Saturday, 29 November 2008

Freycinet walking

YIC has just spent an enjoyable few days walking on the Freycinet Peninsula on the east coast of Tasmania. He was blessed with 2 days of fine weather, during which he walked around the peninsula past the famous Wineglass Bay (which incidentally is over-rated) and climbed Mts Graham and Freycinet (the latter is most definitely under-rated - it is beautiful and even had a sea-eagle on the top). YIC is now back in Hobart for the weekend staying with Rick & family, before heading off to explore more of Tasmania next week. The weather is back to its usual Tassie-self: overcast and drizzling. But at least it makes ideal weather for running up the tracks on Mts Knocklofty and Wellington.

At the overnight camp by Cook's Beach.
The Hazards from the campsite at Richardsons Beach.

Friday, 28 November 2008


Congratulations to Michael Duff and Elaine who have announced their engagement.

This archive photo was taken in a licensed premise in Tynemouth. Regular readers of BN will no doubt recognise the establishment (YIC has been known to go there from time to time).

Rev T takes extra precautions for christening

Rev T takes extra precautions for the christening of Baby Ewan. Donning his life jacket, he commented that: "You never know when it might be required, especially with my sailing skills."

OK, there might be some poetic licence in that quip. He was in fact doing a christening on the life boat at North Shields, as the photo below shows. By all accounts it was a great occasion with smiles all round.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Mirror Mirror

Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?

Not you matey!

Too right. YIC went to the barbers and asked for a No 3 at the back and sides, and a trim on top. He got a No 3 all over! This photo was taken in the centre of one of the mazes at Richmond.

Margaret's birthday

YIC is staying in Mount Stuart (part of Hobart) with Rick and Kiz Inglis. Today was Kiz's mother Magaret's birthday - 21 years young again. Margaret attends the local Uniting Church and YIC was delighted to accompany her there this morning. On the menu were good hymns such as "Rejoice the Lord is King" and "O Lord hear my prayer".

Afterwards we went out to lunch to Richmond to celebrate. After negotiating our way round the local maze, we adjourned for coffee and cakes. Here they are. From the left - Rick, Margaret, Kiz, Nyah and Tasman.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Wellington work out

YIC has now arrived in Hobart where he is staying for a few days with Rick & Kiz Inglis and family. They live in Mount Stuart which is next to the bush and within striking range of Mount Wellington. YIC took the opportunity of a mild overcast day to run up Mt Wellington. Views from the top were not extensive (it was in cloud), but he felt more virtuous than tourists who had driven to the top. The cloud did clear briefly to display the famous Organ Pipes - the cliffs near the summit. It was a glorious run with hardly a soul in sight. It took 3.75 hours and afterwards YIC was officially "tired".

Here's a photo of Mt Wellington from today (Friday 21 Nov) when the skies were clear. The organ pipes are visible below the mast.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Overland Track

YIC is now in Hobart having walked The Overland Track in Tasmania. This track wends its way from Cradle Mountain to Lake St Claire through stunning scenery. YIC was blessed with 4 days of good weather during which he climbed Cradle Mountain, Barn Bluff, Mt Oakleigh, Mt Ossa (highest hill in Tasmania) and The Acropolis. The weather then turned distinctly chilly with 3 inches of snow overnight, making for a winter wonderland walk-out on the last 2 days. Here are a few photos from the trip.

On Marion's Look Out on Day 1

Climbing Mt Ossa with Rees

What the well-dressed man wears on Mt Ossa

Rock pillars on The Acropolis

Sitting out the bad weather at Pine Valley Hut with a group from a Hobart church school. We kept warm by singing Christian Union classic action songs such as "He sits me down at his banqueting table".

Preparing to leave Pine Valley with the Hobart Church School. Photo from Friorik Pall Frioriksson (aka Frid) who is pictured left.

Walking out of Pine Valley in the snow

Celebratory drinks in Knapwood's Retreat, Hobart with (L to R) Tom's friend, Richard, YIC, Matt, Phil, Stephen and Tom.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Suits you Sir!

