Out and About Where I live: Habitat Noosa 1

A pair of Curlews

I had driven past the turnoff to Habitat so many times and yet never once had thought of entering. I had thought it was private property but luckily my camera group had set it as the location for one of our Monday shoots. It is close by, approx 25 mins from Noosa (about 20mins from me) on sealed road until what you enter what appears to be a driveway. This is a good dirt track for a couple of kilometres. We drove to the end which opened up into an camping site on the edge of Lake Cootharaba. It is more than a camping site however as there is glamping of all levels (luxurious to basic) to bring your own tent. There are also some cabins which I think are probably used for school excursions. Curlews met us in the car park and kangaroos fed in a field close-by. A larger building was near the car park and this was a bar, restaurant and micro-brewery.

One of our group went and had a chat with admin and arranged for someone to show us some of the accomodation.

Glamping in the canvas tents seemed similar to having a cabin in a caravan park. They were well fitted out with the luxurious ones having ensuites while the basic had share ammenities. It looked like fun but what appealed to me was not the accomodation but the surroundings.

It is set in 65 acres of Great Sandy National Park and on the edge of Lake Cootharaba giving easy access to the Everglades. Canoes could be hired and excursions organised. There are also a myriad of walking trails and this was what made me go back a second time and come winter I’ll go again. Today however we explored the area around the facilities. After our unexpected tour we separated planning on meeting up again over lunch at the pub.

I headed back down the road we had entered on. At one point it had obviously been a market garden with the shade houses still in evidence. There was also an old abandoned building.

I walked until I came across a car park I had seen as we drove in. Opposite it was a sign post.

Today I didn’t follow any of these trails but headed towards Lake Cootharaba. The route east, through forest was easy but surrounded by swamp land. The reflections were fantastic.

It was like stepping into another world when arriving at the lake. Open and bright.

Lake Cootharaba looking across to Boreen Point

It was quite windy and the lake had waves and a lot of spume. After a short hike following the lake edge on sand I came to a board walk which took me all the way back to Habitat. I saw the tail end of one large goanna and numerous ducks.

Lunch was delicious in lovely surroundings. It was a good find and next time I will take you on one of the walks that Roger and I returned to do.

Posted in Australia, Noosa, photography, travel | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Week in Review: Week 9

Hibiscus FOTD

This week has felt quite surreal. The East Coast of Australia has gone under water. The mop up bill is going to be in the billions. The mud army is out in force to help with the clean up. The armed forces have been called in to help. Some farms and towns are still surrounded by flood water and help hasn’t yet reached them. Floods are devastating. The stench of the rotten water and the slime of the mud gets through everything. All the linings of the house have to be removed leaving just a shell. All belongings that have got wet have to be chucked. Whether it be fire or flood you lose everything but with flood the physical effort in cleaning up is just massive. My heart goes out to them and in comparison we fared well. We are now almost back to normal. We have managed to remove the garden from the pool but it is still a light green – algae from not being able to filter and chlorinate.

This rain has had an unexpected effect on salt. We mine our salt from our dry lake beds and as we have had so much rain this year and last our lakes are no longer dry and as a consequence it is impossible to buy salt. There is not a bag to be had in Noosa. As a result the demand for chlorine has increased and it too is in short demand. Delivery problems due to covid and flooding haven’t helped. There must be so many things like this that you rarely think of that are being affected other than the empty shelves at the supermarket. I had never envisaged a time that in this country we wouldn’t be able to buy fruit and vegetables, meat and bread. It had hit us as a shock when people panic bought due to Covid but this came as a bigger shock. There was no panic buying, there just wasn’t anything on the shelves to buy.

Time to ask how your week was? I hope it was good and you achieved what you wanted to. We managed to install our new pool pump which came in record time which surprised both of us given the transport problems I’ve already spoken about. I have achieved a lot this week as far as getting my paperwork in order. My office is finally looking tidy. I have also done the pantry and a couple of the other kitchen cupboards. Jobs I don’t usually prioritise but i have decided it is time to get my affairs in order and I have made headway. Hopefully to continue this week.

