Sunday, January 31, 2016

Conference Travels

My first overseas conference was with Brigid Jordan when we presented a paper on our Irritable Infant Research Project
We presented at the IACAPAP conference in San Francisco (international Assoc Child and Adol Psychiatrists and Allied Professionals)
It was quite exciting and Brigid was a great introducer to the vagaries of Overseas events.
That main thing we remember of this conference was that the Chair let the preceding speaker go 15minutes overtime and then said we had 10 minutes instead of 30!! Well Brigid was not going to stand for that!
Lesson 1 As a Chair keeping speakers to time is essential.
We also received a bill under our door on Day 2 which I said, they are sending it early. B said No they are expecting us to checkout! But she had all the booking docs with her and sorted them out!
Lesson 2 take a record of your bookings with you!!
I then started attending the WAIMH (Infant Mental Health Conferences) that are held every 2nd year on even years.
My first was to Tampere in Finland and I do a side trip to Russia
Tampere is a Uni Town
GUM dept Store Moscow
Then I missed the Montreal  one, and previous ones were in-
Cascals Portugal, (1st in 1980) Cannes France, Stockholm Sweden, Lugano Switzerland, Chicago USA, Tampere Finland 1996 and Montreal Canada 2000
After Finland I went to 
Amsterdam 2002 (Then on to Italy for Celia's 50th birthday )

Then as a major departure from Northern Hemisphere we had the 2004 one in Melbourne. I was National President at the time so very exciting.
We  had lunch in the Uni  gardens 
The big difference I discovered on International conferences is that they don't include meals, (and finding somewhere to eat can be an issue!)
Needless to say Delegates in Melbourne were overwhelmed by our catering by Mary and Steve !!
Then it was to Paris when Celia came to join me and we travelled around to Lyon and Paris.

Next one was while I was living in Japan so at Yokohama 2008
Leipzig Germany was 2010 when I did a side trip to  Dresden, Berlin  and Prague.
trams in Leipzig
Church for a beethoven concert
Checkpoint Charlie In Berlin
The Berlin Wall
The Holocaust Monument
Muchas design in Prague 
Prague
Dresden
Cape Town 2012 was the year we went to Botswana as well A great trip.

The Okavanga Delta. A Highlight!
We sat for ages watching elephants!
2014 saw us in Scotland at Edinburgh and Celia again joining me for Scotland touring.


This year it was to be  Telaviv in Israel, but the conveners decided that it was not safe, so the Israeli and Palestinian Assoc are hosting it in Prague in June.
I am planning a visit to Budapest and a tour of Romania


 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Australia Day

As it was such a superb day weather wise I decided to join Altona crowd at Logan Reserve and the Esplanade
Logan reserve opposite the pier has some huge Moreton Bay Figs  and Norfolk Pines so is ideal for family activities and music stages.
Along the shore was the end of a Kids Triathlon run by the WSTC (took me a while to realise it stood for Triathlon Club (never knew there was such a thing! ) The Surf Life Saving club was involved as well.
Bikes all racked at the ready 
Had a coffee at a cafe mentioned on their (Altona Traders) Facebook page while I watched the activity on the beach.
It was so strong I asked for some extra milk, but it was still this colour. Good thing it was my only one and earlyish in  the day!!
Walked on through the market (usual Tuesday), but not been to it since I started working on a Tuesday, bought 2 new cushion covers.
Came home after  a long walk along the beach and area.
The end of the run
Workers!
As well as  several music stages there was vintage car show.

Food stalls abounded
Great picnic area 
When S.T. Gill painted this homestead on the shores of Port Phillip Bay in the 1870s it was a collection of bluestone buildings, shaded by casuarinas, sitting in a kitchen garden among the dunes and with a small lagoon out front.
The original 1857 homestead, built by Alfred and Sarah Langhorne, was sold and renovated in the early 20th century, giving it lovely Edwardian features such as stained glass windows. Today, Altona Homestead is set up as a museum and the Photo exhibition this month was of the Altona Toyota Factory now closing. 
fascinating early days !
Beautiful gown!!


Monday, January 18, 2016

Stony Creek Walk

Sunday was looking for a walk in a new area for myself and Spencer
So decided to follow some of Stony Creek as I know it from next to the Child Care Centre in Court ST Yarraville

I started at the park area near Frances Street and walked along the creek as far as Somerville Road through Cruikshank Park.
Stony Creek flows through the inner western suburbs of  Sunshine, Tottenham, West Footscray and Yarraville. Much of Stony Creek is highly modified and the surrounding catchment is mostly urban and industrialised. Natural reaches exist along some of the parks and reserves.
The Stony Creek Backwash is the area under Westgate bridge and marks the end of a journey at the Yarra.
Backwash Creek Under WestGate 
The Walk was warm but under lost of trees. Met lots of dog walkers  as some was an off leash Park. I don't trust Spencer off lead unless it is actually enclosed, so he was happy to trot along.
Unfortunately he now tends to wander back and forth in front of me, so need to be ever vigilant!!
Weeping Eucalyptus

path beside the creek
replanting underway

Lovely track
The end at Somerville Road
The Willows
The walk was under willows as well as weeping gums and the creek was flowing 
A lovely morning!
The Dinosaur Park Where we took Dylan


