We're off to Bello again to get some more work, but on the way we're finally going to do some camping! Yesterday we made a shelter for shade and rainproofness - we really need the back door to be open all the time we're camping for precious airflow! It was SO HOT when we were doing this, we had to jump in the swimming pool 3 times just to cool down! We're finally getting a taste of Australian summer.
Dress rehearsal in Jenny and Ray's garden.
So off we go! We'll tell you how it goes in a few days when I make my pilgrimage to Bellingen library for the internet.
There I was, hooking away when a woman from the group in front of me (that's her surfboard in the pic) elbowed her friend and said 'LOOK! Crocheter!' and came over to speak to me. We had a chat about all sorts of stuff, and I asked if she ever goes to a crocheting group, and she said that her and her friends had formed their own, and, determined to make friends, I asked when was it and if I could join it. She said 'Err well actually we're meeting this afternoon! And it's round Nicole's house so I'd better ask her...' and Nicole said it was fine so later on that day, off I went with my straggly two rows of wool and infiltrated a Genuine Australian Crocheting and Knitting Club, at Someone's House! It was FUN and there was CAKE. And Nicole had been asked by someone to take a picture of the club for International Women's Day, so:
I have officially gone down in history as being a part of something Australian.
Sadly they only meet once a month and we're going back to Bello tomorrow so probably won't see them again.
Enthused, I went to a big Hobbycraft type store to get some more yarn. Look Petesy, the biggest hackysack in the world!!
Gotta love the Wright eyebrows.
Look what I now possess!!!!!!
*aaaahhhhhhhhhhh......* angelic music.
I LOVE COLOURFUL THINGS.
It's not looking bad ey? I love it. Although I didn't realise quite how big I was making it:
It's going to be a blanket! Nom nom nom.
I had a dream the other night where the unit of time was the crochet stitch. I'm not sure I'm doing this in a healthy way, I am quite addicted. Last night I dreamt I killed someone with a biro for a new phone number and a box of Crunchy Nut Cornflakes. Analyse THAT.
As we are in the middle of an Australian summer I thought I'd better make something snuggly and woolly. Look what I learnt to do with the help of the ladies of the internet:
So many people have put wonderful step-by-step tutorials for how to do whatever they're into doing. If I want to learn how to do a slide stop on my rollerblades or make a friendship bracelet or cook salmon en croute, there are multiple different people who've spent hours and hours creating guides to show me how. I LOVE how the internet has done that for us. If you've got a passion, instead of just being the strange colleague at work who is weirdly obsessed with embroidery, now you're a teacher getting hits from all over the world.
It is actually chucking it down with rain again so this does feel like a fitting activity, believe it or not. Although it's far from a 'wearing trousers' temperature (crazy thought), it's a psychological snuggly day.
But what is it? Ahaa well I'm sure that shall be a truly riveting suspense for you for the next few....weeks? Months. Maybe years. If it becomes years I'll get Zappa to finish it for me.
In the Byron paper is a big section on what's going on in the week, and I spotted a bit about a Burlesque life drawing night. It sounded so wonderful that we had to go along, but neither us considering ourselves able to draw, we just went along for the beautiful womanliness (the article said we could!).
The event was at the Byron Bay Brewery, which has made itself into a sort of trendy studenty bar thing (it had that characteristic SU bar smell, bad memories), but with the enormous coppery vats of its different beers on show behind a glass wall. We had the best and cheapest chicken schnitzel ever and Zappa said the beer was easily the best he'd had since we got to Australia. Score.
We went and bagged ourselves some good seats, looked around and realised we were the only ones without sketchpads and drawing things (I saw charcoal, pastels, chalks...proper arty stuff). We thought we might as well give drawing a go as it was sort of the point of the evening, and the artists had basically made us look like pervs with their air of purpose, damn them. I bought a sketchpad and pencils off the lady at the door. It was a good thing too because as well as an occasional dance the burlesque dancers did a series of 2, 5 and 10 minute poses, which would probably soon have become quite boring and awkward if we hadn't had something to do!
At one point Zappa got distracted by his beautiful beer.
We were actually quite pleased with our drawings, as you could at least vaguely see people in them. Except the beer. Which was also a fine piece of work. I found drawing really tiring though, in a good way, you use your brain hard in a particular way.
Taking it easy after the foresty walk, and inspired by Lucy of Attic 24's latest project (http://attic24.typepad.com), I decided to make some mini bunting! Lucy is using Washi tape sticker sheets to maker hers, which will no doubt look professional and gorgeous and neat. I made a rough DIY version by painting my little flags with one of those kiddie paint sets, cutting them out and sticking them on some string!
Oh they make me so happy. I LOVE colourful things. The plan is to put them up in the van once it's back from the mender's.
One needs to have cheerful 'surf's flat' activites, does one not?
I'd just finished and Ben came from the basement to do some washing. 'Look!' I said, 'what dyou think?!'
'Err.....what is it?'
'Bunting. It's pretty,' I said.
'Err ok...but what's it for?'
'Being pretty. Isn't it great?'
'Errrr.....I'm not very good at...knowing about......decorationy things..' he said, 'so.... I'll just say well done.'
That wasn't quite the praise and admiration I was going for so I went and sought out Zappa. 'Look, Zappa!' I said, 'I finished it!'
He looked at it for a moment, trying desperately to remember what the correct respose to this bizarre creation that his girlfriend had keenly been making for the last hour. 'It's....very good,' he said. 'I love you and your quirkiness.'
Still not satisfied, I wandered about and found Luke, Parkway Drive's tour manager. He's big and tall and covered in tattoos and generally looks hardcore. 'Look what I made!' I said.
