As it happened

I realize that my last blog post might seem a little cold but, I had to write it like that to try and understand what had happened. It was a horrible thing to type out!

I want to thank everyone for their words of condolence and encouragement during this time. I really appreciate it!

I want to try and lighten the mood a bit after the awful happenings this past weekend. As I mentioned I was trying to think of a funny blog post that covered my last few weeks. So, I will try and do that now. I wanted to come up with funny one line tags that hinted at what I’d been doing, but made things sound much more important than they really were.

So here we are in chronological order.

The 2009 pole felling championships.
Not long after Easter I was sitting at my computer reading an email from Rob Sargent about the next generation of sniper rifles. I was in the process of writing a reply (not sure if it ever made it through) when I heard a loud thud outside. I quickly ran upstairs to the window just in time to see a Red Toyota Ute speeding off up the street.

What had happened?? Well, this idiot had somehow run into the phone pole outside my house and knocked it down. It looked like the pole had broken off at the base clean. In the process it ripped the phone lines out of my house and 4 of my neighbours. He probably thought he had got away with it but I got his rego number. 😀 The cops took care of him!

Unfortunately it took a full day for the phone lines to be reconnected so I had to go do something else for 24 hours. I wasn’t a happy camper.

Slip at the falls.
During the week after Easter we had quite a bit of rain. After the idiot in the Red Toyota knocked the pole down I had some time on my hands and I could only think of one place to go. Liffey Falls. Liffey Falls is situated near Deloraine, nestled in the Great Western Tiers. It’s about an hours drive from Launceston.

There is a discussion about which waterfall in Tasmania is the most beautiful, Russell Falls in the south or Liffey Falls in the north. I’ve been to both now and I’m still not sure. I think if there was plenty of water going over Russell falls then it would be the more spectacular of the two, but they are both fantastic.

Anyway back to my heading. I had just spent a lot of time at the base of the falls taking pictures and had climbed back up the hill. There are three waterfalls in the Liffy River and I stopped at the middle falls on my way out. I could see a cool shot if I could get close to the edge. I’ve seen similar shots before and really wanted to get my own.

As I said, we had had a lot or rain over the past few days and the river was flowing well. I found a track to the river’s edge and started stepping out to make my way to the edge. That’s when my left foot slipped out from under me. I quickly scrambled for my footing and caught myself before I slipped away to my death.

I’m not exaggerating this. If I had gone down I would have gone over the edge of the cliff! Needless to say after that I keep my distance from the edge.

Guide falls with no injury.
A nice title! I drove to the Guide Falls just past Ridgley in the north west of Tasmania. With all the rain we had during the week I expected a good flow over the falls, but there wasn’t as much as I had hoped. The trip was still worth it and I think I got some good shots while I was there. It was a trip without incident but I liked the title.

Taking is better than processing!
I’ve known this for a while but, taking photos in more enjoyable than processing them. It’s not that I didn’t like the shots I had taken of Liffey falls and Guide falls, I just had more fun while I was shooting them.

An English sunny day.
In the second week of my holidays it was still raining. The weather finally broke for a few days so I grabbed my gear and headed out. Unfortunately the day I went out was an English sunny day. What does that mean you ask? Well, the sun was out but you never really saw it because of the cloud cover. That’s Tasmanian weather for you. Rain, sun and everything in between!

Pain by the river.
About eight weeks ago I injured my back helping my grandmother move some LARGE flower pots around. I had been feeling quite good for about a week at this time when I went out to take photos. I was heading in the direction of Leven Canyon when I saw a nice river scene I wanted to try and capture. I pulled over, got my gear out and headed to the river bank. The light wasn’t great (it was the English sunny day), but I still took some shots in the hope that I might get lucky.

I had just taken some shots when I saw a better position to shoot from. I made my way over to the spot and set the tripod up. It was set at about 5 feet high angled downwards; I’m 6’3” tall so I had to bend over a little to see through the viewfinder. I leaned down and felt a sharp pain run through my lower back. That is all it took. My back was saw for another week after that.

Attempted sprain at canyon.
Again, same day as the English sunny day! Actually, there are a lot of things that happened that day!

I got to the canyon and was moving to the back of the car to get my gear out when I slipped on the loose gravel and nearly went over on my ankle. Thankfully the walk to the lookout worked any pain out of my ankle.

I sometimes think I’m accident prone.

Wrong way turn back.
Nothing new here, I took a wrong turn. I seem to take a wrong turn on most of my photo excursions. I blame googlemaps!

Close encounters of a farming kind.
After leaving Leven Canyon and taking a wrong turn I was finally on the road to Devils Gullet. It was a winding road through the hills that had a nice drop off to my left. I was heading up a small hill when I saw a farmer on a old green tractor. It had some very imposing forks sticking off the front of it which you would want to mess with.

Anyway, as I got closer to him he violently turned towards me. I was no more than a few metres away when this happened and all I could see was the forks on the front of his tracker aimed right at my head. I slammed on the brakes and swerved to the left a little (not too much or I would have been over the edge). As you can imagine I swore a bit at this. I looked at him and he acted like nothing had happened. Stupid old bastard!