It was confirmed this week that Roger’s blood levels are starting to rise quite quickly. He is feeling good in himself but it is now time to start the next treatment type. We had a consult with the specialist on Friday and we have a couple of choices. Without knowledge it is difficult to know which is the best choice to take. It is difficult getting definitive research studies and nothing tells you about the PBS funding for medications and whether by taking one you are losing the right to take the other later in the piece. We will be doing what research we can this week and will be talking to the specialist again next Friday with a long list of questions.

Of course this puts our holiday in jeopardy to an extent although that is the least of our worries. Still I do think it is good to have something to look forward to. What is the point of living longer if you don’t spend the time living. It is a really fine line.

I am running late with all my posts this week so I’ll end here. My blogging goals have definitely not been met but will try to be better this week. I’m not going to beat myself up about it.

Hope all is well in your world. My thoughts are with those in Ukraine.

Posted in Australia, Cees Flower of the Day, daily events, musings, photography, Weekend Coffee Share | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

Time, Memory & Identity (Part 3) + The Sense of an Ending – book Review

As we saw in Part 2 our memory is a construct and if the ability to remember and recount our stories gives us our identity then is ourself a fiction?

This is the premise of the 2011 Man-Booker Prize winning book The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes, written when he was 65. In an interview in the Guardian he said, “Various things change you as a person and a writer as you age. You think more about time and memory; about what time does to memory, and memory does to time. You also mistrust memory more than when you were younger: you realise that it resembles an act of the imagination rather than a matter of simple mental recuperation.”

This delightfully written short book deals with many themes. It is retrospectively narrated by Tony, a retired, divorced man whose life is thrown into chaos when he receives a letter from a lawyer telling him he had received a legacy from his ex university girlfriend’s (Veronica) mother. To fill us in on the background we need part 1 relates his and his three school friends school life and then into Tony’s university days where a break up of the friends occurs as a natural event as they all go their own way. Tony and Adrian both feature in the book due to a letter Tony wrote to Adrian. This letter throws Tony as he realises that the person he has constructed as his past is not the person he he was in the past. Part 2 is the current day after Tony receives the legacy notification from the lawyer and finds him making contact with his old girlfriend Veronica and finds Tony re-evaluating part 1.

The themes deals with death, sex, class system, intellectuality, time and memory. The Sense of an Ending is a perfect title as we are left at the end with a mystery which makes us want to reread, ponder and discuss with others.

Would I recommend this book: Absolutely. Apparently it has been made into a film. Has anyone seen it?Although reading is subjective I believe that this book would hit a chord with every reader. We all have memories and it is these memories that give us more than the historical identity, our name, that our parents gave us when we were born, it gives us our sense of self.

If you want to read more on this I wrote an article for Carrot Ranch on identity.

Posted in Book reviews | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Week in Review: Week 8

FOTD

What a week this has been. Putin has set the world on a catastrophic path. I said to my husband that he had been born as World War II ended in 1945 and hopefully this does not mean that now he may be going out to another world war. I can’t help but feel down about it. Tearful in fact. We already have Afghani people starving and fleeing their homes and now we have Ukrainians let alone those who were already suffering natural disasters, pestilence and war. There was a movie on television the other night called The Road. I didn’t watch it. I couldn’t. An apocalyptic narrative. I read it some time ago (book by Cormac McCarthy) and thought then that I could see the events depicted happening. Worth reading if you haven’t already. This was pre pandemic, pre Putin, pre our removal from Afghanistan and now I fear it is even closer to the reality we find ourselves in. I just hope I’m wrong. What are your thoughts?

I have probably been lucky that I haven’t paid as much heed to these world events as I may otherwise have done. We woke to water lapping millimetres from our door Thursday morning. The pool was overflowing and the rainfall massive. We couldn’t empty the pool as it used the same drain that the stormwater used. At 5am I rang the plumber. He had someone to us by 8.30am. In the meantime I attempted to dig a ditch to drain the water but the mattock was so heavy and the tree roots so strong I was basically ineffective. I tried bailing the pool but one bucket at a time was going to make little difference. It took the plumber 4 hours to clear the drain. He had almost given up when suddenly a fountain of water sprang up draining into the street where before it had been a small stream. The water on our back patio receded and Roger and I breathed a sigh of relief.

