May 25

JOINING THE NORTHERN EMIGRATION (BY A BUDDING SOUTHERN GREY NOMAD)

 

 

JOINING THE NORTHERN EMIGRATION (BY A BUDDING SOUTHERN GREY NOMAD)

 

 

 

Over the past few months my husband and I have been having some serious discussions about the “R” word. Yes, that’s right – retirement.  Joining the Northern Emigration was definitely the subject of many a debate.

 

We know that our home is too big for the two of us. It is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain the couple of acres we’re on.   The house itself is a 4-bedroom house   more suited to a family.

 

We also know that our work over the past 19 years has been long and hard. Working from home means that our life has revolved around this activity to the detriment of our social life. Not to mention the number of family gatherings we have missed entirely!

 

Driving long distances. usually on weekends, means that as well as becoming tired and grumpy, we have lost the fascination and pleasure of exploring other towns in different areas.

 

Looking forward, we would really like to relax and take a break. Travel to the seaside somewhere, will definitely be on the agenda. That will be the first thing.

 

There are so many places in this massive country of ours we would like to visit.   Between us we have come up with quite a bucket list.

 

How would we travel to these places? The conclusion was we would take up something which we haven’t done since the 1970s….  Caravanning.

 

The “Big Lap” as some people refer to travelling around Australia in a caravan. This will be an ideal way for us to see what we want to see at our own pace while we are both still fit and healthy.

 

We would love to join the Northern Emigration in the winter months next year, which is only done by the species, The Southern Grey Nomad!

 

A caravan at our local dealership suitable for th Northern Emigration.

A caravan at our local dealership suitable for the Northern Emigration.

 

Our agenda in general terms is along these lines:-

 

  • Get our home ready to sell by the spring.

 

  • We need to downsize, so looking for a new home is also a priority.

 

  • Decide on a suitable rig and order.       Ideally have it by February, so we can have a couple of trial runs in it. Organize a car capable to tow this rig.

 

  • Be on the road by this time next year.

 

Finer details need to be sorted out, but what we have on our agenda  for now is more than enough.

 

 

Thorough research will need to be done, but as far as the caravanning is concerned, I was given the link to www.thegreynomads.com.au.  This has already  proved invaluable with the amount and variety of information

available.

 

 

So if I seem a little distracted, you will understand why.

 

 

May 12

Blogging A to Z Challenge Reflection by Carol

 

 

 

Blogging A to Z Challenge Reflection

 

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My reflection on the Blogging A to Z Challenge, as a participant and then a deleted participant, follows.

 

I didn’t complete the challenge as I would have liked, illness got in the way of me winging it.

 

My problem was I couldn’t decide on a theme early enough. In the end I tried to do a tour of my general locality and some favourite holiday spots.

 

Unfortunately, my blog was deleted from the list after letter E or F.  A week later when feeling better I decided I would still write the blogs I had Intended so I went ahead and posted anyway.

 

I have left  comments on numerous blogs, and on the whole, they were reciprocated.

 

I did experience some frustration where I could not return the favour.  These seemed to be on the wordpress.com sites where the commenter had not left the name of their blog.

 

Other than that the Blogging A to Z Community is a very social place to be.  I enjoyed reading blogs that I visited and even signed up to several.

 

Will I do it again next year?  I will try.   As I said in a recent post, “Next year I will be more organized”

 

 

 

 

 

May 10

Apple harvest in Flynn

Apple Harvest in Flynn

 

The apple trees in our garden have treated us very kindly this year.

 

My favourite little gadget, the apple peeler corer & slicer, and I have been kept busy, finishing off  the autumn harvest  In fact, you could say, I am almost sick of the sight of apples!

 

The Pink Ladies are now finished  and we’re working our way through the Fujis.  What a tremendous harvest we have had.

 

Cripps Pink (sold as Pink Lady™) was developed in the 1970s by John Cripps in Western Australia, and is a cross between Golden Delicious and Lady Williams.

 

http://www.aussieapples.com.au/aussie-grown-varieties/pink-lady.aspx

 

 

Fuji originated in Japan where it is a major variety.   A big apple with a honey sweet taste, Fuji often has a see through core. It is firm-textured, crisp and juicy with an extremely dense flash.

Many consider Fuji to be the perfect eating apple, Fuji has a high sugar content which makes it good for cooking as it will retain its shape.

 

http://www.aussieapples.com.au/aussie-grown-varieties/fuji.aspx

 

 

 

I have made containers of apple puree (ready for apple sauce), pie apple diced and sliced, and have tried making dried apples for the first time.  The list goes on.

 

 

Apple Puree

Apple Puree

 

Apple slices ready for dehydrator

Apple slices ready for dehydrator

 

 

 

Apple Thieves

 

My husband had so carefully covered the trees with bird netting last winter, which kept the bulk of the birds out of the orchard.   Although he did find a blackbird in the orchard just recently.  Hubbie watched to see where the bird got in.  The hand hole for the latch in the gate!  That now has a netting curtain in front of it.  Sometimes those birds are so clever!

