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Category Archives: all aussie adventures

what’s wrong with me??

seriously.

i struggle when it comes to the day to day..

so here i am… back in suburbia.. back in reality… living the urban “dream” and longing for a dog to complete the picture… yet, when i at last get said dog.. i FREAK OUT! i mean… seriously freak out!!! i mean… sitting here thinking do i just take him back to the pound??? because i fear i am seriously sooooooooo not ready for this…

which then makes me wonder… what if  i ever get pregnant!!??? my goodness.. if i have post puppy depression pity the poor souls who live with me!!!!

but then it makes me ponder…

just how much time, effort and energy AM i supposed to be giving this poor burdened beast currently fouling my backyard?? are these feelings of inadequacy in fact feelings of guilt, that the poor old boy is outside in the cold whilst i enjoy the warmth of the inside? when in turn these feelings may be futile.

maybe it is normal to keep a dog outside and not be at his whim at every moment?

 

or maybe… just maybe i have finally officially cracked and need to finally be shipped off to the funny farm…

well folks… i guess time will tell as i wrestle with my own burden of guilt and complete fear of this new commitment that now lays before me!!!!

may your own back yards be warm and full of welcomed beasts!

sigh…

 

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You know those moments where you face yourself in inner truth. Those surreal, almost out of body experiences…where you get that sacred and hallowed chance to stare judgement in the eyes, like an outside observer… that moment of self-realisation where the light turns on and you see yourself for who you really are… not who you might pretend or desire to be… Last night was one of those moments…

After a few relaxing days cruising the isle of Tasmania (strewn with its many and alarmingly varied array of road kill and its inhabitants far too easily picked on…) with minimal catastrophe and misadventure…. The inevitable hit… when the hotel passes I had somewhat foolishly, though well intentionally, purchased turned out to be a crock of poop…  (A separate whinge to follow) and we found ourselves accommodation less and left to the perils of last minute availability…

Fearing not this set back… late at night, downtown Hobart, I marvelled at the electronic age in which we live as we scoured the usual suspects of last minute accommodation courtesy of a temperamental  laptop about the size of your average gents toiletries bag…  the highs of getting net connection, the lows of consistent dropouts and a dodgy mouse pad…  frustration as  the “ooh la la” flashy spa room listed as available online became suddenly sold as the receptionist clearly judged my voice as of not the right “type”… but calamity was avoided when we stumbled onto the “wrest point casino”… can’t get classier than the Hobart casino right?

Thus it was settled, and down town we drove to our new destination…

Little did we know, the streets of Hobart, back to the future style, are in fact a time warp… and as suburban quaintness gave way to 2.3 kids and a Volvo…the piece de resistance was in fact the time vortex itself… wrestpoint.

Enter the 70’s.

From the proper RSL issue carpet circa 1979 of varying mismatched shades of paisley to the LILAC walls and sailor style round windows… the Chrysler building relief sculpture on the wall to the round white shell dangly chandeliers overused on every light fitting…

Down corridors, down stairs (are we in the basement??) till at last… in the furthest reaches of the cheesiest building in the smallest city in Oz came our room…

The lilac gave way to amber and the paisley carpet achieved new epileptic inducing dizziness in the powerful shades of crimson and green speckles. The teal chiffon curtains affording us a sneaky view of the impressive and cold Derwent River lapping quite literally at our doorstop…

And the bathroom. Oh the bathroom….

Tiles of electric blue spattered with gold glitter sparkles, “les girls” style dressing room vanity lights and enough gold plating to make a costume jeweller squeal in delight….

And faced with such opulence came time to then face our true selves…

To dress outside our ratty backpacker day clothes and ride the lift to the grand point revolving restaurant and let our tastebuds explode with the fine flavours of modern and acclaimed French cuisine as the sparkling lights of Hobart slowly shone in the revolving round below us…

Or

To slum it with the gambling addicts, street style and “enjoy” the salmonella quality of the pre-prepared $9 burger and beer meal…

And thus, as we settled into the cushy leather lounges, and took a lusty bite out of our stale meat and overcooked chips… it dawned on me….. I’m really not a princess. No glitz. No glam…no dress and sparkles for me… but just damn fine beer and a stale burger bun….

