18 January 2009

The Best... and the not so Best

It's 21 minutes until the Bakers Oven pops out a lovely loaf of wholemeal (with 10% selenium apparenty) so I thought I'd take a minute (or 21) to record the Top Five Best and Worst of my first week back at in the real world.

So starting at the top... the winners for Best of the Week are:

1 Pay day
2 Discovering I'd managed to LOSE 1.5 kilos over Christmas (making it 7 since September)
3 Getting a pay rise
4 Finding out my favourite person at the nine to five had been promoted (Yay for you, SJW)
5 Getting a long-overdue hair tint (goodbye greys!)

But every rose has it thorns... the Worst of the Week is as follows:

1 Pay day (Note to self, next time you decide to take leave without pay, DON'T)
2 Waiting for a long-overdue hair tint (and finding at least one new grey everyday)
3 Getting sick with a cough that made me sound (and possibly feel) like I'd taken up smoking
4 'My Penis and Everyone Elses' on SBS last Friday night (Listen you stupid galoot, nobody cares about your three and a half inch todger... frankly, I'm surprised you can see it past your colossal girth and dolly-esque breasts! Now go away and get a life.)
5 Boy George going to jail

My plan for week two in the real world is to spend less, watch less, cough less and continue to eat less; sleep more, write more, laugh more and remind myself more often of the things that really matter. I'll let you know how I go.

09 January 2009

For Tani and Bear (the best friends a Boop could have)

With my sister's wedding at the beginning of the year, a major holiday at the end and some expensive living in between, 2008 can be summed up in two words: cash strapped. So when it came to Christmas presents we made a pact with our closest friends that each of us would only do gifts for the children.

Now 2008 was an interesting year for me and along with Georgie and my sister Sasha, my two dearest friends Tani (yes, my personal tutu maker)and Bear were never far away when I needed them most.

These two beautiful girls have a knack of knowing when things aren't right and a call will come out of the blue. Their friendship means the world to me and I wanted to recognise that at Christmas whilst not breaking our 'no-gift' pact. So I made them each an apron (I adore aprons... but that's another story) which turned out so fabulously I'm making myself one in a ladybird print.

So for Tani and Bear... thank you gorgeouses... I love you both more than even I can say. For everyone else, here's an introduction to the best friends a Boop could have... and of course, their aprons.


Tani is a beautiful girl blessed with an enviable pout so I sometimes call her Lips... especially when she signs my cards with a big red lipstick blot. We met at work in Adelaide about 10 years ago and we just connected. Her gorgeous daughters, Taylah and Lilly are my godchildren and my favourite reason to get back to Adelaide whenever we can.

Tani's Apron


Bear has been my best friend since high school but we've known each other since primary school. Her name is actually Andrea but with her beautiful dark curls and gorgeous round face she looks like a panda bear... and that's how she got her life-long nickname. I most often call her Mrs Bearly and she's a very proud mummy to Evie, a favourite subject in my last post.

Bear's Apron

08 January 2009

The Biggest Post Ever (so get comfortable)

My podiatrist talks too much and it’s rare for me to actually hear what he’s saying but when I visited for a toe-tidy before our Christmas holiday I told him about our planned road trip from Sydney to Hobart and he said I should keep a travel diary. So I did.

My plan was to post regularly to The Daily Boop but it never quite happened. We arrived home in the wee hours of last Monday 5 January and have spent the last few days sleeping, unpacking, and downloading and organising the 2000-odd photos we took along the way. Georgie went back to work today and with some time alone for the first time in almost a month I’ve sat down at my Mac and began Daily Booping. So here it is… my travel diary (as suggested by my oh-so verbose podiatrist).

Tuesday 30 December 2008
It feels like weeks since I updated the Daily Boop and damn me it’s been three! The first few weeks in December were spent frantically getting ready for our big road/boat trip from Sydney to my home state of Tasmania and trying desperately to get ahead at the nine to five. By the time we left Sydney we were exhausted but it didn’t take us long to get into the swing of being on holidays. Somehow I don’t think we’ll switch back into work-mode as easily.

My sister and her husband have renovated an old hall and moved in just a few weeks before we arrived and as lovely as it is it’s missing one very important amenity – internet connection. So I’ve saved up my postings ready for one long coffee break in an internet café which so far hasn’t happened… and I’m determined to get at least one post in before the New Year.