News has reached YIC of some high fashion wear on display in the Half Way House, Edinburgh. In preparation for Scotland v South Africa, Timothy Duff donned this splendid hat hoping for a famous victory. Sadly in didn't quite do the trick as the home team narrowly lost. However YIC hears that a good time was had by all. This photo was brought to you by Lois Gordon.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Wading the Great Ocean Road

YIC has just spent an enjoyable weekend on the Victoria coast courtesy of Rob & Gill MacDonald. They were most hospitable and showed YIC some of the Victoria sights. Their holiday home is at Anglesea about a 100 km south west of Melbourne. Rob & Gill are both keen walkers, and they took YIC on several excellent walks including 2 along the stunning Great Ocean Road coastline. On one walk to Split Point Lighthouse, the low tide was very neap (ie not very low) and it was necessary to plodge around a couple of corners below the cliffs. This was accomplished without any difficulty, until the intrepid walkers tried a different route on the return leg.
YIC - it looks a bit deep here
Rob (hatching a cunning plan) - should be alright, just give it a go John.
YIC (naively) - OK
SPLOOSH. YIC goes up to his waist in water.
YIC - it is a bit deep.
Rob - yes, looks that way, let's go back. Never mind John, worse things happen when you try to ford the Aln at low tide.
Rob & Gill on Point Roadknight beach.
before things got deeper
at Split Point Lighthouse

Thursday, 6 November 2008


YIC has now arrived in Melbourne where he is staying with Rob & Gill MacDonald. He visited the MCG (the Melbourne Cricket Ground for those not in the know). It's huge with a 100,000 capacity. The tour of the ground visited the Long Room, dressing rooms, and media areas and was fascinating. There is only 1 white seat in the whole ground: it denotes the seat where the largest six ever hit [by Simon O'Donnell of South Africa] landed over 100 metres from the crease.

Sherpa Tristan

Tristan Miller gave YIC a helping hand on his departure from Canberra. Here he is carrying YIC's pack. Despite the pack weighing more than one third of Tristan's bodyweight, he happily carried it 200 yards to the airport departure area. Thanks Sherpa Tristan!

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

and there's more

What does Santa Claus say when he's gardening?

Hoe hoe hoe.

This joke was brought to you by Charlie Cox.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

ho ho

What did the mosquito say to the camel?
Did I do that?

This joke was brought to you by Patrick Miller.

What's the difference between a bird and a fly?
A fly can't bird but a bird can fly.
Ask me a riddle and I'll reply,
Cottlestone cottlestone cottlestone pie.

This riddle was brought to you by Tristan Miller.

PS How do apes cook their toast?
With a gorrilla!

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Fluid plans

YIC's plans abroad are fairly fluid. Why worry about tomorrow? Tomorrow will look after itself. Today brings troubles enough of its own. They are also fluid in another sense: he is sampling Australian beers. Patrick and Tristan Miller collect bottle tops, so naturally YIC feels beholden to try out as many different beers as possible. Greater love hath no man...

A selection of beers tried to date are:
Little Creatures - a microbrewery/pub in Fremantle, their Bright Ale is particularly recommended.
Beez Neez - a refreshing wheat beer
James Squire - various ales available, YIC prefers the Golden Ale at 4.5% as a thirst quencher
Snowy Mountains Brewery - the Crackenback Pale Ale is a cracker

These "beers" are akin to UK lager, but have more taste than Euro-fizz. Also they are "real" - they are not pasteurised, treated with chemicals etc. If you prefer the latter option, then there is always the national staples of VB or Carlton Mid (both of which are generally suited for laying down and avoiding).

Lakeside picnic

YIC joined the Miller family for a lakeside picnic this evening. A delicious slow-cooked bean casserole washed down with red-bush tea was followed by a paddle round the lake in a canoe to see a darter (cormorant type bird) on its nest with 3 young.

Patrick, Peter, Natalie and Tristan in the canoe.