The moment made all the more real by the unbelievably inspired burp from our fellow diners… a burp so loud as to rock the very foundations of our unsteady table… and instead of the gasp and groan of the dress clad, hair brushed passers-by en route to the lift up the tower  I found myself in a surreal state if hysterics… should I compete or should I have rued my own new level of low life bogan ness… our dining companions encore burp ensured that even if I did opt to compete however, unless I had a mega amplifier…there is no way I could top that!!!

But wait the story unfolds…

For faced with the realisation that as a grown woman of the world i am meant to demand these finer things… my willing accomplice and I did  in fact brave the 17 floors and found our way up to the splendour of the point restaurant after all… a little romance and a dessert list to rival my entire paycheck.. I opted for the lemon, ginger, lychee crème brulee… (I mean, what happened to good old fashioned icecream?) (Granted, this did come with a questionably portioned scoop of over rich white chocolate icecream)

And as we looked in awe at the suited diners around us and oooohed and aaaahed at the twinkly night lights of the city far below us it occurred to me. I get vertigo. I get motion sickness… our attempts at romance instead gave way to an hour of agony as I wrestled with motion sickness and the wish not to revisit said crème brulee

Here I was. 17 floors up. The finest dessert known to man plated in front of me and the gentle whir of the restaurant was doing nothing but making me want to curl up into a ball and reminisce of days of avid sea sickness….

Thus in conclusion… faced with myself and even trying to break the mold of my inner Bogan it has been shown to me. I am who I am… and princess I am not and you can find me firmly with my feet on the ground enjoying my stale burger. May you find your own little piece of burger paradise wherever in the world you are.

Hugs.

so i’m back in the rut of the normal daily grind.

and the task of blogging once again becomes somewhat arduous and irksome as opposed to my usual manic rants to which you are all accustomed….

work is a yawn of days stretching out into an endless horizon.

a new school each day, but in essence each the same as the day before.

no new contracts to brag over.. no chance to start a new project and get carried away in the daily goings on of the little people…

the bills get paid.

the groceries done,

the house cleaned and washing hung to dry.

yup.. the stuff good blogs arent made of…

the dizzy, heady days of random dates and the fiascos that followed gladly finished… (so much for my dreams of my own website: datelaurie.com) but still too new to fully introduce a new caped crusader to these regular and whacky laurie misadventures…. although in time i feel there may be a regular accomplice to my crimes of which i speak…

but as the days blend into the growing blandness which is my new reality…

thank goodness for holidays..

and despite the financial insecurity that comes as a drawback of the icky evil casual system, i of course relish every opportunity to hit the road and taste the thrill of misadventure….

so herein lies the problem…

the mind grows stale, the fingers numb…

the joy of blog is so dusted with the cobwebs of routine that the mind freezes…

i can go left..

i can go right,

i could regale the pure hilarity of the hostel ferals whom revealed both the sexual fragilities of todays misguided youth… or the sheer horror that i am no longer one of those misguided youth..

but instead,

today i take you all on the culinary rollercoaster which is the spice up your life dinner box food challenge.

and underpinning all this is the biggest question.

why?

why accept such a ludicrous challenge.

why succumb to the gastrointestinal torture synonomous with any company liable to produce such a meal??

and to all the  non believers out there, i say.

why not?

it was a road trip.

we were hungry

its what you do.

its how we roll…

so, in the fine location of surfers the bar was set.

ding ding ding went the bell.

round one…

(now, i am not the SMALLEST person in the world… and the gods surely know i love to eat….)

but i am still only human after all…

and like all good (cough cough) athletes.. one cant start the bar too high…

so the challenge begins with the share meal…

step one.

the maccas family dinner box.

and, (as borrowed from my sister) despite years of training and perfection of the correct pickle velocity hurl technique to ensure maximum stick on even the roughest of surfaces, the rules of the game do state that ALL of the meal must be consumed…. including said pickle

so, ready, willing and able, accomplice by my side,

we began…

a cardiologists nightmare.

fat, 2 all beef patties, oil, special sauce, lettuce, gristle, carbs, cheese (although this is still open to interpretation and is yet to be proven as actually being cheese and not merely an edible form of yellow plastic), pickles, onions (as if my bowels werent going to be worked out enough.. ONIONS god dammit! do these people have no brains??!!! or no concept of the gastrointestinal effects of onions!!) and a good old fashioned “sesame seed” bun…

