February 16thI have the urge to climb Mt Kosciuszko- I have once- well probably carried. At a guess I was 4-5 years old? My parents drove up in the old dodge. In those days you could drive all the way to the summit- a small single lane dirt road made it possible. Marks Mum and Dad also went up before Mark was born and his mum describes it as a "sheer drop" off the side of the road. So some spontaneity - we'll just go, without all the fan fare- jump in the 4WD and have a little road trip away from the world.... now I just have to convince Mark! he loves an adventure.
February 17thWe call into the Mt Evelyn kitchen for breakfast. They didn't listen to what I asked for so I ended up with double what I would normally eat at breakfast. I hate wasting food and I dislike stuffing my face just as much.
I reclaim my office floor again, a huge effort... we'll see how long that will last.
Oh I have a facebook stalker- or a troll- actually just a loser fuckwit. What a sad little life you must have when you have to create a fake FB page under my name. Waste of oxygen some people are- I mean really-get a life.
February 18thI email the State Library of NSW for some information, what a great service, they were incredibly helpful. I'm impressed.
February 19thThe Roland S. Howard documentary "Autoluminescent" -each time we watch this we love it that little bit more. I especially enjoy all that early Boys Next Door footage. That last mini album he made was really something special- he was such a unique little freak and thank god for the Roland Howards to make this life interesting.
Spend most of my day answering emails around the Finns ZOO show. 7.00 at night before I finally clear them all-sounds like quite a few people are travelling in for the gig.
February 20thI really dug Conrad Standish from last nights Roland Howard documentary- very interesting face, think I'd like to photograph him- I think he was in Queen of the Dammed movie for a few minutes. Sad that so many has beens ended up in that piece of crap- mostly blink your eye and that's it their "acting career" done and dusted like some cinematic film vamp moment.
Really loving the new season of "Looking". Was stoked that they added Spiritualized "SOUL ON FIRE" into the episode as the music- what a fantastic song- I mean really! "I've got a hurricane in my vein, and I want to stay forever.." ! Love that song- can't believe it's a decade old.
February 21stI keep thinking that Lester from tv show "Fargo" looks like an older version of Trip from Star Trek Enterprise (ok different nose)... but he's really the actor from the last Hobbit movie! Martin Freeman. I love the cast in Fargo, they picked the right people- it's really exceptional.
Make a baked cheesecake today and add in a few dozen of our blackberries. Way way too nice.
February 22ndWow 100th day for Official Skyhooks facebook page. I get quite a few emails every day now- such a nice vibe amongst 'Hooks fans. Just great to have such passionate feedback, also from the band members which is really enjoyable. The best is yet to come, such an amazing history and it's so bright, colourful and wicked and wacky... all those ego's in a musical blender- so fucking unique!
A storm rolls in, loads of hail. The mountain escapes most of it.... the outer suburbs didn't though.
February 23rdNigel Griggs calls and we chat and chat and chat, which I kind of like. It feels good that he is only on the other side of the mountain. He has a chuckle that we may have a spontaneous moment and drive to Mt Kosciuszko! He tells me to make sure I take a Koori flag ( and of course I can't find ours). I wanted to stitch the Eureka flag over the Union Jack but I don't have a Eureka flag handy! Note to self-buy a Eureka flag.
I take a big handful of rosemary down to the general store for the baking of their pies. Nice to know that bits of our herb garden end up adding to a rather yummo meal for the locals up here.
February 24thWe wade through some demos for a friend. It's far from a chore so eager and happy to do so. Music is such a brilliant thing, makes me smile and I love hearing roughs of songs, to see how they change and grow etc.
I have a very strange dream about politician Pauline Hanson. She turns up at my Mums place at Christmas. My sister keeps referring to her as Miss Guided (which i think made me laugh in my dream). She keeps digging around in this large black bag-and finally I say" Hell Pauline what are you looking for". She looks at me and goes " I collect the alphabet ok and I'm missing my "R".
It sometimes concerns me that such things rattle around in my head at night!!!!! Why can't I dream of porn like every other hot blooded australian guy! I dream of bloody Pauline!
February 25thToday really just a regular day in the office, nothing amazing just a regular day and suddenly it's gone. It feels like I wasted it , I rarely have that feeling. I got some work done around Neil Finn but nothing more, nothing less.
February 26thThe pollen count must be high today. I spot wattle everywhere and I have the Kalorama sniffles. It's just annoying, but no biggie. I consider going to see Andy White at Wesley Anne tonight but it will drive me nuts sbiffling all the way through the gig-urgh. So I'm a no show.
