Monday 19 February 2024

The Derwent laps the hills near Hobart. Part 3


The Derwent laps the hills near Hobart. Effortlessly turning grassland into a flooded river bed. The Derwent doesn’t run swiftly. People sail on it. A few people row on it. Regatta Day attempts to make The River the heart of this city. The River Derwent is Hobart. Hobart is the river and the mountain.

The Derwent River begins in Lake St Clair. Somewhere south of the Tasman Bridge the Derwent River evolves into Storm Bay. The Derwent River is  about 180 km long. Upper tributaries are developed for hydro power. Around New Norfolk irrigation from the river for hops and fruit.

1793: The River Derwent was called Rivière du Nord by the French admiral Bruni d’Entrecasteaux. A couple of months later the British under John Hayes named the river after the River Derwent in England. The name Derwent is Celtic for valley thick with oaks.  

1943: A floating bridge was built across the River Derwent to link Hobart’s eastern and western shores. It consisted of a series of pontoons with a movable span near the western shore. The floating bridge frequently suffered substantial storm damage. There was constant disruption of road and water traffic due to the raising of lift span.

1960: Construction of the Tasman Bridge began.

1965: The Tasman Bridge officially opened.  

1975: On the 5th January at 9:27 p.m. the Lake Illawarra struck a concrete pylon of the bridge, resulting in the deaths of twelve people and its closure for two years.  It removed two pylons and 127m of the bridge. Five motorists and seven crew of the ship died. The ship was off course and at fault.

The bridge connects the two halves of Hobart. A lot of people live on the eastern shore and worked in the CBD of Hobart. With the bridge down Hobart became two cities. At the time the Bowen bridge did not exist. The only way across the river was via Bridgewater. Enterprising business men started transporting commuters across the river. Boom times for ferry operators.

The river is 35m deep at this point and the ship still lies at the bottom of the river with a concrete slab from the bridge on top of it. Ships regularly pass over the sunken ship without a thought. You can go diving on the sunken ship but it is very muddy with low visibility.

1977: Rebuilding of the bridge finished on 8/10/1977.

When the bridge was rebuilt the ferry services stopped. One ferry operator diversified into building ships. Very successfully and still going as Incat.

Today every ship passing under the bridge picks up a local harbor pilot before passing under the bridge. All traffic is halted. Everybody is once again reminded of the day the bridge ceased connecting Hobart.

Swimming across the river you do tend to look for and imagine the ship lying down there. When running the bridge, you tend to enjoy the view. You don’t think of the traumatized bridge or photos of cars on the broken bridge.

Normally I see the bridge covered by a blanket of living, moving runners and walkers. Concentrating, focused and pounding the bitumen. This year I run amongst fewer runners. The crowd is ahead of me.

Across the bridge is the second drink station.  Opposite Government House. Two cups of water for me. A few volunteers scurry around picking up discarded cups. Behind them is the Cenotaph. Every year I run I get slower and slower. A glance at the Cenotaph reminds me of the alternative to getting slower and older.

Previous races tell me the finish is a tease. Run past the finish line, tour Battery Point, and then come back to cross the finish line.

Crossing the finish bump in the road I discern an idea of my time. I am hot and tired and grab some water.

I try and find my lift home. It is a very big very active crowd. Thousands of happy sweaty people. We are all wearing medals. Some ran the bridge for the first time. Some ran better than last time. Some are getting older and slower. Everybody medal tells a story.

I eventually find my lift. We now discuss where we should go for a cup of coffee. We depart heading towards our chosen cafe.

Behind us a happy crowd talking; drinking water and taking photos. The organisers are less visible. They have created a delicious, wonderful crowd full of proud, exhausted, chatty people. The organisers have made many of us Hobartians a tiny bit healthier. Physically, socially and emotionally. One runner came first but, I think, the organizers, volunteers, spectators and the runners are all winners.

The area was now called Bellerive. Part 2


1830’s: The area was now called Bellerive. Which is French for beautiful shore or beautiful river bank.

I watch the first wave of runners take off. I wander around waiting to join the second wave of runners. An official tells me there is no second wave, only one wave. Start running.

I run down a semi deserted road. The peloton of runners has disappeared ahead of me. Ah well. Better run. I enjoy plodding down the road. On my left is the river. On my right is native bush which hides the Kangaroo Bluff Battery.