TWO serves of greasy, nearly see through fries..

a cheeseburger (though lets face it.. there is nothing wrong with cheeseburgers)

and a generous helping of “chicken” nuggets..

all washed down with enough soft drink to ensure i peed caffeine for the next 2 days

easy.

mmm... cheeseburgers....

perhaps i am almost ready to fly this adventure solo (which is of course the final challenge set before me in this ridiculous game of family meals…)

but sense prevailed, and i decided, an early win in the training did not a gold medal performance make..

and thus,

last night, i resumed my special training and moved one step closer to food challenge victory (or so i thought) by attempting the second feat.

step two

the oporto’s family meal deal.

should have been easy

my tummy muscles pre trained from the workout of maccas grease…

my mouth and eyes aware of the enslaught coming…

heck..

by rights i should have romped this one…

a “kiddies” burger..

heck, it didnt even have chili sauce!!! (they’re having a laugh right?!! where is the challenge in this??)

super yummy chips and chicken salt (bring it on!)

and without even having to worry about the follow up nuggets, only one more burger and 2 cans of soft drink stood in the way of an oportos victory..

chomp chomp chew chew…

grumble, gurgle, bubble and pop.

but hark? what pray is that sound?

chomp chomp…

gurgle, fizzle, gnagle, whiiiirrrrrl.

it was my belly.

an angry opponent.

disputing the champion…

chomp, chomp, chomp…

FAIL.

not failure by chili sauce.

failure by tummy explosion.

no nuggets and defeated still.

damn chicken.

i reckon it must enlarge on contact with the stomach.

and as i sat,

eyes bulging, pants unbuckled, a trickle of sweat down my athletes brow..

i wiped away the tears of defeat.

grimaced at the second can.

and stepped away from the burger.

thank goodness for my offsider (who, i have no idea how, managed to polish it off!!)

but i have officially stalled in my progress of training to be a dinner box champion.

i have let the team down.

i am the sally o’brien of the family meal deal challenge team.

the debate now looms.

to retake the oportos step.

or to leave it go?

do i dare walk fourth and stare hungry jacks square between the deep fat fryers?

as with all things in the world of a drama queen..

you can rest assured it wont be just another quiet day at the office.

till i meet you at the drinks machine.

may you have fries with whatever you order.

always and ever, hugs.

l

so i survived chocolate day..

and being a not really big eater of chocolate, that in itself is always a minor hurdle at this time of year…. but like all major holidays… memories of childhood follies warm the cockles of those long since frozen hearts… and despite the over chocolate indulgence (or maybe because of it??) i felt the growing yearning to retrace my childhood fantasies and go to the easter show.

as my memory painted it.. a fantastic world where anything was possible. the most beautiful of animals, washed and groomed, lined happily in rows, awaiting patting by small children, smiling faces of strangers…all glowing in the joy of the easter holiday, shopping in its highest esteem…at prices soooo low you felt that you had gone on a foreign holiday. goods you could only imagine in your wildest dreams…and the showbags… like the ultimate universe of colour, smell action…as thousands vied for the most amazing treasures known to man…

and of course… as the sun would set an amazing fuzzy glowing peach into an endless crimson sky…you would sit, huddled amongst loved ones in the crisp autumn air…watching the animals, parade like the changing of the palace guard, wow at the stunts of the dare devil precision driving team and of course, stare entirely opened mouthed as the commentators speculated “which colour would go the highest”  in the fireworks finale that lit up the evening sky into a myriad of neon…. sparkling well into the night and on into the years of memories planted in my mind..

such was the innocence and the sheer joy of the easter show…that as i lay moaning of the expanding waistline helped none by the overeating of chocolate, the urge to return to those happy days outweighed the financial strains of an empty wallet.

sun in sky, check, public holiday, check, good company, check…

the bubbles fizzing right to the top as i sat like an impatient child awaiting the train..

the joy of feeling that sun on your face as you emerge from the station and race eager to the entrance gates.