We hadn’t reckoned on a monsoonal low hovering overhead on Friday leaving us to wake again to flooding that was trying its hardest to enter the house. Again the pool was overflowing and now the back garden was so flooded that it was draining soil into the pool and the pool pump could not be used because it had suffered from water on the electrics causing it to short the entire house when we tried to use it. All day we bailed around the pump. I carried the buckets to empty them . We built a dam wall to prevent water getting to the pump and by mid afternoon we miraculously managed to start the pump and drain the pool to a low point. Roger was so tired by this time that he forgot to turn the valve to the waste off and although the pump was no longer running we found the pool had drained to the lowest it could.

from blue to brown once the garden had drained into it.

This turned out to be lucky because overnight a tropical low formed off Fraser Island and slowly headed south giving us another sleepless night as the torrential rain battered down and again caused flooding. Roger went out at 4 and opened the valve to waste thinking it would again drain. It didn’t. By 5.30am we were almost floating away, the pump worked for half a minute before shorting the power. Luckily this was enough to get the free drainage happening. We worked all day trying to get it to go, trying to bail water, trying to do anything but all to no avail. If it rains again tonight we may go under. Luckily I think it has now passed us and hitting the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane.

In reality we were the lucky ones. The flooding was massive all over the council area. I took the dogs for a walk around the canal areas of Noosa this afternoon and although the houses here didn’t flood it shows how high the water came. Never have I seen the canals break their stone walls. With over a months rainfall (around790mm) in just a few hours the flooding in areas was much worse than this and sadly 5 people have drowned.

I really am a bit depressing today and I apologise. I hate being negative but some weeks wear you down.

I did manage to book the train trip for our holiday. Four days on the Savanahalander heading west from Cairns into really isolated country. We have our train seat but are waiting for confirmation of accomodation which in those parts are scarce. Roger is starting to get a little nervous as to whether we have taken on more than we can manage but he doesn’t want me to change our itinerary at the moment.

I am struggling to get the posts out on the day I put them down for so I am going to alter that goal. Take a bit of the pressure off me. I will post three times a week and the posts will be as specified however they might not occur on Mon Wed and Sat but other days of the week.

We spent Wednesday sorting out Roger’s blood results. That was one good result of the rain. I was surprised just how long it took us but I guess he has had a lot of blood tests and many are repeated multiple times so we managed to decrease our paperwork and now have them filed so they can be accessed easily. It has spurred me on to clean up other paperwork and I have managed to get Toastmasters filed into easily found sections in the filing cabinet. That makes me feel good. Do you get a feeling of achievement when you get clutter organised?

Due to the amount of rain we have had I think it is only right to depict that in my Flower of the Day for Cee and also in my PPAC for Marsha. The public art this week comes from Maryborough. The home of the Mary Poppins author P.L.Travers. The statue was not in the least bit surprising to see but the traffic signs were not expected.

Mary Poppins PPAC

How was your week? Better than ours I hope. Would love to hear. Sadly, it has just started to rain again. Keeping the fingers crossed. There is nothing else we can do.

Take care everyone. See you next week if not before.

Posted in Australia, Cees Flower of the Day, daily events, Noosa, opinion, photography, Weekend Coffee Share | Tagged , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Time and Memory: Part 2

Part 1 is here. where I asked : In remembering, I too am overcoming the dimensions of time and space but do I have any interaction with the places I travel to or are those memories just visions of the past, unchanged from visit to visit.

