This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.


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2003 Travels April 11

FRIDAY 11 APRIL     CANBERRA

After breakfast, decided we would drive out to Bungendore, a township some 40kms east of Canberra, to visit the well regarded woodwork gallery there. Somehow, we hadn’t managed to see this at all, on previous visits, despite recommendations from John’s wood working friends. It had won many tourism awards over the years.

We took the Federal Highway, towards Goulburn, then turned south just beyond Sutton and had a pretty drive down to Bungendore. This was a quaint little village, very geared to tourism. It reminded me of some places in Tasmania.

The gallery kept us engrossed for more than three hours. It contained high quality work which John found very inspirational. Items ranged from smaller – and more affordable – things that might, in particular attract overseas tourists, like wooden rulers, small boxes, to very large furniture pieces. There were the things one would expect in a gallery featuring woodwork – bowls, platters, lamp bases – and creations more from left field.  So much of the furniture was exquisite and intricate. Very humbling in some ways. The gallery was large, with multiple rooms, so there was scope to display items to their full advantage.

After that we moved on, briefly, to a nearby specialist leather works shop, which was a contrast to the wood gallery. It was crammed full, with a mix of quality and kitch, but with the wonderful, pervading smell of leather.

Then it was back to Woden shopping complex, for a late lunch, which was far too costly for what we got: $17 for two toasted filled rolls and two coffees.

Whilst there, I had a watch place check out my malfunctioning watch. He found the battery was alright, but said it probably needed a good clean. I didn’t think that had been done since it was new, some fifteen years before. I did not have enough time in Canberra for that to be done, so bought a new, cheap watch, for $30 – really needed to have one for where I was going. Hoped the new one would last the season!

I also bought a book on share trading. Just a little light reading!

Time then to head back to the van, after a really pleasant day.

Given the “modern” layout of Canberra suburbs, John did not want to try to go out and find a fish and chip shop, so we had a light soup tea.


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2000 Travels February 3

THURSDAY 3 FEBRUARY     DOVER

Today was back-to-school day – woodwork lessons!

We were up at 8am to ensure a 9.25 departure for Geeveston, to make the 10am lesson.

Radio news was that they hoped to get that bushfire under control, this morning. There was still plenty of smoke that seemed quite close by.

I had a one hour turning lesson, but did not get to do much by myself, without R holding and guiding the chisel. I did learn quite a lot of procedural stuff though. I had rather naively thought I might end up with something simple made by me, but really only created a large pile of wood shavings!

John was allowed to be more independent, given his prior knowledge and experience, and he and R made a dibble stick in blackwood – nice. Also practical for the vegie garden in the future.

02-03-2000 roger browne geeveston forestry centre.jpg

John’s woodturning lesson

We would have used our money much more effectively, I think, if John had had the two hours’ teaching all to himself. He would have learned more than I did.

I have decided that I would like a blackwood desk, one day.

We went back to the timber place we’d been at, the other day. This time, the manager was there. He and John discussed timber. John can put in an order for silver wattle and he will fill it, when we are back living at home. He could also order some very nice black heart sassafras table top slabs.

John liked a table that was on display at the timber centre. I liked the concept of free form slab top and a slatted shelf under for magazines and the like; but I did not like the contrasting legs made of myrtle or blackwood. I find I am learning a lot about timber, here – and also getting really interested in it.

We had lunch in Geeveston. John had a pie. I had some chips, because there is no bakery in the town.

The bushfire looked worse as there was much dark smoke. They were doing helicopter water bombing.

Back at the van, John went to sleep. I read the paper, then had a nap myself. John went to bowls practice.

It had been a very hot day, for Tasmania, getting to about 28 in Geeveston.

Tea was the same as last night.