the 444 project

a travelling photo journal

217

Posted by schurn on July 26, 2016

Queenstown, New Zealand.
28 October 2015, 08:05.
13 days since 216.

217

We’d spent a good handful of days in New Zealand with these Belgian legends, touring around, looking at glaciers and lakes and mountains and hobbits and fields of sheep and JOJOBA, trying to find 217. Unlike other travels, nothing immediately appeared and it wasn’t until we arrived back in their temporary ‘hometown’ of Queenstown that we had success. New Zealand is astoundingly beautiful, and we had made a habit of trying to get out and see it by hiking. This morning we stopped into Vic’s work for a coffee before heading up Queenstown Hill. It is less popular than the other mountain overlooking the town, which has the skyline thingo on it, but still (or therefore) super amazing. We sat up there for ages checking out the view in all directions. When we came back down we had burgers and put our feet in rather chilly Lake Wakatipu, and then probably had wine….but hey it’s bloody ages ago so give the old memory a chance here. Anyways, setting off from the cafe, someone spotted 217, which was obviously difficult given this was the main view (despite being a less than ideal photo youse get the idea right, it was beautiful):217a

End thought after a week in New Zealand was ‘why did it take so long to come here’? Stay tuned for more 444 project entries from future NZ trips.

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216

Posted by schurn on July 26, 2016

Melbourne, Australia.
15 October 2015, 17:42.
69 days since 215.

216

Schurn and his CONVIVIAL friend Tom just hanging out in the car on the way to rock climbing, you know, Kramer and George style. Peak hour traffic in the opposite direction on the Maroondah Hwy, peak hour traffic in our direction, peak hour at the climbing joint. If you’re reading this and wondering if climbing is fun, then go check it out, it’s worthwhile. So fun in fact, 10 months later Tom and Schurn recently discussed that they should battle the peak hours and go do it again. Lucky we didn’t splash out on any gear. But seriously, is good.

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215

Posted by schurn on May 30, 2016

Healesville, Australia.
7 August 2015, 12:51.
8 days since 214.

215Note to selves, take notes of what happened on the day of the occurrence, because if you get distracted for, say, 10 months, you might not remember much about what was going on and it will make for very boring posts. The *intention* is to post ASAP after a number finds us, or even live, but clearly there’s a ghost in the machine somewhere.

All I can recall, despite this number being on the same street as 201 and just up the road from 179, when 201 found us this property had different owners and this sign is a relatively recent addition…if they hadn’t put it up, the ‘Don Rd Cluster’ might never have formed.

Also, it was raining.

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214

Posted by schurn on May 30, 2016

Melbourne, Australia.
30 July 2015, 15:08.
15 days since 213.

214If Schurn’s memory of 213’s events was hazy, 214 has vanished from his head like QUICKSILVER on a sloping surface of some kind. Actually have zero idea what we up to, but this most definitely is somewhere in Melbourne, perhaps Nicholson St approaching the Scotchmer/Pigdon intersection from the north….is that the drive-in flower shop in green on the left? Someone help me out….

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213

Posted by schurn on May 30, 2016

Göteborg, Sweden.
15 July 2015, 22:50.
1 day since 212.

213a

Given this was ALMOST A YEAR AGO (sorry about the delay folks), it’s hard to recall exactly what was going on. However, we had been at a boule bar, playing a little boule and enjoying a couple of brewskis. The boule bar met and exceeded expectations, expectations set mostly by Schurn’s natural propensity to be loath to pay for something one can get for free. This grainy photo was taken on the walk home.

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212

Posted by schurn on January 27, 2016

Borås, Sweden.
14 July 2015, 19:14.
9 hours since 211.

212a

Just a quick addition here, as most of the fun DISCOVERIES from the day happened in the 211 post. However, it’s always exciting for two numbers to find us on the same day, even though they’re pretty much on the same stretch of road – 212 being just a fraction closer to GBG than 211. In the absence of anything else to say, here’s a fun fact about Borås from Wikipedia: It currently holds the Swedish record in the number of established mail-order firms.

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211

Posted by schurn on January 18, 2016

Jönköping, Sweden.
14 July 2015, 10:16.
17 hours since 210.211aWow, such a long time ago. We’ve gotten ourselves a little behind on the updates, this was not only over 6 months ago but also in a land far, far away. Geographically that is.

You will recall, the 444 project is currently in Sweden on holiday, and Sal has been joining in the fun with the rest of the Swedes. Literally – almost everyone in Sweden takes holidays from work in July, mostly because the weather is so much more amazing than the rest of the year, but there must be other egalitarian societal based reasons which I’ll leave for the comments section.

So everyone on holidays brings us to this day’s adventures – a day trip to meet My, Boel and Benjamin. They were camping out east from GBG and this Volvo greeted us on the way to meet them in Gränna. We had decided to go over to Visingsö, a large-ish island in the middle of the lake Vättern, and former site of a royal castle and timber reserves for the Swedish Navy. We rented bikes including a tandem and rode through the forests and saw centuries old burial mounds and churches and had fika and then ended up back at the ferry terminal for a beer and pizza. A good number of hours we’d been out and about on Visingsö, there we were eating our pizza when guess what pulled into the car park….the exact same Volvo we saw on the freeway up, pictured below with CC The LEMUR riding a seesaw rocking horse thing:

211c

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210

Posted by schurn on November 14, 2015

Göteborg, Sweden.
13 July 2015, 17:03.
2 days since 209.

Another day out travelling around the beautiful Göteborg area, this time a day trip to the archipelago with Sal and 146‘s Ronnie – who lives in Melbourne but was randomly in Sweden as the same time as us. We took the 13 tram to Saltholmen and then the ferry to the island of Vrångö, picnic in hand, and walked for a small time until we found a tiny beach where we sat and ate and read books and took siesta. We then walked around the rest of the island which is predominantly nature reserve, and caught the ferry back to the Saltholmen, with perfect timing to meet friends for dinner. Dinner was in a rather unusual part of town, a great view of the harbour but something akin to an industrial estate. The warehouses there obviously all have numbers, and there’s a directory at the entrance showing all of them, including Seatrade International AB (a strategic partner focused on helping our customers with supply of spares parts and equipment), and Topoil AB (one of the leading physical supplier of marine oil products in the Swedish, Danish and Norwegian ports and coasts). Their words not mine.

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209

Posted by schurn on November 9, 2015

Kungälv, Sweden.
11 July 2015, 18:35.
1 day since 208


Travelling around, in and out of carparks, getting groceries – these are all sure fire ways for a number in the 444 project to pop up. Today Schurn and Sal did all three, and BAM! there is 209. The folks who owned this Volvo were actually just stepping out having parked as we approached, so Schurn had to be quick on the shutter, hence a few other numbers scattered about like the shells of a JAWFISH’S burrow. Unlike 088 or 182, it wasn’t the right time to be asking the owner to pose with us, it didn’t feel intimate enough, giant supermarket carpark.

The travelling around was the funnest part of the day, we’d been to a flea market in the morning where CC Top and her sister were selling some stuff, then went on a little road trip to the beach at Varberg, then came back and went and sat with some mates on some rocks near a lake…but then it got cold (as it does) and we went to the shops to get some supplies and here we are back at the start. The whole day we despaired at the quality of radio in Sweden, and longed for some RRR, PBS or even Gold FM, that’s how low the standard was. There are many good things about Sweden, music radio is not one of them.

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208

Posted by schurn on August 27, 2015

Kungälv, Sweden.

10 July 2015, 17:07.

26 days since 207

208a

When last we met, Schurn and CC Top had just been to a wedding in Australia. Two weeks later there was another in Sweden, that of Maria and Fredrik of 133 fame. The wedding had come, we had partied (3 votes to Kajsa (136)), the wedding had gone. A week or two later, Sal (099,131) had come to visit as we couldn’t make it down to Switzerland this visit. Maria and Fredrik and their daughter Ellen had recently moved out from Göteborg to Kungälv, and we took this free afternoon as a chance to get out into the forest a little. There in the car park 208 greeted us, Ellen was very excited to eat something and see the ducks and make a cubby house and look over there and eat more and not be in the pusher and also seemed to enjoy being in a 444 project selfie. So we walked around the lake and into the forest and did all those things then Maria picked us up and took us home to begin BBQing (so much haloumi!), and CC Top arrived from seeing her family about half an hour later. She was casually showing Maria a milk jug her grandmother had given her when Maria noticed it had a number on the bottom and wondered what number we were up to…..too late…26 days and then the same number twice in half an hour:208c

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207

Posted by schurn on August 9, 2015

Smiths Beach, Australia.

14 June 2015, 15:00.

61 days since 206

207dIt was wedding season. The day before 207 found us we had just been to Jo and Sri’s wedding on Phillip Island, and were leaving the next day on a jet plane bound for Sweden be involved in Maria and Fredrik’s wedding. FUN TIMES.

This was the post-wedding Sunday, and after a nice fry up breakfast put on by the family, those of the crew who were capable took some time out to wander down from our rental houses to Smith’s Beach and check out the ocean and rocks and crabs and stuff. It was a good chance for us to hang out with some cool folk who we don’t get to see very often, including those in this photo: previous 444 project participants Greg (095,096), and Bri (definitely there for 026 and quite likely for 068 though in neither of the photos). I guess then absence of contact shone on them being the ones who ended up in the only photo which worked out, rather than those who we see regularly. Not a usual feature of the 444 project – here’s a compilation of the trouble we had with the lighting for the group photos….

207207a207b207c

And for good measure, the zoomed out version of the house rather than just the meter box:

207e

After the beach, we headed back to the house, had some cocktails/beers/wines/vegemite pizza and then hung out some more with informal trivial pursuit and take-out. The memorable moment from the night however, belonged to CC Top, who told the father of the bride to ‘shut his pie-hole’. A classic ending to a tops weekend.

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206

Posted by schurn on May 7, 2015

Melbourne, Australia.

17 April 2015, 21:39.

87 days since 205206

First off, that’s a new record for length of time for a number to find us, eclipsing the 59 days it took 181. At this rate, our guesses at a completion date looks a little optimistic – Schurn thought August 2019 and CC Top May 2020. Not half way to 444 and over 5 years in, the most recent 5 numbers averaging over a month each….we could be old and grey by the time 443 comes around.

206 appeared rather unexpectedly and fans of the project will be pleased to hear that Schurn had his wherewithal about him when he might have been forgiven for otherwise not. You see, it was the end of the evening for the Oakridge End of Vintage party, a gathering that collected all the staff who had made wine for Oakridge this year, starting with lunch and a number of magnums of damn decent bubbles a number of hours earlier…and ending quite close in time to this photo with gin cocktails.

So, Schurn spent about the 8 weeks prior doing all the things that one does to make wine, developing an appreciation of what Rhys does with Small Change Wines. Could explain why it’s a record wait, it was a busy time. Part of the daily routine at Oakridge was to sit down to lunch as a group and enjoy a couple of bottles with the fare. Often the winemakers would present a wine in a beaker and it was the crew’s task to guess the wine. That’s a tough (but enjoyable) school. Yarra Valley 2011 Pinot Noir? Yeah, but what vineyard? Anyways, back to the End of Vintage party – after lunch and a rather plentiful consumption of good booze, we moved on to a wine bar, where all the crew proceeded to chose wines that got poured into a beaker and presented. And consumed. And then after a number of hours, gin cocktails became involved, obviously. Schurn had to play football the next day so called a personal end to the proceedings (not the first to leave), wandered outside and up one of Melbourne’s famous laneways in the direction of the nearest train station. At the far end of the lane, on the opposite side of the street, was 206 beaming in neon glory. Seems hard to miss now, but at the time Schurn was pretty chuffed with himself.

Needless to say, the football was awful.

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205

Posted by schurn on February 13, 2015

Melbourne, Australia.

20 January 2015, 18:22.

29 days since 204.

205This post of the 444 project is sponsored by Kia Motors.

We’ve tried and failed to previously get a shot of the serve speed at one of our favourite Melbourne outings, the Australian Open. Schurn remembers standing outside waiting to get into a court in 2012, and seeing 122 through the staircase, but wasn’t quick enough to get the camera out. This year, we were paying careful attention to every serve. Schurn and CC Top spent a whole day on outside courts watching tall Americans and east Europeans and young Swedes; but 205 just didn’t come up, despite being more in the ‘hitting zone’ than 122 (to use a sporting parlance). It took the arrival of Cath for the night session to bring the luck to the project. She’s been around from the early days – but sadly without photographic presence – and kept an equally enthusiastic eye on the monitor in the Round 1 match on Showcourt 3 between 25th seed Julien Benneteau of France and German Benjamin Becker. No relation I’m told. CC Top was supporting Julien (pictured) to start with because he was wearing red…and there’s no way she could support a German, but in the middle of the 3rd game she announced she was changing allegiances because Benjamin was a way more entertaining player. The most interesting Schurn had to say about the match was the standard of the line judges was not high, despite having a darn difficult job.

We had a most enjoyable day yet again at the tennis, mostly because it’s such a blend of people from Melbourne (including many migrants supporting players from their homelands) and around the world, and it’s an all day outdoors event that has a relaxed feel about it. Plus, you can drink beer in the sun whilst others do the exercise. The most fun however, is that it finally joins the 444 project, although next year might be difficult.

For the curious folk: Becker won in 4, the young Swede lost in 5, and we caught the train home.

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204

Posted by schurn on February 13, 2015

Adelaide, Australia.

22 December 2014, 18:01.

42 days since 203.

204

There’s a little cluster of 444 project finds forming in Adelaide’s inner south. Mainly because whenever Schurn goes back he stays with Papaschurn and Elizabeth, and walks around everywhere, and just now the numbers on their street happen to coincide.

Schurn actually has very little idea what he was doing at this hour of this day, having been out for cousin’s birthday lunch (wine included) and perhaps delivering some wine himself. There’s a chance he was op-shopping for Kris Kringle presents which turned out to be a bucket load of books for Elizabeth, there’s an equally likely chance he was at the pub around the corner.

Regardless of what was happening, we can’t spruce up this number any more and there’s still more catching up to come so let’s move on shall we….

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203

Posted by schurn on February 11, 2015

Healesville, Australia.

10 November 2014, 15:50.

31 days since 202.

2014-11-10 15.50.21This. Is. The. Cafe! Or, the outside of it at least.

The only previous mention of Refreshments in the project was a little obscurely in 194, because at that time it was still in progress. But, 9 numbers later it was very much rocking and getting it’s groove on. If the world around us has missed it, CC Top and ol’ pal Georgie have opened a cafe in the Railway Station in Healesville. It’s open everyday except Tuesday, everyday except Tuesday it’s an amazing place to be. They do all handmade food (OMG vego-sausage rolls) and plenty of Swedish treats. It took a few months to get the interior looking the way they wanted it, for a complete run down you’ll just have to came visit and discuss with them over a slice of carrot cake. Carrot cake….Top 5 things that indicate you are over 30.

Back on topic, there’s also a tourist train which runs every Sunday, and that there leaning on the Yarra Ranges Council ute is take-care-of-business Alan from said Railway. The council ute turned up to talk waste bins with the girls, and Schurn was damn excited to finally get a company vehicle into the 444 project – every truck/lorry on the highway has been inspected as it either passed or was passed, and none have been right until now.

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202

Posted by schurn on February 9, 2015

Adelaide, Australia.

10 October 2014, 17:38.

18 days since 201.

202Got a handful of numbers to catch up on, so let’s keep it brief…the best thing that can be said here is Coopers!

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201

Posted by schurn on January 15, 2015

Healesville, Australia.

22 September 2014, 14:02.

19 days since 200.

IMG_0653A few days back into the Australian spring for Schurn, after spending a week or two in Zurich with Sal, there was another successful return into the Don Rd area that provided 179. Schurn can’t claim to be quite as unique to the 444 project as a pony. Nothing quite as interesting as riding said pony either, just going to collect some bikes for Nick and Vic (of 181 fame) to ride around Healesville. And, that be about all there is to say about that.

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200

Posted by schurn on January 12, 2015

Tbilisi, Georgia.

3 September 2014, 12:41.

24 hours since 199.

