Archive | September 2013

Weekly Photo Challenge….Saturated

I tried to think of something different than street art when working out what I was going to post for this challenge. Melbourne has been a bit saturated by rain lately as often happens in Spring but I was never in the right place at the right time for a photo of saturated land. So I decided I would post some of my street art photos.

Melbourne has a vibrant street art scene. One laneway, Hosier Lane, is dedicated to it. Below are some photos I’ve taken in Hosier Lane.










AFL Grand Final Day

2013 GF

Today is arguably the biggest day on the Aussie sporting calendar. Aussie Rules Football is Australia’s own indigenous sport, having begun in Melbourne in 1859.

Grand Final Day is the culmination of a season that began on March 22nd. After 206 games of the season and finals there are only two teams left to battle it out for the premiership: Hawthorn (from Melbourne) and Fremantle (from Perth).

It’s a bit of a fairytale story for Fremantle. This is their first Grand Final since they entered the competition in 19 years ago.

The game is just about to start so I’m off to watch it. I’m tipping Hawthorn by 16 points but don’t really mind who wins. I’m just going to enjoy the game. Last time my team won the Grand Final and it’s only when your team isn’t in this game that you realise how nervous you were for the whole week before last year.

Painting by Bill…Bird of Paradise


Since he retired, my Dad has taken up painting again. He went to Art School when he left High School in England but had to put that aside.

His work has improved out of sight now he has the time to practice. He attends courses whenever he can.

I wanted to show off some of his work because I’m really proud he is doing something he loves.


Chow Mein

Ask any Aussie over the age of 30 how to make chow mein and they will probably recall the recipe their Mum made. It probably had mince steak, cabbage, chicken noodle soup and a few vegies. A friend and I were talking about chow mein the other day and that’s when we realised that our parent’s had used the same recipe. It was funny.

She told me about the recipe she made for her family the other day. It had a lot of vegies so it’s perfect for hiding them from kids.

This one is very easy to make. Step 1 is browning the mince steak, finely-chopped onion and garlic in a frying pan.

Step 2 – add chopped carrot, celery and capsicum (substituted for mushrooms). Cook for 5 minutes or until the vegies start to soften.

Add the curry powder, oyster sauce, soy sauce, chicken stock and noodles. Cook for a few minutes until the sauces thicken.

Add peas and beans. Once they are cooked, serve.


the full recipe can be found here:

Around Circular Quay, Sydney

The old and the new…the modern buildings in the CBD behind the old colonial buildings of early Sydney.

You will find plaques such as these around Circular Quay as part of the Sydney Writers Walk. There are more than 40 plaques on both sides of the Quay.

Captain William Bligh was the captain of the ship The Bounty, famous for the mutiny on the Bounty, made famous by the Mel Gibson movie. However it’s not very well-known that he was a governor in the colony of New South Wales. He played an important part in colonial Australian history. Being a firm disciplinarian, he was made Governor at a time when the young colony of New South Wales needed strong leadership as the military was taking control. They were not meant to be involved in private trading given they were public officials. Bligh’s confrontational style and attempt to stop this trading put a lot of noses out of joint. In the end, Bligh became a part of another mutiny known as the Rum Rebellion.


The Hotel Sebel Pier One. Opposite the Sydney Opera House, and almost beneath the Harbour Bridge, it has some of the most magnificent and close-up views of Sydney Harbour.

More carvings in the sandstone walls.


I love these sandstone blocks. These make up the wall around Hotel Sebel Pier One.




Sydney – Walsh Bay Sculpture Walk


We came across this sculpture in the middle of a roundabout in Hickson Rd, Walsh Bay in Sydney. We thought it was quite humorous. I didn’t know the eyes and mouth at first. It’s made by a sculptor named Jimmie Durham and is called ‘Still Life With Stone and Car’. I now know it is part of the Walsh Bay Sculpture Walk. Next time I go back I’ll seek out the other seven pieces on the walk.

The story of Diamond Lil


Walking along Napier St looking for the Temperance Hall, I saw this door. I loved that it looked like it needs to be painted. I also love colour combination. While I was standing there taking a few photos I looked above the door and realised I was standing in front of the Temperance Hall. Mum decided to sit on a nearby chair while I wandered around taking photos. She noticed a chair that had a pair of shoes in front of it. She thought someone had left their shoes there. She called me over to look at it. We realised there was an inscription on the chair.

The inscriptions reads:
I was born in 1935. My mother was 16 years old. They took me away and I lived in St Vincent de Paul Orphanage for Girls. I was well into my thirties before I knew I was Koorie.

When I was 16 they said I was uncontrollable because I talked to boys. So I ran away and worked my way around Australia. They used to call me Diamond Lil because I had a few too many adventures and a diamond in my front tooth.

I came back to live in South Melbourne forty years ago and my children grew up here.

It took a few readings before we put it all together. Mum said something about googling her so I got my phone out and found an article in the local newspaper. After reading it some of the words we couldn’t make out on the chair suddenly fell into place. Diamond Lil’s real name is (I’m not sure if she is still alive) Maria Starcevic. Her story fascinated us.