1873: Local cruising Russian warships prompted the need for a third battery to support Battery Point and the Queens Battery.

1884: Kangaroo Bluff Battery or Fort was completed. It was surrounded by a moat and prickly hawthorn hedges as protection from enemies on foot. Shots from the battery were fired in 1884.

The run follows the esplanade around the river until we enter the Bellerive shopping centre. This area has many historical homes and buildings which were sleeping until us runners arrived and woke them up.

The first water station. I take two cups of water and tip one cup over my head and shirt. My running experience is water is good. It prevents me lying on the ground trying to ascertain what are those people looking at.

Run up Rosny Hill. Local knowledge tells me on top of Rosny Hill is a lookout with sweeping views of our river, the mountain, The Tasman Bridge and the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens. We plod up Rosny Hill bypassing the top of Rosny Hill.

We continue pass the Clarence Aquatic Centre and Sports Centre.

1963: The Clarence War Memorial Pool opened. Surrounded by pleasant gardens.

1982: It was decided to cover the pool to allow it to operate all year. Covered with a flexible bubble.  The bubble was very effective and a popular landmark. At the time it was the premier aquatic centre in the state.

2002/3: Bubble was replaced with a permanent building.

We now run onto a Tasman Bridge without cars. It is a delightful experience with an amazing view. Memories of driving the bridge or walking the narrow paths on either side vanish and are replaced by the view. At the summit of the bridge, I feel like exploding into a backward somersault, but I’m a stranger to such behaviour and now is not the time to…

I remember the race and plod on down the bridge. I am aware of an annoying wind. The arrival of this wind makes running more difficult and gives my head something to think about.  

As we stretch and jog and wait for the whistle: Part 1

 As we stretch and jog and wait for the whistle Blundstone Arena dominates and overpowers us. These grandstands have seen much emotion, passion and highly skilled sport. Last year they watched 1,300 people run the 10 kms. Also 1,700 people ran or walked the 5 kms which begins on the bridge. Last year, in Run The Bridge,  there were over 3,000 unique back stories.

My story is I make up the numbers. Today I plan to plod slowly without talent or skill, with a sore leg. My right leg began as a sore foot which spread to my hip and now joined by my knee. I manage the pain by running. My experience is my leg feels after I run. My other story, for me, it is hot. My weapon to combat the heat is water.

It is a beautiful day. Sunny, clear skies with, at the start line, no wind. Most people I speak to say it is their first time. I begin to feel like an experienced runner. Everybody I speak to says what a beautiful day it is. I think it is too beautiful. I dream of an overcast sky and a cool breeze.

19th Century:  Many football and cricket matches were played locally. One recorded match is a football match between Carlton and Bellerive in 1884.

1914: Bellerive Recreation Ground was opened.

1987/88: This ground became the home of Tasmanian cricket.

2003: Upgrade to ground completed.  Including a new grandstand. The David Boon Stand.  

2009: Light towers were installed.

2010: Inaugural Run The Bridge fun run.

2011: Officially renamed the Blundstone Arena following a naming rights deal.

2012: The first AFL matches were played with North Melbourne Kangaroos the home team.

2013: Completion of more redevelopment which saw the construction of the Ricky Ponting Stand 

2015: 17,544 people watched North Melbourne play Richmond in the AFL.

2016: 18,149 people watched Hobart Hurricanes vs Perth Scorchers, in the BBL.

This side of the river was settled in the 1820s. It was initially called Kangaroo Point.

2024: Cricket Tasmania say the ground is no longer suitable for them.  

Sunday 31 December 2023

Kill Her With Kindness


The latest song from Grandfather Alan.

Deep down inside of her

A hidden grain hibernates.

A tiny kernel of love.  

Sleeps snoozes and waits. 

Saturday 9 December 2023

Does it matter whether I enjoy exercise?


