Category Archives: travel

Daily Photo

Here’s a photo from our trip to Papua New Guinea last year – Ponam Island in the Bismarck Sea.  There was a storm coming.


I still haven’t decided what else to write about.


Travelling with Tracey: Wodonga

If you’re my friend on FaceBook, last week you would have seen me whingeing about having to travel to Wodonga for work.  Wodonga is a town in north-east Victoria, which straddles the border with New South Wales and is half of the twin cities of Albury-Wodonga.  It’s a nice enough place but during winter, it’s damn cold.  As is evidenced by the fact that on Thursday last week it was only 8C, and went down to -1C overnight, then struggled back up to 7C on the Friday.

Here you can see the area where bushfires raged through two years ago. Those lines on the hill are trees that have been burnt and subsequently lined up for removal.
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And here are some lovely cows. I am obsessed with cows. They make me laugh.
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And in this area, the creek you can’t really see running through the middle of this paddock was one of many that was flooded earlier this year! These poor people can’t catch a break.
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If you ever come to visit me in Melbourne I will not force you to visit Wodonga. There are nicer places in the state to see.

Daily photo

Antarctica 12

From Russia with love

Whilst in Russia earlier this year, the boy declared he wanted to get some real Russian matryoska dolls (also sometimes referred to as babushka dolls). Luckily for him, we found a shop selling nothing but handcarved matryoska dolls.

And since he is the cat person in our house, he saw these and fell in love immediately.
Matryoska 03

They really are very sweet, and beautifully made.
Matryoska 01

The level of detail on each of them is amazing. And they are all slightly different.
Matryoska 02


On Sunday, we went to Antarctica. No, I’m not even joking. We booked ourselves on a scenic flight to Antarctica and it was wonderful.

This is our plane, an Airbus A380:
A380 01

This is my seat:
A380 02
(We were in First class. It was pretty special.)

We spent four hours flying from Sydney to Antarctica, then four hours flying around over Antarctica, then a further four hours flying back to Sydney.  It was a long day but totally worth it.  The scenery was amazing.  Here, see for yourself.

Antarctica 01

Antarctica 03

Antarctica 06

Antarctica 10

Antarctica 16

You can click on any of those photos above to be taken to my Flickr photostream and see the whole set.  If you ever get the chance to do this, I highly recommend it.  Ring Karen at Antarctica Sightseeing Flights and do it!

My newest toys

In case you haven’t guessed by now, I am a bit of a tech-head.  I love technology and gadgets and anything new and cool 🙂  Which is why I have a mac (actually two) of course.

Anyhow, today I have two new toys to show you.  This is my magnificent new Kindle:


And these are my new headphones from Bose:

Bose Headphones

There is a good reason for me getting both these toys.  We are going to China and Russia and three of the ‘Stans in April and we’ll be away for a whole month.  We’re travelling by train and that’s a whole lot of reading time for me.  Our last holiday was only eight days and I managed to read six books.  You do the maths.  This is going to save me a lot of space and weight in my luggage.

The headphones are noise-cancelling beasts which are far more comfortable on your ears than the earbuds you usually get with an iPod.  I can use those for about an hour and then my ears start to hurt.  These are going to be MUCH more comfortable for long trips.


Lack of inspiration

It was stinking hot today, up to 40degC. That is obscene and no-one should have to go out in that weather. Of course, the little black cat went and sat outside in the sun. She’s an odd cat.

We had a lovely weekend in Dunkeld, here is just one photo for you to admire.
This is four photos stitched together to make one lovely panorama. This was the view out our window every morning. Very nice!

I haven’t been to work this week yet, obviously, and I have tomorrow off as well. Then next Monday is a public holiday so I’ve scored another short week! Couldn’t have planned it better if I tried. It’s only about six weeks until we go on holidays so I think I can cope with that.

But as the post title suggests, I am lacking inspiration and even motivation at the moment. Nothing is really exciting me. Do I need a new hobby? A new job? Something else?

Work gets in the way sometimes

I’ve just spent two days in Wodonga. Not the most exciting place on the planet. And damn cold at night. Last night it got down to -2 deg. Ugh. I did go on a nice tour of the region though: here are some photos.

This one is a winery near Beechworth called Amulet Wines:

These are some cows that posed nicely under a tree for me:

This is some revegetation work being done on the banks of the Ovens River:

And this is a walnut farm in the region:
The tour was quite good and we saw some interesting stuff. We had dinner with the North East CMA Board Wednesday night, then had our Council meeting today. I’m fairly tired now, my mob are demanding and a regional trip is always hard work. Ah well, it is Friday tomorrow.

P.S. these photos were not taken with my new super camera. I used the work one for that. It’s a Panasonic T50 (I think).

All the best intentions

I did, I had the best intentions about blogging more often. Unfortunately I spent three days in Gippsland this week without my computer which made it a bit difficult. Ah well, maybe next week I can keep that promise.

