Category Archives: Family

St Crispin and His Magical Well

By Hannah Durdin
Once upon a time, there were two girls and their mother and father.  The older sister, Bethany, was trying to make a present for fathers’ day, so Bethany’s father decided to go on an explore-bike-ride with Hannah.  And on the way to Fern Tree they got some chips! 
 
At the Fern Tree Shop
So then the daddy and Hannah went on the bike ride along the Pipeline Track.  It was very bumpy.
Zooming
Hannah hurrahing on the Pipeline Track
Hannah on the bike
And they’d already got a snack, which was some marshmallows.  When they went on the Pipeline Track, Hannah did some picnic wees!  And then, on the Pipeline Track, Hannah and her Dad saw a well, St Crispin’s Well.  They had to walk up a little path to get there.
Hannah is walking up the place where there is a sign saying “10 minutes walk to St Crispin’s Well”
Hannah doing nothing
Hannah walking to the well
Hannah falling over
The view
And then at the well, they saw a mini waterfall, underground.  And then at St Crispin’s Well, there was white water.
At St Crispin’s Well
The sun was setting
St Crispin
The waterfall
St Crispin’s Well
St Crispin’s Well was a lovely place
When Hannah was sitting down
Chips!
This is at St Crispin’s Well
And they went home, and when they got there, Bobonne was still there.  And then they made Spaghetti Bolognese for dinner.
The End

Fun on the mountain

Joey was away over the weekend, so the girls and I drove up Mt Wellington on Sunday afternoon. It was zero Celsius and completely fogged in. They thought it was great!

On the Saturday, Bethany did an epic bike ride with me: 2 bridges in Hobart, with lunch at the Botanic Gardens, and sorbet in Moonah.  Hannah got a ride on the back of my bike.  I underestimated the length and difficulty of the planned route, and Bethany needed a lift from her grandmother for the last 8km back to the car.  Still 15km is an impressive effort for a 7 year old!

Wet and windy

Joey was off at a birth, and so the girls and I were stuck at home on a wild and windy Saturday morning in the middle of winter. It was raining and blowing a gale, but actually not too cold… At least 7 or 8 degrees.

So, perfect weather for a family bike ride, right? I pulled out the trusty “family bike” and the bike trailer, which we hadn’t used for some time. The girls were thrilled! I took the opportunity to swap off the flat pedals and put on some SPDs from my defunct road bike. Pulled on all my winter gear, rugged up the girls, put the lights on, and off we rode.

Got 1km from home and realised that we’d left the girls’ helmets behind! Groan. Funny how one can ride such a long way but turning around and going home is so hard. Still, it didn’t take long so no real harm done 🙂

We rode carefully down the long descent into town, the girls nice and dry, me not so much. First stop, bike shop to pick up a spare part for my roadie. Then the coffee shop.

Jam Packed is a great place to stop and have a coffee — especially if you are on a bike. The atrium has plenty of space to park a bike or 20 and being a big dry open space the smelly, wet bike clothes hopefully don’t bother other patrons as much as in some other coffee shops!

Coffee and mango juice done, it’s time to head off to the library, where we stayed and read books until it closed (unfortunately rather early, 2pm).

The picture shows us parking the bike at the library. We couldn’t help ourselves and borrowed a few books, which we wrapped up well in plastic bags in the boot of the trailer.

Then it was off to Salamanca Fruit Market for lunch stuff. Hannah and I went for sushi, and Beth had a roll. Now for the trek home.

It was still blowing a gale, but the rain had eased for a bit. Riding up Macquarie St, we were heading straight into a block headwind, a real gale! I was struggling along as we hit the real hill past the Cascade Brewery. I read later that wind gusts were up to 80 km/h!

I used the toe-on-the-chain technique to drop the chain onto the smallest chainring. I really must fix that front derailleur sometime soon. We slogged away until we reach the bridge, where I was quite happy to pause for an emergency loo stop for the girls!

