Monday, December 14, 2015

"One minute she was asleep, the next she was completely awake and dumped into despair."

We have been home a week.  Some are still jet-lagged, or maybe the tiredness has been earned from all the work each day, in the garden, and renovating the garage.
We made time to go to the Farmers Market which has grown so much over the last six (seven?) years.  I am always pleased and peeved at the same time that there is peanut butter, iced coffee (American style), and even lemonade (American style)- pleased as I want all of those things, and peeved that people were always resistant to me when I wanted them.  But, I did always say that there was a place for each person to dream up 'their' Tasmania, against all the people who like to say "Oh, that won't work here."

Even with decorations I have no feeling of Christmas.  I said "Happy Holidays!" to someone and their retort was "Not me mate, I'm not going on vacation."
The garden is growing, the hydrangeas are huge, the sun is setting later and later- cherries are in season...
None of these events make me think of Christmas.

Although these guys, purchased from the grocery store in Slussen, cheer me up a bit-


Sunday, November 29, 2015

"...gentle leaves, gentle leaves, please array a path for me, the woods are growing thick and fast around..."

...and so another November passed by...

I finally made it to a market I have wanted to check out, the market had a good looking catalog...or really picture display of the market and items for sale.
I have been to the location before there was a market there. This location is pretty far from us, it means going through town and over the bridge during the rare times there might be traffic. I have been to this neighborhood maybe twenty times in 12 years.

I did manage to spend all the money I brought...although really I am so thrifty that my idea of what amounts to a lot of money is probably the cost of lunch for many.
I am also going to say that to me, these adorable, historic, sandstone buildings are so Hobart in the fact that they are adjacent to a huge, ugly, mall.

There will be art events here during next years' FOMA festival which I think will be really cool.

I also went on a two day First Aid Certification course.  I thought this to be a large commitment...but apparently 9 out of 10 Australians are certified, most jobs require the certification and most 'hobbies' warrant the certification.  Between the amount of wild areas left, and the long response times of even helicopter response...most people need to know how to deal with reactions to bites, anaphylactic shock being a long topic...and here ambulance companies and councils are really trying to organize a means to know where the defribrillation machines are located. This is also because when a person phones for help here, the call goes to Melbourne, and is then re-routed...back to the state...and with distances and available resources 8 minutes is a good time response, but twenty can be common.

I bought a cool, modern compression bandage that has shape markers to show you that you are wrapping tight enough but not too tight.
I also bought fancy, modern, lightweight cold compresses.
I am wishing I would have bought the cute kit a tackle box with a cross on's too big to take bush walking...or even camping really...but it would be good for the car.


Monday, November 16, 2015

" start to dance like it's all you got to live for..."

November is halfway gone already- apparently all my plans to keep myself really busy while alone on the island have worked.
I spent a week out on Maria.  I joined the group that works on "eradicating canary broom" which is a weed there, and has "escaped" into the bush.
As seen above...I also made it into the group (exclusive by the fact that one needs a ride from the only vehicles on the island...which means taking time from a field ranger) that hunted for sea spurge.
We found many bones, but only a few of the sea spurge.

I am often asked how I can take being alone for periods of time, and sometimes this question is less about that and more about having a 'long-distance' relationship.  Often this is about not letting ones imagination write out a negative script.  But, this week with the suicide bombers who gunned down the audience at a E.O.D.M. show in Paris, but a club and a band that I know, personally- well- I find my control tested- severely.

I have a two-day first aid certification course this week.  The Australians LOVE a certificate course.  I really do like to 'know' things- so this course makes sense, but I am a bit wary of the fact that the commitment is two full days.
I finished re-painting the living room, and the adjoining wall.  Now, that I have finished I can't believe I lived with the awful color that the room was.  That room was the last I painted when we moved in.  I had a bit of shock when I realized I couldn't get custom colors- something that was so easily done in Seattle. When I finally got to the last room, I just adjusted the colors from primary to a bit deeper, but I still disliked how the room looked.
But all is better now.

Today I have tasks to keep me busy, and the next hurdle is how I keep thinking about how the weather is perfect for laying out at the beach...when I should be bringing up the Christmas decorations...
I have lost my Southern Hemisphere savvy by christmasing in Sweden.


Saturday, October 31, 2015

" on and on I go...the seconds tick the time out..."

I can blame any low, any moodiness on the clash inside my brain that is October in Springtime.

I have hit the patch where I miss my husband - a lot.

There are some events coming up though that should make November go by quickly and in December he returns.