 

We also have discovered a thief in the orchard  though, or maybe more than one.   Probably a possum.  You know those furry creatures who steal fruit in the night …. And leave the choicest piece of fruit partially eaten?

 

Brush tail possums and ring tail possums both inhabit this area.  Not sure which, as we’ve not  seen the culprit in action.

 

 

 

 

 

Brushtail Possum

Brushtail Possum

By JJ Harrison (jjharrison89@facebook.com) (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Possum#/media/File:Trichosurus_vulpecula_1.jpg

 

 

We love our apples.  Do you have a favourite fruit?

 

 

 

May 08

7 Ways my Cat drives me Crazy

7 Ways my Cat drives me Crazy

 

Pumpkin, my boy cat, is very talkative.  He has a number of behaviours which can be annoying, sadistic, or just plain cute, all at the same time.

 

Pumpkin the cat

Pumpkin, the cat

 

 

  • Yowling/howling from the roof

 

Pumpkin was on the shade cloth roof of the fernery yowling/howling as if he couldn’t get down.  Today the weather was dismal and raining.

Soaking wet, he continued to whinge.  Whilst he did move over to near the trellis,  where he gets up and gets down from the roof, he sat there looking at me whingeing.

Was I expected to climb onto the roof and rescue him?  Or perhaps take a towel up onto the roof to dry him off?

 

Pumpkin on top of fernery roof

Pumpkin on top of fernery roof

 

 

 

  • Knocking at the back door

 

I have lost count of the number of times he has knocked on the door.   After letting him in,  immediately he runs to another door  expecting to be let out.  Exasperating.

Is this a case of him taking a short cut through the house, or maybe manipulating me at will!

 

  • Thoroughly gross behaviour of dropping a dead mouse in the middle of the back porch.

 

Many is the time he has dropped a dead mouse in the middle of the porch, or often is meowing loudly at the back door with his mouth full.  When I go out to see what the racket is about, he goes on to eating his catch IN FRONT OF ME!   I must say I disappear at this stage.

Is this my punishment for not praising him enough for being such an excellent “mouser”?

 

  • Chasing my female cat, Lucky, around the house

 

This only seems to happen in the winter.  Both cats enjoy laying in front of the heater.  There is a favoured spot on the mat.  I have observed Lucky go up to Pumpkin laying on the mat, and bite him on the ear.  Bad mistake!  Do not try to take over his favoured spot.

A chase will ensue, around the lounge room, behind furniture, into the kitchen, and God forbid! up on the display cabinets!  Not the Royal Albert, mind  the carnival glass ………. Much growling and hissing, and Pumpkin has a long memory!  Half an hour later he is still angry.  Lucky does not emerge from her hiding spot for quite some time.  Fortunately all my precious pieces have survived!

Am I being demonized because I had the nerve to let Lucky into the warm house as well?

 

  • Kneading my legs when sitting on my knee.

 

I don’t mind when he wants to curl up on my knee.  I don’t even mind when he “kneads”my legs with his paws.

But I do object when he does “knead” my legs with his claws out!

Not only is it painful,  but I end up with fine scratches on my thighs.

I know he likes me, but this is ridiculous.

 

 

  • Staring deeply into my eyes.

 

He will often catch my eye and stare deeply into my eyes without blinking.

This can be disconcerting.  What’s he trying to tell me?  Is he trying to “channel” my innermost thoughts?

 Oh, I know, ………. He wants food!

 

  • Laying on my printer.

 

If I am working on my computer of a night, he will come and lay on the printer.  I realize he likes my company, sometimes …………. And maybe the printer is nice and warm ……..

But if you take too long, I will walk backwards and forwards in front of the screen and even on top of the keyboard.

My punishment for ignoring him/?  Maybe, I am behind schedule in serving his dinner.  Who knows?

 

 

Cats.  As much as I complain, I wouldn’t  be without a cat.

 

 

 

http://www.rd.com/advice/pets/how-to-decode-your-cats-behavior/

 

Who is the king of the cat castle then?

Who is the king of the cat castle then?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 02

“Y” is for Yallourn

“Y” is for Yallourn

 

Blogging A to Z Challenge

 

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  • Yallourn, Victoria, was a unique town in Victoria,  built to house employees of the State Electricity Commission of Victoria, between the 1920s and 1960s.

 

  • The name  was thought to derive from Aboriginal words meaning brown fire, a fitting tribute to the proposed brown coal electricity generation works expounded in a report of the State Electricity Commission on the Yallourn project in 1921.

 

 

  • The industrial town and garden suburb was planned by A.R. La Gerche, the State Electricity Commission’s Architect

.

  • The design of Yallourn established a formal central square adjacent to the shopping area and a formal “Broadway” bounded by parks between the shopping area and railway station.