IMG_0587

Bus 200 in Tbilisi, no bloody idea where it comes from or goes to. Can’t really recall many specifics about the day either, 4 months down the track (note to us – update more often). This much is clear – Schurn was outside the Qatar Airways office in the Georgian capital, trying to organise a flight to Australia. There were complications, due to the predicament Sal had put herself in, in getting such flights sorted…so Schurn was crazily running around with directional notes written in Georgian for the ‘Square with the Flower Stalls’ and getting documents translated and battling the language barrier and eating nuts and yoghurt from Carrefour (uuuhhh) and generally getting ably and most gratefully assisted by a couple of stand-up big-hearted awesome local dudes Gala and Koka. With all that crazy going on, bonus points for Schurn for noticing the bus coming down the road and quickly whipping out the phone camera. No appeals against the exclusion of this number based on it having two numbers will be entered in to, it’s just too remarkable that at that place and moment in time Schurn happened to be where he was. Schurn actually recalls a conversation with CC Top early days of the project, discussing how the amazing finds would be a bus we take in some random country like Guatemala or something. Yes, amazing.

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199

Posted by schurn on November 5, 2014

Tbilisi, Georgia.

2 September 2014, 13:06.

5 days since 198.

199This is Galaqtion Eristavi. In Tbilisi, Georgia. Georgia the country, not the US state. The country whose citizens can only travel to two other countries in the world without needing a visa in their passport.

The following are some quotes from the 444 project #1 fan Papaschurn regarding the inclusion of house numbers and number plates in this project:

“A truly boring number this 63. Not that 63 is, of itself. boring. I can well imagine many novel and interesting 63s. It’s just, this is not one of them. Please; please. No more boring house numbers just to maintain a quota.”

“I love this – not for the 77, which is just another boring house number – but for the headwear Schurn is displaying.”

“80 was an excellent find. 81 was not only boring, but apparently, on Schurn’s own admission, found before time.”

“Yuck! Horrible! Awful! Please resist the seemingly incessant temptation to take car number plates for the remainder of this project – unless the car or number plate has some complementary significance or interest, such as being the car that transports the Swedish Queen or in which ABBA is spelt out.”

“I’m loving the photo, notwithstanding that it is yet another number plate.”

“Getting 140 on the till would have been amazing and worthy of a top five spot. Getting 140 as yet another street address is worthy of a bottom five spot. For Odin’s sake, can we please close our eyes next time a house number or car plate appears in sequence.”

“Did I tell you I love street address numbers and car number plates – NOT. At least this one has an interesting enough story to go with it. If ever I stoop to providing street numbers for 444, shoot me. Wait a minute; I have. But that was a most interesting street address.”

“Another boring number plate, but with a very challenging alpha set.”

“Here’s the thing. It’s another boring number plate,”

I look forward to your PHILANTHROPIC submission to this number plate Papaschurn.

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198

Posted by schurn on November 4, 2014

Adelaide, Australia.

28 August 2014, 13:07.

2 days since 197.

198The 444 project’s #1 fan, proudly displaying his very own house number. For some time, CC Top and Schurn had been discussing the idea that 198 was on the horizon, and how amazing it would be should all the ducks line up and it came to be at #1 fan’s house, kinda like 081 or 112. Well, the ducks were quacking and Schurn was forced to return from KI a little earlier than expected, not through choice but rather because Sal of 131 fame was having a few issues abroad which needed attending to (by Schurn). So 198 happened through unexpected and quite rushed circumstances, but it was still pretty amazing that all the combinations and permutations of what might have happened took place (or didn’t) and we turned up another bewdy of a house number.

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197

Posted by schurn on November 4, 2014

Second Valley, Australia.

26 August 2014, 14:03.

31 days since 196.

197

Driving from Adelaide to get the ferry to KI, one of Schurn’s favourite drives in Australia. The house on KI needed some love, we needed some stuff from there in Healesville…and there’s no need for an excuse to go there, so Schurn was on a road trip. There’s not much more to add, other than he was driving and trying to maneuver his phone into camera position and was breaking a few different laws so apologies for the distance of the number but that’s what you get. Seriously, what a beautiful road.

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196

Posted by schurn on August 21, 2014

Healesville, Australia.

26 July 2014, 13:34.

9 days since 195.

196It feels wrong that this is the first picture of Meagsie and James in The 444 Project. They’ve featured regularly in our travels and have been with us for many finds, most recently 110 and 109 in UK, but also on the road in Scotland for 032 and 033. No wonder they look so happy to be in this photo, they are possibly the #2 fan of the project, always asking what number we’re looking for every time we meet.

This day they had come for a visit from Melbourne to check out the new abode and area, and after CC Top had baked delicious scones for morning tea (hello 30-somethings), we went for a walk in the drizzle to check out the new cafe venture. Then onwards into town just to stretch the legs and get a bit damp, and there across the street was 196 housing a motor repairer and detailer. In one of the op-shops, Schurn found an edition of Cranium the board game for $7.50, which Marivic made some playdoh repairs to, but is yet to be played…we’re kind of waiting for Meagsie and James to return!

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195

Posted by schurn on August 20, 2014

Melbourne, Australia.

17 July 2014, 20:48.

37 hours since 194.

195Schurn, after spending the night in Melbourne for birthday gigs (see 194) and to collect the new car (Floyd), had SURPRISINGLY gone out to see a film. Yes, a film. On the suggestion of DoK, the new Rolf de Heer feature Charlie’s Country was the choice. It was the story of an indigenous elder who is unconvinced about the white-imposed lifestyle his community is living and the direction they’re heading, so pursues an effort to keep a link to his ancestral way of living, before hitting the booze and eventually falling back into the white-imposed lifestyle. Thoroughly enjoyable and engaging. On the way home, the discussion turned to the most recent time Schurn might have gone to the theatre to see a film, and perhaps it was two years previous when 145 popped up. And then, 195 pulled up alongside us at a railway crossing, and Schurn messed about with his camera-masquearding-as-a-phone, but clearly isn’t an expert at snap photography, and was forced to chase the car up North Rd and got lucky with this red light which had just changed.

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194

Posted by schurn on August 18, 2014

Healesville, Australia.

16 July 2014, 09:23.

14 days since 193.

194A rather uneventful addition unfortunately. The most relevant item of the day is that it was the OMNISEXUAL* Davidz’s birthday, which Schurn later celebrated by driving into Melbourne and watching live music with the only pint of Dry July.

But, at 09:30 CC Top had already been to the bakery to talk bread for the cafe with Joe the baker, and we were on our way to another house inspection. For some reason we had the pleasure of buying something from Coles, and whilst searching for a park we tailed 194 closely and long enough for CC Top to fumble for her phone and take a snap. This is The 444 project in motion.

*TOTALLY unconfirmed

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193

Posted by schurn on August 16, 2014

Woori Yallock, Australia.

2 July 2014, 16:11.

15 days since 192.

193Back in Oz after one of the best surprise holidays ever. Well, there’s not a lot of surprise holidays…let’s call it one of the best holidays. A contender in the Top 5 at least. After 192 found CC Top we spent another fine week catching up with everyone individually and then a great group weekend party for Midsommar. We also listened to the one hit wonder from the previous summer – What Does The Fox Say – numerous times.

Back in our new state of Victoria and back to reality of finding a car, house, job, alternative food supply to Colesworths etc etc. This day had us widening our house search to towns surrounding Healesville, because it was proving particularly to find any value for money in the town itself. Not sure how landlords were expecting to rent a place without heating in the depths of winter for $350/week…? Anyways, in between rental inspections in Woori Yallock, 193 was parked on a side street, and Schurn choose this opportunity to present his very UNLACQUERED hair style to the world.

Suggestions for a U-Q-R word that doesn’t involve the prefix un- are welcomed. Schurn’s got things to do, those are some tough letters.

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192

Posted by ciccilou on August 15, 2014

Göteborg, Sweden.

17 June 2014, 17:33.

11 days since 191.

192Whilst in the land of Swedes, CC Top still made sure that she did some exercise in between the wine drinking and restaurant eating. In fact she made it till two Body Balance sessions in the 4 weeks of holiday. Go CC Top. There was probably a few more wine sessions than Body balance sessions.

Maria had already developed a Tuesday night routine when it came to training and CC Top joined in, leaving Schurn and Fredrik to babysit Ellen and their wine. We walked across a beautiful sunny Göteborg. Through green parks and old bridges. We reached Saluhallen where people were busy having beers, and there it was, 192! A stunning looking brass plaque stating what we believe is the old market stall numbers. STOP! We need to take a photo- states CC Top and starts digging into her bag. No Camera. No phone. SHITE. It was lost. So close but yet so far. We made it to class which was led by our other amazing friend Jennie and had a great training session.

Cue one week later, 192 hadn’t appeared elsewhere yet, and CC Top didn’t feel like training cause she’d already been out riding Icelandic horses earlier in the day. But, she knew what was coming and worked up the effort to go with Maria to Body Balance again. Remember your phone CC Top, remember it! And she did. And there it was, the market hadn’t moved, the plaque hadn’t moved, the cigarette butt hadn’t moved, all just as CC Top left it.

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191

Posted by schurn on August 14, 2014

Göteborg, Sweden.

6 June 2014, 12:48.

3 days since 190.

191We just arrived back to a rainy welcome at Götlaborg airport, from where Adeline collected us in her tiny city Toyota. We scooted off to the supermarket and since it was Sweden Day, the car park was full of shoppers going to buy potatoes and dill and egg and probably herring. Therefore, we stood a good chance of 444 project success, and we rewarded before we’d even fought the cues of the checkouts. Sadly, the jumping photo was not even as successful as 171, Schurn blames Schurn.

Not even the Swedes care about Sweden Day, it’s about fifth on the list of important red days (public holidays), well behind Midsommar – which must be celebrated outside at all costs and is about as negotiable as the sun, and even a little way behind Ascension Day. Regardless, there’s booze involved and we had a most agreeable day OCCUPYING Adeline’s house, imbibing and gorging cheese and spotifying 80’s/90’s classic tunes.

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190

Posted by schurn on August 11, 2014

Zürich, Switzerland.

3 June 2014, 15:02.

2 days since 189.

190Since the Rolling Stones late night dash for the bus of 189, there was one major event in Züri – the first staging of Schonfeldt Mo-Mo. Schonfeldt Mo-Mo is a card game traditionally played on Saturday mornings with jam berliners and cherry vodka. This event was anything but traditional – it was a Wednesday night, we had no vodka so substituted a terrible tasting cherry schnapps, and replaced the berliner buns with home-made kanelbullar (Swedish cinnamon buns) because Sal loves them so. The Mo-Mo match was a short but sweet 3-handed affair, with the two Schonfeldts-by-name being upstaged by the inexperience of CC Top the Schonfeldt-by-defacto. The game swung and ebbed and flowed, with all players having their chances after Schurn bounced to a lead, but CC Top was best in the final rounds to claim a momentous victory.

And what of 190? Schonfeldt Mo-Mo regulations state that the official scorecard must be sent to the Statswächter (keeper of statistics – none other than 444 project No.1 fan Papaschurn). The day after the night before we were walking around when we came across a post office and while Schurn and Sal were fulfilling their official duties, CC Top spotted this car parking space which the Swiss couldn’t quite work out was the 9th or the 10th spot along, so they went with both! That qualifies, incredible!

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189

Posted by schurn on August 8, 2014

Zürich, Switzerland.

1 June 2014, 21:21.

30 hours since 188.

189Walking around Züri was proving to be quite the windfall for the 444 project. This evening found us on Röntgenstrasse, after having met a hodge podge of Sal’s friends at a birthday party BBQ, playing backgammon and discussing baseball with Americans and of course bumping into a Swede. It happens often. Sal took us on an unintentional grand walking tour of Zürich in search of the correct tram. After the failed jumping photo, CC Top informed the rest that Röntgen was the person who discovered X-Rays, and so the process is named after him in Swedish. If you break you leg in Sweden, you go into the hospital to röntgas rather than get an X-Ray.

After finding and catching the correct tram just two stops, we arrived to the sounds of The Rolling Stones. They were playing the Letzigrund, Züri’s big football stadium and there’s a whole mini-industry set up around providing food and drinks to those wanting to listen outside rather than pay big monies to see the stage. As we walked off the tram, Mick and Keith and the boys fired up Sal’s favourite Stones song, just for her. Our memory is fogged by wine, but perhaps the song is Like A Rainbow.

Once the Stones finished, we followed the masses around the streets, found a service station to buy more wine and snacks, and went on to another of Sal’s friends for an after-party. The bad attitude was wearing off. CC Top remembers there being Maltesers, and that she ate almost the whole packet. The night finished with us doing our best Usain Bolt impersonation for the last bus of the night…only we ran about 1000m not 100. CC Top in Birks. Perhaps drunk. We saw the bus through an opening between buildings and still had plenty of ground to make up, luckily it got slightly delayed on a roundabout and we dashed across into the closing rear doors. Great Success!

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188

Posted by schurn on August 6, 2014

Zürich, Switzerland.

31 May 2014, 15:49.

20 hours since 187.

188This day was a Saturday. We went to Sal’s regular flea market without Sal, cause she was sleeping after exhibition opening night gala party. We found a 1-cup mini stovetop coffee maker, a hippy linen shirt for Schurn, a long yellow t-shirt for CC Top, a long sleeve t-shirt for Schurn, an old man/hipster (who can tell the difference) white-spotted brown vest for Schurn, and a scarf for CC Top which she didn’t buy cause the seller wanted too many Swiss Francs.

We then went home to Sal’s and woke her up for breakfast/lunch, then went back to the market and bought the scarf for the correct price, and continued on to meet Sal’s friend Nina so we could travel out into the countryside to collect their new spaceship shaped roadtrip van, Lolita. It was on the way to the rendezvous where 188 found us three and Sal’s Dutch friend Pieter.

When we got back to the city we had a bad attitude and went to bed. Sal partied.

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187

Posted by schurn on August 5, 2014

Zürich, Switzerland.

30 May 2014, 19:38.

4 days since 186.

187Jetlag, jetlag, jetlag. Or, since CC Top doesn’t believe in jetlag, let’s just call it bad attitude. After 3 days of well and truly surprising everyone in Sweden, we jumped on another Finnair trip through Helsinki which took us to Sal in Zuri. It’s almost 2 years since the 444 project visited Switzerland, and the land of the public water fountain certainly made up for it this time around (stay tuned).

So, CC Top had a bad attitude, and Schurn had a less than ideal one, but there was plenty of water, and Sal was finishing uni and had an exhibition on and was buying a car and had to clear out her studio and had to work a bit and was generally in chaos land, Sal-style. There’s the scene for you, other things of note – we’re on a bus heading for Sal’s exhibition opening night.

As with most exhibitions, there was some really clever works and some that make you say quietly to your partner so no-one will hear your ignorance ‘how is that art’. Or something to that effect. CC Top’s favourite was a room of photos of things within in the room (and a twist), and Schurn enjoyed a room full of to-do lists but didn’t understand most of it because it was in German. There was a 3D piece which had a wall mural of a mountain scene and lots of sculptured feet on the floor in front and leading back into the room, clever. Sal’s piece was a 90 minute video, so we didn’t watch it that night but instead went for microwaved Sri Lankan (which was delicious).

PS, That’s an arrow before the 1 in 187, look closely.

PPS, Vests might be hipster, but the hipsters are on to something.

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186

Posted by schurn on August 5, 2014

Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China.

26 May 2014, 22:47.

9 days since 185.

186There in that quarter round tin is Wai Yuen Tong Hou Tsao Powder, and costs HK$186 (AUD$26ish).

‘Functions and indications: Expel phlegm and relieve cough, dispel wind and for infantile calming, relieve occasional or non-persistent diarrhea and vomiting, strengthen spleen and stomach. Suitable for children with cough and phlegm, reflux of milk, indigestion and non-persistent diarrhea. ‘

We had finished the Cathay Pacific leg of our 3-legged flight to Europe to surprise the swedes, and CC Top having not been able to perform her greatest skill of sleeping instantly once she boards a plane, was in need of cough drops. This chemist not only had Strepsils, they also had the swedish brand Läckerol, so there were we paying Euros for lozenges when WYTHT Powder popped up. Though some might think the ‘dispel wind’ prospect seems an attractive option for someone like Schurn, we did not pay Euros or any other currency for it.

We then went to our gate and did some legs up the wall and other yoga while waiting for our Finnair connection to Helsinki, which amused a toddler nearby who copied every move we made.

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185

Posted by schurn on May 21, 2014

Melbourne, Australia. 17 May 2014, 13:17. 18 days since 184.

 20140521-214041-78041518.jpgAfter a mammoth 3500km roadtrip most of the way down Australia’s east coast we arrived in Melbourne, almost our new home. We spent a day and night here before taking the 60km road into the Yarra Valley to Healesville on Sunday. That short day trip was nothing compared to the average of somewhere near 500/day from Mission Beach.