the sounds of animals, people, machines all murmuring, whirring and whizzing in action… the smells of stale food and salted popcorn…beckoning even the most iron clad stomachs, the sights and colours of a thousand people all glowing in the midday sun, heaving their loot of showbags and inane costumery…

but what was missing?

where was my spark?

my anticipation?

like an old hand i dragged myself around. the usual culprits… a little new rust, but otherwise the same..only the prices changed as they grow ever more year by year…

the patting zoo still making me smile like a giddy school girl..but suddenly, a conscience that doesnt allow me to push in to be the first to pat the goat, cuddle the sheep, kiss the cow…

the rows of shiny groomed animals not so much a mystery anymore…but like prisoners awaiting judgement at the slaughter house…their whinnies and neighs no longer yelps of excitement, but groans of contempt and despair.

the array of shopping, not a patch on that which i have tasted in the real world… and prices that even a child prodigy of saving surely couldnt afford.

when did the samples become so expensive?? no longer a sample but an cruel ploy to cyphon your already  strained wallet?

and the showbags…so empty, so lacklustre of joy and mystery… the showbag halls almost like a ghost town as people shun the rought that is paraded before them…

and as the sun set into a bland grey sky..

and my tummy churned from the ingestion of stale meat pies and mystery meat on a stick dipped in congealed sauce and all encapsulated in deep fried scunge with no nutritional value

i settled back to at least watch the evening and and grasp manicly at a dream to relive the happy memories..

but what happened to my grand parade?? no longer an equation of shiny happy animals… but a few cows being dragged around half a field…

the rodeo, while good, lost its sparkle as the crowd is too busy lost in their own worlds to engage with the cheering and banter of the long since should have been retired commentators…

and as the thrill of the precision driving team fizzled into a routine of the “same old” i at least settled back holding my breath for the fireworks magic to reignite that long last spark i sought…

instead??

the fireworks themselves, sold out to the perils of consumerism.

sold out to the capitilist world..

no longer was it a conquest for each colour to go the highest…but instead each colour, maticulously designed to bow down to the sponsorship that had been shamelessly flaunted all night…

and as the blue matched the sky in the picture of our sponsors logo, the yellow of the sun and the green of the grass… parents were re reminded to go forth and buy the prescribed product.

when did we lose our innocence??

or is it just me?? a pure heart tainted by cynicism?

or maybe it really has reached that time in my life..where i need to accept my own childhood is ceasing and it is time to kidnap someone else’s kids in order to relive any fragments of it which may remain in a confused and capitalist world.

yet regardless the answer. regardless how much more magic may dissolve as years go by… i still managed to wear my ridiculous wig…hold my head high and at least aim to be, one of those sparkling fragments of memory and colour, smiles and laughter in the new formed memories of some other child… our hope now really is on the innocence and sparks of joy of our children and if we dont eat least try to give them just an inkling of the magic of the world from which we have grown up from…what hope does tomorrow really have?

so dust off your favourite teddy bear… put on that silly hat. you may have grown up. your memories may have been sold out…but you can still be a part of that magic that just may make the smile of some other persons life and be a part of the little spark that they too may carry into their own future..

and thus the magic of easter shall live on…

easter show?

yeah, i still want to go…

how do you find the words to capture the experiences that even your senses cant fathom..

those summer holidays full of moments of heat driven hysteria…when happiness brews from somewhere deep within and bubbles like a champagne from the inside out till you think you may just burst with the passion of this memory…

how do you describe the green felt of a snooker table hillside dotted with the 8 balls of fresian cows and the vividness of a blue sky that strecthes forever.

the heat of a sun that warms the soul…

the summer holiday just kept getting better..and at last the sun did come out..

so…car loaded to the hilt once more, we set adrift “seat of the pants style” for a laurie bush camp holiday… no map, no matches, no torch..

the road as our guide..the path to adventure…

destination one..

barrington tops national park….

