Good Friday

 Friday was a beautiful day and we took ourselves off to Black Rock for a look at the Cerberus. It was still there, now too fragile to be explored from up close. (Hah! Who am I kidding? As if I was going in Melbourne’s water at this time of the year! And my husband even less so)

The colours were spectacular.
Who knew just how active a navy Victoria had at the turn of the 19/20 century? I hadn’t really thought much about it, although I was aware that Williamstown sailors were part of  the navy that headed to China at the time of the Boxer Rebellion. Would love to explore that part of history more. I have a photo copy of a wonderful envelope, beautifully addressed and illustrated with several uniformed men. The address? To Hong Kong, or Elsewhere. Of course. This letter didn’t make Hong Kong in time, so had to follow the shipboard addressee further. It arrived somewhere sometime, because I’ve seen the actual envelope. Go postal service!

This view of Red Bluff has been captured by many painters, and it’s easy to see why.

In parts, the windblown cliffs were positively otherworldly.

And the beach goes on …

I liked the echo of this driftwood in the rocks

Not content with one beach, we stopped at this one in Brighton too. There were so many people we suspected an event was on, but apparently not. Just others coaxed outside by the glorious weather.

 A lone kite-surfer enjoyed his beach time. Further around on the other side of St Kilda, there were masses of kite-surfers, a flock really.

 Another beach, and a walk to St Kilda’s Acland St. It might be quiet in some parts of town on a Good Friday afternoon, but not St Kilda. There were people everywhere.

We finished of in the St George Cinema which is the newest cinema at Sun Theatre. It has 5 rows of seats, and each of them contain only single or double leather couches. Fabulous. We saw ‘A Little Chaos’ which was beautiful, even if we had varying opinions of the story.

I’ve been a-beaching!

We’ve been to the beach for a bit. Don’t let anyone tell you there’s no fun to be had on a winter beach. It was fabulous. 
This beach was awash in giant kelp, only freshly shared with the shore. Tough as leather, heavy as wet rope.
A tiny plover, one of many on this deserted beach. 
How could you not be moved by this awesomeness?
Playing with my camera, and the late-afternoon light.
The dog wanted to know why she couldn’t swim.

Now we’re in Townsville and these pics are from the newly-developed Jezzine park at the end of the wonderful Strand.


And finally, it was time to fly home. But not until after this glorious late afternoon walk. 

A weekend at the beach

The beach teemed with seaweed, as varied in colour and texture as any garden.

The sand painted the tide flow, in minute patterns.

Seaweed disguised as a skeleton, complete with seafoam and sandtracks.

The beach collapsed, one crack at a time.

Meanwhile, at home, the basil took over the garden.

And the first cherries blushed.

Magnetic Island

We had an unexpected trip to Townsville this past weekend and also a day trip to Magnetic Island, scene of several holidays in the past. This was our first trip since the ferry terminal was moved from Picnic Bay to Nelly Bay and we were keen to see the impact on the Picnic Bay village.

This is the pier …

… and this is the hill …

and these are the trees …

that linger still … Beautiful as ever
but it was a different place. I’ve written a poem for an online Month of Poetry Challenge and include it here.

Maggie island
Picnic bay now the ferry no longer calls
There were curlews here once
hoards of them
all long legs and stretch neck
old-wood feathers
and whistle-sad cry
They whiled our evenings
dinnering on the promenade
The resort fence remains
and the waterfront walk
The pier reaches to the mainland
as if in supplication
The banyans umbrellas broader
and the wreck sinks further
into the seabed
The red yellow flags
show where it’s safe to swim
and a few do
The Chinese restaurant
now sells burgers
and coffee
and bait
The trees flutter
as they frame luminous sea
and a lone butterfly
lands on a empty bar stool
There are no curlews now
not one left 
to cry down the long quiet afternoon
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Play School

What a thrill to have my picture book ‘The Carrum Sailing Club’ (illustrated by Christina Booth, published by Windy Hollow Books) featured on Play School this morning.

My friend Jackie Kerin came to watch it with me so there was someone to share the smiles with. Thanks Jackie.

Here are some more of the photos she took. Mine would have been wobbly with excitement!

What a sunny day. 🙂

Stomping across the green-troll bridge

Dancing with seagulls. Flap-flap-twirl!

Australia Day

Jan 26 is Australia Day. Around the country big events and small celebrate what it is to be Australian. There were award ceremonies, parties, a countdown of the 100 most popular songs in the country (which also included more than one party) and many other local events. Here, we were more low key.

Our day started with a 6.30 am visit to Victoria Market. The Vic market is a great tradition. At this hour, some stall-holders are still getting their goods into order(the fruit and veg, deli and the like – the non-food stall-holders start later). Only the most serious of shoppers are nearly done, heading home to breakfast, special trolleys laden with the best. We start with a breakfast outside the deli hall. Breakfast done, we ‘do’ the deli section and then the meat hall (sometimes). Then it’s a gentle peruse through the fruit and veg, gathering produce all the way to our end point, the second coffee. From this vantage point we are able to watch the potato stall and various others at work. They are humourists, this population who rise in the dark, and I hope get some sleep in the afternoon. It’s nice to be leaving, our bags full, before movement in the aisles become slower than fudge.

Once home and unpacked, it’s time for the beach. It’s going to be a fairly warm day and we hit the dog pool…a part of the beach with a natural pool that’s perfect for all. It’s a very social place, for the dogs that is. For one of our party – newly overcoming fear of dogs – the placid Irish Wolfhound and the bounding Labradors are almost too exciting. But here, dogs of all sorts with their no-less varied owners happily share the space. We lingered long.

After lunch we visit our very new reinvented swimming pool. It’s a much grander affair than the old one. It has a much larger 25 m pool with room for lapswimmers, lessons and ‘general users’. There’s a large beach entry shallower pool and a smaller toddler pool. There’s room for everyone.

We finished our day with a barbecue.

I reckon that’s an okay kind of Australia Day. I enjoyed it.