Open House Hobart

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Last weekend was the 7th annual Open House in Hobart, where the public could look behind the scenes of some of the city’s most intriguing buildings.

Here is a quick tour of the buildings we chose to visit this year.

Holy Cross Church serving Russian, Serbian and Australian Orthodox community since 1949
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City Hall rooftop and apartment – completed in 1915
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Construction House – 1956 office block with a five storey rubber tree growing up the stairwell
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Jarvis House – private home designed by architect Esmond Dorney in 1959
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Hobart Savings Bank – built in 1859 by The Quakers as a bank for the ordinary people. The rich man’s bank was next door. Now a private residence, we were able to walk around the old banking hall with safe, a small library, the basement terrace with unusual views of the iconic red awnings.
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Our Garden – September

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This post is a week late but here is a quick update on our garden during September, the beginning of spring.

The front garden continues to be a splash of colour with lavender bushes in flower.
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I think the small tree is a Willow Myrtle, which now has small white flowers.
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In the back garden the trees I posted last month, now identified as Pittosporum, has tiny black flowers.
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I’m excited to see what colour these iris flowers will be.
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A few creatures have been visible this month. I’m always surprised when I see orange ladybirds, rather than the expected red ones with black spots.
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Our spinach, carrots and romaine cauliflowers continue to thrive. But something is feasting on the beetroot leaves. I’ve heard possums on our roof and seen rabbits on the other side of our fence, there are wallabies about the neighbourhood. There has definitely been animal droppings in the garden. It’s not square poo so I know it’s not wombats!

One of Australia’s main supermarkets is currently giving away seedlings. This is such a fabulous promotion after back lash on recent plastic collectable toys that are already appearing as rubbish on beaches and in landfill.

Each little cardboard pot contains a soil pellet and a few seeds. Put the pellet in water and it expands, place most of it in the pot, then the seeds, cover with remaining soil. Place in a light position, water each day and wait. I planted these on 28th of Sept so we’ll see how successful they are.


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Changing Seasons – September

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I’m a few days late with my monthly “changing seasons” post. September has been “alphabet month” in my photo a day group so I’ll share a few of my photos to summarise my month.

We’ve enjoyed a visit from our daughter, son-in-law and two year old grandson, so some letters reflected toddler activities.

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A – artwork – toddler originals on our fridge
B – blossom
C – clock tower
D – daffodils
E – eucalyptus flowers
F – fire – back burning on hills behind our house
G – grass through glass
H – hay on hillside
I – ironwork
J – jetty
K – key hole
L – lilies
M – museum
N – night out
O – orchid that I’ve kept alive for 3 months
P – playground
Q – quiet toddler
R – reading
S – slide
T – toddler and friend
U – looking up
V – view
W – white wallaby and brown joey
X – XO noughts and crosses
Y – yachts
Z – zebra at the zoo

Changing seasons

Our Garden – August

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Another month has gone by in our garden, a month of winter rain, wind and occasional frosts. We had crocuses, for a day, until they were battered by the weather. Daffs continue to flower.
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We’ve harvested rocket and spinach, enjoying the “oh so fresh” taste with savoury pastries, sandwiches and brunch.

Carrots are shooting and I’ve planted beetroot, rainbow chard, spring onions, garlic and snow pea seedlings.
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I cut the rhubarb right back at the end of June. Look at it now. The relish I made was delicious with cheese and biscuits, I’m looking forward to making more.

There are new shoots on two hydrangea bushes. (I admit, I thought they had died!)
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Our citrus tree has had lots of flowers and tiny fruit are now appearing.
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Does anyone know what this tree is? A few metres tall with sticky seed pods. Two free plant id apps haven’t been useful.
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And I’m not sure what these will be. The joy of a new garden 🙂
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Changing Seasons – August

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My initial thought was that August was a totally wet, cold and windy month here in Tasmania. However, the photos I’ve taken in the past thirty one days give a different impression.

Between showers, we did get out for walks at Pipeclay Lagoon Conservation Area. I’m not sure what the wood spikes were for, perhaps remains of an old fence line or jetty.
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Also a walk on nearby Clifton Beach. Although we had to rush back to the car as the rain fell again.IMG_4264

The mail boxes at this beach always make me smile.
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All the rain created spectacular waterfalls where I experimented with long exposure photos.
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Despite the weather, August is a colourful month here. The bright yellow wattle is a winter highlight.