I do find a cool way to clear my various garden sheers. You just spray them with that BBQ spray/cleaner-you know the foamy stuff and leave for an hour. It cleans all that plant residue off-brilliant. Like new. I should put this handy hint up on my Sheepbook page as a lot of gardeners are on that.
Looks like Mt Kosciuszko is on, so I do indeed book 2 nights accommodation. Figure it can't be totally spontaneous - want somewhere comfortable to stay. I end up booking a double room at the Alpine Resort Motel at Jindabyne.
February 27thNeil, Liam and Tim at the Zoo- nice setlist and the weather holds off. Sounds like people had fun, and it's rare these 3 get a chance to play so kind of cool.
Happy Birthday to Van Williams- who played The Green Hornet! This TV series deserves to be on Bluray.
Such sad news, wake up to hear that Leonard Nimoy has died-age 83. Yes Spock is dead-so incredibly sad. I think of him all day.
February 28thEvery so often you just have to push the "halt" button on the world and stop it turning and hop off. A few days away -recharge and everything else can wait. Life is like a speed freak on a rocket sometimes and it's good to slow it all down. So I am. Consider the "halt" button well and truly pushed.
I invest in a lotto ticket and win a massive $16.50! Life is good! (the extra zero's must of fallen off).
March 1stTomorrow we leave for the hike to the summit and the long drive. So I pack, do things like recharge the steri-pen, in case we start to run out of fresh water on the hike. Mark probably thinks I'm over prepared but I'd rather carry extra stuff in my backpack in case of some awkward mini disaster.
Banshee climbs on the table and sniffs the bags etc, she knows something is up and not happy. Such an emotional kitty cat. She makes us feel like we are leaving our child at a bus station and driving away. For a toughy she's a softy!
Mark grabs the 2004 movie "Somersault" filmed at Jindabyne. Sam Worthington and Abbie Cornish are in it. We've seen it before and love love love it. A bit of flavour for us seeing we will be staying at Jindabyne. Plus Sam gets to pash older man Erik Thomson (think "Packed to the rafters" tv show..a fine moment). The talented Cate Shorland directed it and was also the writer- really worth checking out.
I give Banshee an extra bit of cuddling, we are away for a few days and she'll miss us...and vice versa.
March 2ndI wake up reasonably early, not a lot of sleep for both of us, our minds are ticking over. I make us some really fantastic sandwiches and pack them for one of our stops...plus a few other goodies. I might as well spoil us with all the driving ahead.
We are talking about wildlife in the car and we haven't left Kalorama yet and there is a black faced Wallaby sitting by the side of the road staring at us, I slow just in case he's suicidal- he's so close to the car but thankfully hops the opposite direction. After a few traffic delays we end up on the Hume Highway for the first big section of the journey, I'm aware of the many speed cameras so I'm so sensible around the speed of the 4WD.
We call in for a short break, around the Violet Town area- mainly because I've always liked the name, used in a Church song, and of course rock band Killing Heidi are locals. Such a nice vibe in our car and the traffic is all ok- best part about not going on a weekend.
As we near Wodonga- Lake Hume just shimmers and shines- it's quite photogenic, lots of trees growing out of the lake. We take the 4WD down to the sand area and watch the pelicans flying about. This was our lunch break- home made schnitzel sandwiches. Marky snapping away, I grab the small el cheapo camera too-some good shots around the sun on the lake.
We almost run out of fuel on the Murray Valley Highway -we spot one lone car. I stop a few times to photograph windmills in fields and ricky barns. I freely jump into neck high dry grass- for the right shot. "Fuck the poisonous red belly black snakes, this is art". The one lone driver I see takes a corner too sharp and nearly hits a tree. Strangely enough a few days later a mother and kids dies on the same stretch of road after flipping her car. We drive 385 kms and the fuel needle is starting to drop low. It would of helped if they put up a "No fuel for 380 KM sign"... I know we'll make it but keep an eye open for a farm house just in case I have to beg or prostitute myself for fuel.
We arrive at Corryong- home to the Man From Snowy River poem. A little service station, we fill up the car- they also have Mrs Macs Pies (we jokingly think it's Greg Macs drag name and I forget to take a photo as a chuckle). The pies are indeed great as are the Splice ice creams. Petrol is about $1.85 a litre, I'd say it will hit $2.00 by the time we arrive at Jindabyne.
The main Alpine Way is closed so I have to take the longer route via Tooma Road. A few extra hours but the national park is suddenly full of the most amazing white snow gums.. millions of them like dead giants fingers.
We spot Bradley & O'Briens Hut and call in-it's one of the emergency shelters during snow season. It has an incredibly clean new Loo outside. We are impressed.
