the beach as terminator line

15 04 2012

Wow, it’s mid April, Easter has come and gone and the Indian summer we’ve been experiencing will, no doubt, soon make way for cooler weather and remind us that winter is on it’s way. Over Easter we did a block trip and had a bunch of family and friends staying with us. Lots of tents, fire, food and chocolate egg hunts. And this weekend we headed down to the coast for a stroll in the sun at Torquay on a beautiful day…

Torquay boardwalk

We parked at the boardwalk behind the main beach and were quite surprised to see some of the development around Torquay – particularly the thing next to the golf club. It’s becoming quite the  coastal resort.

We walked around and up to the headland before climbing down the stairs to the beach. A few people out diving and others walking on the rocks and checking out the pools. Further to the west down towards the surf beach a pack of surfers vying in the meagre swell for a wave to catch. Having a 180 degree view from the headland highlighted the terminator that the beach is – that beige coloured line between the land and ocean. It’s a wonderful transition between the two.

Torquay ocean

We rock-hopped back around towards the estuary at sea level and enjoyed watching children playing amongst the rocks. Brought back wonderful memories of our boys enjoying the beach when they were little and learning all those things about the beach – sand, surf, & salt water. Hmmm, good times.

Summer holidays – a gift you don’t have to wrap

15 01 2011

Just back into that other dimension of regular life (and work) after a couple of (very relaxing) weeks spent in the bush. This summer, down on Cape Otway, we managed to have a wonderful time enjoying a life at a different pace with no pressures or timetables. What a gift to pause (stop doing some things) and indulge yourself in (sort of selfish) simple pleasures. Forest walks, beach strolls, reading, talking, eating & drinking, and even doing basic chores, make for a very refreshing time. A bit like chicken soup – good for the soul.


Good food featured quite a bit this year with puddings, soups, coq au vin, and roasts being crafted in the camp oven and wok. We were even able to quaff some home brewed beer which was brought down & chilled. There’s definitely something special about cooking & eating outdoors.


The Koala’s have been busy finding ways to circumvent the polycarbonite bands I put around the trees. They climb up other trees & jump across as well as using the pads on their feet (rather than claws) to scrabble over the slippery surface. Looks like I’ll have to add another band to make it harder if I want to keep them from eating all the leaves & killing the trees. Also lots of birds, king parrots, wrens, cockatoos, kookaburras, magpies, wattlebirds etc. as well as a couple of different wallabies. Fun to hear the young birds practising their calls & generally squawking a lot in an attempt to get a free freed from mum & dad.

So, now have been back at work for a week and trying hard to keep the work/life balance in order – we’ll see how we go…

PS. Looks like I’m going to have to invest in MarsEdit – works a treat…

off and running for 2009, but making headway?

18 01 2009

Dear reader, it’s been a while, the postings haven’t been very regular, and it is that dreamy, lazy time between years, but I thought I’d better make start on my blog for 2009. Hopefully with this beginning I’ll feel like I making some headway. 

On the home front, we’ve had a great holiday with two weeks down on Cape Otway. Nice weather and great to spend time with the family – had the boys down, Dad & Emmy (who had done a bit of a road trip and driven down from Qld), brother Andy and family, as well as Trynda, James & Samuel. Enjoyed sitting around in the bush and relaxing. I even managed to read a couple of (largish) novels – Snow Crash by Neal Stepheson and Matter by Iain M Banks, both science fiction. Also trips to the beach (picnic at Blanket Bay for Christmas day), walks through the forest and some hard yakka cleaning up around the place. Came back to go to work and then went back to the bush for weekend to chat to a tree lopper as we’re getting closer to building and need to clear a few more trees. Don’t really like doing this, but we need to make way for a house and make sure nothing will fall on it later. Highlights obviously the weather, food, drink, books and company, as well as spotting a couple of Twany Frogmouths hunting in the dark – very cool. Overall and excellent adventure and good for the soul.












And now it’s mid January already! I’m finding that a little difficult to comprehend but it’s true. I’ve been back at work for two weeks and gradually getting up to speed. There aren’t a lot of people around (it’s good time for academics to get their recreation leave entitlements down) and students don’t come back on campus till second week of March. Well, that’s not completely true. We’re running a Tri-semester 3 (instead of a Summer semester) and have quite a few students doing that but they are mostly off campus. Things for me so far have meant getting ready for Tri-semester 1 and covering the fort till other support staff come back from leave. So, been dealing with some business and catching up with people after the break. Looking forward to doing some writing and research this year and thinking about a research question that might sustain me during the time it would take to do a PhD…











So, that’s fairly up to date with a fair bit of computer tinkering over this weekend. New operating systems on three laptops and restoring software applications and data. Wendy’s HDD failed and I needed to go to 10.5 and then Reubs wanted to as well. I suppose we’ll find out the week what we still need to do when things don’t work or we can’t find something. Oh, and we’re saying goodbye to Ash as he heads back to Europe for a while (at least 9 Months). He be heading to France (Lyon) to catch up with Pip who is studying there. It will be cold. We might be heading over that way too, and spend some Euros on the continent later in the year – we’ll see how things pan out.

it starts again…

27 04 2008

Sunday evening and the work cycle starts again tomorrow. Nothing wrong with that, it just means the weekend is over and whatever I didn’t get round to doing will need to wait till the next one. It was a hectic week at work last week and I’m looking forward to catching up on a few things this week.

We headed down to Cape Otway on Friday and cruised though Apollo Bay with stopping for the Music Festival, well we did grab a coffee and muffin and shopped for some vitals. Caught up with some friends for lunch and then did the walk down to the Parker and round Point Franklin. I’ve never seen the sea so calm but it was very high so the rock scramble was tricky in between the waves.

