noisy girl

Thoughts, musings and happenings from a feminist composer.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

I forgot the koala from the middle of the road!

A Vermeer!

Cape Otway - Day 3

We got up early, had Flip's Muesli for brekky (gratuitous plug!), packed all our stuff and attempted to check out. It's such a relaxed place that this process took around an hour, but we got to look around the cafe and lighthouse again while waiting. We also had a good look in the Telegraph House (the first under-sea telegraph line from the mainland to Tasmania was laid from Cape Otway) which was full of interesting historical info and has been recently restored.

We left the Station, parked the car in the outer carpark and walked up the hill to the lookout and the old cemetery. It was only a short walk but quite steep in places and taxing and we were on the lookout for snakes because it was quite warm and the area was very grassy. The cemetery was tiny and contained about 6 graves, mostly of young children, all buried in the 1800s. It seemed like a peaceful, very secluded spot to be buried.

After this we drove west towards The Twelve Apostles. Once more we drove through Lavers Hill. The scenery was different again past this point; flatter and more typically coastal. The Twelve Apostles were accessed via an underpass. There were many many tourists there, mostly from other countries. The viewing platform was vast and took in many different angles and views. The Apostles themselves were massive and spectacular. They are quite golden in colour and contrast well with the dark blue of the sea. There were many beautiful coastal plants also, most with round clumps of flower heads. The cliffs were incredibly sheer and the same yellowy colour as the Apostles. What struck me most was the size and vastness of it all. I hadn't expected them to be so big.

After this we drove home inland, via Port Campbell, the Timboon Cheese 'factory' (more of a farm, where we purchased several yummy and affordable organic cheeses), and Colac. A had a nap there and I walked around the main street. We got back home around dinner time and had a lazy evening at my house. Marcie was very happy to see us and we were serenaded with full-blown meows and mips for hours...

All in all it was a wonderful trip. I arrived home feeling very refreshed and relaxed. I'd love to go back to the same area; there's so much to do there. We didn't get to look at any waterfalls this time as several of the better ones were closed for repair, so it would be good to go back to see them.

Photo Credits: A

Cape Otway - Day 2, Part 3.

We got home and snacked as we were going to postpone dinner so that we could go see the glowworms later. A rested again and I wandered down to the lighthouse in the early evening with a cuppa in hand. Another group of people were staying in the main lightkeeper's house, but I was the only one down at the lighthouse. Again, it was wonderful to be in such a location on my own; it was so peaceful and quiet. I finished my tea, wandered around the cliff, took some snaps and went back to the house. A was up from his nap so we wandered around a bit and looked at the World War 2 Bunker/Radar Station (now a ruin). Then we prepared dinner so that we could cook it when we got back from our worm walk. On our way out we saw lots of rabbits feeding on the grass, and a couple of wallabies, also by the side of the road.

There are no photos of the worms as they did not turn out properly (extreme darkness). We drove to Mait's Rest in the GONP, rather than Melba Gully (where they are the most spectacular, apparently) as it was much closer and we were tired of driving. It took a while to get completely dark and we stumbled down the track, nearly blind, on the right. Once it was pitch black and we worked out where to look for them, we spotted a few colonies. They seemed to live in the bottom section of low ferns and looked like tiny little fairy lights. They were quite beautiful and it was quite a thrill being in the forest in the dead of night. Hopefully my photos will turn out.

It was an exciting, slow drive home through native animal territory. We saw more wallabies, some kind of mouse scuttling across the road, and a big, fat, confident koala, which was sitting right in the centre of our lane, facing us. Luckily we could stop in time and didn't harm him. He sat there for a minute or two and let us take a few pictures, again, posing nicely and looking dead into the camera lens, as most of them seem to do so. We thought we would have to lift him from the road, but eventually he lumbered off, slowly, on all four legs, into a ditch, and let us pass. Quite a lovely experience!

We got home quite cold, excited and buzzing from the worm walk and animals, and cooked and ate a very late dinner. We had an early night after packing for our departure the next morning...

Cape Otway - Day 2, Part 2.

Ask me not why I cannot insert photos wherever I like on this thing! They are at the tops of posts only because Blogger won't let me (easily) put them anywhere else.