We decided to relocate campervans all the way, joined by Jess of 161 fame, and the journey proved to be quite the adventure in planning and doing. We secured an Apollo van (who we named Whitney) from Cairns to Brisbane, which was a push the whole time due to the roadwork-plagued Bruce Hwy and only have 3 days to cover the 1700km. We changed in Brisvegas to a Jucy van (who we named Al) and still made it to Bryon Bay in time for dinner. We then spent two nights in Bryon and plenty of money on margaritas, before doing the 800km or so to Sydney in one loooong day. Clandestine overnighting in a Sydney hotel room before switching to a Britz van (who we named Britney) and stopping for two nights with Aunty Rick in Wagga Wagga. After a relaxing day walking Ellie the dog around Lake Albert and picking olives, we headed off early Saturday morning and were in Melbourne by lunchtime. CC Top felt immediately at home, we had a bowl of soup and a wander around so 185 could find us before stumbling across a book market, taking fika with (or near) James Bond, and heading out to Cheese’s for cocktails and Cards Against Humanity.

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184

Posted by schurn on May 21, 2014

Mission Beach, Queensland. 29 April 2014, 23:49. 6 days since 183.

20140521-201949-73189252.jpgHere’s Schurn behaving like a MACAW after working a wedding at Castaways. Nothing fun to report from the wedding itself, although the night brightened considerably when CC Top burst into the bar crying, blabbering in a voice that was 4 parts relief 1 part happiness. ‘We have a visa!’. An unforgettable face/scene, she was super happy. While she was never in Australia without a valid visa, having this partner one before we move to Victoria is a bureaucratic load off our minds. She actually had a premonition that it would arrive the day before, which Schurn thought was a little hopeful considering only 2 months had passed of the ‘current estimated wait time’ of 13 months. She is clearly a worthy addition to our shores, don’t you agree.

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183

Posted by schurn on May 21, 2014

Adelaide, Australia. 23 April 2014, 12:48. 3 days since 182.

183After catching the ferry back from KI, Cheese and Schurn had quick pint over lunch, served by the world’s best barman Mike at Small Change Wines venue Hotel Wright St.

Schurn then farewelled Cheese into a cab to the airport, and hopped aboard an Adelaide bus to get to 444 project number fans Papaschurn and Licky’s place. This proved to be the second number to find us whilst on public transport, 156 in Brisbane being the first. Schurn only noticed the number as he looked up from receiving a text message, and luckily his phone was handy and able to be zoomed a little as the bus pulled out into traffic.

That’s about all to report folks, not as spectacular as 127, not as boring as 019, but it releases us on our way to 444.

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182

Posted by schurn on May 4, 2014

Penneshaw, Australia. 20 April 2014, 10:20.  17.5 hours since 181.

182This here is the second Nick in a row to get into the 444 spirit, although this one we only just met, leaning on his car as the crew was walking towards the Penneshaw Easter Farmer’s Market. He was only too happy to oblige and be the second stranger to knowingly be involved after 088‘s taxi driver, and there’s a good chance our Nick here had a better grasp of what was going on than the GBG cabbie. Also turns out he was either living or staying just down the road from us.

Even though Penneshaw is on the coast, the town where the KI ferry arrives, the market is inland a wee bit, on the footy oval, no WAVES in sight. Schurn scored himself some old school Twinings tea cannisters (with some tea still left), and amongst the crew there appeared a number of packets of biscuits, a couple of meatburgers, a few jars of relish, and a magnum of wine. The biscuits were delicious but the wine was most fun.

After catching up with a few of the locals, we wandered home with Marcus explaining black holes, and settled into a day of gardening, hammocking, game playing and wining. Good island times.

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181

Posted by schurn on April 30, 2014

Stokes Bay, Australia. 19 April 2014, 15:45.  59 days since 180.

181Back at the scene of arguably the 444 project‘s greatest find, Kangaroo Island. This trip was used to reclaim our house from the tenants, and for visitors from near and far to join in Easter fun/frolicking/ferver.

The Followpatch crew (Nick and Vic) from Belgium joined Schurn for a two-day roadtrip adventure around the island, along with hordes of other tourists of Easter. Before 181 had found us, we had sandboarded, SEEN the AMAZING spectacles of Admirals Arch and Remarkable Rocks, overnighted with Pappa J, visited the almost complete (finally) Buddhist Stupa in the middle of bloody nowhere, hiked down the Ravine Des Casoars to the great waves and caves of the western end, and weaved our way through the beauty of the north coast roads. We were a little hangry after all this adventuring so stopped off at the Rockpool Cafe at Stokes Bay for some fried snacks and Coopers, before heading through the rocks to watch the surfers brave the cold and crash at Stokes Bay. 181 waited quitely for us in the carpark at the beach.

After all that running around, we headed on home to Penneshaw to reunite with the Easter travellers who either stayed behind or just arrived. We then drank the KI vodka and honey mead bought on a previous day’s adventures. Bam.

PS Amendment 30-4-14! : 181 sets a new record for longest time to be found, passing 087‘s previous longest of 53 days in 2011.

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180

Posted by schurn on February 26, 2014

Melbourne, Australia. 19 February 2014, 17:51.  3 hours since 179.

20140224-122444.jpgAfter meeting the ponies of Healesville and mandatory fika, we hit the road back to Melbourne to fill our EXPANDABLE file of gigs…this time at the Palais Theatre for 90s grunge rock legend Eddie Vedder. People who love Pearl Jam, love him sooo much that he got a standing ovation before he’d started. Equally, they didn’t care that he’d had a few drinks before he came on, and neither did the Schurn – it made for interesting anecdotes and half finished stories and crowd participation. It was a little nod to chaos in a music world which is developing a formulaic approach to gigs. And proof that the good old fashioned boozin rockstar is alive and very well.

Georgie’s efforts in pursuing this Subaru so we could get close enough for a good picture are worth 10 points, in fact let’s give her 11 cause after a number of minutes and lane changes and blockages by other cars, it was successful.

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179

Posted by schurn on February 26, 2014

Healesville, Australia. 19 February 2014, 14:38.  2 days since 178.

179After spending the weekend with The Boss and friends in Melbourne, we headed east-north-east to spend a couple of days with Georgie and Sam in Healesville.

CC Top spotted this pony-and-milk-jug-letterbox combo the previous day, but we were driving past it AND she was on the phone. There’s no going back in the 444 project. We then walked past it early on the morning of the 19th during a pre-breakfast stroll of the nearby streets, BUT forgot to take a camera/phone with us…memories of 087 came flooding back for the Schurn. All is well in the world, though, as after lunch with Georgie and the Belgians (who seem to be stalking us…or the other way round), we drove back to the house for fika, and CC Top was able to work her magic.

Just a quick comment on sunsets: Schurn l.o.v.e.s them. Especially in the country where one can see the horizon and the birds become active and the whole sky changes colour from one minute to the next. Half hour before sundown, to half hour after (commonly known as dusk) is Schurn’s favourite hour of the day…except perhaps for breakfast (which takes an hour). Sunsets in Healesvillle filled expectations. Mission Beach has some pretty decent dusks too, but our house is more like a suburban block surrounded by other houses and no clear view of anything, so in that respect it’s like we live in the city, and it’s just not the same.

Anyways, enough about sunsets, cause there’s a goddamn pony in the 444 project!

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178

Posted by schurn on February 20, 2014

Melbourne, Australia. 17 February 2014, 19:47.  2 days since 177.

20140220-152243.jpgThis Monday we had a lazy morning, breakfast at Min Lokal cafe nearby the apartment we were staying, followed by a wander through the suburbs and down to the MCG with the Belgians. We then took in one of the top views of the cityline on the footbridge to Federation Square from the ‘G, and caught the tram back to the inner north. The Belgians headed out to another friend’s place, and we lunched at yet another cafe before Schurn found a couple of classics that took his fancy in a used bookstore – Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle and John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath ($5 each, amazing). A quick fika at a cafe CC Top had discovered in her own unique way (ie in all random ways), and then off to meet Meagsie and James for dinner at Lentil As Anything and a catch up.

After a glass of wine and icecream, CC Top decided that the night was still young and we should find a bar to explore the recently-acquired Mankala game further. Analysis of the results suggests that CC Top is still way better than Schurn, much to his dismay.

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177

Posted by schurn on February 18, 2014

Melbourne, Australia. 15 February 2014, 16:58.  12 days since 176.

20140218-153513.jpgWe were in the middle of a pretty amazing day in Melbourne, one of CC Top’s faithful entries on her ‘Top 5 cities to live in’ list.

We slept in a little, then went out for breakfast at a potentially great cafe that lacked ambience and therefore character. Coffee still as good as anything in Mission.177a

Next stop was a flea market which produced many fine finds, Schurn scored some new shoes and a jacket and a book, CC Top a couple of dresses and a bag and some canvas floor cushions and some fugly glassware which was oddly appealing. The final purchase has provided some entertainment in subsequent days – a Mankala board/set. It’s a 2 player game that involves moving marbles (representing seeds) around pits (representing the hole one sows seeds in). Initial results suggest CC Top is way better than Schurn.

We then caught up with the Belgians for lunch and Schurn’s cousin and family for fika, before catching up with another old friend.

It had been fully 11 years since Schurn saw Bruce Springsteen last, and perhaps 9 years for CC Top. Just like meeting old friends, it was a rocking good time. Wowsers, he is one energetic 64 year old. There were a gazillion highlights, including the final song of the night-just The Boss, his acoustic guitar and a harmonic. CC Top loves the harmonica, and knew instantly the song would be Thunder Road, one of Schurn’s top 5 boss songs. The 35,000 in the stadium were mostly hushed during the song, but occasionally broke into a collective whisper for some lines, which made an amazing sound. During one of these lines, The Boss stopped singing along and said ‘go ahead’….he just seems to love the whole event.

Post concert we took a couple of drinks with more Melb mates, the perfect way to end a great Melbourne day.

 

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176

Posted by schurn on February 9, 2014

Townsville, Australia. 3 February 2014, 14:34. 31 days since 175.

176A day trip to ‘the Capital of North Queensland’, delayed by a few days due to Cyclone Dylan.

We went to have a health check to fulfill just one of the bureaucratic processes required to obtain a Partner visa in Australia (the presence of a HIV blood test suggests our country won’t accept HIV positive people…curious); stayed for lunch with one of CC Top’s wine reps; and then headed on over to the Perc Tucker Regional Gallery.

There is often some impressive stuff at the galleries up here, they do a good job of getting quality exhibitions from down south onto the walls and floors. This one Schurn was particularly keen on – a history of Lego. There was some quite large sculptures, a series of black and white portraits of James Bond actors which was cool, and some interesting tales behind the development of the company, but otherwise the show fell a little short of expectations. What pesky things expectations are. There was also this ‘interactive mosaic wall’, where one was supposed to collect a piece from the attendant, and place it on the corresponding square on this wall, creating some sort of picture. Problem was, no-one had  bothered to start it, so it was completely white – which was lucky for the 444 project, cause there was 176 right at eye-level.

So, after a quick look around at the second exhibition upstairs, we began the 3 hour journey back to rainy Mission Beach. Luck almost shined upon us twice in a day, when we once more saw the road polls counting upwards, and CC Top attempted to capture 177…but she got twitchy with her trigger finger and failed spectacularly.

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175

Posted by schurn on January 27, 2014

Gordonvale, Australia. 3 January 2014, 14:38. 3 hours since 174.

bild-1On the road home from Cairns airport to Mission Beach. These roadside number poles have become a little like the house numbers earlier on – they’re reliably everywhere and are boring in their commonness, perhaps even more so than house numbers – at least a letterbox has the possibility of being an unusual font or location. The only positives for these poles are that they keep the project moving; and there is some level of difficulty in capturing them from a moving car, should it be unsafe to stop.

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174

Posted by schurn on January 20, 2014

In the air between Adelaide and Cairns Australia. 3 January 2014, 11:01.  9 days since 173.

20140120-140130.jpg
Schurn flying home from amazing Sal time in the southern states to meet more international visitors and regular 444 project Maria and Fredrik The Greats.
Schurn considers himself some kind of minimalist, or likes the idea of it quite a lot – not owning too many possessions for they only lead to clutter. Of the house and the mind. He’s quite good at it too, he thinks: one item of clothing out for every item in, selling old pots and crockery etc, donating whatever is taking up space to the Salvos. Unless of course, it’s books. No, I’ll read that next he says when looking at his overflowing makeshift bookcase. Yes, but that’s about a topic I’m interested in so I may as we’ll hold on to it despite having read it 4 times already, he tells himself.
And so it was with Nelson Mandela’s autobiography ‘Long Walk To Freedom’. It sat in the bookshelf, perhaps bookshelves in 3 states, unread, until his death motivated it to be promoted to the ranks of ‘must start before the week ends’.
And so it was, and so it began, this most interesting read on the life of one of times most recognisable leaders. Being only 174 pages into a 630 page book makes it hard to comment entirely, suffice to say I like the guy’s style. Viva la revolution.
What will become of the book once done? Schurn would like to think he’ll find an equally interested friend who might enjoy the read.

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173

Posted by schurn on January 17, 2014

Highway near Tailem Bend, Australia. 25 December 2013, 11:38.  6 days since 172.

photoAdventures in North QLD complete for Sal, her and Schurn headed south to Adelaide for one day of German Christmas Stuff (including the Mo-Mo Dictionary unveiling), and then on the rural Victoria for Aussie Christmas Stuff. Second year in a row that Christmas day has provided to the 444 project, a repeat of the journey Schurn made alone in 2012. Road trippin is much more fun with someone else, especially a sibling.

Bordertown was 173kms in the distance, but we turned off at Keith and took the ‘Coonawarra’ route – a much more beautiful and lonely road than the oft-travelled ‘Dukes-Western’ highway. Christmas day certainly highlighted the struggle of the small Australian town to survive – plenty of boarded windows and run-down cottages on the main street complemented by the almost complete non-existence of anyone or anything being away from the family lounge room. It’s an interesting discussion to have with someone raised in the country and currently residing in the city – do they feel any desire to return home one day?

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172

Posted by schurn on January 15, 2014

Highway south of Port Douglas, Australia. 19 December 2013, 11:34.  36 minutes since 171.

172As we’ve previously written, there’s nothing like a little travelling to kick the numbers into gear. Not more than an hour after our botanical gardens visit we were en route to Port Douglas for lunch, when we noticed the familiar QLD signposts counting up towards 172. In fact we think it may have been the same stretch of road where we almost caught 169. CC Top in the passenger seat performed with more composure this time and captured it without other numbers getting involved.
We topped off the double number day with a delicious lunch (and cocktails) at Salsa, and then northwards to Newell Beach for homemade tacos and mojitos and catch-ups with Saschen and Johan.

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171

Posted by schurn on January 10, 2014

Cairns, Australia. 19 December 2013, 10:58. 27 days since 170.

171Numbers kept finding us during a busy period of visitors which started in October and will continue until almost the end of January. We love visitors! Two of them had overlapping visits and joined Schurn in this less-successful-than-131 jumping photo (taken by a pretty LADY).

One jumper is Schurn’s sister Sal (also featuring in 043, 099 and 103), who had arrived in Mission Beach a few days earlier. This very morning we had collected the second headless jumper Johan (first appearance in a photo but has been involved in 127 amongst others). He arrived at champagne breakfast time, so we had champagne breakfast and croissants, before heading off to the Botanical Gardens to view some amazing spider webs and tropical plants and learn some incredible aboriginal uses for plants and berries and roots. It was on the return to the car that the next number plate found us.

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170

Posted by schurn on December 30, 2013

Auckland, New Zealand. 22 November 2013, 10:51. 7 days since 169.

170CC Top had long ago booked a trip to meet Hennie of 009 fame in NZ. This plan required some last minute adjustments after her sister Zandra and family surprise visited right on the dates she was due to leave. So it was a November visit instead of in October, though the remainder of the details didn’t change much.
She went to bikram yoga, sent photos of delicious meals from cafés, and had wine with lunch. She also walked lots, and that’s how 170 found her. The final assessment of Auckland is that it’s a city that might be worth living in…another one to add to the list!

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169

Posted by schurn on November 16, 2013

Kuranda, Australia. 15 November 2013, 15:55. 49 days since 168.

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It’s become customary for us to take visitors to the Atherton Tablelands whilst they’re visiting us. We seem to end up at the same places too, cause we know they’re worth it. One of those places is a tree, and people’s reaction is always similar- “you’re taking us to a tree”…and then once they see it “wow that is some tree”.

