Sovereign Hill

Yesterday, in defiance of the cold and the rain, we allowed ourselves to be dragged out by the lovely Emma to Sovereign Hill. For those of you unfamiliar with it, it’s basically a small mining town which prospered during the goldrush of the 1850s, and it has been preserved or recreated as a tourist attraction. All the staff wear period costume, and most of the buildings and services are as they would have been back in the golden days (pun totally intended). Except I’m pretty sure the miners never had ATMs.

So along we went, and we bought traditional boiled lollies and the kids dipped candles and we had a carriage ride, all paid for via authentic, original EFTPOS.

The kids had a great time, and I must admit, I enjoyed it too! We’ll have to go again when the weather is nicer, though.

Taking a metaphorical plunge

That’s me up on the wall, with Andrew on the ropes. (Chantell took the photo.)

Rock climbing is something I’ve wanted to do, on and off, for many years. It’s a desire that was rarely expressed and never acted upon, indeed it was nearly forgotten. Until a few weeks ago, when I watched Cliffhanger. And then I was like, oh yeah, rock climbing!

So I googled, and I found Hard Rock Climbing Company, who run beginner courses for those of us who had never done it before. So I gathered together my unsuspecting friends, Andrew and Chantell, and off we went!

Andrew had been climbing before, but not for a long time. Chantell and I were complete newbies. So I think we were all a little bit nervous, but in the capable hands of our instructors we were soon swarming up and down those walls like… well, like slightly nervous newbies, to be honest, but we got better and better as we went on! The three of us have agreed to do it again, maybe semi-regularly, and I’m looking forward to getting better at it!

The saga of the lost connection

On Thursday night, we lost our internet connection, apropos of nothing. So I called my ISP’s tech support, and they ran me through a few things, then suggested I try a different modem.

On Friday, I went and bought a new modem. Still no luck. Called tech support again, they ran through a few other things, then said they’d send out a technician.

Today, technician came. Detected that one wire was slightly corroded and may have been causing a short on the line. However the removal of that wire did not fix the problem. We called ISP’s tech support, ran through a few more things, still nothing. Technician suggested trying old modem.


New modem, fucked. Old modem, fine. One wire, slightly corroded. I’m back online.

Melbourne had a what?

To the best of my recollection, I’ve never experienced an earthquake before. Tonight was my first one, and I confess to being slightly disappointed! I was in the bath at the time, and what I heard was something that sounded like the start of a sudden, violent storm. I thought it was a strong gust of wind and maybe some rain. And then I went back to my book and thought no more of it. It wasn’t until half an hour later that I found out we’d had a real, honest to goodness earthquake. As far as I know, nothing here was damaged. I even had to knock a glass over myself to take that photo. So we’re all fine, and my first earthquake was boring.

Colour photography

I love to photograph inks and dyes. I don’t get much opportunity, for various reasons – like the ease and safety of doing so when two small children are scurrying around the house! I would like to do more, and get better at it. But here’s a couple that I’ve taken when I could.

Dye in water, taken this morning


Dye on a baby wipe, taken this afternoon


Dye in oil, taken in February

Being social – or not

That’s Elspeth in purple way off to the left.

Yesterday I took Elspeth and Evelyn to the birthday party of a little friend of ours, Oliver. He was turning three, and in his honour several small people assembled in a park to play.

I was watching the children play, and noticed once again that Elspeth is a stand-offish child. She is always a little apart, rarely interacting with other children. While the other kids played on the playground equipment, Elspeth walked around the edge, balancing on the planking around the outside. She isn’t violent or antagonistic; she just seems to prefer to play alone, or with one or two trusted people. It is something which has worried me a little in the past.

I recall being the same as a child, and in truth that tendency has never really left me. I’m not a fan of big groups, crowds, or strangers. I have always preferred intimacy, small groups of well-known friends, or solitude.

Watching Elspeth makes me wonder if I should be worried about her lack of social interaction, and what – if anything – I should do about it. Seeing, as I do, myself reflected in her behaviour, makes me feel better about it. I managed. I still manage. I am happy with how I am. I am capable of communicating for purposes of work or study, I can handle everyday situations like grocery shopping or calling my local council. There is no reason that, with some time and practice, Elspeth couldn’t also get used to doing those things.

I think, having reflected on my own characteristics, I should be less concerned about seeing them in Elspeth. It’s okay to be a loner, despite the stigma often attached to it. It’s not something that needs to change; it’s just who she is. It’s who I am. And I’m okay with that.