The remainder of the ride up the hill with 60kg of trailer doing its best to drag me back down again was definitely the slowest I’ve ever climbed Strickland Ave, by a long way! Fortunately we were sheltered somewhat from the wind by the curves of the hill.

We even got a tailwind along Chimney Pot Hill Rd but as we turned into Ridgeway we were hit by the full force of the gale and we came nearly to a complete halt! I was grinding along in bottom gear, on the flat mind you, out of the saddle, crouched over my bike like a Tour de France contender, face contorted as I forced my way against the fury of the wind — and rain — and into our driveway. The girls jumped out of the trailer and bolted for the shelter of the house while I struggled to open the door to put the bike and trailer away. I let go of the trailer for a second to brace the door against the wind and had to chase it half way down the driveway. Finally I dragged it into the basement, let the door slam in the wind and heaved a sigh of relief! Home!

The next morning my legs feel like I’ve just ridden a serious race…  And Strava has awarded me a 5th place in the climb “Hydro to Strickland” — because I’ve never ridden that route before, and because there were only 4 other riders who have ridden that route!

An examination of a handwritten document from the early 21st Century

This document was recently unearthed in southern Tasmania, Australia and has proven to be a curious example of early 21st century writing. It is believed that it is one of the last examples of writing on paper known before the great move to “computerised” text that characterisedthe era.

It is believed that the document is written in the lingua franca of the period, Modern English. We know from other historical records that the following alphabet is commonly recognised in the era and locality.

From this alphabet, we can determine that the document was originally photographed upside down! It is believed that the original photographer correctly identified the “address” area of the document (see below) but then wrongly assumed that this “address” should be at the top left of the document.

The darker ink sections at the top of the document do not appear to have been written by human hand and we believe them to be insignificant in the context of the document.

With a quick initial review we broke the document down into a two significant areas which we have called the “address” and the “letter”. The bottom right ruled section appears to be a form of address, perhaps denoting the author of the missive and the recipient.

It is curious to note a repetition of a particular word shape in this section. It is possible that this is a method of emphasising the sender or recipient.

It is perhaps useful to transcribe the letters and words we can recognise from the two sections of the document. The well known document “A Dictionary of the English Language” proved very useful here. The query symbol “?” has been used where the letters are unclear. [Editor’s Note: this transcription is written with “Unicode” and may require additional fonts on your system to be legible.]

MOU?D T YOU ?
IH TO BIRTHDAY
B ? ?
A ?????
M?
DORA

And in the “address” section:

HAMMAH
AUMTI B ANN B
HAMMAH IDE
MC??MA

We quickly spotted the ideographic symbol at the base of the document which we believe to be a “rabbit” – a form of animal life common in Tasmania in the early 21st century AD.

One of the sociological researchers on our team was excited to identify the “DORA” letter group (pronounced roughly as “Daw-ra”), which seems to have been a common meme at the time, perhaps the name of a famous entertainer.


Initially, we were puzzled by a shape that did not appear to be representative of any of the English alphabet, until we realised that the shape was merely an inverted L:

Note the difference between the inverted L and the R in DORA (we believe the R
to be a close match to the “lower case” version of the R):

This allowed us to identify a number of other words, so we thought:

MOULD T YOU L
IH TO BIRTHDAY
B ? ?
ALL ???
M?
DORA

Using the aforementioned Dictionary, we were then able to identify several words quickly, but this left us with a very puzzling message [Editor’s note: translations have been provided from the Dictionary by the team]:

MOULD The earth of the burying ground
T
YOU Second person personal pronoun
L IH
TO A function word used to indicate direction or action
BIRTHDAY The day of a person’s birth
B ? ?
ALL Encompassing everything
???
M?
DORA [The name of a famous entertainer?]

The use of the word associated with death together with the word associated with birth did lead us down the wrong track for some time. This lead to an entertaining but not particularly useful discussion as to possible interpretations of the document – perhaps it was a record of an important event, or an invitation to an event, or even a threat:

“On the day that the
entertainer Daw-ra is born,
you will be consigned to the burial ground” (!)