Yesterday it was CC Top’s papa and partners’ turn to see the tree, but also a new destination for us, with lunch at Lake Barrine. We saw some other pretty impressive trees here, 1000 year old karri pines that only grow at an altitude of between 600 and 1000m. That’s some sensitive seedlings.

We then made tracks for Kuranda to try and get to the markets before they closed. The regular roadworks ruined that idea, and sadly there was not much open when we arrived. The pub where we took a beer, and the occasional souvenir shop – luckily for the 444 project this one had didgeridoos on special!

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168

Posted by schurn on October 9, 2013

Highway near Palm Cove, Australia. 27 September 2013, 14:05. 10 days since 167.

168Another weekend, another adventure. On the road again, this time to make ourselves feel a MILLION times better with a yoga retreat. No CHEMICALS, no coffee, a sauna and plenty of downward dogs.
We stopped for lunch with some friends in Cairns, before heading up into the Port Douglas Hinterland and a property near a town called Julatten. CC Top was SMILING all the way there and back.

We spent Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday morning there, with a total of 5 yoga sessions and some Ayuverdic instruction too. For those playing at home, CC Top’s constitution is Kapha-Pitta and Schurn’s is a very strong Pitta. A Pitta-Pitta says Schurn. Huh? It means Schurn needs to eat all the time, and CC Top couldn’t be bothered with exercise but loves it when she does it. There was another 8 very AMIABLE retreaters there, and all meals were cooked by the hosts which made the whole weekend very relaxing. Not even the slightest hint of MILITANCY to be found.

On the way there was where 168 found us, a few MILES north of the Palm Cove turn off. 169 actually found us about 20 minutes later too – it was a signpost not unlike 160, but we were forced to take the photo from the moving car, and as CC Top was admiring her ability to get the post in frame she noticed a big 40km/hr sign in the background. No dice, or MILK.

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167

Posted by schurn on October 1, 2013

Mission Beach, Australia. 17 September 2013, 17:10. 4 days since 166.

167Now folks, this was a few days back and hence this post will brief because memories of the day’s events are SUPERFUZZY*. All I recall is CC Top was in Brisbane with work, and I was on my way to play some futsal, but thought I’d stop into work to see if anyone wanted to go hiking. Turns out they were preparing for a busy night and needed an extra hand…no futsal for Schurn. Which made it about 6 weeks in a row, and that showed when I finally got around to playing last week. And no-one could go hiking. Lucked out on the exercise front.

 

*definitely a word. in-doub-e-tably.

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166

Posted by schurn on September 19, 2013

Innisfail, Australia. 13 September 2013, 08:49. 4 days since 165.

166En route to Cairns airport, to collect another Swede for the hostel that is our house. Not that we mind of course. Have always liked the Paul Kelly line ‘you can stay if you know when to go’. This time it’s Martin who has joined us, a former employee of CC Top’s in Sweden who is once again an employee of CC Top’s in Mission Beach.

We spotted 166 as we slowed to a stop at one of the two sets of traffic lights in ‘The Fail’, and the mad rush was on to get phone and take shot before we got honked. Success! This 166 is so prominent that it’s unmissable on a trip through town, of which we’ve made many this past year and a bit – so it’s a little like 081 in it’s pre-emptiveness.

CC Top then gave the photo some of that editing treatment which she’s so good at. Cairns was a non-event aside from collecting Martin. Onwards!

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165

Posted by schurn on September 18, 2013

Mission Beach, Australia. 9 September 2013, 08:24. 38 days since 164.

165bA little post breakfast reading and sunning for Schurn. Reading because it’s informative and interesting and calming and stimulating; and sunning cause it’s healthy and a good start to the day and warming and going out in it after about 09:23 is too intense in the tropics.

Why haven’t more books featured in the 444 project? I read quite often, but one wouldn’t say prolifically. My theory is that if a book is engrossing enough, one doesn’t stray from the text onto things like the bird in the tree or the lyrics of the music in the background or the numbers on the bottom of the page. By my count, the only other books to appear were the sacred 111, which the attentive follower might recall was found by accident; and 022 way back towards the beginning of the project.

So it says a little about all the previous books I’ve read, and a little about the amount of books CC Top has read, and a lot about the current book – Nutritionism by Gyorgy Scrinis. The topic is right up my alley – the science and politics of dietary advice. He’s pretty much saying that we focus too much on reducing foods to nutrient levels, and not on whole foods or processing techniques, when deciding whether something is nutritious. It’s just that he’s a scientist, and they tend to be good at science and not so much at penmanship. So it has a lot of interesting points and leads and information, but not engaging enough to keep me from wondering when I might reach page 165, which I did this morning in the sun.

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164

Posted by schurn on August 23, 2013

Mission Beach, Australia. 2 August 2013, 14:36. 25 days since 163.

bildSetting up for one of the numerous weddings held at CC Top’s work, Schurn walked past this box containing Jess’s (of 161 fame) new sound system. She’s most excited about it, and so were we when we finally saw it. Unusually, it had been sitting outside CC Top’s office for a number of days, including the moment that Schurn spotted it – without being noticed by either 444 project searcher.

The sticker raises a few questions – Who or What is FURMAN? If it was MADE IN CHINA, what does SAN FRANCISCO have to do with it?  Why are there 164 boxes required to house one stereo? Most importantly, is it somehow mysteriously related to 023? All thoughts appreciated!

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163

Posted by schurn on July 21, 2013

Langhorne Creek, Australia. 8 July 2013, 11:04. 8 days since 162.

163bSchurn headed south for some wintery days, and to do some admin stuff for Small Change Wines – a venture between him and Rhys (pictured). We took a Monday morning roadtrip out to the winery whose grapes we have bought this year. As walked into the cellar door, you could have blown Schurn down with a feather – the winery is celebrating it’s 163rd year. Either that or they knew about the 444 project and wanted to be a part of it! Rhys and Lottie and Nina were most pleased to be added to the illustrious list of people to be ‘numbered’.

After the excitement subsided, we walked amongst the vines that made this year’s Small Change White, then had a tasting of this year’s Small Change Red. Schurn will just describe it as delicious and delightfully drinkable, ask Rhys if you want tasting notes. The White had already been tasted and can be described in much the same way. Which is good, because that’s what one wants from their wine.

The excitement about the wines took a little longer to subside, but it was a short trip and wineries aren’t really a young girl’s favourite way to spend any time, so we had to cut it short. We headed back on the road to the city with vegiemite scrolls and Schurn reading Barbie books to the girls.

Stay tuned for more about Small Change Wines, less about Barbie.

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162

Posted by schurn on July 8, 2013

Mission Beach, Australia. 30 June 2013, 12:48. 35 days since 161.

162Not too many exciting things to report here fans. Schurn just had his bike repaired and therefore here he his riding it. This was out the front of CC Top’s work, and after Schurn had stopped in with some snacks from shopping he spotted some JOCKEYS parked on the street and called over CC Top to view them. Once she found them, cue excitement. She was excited about the snacks too, FYI.

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161

Posted by schurn on June 9, 2013

Port Douglas, Australia. 26 May 2013, 16:00. 5 days since 160.

161 161aBreaking with tradition here, and submitting two photos, cause the one with Jess in it is a little hard to see. But, yes, that is an oven.
Another little adventure while the most awesome Kate was visiting, this time joined by Jess for a trip to Port Douglas for their version of Carnivale. Port Douglas’s, not Kate and Jess’s. We only caught the tail end of it, but it was fun enough though not-so-much carnival like. Unsurprisingly, our favourite part was eating good food – which was also unsurprising given that Kate accurately declared Port Douglas as a town designed for city folk to think they’ve gone on holiday without missing any of the things they’re accustomed to. Like good food. CC Top also thought the cocktails were pretty much amazing, including a frozen chili margarita.

Anyways, where does the oven fit in? We rented a family motel room in the town, equipped with kitchen, and while Schurn was doing a customary inspection to allow him to think a little about eating, he thought the oven resembled rather closely the replacement one that was just installed in our house in Mission Beach. Then the model number jumped out, accompanied by CC Top excitement; and thoughts of not noticing the same number on our home oven. We are happy to report we have model #501, but the 444 project has #161.

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160

Posted by ciccilou on May 27, 2013

Somewhere north of Ingham, Australia. 21 May 2013, 09:20. 17 days since 159.

20130527-115953.jpgMidweek roadtrip! An early start in a southerly direction towards Australia’s tallest single drop waterfall, Wallaman Falls. Schurn at the wheel, CC Top driving from the passenger seat, the most awesome Kate Marks (pictured) providing conversation, and Janina occasionally waking up to mutter something.
After stopping briefly in Ingham for a scaldingly bad coffee, the team was greeted by canefields and cows roaming the back road towards the mountains. The following 15kms of twists and turns up to the falls might have provided amazing views if only the thick fog wasn’t present. We commenced the descending trail to the base of the falls in the same fog and the viewing area itself not visible. The noise of the crashing water was quite incredible and the walk down was rewarded with a worthwhile – if not particularly spectacular – view of the falls and gully/canyon.
Janina beat Schurn in the race back to the top, by which time the clouds had lifted, revealing magnificent views of the valleys and ridges of Girrigun National Park. WE LOVE NATURE!
A better choice of cafe in Ingham for lunch, and the long day was completed with Schurn once again too good for the rest in naming bands or musicians beginning with S. Steve Prestwich. The prize was driving into Mission Beach with the others asleep, a tiring but altogether pleasant day out.

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159

Posted by ciccilou on May 5, 2013

Cilaos, La Reunion (France). 4 May 2013, 14:45. 38 days since 158.

20130505-140752.jpg
Vignale Vecka is what we’re calling our yearly holiday which occurs during the first week of May. Last year in Tuscany 132 found us and the group voted to meet on the French island of Reunion in 2013. Sadly, we were the only people to show up, but we’re hoping it was due to the unknown of the island rather than our b.o.
Still, what a place and all those who thought about coming but didn’t have missed out. We have hiked more than we might if there were others, enough to tempt CC Top to consider replacing her walking shoes. These ‘Mafate’ were a little too expensive but helped us in another way.
Incidentally, we saw 159 earlier in the day but couldn’t stop the car quickly enough on the steep winding road, plus we might have had some trouble explaining the whole thing to the French hitchers we had crammed into our Renault Twingo. Karma on our side again.

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158

Posted by ciccilou on April 27, 2013

20130427-150537.jpg
Cairns, Australia. 27 March 2013, 08:31am. 32 days since 157.

An early morning road trip to Cairns airport so CC Top can continue her top5 life at Bluesfest in Byron Bay. Get your XYLOPHONES out, it’s all about the music at the 444 project. Since we’re posting this one month after the event, CC Top can report that the festival was amayonaising and don’t be surprised if the future involves some time living in Byron.
Top 5 acts at Bluesfest : Paul Simon, Fat Freddy’s Drop, The Frames, Ben Caplan, Manu Chau.
(posted from a French restaurant in Mauritius, where we’ve ‘done a Saschen’ – returned twice and neglected to try any other restaurants)

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157

Posted by ciccilou on February 23, 2013

Caboolture, Australia. 3rd February 2013, 18:03. 5 hours since 156.

20130223-172029.jpg

Brisbane coming up trumps in the 444 project, 3 in a row and 2 in a day!
The bus from 156 was taking us to a hire car that we then drove north to Noosa. What’s in Noosa? Dogs! We were visiting the family of our potential new family member, a Hungarian Viszla. After hours of ball throwing, frisbee throwing, tummy rubbing we were way more exhausted than the dogs and headed back to the freeways. CC Top expertly snapped this exit as we went passed.
Home in time for takeaway Thai, and some small change red. Until we meet again Brisbane, thanks for the 444 memories!

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156

Posted by ciccilou on February 11, 2013

Brisbane, Australia. 3rd February 2013, 13:18. 18 days since 155.20130211-155827.jpg
We were back in the big city buzz and CC Top was loving it! This time to catch up with 444 project fan G-Cup and celebrate her birthday. The weekend started to CC Top’s delight with a long lunch at Esquire, which provided a new addiction in the form of iceberg lettuce. Sometimes it’s the simple things…
The joys of food choice are many in a big city and we had a tip to have breakfast at Sol Bakery in the West End. Another winner, with meals so big even Schurn had enough, nice coffee and great atmosphere. After breakfast we hopped on the 199 bus into the city to hire a car for day-tripping, and at the first corner CC Top spots 156 out of the window…but only as we’re almost into the next street. A mad rush ensued to find phone, open phone, locate camera function, take photo. Great success!

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155

Posted by schurn on January 29, 2013

Brisbane, Australia. 16th January 2013, 08:26. 22 days since 154.

155Day #lots of Schurn’s 7000km journey around Australia. I took a GoPro with me taking photos every 10 seconds. That’s lots of photos and lots of data that might become an epic video one day. The last legs of the trip certainly were epic – as any are I suppose – due usually to a longing for home. I also had the complication of no passengers from Adelaide all the way north, call it 4000km. So I stopped off with various friends and family, having a great time with all of them.

Brisbane is home to Cammo the Batman, and we had a leisurely stroll to the pub that threatened to reveal 155 about three times, in fact did once but on a passing train that was too quick for my reflexes. The Batman suggested I head to the local market before leaving on my final two days up to Mission Beach, which I happily did since it was only 500 metres away and fruit is a very healthy road trip food. On the walk back I stopped for a delicious espresso that cost $1.50 and some lively conversation at a small Italian dessert/cake shop, and then noticed the numbers counting down to 155 along the same street I’d walked 15 minutes earlier without noticing them. Just managed a snap of the gate before the owner opened the door to take out the trash. If I had business cards with 444 project on them I might have struck up a conversation….

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154

Posted by schurn on January 24, 2013

Adelaide, Australia. 25th December 2012, 10:24. 15 days since 153.

154bA Christmas present for the 444 project! Schurn – having completed the Birdsville Track and other various back roads of Queensland and South Australia with James Walker – was in Radelaide for a day and a half for German style celebrations, before heading over to the Ballarat region for Aussie style ones. Before departing though, it was Christmas breakfast at not one but two friends houses. It was in between these appointments that Schurn, being the 444 WIZARD that he his, pulled up at the traffic lights behind 154, found his camera and managed not one but three snaps before needing to get moving.

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153

Posted by schurn on January 1, 2013

20km south of Cardwell, Australia. 10th December 2012, 18:47. 21 days since 152.

153Returning home from a weekend of music festivaling and socialising in Melbourne, we noticed the side-of-road reflector-posts have numbers on them. Risking life and limb, CC Top dashed out onto the highway to take this pic, just before a large-ish truck came around the bend giving us some horn action, and possibly swearing at the same time. Justified, perhaps, given it wasn’t the safest place to have stopped. The hazard lights were on though, points for hazard lights? Our best guess is that these numbers are there to provide reference in case of emergency or breakdown, and should probably be seen in SA more often. A question Schurn has after looking at the photo a second time, why is the post so far from where the measuring seems to have indicated? Spanish measurements perhaps, like 058.

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152

Posted by schurn on December 14, 2012

Mourilyan, Australia. 19th November 2012, 13:34. 14 days since 151.

152We came away with three souvenirs from our day trip to Madella Coffee – an addition to the 444 project, half a stick of salami, and a little coffee plant for the bar at Castaways. Greg and Ang, first generation Australian but displaying prominent Italians roots,  have grown many things on their large-ish property here in FNQ. Used to do bananas, still do sugar, now into coffee. They had a setback during Cyclone Yasi about two years ago, but are building back up again and supply Castaways with all their delicious coffee. We had a little tour of their sheds and seedling area – but not out in the fields – before heading inside to escape the heat and sample some produce. Of course, they also make their own salami which was very tempting to the vegos but left for Will to devour. After coffee, cured meat, and discussions about all things farming life/the old country/the new country/baby heat rash/whatever else; we headed out to the driveway to say our goodbyes, where this roadside marker stands. Greg thinks it’s something to do with the distance to the nearest post office. Just might be. Sorry Ang for not including the photo we took of you, but the Madella Coffee sign here was too good to leave out.

PS We love the coffee!

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151

Posted by schurn on November 26, 2012

Mission Beach, Australia. 5th November 2012, 10:13. 7 days since 150.

Melbourne Cup eve day, and Schurn walks into Castaways for his regular double shot espresso (conveniently made by a beautiful woman), opens the Cairns Post to get the form guide lift-out for study purposes, and there sits an honour roll of all the previous 151 winners of the race that stops the nation.

CC Top thought number 10 (Ethiopia) had a chance before she’d even read through the field. While drinking his coffee, Schurn read out the runners’ names, and she added Zabeellionaire to her list. Hours of analysis later, Schurn declared it a dead heat between Kelinni and My Quest For Peace. Neither of us got near Green Moon, or a winning gamble, with Schurn finishing 4th and 10th while CC Top impressed with a 22nd and 24th. At least the coffee was great!