I reprint sections of an article first printed:

ABC Health and Wellbeing: 17 Nov 2023.
Does it matter whether I enjoy exercise?
Exercise is important, whether you like it or not. It gets your blood pumping, strengthens your muscles and releases feel-good hormones.
It can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, bone disease and depression. It can improve your sleep and promote healthy ageing.
And it can be fun — right?
Well for some, exercise is just a means to an end. For others, they've got to enjoy exercise in order to do it at all.
So, what are the benefits of enjoying exercise? Is it worth searching for the right fit, to keep you fit?
Fun can help with consistency
Government guidelines encourage adults to be active most days, preferably every day.
They suggest at least 2.5 hours of moderate intensity activity each week, or at least 1.25 hours of vigorous activity each week.
But knowing government guidelines, and the health reasons behind them, might not be enough to keep you on track.
Movement researcher Matthew Bourke says we assume that informing people about the benefits of physical activity will be enough to motivate them to be more physically active.
"But what we're learning is that people aren't entirely rational," Dr Bourke says.
"What's more important potentially is how they feel while they're physically active."
Research supports this: One study found enjoyment was a better predictor of persistence than motivation in the absence of enjoyment.
This means motivators, like getting stronger or losing weight, weren't as successful as simply exercising for fun.
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare; 2021, physical inactivity was the 9th leading preventable cause of ill health and premature death.
That includes mental ill health. Spending less time moving, even over the course of a single year, is linked to mood disturbances, increased stress and poorer sleep.
Conversely, spending more time moving can help ease the symptoms of depression, anxiety and distress.
Every time you exercise, as Dr. Bourke describes it, "it's like your brain is taking a bubble bath".
So while you don't need to enjoy exercise to receive its physical and mental benefits, Dr Bourke says more enjoyment does bring more gains.
"If we can make exercise feel like eating a whole block of chocolate," Dr Bourke says, "I think that's a good goal to aim for."
My subjective conclusion: Pickleball is good form of exercise. It is fun. It makes you healthier physically, emotionally and socially.

Monday 20 November 2023

The Point to Pinnacle: And After


The P2P involves multitudes of volunteers and paid workers such as police.  The volunteers on the drink stations were all well aware and very helpful. Some of them I recognised. Thank you to all of you.

With the aid Mr Goggle I check the race results. The results give me a time of 3 hours 44 minutes and a positum of 1000. The last person came in 1004.

I have experienced everything. I’ve done it all. I have experienced all types of running. Running has helped me learn about myself.

Forty years ago, I ran a 90 minute half marathon in Pietermaritzburg. I have just finished a half marathon in 3 hours and 44 minutes.

Running has helped me learn how to be healthy. Physically, emotionally and socially.

Is it the world’s toughest half marathon?

How easy or difficult I find a race depends on my emotional, physical and social health; the weather; the food I eat before; my race plan and the course.

In the P2P I had social support and I was prepared. I knew what to expect. I had a good race plan. I ate well. Emotionally I was healthy though some people may debate this. The weather was perfect. For me the race was very steep. My legs were taken to their limits. I would say this is my steepest half M. As for toughest… 

The Point to Pinnacle: Back to the Race



I begin to catch up to walkers. The first walker I catch says to me: I’ve had enough. I’m done.

The next walker says: I’m over this.

I think: You are not over the mountain.

My running morphs into walk/run/shuffle/stumble.

Buses begin going down the mountain. A policeman says to me: Stay on the left-hand side of the road.

After about twenty kays a policeman says: We are going to finish at 11:40. If you are not at the finish then a bus will pick you up and take you down.

I decide to keep on moving. I will see where I finish up. If they take me off the road then big deal.

Surrounded by walkers the finish flags emerge.


The Point to Pinnacle: The Finish


I cross the finish line and say to the lady: I don’t know if my net time is good enough.

The lady gives me a medal and says: I am giving you a medal. Well done.

Her attitude was fantastic. Big thank you to her.

I then walk past stacks of bottled water and look for my gear bag.

A few buses wait. A man says they are all full of people; wait for the next bus.

I wear a jumper and sit on a rock. I congratulate a few people and we talk about the race.

When I ask: If you are doing to next year, they all groan and look at the sky. Nobody says can’t wait for next year.

A young guy near me says: My legs say no.

My reply is: Next week your legs will recover and your colleagues at work will say well done and you may start to think maybe…

One guy says: Not as fast as I wanted. I look around at all the exhausted legs and think. I think everybody up here would say: Not as fast as I wanted.  Everybody I see has sore legs, is wearing a medal and has learnt something about themselves.

We are all exhausted. Sitting or standing is an ordeal.

A group of schoolkids is very happy.  One of them asks me to take their photo which I am very happy to do. Their school excursion was a walk-up Mt Wellington.

