Monday, June 29, 2009


This song was on my mind this morning; I was singing it in the shower! Then I remembered the late, great Dusty Springfield (her album gathering dust in the shed) and I had to share this. She had so many fabulous hits.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


This statue of Princess Alexandra (later Queen of King Edward V111), is the work of English sculptor Charles Somers and is made of Sicilian marble. It was presented to the National Gallery of Victoria by Sir W. J. Clarke Bart in 1878, together with three other statues by the same artist, representing Queen Victoria. It was later offered and accepted by the Shire of Alexandra in 1939 where it stood in several locations in Perkins Street and later refurbished and moved to its present location in 1993. The official unveiling occurred on 3rd September 1994, celebrating the 125th anniversary of the Shire of Alexandra.

This sculpture, in my town, was by local artist and sculptor, Bruno Torfs, whose beautiful garden in Marysville was destroyed by the recent bushfire. Get an update of the restoration here and click on Rebuilding. Our town attracts many recreational fisher persons as it has the weir, the pondages and there are several rivers and streams nearby, so this statue is quite apt.

The sculpture following is of a woodcutter, also created by Bruno. It stands outside the Information Centre in Alexandra, a neighbouring town. The town is surrounded by eucalypt and mountain ash forests and timber mills.

Friday, June 26, 2009


Parthenon Marbles

Elgin Marbles Museum Opens
Greek President Carolos Papoulias ramped up pressure on Britain to return priceless statues from antiquity taken over 200 years ago as the new Acropolis Museum was opened in Athens.

The Greek leader reiterated his country's long-standing call for the return of the Elgin Marbles at a ceremony on Saturday to inaugurate the $227 million museum, which had its origins in British jibes that Greece would have nowhere to display the Elgin Marbles if ever they were returned. Melbourne Herald Sun 22/6/09

Lord Byron strongly objected the removal of the marbles from Greece, as reflected in his poem, 'Childe Harold's Pilgrimage'.

Dull is the eye that will not weep to see
Thy walls defaced, thy mouldering shrines removed
By British hands, which it had best behoved
To guard those relics ne'er to be restored.
Curst be the hour when from their isle they roved,
And once again thy hapless bosom gored,
And snatch'd thy shrinking gods to northern climes

Thursday, June 25, 2009


~ heading West about 3:30pm ~

~ our home just behind trees on right ~

~ 'Eloura', a neighbour ~

~ heading East, about 4pm ~

~ our roof in the distance ~

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Paternal Grandfather, John Henry Hewish 1878-1927
Probably taken for his 18th or 21st Birthday

Out of the blue, I had a call yesterday morning from my younger brother, Leigh, whom I haven't seen for at least three years, asking me to put the kettle on. He lives at Hervey Bay in Queensland and me, down south in Victoria, at least seven hours away. He was nearly here and I had ten minutes to whip around - phew! It had been 'one of those mornings'!

DMJ had gone to post the mail and was going on to fish the Pondage for an hour or so. I called him back.

My brother is the spitting image of Grandfather John (pictured above). It was nice to see Leigh again and his friend, Irene. They are both members of the Urangan Bowls Club in Queensland and were personally delivering a cheque for $3600 to the Marysville Golf & Bowls Club, which was seriously damaged in the bushfire in February. Irene said they'd hoped to raise more but their club was already appealing for donations for people flooded out in Queensland!

Do you ever get caught out like that? Having a morning where you seem to be going around in circles and achieving nothing much, not expecting visitors and they lob? I could have put on a lovely lunch and dinner and had them stay the night but they were committed to their next destination.

John & May (nee Crouch) Hewish,
Doncaster Australia, 14th October 1908

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


View from "Sedgemere" April 2006

Sonnet #33 - Shakespeare
Full many a glorious morning have I seen
Flatter the mountain-tops with sovereign eye,
Kissing with golden face the meadows green,
Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy;
Anon permit the basest clouds to ride
With ugly rack on his celestial face,
And from the forlorn world his visage hide,
Stealing unseen to west with this disgrace;
Even so my sun one early morn did shine
With all triumphant splendor on my brow;
But out, alack! he was but one hour mine;
The region cloud hath mask'd him from me now.
Yet him for this my love no whit disdaineth;
Suns of the world may stain when heaven's sun staineth.

Monday, June 22, 2009


the last of the Icebergs

eleven down

seven to go

and, look what I found, three weeks into Winter
ready to be washed and dried....

the colour's nearly gone except for the beautiful green grass

and some evergreens....

looking forward to the sunny daffodils....