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150

Posted by schurn on November 17, 2012

Clohesy, Australia. 29th October 2012, 09:22. 16 hours since 149.

The morning after 149, and 150 found us just after breakfast – not that CC Top knew what was going on. We were checking out from the Cedar Park Rainforest Resort – which is run by a Swiss couple – and this sign was displayed on the counter near the till. Schurn kept pointing to it, and CC Top kept nodding acknowledgement, all the while keeping up the conversation with the owner about her story of how she came to be in FNQ. Couldn’t handle the weather it seems. Anyways, we walk away to leave and Schurn asks CC Top if she got a photo. ‘Of what’ was the reply. Perhaps she was still thinking about the peacock mating dance we had seen during breakfast, an incredible sight but not so incredible for the peahen who was significantly dissatisfied and ignored the fella to continue looking for food, which disappointingly means we’re still unable to say ‘I’ve seen peacocks having sex’.

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149

Posted by schurn on November 10, 2012

Clohesy, Australia. 28th October 2012, 17:39. 3 days since 148.

Clohesy? Where the bloody hell is that? Check the map to the left, it’s on there. We had a Sunday Funday roadtrip up through the Tablelands to make it to Kuranda Amphitheatre in time for the Mumford and Sons concert that evening.

First stop was the Mission Beach monster markets where Schurn found a Cannoli maker, and CC Top bought a second hand Harry Potter book which had gone missing from her set. Then on to Yungaburra for what else….but….lunch. We’d heard a little about the quality food on offer at Nick’s – a Swiss/Italian restaurant in the middle of FNQ, but nothing of the entertainment on offer. Before our meal was on the table, the owner had come over and asked us if we minded an accordion player getting his gear out. Of course not! He was Swiss traveller and a ‘champion player’ apparently, who supplied some very unexpected squeezes and yodels to the few Sunday lunch diners. A wee post-ravioli wander about the ‘cooler than Cairns’ town provided enough reasons to return, including an amazing second hand book store where Schurn found his many-years-elusive Atlas Of Australia.

Had the day ended in Yungaburra we might have said, ‘what a fun day’, but there was more excitement. On the way to our accommodation, 149 shows up. Here’s one for the house/number plate doubters….we’re in the back blocks of Kuranda, dirt road, 6kms from the nearest (quite small) town, and there’s a letterbox. What, no photo cause it’s a house? Can’t pick and choose in this project! Anyways, the day was capped off by the exquisite setting and the rocking/rolling concert provided by the aforementioned participants.

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148

Posted by schurn on November 10, 2012

Cairns, Australia. 25th October 2012, 08:49. 6 days since 147.

We love having visitors to Mission Beach, and love it even more when they are part of the 444 project like Brendan and Ronnie in 146. Though there is no photo of them, this Jetstar ticket goes some way proving that Georgie and Sam were here. It really proves nothing, but trust me, we had visitors. Schurn has previously noted the potential of Seq No’s for inclusion here, but none had made the grade until now.

Georgie and Sam were up from Melbourne with their fun hats, and their visit involved drinking, working, bike riding around Mission Beach, drinking, an Indian restaurant, hangovers, cooking, bike riding around the Tablelands, eating super delicious condiments, and a little drinking.

It is worthy to note that 148 brings us to one third of the numbers needed to complete our funtastic project, it has taken 2 years 3 months and a handful of days to make it this far….when do you think it will end?

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147

Posted by schurn on October 24, 2012

Mission Beach, Australia. 19th October 2012, 15:20. 6 days since 146.

Across the street from CC Top’s work this boat is for sale. Coming back from a ride we noticed the rego number on the side, which was not visible from the angle of the doors into the resort. The second boat to enter the annals after 066 in Norway.

It brought up an interesting thought. 055 was for sale but we failed to buy it, twice. Occasionally since that time, including when 085 found us, I’ve wondered if perhaps we should buy every item that is for sale that finds us as part of the 444 project.

039 would not likely still be available, but would have fit the criteria despite the shop not being open when we passed.

I’m not sure 080 was for sale, but never asked.

We could easily have bought 086 but pretty sure we didn’t.

098 would have been many more Euros than I’d be prepared to part with for such a hat.

Personal choices would have prevented us from eating 139.

An epic fail in buying items in the 444 project, but all in all pretty happy with the decision made, given the expense that we just avoided.

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146

Posted by schurn on October 21, 2012

Mission Beach, Australia. 13th October 2012, 15:10. 23 days since 145.

The two in the photo are Brendan and Ronnie – both making their first appearances on the 444 project – and here to hang with the Schurn and CC Top in tropical paradise for a week or so. ‘El Davidz’ had also organised himself onto the roster at the local music festival, Mission Evolve. Apart from ‘El Davidz’, there was a great lineup of musicians, some actually born in Mission, lots from Cairns/Townsville and the occasional really good interstater. It was a relaxed (some might say….hush…’hippy’) atmosphere that is often missing at other festivals, which was really to Schurn’s liking. There was camping available but since we live in town we were taking the opportunity to have siesta during the warmer part of the day – on the way back to Gustav Albus (the JACKAROO) 146 found us in Hippy Heaven. Peace indeed.

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145

Posted by schurn on October 15, 2012

Adelaide, Australia. 20th September 2012, 19:07. 15 days since 144.

Another trip to Radelaide for a number of TCB items including but not limited to Rangers Preso night, selling the house, oiling the deck on KI, and watching movies at the cinema. WHAT! Watching movies at the cinema? Yes, occasionally Schurn ventures to said venues to get cultured…none of this Megascreen business but old school intermission friendly places are quite interesting. So it was that I met Rhys to view Saturday Night and Sunday Morning as part of Cinemateque at Mercury Cinemas. Quite an enjoyable experience, if for nothing else just to see how different films have become in the last 50 years.

What does this have to do with Cartoons nightclub, or 145? Immediately prior to our independent cinema screening, we hurriedly ate an unusually (I’m told) not so well made falafel from an Egyptian kebab and shisha house [insert name here] on Hindley St, a couple of doors down from what used to be Cartoons. Hindley St is quite an interesting place, I find myself a lot more endeared to it than when I was younger and it seemed to be a mixture of sin, lunacy and waste. Not sure if it was actually that way once and now it’s just ‘edgier’, or it was always ‘edgy’ and I was just ‘straighter’. Perhaps a little from column A, a little from column B?

I myself never made it to Cartoons but do recall it being mentioned here and there…did anyone make it there?

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144

Posted by schurn on September 5, 2012

Mission Beach, Australia. 5th September 2012, 20:59. 43 days since 143.

It’s been slow going on the 444 project since moving to Australia. Just when we thought a record might tumble, a completely random act kicks starts the donkey.

As most viewers will know, we have a beautiful house on Kangaroo Island which is not always occupied. Occasionally, friends ask if they can take a holiday there, which works well for us and them – we get a free check up to make sure everything’s in order, and they get an amazing getaway. We don’t like to take payments from friends, but often they feel like they need to give us something in return.

So it was with one of Sal’s friends who stayed recently, and sent a surprise package up here to the wet tropics. Included in the package were a humorous card, a CD/DVD combo, and a word game in a travel pouch called Bananagrams. Kind of like scrabble but with 44 more tiles….

A random act the equal of 088, 105 or 119.

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143

Posted by schurn on August 10, 2012

Adelaide, Australia. 24th July 2012, 10:35. 38 days since 142.

This really shows how busy I was in Adelaide, what a terrible photo. Did have the time and presence of mind to realise 143 was in the mix whilst walking to the bank, points for me. Although, that is what this project is about I guess.

We had two potential 143’s prior to this, both un-photograph-able. One was rider #143 in the Tour de France, who we had the camera ready for once we saw him the first time, but he never appeared again for the remaining time that we held interest in the coverage. The other was in the newspaper, from a report about the fishing industry in Tasmania and this one guy who wanted to buy a 143m something boat, but was getting a bit of stick from environmentalists for it being too big. So he was kicking up a stink to the papers, how dare they have a different view to him? Anyways, there were some other numbers floating around so didn’t satisfy criteria.

This Baby Belly store on Unley Rd helped keep 143 in 3rd position in terms of length of time for a number to find us, the record being 53 days for 087. After being in Mission Beach for nigh on 6 weeks, it might be a record that tumbles with 144.

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142

Posted by schurn on July 4, 2012

Zürich, Switzerland. 16th June 2012, 17:48. 11 days since 141.

Bauwerkzeuge – construction tools, although one wouldn’t know from looking in the front window display – it looks more like a flower shop. Of course, google translate could be wrong and it does actually mean flower shop?

A final weekend with Sal in Züri before making the move over to Queensland. We’d bought a bike (for Victor) with 55 Swiss Francs at the flea market earlier that morning, and had spent the day sitting beside a river flowing rapidly with melting glacier water. Taiana’s construction tools appeared on the route home, sandwiched between a gelato to combat the sun and kneading of pizza dough to combat everything. Homemade pizza fixes everything.

After a few days in Mission Beach, it’s clear we might have to wait a while until 143 crosses our paths, but stay tuned nonetheless!

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141

Posted by schurn on June 8, 2012

Göteborg, Sweden. 5th June 2012, 12:25. 23 hours since 140.

Sometimes you just know things are going to happen. Like how good a movie will be, or you’ll miss the bus by 10 seconds. Walking home from the train station, I had a feeling 141 would appear, and so it was. It’s quite a nice walk along the canal and through the park, except this day was one of the days that the city’s graduating students were celebrating, and though they take over the city their excitement is a little infectious. It’s also quite enjoyable to take the train instead of the plane, one feels like one is moving across the earth more than in the air. Plane travel you just land and have to immediately adjust to whatever is going on. Train is more Schurn’s pace. All of this is nothing new of course, to either me or other people, but it just rarely happens that I take the train. Hopefully all this talk of trains has distracted the reader from a number that is a little more DISPENSABLE than 101 and much more DISPENSABLE than 119.

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140

Posted by schurn on June 6, 2012

Copenhagen, Denmark. 4th June 2012, 13:38. 5 days since 139.

A weekend spent in the Danish capital watching Australia lose to the Danes at football, getting quite heavily rained on at a street festival, eating way too many eggs at breakfast time, eating at a Raw Food restaurant for the first time, getting smoked clothes from being in the bars, wandering into a Turkish outdoor party and seeing the world’s biggest kebab rotisserie (sorry didn’t get a photo but it was literally 2mts in diameter and a guy was using a rake to collect the shaved meat), drinking a 17.5% ‘beer’, thinking quite often that the vibe around the bars cafés and parks was similar to Melbourne, missing 140 twice but eventually succeeding, having apartment envy, and renting bikes to get in the Scando spirit. Great town, go there!

James (pictured) and I rented bikes this day, and saw quite a lot of the city that way. We went to a number of bike shops before we found our desired price – 75DK – and when I went to pay I noticed on the till that the most recent customer had spent 140DK. I hurriedly got my camera out but was just too slow (see photo).

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139

Posted by schurn on June 1, 2012

Göteborg, Sweden. 30th May 2012, 13:39. 2 days since 138.

On the way to have lunch with Pablo From Uruguay. We didn’t have lunch here, even though this is advertising some sort of cut of steak for 139SEK. I’m not very good on the translations of cut of meat for obvious reasons. We in fact had lunch at a new organic cafe that recently opened, though it wasn’t as fantastic as I had hoped. Now, off to Copenhagen to find some Raw Food restaurants, watch the football friendly between Australia and Denmark, go to some street parties, and to bump into 140.

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138

Posted by schurn on May 31, 2012

Göteborg, Sweden. 28th May 2012, 17:31. 23 hours since 137.

Numbers coming thick and fast this week. Monday after the wedding weekend and Schurn couldn’t move and CC Top came down with a cold that is persisting into the latter stages of the week. At the time this photo was taken, Schurn thought the extremely sore calves he had were from too much dancing (yes you read correctly, too much dancing), but about an hour later realised that they more likely came from just an hour of work on the slackline on Sunday. A slackline is a canvas rope/line that one ties between two trees, tightens and attempts to walk along. Like a circus act. Incredibly difficult, and addictive. Schurn’s best was two steps. There will be one purchased when we get to Australia, it’s my kind of activity – slow paced and outdoors. Alex confirmed it was probably the slackline rather than the dancing when he reported his sore side muscles from same activity.

Xenoliths Usually Jut

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137

Posted by schurn on May 29, 2012

Kungälv, Sweden. 27th May 2012, 18:25. 3.5 hours since 136.

Might be a little hard to see, but that is definitely 137, with a U thrown in for good measure. No idea what the number means, or what the function of the structure is, or why it is where it is. I’ll investigate by asking google.se/gothenburg.

After the delicious pizza of 136, we headed back to the Göt through Kungälv to fika with some leftover wedding cake, and to re-cap some of the highlights with the married couple. Schurn’s personal highlight was when the guest seated next to him inquired ‘how long are you’….which of course is a direct translation from the Swedish for ‘how tall are you’, but has quite a different tone in English.

After fika we headed home, and knew 137 was coming up because we’d seen it many times before and wondered if – just like 081 and 112 – the numbers gods would align for us. They did, but getting a good photo proved more troublesome, what you see here is the best Schurn could manage.

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136

Posted by schurn on May 28, 2012

Marstrand, Sweden. 27th May 2012, 14:55. 14 days since 135.

Back-drunk day after My (she of 129 fame, not me as in Schurn) and Boel’s amazing fun times wedding, about an hour north of the Göt. After some time sitting by the ocean discussing the previous day’s highlights, discussions turned to pizza – and smartphones found the nearest shop to be an 11 minute drive away in Marstrand.

Looking at the menu in said pizza shop, Schurn was amazed twice. The first was when he saw a pizza which contained curry, banana and peanuts on the ingredients list. The second was when CC Top wandered over and said ‘I want the curry, banana and peanut pizza’.

136 found us in the parking lot while we were waiting for Kajsa (pictured) to return from the parking machine, but before we’d devoured the curry, banana and peanut pizza. It would certainly be an interesting situation that I’d be in to order another one.

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135

Posted by ciccilou on May 13, 2012

20120513-172853.jpgGöteborg, Sweden. 13th May 2012, 12:57. 22 hours since 134.

Walking home from breakfast which celebrated both Alex’s birthday and yesterday’s running feats.
Just before 135 found us, we walked past a demonstration in support of Palestine, or against Israel…it was hard to tell precisely. Schurn was in support of their little protest.
When we got home, the news reported demonstrations across Spain against government handling of the Euro crisis and marking the anniversary of last year’s Occupy camps. Which reminded us we saw an Occupy camp in a random park here on the same walk home today. Perhaps this summer’s
‘revolution’ is beginning? Schurn is in support of Occupy…whatever it is they stand for.
Swedish Has Beens or Washboard.

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134

Posted by ciccilou on May 12, 2012

20120512-143553.jpg
Göteborg, Sweden. 12th May 2012 14:33, 6 days since 133.
Live blogging here people! We’re watching the runners in the Göteborgsvarvet whilst enjoying a wine lunch and fika trackside. The GBG half marathon is the largest in the world, 62,000 runners this year and half the city comes out in support. We have 3 friends running but think wine lunch is a better use of time!

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133

Posted by schurn on May 11, 2012

Göteborg, Sweden. 6 May 2012, 09:58. 5 days since 132.

Typical. Travel across a continent and drive around for a week, walking through many small towns and bigger cities, to have just one number find you. Then as soon as you get home, bang. The map hardly shows we’ve been in Italy – 102 and 103 was all I got from a week there last summer (including nothing from Sicily); and just 132 this year. Might be a while before we’re back there too, Schurn hopes it’s with 3 or 4 weeks free and an unlimited train travel pass in hand – especially since the best coffee we had this trip was on the Milan-Florence train served in a faux urine sample cup. Not that the others weren’t adequate, just this was unexpectedly superb. Lot to be said for expectations.

We had a great week in Tuscany, and since we’re moving to a part of the world where not many of our friends live, we’ve enacted a plan to try and see the European ones on the same week every year. 2013’s reunion is scheduled for the Indian Ocean French island of La Réunion.

KYMOGRAPH (n) – an instrument for recording variations in pressure, e.g., in sound waves or in blood within blood vessels, by the trace of a stylus on a rotating cylinder.

Had to look it up because couldn’t stop thinking about Kym and his fabulous photography down there at Ranger Park. Turns out not so many words have K-Y-M in order.