Sitting on the rocks it is very windy. We ignore the view. We wait and after about half an hour a bus appears. 

We board the bus and it sways and slips down the mountain. I’ve eaten nothing but my stomach abhors the trip down. The trip down seems to last forever. Worse than the trip up. I vomit into my mouth, keep my mouth closed, swallow my feedback and feel better.

The Point to Pinnacle: The Race


Outside the Casino a crowd of people gathers. An invisible voice launches a series of warm-up exercises. All done with good humour. The crowd is happy, well-behaved and impatient to begin running.

I greet a few people I know from the running community.

I tell one: I would be happy to reach the pinnacle and be last one across the finish line. My aim is just to finish. Later that day I remember what I said.

Another person says: Only doing the Point to Pub.

My reply is: Don’t use the word only. The Point to Pub is an achievement you should be proud of.

The crowd inches towards the start line. I find myself at very back of the group. The race starts. The wave of runners actually running sweeps back. Eventually it reaches me and I jog carefully. I cross the start line about three minutes after the gun was fired.


Initially we run through the suburbs of Hobart. Traffic control people are ubiquitous. Sunday morning Hobart consists of runners, Hi-Vis jackets and unhappy motorists sitting in stationary cars.

I yell out to one of the multitudes of Hi-Vis jackets: Thank you for your work.

His reply: You are the one doing all the hard work.

Many people stand, watch and yell encouragement.  There are many young children watching.

The clouds think about showering but decide not to.

On The Mountain, I find myself running by myself surrounded by mist. The mist is spooky, beautiful and quiet.  Out of the mist emerges my favourite tree which is proudly blooming. Telopea Truncata shines brightly in the mist. I will remember that moment for ever.  

The Point to Pinnacle: The Mountain


Today: Us locals all call it The Mountain. We always look at The Mountain behind wisps of cloud to see how much snow is on it. We always look at The Mountain to tell us what weather is coming. 

1798: Bass and Flinders circumnavigated the island. They named Derwent River and Table Mountain.

1832: The Mountain was renamed Mt Wellington after the Duke of Wellington. He never saw The Mountain.

1895: Weather station began on the mountain.

-1900: Many recreational huts were built by the people of Hobart. Most were destroyed in 1967 by bushfires.

1934-1937: Road to the summit constructed to provide useful work for the unemployed in the Great Depression.

Recently: Some Tasmanians prefer to call The Mountain, Kunanyi. The Mountain lies somnolently. She is happy when people run, climb, walk or use her.  She is happy when people are active on her. Increasing their physical, social and emotional health.

Today:  Huts for visitors at the Springs, the Chalet and the summit.

The road is often closed above the Springs due to ice or snow.

At the summit there are transmission towers for radio and TV and a weather station.

The summit is, normally, the place for people, who brace themselves against the wind, and scurry between cars and shelters. 

The Point to Pinnacle: Before


I ask every runner who passes me. Are you doing the P2P?

Every runner knows of the P2P. The answers are either yes, coming up soon or no you must be kidding. It’s too tough.

My experience is it is a tough race. Doable but difficult. It is one race where your time is irrelevant. The race is so unique you cannot compare your time to any other 21 km race. Finishing is the only aim.

I train as per normal. I train on The Domain. That is hilly. I keep doing that. It’s hilly, close and pleasant. And pretty similar to the actual route.

When training I always look at The Mountain. The mountain sleeps indolently. It lies waiting and watching. It lies beneath her light covering of clouds challenging me to run up her. I can hear the somnolent mountain say: Good view from the top.

I pick up my number at a local running shop.

I notice gels.  Do I need food during the race? Do I need glucose? The packaging is professional and impressive. They must be good because they are well packaged. They might help and couldn’t harm. I buy a couple.


The weather on the day of the race is critical. The weather at the pinnacle is different from the weather at the point. Different worlds.

My app says Hobart Tomorrow: 8-12 am. Cloudy. Medium chance of showers. 10-20%.

Light winds. Maximum temp 21 degrees.

Mt Wellington Tomorrow: Cloudy. Medium chance of showers. 15-25%.

Light winds. Max temp 11 degrees.

After reading my weather app I devise a plan for tomorrow.