Is a memory for instance, in a state of storage, something like a filing cabinet, inside the brain and retrieved as required, unaltered, from viewing to viewing. With modern brain imaging techniques (PET and MRI scans) the mysteries of memory are becoming clearer. They show that the hippocampus is involved with novel events and this activates the left inferior frontal lobe of the brain, allowing previous knowledge to be drawn from, thus leading to an elaborative encoding, essential for long term remembering. However, we don’t encode every detail and our memories often resemble Swiss cheese. We can only remember what we have encoded and what we encode is dependent on who and what we are at the time.This is one of the reasons that our memories are not exactly the same as those of others who experienced the same event.

Paul John Eakin, an autobiographer and professor emeritus at Indiana University, points out that remembering is an essential part of being human and the ability to relate one’s life is the difference between success and failure and for this purpose, my memory is good. My recalled experiences do not come to me however, as they did in the past. They come in their rich and vivid detail, which is altered by my reflections on the event and its environment, how it made me feel, the person I am now and what is acceptable in the present day place where I am doing the remembering. The gaps in my remembering and subsequent narrative I fill in unconsciously with constructed detail so that the story is complete, as narrative is the only way we can relate our life to others.

I had never given my memories a second thought until reading Daniel Schacter and Oliver Sachs but afterwards found myself wondering about my truth. Returning to the events in Vanuatu that I described in Part 1. The trip to the volcano was a blur. I know I wasn’t frightened at the speed we travelled whereas I know that I normally would have been. I also knew from my days working in Intensive Care what someone looked like that had shot half their face off, or who was severely burnt. The fear of what I would see and find on my arrival certainly was greater than my fear of the road. Once there, however, there are huge gaps in my memory. All I know for certain was how I felt as I looked on those corpses and attempted to help and comfort the other girls. Did we climb to the rim of the volcano that night? My memory says we did but logically that does not make sense. Surely in the time it took for word to get to us of the deaths and the time it took to travel to the other side of the island to the volcano they would have carried the bodies down to where the trucks could park. Was it that I had climbed to the rim so many times i the past my vision of it filled in that gap in my narrative, and was the rock that hit them described so well I had such a strong, vivid vision that it converted it into autobiographical memory? It is now known that episodic memory (the type of memory used for autobiographical recall) shares the area of the brain used for visual memory. If the image is strong therefore, it can be stored as a memory, another reason that people have different versions of the same event and at times, can even “remember ” events erroneously. Tor them it is a true memory. For me my version of events is where I go when I travel back to that night and whether it be true or false, it is real to me. It is my truth.

If we accept that memories are a construct of the mind and are created anew on each occasion of remembering, affected by our past experiences, knowledge and what we wish to create for the future, it is to be expected that another who experienced the same even will remember it differently as they bring to their memory their own past, present and future.

In order to create the self we wish to be, we remember “what” and ‘how” in order to have our memories fit the identity we wish to create for ourselves. When the ability to remember goes, the identity of the person fades along with their memories and they become ghostlike in life. As the ability to relate our stories diminishes with age, brain injuries and dementia, we lose our identity, and our sense of self, for it is our ability to travel backwards, into the past, which gives us our identity.

What comes first though? Memoir or identity? This will be the subject of another post – part 3.

This couldn’t have fitted better with the Carrot Ranch prompt for this week where we are asked: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story using the phrase, “I’d rather be…” You fill in what comes next. What would a character(s) rather be doing and why? How can you use the phrase as a literary device? Go where the prompt leads! Join in, visit the ranch and write a story or read a few 99 bite size pieces.

A moment of Lucidity

Posted in Carrot Ranch, creative writing, flash fiction, memoir writing, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Time and Memory – Part 1

Have you ever thought of yourself as a time traveller?

I believe we are all time travellers to some extent or another.

The sand drifts into darkness. The sea beyond crashes invisibly. I stand on the boardwalk of the beach staring into the eyes of a dragon. It’s body is sculpted from sand and smoking, red embered fire spurts from its nostrils. My eyes hurt from the particles in the smoke as I inhale the sulphur fumes, the taste of which dries my tongue.

Without warning, I am transported back in time. I can hear the urgent rapping on the front door of our house where we lived on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu.