On to the positive-
I went to see a film on my birthday, at least films do not follow the madness that is 'daffodils blooming in time for Halloween', therefore my film was appropriately gothic.
More importantly, the film screened in this newer room at The State Cinema that I have never been in.  The feel of the room was a wine cellar in a Italian restaurant.  The seating was comprised of only small couches and I had a nice ledge for my sparkling wine.  So civilized.

I tried to do my interval 'fit in 6 minutes' training on the steep hill by the Boy Scout offices, but there were too many cars, so I decided to walk around the ever-improving dog park.  I had been inside the park, but this area below used to be a sort of...high risk of snake sighting, jump a gully, trample through the overgrown native grasses part of my walking route but now...
 The area has been tamed.

Meanwhile Spring continues with fits and starts, quite warm one day, and quite cold the next.  The lilac tree is just starting to show a promise of blooms, the magnolia tree is done, and the waratah looks amazing.


Sunday, October 11, 2015

"...and living at night isn't helping my complexion..."

I missed seeing this before daylight savings time happened, as usual my head forgets that here in October we 'spring forward' and I was caught completely by surprise. 

and yet...

I arrived in the last fifteen minutes of the display, on a cold night (just the day before we were having warm nights)- The colors cycle through not quickly but not really slowly either- I thought they might sort of fade one into another- but it was more like each color cycled through it's own intensity.
I was the only one there.
The pavilion by itself is really cool- the way the stone benches are arranged, and all the angles.
I will go out of my way to see something else there.
The artist responsible for this exhibit is James Turrell who was born in one of my favorite places- Pasadena, California.



Sunday, October 4, 2015

"...I have created a force field and I hope no one breaks it..."

Oh foolish girl, wasting time worrying in advance, only to find that all events went well...
This was my last week, Zok is here with F & W and the shows (except for Tasmania but more on that later) went better than expected.
I went to two and was impressed by how quickly and thoroughly the crowd was taken over- and by how well the band did this whether there were 200 or 20 (real numbers) in the room.

Meanwhile at the house there has been nothing happening except laughter, movies, reading, writing, talking and just plain good manners all around.
Color me impressed.

My illusions that Hobart has become a cultural hub or at least a town that is willing to take a chance and get out to shows has been shattered.
I suppose the MONA "effect" as the press dubs it (or maybe MONA itself) doesn't exactly cross over to all things international...
I thought we gave it a good go, there was a bit of radio play and promotion- postering and the like but all I heard was about how 'ahhh yeah well the grand final was on' and 'So cool you guys played here, no one ever does...'. I would only recommend international acts playing through a festival still.

Last day of a full house.
Then weeks of an empty one.
Such is the life.
Big things happening though... 

 In order to not say anything else negative about my adopted home (one of my) here is a photo of my shoes which I think were quite positive.


Monday, September 28, 2015

"It's 'haha' not 'ha_ha'..."...P.S. Melbourne still hates me

I feel like I could be sitting here, somehow up so early that I am waiting for the sun to rise, but I am actually behind on my morning, and technically the sun has been up for hours.  It's just so obscured by a cold, cloud cover that I find knowing that it's there there isn't enough to make me believe.

So! Arrived back to Australia ten days ago.
I have already been to Melbourne and back (again) to see the first Australian show for Z's band. The show was more crowded then any of us guessed, and with an enthusiastic audience that were singing along.
So, far all the shows have gone this way.  Of course, here on the small island with it's cloud of "such a small population, -what can you expect?" pessimism - the last two shows might prove to be different.

Everyone stays here for about four days, two show days and two off days (read, sleeping, eating, not sightseeing).
Then I am the one left behind for the next eight - to nine weeks.
But fear not readers, I have BIG plans.

People always ask me 'What does it feel like to be back?'-
I am not sure what is missing from that question but something is...
I am always a bit tangled and confused for a few weeks-
There are large differences, language, concentration of people, driving versus riding trains/buses...looking for a piece of clothing that is in the 'other' hemisphere.
A lingering feeling of displacement.
Also, my constant internal feeling of needing to always be doing...
So, when I sleep through the first alarm, or do nothing with my first forty minutes beyond coffee, loading the washer, and trying to will an email to appear...I have a hovering sense of failing to fulfill the days potential.
Meanwhile, another simultaneous truth could be -Wow! Look- it's all happening...
Venice and Stockholm last month, rock shows in Australia this week-

Also breaking news from "our" garden (so please note that if you are someone other than me reading this- (hey call it what it is- my journal)-here is an example of Z's new project that just irritates me to no end- as I had to change that sentence)

