Category Archives: fairfield

Burrs and dogs’ feet

A quick post, just to show you what happened this morning when I decided to take the dogs to a different park for their walk…


A trip around the lake to look at the ducks, who had just been fed with scraps of bread by another walker…


A walk to the hill past lots of Willy Wagtails, Noisy Miners, Rainbow lorikeets and some unidentified swallow, and a never-before-seen (by me) sculpture…


Then back to the car and home, at which point I checked the dogs’ feet for burrs and grass seeds, and this is what I found…


I stopped counting at 80! Oh well, it was a lovely walk…


Filed under animals, fairfield

No one ever goes in, and no one ever comes out…

A close-up detail of a metal filigree gate, with empty land behind it and two sheds in the distance.
A filigree gate stands sentry on the almost-empty block

Around the corner from my house is an almost empty block of land, with locked filigree metal gates and a brick fence to prevent entry. I say ‘almost’ empty, because there are a couple of sheds at the rear of the property, one of which looks like it would have been the original garage.

Over the years, I’ve passed there at all times of the day and night, and there appeared to be someone living in one of the sheds. There would be lights on in the right-hand building, or you would catch a glimpse of someone moving behind the shade cloth screen that has been erected in front of it, and then … nothing. Until the chains and locks appeared on the gates, that is.

I’ve seen no sign of life since.

It makes me think of the chocolate factory, in Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, but I doubt, somehow, that the locked gate hides odd little orange people making chocolate and lollies, and singing rhyming moralistic songs to hapless visitors…

Funny what tangents your mind can take you on when you see a locked gate…

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A bright spot in the gloom

A single spot of colour in the dusk
A single spot of colour in the dusk
A very brief post tonight – I just couldn’t pass up the sight of this lone daisy through the fence as the dogs and I were walking. 
We went out just as night began to fall, and the daisy’s colour made it stand out in sharp contrast to the background, while the fence made a perfect frame.
Back tomorrow with a stack of pictures – see you then.

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A cold start to the day

 This morning, when I went to drive Meg to the station so she could go to school, this is the sight that greeted us:

 Now, I imagine if you live in an area where snow is common, this would seem tame, but in Melbourne (8km from the CBD) this has become unusual over the past couple of years. The drought has meant that there hasn’t been much water around, and it simply hasn’t been getting cold enough to completely ice the car more than once or twice a year.

I love Winter, and I’ve missed it – the milder weather is barely cold enough to make your ears pink, let alone make your nose run!

 When I got back from the station, the furniture in the back yard was steaming as the sun rose high enough over the houses to start to warm it.

Speaking of the back yard, we’ve decided to do away with the last of the grass, and put more fruit trees and vegies in, with just a path leading to the clothes line and main vegetable patch. As you can see, this small patch of grass gets quite unruly during the wetter months…

And, when the rest of the garden looks like this:

a ratty, overgrown field waiting to be mown, can be an embarrassment.

So, one new apricot tree; the black fig tree I got as a baby last year, and the lime tree that currently lives in a pot, will go in, and the weeds will be a thing of the past. I’ve started saving newspapers, and next week hope to get a load of mulch that I can use to prepare a permaculture-style garden. Then I’d better get on with some weeding, or we will never be able to plant the vegie patch again.

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The joy of reclaimed land

After dropping Meg at the railway station last Friday for the last day of school before the holidays, I decided to go straight up to Northcote to do the shopping. When I got there, I realised that I was too early for the particular shops I wanted, so I took advantage of the extra time and went for a walk around All Nations Park – something I haven’t done for months, despite loving it every time I do.

Having started out as a landfill (for non-putrescible waste), All Nations Park has become a focal point for the local community over the past six years since it opened. I admire the foresight of the people whose houses abut the park, as much as I admire those who made it, though for different reasons. When it was a tip, it was a dust bowl, and now it is green and leafy and beautiful. Wouldn’t mind having it outside my front door…

I’ll save you the pictures of ducks, today, and instead show you the very groovy toilet block (albeit one of those scary talking ones). I love that even a humble toilet block can be turned into something attractive. Got to love architects (which I do, by the way, as I am married to one).

