Monday, 20 July 2015

Deep winter, July 2015

Seven in the morning.  It's minus 4 centigrade. Yesterday morning it was minus 6. Really cold and beautiful. Even the dog hesitated before going out. His nose, my nose, both numb.

We waited for the sun to rise before going out for our walk.

   It was still very cold!

The marigolds have kept blooming as the winter has been mild until a few weeks ago.



It was icier, more frosted and slippery, outside our protected garden. We had to walk very, very carefully.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Temple of cedar and corrugated iron

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.

Winter Solstice 2015

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.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Last fruit

I'm eating the last fruit from the garden now. 
Perfumed quinces 

and equally perfumed feijoas.

also the last handful of tomatoes from the wilting vines.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Chinese gold rush memories

Pottering along Victoria Street on a beautiful late autumn afternoon. I'm looking for the house of Henry Quock Ping who was a doctor of Chinese medicine here in 1873


Down in the former Main Street business area, the new memorial to the Chinese heritage of Ballarat is looking good. Hopefully it will be finished by Heritage Weekend.

Open Monument by John Young
A sculpture to celebrate what the Gold Rush Chinese brought to Ballarat. 

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Pip considers the day

I really like grace's practice of posting every day - and of posting everyday things. See her beautiful blog Windthread and the story cloths she sews.
I'm going to keep paying attention to day-to-day things. 

Every morning Pip has a walk and goes outside until the evening. He's just getting used to this new kennel. The old plastic greenhouse disintegrated last winter. 

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Red Poppies and Crimson Rosellas

One hundred years since the Gallipoli landing, and I loved the kindness and care in the hand-made poppies. Remembering with love. 

Then this afternoon, looking out the window after rain, I saw the Crimson Rosellas.

The second rosella can just be seen at the far right.

The instagram effect is not deliberate - just an inept photographer.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Intentions for this Winter

Autumn is just about over. It's refreshingly cold, rain has fallen every night for a week, and some days as well.  I always revive a bit once summer really ends.
I've been feeling miserable, tired and incompetent the last few months. It's not just been the summer heat. I've let the research project take over all my time, got too tired and have been diagnosed with, among other things, an allergy to sunlight - not really surprising for a woman who is not fond of summer!  So I have done my yearly winter review and decided to  slow the research project down a bit, and pick up the blog again.
I began this blog to keep in touch with family in Melbourne and Cairns. I soon discovered it was a very satisfying way to keep in touch with me. So as well as sewing again, pottering about the house, writing stories and visiting friends, I am going to put up at least one post a week. I don't know why I  stopped doing such things!
Tomorrow and Saturday I'm catching up with good friends over the best coffee in Ballarat. On Sunday Yin and I will drive to Kyneton and visit friends in their new house and garden.

This is the quilt, put aside for over a year that  I am going to finish by the end of April.

In June I am flying up to Cairns to spend some time with my eldest son. The tickets are booked.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Autumn 3 Lake Wendouree

Suzanna asked about this bird, so I thought I had better name them all. They are quite common water birds in Victoria, and generally found on the lake here all year round. 

Walking around the lake after a few days of welcome rain. This is a purple swamp hen.

Pacific black ducks.

Australian black swan.