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132

Posted by schurn on May 7, 2012

Sansepolcro, Italy. 1 May 2012, 15:12. 5 days since 131.

May Day was spent with a day trip from our villa to this small town near the Tuscany-Umbria-Marche border, which we chose for no other reason than it was close enough and large enough to have places open for lunch. Find a small-ish town in Tuscany and it’s hard to be disappointed. Lunch was delicious – there was particular food envy for those who didn’t get the rabbit; tasty yet not delicious coffee and gelato were timed to co-incide with a huge downpour of rain; and then 132 appeared for Jennie, Schurn and a smartly dressed Mannequin.

The relaxed day gave no indication of the chaos that is 3-man when the beer gets finished early and there’s only wine and spirits left. Fun holiday times.

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131

Posted by schurn on May 6, 2012

Zürich, Switzerland. 26 April 2012, 11:54. 13 days since 130.

Starting our journey to Tuscany with a bang in Zürich. Sal had bought fresh baked goods for us to enjoy when we arrived, before heading out for a stroll around the town and a few beers at lunch in the middle of a perfect spring day. Lunch also featured the predictable chaos of a Sal vs CC Top backgammon challenge (predictable by Schurn anyways), which after an epic encounter ended with victory to Sal. Siesta was taken in the park, McLaren Vale wine enjoyed for dinner before CC Top exceeded her usual bedtime and Schurn went to hang out with the cool kids over at Xenix bar. Zürich went with a bullet into CC Top’s Top5 cities list, and as of today she still thinks she might want to live there sometime somehow. Danke Saschen.

PS CC Top was amazed at how similar our sibling jumping style was.

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130

Posted by ciccilou on May 6, 2012

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Göteborg, Sweden. 13 April 2012, 07:57. 10 days since 129.

Who would have thought taxies would be the new black? Not us, but are now true believers! This one just down the hill from GBG’s statue of Poseidon might have passed us by if not for CC Top’s change in daily routine. Instead of working she packed her rucksack and went to school for a short course in coaching/leadership, which she’s enjoying more than she expected. Education, fun!

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129

Posted by schurn on April 4, 2012

Göteborg, Sweden. 3 April 2012, 11:12. 1.5 hours since 128.

After waiting one month for 128, 129 appeared like magic whilst My and I were trying to find each other at the Saluhallen (food market) in GBG for lunch (for those non-Swedes playing at home, My is a person’s name, and is extraordinarily difficult to pronounce). In fact we had just met and were discussing where to go in lieu of the market being closed for renovation, when the second taxi in 444 project history rolled into view! When we started the project, I never would have guessed taxi numbers would play a part, which made 088 quite unusual at the time but perhaps a little less so now. Another similarity between that day and yesterdays find was the way the taxis both rolled into our lives, quite differently from most other numbers which find us as we walk past them.

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128

Posted by schurn on April 4, 2012

Göteborg, Sweden. 3 April 2012, 09:36. 31 days since 127.

The first on-screen encounter in the 444 project occurred whilst researching questions for a in-home quiz night we’re having this weekend.

What occurred near Busan in South Korea on April 15th 2002 causing the deaths of 128 people?

What happened on March 30th 2002 at Windsor Castle? (clue – the answer is partly revealed in this photo)

April 11-14 2002 there was a failed coup against Hugo Chavez. You’ll be surprised to hear, no doubt, that someone was killing someone else in the Israel-Palestine conflict. The last corner of news you can see in the photo is that A Beautiful Mind won the best picture Oscar.

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127

Posted by schurn on March 5, 2012

Idre, Sweden. 3 March 2012, 16:33. 20 days since 126.

The Vasaloppet is the worlds oldest, longest and largest cross country skiing race – and one of the four events that constitute the ‘swedish classic’ described in 106. It runs a course from Sälen to Mora in the Dalarna region of Sweden, re-creating (albeit backwards) an epic moment of Swedish history in 1520 – when Gustav Vasa was escaping the Danish King’s troops all the while trying to organise a rebellion to defeat them and gain independence. He was successful on both accounts.

Yesterday around 15,000 competitors began skiing at 8am and while the winner produced a record time (3:38:41) and was able to have a civilised lunch, most of them were arriving well after darkness 90km later at the finish line having consumed only blueberry soup and sports electrolytes the whole day. Johan was one such participant, his aim to finish in under 12 hours  successful with a time of 11:18:21. Super effort that.

The previous day, Johan, Alex and Fredrik taught Schurn how to ski down a hill. It’s true, apart from one moment in around my twelfth year, I have not ventured up the slopes. It was certainly enjoyable enough for me to wonder what has taken so long, although my battered body might disagree. All reports were that I was quite competent for a first timer, and certainly there were sporadic moments I felt in control, mixed in with the more common I’m-about-to-crash-into-fences/trees/people/hard-ground moments. There was only enough time for one day of skiing and although I’m not sure my left hip could cope with more bruising, I’m looking forward to the next (longer) ski trip.

It will be interesting to see if Johan or Schurn recovers quickest from the weekends most excellent fun times.

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Happy 2nd Birthday!

Posted by schurn on February 22, 2012

Yes folks, the 444 project turns 2 today, and to celebrate we’ve added a new page to the blog – When Will It End? – where you can try to predict the date on which 444 turns up in our lives, having successfully found the previous 443 numbers sequentially.

Along with the cake, we’ve also got a new poll where you can vote for your favourite of our favourite numbers so far, and don’t forget you can be involved further if you find a 444 and send it to us for our How Will It End? page.

Keen observers may also notice that we’re finally up to date with posting the numbers onto the blog, and so all numbers from here on in will be as ‘live’ as possible.

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126

Posted by schurn on February 18, 2012

Göteborg, Sweden. 12 February 2012, 12:19. 12 days since 125.

The locker we used at Universeum, an aquarium/indoor rainforest/science centre in the Göt. The locker cost 10SEK/A$1.50, the museum 160SEK/A$23.

Schurn was expecting something more like the Investigator Science and Techonolgy Centre that he nerded it up at during younger years in Adelaide. And would happily nerd it up again if it was still around, in fact might appreciate it even more. Universeum was more like an indoor zoo – and zoos, well, I’m just not sure they’re a good thing. The animals never seem to look happy, and it strikes me as an obvious reaction to having walls around them. I don’t want to be in a zoo.

Also, it’s kind of a children’s museum/zoo and there was lots of children there, surprisingly. Which sometimes makes me want to run to the pub. Dry February, damn it!

Doesn’t CC Top look pretty too!!

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125

Posted by schurn on February 17, 2012

Brussels, Belgium. 31 January 2012, 01:26. 2 days since 124.

It was barely Brussels, in fact a hotel near the airport that we spent about 6 hours in. Does 1:25 (i.e the colon) qualify this for the 444 project? At 01:25 (actually 01:26 according to our camera’s clock), and after an epic long-hauler from Melbourne, we didn’t care so much. It was just incredible that we arrived into our hotel room at this time, or that we were even in Brussels at this time.

The flight was running smoothly until about half an hour out from Abu Dhabi we’re told we’re going to be landing in Muscat due to fog at the Emirates’ airport. Fine. Two and a half hours of tarmac sitting later, we’re headed towards Abu Dhabi, which by the time we arrive is chaos. We arrived after our connection to Europe was due to depart, but it was delayed by 6 hours anyway so no trouble there. Pretty small and boring airport to whittle away 6 hours we might add. Plus (first world problems) we couldn’t work out the wi-fi business either. We arrived at our departure gate at the appointed revised time, only to have the flight pushed back one hour every hour for 5 hours. There was plenty of staff around, but no-one seemed to know what was going on. At 16:00, the fog is not to blame. CC Top, bless her little Swedish socks, wasn’t sure if she was more annoyed at the delay or the lack of efficiency and organisation at the airport.

Having missed our connection to the Göt, we get a free hotel in Belgium for the night, an added bonus for us that other delayed passengers might not have seen the fun side to was a TV that tells the time. We arrived into the Göt a day late, but when you get greeted by a viking bearing gifts of coffee and semla buns the tardiness is quickly forgotten.

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124

Posted by schurn on February 15, 2012

Melbourne, Australia. 29 January 2012, 13:03. 1 day since 123.

Final day for the trip in Australia, and on the way to Ceres Community Environment Park for breakfast. (Astute followers might have already noted that our lunch time from the day before was this day’s breakfast time….fun party the night before and all). I’d heard about Ceres while I was living in Melbourne, and read lots more since – particularly in the most recent few years, but had never actually been. We only had time for a feed and a quick walk around, but it’s got such a pleasant feel that I can see some days lost there. Check it out, if you can’t make it to East Brunswick the website has loads of great sustainability and community ideas.

Yes, 124 is another house number, and although one can’t see all of it in this photo, there is something about this house that draws me to it. Perhaps it has a general ‘Aussie’ house feeling; perhaps it’s the bins out front and brown weeds in the cracks of paving that suggest a share house; perhaps it’s the run-downed-ness that endears me to it’s potential? Whatever it is, 125 and a flight to Sweden beckon.

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123

Posted by schurn on February 14, 2012

Melbourne, Australia. 28 January 2012, 13:10. 4 days since 122.

This is not the actual location of the address in the window, this is just an ad for an apartment development. Not sure where that sits in ‘The Battle’ but I’m not including it on the buildings tally (for those taking an interest in such things).

There’s a little North-South rivalry that takes place in Melbourne, the divider being the Yarra River, and it’s common for people to not venture to ‘the dark side’. The dark side is however very subjective for whatever reason, and people can get quite worked up about it. I guess it’s like an Adel-Melb rivalry (which Melb people don’t really care about), or a Melb-Syd one (which Syd people ignore).

Having now spent considerable time on both sides of the Yarra, I would like to say the dark side does not exist, both banks are fun. If I were pressed, I would say that my lifestyle is more suited to being a Northerner, but can see the value of a trip down St.Kilda way – like we made when 123 found us just before meeting friends for lunch.

Loving the fancy photography from CC Top – more to come too!

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122

Posted by schurn on February 14, 2012

Melbourne, Australia. 24 January 2012, 11:01. 8 days since 121.

Another day, another breakfast at one of Melbourne’s fine breakfast establishments. Kitschen Pantry is a word-of-mouth gem, on a suburban street in Thornbury – they’re so cool they don’t even need a website. It is actually an old corner store and we found a seat in the vine-covered ‘courtyard’ (the driveway) and played backgammon. Despite Schurn trying strangely to order a meal with meat not once but twice, they brought out some delicious vegetarian fare; an iced coffee to continue Schurn’s obsession since dreaming about Sicilian granite; and a ginger beer spider to wash it all down. Spiders! They source everything locally and if possible from their own backyards, which we liked – and even had organic produce for sale. Seek it out if you’re in Melbourne’s inner north sometime soon.

As for the backgammon – which the waiter of Turkish descent took great interest in – I can’t quite recall exactly what happened, but it probably went the way it usually does. Schurn getting into a winning position but CC Top rolling exactly what she needs to win. Better players do it huh?

As for 122, it’s about 3 doors down from the Kitschen Pantry.

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121

Posted by schurn on February 13, 2012

Melbourne, Australia. 16 January 2012, 11:56. 19 days since 120.

Melbourne, great town. This day we went out for breakfast in Northcote – discovering how delicious spirulina can be, then walked back to our temporary home to tcb some stuff, before heading over to the first night of the Australian Open to watch an Aussie girl beat a Swedish girl at hitting a ball over a net. We were also seated amongst a loud and excited contingent of Taiwanese to see a Taiwanese guy take out a South African in 5 sets. Here we learned that the Chinese government calls Taiwan ‘Chinese Taipei’, but Taiwanese call it ‘Taiwan’. Naturally, for fear of offending the Chinese I imagine, the officials had Chinese Taipei everywhere.

All of this has nothing to do with 121, which we found shortly after the spirulina juice, but possibly breaks the record for most references to Taiwan in a single blog entry.

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120

Posted by schurn on February 10, 2012

Adelaide, Australia. 28 December 2011, 12:53. 9 days since 119.

Adelaide Central Market car park. This wasn’t actually the parking spot we took, but close by and 120 found us as we got out. CC Top had arrived the day before, so what else to do but go to the markets for lunch – a Top5 experience in Rads. I wish everyone I knew shopped there instead of Woolies or Coles. Try it people, one day a week!

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119

Posted by schurn on February 9, 2012

Penneshaw, Australia. 19 December 2011, 17:34. 15 days since 118.

It still blows my mind that this happened.

I’d spent most of the 15 days since 118 on Kangaroo Island, which made it almost exactly two years since I’d visited Kate –  so there was lots of ‘island goss’ and changes that I’d missed. She and her husband Jock had added another dimension to their farm – a dedicated kitchen building where she makes delicious condiments and holds cooking classes. They grow a lot of their produce themselves, and she offered a tour of the vegie garden and some fresh zucchinis after our tea-and-goss session.

Naturally, one of the inquiries I made was to the health and success of their milking cow, whom they had hoped would provide fresh milk each day just for the family. Sadly, the cow had died in child birth; but it was a silver-lined death because she had been hard to train at a late age to sit still and give up her milk. All is well now that they have Lucy the calf and Jock can teach her to behave.

We sat around talking for a little while longer before Jock came in from the fields and declared wind-burn a myth. Then we popped out to collect some zucchinis, and along the way met Lucy the calf (pictured). NO WAY. I nearly fell over when I saw her ear-tag, this was the most unexpected number to have found us yet.

And the zucchinis were delicious, if you get the chance try a roasted zucchini flower too – they’re pretty amazing.

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118

Posted by schurn on February 8, 2012

Adelaide, Australia. 4 December 2011, 15:19. 13 days since 117.

The 444 project finally arrives in Australia, along with Schurn who also finally arrived back home. Almost two years away, and the place had change a lot whilst not changing at all. You know the story.

This photo was taken after one such experience, where I’d gone to visit friends for a BBQ (no change), but there were small people everywhere (change). I was then driving home and saw 118 appear on this street sign so I swerved into a vacant park and contently tottered back to capture the progression towards 444.

For those not in the know, ‘Safety Assist’ is a volunteer community program designed to provide safe shelter for people who think they’re in trouble and a long way from home, i.e. a kid who thinks they’re being followed by a nasty type and are scared can knock on the door and know they’ll be safe. So, 118 Crozier Ave is one such house and luckily for the 444 project, the program adds street signs for directions. The randomness of the numbers begins again!

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117

Posted by schurn on February 7, 2012

Göteborg, Sweden. 21 November 2011, 21:42. 5 days since 116.

Quick posts, useless filling information…albums I’ve listened to today –

Nick Drake – Bryter Layter

The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses

Tex, Don and Charlie – All Is Forgiven

Tom Waits – The Heart Of Saturday Night

U2 – October

KISSOHOLIC

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116

Posted by schurn on February 7, 2012

Göteborg, Sweden. 16 November 2011, 12:20. 14 hours since 115.

Catch up, catch up. Quick posts. Not even an interesting photo this one. Moving on.

DONATE

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115

Posted by schurn on February 7, 2012

Göteborg, Sweden. 15 November 2011, 22:16. 2 days since 114.

A few quick posts here so we can catch up and get to the delectable numbers we found in Australia, a few of which are way more obscure than an addition to the house-number plate battle.

Nice photo this one though! Taken on my phone too.

EXORCIZE (american spelling granted cause they’re some tough scrabble letters)

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114

Posted by schurn on February 6, 2012

Berlin, Germany. 13 November 2011, 12:56. 3 days since 113.

CC Top impulsively booked a weekend in Berlin via one of those super-discount websites. Impulsively buying things is one of CC Top’s strengths, and when it’s trips away, Schurn loves her that little bit extra.

My hat, was it cold in Berlin this weekend. I guess because we were flying south and towards the general direction of the sun, we’d assumed it might be a little warmer than in the Göt. We were so caught out by the chill that CC Top was forced to add a layer of socks whilst seated in the hotel lobby. And then we walked. Which in Berlin, isn’t always so advisable….it’s a big place. We enjoyed stopping in cafés and having a wee backgammon scuffle, or stumbling across a bustling market serving warm drinks and pastries. Schurn had been to the German capital previously to visit family or friends, and we both agreed it might be a better place to visit if you’ve got a local guide handy.

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113

Posted by schurn on November 20, 2011

Göteborg, Sweden. 10 November 2011, 08:25. 12 days since 112.