Groovy toilet block

Talking toilet block

After wandering around the lake and watching the ducks (and the toilet block), I came across a sign, the back of which had been painted so that the eyes looked out at you from over the reeds and other plants.

Peek a boo

I don’t know anything about this particular piece of art – like whether or not it is a ‘sanctioned’ work, or has just been done by someone for the fun of it – but either way, I love it.

When I got to the top of the park, on the bluestone hill that was created as a focal point, I thought I’d try out the panorama function on my phone camera. The results are patchy – especially the view to the East, where the rising sun really caused the camera some grief – but it was fun to try, and was such a clear morning that it was just nice being out for a walk.

The view to the East

The view to the West

The view to the West

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Random things

The ceiling near the cinemas

Here are a few random images I’ve taken over the last week or so. This first image is of the ceiling at Northland Shopping centre, in the open space at the foot of the escalators that lead up to the cinemas: an unexpectedly creative ceiling and one that is easy to miss. I mean, how often do you stand around at the shopping centre, gazing at the ceiling?!

This second image has appeared recently on the wall of an old garage in Fairfield, at the northern end of the shopping strip. I like the fact that whoever painted it, used a rectangular hole in the wall (made by a missing brick,  perhaps?) as the mouth.

Another fun bit of graffiti - this time in Fairfield.

This morning when I walked past, someone had put a stick in it, so that it looked like it was eating.

My next image is another one of the shot tower at Melbourne Central.

In black and white you can really concentrate on the strong lines and contrasts. This was taken coming up the escalator from the station.


Finally, a detail shot of the carved paving at Federation Square. When the light hits it at an angle you can see all the carving in great detail, providing yet another focal point to consider. The more time I spend there, the more I discover and the more I like.

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Filed under cool things, fairfield, melbourne, photography

Wednesday’s Storm

When the winds hit on Wednesday (April 2nd), Meg and I were at the movies. Hey Hey it’s Esther Blueburger was only improved by the power going out, but that’s another story.

It was uncanny listening to the wind build and to feel the cinema being buffeted, let alone having the power go out in the shopping centre afterwards as we walked though following the film. But it was seriously scary when I had to wrestle to keep the car from being blown all over the road and traffic lights on a couple of extremely dangerous intersections were out.

I’m constantly amazed at the stupidity of people on the roads in such situations. The intersections I’m referring to – Darebin Road and Station Street, and Separation Street and Station Street, in Fairfield, are large (three lanes of traffic in each direction on Station Street and two/one respectively on the cross roads), and dangerous at the best of times, with accidents happening on a regular basis when the weather is good. So tell me why, when a gale is literally blowing and there are no lights to control the traffic, people speed up?

My parents were driving instructors until I was 23, and I can always hear them talking to me in a situation like we had on Wednesday: approach with caution, be courteous, give way to the right and use common sense. Although some callers to John Faine on ABC 774 spoke glowingly of the drivers they had seen, I personally didn’t see any common sense or courtesy.

Two intersections and two very near misses made me very glad to get home. They also made me collect a pair of disposable gloves and my mobile phone so that when the inevitable crunch of metal came, I would be ready to run and help. It happened about 3.15 in the afternoon.

No one was hurt, luckily, though one lady was shaky and holding her neck, but at least one of the cars was going through the intersection fast enough that a hit on the rear quarter panel on the passenger side spun it 180 deg and put it up on a footpath. One of the cooks from our local pizzeria had the fright of his life when he was unlocking the door to start work for the night and felt rather than saw the car coming at him.

I think he levitated himself out of the way.

Thursday morning saw Station Street shopkeepers and local residents assessing the damage and cleaning up. From what I can tell, three trees were lost from the shopping strip (and one street light doesn’t look too clever). One shop lost an awning and a window, I think, and lots were without power for many hours. The road itself was closed to traffic for most of the day, and the cleanup has not yet finished.

Walking around the back streets with the dogs showed branches tossed aside or whole trees uprooted and lying across footpaths and yards. Amazingly, the local park (Rubie Thompson reserve) had a couple of very small casualties, but no big trees seemed to threaten to fall. Credit goes to the Council who have been carefully pruning and culling the larger trees systematically over the last 12 to 18 months. Obviously the work has been paying off.

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