It's dusk and the Kangaroos are roadside which is a worry driving, a lot of road kill up here. I manage to avoid about 50 of them as well as a pack of deer all by the road. Mark takes some photos from the car, we love our Kangaroos.
I adore the mountain names like Mt Unicorn! Very cool.
Eventually we arrive at Jindabyne, I somehow end up at the wrong hotel, but we cross the road and find our lodgings at Alpine Resort Motel. The owners are excellent and our two rooms together are great. Feather downy beds and deep baths. I head to the Jindabyne Italian restaurant who do have GREAT Pizzas. It's nice to soak and chill in the room with the majestic views of lake Jindabyne. What a day! We highly recommend this hotel.
PG's shoes -Seamans Hut-Hike to the Summit 2015.
Wake up in my very comfortable bed and look outside. At first I thought it was fog but no it's actually clouds- very low clouds.. we are fairly high up. After Mark makes breakfast we drive to the BP service station so we I can re-enact the scene from the "Somersault" movie where Abbie Cornish's character "Heidi" walks up to "Bianca" and picks up a doughnut and asks if she can have this. Of course the only doughnut I can find at BP is a garish bright pink chunky thing covered in sugar freckles.. so $2 later I have it and pose for a snap outside -the manager wondering what this is all about. We zoom off before the straight jackets arrive.
We are heading down Kosciuszko Road towards Chalottes pass, a bit later then I would of wished for such a full on hike but the weather is clearing so it should be truly amazing. We pay for our Parks Pass and arrive at the start of the hike. It's the old road once used by cars, including my parents and a 4-5 year old ME! No cars allowed anymore just us hikers. We are around 7310 feet (2228 metres) which isn't that bad, Mark and myself have climbed much much much higher (Cusco is around 11,200 )...
We link up our sat. phone and intend to send some photos to my sheepbook page on the way. The clouds have all gone and it's outstanding weather. We see a handful of people so have the hike to ourselves and a few people who have turned back after a few hours. The scenery changes, and it does become a bit other-worldly. Massive boulders and micro lakes-the remains of the winter snow melt. We stop every so often and admire this. It does sadden me that some peoples idea of life is their couch-we live in this incredible country and really it's all too short- if this really is it- why not explore. I wnat to go to peoples houses and push them out the door- see what you have see, all this beauty. Throw away your phones and live life.
Some of the wild flowers are out and small waterfalls trickle down the slopes. Other hikers say hello, a few we help with water-as they've ran out. The Steri pen is awesome, as it means we can always collect water from the little run off areas and zap it with UV so you can drink it. It kills 99% of bacteria. Plus its nice and cold. We collect it over the running rock areas as it's slightly safer. Mark is using my fantastic camera, he takes great photos, I snap a few but mostly he is taking the shots. I pose and pull stupid faces every chance I can.
It's about 6-7 hours return hike and the old road varies from gravel to dirt to broken granite. Still a bit blown away my parents drove their dodge up here. Mark takes a photo of a huge rocky outcrop and only later do we work out it's in the photo from all those years before.
I love hiking with Mark, we chat and laugh and these are the moments I'll always remember. My best mate, what's not to like.
About 3 hours later we arrive at a small bridge and a pond is next to it and more run off feeding it. It's basically the start of the Snowy River -this runs all the way to the ocean. So we stop and in for a swim. No one is about, so the world doesn't hear me screech from the cold. Crystal clear water and tiny fish swim around us.
I keep adding sun block as I can feel us getting a bit burnt. The wind has picked up as we climb higher so I'm going to hide my old straw hat at Seamans Hut and reclaim it on the way back down. The road to the hut has a slope and I'm staying focused as my legs have some small hikers aches. It's an emergency hut in Winter and the snow can almost cover it some years. We have a 5 minute break-take off my hiking boots and stretch my legs. I decide the boots and hut make a great image and Mark will convert them to B&W and add some grot-so it's like an old photo. I love the contrast- maybe one to get framed for the house. Upload this one to Sheepbook, hopefully people are enjoying the images and the adventure.
From the hut it's 40 minutes to the summit of Mount Kosciuszko, so not too far. Onwards and upwards. We pass a few more people coming back, some look worn some not. The track weaves around the edge and the landscape has changed, boulders everywhere and deep furrows. We can spot the fairly new toilet area. The one recent modern addition. You also chain your bikes to this area if you've ridden on the track. The walk track from Thredbo joins up here, it's shorter-of course we had to take the longer route-but it's prettier. Two European hikers stumble along near us and eventually walk past while we stop to take some photos- "see you at the top" they say. I have a small white pebble with "Tar Gan" scribbled on it- which is the Aboriginal name for Mt K... and I'm leaving it on the monument at the top.
