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What the…?

Pants tree

Meg and I walked to All Nations Park in Northcote this morning, taking advantage of the pseudo long-weekend afforded by Melbourne Cup Day tomorrow, and came across this tree. I almost felt like we should excavate to see if the rest of the tree man was buried below ground!

It was a beautiful morning for a walk – sunny and fine, and with enough cloud to make the sky really interesting. We took the dogs with us – it is the longest walk Cher has had since hurting her knee in August, and she is a bit sore now, but they really enjoyed it.

We even came across a duck nesting at the edge of the lake. At least, we assumed she was nesting, although we could only see  her head protruding from the rushes. She didn’t move from her spot, and was none too happy about having the dogs nearby, so it seems a safe bet. Meg and I plan to go back every day or so for the next couple of weeks in the hope of seeing the ducklings.

The afternoon was spent playing the ukulele and Christmas shopping online. Fifteen down – only about forty to go!

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Sleeping in the sun

sleeping in the sunOur local park is a reclaimed  tip, having been filled and landscaped around the same time we moved into the area.

It is a lovely park, with lots of open grass for games, and lots of shade for families on hot days. There used to be a pond, too, stocked with yabbies. Unfortunately, the pond base cracked and there were problems with maintaining water levels before the drought, so once the drought and water restrictions kicked in, it really became a frivolity.

We used to have fun with the yabbies,though, luring them out of the water with a piece of meat on a thread, and then setting them up to race back to the water. Meg was only four at the time and, as much as I enjoy yabbie meat, I couldn’t bear to kill them when we had been playing with them, so after the yabbie races we would throw our bait into the water for them to eat. It seemed like a fair trade.

On Friday of last week, while walking the dogs, I came across this man sleeping in the park and enjoying the beautiful day. He was set up with a very comfortable-looking mat and pillow, and appeared to be completely at peace. I didn’t want to disturb him by going too close to photograph him, and so had to make do with this surreptitious image.

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Fairfield Bowling Club

Fairfield Bowls Club

The greens of the Fairfield Bowling Club are graced, on Thursday evenings during summer, with barefoot bowlers – many of them inexperienced. Gone are the white uniforms, stiff hats and stuffy attitudes of the ‘pros’- these sessions are full of laughter and camaraderie, and are held to promote membership of the club. They are also great fun to watch, and have caught my eye on more than one occasion as I’ve been passing.

I find it really interesting taking photos of my local area, as it has prompted me to look into a little of the history, to find out about the buildings/places in the images. In this case, I’ve learnt that the club was established in 1913, and that – although it has been through a few incarnations since then – it has functioned continuously ever since. For anyone interested in finding out more, their website can be found at: http://www.fairfieldbowlingclub.com.au/

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Fairfield station

fairfield railway station

Fairfield Railway Station

I’ve been searching the internet to try and find some historical information on Fairfield Railway Station, and the closest I can come is a photograph dated 1910, on the Darebin Historical Encyclopaedia: http://dhe.darebin-libraries.vic.gov.au/uploaded/images/lhrn1817.jpg .

Regardless, it makes an interesting subject for photography, no matter what type of camera you are using. General paranoia about people taking photographs of public buildings such as stations can lead to you getting some funny looks, though, as I discovered when I took this picture yesterday.

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In a spin

spin bikes

Spin bikes are breeding at my gym.  At first there was only one, but now there are 12, or maybe 13 – I can’t tell because they all look alike and they sort of blend in together when you try to count them.

These bright yellow, glorified exercise bikes are taking over the circuit room, too.  Everytime you turn your back, they seem to creep a little further forward, just like the players in ‘What’s the time, Mr Wolf”?

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Stationery fix

connector-contrast-web.jpg

Today was one of those messy days, spent running around getting Michael’s computer fixed after the hard drive decided to die last night. 

Our local computer warehouse was really helpful, and managed to retrieve all of the data, but three trips back and forth – while trying to paint the woodwork in the hall – meant that I didn’t get an awful lot of painting done.

Thank heavens for my mum, who had come down to help.  If not for her, the painting would have been inconsequential. 

A trip to our friendly neighbourhood office supply shop this afternoon helped to restore a bit of equilibrium. Anyone who knows me, knows that I have a passion for stationery.  I blame it on Christmas!  Years of getting Christmas stockings stuffed with all of the supplies needed for the following year at school, mean that a trip to the stationers fills me with glee.  

No wonder Meg has a passion for it, too.

Meg replenished  her supplies and – as you can see from the photo – has had fun organising and colour-coordinating her connector pens and other supplies.

While I’m generally very happy with the image quality from the camera on my new phone, this particular picture was very flat and lacked vibrance.  I’m still learning to use it – hopefully I can sort it out so that the pictures are more accurate in their colour rendition!  In the meantime, I beefed up the contrast for fun, as it made the image so much more graphic. 

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Counting my blessings

Cardamone’s - with one of Melbourne’s best delicatessens

Today I’ve had time to think about just how lucky we are in Australia. 

While I was shopping at Cardamone’s – one of Melbourne’s best delicatessens – and luxuriating in the choice of fantastic produce they have on offer, I heard the news that the protests in Burma have turned violent. With up to five people having been killed and bloggers breaking the law  and risking years in jail by using their mobile phones to capture video and still images of the protests, the right to disagree with our government seems more like a responsibility, and one we shouldn’t take for granted.

I don’t want Blogday to be a political commentary, but the point of this project is to document a year using a mobile phone camera. Let’s hope that we are never subjected to something that is so life-threatening or so heavily regulated that clandestine images taken with our phones become the only means of letting the world know what is happening here.  In the meantime, spare a thought for those in Burma.

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