At this point we abandoned this path of inquiry, not realising how close we were to the true interpretation – and yet so far!

It was clear that we would have to work a bit harder to get to the true meaning of this document. A closer look at the M letters in the document showed a variation which we had not initially identified.

The first M had 3 humps and not 2. Perhaps it was not an M at all. Eventually we hit upon the idea of inverting the letter, in the same way as we had done with the L. Immediately it became clear that this was indeed an invitation – perhaps as mentioned to an event celebrating the birth
of DORA.

WOULD A question word implying desire
T
YOU Second person personal pronoun
L IH
TO A function word used to indicate direction or action
BIRTHDAY The day of a person’s birth
B ? ?
ALL Encompassing everything
???
M?
DORA [The name of a famous entertainer?]

The next letter to get an extended examination was the star shape next to the final M in the document:

By closely comparing each letter in the English alphabet to this star shape, we were able to bring the options down to K X and Y. In this context, it seemed that Y made the most sense and was the closest match, giving the well known Modern English word MY. This led us back to the start of the document where the L IH grouping (over two lines) was still puzzling us. Again, we compared the letters of the Modern English alphabet to the H letter, and realised that the K was possibly a closer match than the H. That gave us this message:

WOULD A question word implying desire
T
YOU Second person personal pronoun
LIK Perhaps an alternate spelling of LIKE, when linked with WOULD, indicating a pleasurable desire
TO A function word used to indicate direction or action
BIRTHDAY The day of a person’s birth
B ? ?
ALL Encompassing everything
???
MY First person personal pronoun
DORA [The name of a famous entertainer?]

Even from our admittedly limited understanding of English grammar, there was something that didn’t quite work in the ordering of the words. It seemed almost that there was a “word-picture” with some of the remaining letters – a letter apparently on its side, and some circular letters that seemed to be written and rewritten.


This symbol gave us trouble until it was suggested that perhaps it was a stylized C:

With a deep breath we proceeded to break apart the word picture:

This gave us something else to play with: B A LL E ? and COM. We postulated that perhaps the order of words in the document was less significant then than commonly thought by researchers today:

WOULD A question word implying desire
T
YOU Second person personal pronoun
LIK Perhaps an alternate spelling of LIKE, when linked with WOULD, indicating a pleasurable desire
TO A function word used to indicate direction or action
COM Perhaps COME, to move towards something
MY First person personal pronoun
BIRTHDAY The day of a person’s birth
B ALL E ? Perhaps BALLET, a ceremonial dance
DORA [The name of a famous entertainer?]

At this point we were sure we had the message (roughly translated):

Would you like to come [to] my
birthday Daw-ra
‘ballet’?

We were on a roll and started to tackle the address area. It was now clear that HAMMAH was a name. Again, applying the power of the Dictionary to the task, we came up with:

HAMMAH “Hama” (a name, rough pronounciation)
AUMTI
B
ANN “An” (a name, rough pronounciation)
B
HAMMAH
I DE
MC ? LMA

Again, stylistic variations came into play. It is clear from this document, that although other documents from the same era have suggested a regular and standardized alphabet, a wide latitude of variability in letter shapes and word spellings was in fact both permissible and common. We believe that this is an exciting area for further study. While our analysis could not identify any common words starting with “AUMTI”, a close match was made with “AUNTIE”, which both fit in the context and clarified the remainder of the address:

HANNAH “Hana” (a name, rough pronounciation)
AUNTIE
ANNE “An” (a name, rough pronounciation)
HANNAH
I DE
MC ? LMA

The names “HANNAH” and “ANNE” have been found in other literature from the period.

Thus, we believe this document to have been an invitation from Hana to her parent’s sibling An, asking her to come to her ceremonial dance celebration of the entertainer Daw-ra’s birthday.

The remainder of the address remains a puzzle. We have not been able to decipher it and we welcome any suggestions.