Festival weekend

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Off to Wide Open Space this weekend. It's an annual music festival held at Ross River, featuring many awesome Central Australian bands.Photo from last year's festival. Check out the festival website Wide Open Space for better ones.

On your bike

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Obama has a new bicycle policy which elevates the humble bicycle and pedestrian to the status of the automobile in transportation planning. His Transportation Minister said "This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized".

Like many cities which expanded during the post-WWII era, Alice Springs is a town created for cars. Apart from the Todd Mall which is closed to traffic, the rest of the 'CBD' is a car only zone. Try walking crossing Railway Terrace at any time of day and you're taking your life in your hands, same goes for Hartley Street, not to mention the numerous, ugly carparks that litter the town. The only zebra crossing exists at the airport.

Yet Alice Springs is a relatively flat town, with development kept off the hills due to sacred sites. The furthest suburbs (bar the Rural Living areas) are no more than 6km from the 'CBD'. Alice is ripe for the bicycle. Rather than investing in car parking, the Council should be upgrading the bike/pedestrian paths and linking the network for easier movement. Put in a few more bike racks and start educating motorists about zebra crossings. If less locals are driving then the existing car parking will be available for tourists.

Now for infill development....


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Today we've been together for 6 years! May there be many more....

Big Territory News Week

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Scroll down for information on the Charles River Five sentencing.
Our new power generator arrived from Darwin, complete with delivery address in case it got lost along the way?! This doesn't happen every day so it warranted a few hours off to watch it go through the Gap. The trailer it's on had 4 tyres on each side and it was traveling slower than walking pace coming around the round about. Apparently it cracked 50km per hour on the straights!

An NT cop was sacked after he was caught drink driving in a police car. What is the world coming to if a cop can't have a few tinnies while on duty?!

Yesterday the Charles River Five were sentenced. They had all plead guilty to manslaughter and the judge has previously found that the death was caused by negligence rather than recklessness. Legally, a finding of recklessness means that the guys knew that their actions could cause death. Negligence means that they were unaware that their actions could cause death. All had different levels of moral culpability and the sentences reflected that, plus one received a lighter sentence for co operating with police.

The judges sentencing remarks concluded that this was a racially motivated attack. He said that he doubted that the boys would have tried to antagonise people camping in the river if they'd been white people camping in tents. Outside the court, the victim's mother stated that the boys might be "good on the outside, inside there is racism straight out".

Hopefully others will learn from the mistakes of these boys and think twice about their behaviour, drunk or not. For the time being the boys will have to survive in a prison population of 80% indigenous people.

Sentencing remarks here
More on the case from the Alice Springs News here and here
My earlier writing about the case here, here and here.

On Beauty

Friday, April 23, 2010

"Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring."

"There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in proportion" -Sir Francis Bacon

"If everyone isn't beautiful, then no one is." -Andy Warhol

"You can do anything,you just have to dress for it." - Edith Head

"There's no such thing as ugly women, only lazy ones." - Helena Rubenstein

I do have to admit I have a theory that celebrities are just like us, but with a make-up artist, hairdresser and stylist on call 24 hours. I love Lily Allen, she can glam it up, then slum it like the rest of us. She's real and you get a sense of who she is through her songs. Beauty is showing your true self.

Quotes via Dita Von Teese

Day tripin'

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Heading out to Hermannsburg today with work. Hermannsburg was established as a Lutheran Mission in 1877, run by Carl Strehlow and his wife Frieda. Carl Strehlow and his son TGH Strehlow both worked closely with the Western Arrernte in Hermannsburg, with TGH Strehlow's work informing Anthropological research to this day.

The photo above was taken the last time I visited Hermannsburg in February. The sign says 'Disco Tonight yes!!!' - sounds like fun.

Find out more about Hermannsburg here.

Le Lourve

Monday, April 19, 2010

This is my most favourite building on Collins Street, Le Lourve. Nestled between towering skyscrapers, a reminder of the past streetscape of Collins Street, when the north end of Collins Street was 'the Paris end' of Collins Street. But time moves on. Fashion changes. Culture changes. We no longer want to make an appointment to shop, we want to browse and buy a piece from here, a piece from there.