There has been snow on Mount Wellington all month but the days are getting longer so it is now still light when I get home. I don’t need a torch to get the post from our street side mail box. Oh the memories of having post pushed through a letter box in the front door. They don’t do that here!
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My crochet project at the moment is this spiral square blanket.
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I’m linking this post to Su’s Changing Seasons series. Have a look at how other bloggers have spent their month.

My daily commute

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On this day 5 years ago, I said goodbye to my London Banking career.

My daily commute then was a packed train through city suburbs into London Bridge Station and London Cannon Street Station.
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Today my commute starts at a bus stop overlooking the river and mountain, with a journey on an uncrowded bus passing the beach.

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There are several stops and depending on the weather, I try to walk a while rather than waiting at the nearest stop. I enjoy watching the seabirds, whilst walking and waiting – cormorants, oyster catchers, plovers, herons, dab chicks as well as gulls.

There is a bus stop with a shelter, up the hill which is convenient on cold or rainy days.
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Buses before 8.30am are an express route, picking up passengers this end but then non-stop into the city. I have to remember to get off at the local shopping centre and change to another slow bus to work. I’m sure one day I will be so engrossed in a book that I‘ll miss the interchange and end up across the bridge in the city centre.

Waterfalls after the rain

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We’ve been out and about this weekend, visiting waterfalls.

Silver Falls are close to Hobart, a short walk from Fern Tree, on the slopes of Mount Wellington.
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Russell Falls are in the Mount Field National Park, just over a hours drive away. As there has been snow on the mountains for most of the month, and heavy rain in the past week, the falls were spectacular.
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I had fun with long exposure photos of the falls, as well as photos of the tree ferns and alpine moss.
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#plasticfreejuly Wrap Up

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As I review the Challenge Checklist I am pleasantly surprised by what we were already doing and what we’ve achieved in just one month. It has been easy to create new habits with our shopping, with storing food in the fridge.

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I’ve bought this book by a local Hobart family who have been living a specific lifestyle for a few years. I’ve only read the early chapters but it is inspiring and practical. It focuses on the key R’s of waste free living:
Refuse
Reduce
Reuse
Recycle
Rot
Reframe

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The book talks about our consumer society, food miles and the benefit of buying local, eating seasonal produce, connecting again with where our food comes from, the effort and energy needed to grow it.

It talks about composting, growing your own, getting to know your local farm shops and markets, being part of a local community, buying in bulk, preserving food that is in season to last through winter, foraging, natural remedies, repurposing, upcycling. It talks about thinking how our parents and grandparents lived before plastic. Is there anything we can learn from them?

It has recipes, suggestions, solutions. I don’t know that I’ll be making my own mascara or toothpaste but never say never.

So I’ll wrap up Plastic Free July in beeswax. Thanks for all the support, comments, inspiration and for joining the discussion. Let’s all try to make a difference, no matter how small. Our changes have a ripple effect. Let’s create a new normal. Hopefully our politicians and multi-national companies will soon get on board.

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Changing Seasons – July

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It’s mid-winter here in Hobart. We’ve had more rain than usual and more snow on our mountain. However, we have been able to get out most weekends, a bush walk, a beach walk, to “Festival of Voices” events and a visit to the picturesque town of Richmond where I played with black and white photos of the historic bridge.

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A partial lunar eclipse coincided with the 50th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11. I was fascinated by the various documentaries on the moon landing and the role that Australian telescopes at Honeysuckle Creek and at Parkes, played in relaying the tv pictures from the first moon walk.

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I have finally completed a long overdue crochet project. Three and a half years ago I was given a kit with 75 different yarns, 3 patterns to follow plus a colour chart. I have worked it on and off but was determined to complete the scarf and wear it this winter. I added my own variation, stripes to compliment the squares, easier and quicker to crochet. I’m happy with the result and it’s been warm and cosy on these cold days.

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As part of my Plastic free July Challenge, I attended a workshop to learn how to make my own beeswax wraps. It was much easier than I anticipated and we learnt two techniques. We used a recipe of Tasmanian beeswax, pine resin and jojoba oil. With our fabric on a sheet of baking paper we painted the hot mixture onto our fabric squares, then with a second sheet of baking paper on top, we ironed the fabric to spread the wax evenly. Peeled apart, the fabric soon set when held up in the air. The other method required a heated tray, or baking tray in the oven. The workshop was friendly, informative and relaxed and we each came away with four new wraps.


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The days are drawing out and rather than getting home from work in the dark, I’m now capturing sunsets on my walk from the bus stop.

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I’m linking this post to Su’s Changing Seasons Challenge.