“Missus! Touris em i killem long volcano!” Our cook stood there agitated, her wild eyes matching the hysteria I could hear in her voice.”

“Killem mo killem ded?” I asked.

“Killem ded, ” she replied.

The bile burnt as it moved upward to my mouth. No! It can’t be true! whirled silently inside my head as I screamed for my husband to follow us. As we raced down the hill to the resort I was filled in on the detail. My need to get to the other side of the island and give any nursing assistance that might be needed was overpowering. She might not be dead. By this time I had been told that not only one of our tourists but also a guide had died, but still I hoped. Whilst Roger stayed at the resort to organise planes, alert the hospital to be on standby and notify the authorities, off I went in the truck to the volcano.

Normally the steep, hairpin road over the mountain range terrified me but in my mind flashed visions of flesh and gore, the broken bodies superimposed with the vision of the beautiful, dark-haired girl who had left me only three hours earlier. My head was spinning. Had I brought sufficient equipment with me to deal with what I might find? I kept thinking – it can’t be true.

We arrived to find the volcano shrouded in impenetrable blackness, but its smell was unmistakable. Sulphur gas. My eyes burned. My tongue dried. We raced up the side tot he crater’s edge, dodging the huge lava boulders that littered the mountainside. Torchlight guided us to where a small group of men stood, surrounding the two lying on the ground. I pushed through and looked. There was no mistaking the girl and guide were dead. A red hot jagged rock, the size of a soccer ball had hit the guide on the chest before being deflected sideways to the girl who had stood beside him. If only these men weren’t so strong it would have just pushed him backwards. Instead it killed them both instantly.

“Irene, I asked how much sulphur do I put in the mix?”

My husband’s voice, tinged with annoyance returned me to the present with a jolt. I am neither on the beach or upon that mountain in Vanuatu. I am in my office, sitting in front of a large window looking out onto a garden filled with palms, hibiscus and frangipani. Behind me are piles of ironing and books to be read, ignored as I time travelled six years then twenty years previous in response to the waft of sulphur my husband was mixing for the citrus trees drifted into my sanctuary. This was my Proustian moment. His had been stimulated by warm sweet tea and lemon flavoured Petit Madeline biscuits taking him back to happy times with his aunt. Neither of my trips were happy ones but I marvelled that just the merest scent could send me travelling into the past with such ease.

Alongside time travelling as a response to an odour, movement backwards and forwards without the constraints of time and space is something that every person does on a daily basis as w remember and recount events from our past, whether it be minutes earlier, or days, months or years. Questions such as “Do you remember….?” or looking at photographs and even concentrating on a body part, will send me hurtling off on a time travel expedition.

By this point it could be argued that I am not time travelling but rather reviewing the past or imaging memories yet to come. In the time travel of fantasy and science fiction the protagonist interacts with the world to which he or she has been transported such as in the television series Dr Who, which tells the story of time travelling humanoid who travels with the aid of the Tardis, his time machine, which allows him to travel across time and space, protecting the world from evil and changing the course of history.

In remembering, I too am overcoming the dimensions of time and space but do I have any interaction with the places I travel to or are those memories just visions of the past, unchanged from visit to visit. I will examine this in part 2 of Time and Memory.

The sulphur breathing dragon

The full story of what happened as a result of these fumes can be read here.

Yasur volcano at night

Nightmare in Paradise is a memoir I wrote following our time on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu. Another volcano story can be read here.

Finally if you are interested in writing memoir I wrote about dealing with time in memoir for Carrot Ranch. That article can be read here.

Posted in creative writing, Memoir, memoir writing, Nightmare in Paradise, Writing | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

Week in Review: Week 7

Ragtag Daily Prompt Lake Cootharaba at Sunset Share Your Desktop

Welcome. I hope you’ve had a great week and are looking forward to the next one coming up. As is often the case these days our week has been punctuated with medical appointments. Roger had to have his yearly medical check to ensure he is safe to continue driving. He passed with flying colours as I knew he would but it had concerned him. I think his fear was that he would be at my mercy and he would become a prisoner in his own house. Where I could be here all day everyday and still not have enough time to do everything I want to do he has to get out, even if it is just a quick trip to the shops.

