Ground to Ground

Ramblings from a Victorian smuggled into Tasmania on a Holiday

The Luxury of Sitting here writing Stuff

Right this second I am sitting behind a double glassed window overlooking a river that runs through Tasmania’s Huon Valley. White smoke drifts skyward from a chimney, as small birds of all sorts hop from fence tops to tree branches.

The end of the latest semester was a welcome relief, more so knowing that I would be recouping in this place. If MPA951 doesn’t mean something to you then it should – Financial Reporting and Analysis was my final coursework subject EVER, now moving into a research component of the Doctor of Business Administration course at Deakin University. That last semester was an accounting based subject, which is the devils business. Cash flow statements and straight line depreciation formulations were really a low-light in my studies thus far, with learning how to calculate the value of a non-current asset being way up there on the bucket list. It brought back memories of that school age favorite – ‘when am I ever going to need to know this in real life?’ But let’s give a thought to the accountants; they need to do this every day. Every day.

So now there is just the luxury of being able to sit in the failing sunlight of a Tasmanian Winter, and write!

Blog On

Did you know that this blog has been going for 5 years now? A milestone I am very proud with, and with traffic volumes at an all time high, thanks to readers such as yourself. This site started out as a place to write poetry, and before being called Ground to Ground, it was ‘Sane but Different’. How quickly the years go by, that this something of a benchmark has come and gone with about 450 articles, over 200,000 words, and several contributors involved. Those earlier stories were turned into a best-selling poetry anthology (yep that last best selling bit was bullshit), and now we focus on gardening and sustainability issues, and those lovely used coffee grounds.

Blogging seems like a frustrating way make a living. I’ve heard that some people do very well out of it, and others can barely get a handful of readers to their sites each week. I think that the amount of time you need to manage a blog is hardly worth the return unless you are way up high in the rankings for your chosen niche, and it had better be a popular subject. Those early years were about obsessing with key words, search engine rankings, fancy headings, and creating click bait moments. These days it is about writing something that I hope you finding meaningful, rather than what Google thinks about it. A good blog is one that connects people, a great blog is one that brings people together and helps develop and support their shared interests.

Back here in Tasmania

There is something really nice about highway driving in Tasmania. The roads are well signed, sealed, and for a Melbournian, empty. Peak hour in Perth looked like a joke until I got to this place. Now they don’t tend to be very skilled drivers, because I am obviously an above average driver and rarely make any mistakes. And pay no heed to any passenger that ever sat in my car fearing for their life to tell it different. Unite bad drivers, there is a place here on Earth where we can be free to swerve into lanes with little chance of hitting another car! There is however a large amount of road kill that doesn’t run itself over. Most of the carcasses are possum, and the cool climate must keep them fresh for days. There was an eagle that flew off with half its body weight in meat from one of them, and seriously if I was hungry enough I’d be making a stop at the nearest on-road café for a fresh meal, most of the fur and guts already removed by a courteous brigade of magpies and crows.

Tasmania is fantastic

Tasmania is like Victoria on its best day, kind of like veal cooked in milk (sorry vegXXs). The topography is more varied here – Hobart is hilly like the rest of the island and in some places would pass for San Francisco. Someone here told me that the climate is similar to what you would find in Northern California. It never gets stinking hot here like it does during a Melbourne Summer. It is an ideal place to grow apples. The people are generally friendly and hard working, with a sense of community and belief in the value of all its members working towards a common purpose. It feels like a country town in Victoria that could have been better. Like a place with more trees and more pleasant weather than almost any other place you’ve been to. Like Mildura without the heat waves and with more water than they would know what to do with. Exactly the kind of place an apple farming, cold climate loving gardener might hope to spend the second half of their life living in.

Catch-up time

What do you do when you suddenly have a heap of spare time? I find that doing something about that growing pile of books on the desk is a great way to disconnect from the wider world and to invest in personal discovery and reflection.

And now just getting through the final pages, ‘1215 – The Year of Magna Carta’, is a special book about um mmm um. Not only do the authors explain what the old scroll is all about, they also describe what the world was like at that time.  Surprisingly, life was not that much different to how things are today. They lived and loved and danced and married and gardened. And at some point they died. The book had been sitting on the shelf for a couple of years waiting for some eyeballs and interestingly this week was the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta!

If that doesn’t sound interesting enough, the next one is titled ‘Coal – A Human History’, which may put me into a nerd coma. But it does but looks very well referenced, which as a newbie doctoral candidate might be the most exciting thing to happen today, while watching birds jump about at the end of the civilized Earth.

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