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Old Sarum & Pillars of The Earth

This week we watched a fantastic episode of the English "Time Team" at Salisbury Cathedral. The Team was there in October 2008 and were digging right at the footings of the Cathedral.

'The Team opened a trench right next to the Cathedral to uncover the Beauchamp Chapel, built for one of Salisbury's most colourful Bishops, Richard Beauchamp but demolished hundreds of years ago. A trench was also opened up to explore the site north of the Cathedral where the original Bell Tower and spire once stood, also now long since disappeared.

Following their usual action-packed three day schedule the team digging the Beauchamp Chapel trench uncovered a mystery skeleton, as well as other finds which help shed light on the Cathedral in Beauchamp's time and the actions of subsequent generations. There was disappointment though as the Bishop's own tomb was discovered and found to be empty - robbed centuries ago with the Bishop's bones probably moved to the Cathedral's main Nave in 1789.' - Salisbury

Time Team at Salisbury Cathedral

About twenty years ago I borrowed a book, "Pillars of the Earth" by Ken Follett. I really became engrossed in this historical novel about Old Sarum, the site of the earliest settlement of Salisbury, the building of a cathedral, the beginning of Gothic architecture, the loves, the losses.

Ken Follett says: 'When I started writing, back in the early Seventies, I found I had no vocabulary for describing buildings. I read a couple of books on architecture and developed an interest in cathedrals. I became a bit of a train spotter on the subject. I would go to a town, like Lincoln or Winchester, check into a hotel and spend a couple of days looking around the cathedral and learning about it. Before too long, it occurred to me to channel this enthusiasm into a novel.'

In November 2007 The Pillars of the Earth was chosen by Oprah Winfrey as the 60th Oprah's Book Club selection and is #1 on the The New York Times trade paperback list and #8 on its mass market paperback list (9th December 2008).

The Pillars of the Earth is one of the '101 Books to Read Before You Die' chosen by patrons of Exclusive Books - it is 27th on the list and is one of the top 100 books chosen by British readers.

Salisbury Cathedral From the Meadows - John Constable, 1831

The landscape around Salisbury was captured by the artist John Constable in several paintings.
I now have my own copy of Pillars and look forward to reading it again.

Friday, June 19, 2009


Valley in Fog
DMJ took this shot yesterday from the wall of the weir. Our road goes around the hill in the distance on the right-hand side and down the valley. We were in fog all day yesterday, which was beautiful really, as the sun was trying to poke through and the bare trees were standing against this pearly grey mist.

We have sunshine today and streaky clouds on a bright blue sky. I have to get out and finish the rose pruning, weeding and tidying up the wattles we felled.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Healesville Sanctuary's baby koala Benni
pops out of mum Mia's pouch

Healesville Sanctuary's baby koala and newest rising star has been christened Benni. The moniker recognises the Gippsland township of Bennison from where the sanctuary's first koala population hailed. And it also recognises the significance of the 75th anniversary of the celebrated fauna park.

Herald Sun reader Laura Doorty nominated the name in honour of her late dad Frank Doran, a cattle farmer charged with capturing and transporting the marsupials from his property to Healesville's Koala Sanctuary.

Now 87, Ms Doorty remembers her family's involvement in the establishment of the Koala Sanctuary at Healesville. "Dad was approached by Mr Jack Lindupp, a postal official at Healesville, to catch and supply the first koalas to the Healesville Sanctuary," she daid. "A permit was secured from the fisheries and Wildlife department and Dad captured the koalas by felling the trees and restraining them."

Ms Doorty, who was aged about 12, "stood there while they were caught and helped hold the bags open while they went in." Her sister Gladys Clavarino, now 91, was also present. "Word was then sent to Healesville that they were ready to be picked up. They were transported to the sancuary in kerosene tin cases, (one in each case). "Some cases were inside the car and there were three of the tins with koalas in them on each side running board."

Ms Doorty was "totally thrilled" the name has been adopted by the koala keepers. "It is real history from way back to the start of it all," she said. "All the koalas arrived in perfect condition and quickly settled down in their new surroundings." - Kelly Ryan, Melbourne Herald Sun.

Check out Benni's picture gallery here.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Gall, Franz Joseph (1758-1828), anatomist, physiologist and founder of phrenology.

