Friday, 20 February 2015

Zan On Tour 2015: Marsupials and Other Critters

Morgan and I went to visit Marsupial Park with our lovely friend Donna from Malarkey. We were so excited to visit because we'd recently learned that Australia was full of marsupials - basically, any mammal that carries it's young in a pouch. We found more than marsupials at the park, and had a lovely time enjoying the fact that parrots are as common as pigeons in Australia! Once upon a time, Australia was known as Psittacoria which roughly means "Parrot Land". There are such amazing animals here!

This is a wallaby. He's playing it super cool here.

This is Morgan with an orphaned wallaroo! Aww, hello Ruby!

I fed a kangaroo! Yaaay!

My dad asked me to take a selfie with a kangaroo while I was here. Done!

Here's the baby wallaroo again. :)

Here is a big fat birdie. Some form of parrot.

This is a Pink Galah! He looks really cheeky in this pic! 

This is Wallie the duck!

Wallie wanted food from me but there wasn't any so he just nibbled on my hand! It really tickled.

And here are more colourful birdies - these ones are rescue birds but they are just normally out and about in Australia!

I have been absolutely fascinated by the wildlife ever since I got here and rightly so! We don't have any marsupials in the UK (apart from the one that my friends and I made up when we were at college) and our native animals certainly aren't a multitude of bright colours! It's been really interesting hearing all the stories, and seeing animals that we would only normally see in a zoo roam freely in the wild. Amazing stuff.

I had a really nice day of animal discovery today. Hoorah for marsupials, and thank you to Donna for taking us to see them today!

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Zan On Tour 2015: A Beautiful Country

The last few days has been eventful. Lots of things happened, and we covered a lot of ground. When I last wrote, we were in Echuca. We went to Swan Hill shortly after, then drove to Carathool, then to Dubbo and now we are in Tamworth. I've done some driving (which felt liberating) and I've felt very blessed to be touring around such a beautiful country. Here are some photos:

We had a power cut in Swan Hill that lasted for 48 hours. It was crazy because it was boiling hot 40°C with no air con - I tell you, never again. I will always remember Swan Hill.

Look at the sky! Look at the drama! This is a road that you're not allowed to drive on when it's raining.

This is an eagle, soaring high above, looking for his next meal.

This is the beautiful colours of a sunset, peaking through the trees.

Here is a dramatic sunset scene - absolutely breath taking!

Here's a weird boulder-like prop that was left in the middle of a field. Those are Morgan's legs.

And here is a satellite dish (called, inventively, The Dish) that received the first transmissions from the moon!

We've put some miles in now and we've seen some wonderful scenery! When some countries advertise their countries to entice visitors, they pick the best bits of their country to show off. In Australia, it's probably safe to say that there's so much greatness in it, it's hard to decide what not to show off.

We have a day off tomorrow, and then the gigs begin again - work hard, play harder! 

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Zan On Tour 2015: Australia So Far

Here are a fun selection of photos of my adventure so far:

Here's a typical Australian postbox - I was super interested given that I have postcards to send.

Australians love pavlovas! Here's our first.

Look at this flower - it's so weird looking!

On the road!

The paddlesteamers at Echuca.

Flipflop tree.

Paddlesteamer and fuel.

Look at the gum trees! So tall and elegant!

This is Watson. He belonged to a very proud shop owner.

This book shop was not only filled with books, but also with a bajillion dog statues.

This is the main street in Echuca.

And beware the grape!

I'm having a great time in Australia, working hard and playing hard! We've finished 3 gigs now, and have our first Pop-Up tomorrow. More photos soon! :)

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Zan On Tour 2015: A Day in Australia

Well, I'm here, in Australia: the other side of the world! Hello! I had a good night of sleep, and don't appear to be too jetlagged, but all that could change in the next couple of minutes! Ha!

I've now spent my first full day here, and I have experienced the following:
~ A flock of parrots, talking together
~ Ice cream before 10am (we woke up randomly at 7am)
~ Australian sausage rolls - it's pastry stuffed with stuffing that's like a sausage roll but isn't.
~ Excellent pie that gives British pies a run for their money
~ Heat like in Hong Kong but without the sticky!
~ Eating a meal outdoors without getting wet or cold
~ Our first Australian pavlova
~ A flock of bats, flying home in the sunset

Here we are, enjoying our morning ice creams :)

It's been a lovely, relaxing first way, with much to learn and much to see! Tomorrow the work begins, and I'm excited! I have a good feeling about all of this, and hope that we can meet everyone's expectations! Zan, out! :)

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Time to Fly

Tomorrow, I am off to Australia. I can't quite believe it, but I'm really going. My bags are packed, and I'm ready to go! :)

Morgan and I have been invited there by Team Malarkey to talk about playwork to the Australians. We're both very excited: Morgan's already on her way!

I haven't got a photo of my day apart from my postcard, so here it is:

This is a dog, painted by Lowry, a postcard from my 365 project! :)

I'm not sure that anyone will hear from me in the next two days because I have many many hours of flights ahead of me, but I will be back on the blog whenever I reach The Land Down Under! It's adventure time!

Friday, 6 February 2015

The Other Side of Uni

So up until now, I have been a student at uni. I've always been on the receiving end of information, being marked and assessed as the pupil rather than the teacher. Today, thanks to my friend and fellow PhD student David Stonehouse, I was invited to speak at Edge Hill University as a guest lecturer! Now that is a sentence I never thought I would say!

David invited me to talk about Pop-Up Adventure Play, and our global perspectives on playwork. This is something I know and love, and I was really excited to be talking about it!

I was pretty nervous about this, but for some reason, I felt grounded and solid, instead of being filled with butterflies. I guess it really helps to have delivered workshops day in, day out with Morgan while we were roadtripping around the US.

I ran the lecture as I would with a Pop-Up workshop - bit of talking, bit of playing, bit of question and answer time, and lots of stories. Some of the students looked engaged throughout: others messed with their phones a lot. Well, I guess it happens! It also seems to happen to me that I fiddle with the loose parts when I'm talking, and I may have accidentally thrown a loose part at one of the phone-wielding students and caught them by surprise. Needless to say, there was no more phone usage after that! Haha.

This is one of the things that two of the students made during the play time. I wanted to show this image because these two girls looked livid when I said that they needed to get up and play, and then one of them sat there stabbing a box for a while. It was only after about 20 minutes did they really open up and get it, and they started playing. They explained too, that it felt weird to be allowed time to play, and they had no idea how. It took them that time to find the courage to get up and do something! This, by the way, is a Vodka Bar.

It was a long Friday afternoon, but when I finished, it felt really good. The sun was giving a spectacular spectrum in the sky, and I smiled to myself because I know that I did well today. I don't know that anyone learned anything, but I think I communicated my thoughts well, and David was pleased with the lecture, so I guess everything is good! Yay! I'm feeling proud of myself for going solo on this, and I'm excited for the next opportunity! Hoorah for new challenges! :)

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Rainbow Leaves

Since having my annual progression meeting last week, I've been feeling a little more relaxed. I've been focused on work without random pangs of panic and I've had time to play too.

A lot of my play today was dedicated to a doodle that I started on Sunday. Here it is, finished, and awesome!

Yay, doodled rainbow leaves! I think that I might turn this into 2 postcards. Or just keep it as a stand out piece for my etsy shop. Not sure yet! More doodles here.

Anyway, only a few days to go before I fly out to Australia. I'm looking forward to seeing new things, but I am totally not looking forward to 20 hours worth of flights. I'm working on music lists, books and all sorts to help me while away the time. 

Yay for postcards, and yay for zoodles!