Wear normal running shorts and shirts. Don’t wear sunglasses or hearing aids. Carry a splash jacket and a cap for showers.

Place warm jacket in gear bag which I will put on when reaching the summit.  

The Point to Pinnacle


9/11/23 The Point to Pinnacle was run.  The Point to Pinnacle is a race from Wrest Point Casino to the pinnacle of Mt Wellington. In 2023 1000 people ran and 850 walked the complete distance of 21 kilometers. 1300 ran or walked part of the way. They stopped at the pub in Ferntree.

3150 people participated in the Point to Pinnacle in 2023.


Before talking about this year’s P2P we have to go back in time.


1968: The Labor Party, who was the governing party, asked the people of Tasmania if they wanted a legal casino.

The referendum question: Are you in favour of granting Federal Group the licence to operate a casino at Wrest Point?

Before the results of the referendum were known the Labor Government passed the bill legalising the casino.

The result of the Referendum agreed with the government.

53% voted yes.

47% voted no.

11% voted informal

Wrest Point Casino was the first legal casino in Australia. It replaced Wrest Point Hotel which was a popular and luxurious hotel built in 1939.

Wrest Point Casino is a 17-story tower topped with a revolving restaurant. The tallest building in Hobart.

1973: Wrest Point Casino opened for business.

1984: Conference Centre opened.

1996: Boardwalk began.

2017: The building was heritage listed. 

Today: The casino is an integral part of Hobart. The place for many school and community events.

Many people frequent the Casino to eat; drink; enjoy the views of the river and the mountain. Hobart is full of people who have gone to the Casino and have never gambled there.

1994: The first Point to Pinnacle fun run attracted 56 runners.

Alan Rider and Haydyn Nielson organized the initial run. The idea came to Alan Rider after walking from Lauderdale to the summit of Mt Wellington and back again.

Today: Marketed as the world’s toughest half marathon. 

Wednesday 27 September 2023

1975: The Copenhagen City Heart Study began.

1975: The Copenhagen City Heart Study began. It followed 8577 people for 25 years; the sports they played; and their physical activity.


Results: Any physical activity resulted in increased life expectancy. The amount of increased life expectancy varied with the sport played.


Tennis: 9.7 years

Badminton 6.2 years

Soccer 4.7 years

Cycling 3.7 years

Swimming 3.4 years

Jogging 3.2 years

Calisthenics 3.1 years

Health Club Activities 1.5 years


The Copenhagen City Heart Study found that adults who played tennis or other racket sports lived longest.


Why is social sport better for you than solitary sport?


When you play pickleball you are exercising socially. You are becoming healthier socially.  

Playing pickleball you subconsciously watch your opponent. You watch where they move. You anticipate. You watch their shot. Your behaviour depends on other people on the court. You exercise socially as well as physically. 

The inability to alter your behaviour to fit in and match the people around you is a sign of poor social health and poor emotional health.


The Copenhagen City Heart Study has dramatically changed paradigms.  Many studies have flowed from this seminal study.

They all show the same thing. Physical, emotional, and social health are all related and all are important.



Wednesday 9 August 2023

The Sound of Cricket

 Bang. I am woken by a very pleasant sound.  A cricket ball thumping into my bedroom wall. It’s going to be a good day.

I slowly wake. It’s no dream. It’s the sound of cricket.

The sound of Bruce playing cricket with a few of our neighbours.

I lie and listen to the sounds of cricket.

Let’s toss to see who bats first. Heads or tails.

Okay, you won the toss. Okay, you can either decide to bat or bowl or you can decide what team you want to be.

I’ll be Australia. Let’s play for the ashes.

That’s not fair. You are always Australia.

I won the toss fair and square. You can decide. Do you want to bat or bowl?

One bounce one hand.

Over the fence is six and out.

I dare you. Go the tonk.

That’s six and out.

Well worth it.   

That was just a windy woof.

You were lucky.

Catches win matches.

Your dog loves cow corner.

Leg before. How’s that?

Not out.

I challenge that. I’m going Decision Review. That was plumb.

The sounds permeate my room. Followed by images which flood my brain.

I am glad Bruce has someone to play with. I am glad he has found kids to play with.  

When he plays with others, he stops hitting the ball against the wall.  Bang. Bang. Bang. Continuously. Very annoying. The sound of kids laughing, yelling, screaming, crying, arguing and hitting the wicket is much nicer than the sound of a lonely ball.

