Saturday, July 29, 2017

Murals & Mailboxes in Northern Tasmania

Our time in Tasmania is rapidly passing - why does that happen when you're on holiday? Another great day out that we always try to do when we're home is a trip to Sheffield which is a small town 54 miles east of Wynyard. Its normal population is just over 1500 people but during the year they have over 200,000 visitors to see the main attraction of the town,which is murals.

Around the town there are sixty large murals and a mural park where a festival is held every year where nine artists compete for the best mural, meaning that every time we go there are new art works to admire.

The year before each festival they hold a poetry competition and the winning poem is the theme that the artists have to follow for their murals. The poem that this years competition was based on was called 'Through the eyes of a child'.

This is the 2017 judges choice winner, Make Believe.

This was last years winner of both the judges choice and the visitors choice and is called 'Pondering'. I love how the modern scene is reflected by images of the past. The title of the poem that the artists had as their theme was Reflections of Time.

After our look around the murals we went for lunch at the Blacksmith Gallery Cafe which is in, surprise, surprise, the old blacksmith's building. We really love this cafe as it's quite funky with lots of quirky things throughout the building. Note the very colourful tablecloth (and Ken pretending he's posh with his little finger stuck out).

Here's a few close up shots of the very interesting tablecloth.

Very cute salt and pepper shakers.

Sign on the cash register - love all four of these notices. If you can't read the last one, its says; 'Warning, today's lunch special 3-Bean chilli' and then there's a picture of a gas mask.

A couple of shots of the cafe - there are decorative teapots everywhere you look.

The toilet doesn't disappoint in it's quirkiness and there are quotes and messages written all over the walls and ceiling which I love - I think Ken and mum thought I had fallen into the toilet as I took so long reading the walls. Of course I had to leave a quote of my own; 'Not all those who wander are lost' - J R R Tolkien.

I laughed so much when I read this message below - so funny.

Love these eyes that are above the toilet door, looking at you whilst you're in there.

Mum and Ken went into Slaters which is a general store established in 1899 and I went for a walk down to The Emporium which is a antique/second hand store which is beyond eclectic. What I love most about this store is the notices the owner puts on some of the items.

In case you can't read the notice on the wheelchair, its says:

'Brought gran on holiday and now regret it? Whinging and wining and too many toilet stops? Here is your answer! Strap her in, give her a tin mug and sit her on a street corner in each town you visit. She might make some fuel/food money or you might get lucky and forget her!

Another funny note on this old metal bedpan - I wasn't tempted to buy it.

More artwork. The cockatoo (beautiful colours) is a painting on the front of the Emporium, and the mural is further up the street on the side of a building. You can't tell it in the photo, but the cat looks like it is sticking out from the building it is so realistic.

A couple of pictures of things around the town that appealed to me. All the names on the sign are actual places not far from Sheffield.

After Sheffield we headed to Wilmot and the novelty mailbox trail. Over a distance of 25 km there are 80 novelty mailboxes - we didn't do the whole trail but we did see a lot of them. I've put them into collages to show you the variety that there are.

Wilmot is known as the valley of views and you can see why on a day like we had with such a clear view of Black Bluff which dominates the skyline.

 The two best mailboxes we saw on the trail were the Dalek which marks the start of the trail, and the very groovy red baron.

We stopped in Wilmot to buy a drink from the general store and enjoyed sitting in the sun to drink it - despite it being winter, out of the wind it was a really lovely day. The artistic theme continues in Wilmot, with a painted shed, a horse pulling a mural, and a tree wrapped in a blanket.

This is a spot the creature photo - I've not included one of these for a while, but this is a good one. The white all over the tree on the right and flying to the one on the left, is a flock of white cockatoos. There is a farmhouse just out of shot on the right - it must be so noisy when they are sitting there.

A great day of fun, and if you're ever in the north of Tasmania make sure that Sheffield is on your list of places to visit. Until next time, be good, stay safe, and take time this week to enjoy the quirky things in your life.

Pamela & Ken

P.S: Final shot is what I can see of my beloved when he gets into bed - he's cold here at the bottom of the world and is sleeping with his whole face covered up - it's very cute.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Top Ten Thursday: Favourite Summer Foods

This week's top ten Thursday is all our favourite summer foods - slightly ironic that I'm in Tasmania and it's winter as I write this. It shouldn't be too hard though as food is one of our favourite subjects. What foods come to mind when you're thinking about summer, and I wonder if you agree with any of mine.

1. Cake: lets get this one out of the way first. Ken and I love stopping for coffee and cake when we're out exploring so it should come as no surprise that no matter what the weather this is one of our favourite things to eat. (you can probably guess that the fruit tart is Ken's and mine is the red velvet).

2. Shellfish: love, love, love fresh shellfish, hot or cold. We're very lucky in Scotland as the west coast has some of the best in the world - it's scrummy. I think my favourite would be big prawns or scallops, but will eat it all. Love having it in Spain or Greece, sitting outside of a restaurant just enjoying the sun and sea.

3. Fresh Fruit: my beloved always teases me about the fact I don't eat as much fresh fruit as I should, but I just have to be in the mood. This is the perfect way to have it, strawberries dipped in chocolate (another perfect food).

4. Smoothies: when it's really warm I love having a smoothie made with ice-cream and bananas (see I do eat fruit). This one is an Oreo smoothie which was delish!

