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Showing posts from June, 2017


Adventureland – A flying visit to the South West

View from the Humboldt Divide (651m) - Highest Point on the Gordon River Road It must have been reading about Lady Franklin, but Hobart suddenly seemed all too tame and having been promised a couple of pleasant days, I loaded up my trusty van and headed off to the South West to the World Heritage listed Franklin – Gordon Wild Rivers National Park. You need a Parks Pass to enter here. If you don’t have one yet, call in to the Waterfalls Café and Information Centre at Mount Field on the way through and pick one up there. It’s a good place to find out what the roads are like too, before venturing further. East of the Divide it's all rainforest and tall trees, while to the west it is moorland and  buttongrass plains   The road gets steep and windy after Maydena and you don’t need to go far beyond it to get that sense of utter isolation – no traffic, no shops and just raw nature all around.   It has been a long time since I travelled this road and winter is

“Ancanthe” -Lady Franklin’s Folly

Snow swirls around the mountain. The wind howls around the house and there’s a big pot of soup on the stove. I should be doing Tax Returns as it’s  the end of our financial year, but I have instead become engrossed  in the story of Lady Jane Franklin (1791 – 1875) , since visiting her delightful “temple” stuck in the middle of what still looks pretty much like a kangaroo paddock. Dusk at "Ancanthe" being restored to its former glory You simply have to admire a woman who could look at a bit of raw bushland where the kangaroos roamed freely and decide that what the brutish convict colony needed most was a Greek Temple where Art and Culture could flourish. That, however,  was by no means her only gift. If I could, I would make a movie about her life. It would have everything - adventure, passion and pathos, daring, intrigue, triumph and tragedy, except a Hollywood ending.   Side view - small but exquisite and perfectly proportioned In the few short years

The Burning - Goodbye Ogah Ogah, Goodbye Dark Mofo

It’s Sunday night on the waterfront. At dusk the haunting Siren’s Call brings us together. Tonight is the last official night of Dark Mofo, though there’s still the nude swim at dawn on the Solstice.   The excitement builds as the sky darkens. Children wave lanterns decorated with cyclopean eyes.   Then to throbbing drums, grotesque figures begin to bob above the gathering crowd – evil spirits we are told – a hobgoblin, a black razorback pig, a loathsome dreadlocked red female. Some distance behind her is the Ogah Ogah, the giant papier maché Tasmanian Tiger in which we placed our slips of paper with our regrets and fears the previous Saturday. One of the wiggling, jiggling demons goes by - possibly some kind of  demented fertility goddess More people stream in from the side streets as we swarm, shuffle and trip along the waterfront. As we pass by the blood red Museum, Ogah Ogah obliges by stopping in the middle of the street and putting on a little dance. Both the s