Not much to report here folks, Schurn on the walk to Swedish school. The most interesting thing about school is when people talk about situations in their homelands. A lot of people in my class have not had the privileged upbringing that I have, plenty of people from warzones etc, and it makes for interesting stories and discussions. One day recently we were talking about smoking – whether it’s good that the law prohibits smoking in restaurants and bars etc, when is it OK to smoke etc. A guy from Iraq told us a long story about how in Baghdad he couldn’t walk the 50 metres from his home to his work without planning his route to avoid bombs. I wondered what this had to do with smoking. He went on to say that’s a pretty stressful way to live, constantly being on the lookout for bombs, and therefore he smokes to relax. I won’t deny you that mister.

HAZARD

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112

Posted by schurn on November 17, 2011

Göteborg, Sweden. 29 October 2011, 15:52. 5 days since 111.

Just moments before 112 found us, a car with number plate 112 drove past us, but we were too slow on the camera retrieval mission. As we walked into our building, the plan was to go down to the laundry to check our washing time. Schurn, as previously predicted in 081, knew that 112 existed at the doorway to the stairs, but said nothing. CC Top, who quite often but not always opts for the lift suggested we take the stairs instead, and then was unsure why Schurn went a little giddy with excitement. Yes, the number’s a little hard to see in the photo, but then I guess that also makes it a little hard to see in real life too – making it another welcome addition to the 444 project!

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111

Posted by schurn on November 16, 2011

Göteborg, Sweden. 24 October 2011, 21:32. 26 hours since 110.

SCHNAPPS! Or more correctly, BREAD! That marks one quarter of the 444 project completed in an almost even 20 months. Some great travel stories and numbers found since 001.

Back in the Göt after our weekend away, first item of business for Schurn was to bake some bread. Sal gave me this wonderful bread book for my birthday, and I was exploring the options for cultivating and maintaining one’s own sourdough culture when the text referred to a photo on the previous page (pg 111). I was too engrossed in the text to notice what page I was on! I have not become advanced enough in my breadmaking for sourdough yet, although it is an aspiration I hold, and the book has made my home-made seeded rye bread taste even more delicious. BREAD!

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110

Posted by ciccilou on November 15, 2011

Brighton, England. 23 October 2011, 18:25. 2 days since 109.

Sunday daytrips are fun! It took us a while to get into the swing of things, after the previous day’s exploring and drinking, but eventually we found ourselves on a train to every Londoner’s favourite seaside retreat. First thing to say about Brighton is what a crazy-arse pier it has. The entire thing is covered in amusement rides and dodgem cars and legalised under-age gambling in the form of pre-historic poker machines. There is also the typical small town maze of cobblestoned lanes that are always worth meandering through for the occasional sight of street art or funky jewelery place for the more fashion conscious. Most randomly, there is also an indian looking palace that was built by some king who really loved the style of Indian buildings. I think they’re interesting also, but I wouldn’t go building one in Brighton. But then, I never have been, nor never will be, the king. 110 found us on the walk back to the train station after filling up on Guinness, cider and sunday roast (pumpkin pie).

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109

Posted by schurn on November 11, 2011

London, England. 21 October 2011, 18:36. 17 days since 108.

A weekender to London to visit Meagsie and James of 083 fame. The nice details about living in Europe hey? Weekend to London, why not. Berlin next month, sure!

Other than the 109 bus to Croydon finding us, highlights included live music, root beer, breakfast out, walking when supposed to be tubing, Coopers Pale Ale, G-Cup, Indian food, a 444 project logo (more to come later), Camden Town Brewery Wheat Beer, delicious pints of Guinness, Brixton village, newspapers Schurn can read without thinking, Crabbie’s Ginger beer, randomly bumping into K-Man, Real Ale Chutney from some dude near South Kensington Station. Also, day trips to Brighton with M&J involving sunday roast….coming up next in the 444 project.

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108

Posted by schurn on November 9, 2011

Göteborg, Sweden. 4 October 2011, 13:14. 9 days since 107.

Astute observers will not need to note that the 444 project is back in the Göt for the first time since 093, because I just told you; or that 108 found us on Schurn’s birthday, because I just told you that too.

What fun stuff happened on my birthday? Firstly the most wonderful and gullig CC Top presented me with two concert tickets (an anti-consumer’s ideal present-if-there-must-be-a-present) – to Ane Brun and Ryan Adams. Then, this number plate was spotted on a walk to do the grocery shopping at my favourite little organic shop. The rest of the daylight hours were rather normal, after dinner we went and watched a doco called There Once Was An Island, which was made by a kiwi lass who held a skype conference call with the audience after the screening.

The film was shot on an island many kilometres off the coast of Bougainville that is severely threatened by climate change. They were discussing whether to abandon the island or not, and all the challenges involved in either decision. They certainly weren’t discussing the validity of the changing climate, or whether to implement a new tax to adjust for it or not. We learnt a lot about the islanders culture and attitudes during the movie, and Schurn learnt more about Australia’s regional history and outdated British ties afterwards when researching how Bougainville came to have autonomy from PNG/Great Britain/Australia/German/whichever imperial power has hoped to exploit it’s resource rich land throughout history.

Ill-fated.

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107

Posted by schurn on November 7, 2011

E4 Motorväg, Sweden. 25 September 2011, 13:27. 3 hours since 106.

After a good fill of coffee and breakfast, we hit the road home to the Göt from Stockholm. Fredrik, occupying the front seat because he’d most likely cramp from the previous day’s 30km of running if he sat in the back, was in charge of taking 444 project photos. His was the work on 106, and he might have been a little rushed from the shouting from the backseat to capture 107…. but I’m not sure it matches Sal’s work on 102.

The roads are much more civilised in Sweden than Italy, and therefore a little less uneventful, but we did pass a caravan with a bumper sticker that became Schurn’s new life slogan – ‘Slow is the new fast’. My favourite animal, after watching a doco on the Galapagos recently, is the giant tortoise. I’m not sure what the old one was, but I am often amazed by birds of prey; elephants are pretty cool; watching wild kangaroos is a highlight of any day; mountain goats are incredible. Giant tortoise is the winner though, slow is the new fast.

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106

Posted by schurn on November 4, 2011

Stockholm, Sweden. 25 September 2011, 10:22. 26 days since 105.

A road trip to the capital for the weekend, to support Johan and Fredrik in their attempt to become svensk klassiker (swedish classics). To achieve such status, they must complete four disciplines – cross-country skiing (90km), cycling (300km), swimming (3km), and running (30km) – within one 12 month period. This weekend’s edition was the running, which was their first leg, and we’re proud to report they both successfully completed without major incident. They can now look forward to 90km of phish-glide-push-glide-phish skiing in March. Perhaps another number will find us during the 11 or so hours we’ll be cheering them on?

Stockholm presented itself very nicely for us, beautiful autumn sun highlighting the ever-present harbour/river/lake/water views and grand buildings. It’s hard to report too much more due to our supporting requirements, but having been previously it seems like a place suitable to a half-week visit – no more, no less.

Ultimate Jogging Greatness

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105

Posted by schurn on October 31, 2011

Cangas de Onís, Spain. 30 August 2011, 14:51. 24 hours since 104.

We all slipped into Spanish life without intending to – rising late, eating late, trying to deal with things not happening as planned – and so it went that when we arrived at the tourist information for the Picos de Europa National Park  we had arrived a little late, and wouldn’t be able to accomplish all we had originally hoped for this day.

We spent some time under the small town’s 8th century Roman bridge with coffee and discussion about how to proceed – to actually go to the park or not – before walking around behind the bar to walk over the imposing bridge. This is where 105 found us – the “Camin de la Reina” walking trail evidently begins here, or passes through perhaps (in true Spanish style, it’s not exactly clear from the map).

We did end up going to the National Park, and even though it turned into a long day, all agreed it was worth it for the dramatic scenery on the road up and atop the mountains; and the kitsch virgin mary merchandise in Covadonga.

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104

Posted by schurn on October 27, 2011

Santander, Spain. 29 August 2011, 15:16. 29 days since 103.

The curiosity of 104 is that we had to travel to Spain to find it, these hire bikes are also in the Göt, and being holders of a season pass we had tuned in to the fact they were numbered individually. They are a great idea – we have paid 250SEK (about A$40) for a pass that provides unlimited free use provided you don’t loan one for more than half an hour at a time. Visitors have used them too, at a once-off cost of 10SEK for three days hire. How do they make money? They probably don’t directly, but because the owner is also one of the biggest advertising companies in the world, you just happen to notice their advertising spaces in the immediate vicinity of the stations. Money begets money huh?

Enough ranting about something I get for next to nothing, what about Santander? Well, it has an interesting coastline and there was a food market on that day which always improves the outlook, but aside from that it all seemed quite familiar…I’d imagine because we didn’t wander too far into the backstreets. The highlight was stopping in a random old bar for coffee, it felt similar to the little places you’d see in small towns along the Camino, and getting half a life story of the owner translated through Sal. Almost got invited to his place in the mountains, but not had to head off to Gijón – staying for a week with Sal, Papaschurn and Elizabeth the bear hunter.

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103

Posted by schurn on October 25, 2011

Rome, Italy. 30 July 2011, 04:21. 13 hours since 102.

Take note of the time above. Driving the length of Italy in two days takes commitment people! It wasn’t our intention when we arrived in the eternal city about 21:30, but became reality a few hours later over dinner with Sal’s friends – we would sleep for a few hours then leave Rome extra early to beat traffic. 103 found our super-tired eyes in the hotel when were leaving.

It all worked rather well actually, apart from two things – not being able to wake Victor, who must have been exhausted from his back-seat driving; and only having about two hours sleep, on account of the fact Schurn had never been to Rome and needed to see a little of it.

The best way to see an overcrowded tourist city is in a car at night. Fontana de Trevi, the Colosseum, a bunch of piazzas and impressive exteriors of buildings, perhaps the Pantheon although it was after midnight so I can’t really recall. All of them looked spectacular but potentially draining to visit during the day, there was enough people at 01:00….Rome (along with anywhere else in Italy) needs another visit though, to spend more time with the old streets, small bars, incredible food and peerless coffee. Viva Italia!

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102

Posted by schurn on October 24, 2011

A1 Autostrada near Parma, Italy. 29 July 2011, 15:27. 7 hours since 101.

The aim – get from Züri to Sicily in under two days. The route – the A1 all the way from Milano to Messina. 70-odd kilometres into the A1, Schurn realises they’re counting up the numbers and 102’s a chance to find us. Sal practiced snapping them on the run a few times, and successfully framed this one beautifully.

The first day on the road was just Schurn or Sal holding the steering wheel, with Victor driving from the passenger seat. In Italy, he says, nothing matters you just drive. “Victor, what’s the speed limit on the autostrada?”….”It doesn’t matter, just drive. If we get pulled over, I’ll deal with it”.

Everything in Italy is Chaos (note the capital C), and once you learn to roll with flow, it’s siesta-style pleasant. The driving is no exception, and Schurn had to tag with Sal coming into Rome for fear of sweating a little too much. Sal sweat. The best thing about the freeway, however, was the rest stops – all served amazing coffee, and there was never less than a three or four person deep crowd around the counter. Chaos for coffee.

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101

Posted by schurn on October 20, 2011

Zürich, Switzerland. 29 July 2011, 08:11. 3 days since 100.

Wowsers, what a bewdy! Schurn made a last-minute decision to drive the length of Italy with Sal and Victor and others, and this electricity box 101 is along the wall of a walk/bikeway that Sal and I took to collect the hire car. Roadtrip! We’d also gone back to the farmer’s market which was the scene of 099 for some supplies, but there wasn’t a stall with 101 different mushrooms, or any advertising for 101-things-you-must-do-before-you-die books, or a jackpot in the lottery that week of €101million.

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100

Posted by schurn on October 19, 2011

Luzern, Switzerland. 26 July 2011, 14:55. 4.5 hours since 099.

A century up with a manhole cover! At least it’s not a number plate I hear the masses murmur. Funnily enough, keen observers may recall Luzern as being the setting for another double-day in the 444 project, which ended on a ferry with 037.

We spent this afternoon with Anne walking around Luzern – which none of us really wanted to be in – and eating at the Rathauskeller and talking about family and books and life in Europe. I guess there’s no shortage of conversation topics when you haven’t seen each other for longer than the 444 project has been running – which is 17 months.

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099

Posted by schurn on October 19, 2011

Zürich, Switzerland. 26 July 2011, 10:26. 30 hours since 098.

A slow stroll round the local farmer’s market buying up some seasonal snacks, before heading to Luzern to meet up with our aunt, Anne. Standing directly in our departing path is this Scana Truck Of The Year ’99!!! Not being a truck expert, I’m not sure if this particular Scana is worthy of such an honour, or indeed whether the honour is worldwide or just within the company of even just the driver’s opinion. I am sure that Sal tried her best to make a ‘models-sell-trucks’ pose, but only succeeded in looking a little like a trucker herself. But then, what does a trucker look like?

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098

Posted by schurn on October 19, 2011

Zürich, Switzerland. 25 July 2011, 16:35. 31 hours since 097.

Having left the kids in Paris, and my newly bought second-hand copy of For Whom The Bell Tolls on the train, I arrived in Zürich for a few days hanging with Sal and Victor.

First item on the agenda was out for a walk to a coffee shop to resume the Schonfeldt Backgammon Championships (records reveal a 2-1 victory to Schurn). Not far out Sal’s door, we see this hat for sale – not for 379CHF but only 98CHF. Isn’t the normal routine to make it 99? I guess 098 just wanted to find us.

Horrible hat, great number. I like the reflection of the other side of the street in the glass too.

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097

Posted by schurn on October 18, 2011

Paris, France. 24 July 2011, 11:21. 16.5 hours since 096.

Hannah’s mum Angela is an expert at flea markets/op shops, if not a little addicted. She even has a shop in the Adelaide hills for all her stuff. One day in the Göt we went on a salvo’s crawl. She loved it. Both weekend days in Paris she spent almost the entire day at these markets, we pretty much met her for dinner and that was it. This Sunday morning, with plenty of empty €1.50 red wine sitting on the dining table, Hannah and I managed to journey out to this massive market with her. Sal had said take the Metro to such-and-such, then follow your market nose to find it. Easier said than done after 18ish bottles of wine, but we sniffed it out in the end. Loads of interesting stuff but bought nothing, found 097 though, bang.

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096

Posted by schurn on October 18, 2011

Paris, France. 23 July 2011, 16:53. 21 hours since 095.

After a day wandering the streets – seeing a man embarrass himself twice in trying to jump a fence at the Louvre; getting absolutely soaked by such heavy rain that it forced us to stop for lunch (delicious, yes delicious, Japanese food in the heart of tourist Paris); spending an impossibly long time on the Avenue des Champs d’Élysées; being amazed at the lack of traffic accidents on the Place Charles de Gaulle while taking in the impressive Arc de Triomphe – the girls had had enough and made haste for the Metro that would take them to the sanctuary of our rented apartment in the 6th. The boys however, being made of tougher stuff, sought out more numbers and statues and Eiffel towers – and were rewarded with all three. Once I reconciled in my head the ignominy of being ‘just another tourist in the throng of Eiffel visitors’, I was quite impressed by the size of the thing, and at the line to get up it.

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095

Posted by schurn on October 17, 2011

Paris, France. 22 July 2011, 19:32. 5 days since 094.

The start of Schurn’s mid-summer adventure of number hunting saw some of the Bezza crew roaming the streets of Paris, talking jumping photos and bringing a little aussie-ness to the 6th district. This was the first day I’d ever eaten French Onion Soup that wasn’t one of those instant packet jobs – thankfully I’ve left those watery MSG disasters behind me, and wowsers is that some sort of soup! Haven’t tried to make it yet, though tonight’s menu is yet to be set wink wink. Stay tuned. France is not particularly vegie friendly, in fact it appears to be a place that could potentially re-convert many a legume lover. Luckily they have plenty of fine bread, cheese and plenty of bulk discount wine to make up for it. Mmmm, €1.50 wine….

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094

Posted by schurn on October 11, 2011

Alafors, Sweden. 17 July 2011, 18:24. 8 days since 093.

Nothing as exciting as camping going on here, a Sunday visit to CCTop’s family instead. A Saab again, but this time with a boat. Is that interesting? Who am I to judge.

We’ll move on to 095 with a Paul Kelly songline I heard recently, from a song that makes one think a little more profoundly about life – “all lovers were strangers once”.

ORACLE.

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093

Posted by ciccilou on October 10, 2011

Göteborg, Sweden. 9 July 2011, 13:38. 6 days since 092.