Arrived at a café in North Hobart called Omba which has wifi connection but just not today. I can’t believe that we can find an automatic paper towel dispenser but not an internet café (at least one that doesn’t stink of burnt bacon). Maybe tomorrow.

Tuesday 16 December 2008
8.38 pm

On the road... at last

What a day! We’ve just arrived in Goulburn (188 km from the Royal Price Alfred Hospital – our last stop before we left Sydney) and we’re hungry and tired but so happy that we’re finally on holidays. We both worked until 2.00 pm as we had an appointment to see a specialist at the RPA at 2.45. We arrived in the waiting area at 2.40 and spent the next two hours waiting. To pass the time, we chatted about our holiday, grrrr’d about the wait, told jokes, grrrr’d about the wait, ate Freddo Frogs, grrrr’d about the wait and renamed it the ‘waiting and waiting and waiting room’.

Getting out of Sydney (much later than planned) was a tiny nightmare but once we hit the open road we were just so happy. Right now we’re going to find something to eat and hit the hay. Tomorrow we’re driving around 400 kilometres to Beechworth in northern Victoria’s alpine region.

Wednesday 17 December 2008
Ghost tour at Mayday Hills Insane Asylum, Beechworth, Victoria

Our quirky host

OK, tell me they are not orbs.

Thursday 18 December 2008
10.05 am
Breakfast at the Bouchon at Botanicals, Beechworth, Victoria

8.02 pm
Leaving Melbourne on board the Spirit of Tasmania

The Spirit of Tasmania II

Looks rough, eh?

Bye Melbourne

Friday 19 December 2008
12.56 am
Funny about the things that wake you up… a hoon in his boyishly loud car, possums fighting outside your bedroom window or your husband doing a summersault whilst fast asleep (why it doesn’t wake him up, I’ll never know).

But a few minutes ago we were woken up as the bow of the boat lunged down into the water followed by a huge thump that made my heart skip what seemed like a whole minute of beats. We’d left our curtains open so we could see the water and looking out explained it all: huge whitecaps sitting high on the blackness of Bass Strait, looking considerably larger than the one and half metre swell predicted by the Captain in his announcement as we left Port Melbourne.

Somehow this calmed us down and Georgie is rather pleased that he put his baby blue travel sickness bands on before he went to sleep. We’ve decided to sit up for a while and look out for Spirit of Tasmania One that we’re apparently passing at 1.15 am.

5.31 am

Hello Devonport

We’ve just woken up as the Spirit of Tasmania is docking in Devonport (North West Tasmania). Twiggy (our cute little car, so named because she’s skinny like the model) is parked on level six and in about half and hour we’ll be called down to drive her off the boat. An announcement about declaring fruit, veg and fish has just come over the PA and we’ve decided to come clean about our little Glad bag of home grown cherry tomatoes… at least the ones we can’t gobble up before we get to the quarantine station.


North West Tasmania

Ashgrove Cheese's cute cows

It took us about half an hour to get through quarantine but we we’re pleased we declared our tomatoes. We took off down the road towards Hobart and were wrapt to find Ashgrove Cheeses open (at just after seven in the morning) down the road. We took lots of pictures of their cute cows, bought some Lavender, Wensleydale and Vintage Cheddar cheeses and we met a couple in a Winnebago who recommended breakfast at Christmas Hill Raspberry Farm about five kilometres down the road. We stopped in there and shared a toasted baguette with Tasmanian bacon, melted Mersey Valley Cheddar and grilled banana piled on top and garnished with Christmas Hill raspberries and raspberry coulis. Delish!

Christmas Hill Raspberry Farm

Christmas Hill Raspberry Farm

We pulled up outside my sister’s house (just under 300 kilometres from Devonport) at exactly 11.11 am which made us double take because 11/11 is my birthday. Spooky!

Monday 22 December 2008
Having a great old time but have had little time to rest. The highlights so far have been catching up with my sister Sasha and her kids, seeing Evie (Bear’s 18 month old daughter) for the first time since she started walking and the arrival of my tutu from Adelaide… a gift from my clever friend Tania.