 

  • The whole town area was surrounded by a green belt varying between native vegetation, open parkland and sporting and recreational complexes

 

  • The majority of the land and buildings, with the exception of the churches and several minor properties, were owned by the S.E.C.V. Residents were charged below market rentals and the S.E.C.V

 

  • Houses within the town were constructed to a limited number of designs but these were varied by differing external detailing and surface finishes. A brick and tile manufacturing plant was built near the town and produced a characteristic terracotta roofing tile which was used to clad most homes.

 

Yallourn House 1926

Yallourn House 1926

http://www.victorianplaces.com.au/yallourn

 

  • The pitch of the roof structure and overhanging eaves remained similar throughout the town, providing a common theme without the sameness characteristic of English garden city developments.

 

  • The homes were placed on large plots, typically of 1000 m2, the design brief from General Sir John Monash, the initial S.E.C.V. chairman requiring that each plot should have sufficient land to permit the tenant to keep a horse and a garden.

 

  • The town boasted outstanding public facilities many years in advance of similar rural or suburban communities of similar size.

 

  • There were a couple of annoyances. Coal dust descended on house tops and clothes on lines, and Yallourn was paternalistically run by the Commission. Commission staff kept an eye on people’s front gardens and general tidiness.

 

  • In October 1961 the Commission announced that the coal under Yallourn should be taken from about 1995 onwards and ultimate abandonment of the town should be considered. The warning was affirmed in 1969. Movements to save  the town, despite its special model-town on garden-suburb qualities were overruled. In 1975 house removals began,

 

  • By 1983 demolition was complete.

 

  • Many of the people who were relocated from Yallourn built homes in Moe,  Morwell, Newborough, Traralgon, Yallourn North  and other surrounding towns in the Latrobe Valley.

 

  • Many of the houses from the town were removed, either to these nearby towns, or on occasions moved further afield. The timber framed buildings were reclad, although most retained their characteristic tiled roof.

 

  • However, expansion of the adjacent open-cut brown coal mine  led to the closure and removal of the town in the 1980s.

 

 

I remember Yallourn as a leafy, pleasant town, with a great shopping centre and the best sporting facilities I have ever seen in a country town.

 

It does make you wonder about bureaucracy.  Why did they  bother to plan and build this garden suburb of Yallourn in the first place, with the ultimate intention of demolishing it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yallourn

 

Apr 29

“X” is for Xenogamy & Xyst

“X” is for Xenogamy & Xyst

 

To find a word beginning with X is not the easiest job.  Therefore when in doubt, I hit the dictionary or scrabble word finder, which is where I found  Xenogamy.

 

Blogging A to Z Challenge

 

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Funnily enough there is no definition for xenogamy in the Word Finder, but you can score 21 points for it in Scrabble!

 

 

In the dictionary at this link,http://www.dictionary.com/browse/xenogamy  the definition is:

 

 

 

pollination of the stigma of a flower by pollen from a flower on another plant

 

In other words, another name for cross-pollination!

 

I stumbled upon xyst, at the same time.  Thinking that sounds like a simple word, again under Word Find they had no definition but it still scored 14 points in scrabble.

 

 

 

The English Dictionary gave the following information  about xyst:

 

http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/xyst

 

Xyst

Definitions

noun

  1. a long portico, esp one used in ancient Greece for athletics

  2. (in ancient Rome) a covered garden walk or one lined with trees

 

Could the following image match the definition of this simple word xyst?

 

71510-xyst.jpg

 

 

Apr 28

“W” is for Walhalla

 

“W” is for Walhalla

 

Blogging A to Z Challenge

 

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The Victorian gold rush, in 1851, and the history of  Walhalla are closely linked.   By late 1863 mining operations began and gold extraction centred on Cohen’s Reef, the largest single reef in Victoria.

 

The Long Tunnel Mining Company owned the richest mine which produced over 30 tons of gold alone between 1865 & 1914.

 

4000 feet below the surface in the Long Tunnel Mine 1910

4000 feet below the surface in the Long Tunnel Mine 1910

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Walhalla_1910_Goldmine_4000ft.jpg#/media/File:Walhalla_1910_Goldmine_4000ft.jpg

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walhalla,_Victoria#/media/File:Walhalla_1910_Goldmine_4000ft.jpg

 

 

The boom period of 1863 – 1900 saw the first hotel opened in1863, the Reefer’s Arms.   In time, there were more than a dozen hotels, breweries and an aerated waters factory. Bank branches opened, and shopkeepers,publicans and other traders built the town up quickly in support of the rush.

 

The Long Tunnel Company introduced both electricity and the telephone into the mine. Although Walhalla briefly led the world in having 2 electric street lights in 1884, the service was never extended into the town.

 

A rail line was completed into Walhalla in 1910, and it was hoped that the railway would bring new life back into the community. Gold mining was already becoming unprofitable, and the last of the major mines closed 1914. The bulk of the population soon left.

 

Since around 1977 Walhalla has experienced something of a renaissance with a booming tourist industry and the restoration and reconstruction of numerous historical buildings in the town. The newly formed Walhalla Goldfields Railway commenced in 1993.

