Posts Tagged 'History'

Montsalvat Autumn…

Montsalvat Autumn Montsalvat pathway Montsalvat

Ah, to have been an artist at Montsalvat way back when…

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crumbs of history…

The inside of Abbotsford Hall is a treasure trove of details from our past 🙂  The Arnott’s biscuit tins in particular I’m sure are a collector’s dream…

a long hot weekend in Mallee Country…

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The idea of the Mallee Country had piqued my imagination from childhood, since my father used to bring huge gnarled Mallee tree roots home to burn in the fireplace. With a long weekend free I decided to head up there and see just what’s in that huge north-west corner of Victoria. Turns out not a hell of a lot, but what there is I found fascinating.

Saturday 24 January 2009

Today I have driven, and driven, and driven some more. It felt like an epic journey but was only 4 hours and 45 minutes in total. I can’t quite put my finger on why it felt epic. It wasn’t especially boring or interminably long or annoyingly filled with traffic. Perhaps it was because from practically the outset it was 100+ km/hr for hour after hour and two thirds of it in landscapes I’d never seen. That doesn’t quite ring fully true though. Maybe because it exceeded well beyond my expectations in terms of flatness, dryness, emptiness, and, in terms of the farmland, barrenness.

01rich-tilled-earth 02rich-tilled-sand Continue reading ‘a long hot weekend in Mallee Country…’

lead replacement petrol…

next-pump-please ignition gas

I’ve been commuting by train. It’s a long journey but I tell myself it’s not. There’s glimpses of sea along the way and blank windows hiding lives behind to wonder about.

Just past Chelsea station on the way to Melbourne is a derelict old petrol station I’ve never seen open. My guess is it’s just used as a repairs garage now and it’s only a matter of time before the real estate proves more valuable than the passion for cars.

So I took myself down there one sunny day with my camera before it’s too late…

Continue reading ‘lead replacement petrol…’

Point Nepean… boom boom…

…well not really. The only booming you’ll hear there these days is the surf crashing on the beaches. Not that all the signs warning against leaving the path due to live bombs aren’t disconcerting…!

Point Nepean is at the very tip of the Mornington Peninsula and was once the exclusive domain of the military who built fortifications there to protect the entry to Port Philip Bay which we Aussies call The Rip (because the water rips through it, we’re a literal bunch). Now it’s all crumbling ruins, rusting cannon mounts and cool tunnels under the sand, all overlooking beautiful, calming views. Why I thought I’d ever be able to live inland away from the ocean escapes me…..

Last weekend there was a doco on whether Prime Minister Harold Holt was bumped off after all, rather than having just drowned while swimming in bad weather. Having seen the state of the water where he died, today when it was calm, I can certainly attest that he simply drowned. It wasn’t even rough and you could see how much the water was churning, let alone the size of the breakers which were huge. Maybe being Prime Minister went to his head…..?

Right at the end of my visit, 100 metres from the carpark, I was fortunate to have the very rare pleasure of meeting an echidna. Brilliant!

the tower…

Finally tackled the last major London icon on my list – the Tower of London. Strolled over Tower Bridge on the way to get the bus at London Bridge too.

The ToL was more odd in experiential stakes than I’d anticipated. The prime attraction of course was the Crown Jewels, deservedly with capital first letters. After braving the fire hazard of 4 rooms of queuing you can finally get up close. Quickly it’s apparent the royal family are obscenely wealthy and you’re looking at the iconic representations of that wealth within a place where thousands have been incarcerated and murdered solely in order to continue their lineage and power. All at £16.50 per adult tourist. And why do they still need tax funded allowances? Hmm? OK OK the place is run by an independent charity blah blah blah. Still.

A nice man in a cute uniform (not in a sexy way) explained how every 15 years the velvet in the crowns is replaced – at £440 per square meter. And the ermine lining the lower edges is replaced regularly too. The little brown or black dots amidst the white fur (about 20 per crown) is taken from just one place on the animal – the tip of the tail. That’s quite a few departed souls for the Queen’s head to be a little more comfortable once each November…

Rant over. Here’s some photos I liked. And some carvings by prisoners that hit home are further down too.

Continue reading ‘the tower…’


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