Sunday, 8 December 2013

Listening to Neil Murray

We went to a friend's bush block outside Buninyong for an informal concert. I've never heard Neil Murray except on the radio. I thought he would be good, and he was better. 
I heard the songs I love and a few new ones, especially Burrumbeeep Hill which I'm now singing myself over and over. 
Here's Neil's website where you can listen to Burrumbeep Hill too. 
Someone told me  he is a Lake Bolac boy. That makes him really local. Wikipedia has a bit of a personal and musical bio here.

This isn't a picture of Burrumbeep Hill, but it's similar country, just around Ararat.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

An old town dreaming

Tarnagulla last Sunday.

A quintessential goldfields town made of bricks and local, golden stone

Low wood and iron verandahs across the whole width of the street

Houses with weathered corrugated iron roofs and wire fences engulfed in roses. 

Grey worn wood, rusted iron back fences.

Looks like my mum's old copper ended up here.

Looking across the road.

Then we drove off to Dunolly.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Country outside Tarnagulla

Beautiful and dry, even in spring, the silvery-grey countryside north-east of Ballarat.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Escape from Ballarat

Today I took a break from work and study and took off in a mini van with fellow members of the Sebastopol Historical Society. I'm going to make several posts of this trip, but tonight I'm posting a pub in Dunolly which I fell in love with and would like to live in.

I want to live on this top floor and have beers on this balcony and go to sleep with the wind in these palm trees late at night.

Isn't it a beauty?

You'll need to click on the pictures to see them properly. 

Sunday, 8 September 2013


This morning the car mirror framed a landscape I didn't recognise at first. I love the way mirrors show you the strangeness of familiar places. Usually as photographer I have too much control to achieve the random magic of a mirror.

Then walking the dog a little later I found a reedy place of fishermen and islands far away from the city.

Bunjil returns to the lake

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Warm evenings, spring blossom

I  walked out barefoot yesterday evening among clouds of blossom.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Wintry day in August

Winter is the season when I can be quiet, think about things, calm down.

This morning was chilly,  thick with fog and drizzle.  The dog and I rugged up and walked around the lake.

Only a determined fisherman and a mad kayaker were out and about. Flashes of orange in the grey morning.

There was no sign of the town surrounding the lake.

Even the ducks were invisible. But we heard them quacking madly in the dense reeds and brush of the islands.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Tannery Lane

This week we explored an old industrial site dating from the 1860s. Tannery Lane, south of the township of Ballarat East, was a a tannery site for a long time.

While the stinking tanneries producing leather for the boots, horse gear, mining equipment and furniture of Ballarat have long gone, Tannery Lane is still a work site.

I'm fond of the foot bridge, which is a nice example of industrial recycling. 

The Yarrowee has been given a chance to breathe again now, replanting, no more noxious effluent and a walking track keep it alive.

Up by the Woollen Mills (more of them later) you can see how the old creek has been straightlaced into cement and bluestone corsets in the late nineteenth century, to keep it from its natural flood plain.

Blue metal

I moved a cubic metre of blue metal (coarse bluestone gravel) over the muddy drive and the muddy front path. We have embarked on a fix-up of the house and garden. It's certainly going to make me fitter.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Visiting bookshops and temples in Bendigo

A few days ago I made another trip over to the north east of Ballarat to the beautiful and still flourishing goldfields town of Bendigo.
Bendigo is just far enough away to be drier, hotter and sit in a different landscape.

I went with a friend to see the old Joss house, which sits a bit outside the city centre near the former Ironbark Chinese Camp. It is still a working temple, small and beautiful. Sadly, none of Ballarat's old temples  have survived.

My friend's father-in-law was the caretaker at the temple for for many years and she told me some stories about his time there over a delicious Italian lunch, in a restaurant just down from the best book shop in Bendigo.

After lunch I went off to the Golden Dragon Museum with its beautiful new garden precinct, traditional walled Chinese garden and two more working temples. I love Bendigo!

 Traditional and modern sit happily together in the museum's grounds.

 The brilliant colours of the elegant and baroque gateway sets off the nineteenthe century Victorian streetscape around it.

 A modern pavilion across the road is surely second cousin to the little pavilion in the museum grounds.

We finished up in the best secondhand bookshop in Bendigo which is less than five minutes away from the museum, in Farmer's Lane.

Where I bought a centenary history of the Australian Natives' Association 1871 to 1971. Then we drove home,  and it was still sunny when we got back to Ballarat!