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Showing posts from May, 2019


Turning the Tables - Café Auslan opens in Hobart

Rachel at work in Hobart's newest cafe  Winter has come a bit early. Since we have been in the grip of an icy Antarctic blast for about a week, it seemed the perfect time to check out one of our newest cafés . Not that Hobart has a shortage of cafés. In Hampton Road, where this one is, I can probably count about six, without even going down the hill to Salamanca. What makes this one different, is that Café Auslan  represents a coup for the Deaf Community.  The café is located in a former sweet shop in colonial Battery Point, just behind Salamanca So what is Auslan and why have a café dedicated to it? Auslan stands for Australian Sign Language which is used by some 200,000 people largely by and for communicating with hearing impaired people. While similar to the 130 or so variations of sign used around the world, it is, so to speak its own language. So why do we need a cafe? About the only way I can describe it, is like this: You know the feeling you get

Ah yes, the Election....

This rather sums it up, though there were some other issues too. Climate Change obviously didn't get a look - in. * Eloquent image nicked from Ben Penning's Facebook Page

the Cider Trail - Part 2 -The Two Metre Tall Farmhouse Ale and Cider Shed

Approach to the Two Metre Tall Farmhouse Brewery The Two Meter Tall Farmhouse Ale and Cider Shed in the Derwent Valley is at home among the gumtrees in a former shearing shed on Ashley and Jane Huntington’s farm at Hayes, just past New Norfolk. While lacking some of the cultivated ambience of say, Willie Smith's, it certainly has the goods under the hood, notably the brewing equipment from St. Ives Hotel in Battery Point. Their dry cider is made from traditional English cider apples grown in the Huon and, unlike mass produced ciders, theirs is slowly fermented in bottles using pure apple juice and natural yeasts. The end product is unfiltered and has no additives, preservatives or sulphur dioxide. O ccasionally they also make barrel -aged special editions which include fruit such as cherries or medlars, but this year's batch has already sold out. Brewhouse with the equipment acquired from St.Ives in Battery Point   Ashley and Jane have been brewing beer here

The Cider Trail – Part 1 Willie Smiths

Just a random farm gate made of scrap timber and rusted barbed wire at Willie Smith's Apple Shed, but it embodies some traditional country values such as thrift,  as well as patience, creativity and time This was going to be about three of our cider makers,   but after searching in vain for one of them   - “The Lost Pippin” out the back of Richmond, it turned out not to be open to the public, so this is it for today. There are at least two more here in the south which I have yet to visit, so consider this a work in progress. The Cider Trail came to my notice while I was in the Huon Valley a couple of weeks ago and lingered a while at Willie Smith’s Apple Shed .   Cider -making seems entirely appropriate for a state which used to be known as the Apple Isle and it also suits the mellowness of the season. Black -faced sheep browse in empty paddocks, the harvest is in, and though a few golden leaves still cling bravely to the vines in vineyards, you can see their bar

Reflections on a River - Walking along the Derwent

Looking east from the bridge at New Norfolk Dragonflies hover, black swans glide effortlessly over the river’s mirror surface where clouds and mountains are momentarily transfixed. Only the sound of a gimlet -eyed cormorant slicing through the water or the occasional plop of a fisherman’s lure disturb the stillness. Looking upstream Over the last couple of weeks we have been exploring some of the lesser known tracks on the Derwent, upstream of its busy harbour. The Derwent's journey begins 239 Km away in glacially formed Lake St. Clair - Australia’s deepest lake, and winds slowly down from the Central Plateau to the sea. Along the way it supplies drinking water, water for agriculture, industry and hydro - electricity for 41% of the population. It also provides recreational opportunities and nurtures the plants and animals which live in and along its route. Since it traverses a wide range of habitats - from the mountains of the Central Plateau to marshlands and occupi