I had my 3rd mammogram and ultrasound post cancer surgery in readiness for the yearly check I have with the surgeon. Another two years and I’ll be officially off her books and deemed cured. Someone called me a survivor the other day and I reacted negatively which surprised both of us. I don’t consider myself a survivor because I didn’t believe it was going to kill me. Well maybe I did think it would kill me for a time while I was in shock when they gave me the diagnosis and up until surgery but after that I don’t think I believed that this one would get me. I think if I had believed that I would be living in fear of the unknown and the terror of what might be. I have a dear friend who fifteen years after surgery is fearful of every pain she gets – fearful of the cancer’s return. In some respects I feel that the cancer has got her even though she has survived.

We also have finally been given a doctors appointment in Cairns. I presume that means that treatment will happen but we haven’t been given a date for that. This week I am just going to go ahead and book what I need to. It has changed our plans slightly. Instead of travelling inland on the way to Cairns we will travel up the coast. That way if we don’t get to Cairns by the 20th we can have the consult by phone and as we use a provider that only has good coverage on the coast we will have to plan accordingly.

I’ve also had some lovely coffee mornings with some good friends. Wednesday turned into a philosophical discussion and gave me the direction for my posts next week. Monday was due to be about writing so I plan on writing about time, continuing on with a part 2 on Wednesday and a book review the next Monday where time is a central theme. I struggled again with last Wednesday’s post, not getting it out until Friday. Even Monday’s came out on my Tuesday but that I could rationalise and say it is everyone else’s Monday. Now I have a plan it is up to me to carry out.

I have found some additional challenges that I will join in where and when I can. Bushboy’s Ragtag Daily Prompt provides photographers and writers with a word prompt to do with what they will. This one was Inchoate. According to Webster: The meaning of INCHOATE is being only partly in existence or operation : incipient; especially : imperfectly formed or formulated : formless, incoherent. My photo above is my response to this prompt. When reading that definition my thoughts immediately went to foetus’s and ultrasounds. The photo above reminds me of an ultrasound – a tenuous connection I know but it worked for me.

The other challenge that this photo is posted for is Clare from Clare’s Cosmos who on the 15th of each month wants you to Share Your Desktop Fitted perfectly because my ultrasound sunset just happens to be on my desktop at the moment.

The two other challenges that I have entered before are Marsha’s photographing public art PPAC and Cee’s Flower of the Day Photos for both these follow.

Flower of the Day Hibiscus

My goals are on track. Toastmasters on Monday night saw me present my umpteenth ice breaker speech. It went well. I told what drove me to Toastmasters in the first place in 2013, what events had led up to me losing my voice and why I stayed. This leaves me only one more speech to conclude level 1 in motivational strategies pathway and this I will do at the next meeting. When this research speech is done it will mean that I will have completed two levels in the one toastmaster year – this level 1, a level 4 in Innovative Planning and with only one more speech and evaluation to receive in Level 4 of Engaging Humour I feel I will be getting a triple crown again this year.

My entry for PPAC is a stark reminder of the divisions in our world today. COVID 19 and the vaccinated or not vaccinated alone are driving wedges between families, and communities let alone if we consider climate change, and other issues facing the world today. I have been listening to our parliamentary sessions on the radio

I have been listening to our parliament sessions on the radio and to put it bluntly I am disgusted. We have our federal election on the horizon and our government is doing its best to engender fear into all our hearts. This is how they win elections – reds under the bed, babies being thrown overboard and the war on terror are just a few of previous pre-election campaigns. When the populous are fearful they vote for the encumbent party. If ever I’ve heard them and us it is in these parliamentary sessions and it is fabricated nonsense. Nevertheless all these divisions are driving wedges between us. The artist for this piece of street art named Social identity theory wrote ” Our world is divided more than ever before. 80 million displaced peoples. War and disease have torn apart communities and families. The Social Identity Theory is as old as our ancient lizard brains, yet to survive, we must recognise that our Similarities Far Outweigh our Differences.” What a wonderful world we would live in if this were the case.