Bruce even sleeps with a cricket bat in his bed. His bedroom wall has a picture of his hero. The latest Australian captain.

Then I hear the ball hit the wicket. Which is the rubbish bin. A big shout of clean bowled. The sound of the bat hitting the wicket. 

Bruce. I love you and your mates but time for me to go out and show you a little about cricket.

I slide the flywire door open and enter the field.

The players stand aside and wait for the new player.

I announce: Okay. I’ll now show you how to bat.

Okay Bruce you can open. You can open the innings. Put the pads on.

Hold the bat like this. No like this. Straight upright.

Now move your legs. Dance around the crease. You are a dancer. Watch the ball. Bat next to your pad. Don’t leave a gap. You can get bowled through the gap.  

Now your bat is there to protect your wicket. You can’t make any runs if you get bowled. To stop the ball hitting the wicket watch the ball. Watch the ball and then hit it with your bat.


When you hold the bat keep the bat straight upright. Move your feet, watch the ball, bat straight, move your bat. The golden rules. Practise the right way. Keep at it. Practise good habits. Don’t do the wrong thing. Don’t swing your bat like this.

I want you to know the right and wrong way to bat. Be aware of what you do. Look at yourself. If you do the right thing then do it again. 

Don’t give your wicket away. Keep your wicket and it will give you runs. You can’t make any runs from the grandstand.

You will need courage to face me. I’m not going to go easy on you. One day you will thank me.   

If you learn everything I tell you, you will know how to make a century or bowl a hatrick. Look, listen and learn.

Cricket is not what we see on TV. Twenty-twenty is not proper cricket.  Cricket is more than swinging wildly and belting the ball as hard as possible. Today I will teach you proper cricket.

Remember: Hold the bat straight, move your feet, watch the ball. One day you will play with a real ball. The way to play it is watch it. It is dangerous if you don’t watch it. If you watch it you will see where it goes.

Cricket is more than just a game. Cricket is life. If you ever have a problem; face it; look at it; look at it honestly; see what it is doing; then attack it. Belt it. Smash it into next week.

You'll face harder things than a cricket ball and you'll have two choices: Be frightened. Back away and get out. Attack with a forward step or pull the ball like this.

That's what cricket's all about.


I grab the bat and say: Okay. Now it’s my turn to bat. Look watch me. Look and learn. You can practice your bowling. Bowl as fast as you want. I can take it. Don’t go easy on me. Bowl your fastest. Work together. Team work.

As Bruce leans against the back fence. I ponder. I can see the future. Now we just have to replay what I have seen. I will defend. I won’t  belt it. I don’t want to destroy their confidence. They love cricket. I place my mark and take guard.

Bruce pushes off and pelts towards me. Arms and legs rotate twist and spin. Screams loudly as a ball shoots out of the whirling mass.  

I prod forward. The ball hits the rubbish bin. Bruce jumps with arms raised.

Bruce: First ball. Duck. That’s a golden duck.

They all do a high five. One of them holds a twig as a microphone and says to me: Can you tell us how to hold the bat, watch the ball and protect your wicket. Tell us all about that ball.

I let those comments go through to the keeper.

I replay that shot and say: You have just learnt something. In life and cricket, luck plays a part. I did everything right. I had good footwork. I watched the ball. Even Bradman was bowled for a duck. That was plain luck. Hit a crack. Just luck. 

Saturday 29 July 2023


 We live in interesting times. In these interesting times I sometimes find myself with routine and commonplace responsibilities.  Like looking after grandchildren.

My goal today is to try and educate my grandchildren. I want them to learn something useful.

I wait for a brief pause in their chattering and say: Today’s lesson will be making bread.

They are ecstatic. We measure out five cups of flour. Mainly whole grain flour with a smidgen of gluten flour. I place 500 ml of water in the microwave for about 40 seconds. I guide them as they add a tablespoon of dry yeast, a tablespoon of sugar and a teaspoon of salt to the tepid water. 

They can now do something they love. Mixing ingredients. They continue whisking as I add a couple of teaspoons of olive oil.  They then pour the liquid into the flour and stir it with a knife. We have to get the right consistency.  We want a ball of dough that we can knead.  If it’s too wet then we will have to dip the ball of dough into flour. If the dough is too dry then we will have to add water.

