pictures so its really annoying to read and looks stupid. Instead I will list each picture label first:

1. The community garden in St. Kilda.
2. Luna Park - This place has hands-down the scariest enterance ever! How do they manage to get any kids through there?
3. The creepiest ad ever! We couldn't even tell what it was for. I suppose stockings maybe?
4. Sisters reunited at last.
5. Duck duck goose!
6. Kate and James (wwoofing host and fellow wwoofer). James had just spent a month biking around Tasmania, after working for 6 months as a carpenter in a town of about a thousand people in Antarctica! Seriously, people actually live there!
7. Lindsey's new boyfriend.
8. Dancing to shitty music can be fun!
9. My three favorite people for a night.
10. Ladies night at Base X.
11. The dinner I made tonight: veggie quiche with eggs from Kate's chooks, garlic purple mashed potatoes from Kate's garden, and salad picked straight from the garden as well, with avocado and this really yummy carrot sauce that I am fanatical about.
12. I saw this spider corpse on the sidewalk today! WTF! I was just thinking this morning how stoked I was to have not come across any big spiders and then I found this! How am I suppose to sleep at night now?