In my last post I promised to show some photos of what a drought looks like in a first world country. Here’s the first photo: This is the Wimmera River in Western Victoria. A few years ago there was water in it. Now there’s none and the people of the region wonder if there will ever be water in the river again.

This is Lake Hindmarsh, in the same region. 22,000 acres of water. Well, it used to be. Now it’s 22,000 acres of dry lake bed.

This is another shot of the Wimmera River, further upstream. Still not a lot of water.

All those people who live in Melbourne and complain about our strict water restrictions should take a visit to one of these regions for a reality check.

More travel around the state

So I’ve spent this week travelling around the state again. Monday I was in Mildura, Wednesday and Thursday I was in Horsham. Next week I have three days in Gippsland and then finally it’s all over! I can get back to a normal schedule. Until I go to Wodonga and Kerang in July. But that’s another two months away so I can live with that.

It’s my sister’s birthday on Tuesday so we are going out for dinner tonight. She finally decided she wanted the perfume for her birthday so I’ll be off to the shops shortly to get that. At least she made a decision.

I had a haircut last night. My hairdresser has had so much trouble with staff lately. The new apprentice he hired about six months ago started stealing from him so she had to go. The second-in-charge hairdresser developed a serious drug problem and didn’t want to come to work any more so she had to go too. He is wondering what he did in a previous life to deserve this. All I can say is he must have been very naughty! My new haircut is lovely, by the way. I have a fringe for the first time in about 15 years.

Next week I will post some pictures from my trip to Horsham so you can see just how bad the drought is affecting some regions of my home state. It isn’t pretty.


Wow! This is my 51st post. I missed my 50th anniversary! Ah well. It was a good one too, all about my lovely handbag and its amazing tardis-like innards.

So today I was in Mildura for work. We flew up this morning – I left the house at 6.50am, which is obscene, whichever way you look at it – and got home at 7pm. Is it any bloody wonder I am tired? Wednesday I will be travelling to Horsham for two days, then next week is the Gippsland triple. I can’t wait til this is over.

It’s my sister’s birthday next week. A few weeks ago she told me she wanted some perfume. Good, I can deal with that. Last week she rang me and said she’d found a handbag she wanted instead and would that be okay? Yes, good, buy it and I will reimburse. Sunday she rang me to say she didn’t like that handbag after all and would think about what she wants instead. ARGH!!

The boy is asleep on the couch. Such entertaining company sometimes. But I still love him.

Stupid people

Today’s post is a rant. The boy and I drive to work together every day. You might suggest that we could save the planet one little bit at a time by catching the train, or tram, but public transport is a) unreliable in our neck of the woods (I kid you not, I have waited 40 mins for a tram some days) and b) at least there are two of us in our car, UNLIKE ALMOST EVERY OTHER CAR we travel with, which generally only contains one person.

They’re all coming from the same area, they’re all going to the same place, why can’t some of them carpool??? It could mean 50% less cars on the road, less pollution and traffic and I would be a happy camper.

Thy other people I am not liking at the moment are some cyclists. Now, as a general principle I do not object to cyclists. I couldn’t be bothered riding to work myself, but if I did I would ride on the very nice bike path that someone (VicRoads?) has thoughtfully provided for me. I wouldn’t be riding on the road, weaving in and out of traffic, ignoring the trams (you have to stop for them – it’s the LAW – although apparently if you’re a cyclist you can ignore road rules when you’re on the road), and riding through red lights. I am generalising greatly, certainly it’s not every cyclist that does these things, but a lot of them do and it drives me crazy, and gives the other cyclists who do do the right thing a bad name.


Another day, another town

Today I was in Bendigo for work. So far this month I have been to Horsham, Hamilton, South Morang and Ballarat. I still have Mildura, Leongatha, Traralgon and Bairnsdale to go. Is it any wonder I’m tired? Oh and I have another two days in Horsham next week with my real job. Okay, you might not think that any of them are that far away, given they’re all in Victoria but all that driving combined with 5-hour workshops in each location is exhausting!!

This weekend it poured with rain which was excellent but meant that the black cat and I didn’t even stick our noses out the door all day Saturday. The boy went off to work and we stayed in, out of the cold. Sunday I had lunch with a couple of friends at Mirka at Tolarno’s, which was very nice but certainly not worth all the raving I have heard about the place.

Can you believe we still haven’t heard when Mr Dad’s surgery is going to be? Talk about frustrating.

Touring the State

I’ve just gotten back from a two day trip to regional Victoria. We went to Horsham and Hamilton. Both are about four hours from Melbourne, and since I was there for work it wasn’t the most exciting trip I’ve ever had.

I think the little black cat might have missed me. Since I got home an hour ago she has been following me around the house. She’s almost like a puppy! But not quite, even though she is apparently an honorary husky, according to her blog. Unbelievable.

Now the update on Mr Dad. He went into hospital, got admitted, then as he was about to head off for surgery it was delayed because of some big emergency case that his surgeon had to go deal with. I thought he was meant to go back in some time this week but there’s been no news so far. Annoying!!