 

In December 1988 it became the last mainland town in Australia to be connected to electricity.

 

An interesting attraction worthwhile seeing is the cricket pitch.  Situated on top of the hill immediately to the north-east of the junction of the east and west branches of Stringers Creek is the Walhalla Cricket Ground, approximately a 45-minute return hike from the valley floor.  Apparently the top of the hill was taken off, to provide the only flat ground for a cricket pitch.

 

We did this excursion when at secondary school, and the way to and from the cricket ground is extremely steep.

 

There is a Heritage Walk with over 30 interpretive signs that include photos and text explaining the various sites and buildings of the gold era.

 

 

Today, Walhalla has a population of fewer than 20 permanent residents.  At its peak, it was home to more than 4,000 residents.

 

 

Apr 28

“V” is for Venus Bay

 

 

 

 

“V” is for Venus Bay

 

Blogging A to Z Challenge

 

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Venus bay is on the east coast of Victoria.   It is situated on a narrow peninsula bordered on one side by Bass strait and the other by Anderson’s Inlet.  It is about an hour and a quarter from us.

 

It is a wide bay,  which was originally named by a French explorer Nicholas Baudin, which resembles a large lake.   This makes it ideal for boating and fishing activities.

 

There are some beautiful pristine surf beaches,which front the waters of Bass Strait and are nestled within the foreshore reserve of the Cape Liptrap Coastal Park. This park extends along the coast to Waratah Bay, offering a number of scenic bushwalking tracks.

 

This town is very much a holiday town with a large variety of properties available for holiday rentals. It is only 180 kilometres from Melbourne and therefore has become a popular holiday retreat.

 

The residents of Venus Bay and nearby Tarwin Lower have fought off developers wishing to drain the environmental wetlands to set up marina and resort developments. To date the fight appears to be strongly in favour of those local residents.     I can appreciate why they are fighting these proposals.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venus_Bay,_Victoria

Venus Bay

Venus Bay

By Rdenton (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Venus Bay is central to a number of South Gippsland attractions, including Inverloch and Wilsons Promontory.

Apr 27

Words Beginning with “Un”

Words beginning with “Un”

 

Blogging A to Z Challenge

 

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I was  Unable to keep up with the Blogging Challenge this year.

 

I am Unaccustomed to starting a project and not finishing it correctly.

 

To say I was Unaffected is definitely not true, the medication sure made my head fuzzy!

 

I did hesitate when I realized that my blog had been removed from the list, and Uncertain as to whether I should continue.

 

So I was Uncloaked, the planning coming into the event was not sufficient, you could say Underdeveloped.

 

Therefore my Undertaking for next year’s challenge, will be a Unique and Unneurotic  plan to cater for any Unscheduled situations.

 

http://www.morewords.com/starts-with/un/

 

These words are a great for a un combination, if the u has made it’s way to your Scrabble tile rack. There are a handful of 7 letter words that start with the letter un, however, a majority of them require double vowels or consonants. Even so, building a bingo word is also hard. Other successful Scrabble players’ advice rookies that words that start with the letter un that will work to their advantage are short words. If you really want to become a great “Words with Friends” player, you do not need to spend too much time and effort learning too many words with un.

http://words-that-start-with-un.worddetector.com/p/un*/

 

Apr 27

“T” is for Traralgon

“T” is for Traralgon

 

Blogging A to Z Challenge

 

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Traralgon is definitely a thriving commercial centre.  It services major agricultural, pastoral, papermaking and timber Industries, along with the main industry of coal mining and power generation.

Traralgon Post Office

Traralgon Post Office

By Michael Gorey – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15399348

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traralgon

 

Its population at 2011 was over 24,000.

 

The Loy Yang Open Cut and Power Station, south-east of the town, is one of Australia’s biggest engineering projects and represents half the viable reserves of coal in the Latrobe Valley.

 

 

The name is derived from two words: “tara” meaning river and “algon” meaning little fish.  I think the easiest way to tell you how to pronounce it is as  “Ta-ral-gon”

 

 

https://www.gippslandinfo.com.au/traralgon-victoria-australia

 

This is the town that I grew up in.  Mum and Dad moved here from Melbourne when I was about 3 or 4.

 

 

http://www.traralgonhistory.asn.au/rolf/chapter2.htm

 

Traralgon grew strongly in the mid 2000s, making it the largest and fastest growing city in the Latrobe Valley.

 

Schooling is represented well   featuring a number of primary and secondary schools, including state, catholic and independent schools.

 

As is the case in a lot of country towns, sport is well represented by a number of clubs, giving the local youth and adults  a great choice of sport to participate in.

 

The entertainment precinct which spans Kay, Grey and Franklin Streets attracts people from surrounding towns to several nightclubs, bars and restaurants located there.

 

A  push for a new performing arts centre in Traralgon has won the support from all three levels of government, and I believe has now secured  funding for same.  The community has fought long and hard to retain the performing arts centre in Traralgon, so hopefully we will see a new project emerge from this latest announcement.