Saturday, on the way to our café of the moment – Proviant – for some lunch. CC Top, being Swedish, knows everything there is to know about everything Swedish. If she doesn’t know, she asks Johan. Anyways, she had inwardly wondered if 093 might turn out to be a (Swedish) Saab 93, and so it was, a red one to boot – which is CC Top’s colour of all colours.

Not much else to explain here, we can’t really agree on what happened that day or if there was anything of significance – other than the sun appeared to be shining. Which is as rare as CCTop cooking dinner…what a great segue because that is what’s happening now as Schurn types away in the kitchen. Bon Iver is providing the soundtrack to a Thai-style green chick-pea curry soup experiment. Now Schurn needs to chop the onion…so friends, until we meet again at 094, happy trails.

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092

Posted by ciccilou on October 9, 2011

Glaskogen, Sweden. 3 July 2011, 10:27. 14 days since 091.

Our first plan was to go to the Roskilde Festival, but various reasons changed our plans and because CCtop had already planned  to take a few days of holiday it seemed stupid not to use them properly. So we decided to go camping. As usual Schurno took care of all major planning and we went up to the region of Värmland and one of Swedens many nature reserves, Glaskogen.

We stopped for some delicious strawberries and got ourselves a map at the reserve’s office, before we walked into the wild…

We ended up in this specific windbreak after two failed attempts at other camping spots. It was getting dark and we weren’t even sure this windbreak was going to be available, but it was our last hope for shelter this night. And lucky we were! The little windbreak was located on the banks of one of the lakes and had many previous visitors names and dates carved into it’s walls, including these (we’re guessing) Germans Has & Clau from 1992. Perhaps it was Papaschurn without an S?

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091

Posted by schurn on October 8, 2011

Kungälv, Sweden. 19 June 2011, 15:27. 3 hours since 090.

At My and Boel’s…two in a day. This Wyndham Estate Shiraz was worth 91 points to some wine critic, but worth a lot more to us, in the whole she-bang of the 444 project. We got rather excited when about half an hour after noticing 091 in the loungeroom, Schurn spotted 92 on a hoodie, which after closer inspection turned out to be the final part of 1892. See, following the rules.

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090

Posted by schurn on October 8, 2011

Göteborg, Sweden. 19 June 2011, 12:35. 40 hours since 089.

On the freeway up to My and Boel’s place for a little hang time. Not much more to report here, so let’s move on rather quickly after two thoughts – I suppose it does follow from 070; and take a few moments to imagine all the people that have passed this roadsign without giving much thought to taking it’s photo. Poor roadsign.

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089

Posted by schurn on October 4, 2011

Göteborg, Sweden. 17 June 2011, 20:19. 12 days since 088.

The floor at the bohemian garage-cafe Sinnet seems to have been layed in 1989, by someone with an ‘A’ as at least one initial. At Sinnet there’s games nights, moorish fries, friendly dudes behind the bar, random events like vegan buffets/record fairs/chili eating contests, and most importantly – local and traveling musicians playing on stage on the cheap. We love it. This night we went to see/hear the beautiful harmonies of Vidar, courtesy of our mates over at inmykitchen, and received the added bonus of a chaotic electronic set from Sparse. Sweden is disproportionally blessed with fine musicians, and Göteborg has a reputation as a centre for the indie kids. Case proven at Sinnet.

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088

Posted by schurn on October 4, 2011

Göteborg, Sweden. 5 June 2011, 12:10. 15 days since 087.

This number definitely found us! We had just arrived to pick up Maria and Fredrik for a weekend outdoors, when this taxi pulled up in front of us with a bunch of guys who had been out all night. They went upstairs to get something then came back down and in the meantime we’d started talking with the driver about taking a photo of him and his cab number. They really must have wondered what was happening. The 444 project is a hard thing to explain on limited time, but this chap was a sport and happily participated (although didn’t quite cover the number plate…), then drove off with his presumably large fare. We drove on to a night in a windbreak next to a lake with food on the fire and some wine.

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087

Posted by schurn on October 3, 2011

Älvängen, Sweden. 21 May 2011, 19:15. 53 days since 086.

53 days, bloody hell. We learnt our lesson big time for 087. Just like 87 is the devil’s number in cricket folklore, so it was ours when we found a number plate about 4 days after 086 – but had no camera, no phone, none of the items required to make a pinhole camera…nothing to record such an event. Key advice for those wishing to start their own number-finding project – always take a camera.

Anyways, about two more months passed before we were on the bus to dinner at My’s dad’s house, and the bus stopped outside this apartment block. A mad rush ensued to find a phone, camera, whatever to reverse the bad number karma and get back on track. Turned out to be quite a nice photo too – dusk light and the possibility that 87 has some sort of significance for the man in it as well as us.

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086

Posted by schurn on October 3, 2011

Göteborg, Sweden. 29 March 2011, 21:11. 2 days since 085.

Chocolate and tampons go well together. Here’s a list of other things that they go well with:

Chocolate – raspberries, movies, big decisions, almonds, wine.

Tampons – icecream, doona on the couch, crap TV, wine again.

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085

Posted by schurn on October 2, 2011

Göteborg, Sweden. 27 March 2011, 15:38. 25 hours since 084.

Caffé Mokambo, only 85 SEK, get your Caffé Mokambo! Perhaps we should have bought some considering it helped us on the path to 444, though I guess a precedent was set when Schurn declined the shirt of 055?

Welcome back to the 444 project Ted – more than a year since 009, no skating this day – just an overpriced travel convention and some lunch.

Occasionally CC Top and I talk about all the universes colliding to bring us together, just like the universes have to be aligned in a certain way to find this doorway rather than that number plate. In the same way, if Ted hadn’t been studying in Melbourne when CC Top was travelling in Australia, it’s unlikely we would have met. It’s not the only forking road, but they’re all as important as each other – 85 thanks to you good sir.

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084

Posted by schurn on September 30, 2011

Göteborg, Sweden. 26 March 2011, 14:41. 12 days since 083.

by CC Top –

It is finally spring! Still cold enough for beanie and gloves, but warm enough not to wear the big, warm, fluffy winter jacket. It’s at this time of year that most swedes wake up from their winter hibernation and seek the sun. So did we this day.  Gothenburg is a totally different city when the sun is out, actually then on my list of Top 5 cities I wanna live in, but also makes a whole other list when its not.

Ung Och Cool

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083

Posted by schurn on September 29, 2011

Edinburgh, Scotland. 14 March 2011, 12:03. 18 days since 082.

Scotland lends itself to taking black and white photos, so our camera was permanently set as such during our weekend visit to Edinburgh with Meagsie and James for CC Top’s birthday trip away.

Setting aside the almost constant rain, Edinburgh looks to be a completely liveable city. It reminded us both quite a bit of Melbourne with a few large parks and open spaces plus plenty of little cafés and interesting restaurants just around the next corner. Nighttime revealed not only cosy pubs and alternative bars, but some of the weirdest karaoke ever.

I hope there’s more visits to Scotland further on down the road, it’s on Schurn’s Top5 countries so far, Edinburgh might be just a transit point to the Eastern Highlands though, which I have a curiosity to see. An enjoyable transit nonetheless.

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082

Posted by schurn on September 28, 2011

Göteborg, Sweden. 24 February 2011, 08:51. 3 days since 081.

In the car park that services the building that provided 081, a little hard to see but that’s 082 for sure and certain. Found because when I originally took the photo of 081, it wasn’t the best quality and I brought my non-phone-camera back to the scene of the crime to re-take it. If I hadn’t have done so, 082 might still elude us.

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081

Posted by schurn on September 28, 2011

Göteborg, Sweden. 21 February 2011, 08:51. 9 days since 080.

This is one of the few numbers I have found ahead of time, it’s towards the end of my walk to swedish school, so I was seeing it two to three mornings a week for some time before it was 081’s turn to be found. Take note, I see 112 every time I take the stairs down to the laundry, it’s on a sticker on the top of a door. The remarkable thing about 081 is most of the 9 days since 080 I spent travelling with Marcus and Davidz north to the Acrtic Circle and back again, but not a single number was sighted.

The northern lights were sighted, however, but only for about 3 minutes of our 6 days and nights up there, which left Marcus satisfied but not me. I want more. The Lofoten and Vesterålen islands are breathtakingly dramatic, we all agreed it was some of the best scenic driving we’d experienced. If I haven’t mentioned it before, go to Norway!

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080

Posted by schurn on September 27, 2011

Göteborg, Sweden. 12 February 2011, 19:02. 40 minutes since 079.

2 in a day! Check out this little beauty of a vacuum cleaner, looks like the model number represents the year of manufacture.

Not much else to discuss given it all happened in 079, but check out these delicious burgers instead!

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079

Posted by schurn on September 27, 2011

Göteborg, Sweden. 12 February 2011, 18:20. 6 days since 078.

A big day out walking around the city and out to a frozen lake and back through suburbia, where 079 lay. The area around Delsjön is beautiful pretty much all year round – in summer and spring it is full of wildlife and flowers and people enjoying the sun and the lake; in autumn the leaves turn every shade of autumnal colour; and in winter it is snow covered and perfect for outdoor fika. That’s swedish for the getting together of coffee and usually cake or a little sweetie of some kind and having general chatter, which is what we did this day with Maria and Fredrik.

CC Top and I also walked directly across the frozen lake, which is an incredible experience – especially when after we’d done it Fredrik said ‘I’d never walk across without the right gear, a pickaxe at least, in case you fall in’. The ice is constantly creaking and halfway out you realise the trouble you’re in if it breaks. Even though the creaking is normal it takes lots of getting used to; and taking the first step onto the ice, even though you know it’s at least a metre thick, is a little terrifying if not exhilirating.

After 6 hours of walking in -15°C we were dead tired but energised by being out in nature and enjoying the winter sunshine.

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078

Posted by schurn on September 26, 2011

Göteborg, Sweden. 6 February 2011, 14:30. 16 days since 077.

Back in the Göt, back out walking. Not much to report really. CC Top loves red, it looks pretty cold but there’s no snow, I think we’d been to the shops – Vegemite is available here but costs $6ish for the small jar. Oh, it’s worth mentioning here that CC Top gets way more excited than Schurn about finding new numbers, especially if she’s involved, bless her (two/three layers of) little cotton socks.

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077

Posted by schurn on September 23, 2011

Bruges, Belgium. 21 January 2011, 14:10. 5 days since 076.

A weekend visit to Belgium to meet up with Jobby and Mandy on their European adventures, which randomly included a cancelled flight from Italy to Turkey that turned out to be most convenient to re-schedule via Helsinki. One up on me folks, have not been to Finland.

Brussels had enough old-building-cobblestone-street charm to offset the obvious tourism focus surrounding the central area of the city, and the areas beyond that I managed to explore briefly looked like having some life were one living there. We heroically managed to find a bar that would show the Australia-Iraq Asian Cup QF, and Jobby and I consumed a number of different trappist beers during the 120 minutes, which the publican was surely hoping for when he fulfilled our request by streaming Al-Jazeerah through his big screen TV.

Bruges had enough interesting canals and buildings/statues to make a short trip worthwhile but the highlight was finding 077. The other major place we visited was Gent, which had plenty of character and interesting little areas to walk around which were close to the city. If pressed, I might order the cities Gent – Brussels – Bruges, and as the countryside was pretty flat and boring (it is the lowlands after all), the only drawcard Belgium has for wooing me back is the amazing beers.

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076

Posted by schurn on September 23, 2011

Göteborg, Sweden. 16 January 2011, 22:30. 9 days since 075.

I’m struggling to write something interesting about this number, maybe it’s got something to do with going to the movies that produces a mental block in my brain. It’s not often that I really enjoy the movie,  the concept is enjoyable it’s true, but the experience (if going to a megalo-cinema) is often not Schurn friendly either. This time, the movie – Winter’s Bone – was well made but not completely engaging, the concept of being out and about with CC Top was (as always) perfect, and the I’m sure I spent the entirety of the trailers and advertising beforehand (as it was a giganto-cinema) complaining and critiquing. But theatre seats are numbered, and so we left this particular experience with a spring in our step.

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075

Posted by schurn on September 21, 2011

Göteborg, Sweden. 7 January 2011, 22:39. 25 days since 074.

The first number plate of what, I suspect, will be many more to come. If you think it is boring only finding house numbers, I think you might need to look elsewhere for entertainment. Perhaps you already have. Anyways, I think there’s going to be so many number plates I’ve added a little counter on the left hand side in a battle with buildings. My thinking here is that lots of streets only go up to 40 or 50 or 80, but number plates all the way to 444 and beyond. Any predictions about the outcome of that battle?

Cannot really recall what we’d been up to this night, but it was a Friday and we were walking up the hill to our place from the night-life-type area, so perhaps there was beer involved?

TROLLEY.

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074

Posted by schurn on September 18, 2011

Göteborg, Sweden. 13 December 2010, 12:47. 2 days since 073.

On the way to Swedish school, walking of course. Everyone was always surprised that I was walking to school in the snow, not sure why, it’s only hard to walk when there’s ice. An interesting thing about those first few weeks of school was that an easy thing for the teacher to talk about with us was the weather. Now, almost a year later, we’re talking about terrorism and the grey areas in ‘disciplining’ one’s children. But a year ago is was “är det kallare idag än igår?”…is it colder today than yesterday…not really, it was -8°C yesterday, and today it’s -9°C – they’re both bloody cold thankyou.

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073

Posted by schurn on September 15, 2011

Göteborg, Sweden. 11 December 2010, 15:04. 52 days since 072.

So much for the museum contradiction, the last three numbers have involved a museum in some way. I stand by my comments though. This find is at the Världskulturmuseet (World Culture Museum), which has a free area that changes exhibitions every so often and is generally pretty interesting. To the best of my knowledge, this particular exhibit was about people’s attitudes towards other people – something to do with tolerance within society – and young Maude here, all of 73 years, is given her definition of….tolerance…acceptance…not quite sure exactly.

Here’s CC Top’s translation –

“to look up to a person for his or her knowledge- empathy -the work they do, the personality they are.”

What is Maude on about? Anyone?

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072

Posted by schurn on September 13, 2011

Berlin, Germany. 20 October 2010, 13:48. 8 days since 071.

I would like to extend a warm welcome into the 444 project for the city of Berlin. The 72nd lamppost on this avenue in the sprawling Tiergarten is dedicated to the city of Baden-Baden so I guess we can welcome them too. Welcome another sceptic-turned-believer in the 444 project, my cousin who after a brief moment of madness was checking everywhere for numbers with me. Enough with the welcomes, what of Berlin?

This was my second visit to Berlin, a much briefer one this time around, but there’s always plenty to do in the German capital – and we managed to squeeze plenty in…quite a bit of the museum contradiction of 071 in fact. There was also french lounge singers; a japanese restaurant; a concentration camp day trip; the 2.Bundesliga; and quite a number of boiled egg sandwiches. All part of a traveller’s contradiction I suppose.

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071

Posted by schurn on September 12, 2011

Göteborg, Sweden. 12 October 2010, 13:43. 3 days since 070.

The traveller’s contradiction – should I visit that museum (or art gallery) in a strange city just because I am bored, when there is no chance in hell I’d be interested at home? Answer is invariably always yes, but every now and then I try to pop in to the ‘locals’ to convince myself it’s OK to go when travelling. This time, in Göteborg’s Röhsska Museet, I happened to accompany two presumably bored visitors I had in my possession who agreed it might be a good idea. We saw an interesting textile exhibit, and 071 hidden amongst the Chinese pottery. Perhaps museums are a good hiding place to find more numbers?

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070

Posted by schurn on September 11, 2011

near Göteborg, Sweden. 9 October 2010, 17:10. 4 days since 069.

Another to add to our collection of roadsigns, along with 030 and 050. The interesting point about this one is that I was alone, therefore driving, and managed to frame the photo beautifully, if a little washed out. This ranks highly on the list of things I’ve done whilst driving – peeling and eating an orange is also quite clever I think. CC Top driving with one knee whilst also texting is pretty impressive, albeit it not highly recommended – I think they must teach it in Swedish driving schools because it’s apparently commonplace. So, what else have folks done whilst driving?….(keep it clean please!).

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069

Posted by schurn on September 9, 2011

Göteborg, Sweden. 5 October 2010, 13:50. 15 days since 068.

Really no idea at all about this one, kind of looks like a firestation door. Can any Göteborgare help out? Perhaps a clue from the reflection? Anyways, in place of any comment is a list of stuff we like.

Banana and Blueberry smoothies

Watching people in airports

Orangutans

Costa Rican military policy

Buying new nail polish

Wine and cream and cheese and popcorn

Finishing early on Fridays with no major weekend plans

Sunsets

Friends near and far

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