Tag Archives: Australia

Nelson Falls Soundscape

Nelson Falls in Western Tasmania is in an old growth rainforest.

The Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service website says, “These delightful falls are reached after a very easy walk. Break the long drive and stretch your legs; you won’t be disappointed.”

This is exactly what happened for me. We had spent a couple of days driving through drizzle and fog on hairpin turn roads. It was nice to get out of the rental car and hike.

After some significant rainfall the falls are engorged and the stream is bubbling with life.


Seven different types of ferns are present. This one is HUGE.

IMG_9073 Nelson Falls NelsonFalls

Thrift Shopping – Melbourne, Australia

I love to treasure hunt at thrift shops. In Australia they are called ‘op shops’, as in ‘opportunity’.  And that perfectly describes it, an opportunity to discover.

I made my way by train down to Chapel Street precinct.

This is where I was told that I would find second hand shops.


The absolutely most fun one I found was a charity shop run by MECWAcare. They had such a sense of fun. Old china plates, stacked to the ceiling. I asked the guy, “are those glued?” Yep.IMG_8784Wooden salad bowls made into a sculpture.

IMG_8775 IMG_8776Old vinyl records stacked into towers.

IMG_8783Fancy paper shopping bags used as decor. Cutlery spilling out from containers. IMG_8786Books piled as decorations.




IMG_8777 IMG_8778A tower lamp made from old aluminum tea pots and stainless steel bowls.

Generally speaking Op Shops in Australia seem to be very upscale. Maybe it’s the quality of the donations.

The Salvation Army tops the list of these. Branded as “SALVOS Stores” they are nothing like the Sally Anns’ in Canada.


Beautifully painted floors with chic industrial shelving.IMG_8793

And they played lovely music too.IMG_8794

One of the Salvo’s in downtown Melbourne looked like a designer dress shop.

In this Mission shop I asked for Australian made or designed clothes and the volunteer helped me find some perfect selections.IMG_8799

Mixed in with the op shops were designer clothing stores.

IMG_8802This shop owner was the knitter.

Every second building was a cafe with outdoor seating of some description and radiant heaters for the cooler weather.



My lunch was “The Forever Popular Smashed Avocado” at AMICI Bakery. Mashed avocado on toasted pumpkin bread, feta, lemon, cracked pepper and toasted pepitas.

Beautiful architecture well over one hundred years old.IMG_8830Admist all these shops were antique places too. Like this vintage mall called Chapel Street Bazaar.


A building FULL of stuff. This one’s for Steina!IMG_8809

Talk about being overwhelmed with sights.IMG_8814

I walked the whole breadth of Chapel Street in the drizzle. And I wasn’t disappointed at all.









Looking at the World Upside-down?

Our son lives in Australia. When you look at a globe it’s always kind of hidden underneath. So I decided to rectify that.


Especially after watching this engaging clip from one of my favourite former dramas, West Wing.

The Peter’s Projection map was an eye opener for me too when I was first introduced to it whilst working for Ten Thousand Villages back in 1991.Screen Shot 2013-02-28 at 9.25.07 AM

Screen Shot 2013-02-28 at 7.45.47 PM

Wasn’t Greenland nearly the same size as Africa? NOT

The ever-so Euro-centric Mercator map was all that was on sale when I was in school.

When my daughter found this cool old roll-up map to decorate her living room it brought the whole thing back into focus again for me. In fact this 1950’s map even shows the British Commonwealth and Greenland is enormous! Read about her map on her blog, Urban Spool.


Looking for the Peter’s Projection map I came across this one produced by a cheeky Australian in 1979. McArthur’s Universal Corrective Map of the World. This is the write-up which accompanies it.

At last, the first move has been made – the first step in the long overdue crusade to elevate our glorious but neglected nation from the gloomy depths of anonymity in the world power struggle to its rightful position — towering over its northern neighbours, reigning splendidly at the helm of the universe. Never again to suffer the perpetual onslaught of “downunder” jokes — implications from Northern nations that the height of a country’s prestige is determined by its equivalent spatial location on a conventional map of the world. This map, a subtle but definite first step, corrects the situation. No longer will the South wallow in a pit of insignificance, carrying the North on its shoulders for little or no recognition of her efforts. Finally, South emerges on top. Spread the word. Spread the map! South is superior. South dominates! Long live AUSTRALIA — RULER OF THE UNIVERSE!! © 1979. Rex Publications. All rights reserved.Screen Shot 2013-02-28 at 7.25.02 PM

Because our son lives ‘down under’ I’m thinking a lot more about maps, globes and the size of everything. That’s why I turned my globe over, in order to reorientate by brain.

What do you think?  Do different types of maps disturb you, shake up your worldview or cause you to think differently about the way you have been taught? Leave a comment.