I think for the first time (what ten years?)
The wisteria is going to bloom!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

"...the wind is low, the birds will sing..." A recap of Venice in photos

Venice is so dense that I almost felt that people coming in (off some ridiculously large cruise ship) just for an afternoon might have basically learn as much as we did in five days.  Basically, I felt the city for a visitor was unknowable.
More than unknowable, unreachable, with its dead ends, and parts of the city accessed only by water.
Even when I read that the city parts built on just pylons for support, I didn't connect that with the fact that areas have limited green areas.  We saw many,many pet dogs but no wildlife, except for pigeons and mosquitoes. When we came upon a park, we realized we had strayed onto an island as opposed to what I think was once marsh land.  But I write this in ignorance because as I wrote before, I did no reading on Venice before taking our trip.


"...waters rise...drown the one seems surprised... or Venice part 3

This morning I am feeling not exactly manipulated...but I can see how much of my time is directed by the changes in how I use technology each year.
I want to write a post here about our trip to Venice before too many other events happen and start to overwrite my ability to recall the trip.
Then as I go through my photos I start to realize how many I have on my computer- because of course the amount of storage keeps increasing.  But then I also think of how many photo graphs are on back up drives, or burned onto discs potentially not accessible by today's devices.  I start to get that uneasy, feeling that my time is constantly wasted.
I started this blog because when we were traveling, getting an internet connection wasn't that easy- and sending emails to multiple people with all the photos attached was hard, and the rate of responses, slow or not at all.
So, by starting a blog I had a log of where I had been, and I got to leave it to other people to see where I was.  I thought this might also alleviate the guilt some of my friends had- when they would not be in contact for a long time.
But many people used blogs as vehicles for some greater purpose and so blogs moved from blogger to other hosting sites, or people folded their blogs into webpages of their own.  Other tech changes happened that seem to impinge on the blogger sites functionality such as the ability to follow or leave comments.
I accepted this and just kept going because I am invested- and I like to see when I was in a certain place. 
My memory has never been very exact- I seem to lack the type of focus and discipline that allows people to be recite passages of text.  I have lived in many, many places which makes the situation even more difficult, so I have always kept some form of a diary.  This is why even as no one I know who had a blog maintains theirs anymore, I still use mine.  (I do have a vague sense that blogger and all its content will just disappear one day).

I am not sure why I have digressed so far from my main point-
Perhaps because we have a derby game to go to today, tomorrow ten people are coming for a late lunch early dinner, then we leave the day after.
Upon arriving to our other home, we have to deal with a broken car, and we both have more travel the same week.
We leave on a Tuesday and arrive on a Thursday.
We traverse a lot of time lines and distance while our experiences is simply the view from within a cramped and crowded space- with short breaks inside large airports with possible fresher air than the plane, but nothing that seems as if I could attach the word 'fresh' to it. A large plane, to an insanely large plane, to potentially that same plane, to what passes as a small plane- and finally into fresh air to walk across a tarmac.  Fuzzy brains, furry mouths, smelly and seemingly (to the one day work commuters) over-packed we will find ourselves in a different season, for the third time this year.
Okay- so Venice-
Five days was a good amount of time- we traversed the city on foot, and the weather was in the 90s and humid.  Our airbnb apt. was good value, and a good pick, not in the center of the center of the incredible amount of tourists, but our directions were not clear and our host was late- so we had a rough start.
The Biennale was amazing-and MONA seems to have taken their lead from this art festival.  I would go back, specifically for the festival.
Also the Opera was a bit modern for my tastes but the Fenice was gorgeous.

Venice Biennale Arte Part 2

As I sit in my kitchen in Stockholm, wearing light clothing, with the early evening light bright enough to create the illusion that summer is still happening. But, Swedish summer, with its ordinary highs of 23-25 c.  I find it hard to remember that humid, dense heat that was just last week in Venice, topping 30 each day.
I am ruminating on this fact because one of my favorite exhibits was one that we found without intention.  We were both hungry and a bit tired, and I clearly remember taking a photo of the introduction poster, and yet I can't find it now to tell myself (or anyone reading this) who it was.  


The Beezy / Brian Eno exhibit was almost as I imagined it, paintings along a steep staircase, in an unused, very old building.  What I hadn't imagined was that there would be a warning notice put up, as the weather that day was so hot, it was breaking records.  We did make it to the top but again, but we didn't linger more than about 5 minutes per section.

 Here is the view from the top.

A few random pieces-
This may have been from the Cindy Sherman curated area
Part of Macedonian's exhibit- a series that comprised the smoking of the whole cigarette