Showing you around

I thought, I might show you around my new neighbourhood, just a little. Today I’ll focus on the river, my beautiful Yarra. Ruby the Pugalier and I like to walk along the meandering river, listening to the bellbirds chime. I relax as Ruby eats grass and has her head down, madly searching for food.

Johnston St Bridge

Following the path under the bridge, Ruby the pugalier and I like walking along the river.

Every time I wander, I spot something new, like this mysterious tree creature below.

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Can you see a face in the tree? My son thinks it looks like a lion, I see a fairytale creature.

What is it about water that makes us relax? Is it because we once swam inside our mothers? Is it the sound? All I know, is that I can feel my shoulders dropping, the tension sliding away….

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Slowly, slowly drifting on, close to the sea now.

The river is the peaceful part of the neighbourhood which is a mixture of small industries, historical terrace houses and workers cottages, a children’s farm and open bush, all wrapped around the river. It’s a bit grungy, a little arty, busy at times and quiet at others and only three kilometres from the city. I love being up a little high, not too high though. I can look all around me and gaze and gaze and gaze. Next time, I shall show you how I made Miss Poppy, posing below.

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Poppy the koala and I are loving living the high life, by the Yarra.

Falling off her perch

Did you wonder if Winter Owls had fallen off her perch?

Well, she did for a while, she moved from a pretty 1920’s weatherboard in the suburbs , to an apartment in an Art Deco converted silk spinning mill, in the inner city, just above the Yarra River. Her family, naughty dog and goldfish came with her.

She had to cull lots of treasure (a.k.a clutter) and was still faced with this when she moved in:

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90 boxes to unpack. Eeekk!

She has had lots of fun decorating with things like this:

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Sky planters swing from the heating pipe three metres up. Quite a challenging exercise to get them up there…

Most of all though, she has fallen in love with this, just a minutes walk away:

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The Yarra River, flowing through Melbourne’s heart.

See you all very soon,

Jen x

A little Madness in the Spring

“A little Madness in the Spring Is wholesome even for the King.” Emily Dickinson

It was with great amusement, that we have been watching some rather unusual behaviour from our neighbours. We observed neighbours exiting and entering their house under large umbrellas on a sunny day, a business man, whirling his suit jacket wildly above his head, people ducking and weaving, a woman holding a clipboard on her head and my father, visiting with magazines atop his head.

It was all very funny, until, the swooping magpie parents, turned their attention to our side of the street. Going out to check the mail box has become a thrill seeking adventure. You cast your eyes about, then swiftly run to the mailbox. To your horror you hear tck tck and feel a brush of wings stir your hair. I now wear a hat to collect the mail.

In order to share my experience with you, I have been fairly brave. I stood photographing the magpies, standing my ground, until the last moment, I ran shrieking inside.

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A magpie in our tree, with me hiding under the safety of our porch.

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Magpie pretends not to be observing me.

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Here she comes, I hold my ground.

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A blurry magpie but I was not going to stand and focus.

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Hidden safely in the shrubbery, the prince or princess awaits their lunch.

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Ah, lunch is approaching…

 

Happy Australia Day!

Happy Australia Day to all! This year, take a leaf out of the Little Corella’s (Cacatua sanguinea) book; sit up and take notice of your surroundings. Hang around with friends, walk and drink in nature, chat and swap stories or simply enjoy your own space, eat well and give yourself time to dream.

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Sit up and take notice

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Hang around with friends

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Walk and drink in nature and swap stories

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Enjoy your own space, eat well and give yourself time to dream

Surviving the heatwave

As I write this there are currently 11 uncontrolled blazes in Victoria. For those of you who live in bush fire areas, I hope you are safe. As I live in the middle of Melbourne, our house was in no danger, the heat though, was incredible.  I thought I’d show you a few snaps of the garden after the recent heat wave. I really think I’m just not meant to grow tomatoes. Last year, I had a grand harvest of one tomato, the rest being eaten by various creatures. This year, I carefully netted them up and had a promising crop growing, only to have them cooked on the bush.

It’s been too hot to use my usual acrylic paints, so I played around with nice cool watercolours. My feather paintings went into the recycling bin as I just couldn’t get them to go the way I saw them in my mind. The bird though, I was quite happy with, so it survived. Thankfully, it is much cooler today so we can all get a good nights sleep…

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Beautiful lush St Mary is no longer lush

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Burnt tomatoes look very unappealing…

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Cool blue watercolour

Not perfect weather for crafting Koalas

In my last post, I was lamenting the lack of summer warmth. It had been a miserable summer but perfect for crafting cosy wool Koalas. We postponed our trip down to Mount Martha on the Mornington Peninsula, as it really wasn’t beach weather. Finally, last Wednesday, beach weather arrived. It was perfect, not too hot but warm enough to make the sea pleasant to swim in. We took Ruby the naughty Pugalier to a dog beach for a swim and watched an amazing sunset.

Today though, I feel like a piece of lettuce left out of the fridge. It is currently 44 Celsius or 111 Fahrenheit. Far too hot for sewing with wool or painting but perfect for reading and drinking iced tea…..

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Dusk falling on beach huts

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Ruby (on the right) plays in the shallows with a new friend

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A stunning Mount Martha Sunset

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Almost gone, Arthur’s Seat in the distance

Happy New Year 2014!

Happy New Year 2014 from Melbourne! Last night we joined around 500,000 other Melburnians to celebrate the New Year. Trains were free, crowded and good humoured.  A hilarious ride home, where one of my friend’s attempts to get carriage participation, in singing Auld Lang Syne with her, was met with complete silence. It was a perfect summer night to sit on the banks of the Yarra and be dazzled by fireworks from 22 city rooftops.

The world has not been completely happy in 2013, I wish for, above all, peace and tolerance. I sat on the banks of the river surrounded by Australians of all different cultural backgrounds, races and religions. People were wearing Hijabs, Baseball caps, silly looking 2014 headbands, blue and red devil horns, flashing lights, flowers and just plain old bare heads. All around me, faces turned to the sky, enraptured. I thought, this is right, all is as it should be.

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On the banks of the Yarra River, waiting for the fireworks.

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Beautiful reflections and boats with coloured lights, light up the usually brown river.

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Fireworks explode from the top of the Herald Sun building.

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The city is ablaze with stunning showers of coloured light.