We finally get the dough at what I think is the right consistency.  It is now time to knead. The kids love kneading. Well so do I. We help each other to knead the dough.  We roll and roll the dough until it starts to develop some elasticity.  So that it hangs together. I ask them to imagine bubble gum bread. After about ten minutes we place the dough in a bowl. On top we place some glad wrap and a tea towel.

I ask them were should we put the bowl. They suggest in the sunlight where I normally put it. Time for a quick science lesson. I talk about the yeast. An organism that lives and grows in the dough. Yeast lives in water. It grows bigger and bigger then divides. The temperature of the water affects the speed at which this occurs. Yeast eats sugar and gives off gas as a by-product. The gas forms bubbles causing the dough to become bigger. They think the idea of eating food followed by gas hilarious. 

A few hours later I say: Time to attack the dough. 

We punch it, assault it and knock all the gas out of it. They find the idea of removing gas by punching is very funny. I now divide and separate the dough.

Kay says: Her piece is bigger than mine.

I immediately give her a bit of flour from my lump.  We all knead our lumps of dough. None of their finished lumps look perfectly symmetrical and neat. They all look better. Homemade and unique.

The lesson continues with art.  I ask them to make their roll look beautiful. Decorate your roll. They all put their initials on their roll.  One adds sesame seeds. The other adds poppy seeds and an almond.

Kay says to me: Why don’t you put your initials on your loaf?

Gertrude says: He doesn’t know how to. He’s brain damaged.

I ask them to, without playing, find a tray and a tin. They put their rolls on the tray and I put my loaf in the tin. We now wait for the dough to rise for a second time. When it doubles in size, we can cook it. I open the hot oven and carefully watch as they place the tray in the oven. I ask them to look at the clock and tell me where the big hand will be in twenty minutes.

The lesson continues with a new topic: Why does a loaf of bread take longer to cook than a smaller roll? We discuss this and after twenty minutes I ask them to stand back as I take out the rolls. 

The lesson continues with plating up of food.

I ask them: What do you want on your bread?

Gertrude knows that she always has margarine on her roll. Kay knows that she always has honey and jam on her roll. They both know how to prepare their roll correctly. The lesson finishes when they eat their freshly cooked and buttered roll. They pass with honours.


Basic Facts



Flour: 3/4/5 cups. 250ml per cup.

Tepid Water: Body temperature. 100ml of water per cup of flour.

Dried yeast: Tablespoon

Bread improver: Half teaspoon

Sugar: Tablespoon

Salt: Teaspoon

Oil: Tablespoon per cup of flour. Nut Oil or Olive Oil.


Mix ingredients. Knead until a warm dough.

Let stand until about twice as big. About 2/3 hours.

Knock back.

Place in tins.

Let rise for second time. About 15 minutes.

Cook in pre-heated oven.

45 minutes at 175 Degrees C. 

Saturday 22 July 2023

Health Department: Health

 Q: How much does Heath Department spend on health?

A: The total spend is $12.1 billion over the next four years.

This translates as between 2,700 million and 3,000 million next year.


Q: How much will the stadium cost?

A: State Government to pay 375 million.


Q: How will the Stadium benefit and improve the health of Tasmanians.

A: The stadium will encourage and inspire Tasmanians to be physically healthier. To get and play sport. The AFL will put money into grass-roots football.  

A: The stadium will improve the emotional and social health of  Tasmanians.


Direct quote from the ABC says: Loneliness is as deadly as smoking half a packet of cigarettes a day, and increases the risk of death by 26 percent.

It's linked with an increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, dementia and mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.

Monday 19 June 2023

 Mel Carlton: Posted on Facebook


This week at Northern Suburbs Pickleball we had 75 people play at YMCA / Moonah and Cadbury Tennis courts.


Congratulations to everyone who competed at the State Open last weekend. Quite a few of our members and familiar faces featured across the weekend.

No doubt I've missed someone - please let me know so I can update the list.

