Archive for May, 2010

In The Middle

May 27, 2010

The other week, The Boyfriend and I headed way out west – to Central Australia for a quick weekend getaway. Right bang on in the middle of Australia is Ayers Rock, and it was on my bucket list, so I had to grab some cheap plane tickets when they came up on sale. Of course, I committed to those and clicked on “Purchase” before checking out local accommodation prices, which was silly, but it just meant my bargain cheap weekend turned into a rather expensive jaunt, so I just grinned and went with it.

I’m pretty sure Ayers Rock is one of the most recognisable Australian images in the world. I’ve now taken one of those typical shots that everyone’s taken that has been here, ever. Saturday afternoon turned very overcast, so we missed the usual colours as the sun set, but it was still pretty breathtaking all the same!

The Boyfriend was disappointed the walk to the top of the rock was closed. These days, local Aboriginals ask that you not climb the rock out of respect for their sacred sites, however there’s no legal grounds to stop people doing it. Thankfully it was a drizzly day on the Saturday, forcing it to be closed, because there is no WAY you would have gotten me up that rock. It was steep. And scary looking. Can you imagine climbing the steep sides of that thing? Not with my fear of heights!

I was really surprised that the overnight temperature got down so low – down to about 3C (37F). Isn’t this supposed to be the desert? It didn’t matter so much anyway – we spent such little time in our hugely overpriced room after having dinner at one of the restaurants, followed by a few beers watching a band in the pub, then getting up to see sunrise over the rock. I am pretty sure the only reason I agreed to this is because I was actually suffering from such a bad cold that I thought I wouldn’t make it till morning anyway, so I may as well pretend like I’d be thrilled to get up an hour before dawn to drive off into the freezing desert.

After seeing the sun rise, we headed off to see The Olgas, nearby. I was actually much more impressed with The Olgas than Ayers Rock – they are a group of red boulder shapes just sitting in the middle of a flat plain. Part of the same rock foundation that Ayers Rock is made from, I believe.

We went for a bushwalk through The Olgas – a camera just couldn’t capture the stark red rocks against the clear blue sky. Just gorgeous. The walk was called The Valley of the Winds. I could see why – the wind whips through those rock formations surprisingly strongly!

Who knows what part of Australia we’ll see next. The Boyfriend is rather keen on Tasmania. I think that’s just because he knows there are 2 breweries and 1 chocolate factory there that all do tours…

Edited to Add: I would not have chosen to climb, even if the climb was open, and didn’t mean to sound flippant about that – I chose not to climb out of respect for the wishes of the traditional owners of the land. The Boyfriend had made the same choice to NOT climb when he was there a couple of years ago – I was relieved it was closed at the time so he didn’t have an option to reconsider that decision – he said at the time he was disappointed it was closed, but has since said in conversations he wouldn’t have climbed anyway either, for same reasons I had. It DID look scary anyway as I reported. I wasn’t too clear on my own personal reasons however! When you report only snatches of conversations it can give the wrong impression, as that portion of my post has done for some – for that I apologise. No offence intended.

Horsing Around

May 25, 2010

Last week sometime, I popped into The Local on my way home for my regular afternoon catch up on the way home from work. I was just heading off home when one of the locals said “Don’t go home yet, one of the managers is bringing in her new horse”. I was intrigued and made further enquiries, which is when I was told the manager was bringing in a horse she’d bought that afternoon, and it was currently travelling with her in her back seat. Given all this I can actually understand why the Publican laughed and said Sure when she called to say she’d just bought a horse, it was in her back seat, the pub was on the way home and could she bring it in to say hi. Clearly, he thought she was mad. As did I. I stuck around anyway – it’s not every day a staff member from The Local goes completely barmey. Then she arrived. With her new miniature horse.

That horse is full grown. As she strolled into the bar with it, the Publican’s eyes boggled out of his head. Several of the local drunks checked their beer glasses, and possibly decided that was enough for the evening. The horse was not as tall as the bar stools. Most hilarious thing I have seen at The Local all year.

Edited to add: Here’s his front view. He has a shaggy fringe so it’s a bit hard to see his face!

How to Stop Traffic

May 5, 2010

On Monday I went to a funeral. Feeling somewhat gloomy on my return home, I decided to head up to The Local, where there was bound to be a few laughs to be had.

I kicked off my dress and heels, shrugging into a soft old t shirt and the jeans I’d been wearing the day before. This has been a breakthrough for me – I hate to wear dirty clothes, and it has taken me years to accept that sometimes you CAN wear jeans more than once before they really need a wash.

As I crossed the busy main road that runs between my house and the path to the pub, I felt something in my jeans. Fearing the worst (spider? snake?) I had to keep walking or I would have been bowled over by a truck, but as I walked across the road I gave my leg a violent shake. Now I don’t mind wearing yesterdays jeans, but when yesterdays undies came flying out the bottom of my jeans leg, I did the only thing I really could in this situation. I glanced around to check nobody had noticed, and kept right on strolling across the street.

I didn’t really stop to take too much in (note aforementioned truck barrelling towards me at high speed) but gee I hope they weren’t my good undies.