The Beautiful Tamar (Part 2)

The Beautiful Tamar (Part 2)

The Beautiful Tamar (Part 2)

The spectacular Batman Bridge crosses the Tamar near Exeter, about 30 km north of Launceston.

Built in 1968, it is unusual in that it is a hybrid bridge (the technical term is “asymmetric cable-stayed”).

One side boasts one huge “A” shaped pylon that is secured deep into the bedrock on the western side of the river. Cables from it support the weight of most of the bridge.

The eastern side of the Tamar is not as rocky as the other side, so this end of the bridge rests on a series of trusses.

This particular part of the river is known as “Whirlpool Reach”. It is much narrower, and the currents can be very strong.

Cheers!

Cheers!

Cheers!
(I think that glass is a bit big, Ewen).
It’s a dream come true for Ewen and Elissa.

As long as I’ve known them, Ewen and Elissa have had a passion for excellent wine. Eight years ago, they decided to follow their dreams and bought a farm near Ballandean in Queensland’s “Granite Belt” area. Working with Ewen’s parents Bob and Jill, they have transformed the farm into Symphony Hill – a premium quality vineyard that is taking the Australian wine world by storm.

In addition to the swag of Gold Medals and trophies they have won around the country, their most recent triumph was a Gold Medal at the prestigious Sydney Royal Show wine competition.

This success story is the result of courage and determination. It takes a special breed of people to leave their secure professional jobs in the city, and borrow bucketloads of money to build their dream. Add to that the sheer determination and back breaking work that is needed to prepare the soil, build kilometers of trellises, and plant hectares of new vines.

In 2002 that dream was threatened by some of the worst bushfires that the area had seen, with the blaze coming perilously close to the vineyards. Miraculously, the vines came through unscathed.

Today, Symphony Hill Wines is testimony to Ewen and Elissa’s uncompromising commitment to quality.

Ooo, Ahh, Glen McFantastic

What a cricketer!

Glen McGrath took 4 wickets for a miserly 16 runs in the one-dayer against New Zealand today. This man’s bowling is artwork on legs. He doesn’t have the fiery pace of Bret Lee, but his unerring accuracy, and his grasp of the situation has saved Australia’s bacon on many occasions, including today.

With two overs to go, 13 runs still to get and 4 wickets in hand, it seemed as though Australia was going to be on the receiving end of a Kiwi victory. But then Lee knocked over McCullun and Vettori in his 10th over, and McGrath claimed the scalps of Marshall and Tuffey in the 50th over.

McGrath just gets better and smarter with age.

To watch a young tallented sportsperson excel in their sport is exciting, but to watch an experienced master of the craft is inspirational.

Here’s what the ABC had to say:
http://www.abc.net.au/sport/content/200502/s1306563.htm

Shipwreck!

The Strangest Thing of All.

The Strangest Thing of All.
(Lilly checks herself out in the mirror. Taken with my mobile phone).

Of all the strange things that happen in the universe, there’s one that is stranger than anything else.

On our small planet alone live more than 6 billion people. Another 6 billion people have already lived and died here. Yet of all those people that live, or have lived and died, one of them thinks that they are “me”.

Billions of people experience the world, but by some wierd contortion of cosmic reaility I get to “be” one of those people. I get to see things through “my” eyes; hear things through “my” ears; touch, taste, smell and feel things from “my” perspective.

How did the 10,298,453,312th human to be born become “me”? Why me and not someone else?

Science can explain how we arrived here as a species. That in itself is strange enough. But can anyone explain where self-awareness came from?

Awareness of self brings with it both triumph and tragedy. While we exalt in experiencing the universe, we become painfully aware of our own mortality: a hundred and fifty years ago there was no “me” to experience things; a hundred and fifty years from now there will be no “me” again. We are all born, live and die.

All we have is the wonderful “now”!

Shipwreck!

Shipwreck!

Shipwreck!

(The wreck of the Dicky, Dicky Beach, Caloundra).

I took this photo at sunrise with my Sony Ericsson mobile phone one morning while we were holidaying at Caloundra last winter. It’s a beautiful part of the world to be in during the winter with no crowds, and very reasonable accommodation prices.

The Dicky was a 96 foot Iron Steamship built in Germany in 1883.

Ten years into her working life, she was caught in a heavy north-easterly storm off Caloundra Head in February 1893, and ran aground at what we now know as Dicky Beach.

Thankfully, all passengers and crew were saved.

Legend has it that the skipper of the Dicky had trouble with visibility during the storm, and mistakenly assumed that he had rounded Caloundra Head, when in fact it was still a long way off.

The engine from the Dicky was salvaged from the wreck and used in the “Lady Norman” – a larger Iron ship, almost 130 feet long. Lady Norman had a much longer life, eventually being scuttled in 1969 on Curtin Artificial Reef in Moreton Bay.

The lesson for us amatuer sailors is that stormy weather is treacherous. If a 226 ton Iron steamer can run aground in a storm, how much easier a lighter lady such as my own Myuna II (10 tonnes, 36 feet)?

As the saying goes, there are plenty of bold saiors, plenty of old sailors, but not many old, bold sailors.

I think I’ll be extra careful in the next storm!

Double the Fun

Double the Fun

Double the Fun

 

(The North Pine River at Sunrise.  I took this with a cheap digital camera while going for a walk at about 5am one morning)

Liz is the love of my life.

I wrote this double acrostic for her during a difficult time for us.

They’re difficult to write because the words are written in a square, and the first and last column of letters makes up a word – in this case a name. So each line has to have exactly the same number of letters, with the only leeway being that full-stops may have either one or two spaces after them to help keep the acrostic square.

They’re worth the challenge. But so is life 🙂

Enduring hope of a shareD
Life with you gives extrA
Impetus to us.  No shadoW
Zones of despair can ruiN
An iron-strong tie insidE
Both of us.  Our love caN
Endure the many trials iN
This life that we face. I
Have faith in our onenesS
 

Dark as the dungeon

Dark as the dungeon

Dark as the dungeon

This song by Merle Travis is a great inspiration to not spend too much time in the office!

A great thought for a Friday afternoon.

DARK AS THE DUNGEON (Merle Travis)

Come all you young fellers so young and so fine

And seek not your fortune in the dark, dreary mine

It will form as a habit and seep in your soul

‘Til the blood of your veins runs as black as the coal

Chorus:

Where it’s dark as the dungeon and damp as the dew

Where the dangers are many and the pleasures are few

Where the rain never falls and the sun never shines

It’s dark as the dungeon way down in the mines

It’s many a man I have seen in my day

Who lived just to labor his whole life away

Like a fiend with his dope or a drunkard his wine

A man must have lust for the lure of the mine

I hope when I’m gone and the ages do roll

My body will blacken and form into coal

Then I’ll look down from the door of my Heavenly home

And pity the miner a-digging my bones

The midnight, the morning, the breaking of day

Are the same to the miner who labors away.

Where the demons of death often come by surprise,

One slip of the slate and you’re buried alive.