 

Traralgon is in a very fortunate location, just a couple of hours to the beautiful Gippsland Lakes, a bit over an hour to the coast to a range of seaside towns, and to the north historic town of Walhalla, and snow and ski fields beyond.   It is about an hour and half drive and you are in Melbourne, a fantastic location.

 

Everything at your fingertips, but still country!

Apr 26

“S” is for Sale

“S” is for Sale

 

Blogging A to Z Challenge

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Sale is a city situated in Gippsland, approximately ¾ hour drive from our location.

 

Sale experienced a boom period when it became the service and residential base of the Esso-BHP oil and gas exploration and development program when oil was discovered in 1965.  . The unprocessed oil and gas is pumped through 700 kilometres of undersea pipes to Longford, 19 kilometres south of Sale.

 

Many new housing estates were built in this period to accommodate the workers from Esso-BHP.

 

In my opinion, Sale has a great attraction in Lake Guthridge.  It features a park for children, barbeques, and a walking trail around the lake and car parking facilities.

 

 

Next to the Lake Guthridge precinct is the 150 year old Sale Botanic Gardens.  It contains beautiful gardens, grassed areas, paved walking areas, a playground (including flying fox), undercover picnic areas, sculptures, a fauna enclosure, sensory garden, elm forest and the Lakeside Entertainment and Arts Facility.   What magnificent gardens they are.

 

http://www.wellington.vic.gov.au/Lists/Council-Facilities/Sale-Botanic-Gardens

 

In fact, one of our families outings consisted of catching the train to Sale,walking to  the beautiful gardens and eating our picnic lunch.  A beautiful place to be to unwind.

 

 

The Sale Swing Bridge is located  5 km from  Sale, spanning the Latrobe River at its junction with the Thomson River..

 

It is the only one left in the world that can swing around 360° and featured in the Australian film noir movie “The Tender Hook”

 

 

 

 

 

 

128px-20100426_SaleSwingBridge.jpg

By Ian Fieggen (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sale_Swing_Bridge

 

Eminent sports people from Sale include current Olympic swimmer, Ashley Delaney.  Former AFL footballers, Alan Morrow, Shane Birss, Jason Gram and Norman Ware.  Current Collingwood AFL player, Scott Pendlebury.

 

 Sale is a beautiful city, with great facilities.

 

Apr 23

“R” is for Raymond Island

“R” is for Raymond Island

 

Blogging A to Z Challenge

 

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Raymond Island is a small island within the magnificent Gippsland Lakes which is just 200 metres off the coast across from Paynesville, in East Gippsland.  The island itself is only 6 kilometres by 2 kilometres.

 

The Raymond Island Ferry, a chain ferry, is the only link between the island and  Paynesville on the mainland.  A ferry service was first established in 1889.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raymond_Island

 

 

The service runs almost continuously, from 6.40 am on weekdays through to midnight on Saturday nights.

 

If you leave your car on the mainland, to travel on the ferry as a pedestrian is free.

 

The average number of trips per day is 116, with the average number of people carried per day is 2,191.

 

http://www.eastgippsland.vic.gov.au/Services/Raymond_Island_Ferry

 

Raymond Island Ferry

Raymond Island Ferry

 

The island is home to a large colony of koalas and there is a clearly defined trail to follow amongst the gum trees.    The trail can be walked in 20 minutes.

 

There is also a rich array of flora and fauna, along with a few canoe trees, which are testimony to the Island’s aboriginal past.

 

My earliest memories of Raymond Island are as a young teenager attending a Church camp in the summer.  I think things might have changed just a tad since then.

 

Apr 23

“Q” is for Quirky

“Q” is for Quirky

 

 

 

Blogging A to Z Challenge

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quirky

adjective odd, unusual, eccentric, idiosyncratic, curious, peculiar,  unpredictable, singular, fanciful, whimsical, capricious, offbeat,  out there(slang) We’ve developed a reputation for being quite quirky and original.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002

 

Q is for quirky.  My little dog Sandy is rather quirky.  She has a couple of peculiar, but lovable, traits.

 

First of all, she collects sticks.  We will often find a pile of sticks under the cypress tree in the drive.

 

Sandy is definitely not quietly quirky,  as she can be boisterous with the best of them.   However,  she  seems to have a fetish for bare legs.   I told you she was a little different.      If we walk outside in our shorts, she will run along side licking our legs.  At my height, she is usually licking around knee height.  I must admit it does tickle.

 

Sandy is not fussed about whose legs they are really.  Friends, family, tradesmen ………  Anyone who happens to have bare legs and might be visiting!

 

 

Q is for quickly – I need to finish this quickly in order to catch up to the correct letter of the day for the Blogging A to Z Challenge.

 

Interestingly, if I were playing Scrabble, quickly would score 25 points in Scrabble and 27 points in Words with Friends, whilst Quirky would only score 22 points both in Scrabble and Words with Friends.

