Friday, June 25, 2010

Dug a hole

Well, it wasn't me personally who dug it, I just wanted to get that great line from The Castle in. It was actually Telstra subcontractors who dug it, we think to lay the cable required to bring a phone line up to our place. The trench went straight through our neighbour's paddock and driveway. I am sure we are popular with them right now.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Cat on a cold tin roof

We brought our two old cats with us to Tasmania, Patsy (14 years old) and Lilly (13). While they were mostly outdoor cats in Sydney, we've decided to keep them indoors here, for various reasons. However, they do have access to our upstairs balcony when the door is open, and Lilly has taken to climbing over the balustrade and sitting on the colourbond roof in the sun... then walking all the way around the balustrade to the roof on the other side. Here she is in action.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ditching my iPhone

As I've posted here previously, and by way of disclaimer, last month I took part in Telstra's 'social review' program for the HTC Desire mobile phone, and I was given one to try out and review. I applied to be involved largely because of my move to Tasmania, because as part of the program I also got to try out Telstra's Next G network. From what I'd heard, there isn't really any option but to end up using Telstra down here, and I wanted to find out if that's really true in my situation.

Last December I succumbed to Apple's shiny marketing and glowing reviews from colleagues and friends and bought an Apple iPhone 3GS (above). Six months later, I've decided to ditch it for the HTC Desire. I explain why here. Warning - it's a little long - like 3 pages worth.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Hello possum

Late yesterday afternoon I headed out on a walk, about 9km all up, including some good steep hills. A good workout, as I can still feel it in the legs. I have been missing my Wild Women trek training sessions and let's face it, pretty slack about getting out for a couple of hours. I walked down our road for only about a kilometre before meeting this possum. Brushtail possums here are much darker than they grey ones in Sydney. This cute little guy wasn't worried about me getting close enough to take a photo. And now a gratuitous rural view shot from the end of my walk. The last few rays of sunlight were hitting the Snug Tiers across the river. Today is the shortest day of the year - Winter solstice. So everything gets brighter from here!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Getting the farm look

My Dad told us we would have to buy some wellies when we moved to Tasmania. He was right. The soil at our place is mostly clay. It's no good changing out of 'house shoes' (that's ugg boots for the Aussies) into boots with soles that collect the clay every time you want to go into the garden, only to have to clean them before wearing them again. So last week we did indeed buy some gumboots at the local hardware store for use in the garden. I eschewed the purple and pink glitter gumboots for the utilitarian navy ladies boots. Today they got their first wear while I put scraps in the compost bin and dug a trench where my raspberries will go, and David wore his while he loaded rocks into the trailer and positioned them around a couple of trees that have sadly been ringbarked by rabbits.

Yesterday while unpacking one of the last remaining boxes, I found a small oval photo frame with a picture of me and my friend from uni Janine in it. At the time, she was living in the upper Hunter Valley in NSW. I love the photo because she looks like such a country chick, happy in dirty jeans and muddy boots while I had clean blue jeans and black jumper and boots - quite the city chick. I wished I looked like her. Today, with my clay covered jeans and jumper and gumboots, I almost did.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Tahune Airwalk - Southern Forests

The biggest tourist attraction near us is the Tahune Airwalk.  After being up since 4.15am today to watch the World Cup Australia v. Germany game, we took advantage of the beautiful weather and the public holiday Monday to visit it. We were there before it opened and had the place to ourselves. It is so beautiful it's hard to select just a few photos to show you. Although it is hard to justify driving 50km to a forest, when there is one right behind us!

Game over

On Saturday our new Grillo ride on mower arrived. The guy who David bought it from said that once we had it, it would be "game over". I'm not entirely sure what game that is, but it is certainly fun - and a very useful addition to our garage. The place looks fantastic again after a big trim over the weekend.

Friday, June 11, 2010


On the last couple of late afternoon dog walks, it has proven hard to stop Baerli from jumping into the river to chase the swans. At the moment there is a lovely family of two black swans with three cygnets hanging around in Franklin. There is a lovely town on the other side of the Huon called Cygnet. I guess this is why.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

First snow

Late this afternoon, I was on the phone to a work colleague when flurries of snow started drifting past and I waved at David to take a few photos and videos. It was drifting across the back balcony when I took Baerli out for her dinner, and she looked a little frightened of the white things blowing at her! Harden up, Bernese Mountain Dog! It has been drifting down most of the evening and now we have a light coat of white over the place. We took Baerli outside again and she went completely nuts in the snow, having a great old time. Now that's what I wanted to see.

A loaf of bread

Another exciting photo, I know. And yes, it does look a bit flat. But it's the first sourdough bread I've baked and it tasted fantastic! Crusty outside, fluffy inside. And there's more of the starter dough left in the fridge for the next one.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Garden update #1 - small beginnings

I am keen to grow my own vegetables and fruit, but I'm the first to admit I'm a complete beginner at this. So I have to start somewhere... with a few herbs for the kitchen that can tolerate winter planting. So far I have thyme and mint in two of the terracotta pots we brought with us from Sydney. I'll keep track of progress in the garden here over the coming months.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Some nice roads

Today we joined about 25 people from the BMW Car Club of Tasmania on a drive from Salamanca Place in Hobart to Bothwell for lunch. Someone in the club had done a great job of selecting a few nice back roads to go down with almost no other cars at all and plenty of corners. We were following a lovely Z4 M Coupe. Very nice bunch of people at lunch too. The Derwent River was a bit of a blur out the passenger side window...

Saturday, June 5, 2010

A day for baking

It was misty and rainy until about 3pm today, when the sun came out and we drove to Huonville for some shopping and a dog walk. Perfect day for baking. Made some starter dough for bread. Then I made my first ever batch of muffins - wholemeal apple ones with pecan nut and brown sugar crumble on top, using a couple of the Golden Delicious apples purchased at the roadside stall below. This dodgy photo really does not do them justice.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

An apple a day

The Huon Valley is at least part of the reason that Tasmania was once known as The Apple Isle. While falling prices and diversification into other areas of agriculture have reduced the number of orchards here, apples and pears are still grown widely. There are lots of stalls by the side of the road where an 'honesty system' prevails - you put $3 in a tin and help yourself to a bag of the freshest, crispest apples around. I have literally been eating an apple a day. This stall is on the edge of Franklin and their produce is great. And great value. On tonight's menu - roasted apples with cinnamon and double cream.