Friday, September 29, 2006

Mellbourne: what can I's a city. People, cars, trams and buses elbow each other for room and modern buildings loom over older and more graceful structures. All around is movement, colour, smells and commerce on a grand scale. From Victoria Markets to the tiniest curiosity shop there are goods that tempt you to spend and spend and .......
I was a pushover!

Every now and then there is an oasis. The park that hides behind the aging houses of Coburg and the carbon monoxide haze of Sydney Road is literally a breath of fresh air and space. You can walk along a pleasantly overgrown riverbank for a kilometre or two and emerge onto a vast green lawn with curving paths, large trees and a lake full of free loading waterbirds forever on the hustle for a free feed.

I loved the architectural vastness of Southern Cross Railway Station with its wonderful roof full of light and shadows. The place ebbs and flows with the energy of the commuters and the personalities of the trains. ( I love trains and tend to anthropomorphise when I see them)
(Had to look that spelling up!)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Small don't have to be big to be beautiful. Seduced by the sunny morning and needing any excuse not to have to look at a house that needs cleaning, dusting or blow torching, I spent an hour or so with my camera in my backyard and my neighbour's yard.
My neighbour grows beautiful flowers and I grow beautiful weeds. (The dandelions are mine.)

Monday, September 04, 2006

We live in a world of contradictions.
At any moment on the earth there are different people putting equal effort into saving or taking life. Millions of dollars are spent on research, drugs and medical techniques aimed at prolonging and improving life. Simultaneously someone , somewhere puts the finishing touch to a "weapon of mass destruction".
Environmentally the same thing happens. One group fights to save the kilometre square habitat of a tiny frog, while half a world away huge forests are clear felled to make toothpicks and chop sticks.
Consider for instance the creek near my home which adjoins an area which is being carefully re-generated after over 30 years of use as a garbage tip. What had once been a natural wetland full of waterfowl and fish had been turned into great mound of garbage. The enormous task of reclaiming this area has involved barriers to prevent domestic litter being washed into the creek and the river it flows into, and massive replantings of local plants and trees. The area is still polluted and far from pristine but the birds are gradually returning.
We continue to be obsessed with human history. We reinact it, read about it and archaeologists are forever trying to dig it up. Why don't we ever seem to really learn anything from it. Thirty years ago it was probably a local council who saw a "swamp", deemed it worthless and began to dump on it. Now we are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in an attempt to re-establish this little piece of natural environment so casually destroyed.
Why do we continue to make the same mistake over and over again to varying degrees all over the planet, when history gives us so many past scenarios to learn from.