The building has been sold to QIC who will build a skyscraper around it, but keep the remaining facade. I have mixed feelings on facadism. It seems ridiculous to gut the building and keep the front, yet I love Brunswick Street which is a mixture of facades and preserved buildings. Lonsdale Street has an excellent example of a building the size of Le Louvre incorporated into a skyscraper, with the skyscraper set back around it. So maybe there's hope yet.

Solar by Ian McEwan

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Last Sunday I finished Solar by Ian McEwan. I bought it because I'd read that there was an anthropologist character in it who 'brings down' the main character, Michael Beard. This wasn't quite correct. The anthropologist was a minor character and she didn't bring about Michael's ultimate undoing. Solar is a great story of an oversized ego, climate change and murder.

In addition to Black Mirror, I'm also reading The Quickie by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge. The Quickie is a vapid 'thriller', most unbelievable. The main character, Lauren, has an anoying habit of telling the reader her strong opinions about something, only to then say the complete opposite. It's supposed to make her seem vulnerable, but her character would be strengthened if she just stuck to her opinions. I find it hard to believe that a homicide cop would work so hard to cover up a murder and get away with it. Things fall in her favour a little too neatly. None the less it's an easy, quick read. James Patterson can always keep you turning the pages no matter how much his characters annoy you.

Grave Digging

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Yesterday I undertook a site inspection at the Alice Springs Memorial Cemetery. While I was there I snapped a few photos. This cemetery was closed in 1975, unless you have a 'reserved spot'. If so you can still get in. Since 1975 burials take place in the 'garden' cemetery south of town.

The Memorial Cemetery is a dusty, dry cemetery, typical of many Central Australian cemeteries (though somewhat green at the moment due to recent rain). It shows a cross section of the Alice Springs community from the white folk who made the big time in Central Australia, the 'Mohammedans' and the Indigenous Australians (now recorded euphemistically as 'non-denomination').

Such a juxtiposition between grave sites with rich and poor buried side by side

The chair makes me think that this lady often has visitors...

Behind this grave you can just see the markers of the stillborn section

Alice Springs has another cemetery, the Stuart Cemetery which accommodated the deceased from 1889-1928. The Stuart Cemetery is somewhat an 'informal' cemetery and I'm looking at visiting it in the near future.

Weekend Breakfast - potato fritters

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Our weekend breakfast have become a little boring. We either continue with muesli, like I have each day, or Nick makes his Lebanese eggs - which are delicious (I'll post the recipe another day), but we should branch out and try a few new things. I love potato fritters (Oscars do an exceptionally good fritter with chicken for dinner) so I thought I'd give them a whirl.

You need:

2 big potatoes or 3 medium size
1 spring onion or any onion you choose
1 egg

Either boil the potatoes with skin on for 12 mins or microwave them for 8 mins. Let them cool slightly then grate the potatoes. Chuck them in a bowl and mix in the spring onion and egg. Mould into patties and then fry in a shallow pan in a bit of olive oil. To serve top with a bit of pesto and fetta cheese - yum!


Sunday, April 11, 2010

A few weeks ago Amanda (Desert Book Chick) gave me an award for my blog!
As part of the award I'm supposed to tell you 7 interesting (this may be debatable) things about myself, so here goes:
  • I'm afraid of chickens
  • I lived in America for a little while when I was 10
  • I've booked a trip to Russia this October
  • I love Dr Pepper
  • I could eat mexican food all day everyday
  • I only like to dance when I can sing along to the songs
  • I love crime fiction and crime TV shows (yes, even CSI Miami)
Now, I'm supposed to pass the award onto 7 bloggers, but instead I'm just going to give a shout out to a few of my favourite bloggers who are all beautiful - My Bat Lightning Heart, Something And Something Else, A Coopers 4 Me, and yellowhouseintheu

PS. On Friday yellowhouseintheu passed on a Kreative Blog Award - Thanks so much!!