'Oh WOW, that's amazing, how did you make it? Just paper and paint? Wow. That's great. Where are you going to put it? It's very creative.'
Smug and happy, I bounced back inside, and Zappa relaxed knowing I'd been given the response I wanted.
Today I had my first sweaters come to the door! Sweaters are fans that turn up wanting to see the band or just the famous Parkway house. They were from Sweden and I impressed them by telling them I knew the Swedish for 'print out' - scriv ut. Yeah. They were slightly more impressed by the gold record hanging on the wall I let them come in and see.
Warning: If you don't find trees even faintly interesting this will be incredibly boring for you.
Yesterday we decided we weren't going surfing. That left options of staying at home or doing nothing, or....well that was all we had. We asked around as there are lots of boys staying here at the moment, and Caleb said that Minyon falls was good for a trip. So off we went.
We spotted climbing routes! Only problems being getting to the start of the routes, topping out into thick Australian bush full of nasty wildlife, and the fact that we have no rope. Not to mention my ability to climb. But....
After going to see the falls close up we decided to embark on a Walk down to the bottom of it. I was scared but we had lots of food to fuel me and the promise of as many rests as I wanted, so off we went.
A helpful sign told us to look out for the progression in the plantage from wet sclerophyll forest to sub tropical rainforest, so this was duly noted. And to start with, a squiggly tree!
As we descended down deeper into the forest, it got generally darker but bright sublight charged through in bits, making the photos look all enchanted forestesque.
Crazy rooties of the Bangalow Palm
There are a couple of cheeky fern things that have set up shop in the upper branches of this big tree, using its height to get lots of light.
It felt like a long walk and I had a couple of rests, but finally we found the river coming away from the falls.
We found a pool and decided to stop there and have lunch and a swim. The waterfall was just a few hundred metres further over some boulders but I was knackered and wasn't too fussed!
Zappa spotted a big eel! I was very excited. For someone that isn't that bothered about wildlife he's very good at spotting it. You can kind of just about see it in this photo. It got annoyed with me being seemingly inedible (or maybe it didn't like having its picture taken) and it properly splashed me with its tail and got me all wet.
I felt much better after the rest and food and we started talking about stuff we'd like to do, kind of like New Year's resolutions but a bit late. We talked about going camping and making things and going hang-gliding and stuff and I got so excited, and we talked about it on the walk back up, and other stuff, I was chatting away and I was so happy and distracted I didn't have time to get worried about if I could make it or if it was too much for me, and I didn't have a single rest and I was fine! It was a 2km proper uphill walk! SCORE. It is so insane how much our minds affect us.
Before we go, guess what this rather beautiful thing is?
The waves were even smaller today! We were glad to have our massive board. I did raather well stamina-wise today and had two turns with the board, and managed to get Zappa to be photographer.
Just popped up and so happy!
I was swimming about with the camera while Zappa had the board (he didn't have much luck today, we swapped roles from yesterday, hence lack of decent pics), and a surfer nearby told me there was a school of fish headed this way in case I wanted to digitally capture them. I said 'Really?' and then looked at the next wave coming towards us and it was FULL of fish! A glass wall of fish travelling forward! I didn't get a picture of that sadly but I did have time to stick the camera underwater as they went by:
'You just have to hope there isn't something bigger following them,' said the blokie.
There was many a boring lull between the sets of little waves, and some people had to get inventive to amuse themselves:
And finally, the title shot - the smallest wave of the day:
My last wave was awwwesome, I kept stepping forward because the wave seemed to be overtaking me, and I was going and going and I looked down and realised I only had a foot of board left - of course I then had to go for the hang five which overdid it and made us tumble over, but I was about to reach the sand anyway, and you have to try these things when you're that close!!
I caught some smaller ones but they didn't have any power so I couldn't do anything exciting with them. Zappa and I took it in turns with the board for a while, one swimming, one surfing. I was swimming around and I felt something sting my arm, it wasn't that painful so I wasn't bothered about it. I got stung again. I got bored of being stung and tired of swimming so I stole the board and rode it into the beach, and looked at my arm, and it had parallel red tentacle marks down it! It was coooool, but they went away before I could take pictures of them, which I was pretty bummed out about.
It was MAHssive - easily as long as my picnic table!
And look how funnily it walked:
Saw it after a hot sunny surfing session at the Pass. I exhausted myself by paddling all over the place but not to where any good waves where breaking. I eventually got a good little wave by letting Zappa set me up for it. Zap got some nice ones, despite the water being people soup today.
Today the weather was finally sunny after more days of rain. So we decided to go with a dive company to Julian Rocks, two big rocks sticking out of the ocean about 2km off The Pass, the break we usually surf in Byron. It's a marine reserve so things are still alive there.
Orange Basslets and an Exciting Purple Fish
Tall-fin Bat Fish
Big Wobbegong shark! It was pretty deep for a snorkellor, I was rather pleased with myself.
Me. 'Thumbs...down......yeees....well done.'
SO COOL! I love turtles!
After a while I actually started feeling a little seasick! Luckily that was just as we were sposed to leave, so nothing missed. I snorkelled for a whole hour, without even noticing the time going.
We met three Irish girls who were great fun, and a troop of Swiss French people. I felt very clever going over and speaking to one of them in French about the turtle we'd seen. How good is the French word for turtle: la tortue? Say it in a super French accent, it rocks. 'Vous avez vu la tortue? C'est magnifique non?!'
I loved the snorkelling, I mean look at what we saw. You know what though, I liked the boat ride just as much! One of those RIBs, and it felt soo good to be back on a boat, I've missed it so much! We zoomed over the waves, wooo into the sky and stomach-droppingly down. Such a good day!