 

http://wordfinder.yourdictionary.com/words-that-start/q

 

 

And completely off topic,  the  Urban Dictionary, lists the top definition for  quinoa as:

 

Quinoa – A cheap staple food sold to gullible white middle-class people for many times its actual value.

 

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=quinoa

 

I had a bit of a giggle when I read this definition, as quinoa is absolutely the flavour of the month on menus about town.

Apr 22

“P” is for Prince

“P” is for Prince 

 

I couldn’t let today go by without mentioning the sad passing of Prince.

 

What a shock to us all.

 

Millions of his fans around the world will be absolutely devastated.

 

Whilst Purple Rain was not my favourite of his songs, I did enjoy  Red Corvette and especially liked 1999.

 

The National Gallery of Victoria in St Kilda Road, Melbourne, lit up its spire coloured purple.  What a beautiful and emotive gesture.

 

National Gallery of Victoria's spire

National Gallery of Victoria’s spire

 

Vale, Prince.  We will all  miss your unbelievable and exceptional talent.

 

Apr 22

“M” is for Morwell, “N” is for Noojee, “O” is for Orbost

“M” is for Morwell

 

Blogging A to Z Challenge

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Morwell lies in the valley of the Latrobe River, with the Great Dividing Range to the north and the Strzelecki Ranges to the south. The origin of the name Morwell is uncertain.

The name of  Morwell is allegedly the anglicised form of the Aboriginal words “more willie” meaning woolly possum,  but a number of locations in England have also been suggested as the inspiration for the name.

In 1841, McMillan and Strzlecki  made journeys of exploration through the region which would later be named Gippsland and during the 1840s the squatting runs of Maryvale, Merton Rush and Hazelwood were taken up in the area which is now Morwell.

Even in the 1880s, coal  was seen to be of importance to Morwell. In 1888 two coal mining companies were established.

The development of the Yallourn open cut coal mine and power station in the 1920s contributed to Morwell’s development,

 

sec morwell.jpg

Power Station and Briquette Works, Morwell, 1959

Publisher:

State Electricity Commission of Victoria

Publication Title:

Morwell:  Power and Fuel Development

Contributor:

John Young Collection

 

By the 1950s Morwell’s focus was industrial rather than agricultural. An open cut mine was worked immediately south of Morwell township. A power station and briquette factory were established, attracting other industrial enterprises such as a char factory and local gasification plant.

 

In the 1960s Morwell gradually became the centre of commerce and industry in the Latrobe Valley, displacing Yallourn.   Yallourn township was demolished in the 1970s, to mine the coal underneath the town.

 

 

Amalgamation of the local councils under a commission saw the major civic centre move to Traralgon. With the re-establishment of an elected council, the civic centre was moved back to Morwell and the new council building constructed in 2005 in the hope of leading to a revitalisation of the city centre. Unfortunately, that revitalisation failed to eventuate.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morwell,_Victoria

 

On 9 February 2014 a fire broke out at the Hazelwood open cut coal mine which burned out of control for over six weeks, blanketing the town of Morwell with hazardous smoke and ash. It was the state’s worst coal mine fire.

 

http://www.morwellhistoricalsociety.org.au/localgovhistory.htm

http://www.victorianplaces.com.au/morwell

 

 

N” is for Noojee

 

Noojee township was first settled by gold prospectors in the mid 1860’s. Tin was found in good quantities west of Noojee and a road was surveyed in 1878.  This opened the area to farmers who selected land up to 15km north of the Latrobe River.

In 1919 the railway was built to Noojee.  This allowed the sawmillers to operate in the area.  As roads were in a very poor state, more than 200km of tram-line were built to link the mills to the railway station.  At least 28 mills were in operation between 1919 and 1926, nearly all on privately owned land.

In February 1926, bushfire destroyed this area.  In January 1939 bushfires devastated Victoria, and again razed Noojee.  Large areas of forest were killed and a huge timber salvage operation commenced.

 

http://noojee.gippsland.com/

 

 

 

“Noojee” is an Aboriginal  word meaning “valley of or place of rest”.

Noojee is widely well-known for its great trout fishing. A trout farm is located on the outskirts of the town.

 

Ada Tree.jpg

The Ada Tree, a giant Mountain Ash, is considered to be one of Victoria’s largest trees.  It towers over the surrounding rainforest in the headwaters of the Little Ada River north-east of Powelltown.  The tree is accessible from Warburton, Powelltown or Noojee.

Around 270 years old, the Ada Tree stands about 76m in height with a circumference of 15m measured at 1.5m above ground level.  Despite its age, the tree appears particularly healthy.  It is though that Mountain Ash can live for up to 500 years but reduce in height due mainly to strong winds.  As they age, Mountain Ash commonly form hollows in which many forest-dwelling mammals and birds nest.

An interesting place to visit, there are numerous other bush walks.  Of particular interest is the walk to the Tooroongo Falls.  The restored railway trestle bridge between Noojee and Warragul has been restored and is of historical interest.

