I have started to use a mobile phone. For the first time. With trepidation. But I need to be able to ring people and services - and to be rung in turn - if I make a long trip.
Today I finally worked out how to download pictures from the mobile phone. Early this month Yin and I went to Kambei restaurant and celebrated his birthday with a (modest) banquet.
I've just come back from a week in TFNQ (an acronym on the signs on state government buildings in Cairns). It stands for Tropical Far North Queensland.
It's the first time I have been up to Cairns.
I was visiting my eldest son who is very much settled in up here. I mostly pottered around, admiring the veggie patch with the new orchard of tropical fruit trees and going for easy walks in some of the tourist spots. Mossman Gorge was one which has retained a powerful beauty despite the walking tracks, viewing platforms signs and numerous visitors.
I didn't take photos as I left my camera behind in Ballarat, and I only really regret that because I like putting up photos on this blog.
We went up to the nearby Atherton Tablelands and Jake did kindly act as my camera man for our visit to the Chinese Temple. Miraculously it has survived the dispersal of the Chinese community living around the temple in Atherton for WWII (Anglo) soldier settlers. It was saved by local Chinese families and it is now cared for by the National Trust.
It is a beautiful, but simple construction, well-designed to survive the tropical climate.
This temple is a perfect combination of corrugated iron
Local timber such as cedar
and together with carvings and fittings from China
it was built to suit the needs of the local Chinese community up here.
Look at this nifty and elegant chimney for the little side kitchen of the temple.
I haven't seen this building in a coffee table book of vernacular Australian buildings, or of corrugated Aussie beauties. I'm not an expert or regular student of architecture, so I am ready to be corrected here, but I think this is another example of how only Anglo-Australian heritage is considered to be the 'real Australian ' heritage. A loss for us all.
I'm reluctantly adding a label Chinese Australian heritage to this post. Reluctantly because it is in some ways selecting out what is not Anglo-Australian from our culture and our community.
The winter solstice is always a time I slow down and reflect. It's been an exhausting year so far, but with some wonderful days. I am made happy every time I remember the day in March when my Jesse married his Fiona on the balcony of the Melbourne Town Hall
Here is the whole new extended family on the Town Hall balcony.
I live in Ballarat, an old goldfields town, in the central west of Victoria, but southerly in relation to the world. I love Chinese architecture, the post-goldfields towns and countryside of central Victoria, and I love the practice and the art of history. This year I'm beginning a research project on Ballarat in the 1870s.