Gall was one of the first to study the localization of mental functions in the brain. He believed that there was a relationship between the size and shape of the skull and mental faculties and character. He suggested that the brain was divided into 27 separate "organs". Each organ supposedly corresponded ot a distinct human faculty, though Gall identified 19 of these as being shared with other animal species. A lot of these beliefs have been tried and tested and found to be true.
The labels are interesting - Acquisitiveness, Love of the magnificent, union for life, veneration, love of home and one that most of us know is situated just behind the forehead, memory of events. I wonder where brain fog comes in?

Yesterday Willow asked if handwriting is a dying art and went on to explain Graphology, employed as a means of analysing character. It was her post that sent me searching for Phrenology and wondering if some aspects are still in use. Apparently, very much so.

I also wonder what my handwriting says about my character? On the other hand, I may wonder but do I really want to know?

Addendum: I was a little hasty in naming this post. I went away and thought about it. The Corpus Callosum is the white matter of the brain and I'm more interested in the gray matter. Perhaps I should have called it 'Gray's Anatomy'.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Poor little Taj was worn out after his big day out visiting yesterday and slept most of the morning. He was quite ill in the afternoon and had us worried but after running to the door and outside to the garden, he recovered later and ate his beef, rice and vegies for dinner. He had some cheese yesterday which might have upset his system.


Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, c.1558

The Peasant Dance, 1568
A Netherlandish Renaissance painter and printmaker known for his landscapes and peasant scenes (Genre Painting). He is nicknamed 'Peasant Bruegel' to distinguish him from other members of the Brueghel dynasty but is also the one generally meant when the context does not make clear which "Brueghel" is being referred to. From 1559 he dropped the 'h' from his name and started signing his paintings as Bruegel. - Wikipedia.

I wish I'd bought those beautifully framed prints I came across a decade ago!

Monday, June 15, 2009


Long-billed Corella (Cacatua tenuirostris)
These two flew in one day last week to partake of wild bird mix at the bird pole, along with the other cockies. We always have the plain white Corella but it's a 'first' with these dropping in.

I looked them up and one site is selling them for AU$1,850 each!!

A short post today, as we have a lot to do!

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Faience Porcelain & Christaux
Grand Depot
21 Rue Drouet

Ironstone Tableware
(Modern, as it's "dishwasher
detergent proof")

Precious - My Mother's
Fine China
Westminster Australia 1501

Smudged stamp with crown - can only read ENGLAND

Japanese - blue stains throughout the cream on back
No markings

"Cream Petal"
Grindley, England

No markings at all

Japanese side plate - modern

No marking

Mason's England
Patent Ironstone China
(Bowl - stain looks worse in photo)

Broadhurst Staffordshire England Est. 1847
Ironstone Underglaze
Detergent Proof

DMJ's Grandmother's Bowl
Crown Devon Fielding
Stoke-on-Trent England
No. 631528

I read about Elizabeth's call to post about plates and dishes on Willow's blog. I'm a bit late but never mind. So, here are some of them and there are plenty more! I think the oldest might be the first one I put up. Does anyone else have the problem of each image uploaded jumping to the top of the post? So frustrating!

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Nude in the Water 1925

Today Melbourne has a one day Symposium of Salvador Dali's work at the National Gallery of Victoria between 10am and 4:30pm.

Salvador Dali: Liquid Desire is the first comprehensive retrospective of the work of Salvador Dali to be staged in Australia and comprises more than 200 works in all media - painting, drawing, watercolour, etchings, sculpture, fashion, jewellery, cinema and photography. It traces the genius of Dali from his earliest years as an exceptionally talented 14-year-old, to the final majestic paintings created when the artist was in his 70s. A range of international and local speakers present a fascinating array of papers on this quintessential 20th century artistic genius.

Dutch Interior 1914

Yes, most of his work is weird and got even weirder with time but one has to admire the genius of the man and some of his paintings were pleasant to my eye, such as these two. Here's a good site to see his work.

Friday, June 12, 2009


This is my Library (1877), 25km or 15.5 miles away in the delightful country town of Alexandra. The modern building to the left is an annexe, completed about three years ago. One thing I love about the old part is the comfortable club armchairs and couches provided for one of my vintage, browsing and reading for a couple of hours. It was closed when I took these pictures, maybe another time I can get interior shots.

Inside the Mobile Library

The mobile library comes to our town twice a week, all day Wednesday and Saturday morning. Up one end is an area with a computer and bench seats. The books are rotated constantly. As with most libraries these days, the service is topnotch; if they haven't got a book, they'll get it for you. Vicki, I've ordered 'My French Life' and will get a letter when it arrives - looking forward to it.

A closer view of the lovely old building