I’m surrounded by my darling husband and family, friends I love and now I have a tutu. Not even Santa could top this.

Thursday 25 December 2008

Happy Christmas from The Daily Boop

Friday 26 December 2008
Christmas Day was a blur of wrapping paper, tulle and roasting dishes. I cooked lunch and dinner in my tutu and cleverly managed to avoid setting myself on fire. It was a bit too crazy for photos but between Georgie and myself we managed to snap one or two.

Katie got a skateboard

James got an electric guitar

Ellie got a craft set

And Evie got a piano

Saturday 27 December 2008
11.41 pm

Ellie and James in between marshmallow toastings

For the second night in a row, the kids and I built a little campfire and toasted marshmallows. James has found a three-pronged stick which means he has three times the toasting power than any of us but he’s setting three times as many on fire. Katie has become Chief Fanner as she fans the fire with a piece of cardboard as we’re getting it going and Ellie spends the time coming up with as many ways as possible to put the fire out so we can go inside and play Sing Star on the Playstation.

Tomorrow is James’ birthday the little tacker will be turning 11. I want to tell him that I remember being 11 but he’d ask me how many years ago that was and I’d say 28 and he’d say ‘Geez you’re old Auntie Trace.’

Little bugger.

Sunday 28 December

Welcome to Evie's house

Monday 29 December 2008
1.27 pm
It’s hard to believe Christmas has come and gone and so too has my nephew James’ eleventh birthday. The yachts have left Sydney Harbour and I just heard on the one o’clock news that 26 have now docked in Hobart.

I’m sitting in a little café in North Hobart called Kaos eating a ham and cheese toastie, drinking chai latte and wishing I didn’t feel so blue. I shouldn’t feel blue… we’ve been planning this holiday for months and I was so damn excited about it but maybe I let myself get too excited. Y’see there was a reason I left Tasmania and I had kind of forgotten exactly what it was. Until today.

It’s a very small town compared to Sydney and I don’t mind that so much but in recent years it has developed a real second-class status about itself and it breaks my heart. Don’t get me wrong, the place is as beautiful as ever… it’s the people. Georgie pointed something out the other day that I hadn’t noticed and now it’s all I can see. It’s in the girls… the teenage girls. In any other place the beautiful young things with the potential to be who or whatever they wanted would be the majority… here they’re the minority. Many of the others have seen, heard and done to much in their young lives and I can’t help but wonder if they’re now helplessly locked into a life nobody in their right mind would wish upon a child.

On Saturday, we’ll be driving to Devonport and boarding the boat back to the mainland, leaving these seemingly broken people behind us. I think I’ll be pleased to get away but it’s not without worry. My niece Katie is 12, her sister Ellie is nine… is this what the future holds for them?

My toastie is cold now, and my latte is all but done. I’m going to drive down to the dock and have a look at the boats. They’ll leave here too in a little while.

Wednesday 31 December 2008
Around Hobart
Sydney to Hobart Yachts

Sydney to Hobart Yachts

Cascade Brewery with Mt Wellington in the background

Hobart at night

Friday 2 January 2009
A day at Richmond
St Johns at Richmond, Australia's oldest Catholic church

Inside St Johns
Inside St Johns

Richmond, Tasmania

The Richmond Bridge


Bear, Evie and Tim

Saturday 3 January 2009
The things I miss the most about Hobart

Me, Evie and Bear

Ellie, James and Katie

Monday 5 January 2009
1.21 am

We’re home… to tired to write as we’ve just driven 11 hours straight from Melbourne. Caught up with the lovely Miss Marzie in Melbourne this morning (or was it yesterday morning) and she’d made raspberry friands… delicious and special considering the early hour we arrived. Wish we had more time with her the Marzies… another visit a must.

Uneventful drive really… surprisingly little traffic, got lost finding our way out of a late night fuel stop at Mittagong and as the sun was setting we stopped at Gundagai to snap the Dog on the Tuckerbox. We were welcomed home by a squished blue tongue lizard on the driveway, playing host to a million ants and a vile stench (note to self, find out if ants can smell) and fat garden orb weaver taking over the backyard with its untidy web. As I write this Georgie is putting an end to his/her reign with a lethal dose of Mortein Outdoor. Can’t stand freeloaders.