Daily Life

Why Tasmania?  Just one day…

Why Tasmania? Just one day…

Recently I had a sister-in-law come over from the mainland to spend one day with me (OK, she was travelling further on, but it still sounds cool ūüôā ), and we hit quite a few highlights – good food, culture, whisky tasting, market visiting, platypus hunting.¬† Tasmania has a wonderful variety of things to do in a small space – nothing we did was more than 5kms from my front door. Had we been energetic we could have ridden or jogged to most places – although after the whisky tasting, I’m not sure how well we’d have done on the way home.

So ladies and gentlemen, I present – Adventures in a Day.

 

Posted by DeborahH in Australia, Cultural dimensions, Daily Life, Nature, Tasmania, Tourism, Weekends, 0 comments
Remembrancer

Remembrancer

Facebook pops up every few days with a ‘on this day’ reminder of what I was doing on that day however many years ago. This can be fun (or depressing, depending on if the same concerns keep coming up), but doesn’t always chronicle the things I want to remember.¬† So, here is my ad hoc series of memories – not necessarily on the exact day, but somewhere around it.¬† This has the benefit of making me go through the 100,000+ images I have to find something I want to enjoy again.

Christmas in Xi’an is beautiful in the snow. Students build snowmen, mums bring little ones out to play. And then there is a red umbrella – waiting for its owner to return.

Burma – New Year 2012/2013 was an amazing adventure. This timber worker spends all day cleaning up logs for construction of new buildings around the town.

Feb 2004 – Xi’an My first visit to the Terracotta Warriors after moving to live in Xi’an. Even then I was more interested in the ‘back story’ of people’s lives and how things were managed on a day to day process. ūüôā

 

Posted by DeborahH in Cultural dimensions, Daily Life, Musings, Remembrancer, 0 comments
Noise reduction

Noise reduction

Posted by DeborahH in Australia, Daily Life, 0 comments
Why Tassie? Food, fun and festivals

Why Tassie? Food, fun and festivals

Tasmania is an island with some of the most pure air and water in the world. This makes it magic for growing beautiful food. With the (very) slow demise of logging and mining, tourism is becoming a major component of the economy, and tourism based on food and wine is an important sector in that component. There are Wine Trail booklets, and a Tasting Trail leaflet leading people to the wineries and special interest food producers. Organic food is gaining in popularity with local growers and consumers. ¬†To add to the mix, there are Taste of … festivals in several different areas, and open farm days (see our free range chickens!).

Last weekend I headed to the 3rd Annual Tomato and Garlic Festival on a farm outside of the tiny hamlet of Selbourne, I wasn’t really sure of what to expect – could be something really good, or just maybe a couple of stalls of tomato relish. There was a hint of a possible tomato fight, so I thought that was enough of an enticement for me to go anyway. ¬†Well, the cars started piling up on the country back road about 2km from the entrance, and as we approached the gates, marshals were there directing the parking. Okay, not just a couple of relish stalls. ¬†A bit of a trek from car park to entrance, and then into the 1000 strong crowd to see what was happening. Cooking demonstrations, garlic plaiting, garden tours, bushwalk and bird watching (although, with all the noise, any self respecting bird would be a long way away), talks from agricultural experts, food and drink stalls, tomato tasting and evaluation, seed stalls, and a couple of very fancy condiments stalls … definitely way more than I was expecting.

My little veggie garden has a few issues, so I asked one of the seed sellers for a bit of advice. ¬†“What’s the pH of your soil?”. “Ah, I don’t know.”. “Well, you SHOULD! That’s always the first thing you do!!”. ¬†Oh, okay, ummm…. sadly, I’m not about to run pH tests on my garden. ¬†So, feeling a bit of a failure as a veggie gardener, I turned my attention to the tomato tasting area. ¬†Wow! The hundreds of varieties of tomatoes available was really mind boggling. ¬†I ended up voting for a wee, tiny yellow tomato that grows with a little leaf tent around it, and tastes just like pineapple. ¬†The tomato grower tells me that this is a ground cherry. This is fast¬†getting a little confusing – I know tomatoes are a fruit, but now we have a cherry disguised as a tomato, tasting like pineapple….

For some reason, I just couldn’t make it to the garlic eating competition – maybe because I was eating local calamari and chips. ¬†Sadly, with poor weather conditions, not enough tomatoes were available for the tomato fight – but maybe next year!

Love local festivals – and island food festivals are special.

