We are currently here in South Australia’s 3rd largest town, Whyalla, with a population of around 22,000.
I am truly gobsmacked that it’s already December. Quietly, I’ve been reviewing a lot of the stuff I’ve done and seen during 2016 and, basically, I really thought I’d be much smarter by now. I also thought I’d be slimmer and more good looking. Fail on all measures – damn it!
Tryen to get smarter-er
By ‘smarter’ I mean more ‘artistically advanced’ – as I thought I had lots of practise time available, being retired and travelling around the country-side without any real time-based plan, and all. I watched a great TED talk (by Josh Kaufman) on how to be really good at something. This is apparently achieved by practicing that skill for 45mins each day for about a month (ie. not the 10,000 hr rule). Surely I could accomplish this within a 12 month period?! Apparently not. I’ve therefore resolved to write a list of (no fewer than!) 2 skills I want to get better at in 2017 – and stick it to the fridge. I’m hoping for subliminal brain implantation to drive me to achieve these skills – mainly due to the fact that I open the fridge so very often.
If you do have time, try watching these other 2 most excellent TED talks as well:
Jill Bolte Taylor – a brain scientist who had a stroke and talks about what it was like to have one
Amy Cuddy – your body language shapes who you are, or ‘fake it till you make it’
I did manage to do quite a bit of craft but the results weren’t spectacular, so shan’t bore you with those pics. I did, however, find the most fascinating felted items on the shoreline of both the Indian Ocean and the Southern Ocean. There are huge meadows of sea grass, especially along Western Australia’s coastline – which is also protected by a very long reef. These fields are grazed upon by marine fauna and consequently their poos (cleaned by the waves) wash up along the shorelines. Also washed up are lots of different sized felted balls of sea grass stems. My only dilemma is – what can one do with such a wonderful resource – craftwise? If you do have any thoughts on this – please comment below! Not entirely sure about stringing them together as a necklace or bracelet … could be a (weird) conversation starter though.
General interstate vanning musings
Crossing quarantine boundaries
Australia is pretty big – and it has different quarantine restrictions between states and even within the same state. This is something to be noted especially if you’ve just done a big fruit and veg shop as you plan to camp in the bush for a few weeks. Unwarily crossing into these zones – and you will have to forfeit a lot of the fruit and veg grocery shopping you may have done just 30kms outside the zone. Quarantine officers show no mercy. The ones on the border going into Western Australia (WA) aren’t that strong on customer service skills either. Especially a female officer known to many travellers as ‘the dragon’. This officer would be a prized government employee as she is exceptional in her role. Don’t even think about trying to smuggle a cauliflower in your underwear drawer in the caravan into WA – as she will seek and destroy! … and give you an earful and a half to boot while she’s doing it just to rub salt into your wound!
Ants. Don’t mess with them. Often this is unavoidable as they are everywhere, in different sizes, colours and ferocity. Make sure you have antihistamine cream in your first aid kit to rub on the stung area. It is worth its weight in gold.
Photos. Your skill level will never manage to capture the awesomeness of the scene you want to share with others. Try to improve this skill – see Josh Kaufman above.
If you decide to do a quick toilet stop in the bushes, sing a little tune whilst doing so then at least the snakes have time to make a run for it before you settle down – rather than you startling them and risk being bitten in a nasty spot.
SA is the state that has the most houses made of stone (generally built 1850s to 1920s). These dwellings really stand out, as the other states have so very few of them. You could possibly buy them quite cheaply – especially in the many little towns dotted around the state. They look very nice.
WA is big. Very, very big. Most of it has very straight, long roads. Make sure to read the weather reports before heading on the highway from west to east or vice versa, as a strong headwind will consume your fuel really quickly and the petrol stations are few and far between.
Southern WA is rather like parts of Victoria – green, hilly, windy roads with lovely little townships nestled in valleys. It can also be really cold and wet – just like Melbourne.
Here are a few pics from our travels so far:
So, dear readers, if you’ve waded this far through my long-winded post – you’ve done very well! I suggest a nice refreshing drink of your choosing and perhaps a touch of knitting just to keep you in a good mood.
Wishing you all a belt-extending festive season while I shall try and have a slimming(-ish) one (.. maybe..), to look fabulous (and quite possibly smarter!) in 2017.
With many fond regards,
PS: My banging the crafting drum whilst travelling has appeared in the Caravan and Motorhome magazine #240 – woo hooo!! .. just a bit closer to getting the whole world crafting instead of war-ing..