It looks further on the map.
Once I got past the old farmer I made it to the road that lead to the turn-off towards Devils Gullet. On the map it looked like a fair distance to the turn-off but in reality it was very short.

Can this road be any rougher?? *bang* OK, I guess so!
The road into Devils Gullet is a forestry road. It was all gravel and dirt and it wasn’t all that smooth. I’ve driven rougher roads but this seemed to get worse the further I went. Maybe I’m driving the wrong sort of car for the terrain I cover!?!

I thought the sign said 4km not 14?
At the turn-of f I swear the sign said 4kms to Devils Gullet!! But in reality it said 14kms. I was driving thinking I had gone the wrong way because I wasn’t at my destination yet. Thankfully I came across another sign on the way in that eased my mind. I still think the sign said 4kms!

Remote cliff rescue.
This has to be my favourite title!! It is essentially correct but certainly not as dramatic as it sounds.

Devils Gullet is a sheer cliff face that looks out over the central highlands of Tasmania. The lookout at Devils Gullet is covered in a metal grate to stand on. The holes in the gate are quite large but not so large that you could put a hand through it. Well I set the tripod up and put the camera on top of it. I had a look at the lens and decided that it needed to be cleaned before I took any shots. I reached into my pocket and got my cleaning cloth out at which point I heard something hit the metal platform. I looked down to find my remote camera release lying at the edge of oblivion.

It was sitting about 3 feet under the platform which was well out of my reach without assistance. I couldn’t just leave it there it cost too much to replace it. So I got my tripod and stuck one of the legs under there and started to move the remote. Suddenly it slid down towards a crevasse that would have been the end of the rescue effort. From that point on I had to take it very carefully to maneuver the remote close enough for me to grab with my hand. I managed to rescue the remote and will never put it in the same pocket as my cleaning cloth ever again.

The barometer looks broken.
As the end of my holiday quickly approached the heavens opened up and bucketed down with rain. It rain for most of my last weekend off only stopping for a short period of time during the day. The barometer on my wall was so far around the dial I thought it must be broken.

This is going to hurt!
Pennant season has started this year and I’ve been playing in the Div 3 team. I was coming up to the second round when I re-injured my back taking photos. I went into the day knowing that my back was going to hurt at the end of the day but I couldn’t let the team down.

For most of the round my back held up to the strain well. But there were three shots late in the round that hurt like a mother! On the 12th hole I had to stop my swing halfway through. This isn’t something easy to do and it really hurt. The next few swings after that weren’t pleasant. Then on the 14th hole I had two shots where the ball was well below my feet. I couldn’t get down to the first shot and on the second shot I made myself bend lower than my back was allowing and just gritted my teeth and swung the club. I let out an anguished moan after that and was glad that I got the ball onto the green. Thankfully I managed to win the match on the 16th hole because I’m not sure my back was going to hold out much longer.

No, please, let me give way to you!
On my last day off I made the trip to St Columba Falls towards the east coast of Tasmania. They were quite a sight!! On the way back home I was barreling down a straight when I saw a cattle truck approaching on a side road. I thought “he isn’t going to stop for me, is he?!?”. The answer to that was NO. I was lucky that I anticipated what he was going to do or I would have run straight into the side of him. Bloody stupid country drivers!

Internet slowed again.
I seem to be using my internet allowance up every month of late. When this happens my internet connection speed is reduced to bugger all and I can barely surf the net. A lot of the time I can’t check my emails because the connection times out on me. It happened in March and again in April. I hope that it doesn’t happen in May because I’m getting very sick of it!

Who steals a bin full of rubbish??
Who does steal a bin full of rubbish? I put my rubbish bin out for pick-up the night before and when I got up to go to work the next day it was gone. It was found two days later several streets away, empty. It had to have been taken while it was still full of rubbish. Why would anyone do that?

Pennant off to a flyer.
After three rounds of pennant the Prospect Vale div 3 team is sitting on top of the ladder undefeated. It is a long season with another 7 rounds to go but, we are setting ourselves up for a big year and possible season victory. I’ll be sure to do a more comprehensive write up after all the round three results come in.

Gone at 51.
That is how old my cousin was when he was cruelly taken from us. It really makes you think about not wasting time. You are a long time dead! You should get out and live life while you can! His funeral will be held this Friday. I expect it to be huge. He was well liked by everyone and I’m sure everyone will be out to pay their respects.

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5 thoughts on “As it happened

  1. Rob

    Accident prone are we? You shouldn’t be reading about sniper rifles…maybe a .45 cal, up close and personal…I don’t suspect you’d be that far out, hand-to-hand…just like your photos! Good read Col!
    Have you ever been hit by a meteorite…duck!

  2. Randall

    Hey Col-
    6’3″? I have to say I’m surprised. You don’t look at all over 5’11” in your avatar!

    Randall

  3. JRP

    My goodness Col… how in the heck did I miss this post? I got some entertainment out of it I must say but then I felt bad for ya. I thought I had bad luck but that was a large string of bad luck all together. Hopefully it was just a random phase you were going through! LOL

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