Noojee, definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area.

 

 

“O” is for Orbost

 

 

 

Orbost_entrance_Stevage.jpeg

By Steve Bennett (stevage) (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Orbost_entrance_Stevage.jpeg

 

 

Orbost is a town in East Gippsland, approx.  375 kilometres (233 mi) east of Melbourne.   It is where the Princes Highway crosses the Snowy River.

 

When travelling to the south coast of New South Wales, this was often the place where we topped up the gas tank of the car, just on the outskirts coming in to Orbost.  I remember it was a favourite spot for the policeman with his speed camera, being a straight stretch of road, people tended to disobey the speed limit.

 

Orbost was a fairly prosperous local centre for the forestry and agricultural industries and a supply point for smaller towns in the area.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orbost

Apr 21

“L” is for Lakes Entrance

“L” is for Lakes Entrance

 

Blogging A to Z Challenge

 

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A couple of hours to our east, is the beautiful seaside town of Lakes Entrance.   It is a fishing port and a tourism resort.

 

Situated at the head of the Gippsland Lakes, there is an artificial channel which connects the Gippsland Lakes to Bass Strait.  In recent times, there has been a dredge working to keep the channel open.

 

There is a major commercial fishing fleet which dominates the main beach front, along with other commercial and recreational water sport activities.

 

Lakes Entrance is a very popular spot for camping in caravan parks.   You only have to see the traffic exodus from Melbourne to Lakes Entrance along the Princes Highway on any holiday weekend to see how popular it is with caravanners and boaters.

 

Our grandson and his dad, who are keen recreational fishers, often fish on the Gippsland Lakes or rivers running into the Lakes, such as the Mitchell, Tambo and Nicholson, and from further afield, the Avon, Thomson and Latrobe rivers.  It really is a fisherman’s paradise!

 

 

256px-Incoming_Boats,_Lakes_Entrance_(6758731953).jpg

By Alex Proimos from Sydney, Australia (Incoming Boats, Lakes Entrance) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Incoming_Boats,_Lakes_Entrance_(6758731953).jpg

 

 

The main beach is part of the 90 Mile Beach, which stretches from Port Albert, near Yarram, all the way to Lakes Entrance.  The main surf beach at Lakes Entrance is patrolled by lifesavers in the summer months.

 

We really are blessed to have such magnificent seaside resorts such as Lakes Entrance almost at our fingertips!

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lakes_Entrance,_Victoria

Apr 21

“K” is for Koala

“K” is for Koala

 

Blogging A to Z Challenge

 

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Many people refer to the Koala as a Koala Bear.   Although it looks like a small bear,  it is in no way related to any bears.  The Koala is actually a marsupial mammal.

 

Female marsupials have pouches to carry their babies. Other marsupials include kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, possums, and opossums. The Koala’s closest relative is the wombat

http://www.planetozkids.com/oban/animals/facts-koala.htm

 

A baby koala is called a joey and is hairless, blind, and earless. At birth the joey, only about seven millimetre long, crawls into the downward-facing pouch on the mother’s belly where they remain next 6 months or so,

 

 

It is a wide-spread Aussie myth that koalas are always stoned out of their brains from eating eucalyptus leaves and therefore never move.  The truth is that eucalyptus leaves have no intoxicating compounds like marijuana.

 

The fact is, like wombats and sloths, koalas have a very low metabolic rate for a mammal and they rest motionless for about 18 to 20 hours a day, sleeping most of that time.

 

Koalas almost never need to drink water, getting sufficient water from the leaves they eat.

 

Koala Climbing Tree

Koala Climbing Tree

“Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0”

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Koala_climbing_tree.jpg#/media/File:Koala_climbing_tree.jpg

 

However, during Victoria’s Black Saturday bushfires in 2009 the heat and drought was so bad that koalas were found drinking from swimming pools and coming to people’s houses for a drink.  There was also  a photo circulating of a firefighter giving a hurt koala a much-needed drink.

 

While koalas look soft and cuddly, their coat is actually quite coarse, more like wool.

 

You can not legally keep a koala as a pet in Australia without a permit.

http://www.amazingaustralia.com.au/animals/koalas.htm

 

 

Apr 20

“J” is for Jumbuk

“J” is for Jumbuk

 

Blogging A to Z Challenge

 

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Jumbuk is a beautiful scenic rural area situated in the Strzlecki ranges between Yinnar South, Boolarra South, Jeeralang and Churchill, in Victoria.

 

It definitely is a lifestyle choice of area. There are lightly treed rain forest and tree  fern areas providing perfect hideaways usually with amazing and spectacular views of the valley below.

