And, we've reached this point...

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If you met yourself from the future, what would you ask your future self?
What if they wont tell you anything?


Transplanted

There are a lot of dark times in your average Adelaide winter, and though 2020 wasn't your average winter, it certainly contained its fair share.

But as tends to happen mid-September it feels like one day you wake up and find yourself in a garden full of flowers. For my tulips, literally.

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As the sun rises earlier and earlier in the morning I forced myself out of bed before the end of the golden hour so I could capture a few photos of spring in my garden, as a baseline to tell me how good or bad I got at maintaining this through whatever shit is brought to the world by the next 12 months.

A birch tree branch with early blooms.

The birch waking up slowly.

A bird of paradise flower with a strawberry patch in the background.

A bird of paradise waiting for the strawberries to turn red so it can get trapped under the bird netting.

A hairy dog but on wet grass next to a purple-flowered dutch iris.

Nash inspecting a dutch iris.

Early stage mulberries.

Mulberries to be.

Weeping mulberry tree with the first signs of leaf growth.

A sea of leaves on my lawn, at conception.

And if isn't my old mate peeking through the sprouting canopy.

Little Things

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I shaved today, my first clean chin as a 36 year old, in preparation for what's not coincidentally my first day in the office as a 36 year old tomorrow. This morning I also mowed the lawn for the first time as a 36 year old. Both jobs turned out about as good as each other. The edges need work.

I hit my first three pointer as a 36 year old a couple of weeks ago. Priorities.

Vanessa and I went for a springtime bike ride through the industrial areas of north-west Adelaide today, along with nicer places like the beach, and we inserted a burger on the grass in the middle of twenty-seven kilometres. That was nice.

Speaking of 36, I noticed on the back of our 36 pack of toilet paper that the advertised benefits of this particular brand of coronavirus preventative included the registered trademark "CleanRipple".

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I stared at this and I wondered if this was just marketing spin or if Kleenex had actually spent money on R&D to come up with this technology. That would make for one hell of a patent application to read, or - as I'm more likely to be found doing these days - skim through and pay attention only to the diagrams.

Without my stubble and lawn, I don't feel 36.


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White Men Can Hop

I visited Brewboys Brewery this afternoon for a last day of holiday beer. I brought my latest library checkout, which I had to borrow for obvious reasons.

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I made it through two pints and about 60 pages. Unfortunately I feel like I'm still waiting for the hook.

Cold, Sneezy, Hot

The first day of not-winter started the same way as the first day of winter - mango and banana smoothie.

Later, when riding my bicycle, I saw some ducklings - my first of the year. The duck parents' reaction to me riding towards them was the opposite of how I felt.

What We did on our Barossa Holiday

After months of not travelling to somewhere warm over winter I decided we really needed to leave the house for a few days, and once Nash had somewhere warm and distant to sleep Vanessa and I went to the Barossa for 48 hours of intense relaxation.

Neither of us are into wine, but one of my two criteria when finding somewhere to visit was that it had a fireplace. And that's what I found in a cottage in Tanunda. Ironically we were lucky that our first day was a perfect spring preview of 25 and sunny, before freezing showers and cloudy skies gave me all the excuse I needed to pile logs onto a roaring fire.

August 29

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Our trip started in Kapunda, to kick off our holiday with a visit to a country bakery for a country Cornish pastie, and to watch the locals with their big buckled belts and cowboy hats also enjoy Cornish pasties.

The Kapunda bakery eclair was also generously proportioned.

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Next stop was Kaiserstuhl Conservation Park, one of the only places in the Barossa you can go for a decent walk without dealing with the monotony of grapevines and no sidewalks. The paths in the park weren't particularly friendly after a week of rain and little sun. While skimming puddles I did land on my arse, but it was sunny and there were lots of birds, so I didn't mind too much.
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We checked into our accommodation, then walked up the Tanunda main street, drank a coffee in the sun and shared a muffin. Dinner was two generous serves of Malaysian food. We watched a Polish movie and went to bed.

August 30

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Day two we got out for a walk before the rain started, visiting the Historic Goat Square (a sign we couldn't help but follow, unlike the sign for Historic German Farming Museum) and I ate an egg muffin with a hashbrown inside it. As photographed here by my phone's "Food Mode".
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The rain and wind chased us home, so we settled in for one of our favourite cottage pastimes - Rummy King. I had planned to spend some time at a local brewery, but after visiting and considering the proximity of their wood fire versus ours, I bought a six pack for sampling and brought it to the cottage instead. We lit the fire and I finished my book while drinking a stout in the toasty warmth. Holiday feelings accomplished.
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Shortly before sunset the rain stopped and I wandered up the Heysen Trail a little way so that I could go for a decent walk adjacent to the monotony of grapevines.
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August 31
On our final morning we woke early to visit the Barossa Sculpture Park, mainly for the cloudy view of the surrounding plains from Mengler's Hill. No offense to the sculptors. The eagle head was my favourite.

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Although I have a soft sport for Poort.
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We drove back into town for our final meal, delicious porridge and pancakes that Vanessa and I both had halves of.
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Finally it was time to meet the second criteria for my next holiday - Mini Golf with Dinosaurs at Barossa Bowland. It was a high quality course, well maintained with challenging holes and featuring dinosaurs. My ten year old self would have loved this place, and I would have beaten him easily at mini golf.
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Once the mini golf was over we spent our last dollars on the basketball game juniour, where our holiday ended perfectly with equal scores after three rounds.
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