I’d love to hear how your week has been. Until Next time. I hope you have a good week.

Posted in cancer, Cees Flower of the Day, daily events, irenewaters, musings, photo challenges, photography | Tagged , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Out and About Where I live: Noosa National Park Hell’s Gate to Day area via Coastal track

Hell’s Gate

From Hell’s Gate we returned via the Coastal Walk, a 2.7 km walk. This track is vastly different to the Tanglewood Track and varies in difficulty from easy with wheelchair access (approx 1 km ), and moderate fitness required for the remainder. I felt the path was good the whole way and this showed by the number of people at Hell’s Gate with the foot traffic and water activities increasing as we got closer to the day use area.

There are a number of bays along the track and although none are patrolled the number of surfers make it look like Pitt Street ( a street in Sydney that is very busy). Picnic Cove is the first cove on route, closely followed by Granite Bay.

I was incredibly lucky to spy from the cliffs a tortoise diving and surfacing repeatedly.

As we came into Tea Tree Bay I spied a photographer

and following his line of sight I honed in on a surfer that I thought was a girl. I stalked her with my camera. Her command of the board was superb. I realised when she came to the beach that it was a male and had I been able to see the fine detail of the photos I would have seen the giveaway goatee. It was such a pleasure to watch such poetry in motion. No sooner had he caught a wave he was back out again to catch another..

the others waited, and waited and waited.

The traffic on the path increased as we neared our destination.

Once we reached the Boiling Pot we knew we were close to home. The coastal scenery was spectactular looking back to Noosa and the jet skis were out in force enjoying the freedom of the ocean waves.

The surfers on this walk gave me inspiration for this weeks 99 word flash fiction challenge from Carrot Ranch where we were asked in 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about zippers. What are the zippers for? What challenges do they present to the story? Go where the prompt leads!. Join in it is great fun.

The First Date

“Listen  to….” Carl couldn’t get a word in. Bringing Cassie on a first date to his  favourite walk was a mistake. Her constant chatter drowned out the birdsong he so loved.

“Put a zip in it.” Heard at last, he breathed a sigh of relief when she marched ahead, shoulders set firm. Peace enveloped him.

Carl followed her. A surfer was the next victim to her chatter.  She turned her back on Carl,  saying loudly, “The zipper on your wetsuit’s jammed. I’ll help you, then let’s get a cup of coffee.”

“Zippety do dah. Yep. Things were going his way.

Posted in Carrot Ranch, Noosa, photography, travel, Travel Theme | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Out and About Where I live: Noosa National Park Tanglewood Track to Hell’s Gate

Within walking distance of Hastings Street via a boardwalk following the coast you arrive at Noosa National Park. The park was declared in 1939 and now covers 2,883ha. At this point in the park you can choose one of two tracks to arrive at Hells Gate. We chose to do the Tanglewood Track which you can see disappearing up the centre of the headland taking in rainforest, woodland and open forest. The walk was 3.8km one way and is one of the most isolated walks within the park. This we found to be true as we didn’t pass a soul until we neared Hell’s Gate.

Heading off

We started out from the Noosa Heads Day Use area and headed inland immediately into the untidiness of the Australian bush. The track is classified as a class 4 track which means it can be narrow, steep, with exposed inclines or many steps. They recommend a moderate level of fitness and good walking shoes. Roger was still suffering from fatigue from the chemo and I worried about the sensibility of us doing this walk which was probably going to take around 3 hours to complete but I need not have worried. We enjoyed it so much we did it again a couple of weeks later.

At first the forest was quite dense, the track rough and moderately steep as we climbed up toward the ridge. As we got higher and more sunlight could be seen the vegetation changed from crow ash hoop and Kauri pines to woodlands populated with pink blood woods, scribbly gums, red ironbarks, ferns, banksia and grass trees.