Travels the '80s

After finishing my studies and started working in Aboriginal Health in Swan Hill, (1977 )at Prince Henry's Paediatric Unit and then at Ethel Nilsen day Nursery(1980-84) I did lots of local trips Walks in different areas; Tasmania 1989 ( we went by Ferry and car fortunately as the Air Traffic Controllers strike started as we arrived So Tasmania was cut off). I traveled interstate with Archery Championships,  and will do separate summary of Australia
But the first of overseas travel was in 1982 when I went to CHINA on a tour.
China was still very small tourist country and we were a novelty, gawked at wherever we went and I can't imagine it smoggy and modern!
The highlights of the trip was The Great Wall, X'ian, and the Li river.
One of the older women on the trip arrived with a really bad chest infection. By the end of the trip we had all been ill. I was really sick on the day we went to the Wall, and my memory is also of wheezing and feeling as if I had been run over by a truck, as I struggled along. When I go home I got sick again in middle of an Archery competition with Pleurisy!
The Terracotta warriors exhibit was being developed
We walked along the edges of the pits.
It was amazing to think that these had only been discovered in 1974 (less than 10 yrs ago) 1.6 k east of the Qin Emperor's tomb mound by a farmer digging a well.
The trip along the River with stunning Karst Mountains was reminiscent of old Chinese paintings
My next overseas trip was to PERU in 1986 with Sharan who was a friend of one of the archery team. She mentioned she was keen to go so I hoped it would work out.  She was good company!
We went on a tour run by an english company and we were the only non (UK) English. But our guide was a Dutch woman from Peru who was every knowledgeable and kept us organised.
We flew into Santiago after a plane cancellation and were on standby. The plane was due to leave for Lima  in 15mins but people were still rocking up and arguing about the hand luggage they could take. More than we had checked!  We checked a few time start they hadn't forgotten us, but that was the start of Latin America time!
South America was an eye opener So colourful and HUGE scenery.
The markets were colourful and the local women's dress so varied 
Loved the bowlers!
The Incan History wa fascinating and Just after the trip saw the movie The Mission, and education about the Spaniards invasion.
Oyantaytambo door 

Tambomachay
the scale of size and age was stunning.
Machu Pichu 
We travelled to Machu Pichu by train and our guside said when we arrived we should move fast to get the first buses up the mountain. So we did , but so did everyone else and I have never been in such a crush!! The force of people pushing broke the glass doors!
What a sight it was Amazing discovery as well as the degree of maintenance and mystery of its history.
The other great places we went were Nazca and to Bolivia and Lake Titicaca
We spent 2 hours on the lake and covered a tiny corner of it 
The floating islands on the Lake were amazing 
The Lines in the Nazca desert were fascinating
I bought a lovely enamel brooch in a Hummingbird design.
 Sharon and I were the only Aussies on the trip and the only ones to need a Visa.  But we bought one for Peru and bone for Bolivia as instructed. When we were flying back from Bolivia (crossed by bus)  and as we were landing in Lima I said to Sharon "Does our Visa still work coming in twice?'
The answer was No. We just stayed looking dumb with the immigration until the Guide returned looking for us. She talked for a bit then gave him money.
Advised them to suggest 2 Visas next time .
I also brought and carved gourd back and it had been in  a packed bag we left at the hotel in lima and I forgot what was in it. So when we got to customs in Melbourne I got the 3rd degree from the agent and Sharon and I were the last out -Maddy was waiting with Sharon's mum (having discovered they ere waiting for same flight) I know tick yes in anything to declare.
He gave me the gourd!
In 1988 I did a trip to the red Centre and a Trips to Tijikala (Aboriginal Community with SWIRL (Future Aussie Blog entry)
Then in 1988 I did another  trip to JAPAN with Celia her first trip to Japan and the first time we had travelled together.
Matsumoto Castle "Now this is Japan" Celia said.
We had a Rail Pass and my burgeoning Japanese did us well. We travelled north and south taking in out of the way places
Shirakawago in the Hida Mountains 
Walked from the Post towns of Tsumago to Magome on old Nakasendo Road 
We also discover that the weather reports saying it rains in June Meant exactly that! The start of the monsoons season, It starts on June 1 and doesn't stop!
We got DROWNED stopping off in Himeji, the castle described "like a white egret against an azure sky" Couldn't see it until we were at the door, in the rain and mist.
We also found lots of Japanese baths as well as our first SERVAS experience staying with lovely couple in Sendai. Mariko and Atsushi He was aTV show host and she was a real estate agent
On our return we became Servas hosts The start of a great experience