A walk around South Melbourne – part 2

Mum recently borrowed a book from her local library that had a lot of different walks you could do in and around Melbourne. The first time I looked at it I thought there were a few good walks but the second time I realised that I wanted to do most of them. I also realised I had already done some of them. Now that the weather is getting better we are going to do more walking and sightseeing. We love being tourists in our own town. There’s no better way of getting to know a place than by getting out of your car and walking. You see so much more.

South Melbourne isn’t a place I knew a lot about. Apart from a few job interviews years ago in the business district of the suburb I haven’t been there a lot. I’ve been past it and around it often enough. It borders Albert Park, Port Melbourne and Port Phillip Bay, all places I’ve been to a lot more. I was looking forward to this walk. It was a nice day for walking too.

It took a while for us to get our bearings but parked near the corner of Park and Ferrars Sts. That was actually stop 4 on the tour but we decided it was easy to park there. When we got a block away from the South Melbourne Market we decided to go in there for lunch. I loved the range and prices of the fruit, vegies and items in the butchers.


One of the modern developments in South Melbourne. This one has a modern scene printed on the side depicting the trams rustling down South Melbourne.



This beautiful, old building was a school but is now apartments. I’ve seen other such buildings turned into apartments as well.



Nixon Place is an example of the cobblestone laneways spread through many inner-city suburbs. There is a drainage channel running down the centre. These laneways were used by night soil collectors and ice delivery men before mod cons such as indoor bathrooms and fridges.


Nowadays, the Caledonian is a house but it was originally built as a hotel.


These heritage-listed prefabricated portable cottages are an example of the housing that was required in the 1850’s Gold Rush. Demand was so high that they had to come up with a cheap, easily-built type of housing. They are maintained by the National Trust and are only open on the first Sunday of each month.



Another example of Gold Rush housing. This one is a wooden prefabricated house. The owners have very cleverly built a double storey house beside and behind the wooden house. It’s very well designed, providing a discreet home and not destroying the look of the wooden house.


Rochester Terrace. An example of the beautiful rows of terraces.


A walk around South Melbourne – part 1


South Melbourne is one of the oldest suburbs in Melbourne, being just 2kms south of the city. It was originally named Emerald Hill because it was an attractive green hill behind the swampy land south of the Yarra River.

Within a few decades it became one of the homes of the working class. There were a number of industries operating in this and nearby suburbs and they needed somewhere to live. There are streets of tiny workers cottages on the western side of the suburb. Further east are much more grand two and three storey homes with iron lacework. The town hall is one of the most magnificent in Melbourne.


The photos above and below are of the Old St Vincent de Paul Orphanage for Boys. Nowadays it’s the McKillop Family Services building. It is also listed on the Victorian Heritage Register.


The much plainer Orphanage for Girls, located just behind the Boy’s Orphanage.




I love this small building. It was probably an old corner milk bar.

A lovely row of red and gold terraces.


Street art…..Hosier Lane changes again


Walking through the the Melbourne’s CBD a few weeks ago, we decided to cut through a building to one of the laneways to make it quicker to get to the station. We came out of the building into Flinders Lane then crossed to Hosier Lane. I was rapt that we just suddenly came upon my favourite street art lane. Some art had changed, some remained the same as the last time I was there. With the Federal Government elections just weeks away there were a number of political pieces of art which were very satirical and interesting.


A lot of people would agree with this. We certainly got a laugh out of it. This was taken about 3 weeks before the recent Australian elections.




Captain Cook’s Cottage…Fitzroy Gardens


Captain Cook’s Cottage was originally built in Yorkshire, England in 1755 for Cook’s family. It was just one of the homes he grew up in but he went to sea as a young boy. The cottage came up for sale in 1933 and a man bought it and gave it to Victoria to thank the state for its gifts of food after World War 1. It was given as a centenary house for Melbourne. The cottage was dismantled brick by brick, numbered and packed in crates for its journey to the other side of the world.

It’s one of Melbourne’s most famous tourist attractions. I hadn’t been there for years so was keen to go inside. The rooms are tiny and the ceilings very low. Which is fine for me because I’m short. Anyone else has a hard time though.

At the back there is a kitchen garden. It was really interesting walking around the garden, looking at the photos. Some of the plants look like weeds but the guide was really helpful in pointing out what some of the plants were. Some of them are to be eaten but a lot have medicinal purposes as well.





Captain Cook

Looking across the kitchen garden to the back of the cottage.


My Dad comes from Cleveland, Yorkshire so it was a nice surprise to see this stone came from where he’s from.

Beautiful old homes….East Melbourne


I saw these beautiful homes on my walk around East Melbourne. This suburb is just outside the CBD.

This house was the home of Peter Lalor, one of the leaders of the Eureka Stockade in 1854. After the stockade he became a Member of Parliament and moved to this house.

This row of terraces actually contains four homes but it looks like there are two. It’s only when you look closely at the front door that you realise there are two doors on the right and two on the left.



This was the home of Sir John Monash, a great Australian military commander in World War 1.