(after a few **slight** directional detours…)

a constant changing world…of alpine, rainforest, pine forest and the blackened aftermath and death of bushfires gone before..

a playground of discovery..

and a campsite so isolated and spooky one might be forgiven for thinking we were filming the new series of the blair witch project..

tents erected, beer consumed…dinner gourmet..

heavens opened..

sitting huddled in an information shelter just smiling at the world before us..

sleep to the sound of rain pounding the canvas.

blinded by the light show of an electric night sky…

hysteria at the evil 8 legged beast taken shelter from the storm…

and at last…daylight..

to pack and to move… to explore and to frollic and to be let out of the park by the rangers as it was apparently closed due to incriment weather…oops….

destination 2…led us over the mountains, down the valleys, through the splendour of true aussie country side.

roadside feats on wild blackberries,

beer stops in country towns…basking with the glory of sunshine on our faces…

red dirt roads… rescue stops to free rogue turtles…

and the deep delving drive into the mysteries of goulburn river national park…

bliss.

a true bush oasis in the middle of heaven itself…

a beer in the river as it bubbled over us..

the river stones pumicing away the dirt build up of a few days craziness…

the pink sunset and gentle rustle of swaying trees.

the midnight attack by a mob of angy kangaroos who for whatever reason decided to closely inspect our tent and the ensuing hours of not sleeping, listening to the wild thumping of frightened hearts intermittent with the thumping and grinding of untold beasts just beyond the tent walls…

a new day

sun shine

birds singing…

the bubbles of happiness fizz and brew again, despite the lack of sleep.

new towns to explore..

the “architectural historic tour” of kandos.. a site to behold in itself.. starting at the communal toilets and getting little better as it progressed…

the retail therapy of a random hat shop…

and the general freedom of a life on the road…

the historic kandos toilet block the historic kandos pub

historic kandos railway line

historic kandos rotunda

historic kandos stores

these are all experiences locked away in the treasure chest of my heart and mind..

memories i want to paint in the wildest colours for the world to share…but moments that in words lose meaning…

and in photos show only that fleeting second…

the days end…the dusk comes and sets…and with it the end of this adventure…but always, the memory… and the bubble of excitement that tomorrow is a new day..

a new adventure..

new colours to paint

new worlds to see….

life is good.

just dont be afraid to grab it!

always and ever.

l

The great summer escape…

day 2…

so the day started off much like any other on a typical aussie summer’s morn…
rainy, cold and blowing a gale…
but we were not to be disheartened…
due to the extreme tentativeness with which I approach decisions..once it had been agreed that day 2 was fishing day… we braved the forces of nature and commenced packing the boat…
food, drink, jumpers, life jackets… all the essentials should the howling breeze force us to relive a robinson carusoe moment somewhere, blown off shore in all the craziness…
and of course, stinky bait, crab traps, rods and the usual tangle of a tackle box…
and off we set…

while the wind driven waves kept our ride as parrallele to a z grade rollercoaster as imaginable, my travlling companions received quick lessons in boat driving…and we were off…
zipping between frollicing dolphins, winding our way through the splatter painting of moored boats and trudging up the lemon tree creek to the fabled crab fishing whole…

wrestling with blunt knives to prise open the putrid slimy jaws of our mulloway head bait and rescue its dismembered eyeball from becoming embedded into the seat,
untangling the spider web of rusted traps and of course trying not to add out own burleigh into the mix as the boat rocked and bobbed constantly on the changing tide…

crab traps set, pants awash with the guts of mouldy fish and hearts aglow wit the hope of our future catch we ventured forth to a spot for fishing…

tangle, untangle, unravel, cast, nibble, baited…
and thus it went on..
the waves slowly lapping at the side of the boat..
the wind tussling gently at our hair…the sun, slyly burning those missed patches of un creamed skin…
nibble, yoink, bait, nibble, yoink, bait…
as lazy hours slipped peacefully away,… oblivious to our summers plight…

like professionals drifitng with the tide, trawling our rods behind us…a well practised scooting back to the start of each run again as the tide pushed us into the cavernous openings of an underwaterplayground for which we were not prepared…
but in true professional style… of course the bait was the first thing to go overboard as the motor lurched into gear and sped us off to our starting drift… hair flying and all hands diving as we watched the bait fly gracefully up up into the air and overboard to the benefit of a sea of hungry fish…

and thus the cry was heard… last fish caught on your bait remaining on your hooks is declared the winner…
all eyes to the open sea, hands at  the ready to reel in the vistory
ears pierced to take in the tell tale whir of an angry reel being dragged out to sea by some mighty foreign submerged beast
and then its on..
the tussle, the to the fro the back and forth
the wind, the sigh, the release and re wind,
the buzz, the thrill the jumps of excitement as my travelling companion landed the fateful last fish and was subsequently declared winner with a specimen no bigger than my pinky!!!!
how it ate the bait, which was in fact larger than itself, we will never know. It was in fairness bait itself..
but as the fish flipped its baby little tail in all its glory it is almost as if it knew its pride of place in the fishing hall of fame.
The worlds smallest fish capped off our day by whole heartedly being declared. “winner”

the fish that won!