 

Posted by DeborahH in Australia, Cultural dimensions, Daily Life, Fun, Tasmania, Tourism, Weekends, 1 comment
Goodbye

Goodbye

I was asked recently “Why Tasmania?” as a place to live when I returned from China. ¬†My number 1 answer is always – SNOW!! ¬†But there are a number of other answers that add to why I have chosen Tasmania, including having ocean views from most of my windows that others pay quadruple the price¬†for, proximity to work (5 minutes walk) and spectacular inland scenery within 10 minutes drive. ¬†Tasmania is a smallish¬†island, so if you feel energetic you can drive from the north to the south and back again in one day. ¬†I also felt attuned to Tassie as people here have interesting histories, a different (island?) outlook on life. Many are refugees from the big cities, and others have generations of stories to tell. Tasmania was also in¬†the forefront of the green movement, with what is recognised as the world’s first Green Party beginning here. For me, the use of photography as a driver for the Lake Pedder dam protests is yet another proof of the power of photography to bring about social change. ¬†So, as a beginning to my “Why Tasmania?” intermittent series I offer a tribute to those photographers – Olegas¬†Truchanas and Peter Dombrovskis.

Posted by DeborahH in Australia, conservation, Daily Life, Forestry, Human-nature interaction, Tasmania, 0 comments
Morning – B&W

Morning – B&W

I’m still experimenting with looking at the world in black and white. Sunrises and sunsets depend on colour for their breathtaking beauty – and so I decided to find the beauty without the colour. Although, in saying that, I think this one works as it was very early and overcast, so not too much colour around.

Morning ahs broken

Morning has broken

Posted by DeborahH in Australia, Beach, Black and white, Camping, Daily Life, Nature, Tasmania, Weekends, 0 comments
Challenges

Challenges

Mary Ellen Mark remarked “The difficulty with color is to go beyond the fact that it’s color. To have it be not just a colorful picture but really be a picture about something. It’s difficult. So often color gets caught up in color, and it becomes merely decorative. Some photographers use it brilliantly to make visual statements combining color and content; otherwise it is empty.”

For me this is a major challenge. I usually work in colour, and see colour as integral to the world around me. So – I’m taking up the challenge. What works in black and white, what works better in colour? ¬†Looking at the world as black and white (or shades of…) is very challenging.

 

 

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Posted by DeborahH in Australia, Cultural dimensions, Daily Life, Tasmania, 1 comment
Runaway weekend

Runaway weekend

When you live in a beautiful, interesting or exotic place, it’s very easy to attract your family and friends to visit you. ¬†The joy of that is that you are able to show people your favourite places that only locals know, and you can explore places you don’t usually have the time for. ¬†My ‘runaway’ Saturdays help me do some exploring, but a whole ‘runaway long weekend’ with a wonderful friend is even better.

Carrol came to visit, and we headed south with a little list of fun and frivolity planned, including the Museum of New and Old Art ¬†(MONA) for the opening day of the new exhibition (See next post), and a couple of whisky tastings, a visit to Bruny Island and the occasional winery visit as well. Join us for our ‘runaway weekend’.

 

Posted by DeborahH in Australia, Daily Life, Fun, Human-nature interaction, Road trip, Tasmania, Tourism, Travel, Weekends, 1 comment
Day trip #2

Day trip #2

Going north is pretty hard when you live less than a kilometre from the northern coast of an island. BUT, if I am to do a day trip in each direction, I needed to make it happen.  So my rules were simple: a few kms in each direction, less than a km from the coast.  I explored beaches, turned off to see what the signs along the roads meant, and looked at what weekend life for the people who live in my area was like. What I found was fun. Enjoy day tripping with me!!

Posted by DeborahH in Australia, Beach, Cultural dimensions, Daily Life, Fun, Nature, Road trip, Tasmania, Village life, Weekends, 0 comments
Day trip – #1

Day trip – #1

The demands of work, plus running a small, weekly market stall don’t leave much time for exploring Tasmania. ¬†Even though I love sunrises, there really are only so many sunrise images from my windows that can be made and stored. In an effort to overcome the gravitational pull of the gluteus maximus¬†I’ve decided on taking a semi-regular ‘runaway Saturday’. Newest photography book, plus my cameras are loaded into the car, and I head in whichever direction I haven’t been to recently. ¬†This week i decided to head westward with a goal of just cruising along, finding a warm spot to read in, taking some photos of a mini-road trip.

The differences in people, shown in their ways of communicating, and the differences in country and coast, make my ‘runaway Saturdays’ fascinating.

 

Posted by DeborahH in Australia, Beach, Cultural dimensions, Daily Life, Road trip, Travel, Weekends, 0 comments