I found a Wocket

… and no, she was not in my pocket 🙂


So, a very long time ago (mid 1990’s) I met a friend (Wocket, aka: Renee) from Australia, via an online usenet newsgroup, but unfortunately we both got wrapped up in life and lost touch. Well recently, after some internet sleuthing (Google is my friend), I was able to track her down and surprisingly it turns out she lives here in Queensland (Brisbane even! Woot!). For those that don’t know, I just happen to be temporarily living in Australia (Gold Coast area) which is only a 45 minute drive from Brisbane. This was too good of an opportunity to pass up, so I got in touch and we worked out a chance to actually meet up.

I made my way up the coast toward the city, wound around the suburbs and eventually found her house. She was working in the back, and showed me around her wonderful garden, which hosted 3 chooks (chickens) and all sorts of veggies and herbs abundantly growing about. Afterwards we headed in for some tea and to catchup on each others lives. She had became a Creative Design Artist and worked heavily in the computer industry, but then shifted over to more fulfilling role as an Artistic Teacher. As she showed me around, I got to see a bunch of her work and I have to say she has some pretty amazing creative talents.

When we were chatting over email, I and mentioned that at some point I was planning to visit a local mountain/hill that had been suggested to me by some friends. Renee knew exactly the place that I was talking about and offered to show it to me when I came to visit. So we decided to head off to see Mount Coottha. Before Leaving, we passed by her glass workshop where she showed me how she uses a (1000 degree) torch to make artistic glass beads for projects. She gave me a demonstration and then offered to let me try once we got back.

We drove across Brisbane and over to Mount Coottha. At the top you have an unrestricted (panoramic) view of the country side and Brisbane’s CBD. It was absolutely beautiful. The sky was overcast, so colors were not as vibrant but I plan to return before i leave to see if I can catch it on a clear day. We hung about and had lunch before heading down the hill to the Botanical Gardens. While there, we ventured around the different sections taking photos left and right. Everything from native fauna, sub-tropical, tropical, rainforest, cacti, even a Japanese Garden. I even got to see the oldest ancestor of the orange tree that now populates the world.

After much wandering, it was time to head back. Renee took us over to where Ian (her husband) works to see if we could surprise him with a ride home, unfortunately he had already caught a bus and was on his way, so we hopped back in the car and continued on.

After we arrived, Renee sat me down at the glass workbench and went over how to utilize the glass rods, the flame and the metal rod that is used to capture/control the melted glass. She talked me through the process as I had fun playing with the molten glass (amazingly no one was harmed 🙂 ).

We set the beads to cool and headed back to the garden where I got to meet Ian, who currently works in IT and is going to Uni (university) for a technical degree. After geeking for a bit about computers, Renee invited me to join them for dinner and then had me harvesting herbs from the back garden. After some kitchen work, Ian and I enjoyed our selves shooting bazookas, launching kamikaze grand-ladies, and dropping explosive cows, in the hilarious mayhem called Worms (a PlayStation game).

Dinner was an amazing home cooked (and grown) meal of curry with chickpeas and then was finished up with a delicious homemade pear pie (oh my mouth drools just remembering it). The night wound down as we chatted about tech, Sci-fi, British Comedies, etc.

It was getting late so I bid them farewell, and headed home.

They are a wonderful couple and I’m looking forward to seeing them again before I have to leave. It’s a shame I had not contacted them earlier in my trip. (oh well, live and learn) 🙂

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