this somewhat piscean anti climax was also the followed up by a thrilling 7 crab pot retrieval of no luck….  until then it happened..
in a moment of stillness between the howling winds and calmness between the lapping waves, the pot was pulled complete with blue swimmer..
a fine specimen who nipped and clawed his way in a dire panic into an undisentangleable state of dissaray…

ginger fingers holding still and steady the fiersome nippers,  only to be out smarted by our spiny crustracean friend and blood spilt…
nursing a blood soaken hand as the final knots were untangled over the crabs claws, more problematically than the fearful sight of tangled clotheshangers…
my friend was right however… ultiamte revenge would be ours.
Penalty for nip to fingers.. death, served with salad.
.
and thus it was, amidst the excitement of lazing about on the boat, day 2 simply swept away…
the rain is clearing and tomorrow holds hope for a new day of fun filled summer adventure!

May your fingers be clear of the claws that bite, wherever you may hold them,
always.
Hugs
l

christmas and new years behind us… my friends and i decided to take full advantage of this blistering aussie sun and plan the ultimate summer getaway…

a week of chilling out by waterholes, rivers and beaches, wrestling with tents and sitting back for a sundowner after a long day…

sounds like bliss right….

so on day one…as i arose at sparrows fart…nursing the culmulative hangover of the 3 days post new years and painfully aware of my 6 hours sleep across the last 72 hours i trekked across town to our starting point..

my friends of course, were late…. damn…why didnt i think of that! 🙂

but after a marathon tetris style packing session we had the car filled to the hilt and hit the road…

cranking the tunes… karaoke all the way… wrestling over car radio surfing ettiquette and hysterical that our driver had not copped on that the recently overplayed pussycat dolls song “hotel room” (“forget about your boyfriend, meet me at the hotel room, i’m going to bring my girlfriends, meet me at the hotel room”) was not in fact about an innocent convention of hotelier workers having a tea party…

until at last we arrived at our first destination…

the conveniently placed township of Karuah…ideal as a stop off point for both us and our friends traversing in the opposite direction to hook up for a g’day drink…

karuah..

beautiful seaside resort village

car stops..

open the door…

to howling winds and sub zero temperature…

somewhere between good god its early and we’re here summer appeared to have vanished behind a never ending grey cloud and a constant drizzle…and thus… still early on a very grey, wet and windy morning our summer adventure began..

not to be disheartened we did the obligatory walk along the waters edge…as we looked for oncoming tsunamis in the rivers swolen tide and squelched our way through the tannin water broken above the well worn banks…

we admired the creaking wreck of a jetty and paused for a photo at the scenic photo spot (the poop shute… or boat sewage dump drop off)

the famous karuah poop chute

and after this gorgeous waterfront stroll we picked the most (open) happening place in town to let the adventure begin (and await or friends) the karuah rsl..

all i can say…

go there…

from the weather beaten blue exterior to the original paisley design carpet it truly is a masterpeice to behold…

the gentle clinging of poker machine in the background and the familarity of fishermen with leather faces, worn by the winds of time over a thousand sunny days  sipping quietly their 10 am beer….

the hustle and bustle of the entire town as it vies for the best tickets in the sunday meat raffle..

and the true existence of “genuine 1970’s prices” with our 3 drinks weighing in at a whopping $6.80 TOTAL

how’s the serenity huh?

and despite the fact that we didnt win the keno nor the meat tray.. the company was great, the mood at peace and the decor ideal.

at the ever funky karuah rsl

summer may have evaded us…

but the sumer adventure will press forth regardless!

may your tent stay dry…wherever it may be pitched.

hugs

l