Dramatis persona*

helenhead Helen Chick

I've always wanted a bumper sticker that said "I'm a female, LDS/Mormon, Scout leading, geocaching, piano-playing, bicycling, mathematics educator with a PhD in maths ... and I VOTE"!

I think this makes me a minority group of cardinality 1!

* Since there's only one of me and "personae" is plural (I think), I've gone with dramatis persona.
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Midlands 2016-#4S

After my two-night/three-day visit to Launceston it was time to head south again, with the late afternoon autumn light being especially beautiful. It meant I could stop and get a shot I’ve been hoping to get for a while. I also had a passenger in the car, and I gave her a photographic assignment for the journey as well. Thus it is that this particular “Driving-the-midlands-for-work-and-taking-photos-to-make-it-more-interesting” blog entry has two parts.

The pretty bit

We begin with the photo — well, two photos — that I have been hoping to take for a while. Between Antill Ponds and St Peters Pass you can see remnants of the old highway, bordered by poplar trees which are now turning autumn gold. Today the light was as good as I’ve seen it for taking a photo, and the traffic was light enough to stop easily.

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The ugly bits

On either side of this my friend Noleine was indulging my request to take photos to document the sections of roadworks between Hobart and Launceston, of which there seem to be more if not longer than at any time since my return to Tassie at the beginning of 2012.

Starting from the Launceston end we have some major works that have recently commenced just north of Perth. I haven’t quite worked out what’s planned, exactly, but it looks like a major relocation of the whole highway.

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To the south of Campbell Town we have some heavy machinery getting stuck into some widening and relocation works around the Somercotes property near Horton Hill.

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You barely have a chance to accelerate after this ends before you have to slow down again north of Tunbridge, where another lengthy section of road is being widened.

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After passing the pretty poplars, the fourth major section of roadworks is happening around Melton Mowbray.

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And then you hit Brighton, where they are widening the road, which makes me wonder if they’re adding an extra lane, but since the speed limit here is 80km/hr and unlikely to change because it is a town, I can’t work out why they’re doing it as even the slowest cars can manage 80km/hr and so you’d have to break the speed limit to overtake.

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Finally, on the almost-homeward stretch and with no street-lighting despite the gloom of evening, it’s time to brace for the chaos that is the Elwick Roundabout annihilation, where they’re replacing the roundabout with traffic lights, readjusting various entrance and exit roads, and, all the while, still maintaining two lanes of traffic in each direction.

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Noleine’s partner works for the transport department, and so she had inside information on future plans. She was “kind” enough to “reassure” me that the roadworks are going to be continuing for the next ten years. Sigh.

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