On Saturday it was into Apollo Bay but straight through and up to Marriner’s Falls. There were some signs up at the car park to say the track was closed due to storm damage but that didn’t stop us (and a whole lot of other people). It wasn’t that bad, but there were a few trees across the track and you could see that it had been up a meter or two when it rained heavily a couple of months ago. Anyway, it’s a beautiful walk and lots of nice things to look at if you take the time. The falls are part of the Barham River which flows past the caravan park at Apollo bay and out to the ocean.

mushrooms.jpg barham-river.jpg

We stopped for a picnic in Paradise on the way out and enjoyed the company of three Kookaburras who (unfortunately they probably thought – but for their own benefit) missed out on some lunch. It was drizzling a bit (probably meant that we had it on our own people-wise), but not enough to stop us enjoying a very beautiful place.

Nothing like some fresh air and the sound of running water to refresh the spirit.

close up

6 04 2008

While a way overseas recently I lashed out on a new lens for my big camera. One of the people I was traveling with had a local contact and this person was able talk the lingo and managed to drive a hard bargain for me which saved me a few dollars. This lens (100mm f/2.8) takes both portrait and macro photos and I’ve had a bit of a play around and thought I’d post a couple of shots of some shells on the blog.

shells-1-sm.jpg shells-2-sm.jpg

I suppose the idea is to capture an essence of the subject while framing it in a nice composition using light/shade and colour. It’s fun, and I’m learning a little more about photography. Now keeping a lookout for interesting subject matter.

Tuesday 22nd day 4

23 01 2008

Wollongong to Bonny Hill (Rainbow Beach)

Morning was clear, and after breakfast walked across the ovals to the beach which was wild and woolly (the lifesavers had still put out the flags albeit only about 30 metres apart). Headed off up along the coast road and enjoyed the NSW version of the Great Ocean Road. The Sea Bridge was spectacular and we stopped off at a cemetery that just about ran into the sea. Checked out a sea pool that was copping a pounding by the surf and then up to the lookout at Stanwell Tops to watch a few hang-gliders taking off. A couple of guys were doing tandem rides which I reckon I’d be game enough to try – there was a granny psyching herself up to take the ride that had been given to her by her son for her 75 birthday! Anyway a most pleasant way to sped the first couple of hours on the road.

Then it was taking the cue from the Navman lady who we’d asked to guide us on a multi-waypoint trip through the middle of the suburbs of Syndey. Worked like a charm and also an amazing drive, through fantastic cuttings and steep descents to get us to the other side and on our way to Newcastle. After a few days on the open road it was tricky to get used all the traffic through the suburbs again and there were plenty of trucks hammering along. Everybody heading somewhere to do something – our modern societies have become very reliant on us being able to get around and we do take that for granted. Sometimes it’s nice to think about not having to go anywhere – or at least being able to get there on foot.

Back on the highway there was another section (15kms?) of road works were a dual carriageway was being gouged out of the bush. What a hugh project – there were even a couple of temporary villages built out of portables: offices, carparks, first aid sheds, lunch rooms, toilets, etc. Lost count of the amount of machines and even saw a crushing plant to process the rocks they were digging up to be able to use them as gravel further up the site. (investing tip: after the guts falling out of the stock market this week, get onto the Albi Group – they’ve got these road works projects and will be busy for a while yet…)

A couple of stops on the way and enjoying being on the coast and seeing the rough sea and changing landscapes of the escarpment and coastal plain. Took a detour on a scenic coastal drive that led us to Bonny Hill (Rainbow Beach) which is 20 minutes out of Port MacQuarie. Great beach front and we checked out the Family Holiday Park and decided to pitch the tent under the trees. Nice facilities and neighbourly people camping in the next site. Just a bit different from Mark’s experience in Portarlington and a bunch of rowdy, intoxicated, best left alone people across the way. We made sure there were no (real) young kids nearby and ended up between two ‘established’ families and enjoyed chatting with them late into the evening.

Tomorrow another 450 kms and then staying with brother and family.

Happy New Year

4 01 2008

A slightly belated Happy New Year to me and you, dear reader. May 2008 be a great year for you and I wish you strength and courage as you fulfill those resolutions and tackle the goals you’ve set yourself. I’m getting fired up to take on a new job (still at the uni) which is a bit like the old one but from an academic perspective, and looking forward to the changes that will bring. The second half of 07 was not an enjoyable one work-wise, with significant change that was rushed through and affected a lot of people badly. So, I’m out of that frying pan…

The last couple of weeks have been rather crazy but very enjoyable. Lots of things to celebrate (including a 21st), catching up with family and friends, lots of food and drink, some presents, times of relaxation and chilling out (the bush was fantastic), and don’t forget a couple of very hot days between 2007 and 2008. Our few days on the the Cape (Otway) were very special, a couple of nice walks, beautiful weather, the beach to ourselves, and seeing a Tawny Frogmouth (Podargus strigoides) or two, or four! They sat on that branch for most of the day, but couldn’t we find them the next day.

Otway Park Tawny Frogmouths

Crayfish Bay was glorious, nice and warm on the sand, the water was cold but once in for a few minutes, just perfect, and we didn’t see anyone for 3 hours!

I’ve been reading Yukio Mishima’s The Sea of Fertility which is giving me more of an insight into things Japanese and particularly Mishima’s bent on things political. Anyway, it’s been enjoyable and while I’ve still got 400 pages to go (I’m already halfway through!) I’m aiming to have it finished before I go back to work next week. Hope I manage it, I do have some chores to catch up on and then there’s the second test

… only 325 days till Christmas.