on the banks of the Yarra

melbourne 8

 

Mr FD and I are flying to the city of Melbourne, in Victoria, this morning and staying there until Sunday evening. Regular readers will remember that a couple of months ago I won an all expenses trip to a Teacher Librarians’ Conference, and I will be attending that conference on Friday. Flights and accommodation are covered by the prize money, so we are making the most of it.

The Public Purse - Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

The Public Purse – Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

The conference will be held within the National Gallery of Victoria. The NGV claim to have the best high teas in town, so I am thinking that Mr FD can meet me there after the conference and we shall take a genteel tea.

melbourne Stained Glass roof at National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

melbourne National Gallery of Victoria

We are staying in the city centre and so can take advantage of the free central city tram to get around.

melbourne tram

We have made no firm sightseeing plans, but it is about five years since we have been to Melbourne and so no doubt there are lots of things to see. The Aquarium is on our  to do list though.

melbourne-aquarium-tickets

I want to see as much of this as possible…

La Trobe Reading Room showing Dome, State Library of Victoria. Melbourne Australia

La Trobe Reading Room showing Dome, State Library of Victoria. Melbourne Australia

 

The Fitzroy Garden in Melbourne Australia has an area with "Fairy Trees" that were carved and painted (before 1945) and magical.

The Fitzroy Garden in Melbourne Australia has an area with “Fairy Trees” that were carved and painted (before 1945) and magical.

Sinking Building outside the State Library, Melbourne, Australia

Sinking Building outside the State Library, Melbourne, Australia

 

Victorian architecture on Collins Street, Melbourne, Australia.

Victorian architecture on Collins Street, Melbourne, Australia.

 

Centre Place Melbourne: it's like a cross between Hogwarts Train Station and Times Square

Centre Place Melbourne: it’s like a cross between Hogwarts Train Station and Times Square

Hardware Lane, Melbourne CBD, Australia.

Hardware Lane, Melbourne CBD, Australia.

Hopetoun Tea Room - Blcok Arcade, Melbourne, Australia.

Hopetoun Tea Room – Block Arcade, Melbourne, Australia.

Shot Tower, Melbourne Central - This is a heritage listed building that a cone shaped dome was built around in order to preserve it. Melbourne, Australia, 2006

Shot Tower, Melbourne Central – This is a heritage listed building that a cone shaped dome was built around in order to preserve it. Melbourne, Australia, 2006

 

See you Monday!

PUNTING - ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS MELBOURNE

PUNTING – ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS MELBOURNE

trying to pack myself in a small suitcase

luggage 1

Have to rush home form school today to take out my luggage and pack for an adventure.

I always have visions of taking nothing more than a change of clothes and my bathroom bag, but somehow it expands from there.

luggage 2

Four days, spring, average temperatures -

The month of November is characterized by rising daily high temperatures, with daily highs increasing from 20°C to 23°C over the course of the month, exceeding 30°C or dropping below 14°C only one day in ten.

So I am thinking, most of my wardrobe to be packed.

luggage 3

 

I’ll tell you what I love doing more than anything: trying to pack myself in a small suitcase. I can hardly contain myself.

Tim Vine

 

it’s a gift

gift 1

A number of my student creative writers’ group are seniors and graduating this week. At our last gathering they presented me with a gift. I can only think that they must have noted every single thing I ever mentioned I loved for they filled a box with:

English Breakfast tea bags

Two small bottles of champagne

A box of chocolates

A bag of jelly baby lollies

A moleskin notebook

A pen inscribed with the word “Boss”

and a small white Teddy Bear.

 

I was stunned, and almost burst into tears, but big Flamingo Dancers don’t cry. I was just trying to form the words to thank them, when one of the students piped up and said,

“We’re sorry Miss, we couldn’t find the right stick to put in the box.”

Yes, they had even remembered my stick list!

They have all promised to dedicate their first novels to me, and on their author tours will return to the school and speak to the students of the time.  Good luck to each and everyone of them, bless their little writing souls.

not taking a leaf out of their book

bark 1

We have probably a dozen large gum trees on our property. They must be a hundred years old at least, some of the original forest in this area, before there was a Village, or streets, or houses. They are the tallest trees in the Village and can be seen for some distance.  Our trees provided the street appeal that had us falling in love with what is now our home, before we even got out of the car.  Majestic, stately, and once a year they shed bark.

Every single day, I sit quietly for a time and watch the trees growing, the birds living in their branches and thank the Big Whatever for leading us to our little piece of paradise.

This week, I arrived home from work to be told by Mr FD that our neighbours, who moved in about three months ago, had telephoned to complain about the leaves and bark that blew into their yard during a recent storm.

The inference was that we should chop down the trees.

Angry doesn’t quite describe my reaction.

How can you buy a house, next to a tree filled block and then complain about tree litter? None of the trees have any branches anywhere near their property, we are merely speaking of leaves and bark whipped up by the wind. Before the storm there was little litter on the ground as Son maintains the lawns as park like as is humanely possible.

Let me also share the information that their property also has trees, though not the type we have, ours are native. There are however the exact same trees on the crown land at the back of both our properties, land that is not maintained by the council and is therefore a fire hazard. There are also trees on the other side of their property adjoining with their other neighbour.

The trees are staying. They have no legal footing. If they want to return  the leaves to us we are quite happy to put them in our compost. Of course, they would need to confirm that they were our leaves and not anyone else’s.

Why do people have to go out of their way to be objectionable?

G20 or how to empty a city in one day.

Brisbane

It is so hot today that when I walked outside moments ago the heat felt as though it was burning my nostrils as I inhaled. 12 noon and just over 40C already. Tomorrow is predicted to be even hotter.

Welcome to Australia, G20!

I think the delegates and their advance sherpas will be quite impressed by Brisbane. We emptied the entire central business district for them. Yes, almost the entire city got into their cars and drove the the beach for the weekend. If you were a terrorist looking for a crowd to hide in, you would be mighty lonely.

I feel sorry for the police and other security personnel in their full uniforms standing out in the heat. It is such a dry heat, it burns. I have been singing, “only mad dogs and English men go out in the midday sun” a lot today.

Not only have we emptied a city for the G20 crowd, but they actually brought a freeway to a standstill at peak hour on Thursday afternoon to drive Obama’s EMPTY limos to his hotel.  They are called the “beast” the media reports and the request was made to demolish some road round about intersections to allow the car to pass. It was declined.

As I write, Obama is at the University of Queensland delivering a speech to 2000 invited guests. I was not invited, big mistake, big, big mistake. It has become quite fashionable for some local politicians to announce that they declined their invitation. I suspect as a cover for not being invited.

Earlier the man so many of us love to hate, Prime Minister Tony Abbott, delivered a rambling speech about domestic issues which had Putin not even pretending to listen.

The Russians have a couple of war ships off the Queensland coast in international waters. The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming! declared all the conspiracy theorists this week. My personal theory is that a. it is so their communications people can tap into all the buzz happening and b. if a catastrophic event did take place, they would have Putin back on his own ship faster than the rest of us could take our last breath.

The majority of the event is taking place at the Brisbane Convention Centre where I have been for a couple of conferences this year, so Obama and Putin are in fact walking in my footprints. It doesn’t get much better than that, for them!

 

Now 41C= 105 Fahrenheit.