Mens Doubles

Michael Philpott and Chucky Wall - Gold Medal

Don Ryan and Ross Woollard - Silver Medal

Jason McLeod and R Klein

Alan Carlton (aka Dad) and Dave Emmett

Womens Doubles

Laurene Mandelson and Kathy Brown (Bronze Medal)

Annette Steele and Raylene Watson (Bronze Medal)

Lisa Mckay and Kerri Philpott

Gaye Bowden and Sue Costelloe

Sue Headley and Rosie Sweenie

Mixed Doubles

Don Ryan and Robecca Sinclar (Gold Medal)

Chucky Wall and Anita Smith (Gold Medal)

Caroline Murtagh and Murray Limbrick (Silver Medal)

Annette Steele and Glenn Wheeler (Bronze Medal)

Dave Emmett and Lisa Mckay

Kerri Philpott and Michael Philpott

Jason and R. Blundell

Alan Carlton and Anne McLean


Sue Headley - Bronze

Kerri Philpott

Michael Philpott

Jason McLeod

Laurene Mandelson

Thanks also to everyone who came down to watch and support the players - it was great to see you in the stands!

Alan Carlton: Posted on Facebook

Mel (aka Mel with an e),

Thank you for the post about the State Championships.

Congratulations to all medal winners. Well done.

I did not win a medal. I won in other ways:

I had the pleasure of playing with my partners Anne and David. Thank you.

I had the pleasure of meeting and playing against people keen to play pickleball. Thank you.

I had the pleasure of watching games involving my fellow competitors. Many of the games were close, spectacular, and entertaining to watch. Thank you.

I noticed many volunteers with their clipboards and I saw some of what you did. I’m sure you did a lot of unseen work both before and at the weekend. You helped make the State Championships successful. Thank you.

Monday 29 May 2023

Giving pickleball a serve

 After playing for years of playing pickleball I am under the impression that there is much confusion and misunderstanding about the serving rule.


After reading the official rules I have noted:


Before you serve you must call out the score. If the server does not call out the score it is a fault.

After calling out the score you have ten seconds before your paddle hits the ball. You can call the score while throwing up the ball provided you finish talking before your paddle hits the ball.

When you serve your feet must be behind the line. No touching the line. You can have one foot in the air and above the court.

You can hit a serve with spin. The spin cannot come from your hand. It must come from the paddle.

If you serve underhand with the paddle head below your wrist the serve will almost always be legal.

A drop serve lives up to its name. The ball must be dropped.

The serve must clear the kitchen and the kitchen line. The serve is in play if it hits any other service court line.





Summary of the official pickleball rules.  

The entire score must be called before the ball is served. By the server or their partner.

The serve is a fault if the server’s paddle has made contact with the pickleball for the serve prior to the entire score being called.

Once the score has been called, the server is allowed 10 seconds to serve the ball.

The serve is initiated with at least one foot behind the baseline; neither foot may contact the baseline or court until after the ball is struck.

At least one foot must be on the playing surface behind the baseline.

Neither of the server’s feet may touch the court on or inside the baseline.

Neither of the server’s feet may touch the playing surface outside the imaginary extension of the sideline or centreline.

The serve shall be made with only one hand releasing the ball. While some natural rotation of the ball is expected during any release of the ball from the hand, the server shall not impart manipulation or spin on the ball with any part of the body immediately

The serve must be made underhand.

Paddle contact with the ball must be below the server’s waist (navel level).

The server’s arm must be moving in an upward arc at the time the ball is struck with the paddle.

The highest point of the paddle head must not be above the highest part of the wrist (where the wrist joint bends) when the paddle strikes the ball.

The server must serve to the correct service court (the court diagonally opposite the server). The serve may clear or touch the net and must clear the NVZ and the NVZ lines. The serve may land on any other service court line.


The Volley Serve. 

The volley serve is made by striking the ball without bouncing the ball off the playing surface and can be made with either a forehand or backhand motion.

The Drop Serve.

Pickleball drop serve, you must drop or release the pickleball from any natural height, either by using your hand or letting the pickleball roll off of your paddle, and then hit the pickleball with your paddle after the pickleball bounces on the court. 

The ball shall not be propelled (thrown) downward or tossed or hit upward with the paddle.

Any player may use their paddle to perform the drop serve. A player who has the use of only one hand may also use their paddle to release the ball to perform the volley serve.

The drop serve may bounce multiple times before making contact.

You may pick up the pickleball and re-drop the pickleball if you do not like the drop as many times as you’d like (as long as you still hit your serve within 10 seconds after the score has been called).