Thursday, October 29, 2009

Plum Blossom

The entire day I searched for spring but
spring I could not find,
In my straw sandals I tramped among the
mountain peak clouds.
Home again, smiling, I finger a sprig of
fragrant plum blossoms;
Spring was right here on these branches in
all of its glory!

Plum Blossom Nun, c.800
trans: Beata Grant

Monday, October 26, 2009

"All the World's a Stage"

Photo: Geoffrey Wallace
Copyright State Library of Victoria

This stained-glass window of Shakespeare at the State Library of Victoria, is one of the earliest stained-glass windows made in Melbourne. More than three metres high, it displays the words, "All the World's a Stage". The production of colonial workmen, it was originally installed in the facade of Coppin's Apollo Music Hall in 1862 on the first floor of the Haymarket Theatre in Bourke Street Melbourne.

Haymarket Theatre 1863
showing the shape of the
stained-glass window in the centre window.
Copyright SLV

It remained there until 1870, when it was removed to George Selph Coppin's (1819-1906) private homes in Richmond and Sorrento and actor-manager Bland Holt's home in Kew until it was left to the trustees of the Melbourne Public Library by Coppin's daughter, Lucy.

George Selph Coppin, C. 1864
Copyright SLV

From the 1960s to 1990s it was displayed against a wall in a stairwell of the Museum. After a major refurbishment of the State Library, the window was placed in storage and in 2005 extensively restored by stained-glass artist Geoffrey Wallace and installed in the La Trobe Domed Reading Room.

Photo: Geoffrey Wallace
Copyright SLV

Domed Reading Room

The Spring 2006 edition of the La Trobe Journal (published by the State Library of Victoria Foundation twice yearly in Autumn and Spring), has an interesting piece by Mimi Colligan entitled, 'That window has a history' (page 94) and Geoffrey Wallace's 'Conservation of the Shakespeare Window' (page 104), walks through stage by stage restoration of this beautiful window.

Detail of window before intervention
showing earlier, poor quality glass replacement.

Detail of window after intervention,
showing newly painted glass replacements
in sympathy with the original window.
Copyright SLV

State Library of Victoria
Melbourne Australia
Photo: Anthony Agius

La Trobe Journal link.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Plane Trees & 'Ombra Mai Fu' - Handel's Xerxes

tender and beautiful fronds
of my beloved plane tree
let fate smile upon you
may thunder, lightning and storms
never bother your dear peace
nor may you be profaned by blowing winds

never was made
the shade of a plant
dear and loving
or more gentle

Photo: Tom Dempsey

frondi tenere e belle
del mio platano amato
per voi risplenda il fato
tuoni, lampi, e procelle
non vi oltraggino mai la cara pace,
ne giunga a profanarvi austro rapace

ombra mai fu
di vegetabile
care ed amabile
soave piu

Libretto: Niccolo Minato

Fritz Wunderlich, 1930-1966
German Tenor
A promising career cut short;
read the story on Wikipedia.

Plane Trees in Paris - Photo: Dr. Junshuang Ma

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tortoise with a poipose...

"Looks like water over there."

"Ah, made it!"

"I say, moooove over!"

"Goodness, what's that racket up there?"

"Oh, it's Mr. & Mrs. King Parrot,
they're looking for some seed and a drink."

These are all males;
must be feeding young.

Monday, October 19, 2009


Azalea (Karume)
'Kasane Kagaribi'

Don't Know - bulbs lifted from side of road.

Clematis 'Snowflake'

Cedrela sinensis
or Toona sinensis 'Flamingo'
Chinese Cedar

Azalea (Karume)




Azalea (Indica)
'Kees Bier'
Double Rose


Grevillea Rosmarinifolia

Mini Bush Rose
bought in 1988,
placed in large pot in courtyard
for daughter's wedding day,
3rd December.

Moved with us in 1999,
now 5ft tall.

Orange Blossom

Clivia miniata

'Edith Holden' Climbing Rose

Any day now.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Click to enlarge - beautiful!

This is fantastic;
go and see another view at
This is today's capture
but remember,
it's already tomorrow in Australia!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Time for a lie down and a read....

I made this bookmark, big enough not to get lost;
silk pictures that were originally
in an elaborate metal frame.

The reverse;
I wonder who painted the originals?

I'm having some time out.
There is much to do outside
this time of year that
I just can't ignore.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I'm late, I'm late
for a very important date.
It's a long haul from Oz!!

My, what a place!

Arriving at Willow Manor Ball

Oh, the bothersome Paparazzi,
I can't go anywhere
without hitting the front page -
Ssh, I love it!

Sans mink and sans handbag!
Where on earth did he get to?

They'll never guess that
I whipped this little number
up on the Singer;
Charlie Worth taught me a lot!

Ah, there he is, admiring me from afar;
Be right with you Mr. Darcy darling!

What a hunk.
How on earth?

"Lady in red is dancing with me,
cheek to cheek."
Why, it's Willow and WT!

On aurait pu nous inviter aussi!
"Gatecrashers; they weren't invited.
Let's get a drink, ladies. Ooh, my, what a choice,
Cristal and Louis Roederer!!"


The dance lessons paid off!

The banquet hall awaited.....

A wonderful attendance
of Willow's bloggy friends.
The fare was wonderful!

I presented the hostess with the mostest with a little gift
that I think she'll get a lot of use out of -

19th Century French Lorgnette

Back to the dancing....

Some people just don't have any decorum!

Herr Mozart and Orchestra; a delight!
And the wonderful Bryn Terfel,
Master of Ceremonies.

I had the last waltz
with a tall, dark and handsome hunk;
he's got my number.

I wonder where Mr. Darcy is?
We must leave before the witching hour.

Ahem, Mr. Darcy? Mr. Darcy!

Willow and Mr Maalie danced
into the the wee, small hours.


LATER, MUCH LATER, Willow couldn't be found. Rumour has it that she was in some sleepy hollow near the ninth gate with that libertine from hell, Johnny Depp, eating chocolates. They left through a secret window and fled to his private resort at world's end somewhere in the Caribbean.

The man who cried, WT, said this morning that Depp was a dead man!

Willow, wherever you are, we had a fantastic time and thank you for your kind invitation!! See you next year! Maybe.