My one disappointment was that we did not come across any wildlife although the birdsong was plentiful, beautiful and varied. There were obviously whip birds, wrens and others around but I didn’t see any. I also didn’t see any of the Australian animals such as koala and goanna that I know are abundant in the park. The closest I got to any wildlife was a spider’s web.

By this time we could hear the sound of the waves crashing on the beach and before long Alexandria Bay came into view.

Waves rolling in to Alexandria Bay

A little further on we reached Hell’s Gate. Roger took the opportunity for a brief rest.

while I tried to take photos of Hell’s Gate in all its fury. Hell’s Gate formed as weathering eroded the joints of sandstone which had been laid down over 190 million years ago. Eventually the erosion wore out a gap, creating a deep narrow cove.

Having reached Hell’s Gate we had finished that part of our walk. We now had a choice – take a track off the Tanglewood track and head down to Sunshine Beach and catch a bus home or return via the coastal walk completing a round trip of 8 kms. We chose the coastal walk – seen in the top photo hugging the coast. I will take you on that walk next time.

Posted in Australia, Noosa, photography, travel, Travel Theme | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments

Week in Review: Week 6

ginger FOTD

What kind of a week have you had?

I’ve had a busy week but an uneventful week. I had a lovely day on Monday when I took myself off to Hastings Street for a couple of hours taking photographs. As I have said before it is not somewhere I often go because it is so busy with people however, whenever I do go I love it. You have a shopping experience with the sea at to one side and the river to the other so you can escape the hustle and bustle if you want. I love photographing the clothes shops. In my younger days when I was fashion conscious (or partially) I would have drooled over the clothes. Now it is the bright lights that get me in.

Followed by an ice cream

Then out to the beach. A great surf due to the high winds we’ve had recently.

a quick wander through the woods

then onto the river

before heading back to Hastings Street.

I had a lovely morning. My other activities this week were hum drum appointments which I won’t bore you with.

This week I didn’t meet my goals of three posts in the week. Wednesday just proved impossible. I had back to back meetings and when I did have time – no inspiration. Do you write your posts ahead of time so that you can be sure to have them out on time or do you fly by the seat of your pants? Being deadline driven I tend to wait until the last minute but I am finding it is not working for me like it used to so I am going to have to revise how I do things.

Toastmasters this week was a lot of fun and made me laugh uproariously at times. The meeting was a back to front meeting which meant that we start at the end and work backwards to the beginning. It was a good lesson in listening as the evaluators who evaluated your speech before you gave it gave clues as to how you were to present it and structure. This also meant that although you were prepared you had to be able to ad lib and throw in points that the evaluator had commented on. I gave an educational on spoonerisms and had to present black belly jeans, pirouette and dance at times, give a couple of long pauses and react in a certain overcome manner to something someone said. A chap who zooms in from the Unites States had me in stitches with his three failed fiances. Honestly, if you want to improve your public speaking, become confident with off the cuff, critical listening then you should think about Toastmasters. I always come home on such a high after a meeting and I don’t think I have been to one where I haven’t had at least one laugh.

In response to the prompt for Carrot Ranch 99 word flash fiction. where we’ve been asked to write about anxiety. I’ve been a trifle lazy this week and reworked a piece I wrote years ago to turn it to 99 words: but then isn’t that what a lot of writing is about. Writing then editing, editing, editing and does the editing ever stop?

Janice took some deep breaths, feeling her heart racing in her chest.  Anxiously she spread her arms to the sky. “I can do it” she muttered under her breath although her fear of flying was freezing her as hard and turning her as white as marble. One more deep breath and she dialled the airline to book her ticket. “Breathe” she whispered wondering how, if she was struggling now to control her fear, would she ever get on the plane. 

“You’re booking number is R I P 76543.”

“I’m sorry but you’ll have to cancel the ticket.” Janice stammered

Monday we’ll be looking around where I live – specifically Noosa National Park. Hope to see you then but if not – have a great week.

Posted in Australia, Carrot Ranch, creative writing, daily events, flash fiction, Noosa, photography | Tagged , , , , , , | 18 Comments