After the koala-snapping we continued our drive to The Otway Fly, a treetop walk above rainforest, via the non-existant Lavers Hill. The scenery was again different: European trees, grazing pastures, pine forests (some of which were logged), and always ocean in the background. The Fly walk was amazing. We headed off after having lunch in the cafe, and got to the raised walking area after a brief downhill walk through the forest. The platform gradually sloped up and reaches 25 m above the forest floor at its highest point. You can see through the metal platform that you are walking on and get amazing aerial views of ferns and plants below. Alongside are the trunks of the tall, thin gums. It's not until you climb to the top of the tower in the centre (45 m above ground) that you are literally at the top of the tallest trees. It's scary as it rocks a lot, but it's quite thrilling too. The Cantilever is a short section that's unsupported from below. Supposedly it supports the weight of 14 elephants. I went out on it alone and even then it wobbled like a diving board. It was worth it for the very different scenery and foliage though: a creek below, more ferns, and lichen covered trees. Quite beautiful... We drove home after a brief rest in the car (the walk was quite strenuous and A had not slept well the night before) and attempted to find the elusive Lavers Hill. This town, which had been touted as a "must see" was not quite the jewel of the Otways that we were expecting. The bakery that we were hoping to buy many pies and giant lamingtons from, was closed and up for sale. Disgruntled, A bought a giant pack of Twisties instead and we drove home...

Cape Otway and Surrounds - Day 2, part 1.

On the Saturday we had a cooked brekky and went up in the lighthouse. It was quite interesting having tourists wandering around the site just outside the cottage, but I felt quite lucky to be staying there! The views from the top of the lighthouse were beautiful. We stopped on the way to take snaps of a few very snap-happy koalas that were happily existing and posing in the trees for us. We later discovered that this was their regular home as we saw them a couple of times more in the same trees.

Cape Otway - Day 1

A and I stayed at the Cape Otway Light Station this past weekend for two nights. We stayed in the Assistant Lightkeeper's Cottage, or, rather in a tiny annex of the original cottage. The cafe occupied the rest of the building. The whole complex dates from the 19th century, and the lighthouse itself from 1848. It was amazing to have free run of the property on the first night, with no-one else there other than the manager. The lighthouse could be seen from our kitchen table.

We explored the whole complex and went up in the lighthouse, explored the telegraph house, the historical displays in the old rubble cottage, the WWII bunker (a radar station), and the old cemetary up the hill.

The place reminded me of Karatta House, which my family owned and which we used to stay in for holidays when I was younger. The smell, the ocean, the plants, the age of the place all reminded me of it.

We drove down via the Great Ocean Road on Friday. The trip took around 4 hours, and the scenery was beautiful. In places the beach met the road, with rain forest on the other side. It was quite breathtaking. We stopped briefly at a couple of lookouts and also in Apollo Bay, home of giant slices, which seemed to be a feature of the region! The caramel slice we bought got divided up into 6 serves. We got more info at the Tourist Centre on the waterfalls and walks, and the glowworms.

We hit the rainforest region of the Great Otway National Park soon after leaving Apollo Bay which was quite different to the coastal scenery. We drove down through one section of the park (which is quite massive) to Cape Otway. On the way we passed a koala (just one of many that we saw), sitting on the side of the road.

When we arrived we unpacked and explored the grounds and then cooked a lovely dinner. It was quite cool there and very cold at night, but the cottage stayed warm easily as it was so small. It was very relaxing to be in such an isolated and quiet spot. We spent a lot of time reading our brochures and deciding what to do the next day...

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

It's done! My Masters composition folio was submitted on monday afternoon. Not sure if I believe it just yet. I'm sure I'll be very relaxed not having to fill every available minute with study. The last two months were insanely busy. If I ever do a PhD I want to remember just how taxing the final stage is, and to give myself more time to work on it, if possible. In the last week I ate little, didn't have time to cook, clean or exercise, and only got around 6-7 hours sleep a night. I studied 10-12 hours a day. I worked even when I was exhausted, because I knew I had to. Anyone who says a Masters degree is easy or pissy or no longer relevant has no idea what they are talking about. I know from this experience that a research Masters is a huge amount of work and is very difficult to do well. It's a massive leap from honours.

Anyway, I learnt a lot about formatting and consistency and conventions of formatting and style. I also learnt that I should have kept a card file of references. Though I kept notes and word files throughout, thinking that "I can do this properly later" really doesn't help when you're in the final stage. Sometimes it took me 1/2 to 1 hour to properly locate a reference on the web, which was a big waste of time really...

So, it's done. The music is really good and I'm very happy with it. I think it's a varied folio and demonstrates a range of skills and style, which is a good thing for a Masters. I'm looking forward to getting the pieces performed now...

A took the photo of me above just after I'd handed the folio in. He bought me cupcakes and champagne, gave me the Wonder Woman Series 2 DVD, a wonderful card that he'd made, and took me out to dinner at De Los Santos. It was lovely to be treated like this! Thankyou Mr S!!