 

 

<iframe src=”https://www.google.com/maps/embed?pb=!1m18!1m12!1m3!1d50030.00033356318!2d146.38963273972433!3d-38.39813869044239!2m3!1f0!2f0!3f0!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!3m3!1m2!1s0x6b296e7d1cf37297%3A0x40579a430a06180!2sJumbuk+VIC+3869!5e0!3m2!1sen!2sau!4v1461151150349″ width=”600″ height=”450″ frameborder=”0″ style=”border:0″ allowfullscreen>

 

 

 

“J” is for Jumbuck

 

Jumbuck is also an Australian word for a ‘sheep’. It is best known from Banjo Paterson’s use of it in Waltzing Matilda.

http://andc.anu.edu.au/australian-words/meanings-origins?field_alphabet_value=151

 

The earliest appearances of the term show Aborigines using it in pidgin English.  It meant the white mist preceding a shower, to which a flock of sheep bore a strong resemblance. It seemed the only thing the aboriginal imagination could compare it to.

 

 

 

 

Apr 20

“I” is for Inverloch

 

“I” is for Inverloch

 

Blogging A to Z Challenge

 

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Inverloch  is a seaside town located in Victoria, which is about an hour and half drive from our location to the south-west.   It is a popular tourist destination for beachside holidays, and the calm waters of Anderson’s Inlet popular with kite surfers and wind surfers.  Fishing and surfing are popular as well.

 

Western Beach, Andersons Inlet, Inverloch

Western Beach, Anderson’s Inlet, Inverloch

By Dalysporter – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30198669

 

It is an easy commute from Melbourne along  the South Gippsland Highway.  It therefore has become a popular place for holiday homes for those still living in Melbourne.

 

it is now also known for the discovery of Australia’s first dinosaur bone.

 

The town was originally named Anderson’s Inlet, after Samuel Anderson, the first European to settle here. It was later renamed Inverloch (Loch Inver – (Lake Entrance) in Scotland.

 

Anderson Inlet is actually a shallow and dynamic estuary  where the Tarwin River enters Bass Strait.

 

We have spent many a happy family holiday here.

 

Firstly, when growing up, we camped there with mum and dad.  Dad used to say “Mum takes everything but the kitchen sink”!

 

We had such fun in those days.  Mum and Dad became firm friends with another family who used to camp there regularly as well.

 

When we were first married, we also joined in the camping fun.  We had purchased a caravan, so the girls and I would stay over there, while my husband went back to work during the week days.  He would then return on weekends.

 

In those days, it was permissible to camp on the foreshore.  Can’t do it today though.

 

Inverloch has certainly grown, and grown up.  Along with the influx of holiday homes to the area, it is now a popular spot for retirees.  The RACV has built a resort there.  Inverloch has definitely changed.

Apr 15

“H” is for Huntsman Spider

Blogging A to Z Challenge

 

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Well, it was a very inconvenient time for me to get sick.  My blog has been eliminated from the Challenge.  Never mind, I will try to catch up and continue to post my articles as if I was still participating.

 

 

“H” is for Huntsman Spider

 

 

Australian Huntsman spiders  are famed as being the hairy so-called “tarantulas” on house walls that terrify people by scuttling out from behind curtains. They are also notorious for entering cars, and being found hiding behind sun visors or running across the dashboard.

 

 

Huntsman spiders are large, long-legged spiders.. They are mostly grey to brown, sometimes with banded legs. They have rather flattened bodies adapted for living in narrow spaces under loose bark or rock crevices.

 

 

Huntsman spider

Huntsman spider

http://australianmuseum.net.au/huntsman-spiders

 

I understand Gippsland (the area in which we live) is renowned for its huntsman spiders.

 

Huntsman spiders often just appear on the walls of our house.  I must admit I am not terribly keen on their presence.  Luckily, my husband has no fear of spiders.  He will pick a spider up and put it outside in the fernery.

 

This is a photo of one that appeared on our laundry wall.

 

 

 

Actually, when I was parking at the shopping plaza a week or two ago, the man in the next car said “Are you scared of spiders?”  I said, “Why?”  “There is one on the roof of your car”.  While the huntsman is on the outside of the car, I do not care.  Different kettle of fish, if it decided to come inside though!

 

Another car and spider story.  This particular day I was being driven around by a real estate lady being shown properties.  At one address, the driver screamed, braked to a sudden halt,  jumped out of the car leaving the door wide open.  I had no idea what was going on.  There was a huntsman on the windscreen of the car, on the outside!  It seems she had a spider phobia.   So brave old me, had to coax the spider off with a fern frond.  That is the closest I have been to a huntsman, the length of a fern frond!

 

Mum always tells the story of when she and Dad moved first to Gippsland.  Mum was heavily pregnant with her 3rd child, and in her words, her hormones were working overtime.  This particular day Dad was at work.  Mum was at the kitchen sink when a huntsman appeared.  Apparently, she refused to go anywhere near the sink until Dad was home from work.

 

Huntsman spiders eat mainly insects.  Their predators are birds and geckos.

 

I really do not like spiders, especially huntsman spiders.  They look intimidating, and can run really fast.  All I would like is for the huntsman spiders to remain outside under rocks or crevices, where they should be, and not to come inside my house!

 

 

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