Darwin City Cops

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Rain Rain

We officially have a moat surrounding our deck. The river is up and the causeway closed. It's raining in Alice Springs and it doesn't look like stopping anytime soon. I don't think we'll be heading to Glen Helen for camping tonight.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

I love these chairs, so colourful. Makes you happy just looking at them.

Image: Inside Out Jan/Feb 2010, p61

The Fern Tattoo

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

'A person can only tolerate so much clarity' - this was Beeman in Chicago - 'before they must complicate it again. The space means nothing without the labyrinth, the labyrinth nothing without the space.' p314

The Fern Tattoo is a series of interweaving short stories, the connection between them revealed at the end, but is more evident within each story if you had read the book over a series of days rather than start it at the beginning of February and not pick it up again until the end of March like I did. I found the last story, that of David, Margaret and Jennifer most interesting. The dreams the subconscious has before the conscious is aware. The things we do out of duty. The lies we tell to protect ourselves and others. The history that any one family has, hidden and acknowledged.

Thanks to J for the gift of this book.

Thongs are dressy

Monday, April 5, 2010

The great thing about the Territory is that you can dress however you please. You won't look out of place in a suit, nor will you look out of place in your jeans. If you want to wear thongs you can, if you want to wear high heels you can. I know of one Territorian bride who wore thongs & who would know? Well not anymore...

A restaurant in Darwin has decided that they're going to add $10 to your meal bill if you wear thongs. A bit like corkage, but, as the NT News has dubbed it, 'thongage'.

Now I'm all for dressing up. But being forced to? It's un-territorian!

See also the story in the London Times

Street Art Sunday

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Hosier Lane, Melbourne

Hosier Lane is home to Movida and Movida Next Door. It is also 'the lane' for street art in Melbourne. Conveniently located between Flinders Street and Flinder Lane, just off Russell Street, Hosier is the easiest place for tourists to experience some of Melbourne's finest Street Art, without having to travel down 'scary, smelly' lane ways.

Cross Country Adventure

Saturday, April 3, 2010

(The open road before our cross country adventure)

I made it outback and I made it back again. Our cosy afternoon swimming at Ellery Creek instead became an afternoon of four-wheel driving to collect our hiker friends from Hugh Gorge. Unbeknown to all of us when we agreed to pick them up at Hugh Gorge, Hugh Gorge is 22.5km off the Larapinta Highway, along a 4-wheel drive track recommended for 'experienced 4-wheel drivers only'. Much of the track had been washed away or was now divided by a new creek due to recent rainfall (Our travelling companion mentioning that roads in India are better than those of Central Australia!). For much (all) of the journey we were fairly convinced that we were heading in the wrong direction. Many rocks, countless river crossings (that contained water - a rarity here in the desert), long grasses and a few 'hills'. Half way through the journey J mentioned that she'd never driven a 4-wheel drive before, let alone off road. She handled it amazingly. If she hadn't have told me I never would have known. At just about the 2 hour mark (the exact amount of time Parks recommends that the journey will take) we rounded a bend and J screamed 'there they are!!' I've never been more happy to see some stinky hikers!

(the road to Ellery after our cross country adventure)

Two hours back and a short bitumen journey (luxury) later we were at Ellery Creek Big Hole. The sun had set, but it was the perfect night to have a starlight swim. The water was freezing, the stars beautiful. Until we scarred each other too much with tales of lost bodies, snakes and crocodiles - what if we were the first group to be taken by crocs in Central Australia? We'd at least make the front page of the Advocate, unless the Gap View was broken into at the same time....

Fried Eggs

Friday, April 2, 2010

While I was having a bit of an adventure last weekend, Nick was on a work trip to Cloncurry to film rugby players. On his way there he had a stopover in Cairns and purchased this cool brooch for me. The lovely lady who makes them is from Melbourne and has an etsy shop, Scotatto.

This weekend we're off to camp overnight at Ellery Big Hole. We're joining a bunch of people who are currently doing the Larapinta Trail. Nick will then continue on with them and do three days of the Larapinta Trail. I will come home and catch up on my reading and other 'exciting' things I'd like to get done. I told you I lied about being the outdoor type.

Find out more about our outdoor adventure from My Bat Lightning Heart
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