5.  Rosé Sparkling Wine: a nice cold glass of sparkling rosé is a perfect drink on a summers day - there's something about rosé wine that feels more summery than any other.

6. Fish & Chips: it wouldn't be a summer food list without this. Sitting by the seaside with fish and chips is the best. Seagulls bothering us for chips is half the fun, and if it starts raining (like it has in Scotland before) then that just adds to the experience.

7. Ice-cream: ice-cream is one of those magic foods that can make you feel better instantaneously. It's a perfect food to eat, straight from the carton, when feeling fed up, and makes people smile as soon as they taste it. I could have put lots of different photos here, but had to reshare the best ice-cream sundae that my beloved and I have ever shared, which was at Harrods in London.

8. Salad: a lot of people will die of shock that I've put something so healthy in my list, but I do like salad, I just don't like the ones that are too full of green leaves. My favourite salads are a Greek salad or watermelon and feta, but like experimenting with roasted veggies and halloumi as well. This colourful creation is one that I did for a group at work, hardly any leaves in sight.

9. Churros: these don't immediately scream summer, but let me explain why they made my list. Music festivals are held in summer and whenever we go to a festival (not recently due to a certain puppy) we get a plate of churros and chocolate sauce to share. So this Spanish delicacy always reminds me of really fun times with my better half.

10: Latte: I know it wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea (coffee) in warm weather, but there's never not a good time for the perfectly brewed latte.

There you have it, my top ten summer foods - do you agree with any or have you been rolling your eyes thinking of all the things that you would have included? Before you go, pop over to Tamara's blog, Part-time Working Hockey Mom, and see what my fellow bloggers have come up with.

Until next time, be good, stay safe, and treat yourself to your favourite food this week.

Pamela & Ken

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Winter Sunshine in Tasmania

Mother nature is being very good to us, granting us with clear skies for the days we want to explore beautiful Tasmania - it's still cold, and I've had to buy a hot water bottle for nighttime, but the days are glorious. Our first day trip out was heading west along the coast to Stanley, one of my favourite spots in the Northwest.

On the way we stopped at the Table Cape lookout to get the view of Wynyard and east along the coast - the sea is such a stunning blue.

On table cape there is a deer farm (the vegetarian in me calls it a deer sanctuary where they get to live out their lives in tranquillity). In the middle of the second picture is a lovely white deer.

Looking west from Table Cape - in the distance between the two humps on the right you can just make out the pale blue of the Nut in Stanley.

A very funky mailbox. If I was a postie this would brighten my day every time I saw it.

Stanley is a cute little town with a population of less than 500 people, though in summer I'm sure it grows as it's a very popular tourist spot. I've written a couple of blogs in the past about Stanley, check out Top Ten Thursday: Favourite Place on Earth which of course had to be this place.

The Nut from the car park for the chairlift which takes you up to the top - unfortunately it wasn't working that day, probably because it's the middle of winter.

Sunny selfie with Stanley behind us - who would have thought I'd need my sunglasses in Tassie in July.

One of the beautiful long beaches that surround Stanley - you can walk for miles on pristine golden sand.

One of the lovely little shops in the town - Providore 24 which has food, drink, clothes, jewellery and lots of things of loveliness.

The Plough Inn on the left of the picture which is one of the oldest buildings in the town and next to it is St Paul's Anglican Church which was built in 1887 after the original stone building was demolished.

Time for a refuelling break and where better than a place called the Chocolate Gallery and Cafe - sounds like my kind of place. I loved the orange colour theme.

The menu that was in the window - I'll have one of everything.

The orange theme continued inside, even with Ken's cup of tea and jug of milk.

Inside the cafe.

Me and my mum.

There are over twenty flavours of ice cream on the menu so after much deliberation I chose salted caramel and peanut butter, which came in a chocolate basket with chocolate sauce - scrummy!!

Looking up the main street of Stanley - I love the wide streets that we have in Tasmania.

View of Stanley in the shadow of the Nut, a long extinct volcano that is popular with tourists to walk up or travel up on the chairlift.

On our journey back towards Wynyard we stopped briefly at Brickmakers beach for me to have a reminiscing moment - I remember swimming at this beach when it was very cold and then ending up with a nose bleed. It's a lovely spot if you ignore the smoke from nearby Port Latta which is where Iron Ore is exported from Tasmania to the rest of the world.

Looking back towards Stanley from Brickmakers beach.

Our road trip continued and we came across this farm which had an interesting sign and name in front of their property.

And in their front yard was this fabulous creation - I think you would call it a hybrid tractor and motorbike.

Back in Wynyard and this is the great painting on the side of one of the shops  - a giant pirate octopus with his boombox under one tentacle among other things.

The next day we stayed home as we had a visit from three of my very lovely aunties (mum's sisters). It was great to catch up with them and wish it could be more often.

To stretch our legs after everyone had left, my beloved and I went for a walk and we found this friendly koala near one of the schools (I should point out here that koalas are not native to Tasmania and only exist in wildlife parks).

The sun starting to set and leaving a lovely pink glow in the sky.

We hope you're enjoying our holiday with us even if it's only vicariously, and hope that you stay with us through the next couple of weeks.

Until next time, be good, stay safe, and treat yourself to something delicious this week.

Pamela & Ken