The track follows the mountain and weaves around it, heading skywards... so final approach. Finally we reach the summit.
It's a great view and maybe 6 people so kind of private. We have our late lunch, and an organic apple sure tastes great at 7310 feet above sea level.
Time for some photos and I unpack the Australian flag I have been carrying, a weird patriotic moment. The wind is blowing so it's flapping like crazy. The other people at the summit all pull out cameras and each of us is using a canon camera-so we all laugh at that. "The best hikers use Canon" says the lone guy near us. I take a photo for him and realise it's a smaller camera so it has half my finger in it-so re shoot. I send the snap out to a few mates.
Whilst we are all sitting the sky grows dark and several hundred crows circle the summit and eventually land. It felt incredibly eery. There will be no deaths on Mt Kosciuszko today I tell them. I place the Tar Gan pebble on the shrine and we start our descent.
I call into the toilet area and yes indeed have a piss in the highest toilet in Australia. I can cross that one off my bucket list.
The hike back is all good till the final 3 kms and we are aching quite a bit. By the last KM we are like two old guys who forgot their walking frames. 20 kms can be just too much, and I encourage Mark by giving him wild berry jubes every km. We soak our feet in the snowy river pond and the baby fish remove any dead skin. People would pay a fortune for this in Singapore!
Finally we reach the car- our legs ache, but we did it. That feels good despite some pain. If nothing else the hike gave us a true level of our fitness. I'd say only 5% of our friends could do this, maybe less.
As we head back to Jindabyne my thoughts are on a nice warm bath and food. It's funny all the good things are "Green" (no not me). Like: aloe vera for our sunburn, Green radox bath salts for the aches and Staminade to add some energy and electrolyte replacement..plus it has added magnesium. So "all Green" evening.
I head back to the Italian restaurant and grab some dinner while Mark soaks in the bath-it's been a long day! Takes me awhile to climb up the stairs to our rooms.
March 4thI sleep well, a few aches but it's improving. We leave Jindabyne at 9.30 and the other route is open again so home via the Alpine Way. You can get a pass so you don't have to pay because you are in transit. I do call into Thredbo for some fuel ($2 a litre!!) and the garage woman is hopeless. Marks judgement is sound and correct so we follow his directions. We stop for lunch at Khancoban..which we keep calling Kurt Cobain. The local at the general store didn't get the joke. We watch birds sneak into the motor of the car to eat bugs that are on the grill. Once more hardly any cars and I drive and drive. Less stops going home and the final few hours are killers.
Finally we are back, still light outside. Miss Banshee so happy to see us-she is cat chatty! It's nice to be home-hurrah. Road trip over! I'm stoked we did this. Heavy rain and strong winds hit the mountain. A huge tree limb cracks but doesn't completely fall-but what a noise.
March 5thHappy Birthday to my dear ol' Mum. I can't believe she is 77- so I send her $77.00 so she can buy a small present- $1 for every year I tell her. She drives me crazy but I love her.
March 6thRain rain rain and emails, email emails- 3459 of them total. You'd think we were gone for a year!
March 7thWe watch "The Grand Budapest Hotel", what a cool movie.
Mark and myself are honoured with a invite to the opening of "Bear Bar" (chuckle) on Oxford street... in time for tonights Gay Mardi Gra in Sydney. It's not like we are both "Bears" more like little cubs-not enough body hair..but still sweet we are invited. Sad that Mardi Gra isn't live on TV this year but we'll enjoy it on SBS anyway, when it's shown tomorrow.
Channel 7 and 9 suck and we won't be watching either of those tv stations possibly ever again. Running some anti marriage equality adverts. They both get nasty emails from me- Fuck You Channel 7 and 9! I'm glad we have Foxtel, free to air tv is shit (except the ABC and SBS). We have long memory's so there will be pay back to both those stations. people are furious, it's not 1950-no room for homophobia in Australia.
March 8thGREAT coffee at the General Store- some friends are going past and drop in- such a nice vibe. The store is my escape sanctuary, don't want people with their baggage bumming me out- today was perfect.
I add "I See Red" live to Official Enz facebook, from the Sound Relief gig at the MCG... what a great day that was and for such a good cause.
We watch Mardi Gra on SBS and it's fun, Mark wanted less cross overs.. I wanted more cross dresser! *GRIN*. The Northern Territory float had the best drag queens. They sure do grow them tall up north!
So that's it for another diary, life is an adventure and sometimes you should be spontaneous. Just go for it.