Wednesday 31 October 2012


I am still at Aitken Hill for my work development exercise. The past few weeks have been particularly hectic at work and my apologies to visitors here for not being as regular a visitor to your site as I would like to be. It's hard enough keeping up my blog posts for my blogs so something has to give.

The photos today highlight some of the water features on the grounds of this enormous conference centre (see yesterday's post for more details!). On Australian farms, a dam is an artificial pond or reservoir where rain or spring water is collected for storage and for use in irrigation or for animals to drink from. Very often of course another purpose is a purely decorative one!

This post is part of the Water World Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Nature Footsteps Waters meme.

Tuesday 30 October 2012


I am away from home at an intensive residential workshop for my work for several days, so this means that almost all of my waking time is being taken up by all sorts of activities, both work-related but also team-building, social ones. At least it is in a very beautiful location about 40 or so minutes away from the city, far away enough to immerse oneself totally in the activities and workshop, but at the same time near enough to mean that can get here easily, a leisurely drive against the traffic at peak time. The facilities are world standard and the complex is huge. We are getting the first real Summer weather at the moment, with temperatures around 30˚C.

The complex is Aitken Hill, Australia's leading conference and events venue, which was designed by award-winning architects Peddle Thorpe, Aitken Hill is a purpose built, dedicated conferencing and events venue that leads the way in cutting edge and state of the art technology. Aitken Hill proudly boasts 6000 square metres of conferencing space, as well as extensive accommodation and first class recreational facilities. Set on a spectacular 170 acre private property, Aitken Hill's native Australian flora and fauna co-exist peacefully amongst their breathtaking surrounds.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme.

Monday 29 October 2012


Last week I had some business to attend to at the bank, but fortuitously I did not go to my usual branch, visiting instead the National Australia Bank branch at 330 Collins Street, in the city. On view in Foyer at the top of stairs, one can see a splendid tapestry adorning the long wall of the stairwell.

It is "Early Days in the Goldfields" of Albert Tucker (1982), a huge work, 5 metres x 2.4 metres. The weavers are Iain Young, Pamela Joyce, Leonie Bessant and Sue Carstairs.
In this tapestry, distinguished Australian artist Albert Tucker (1914 - 1999) evokes a sense of the hard working cobbers in the Australian gold fields during the gold rush of the 1800s.

Tucker’s interest in German Expressionism is apparent in the design, both in his experimental use of space and form, and in his choice of subject, the work-weary souls toiling away at their fortunes, and. This tapestry, translated from a small oil painting, has charmingly figurative elements, while also capturing Tucker’s vigorous, painterly brush strokes.

This post is part of the Mural Monday meme,
and also part of the Mandarin Orange Monday meme.

Sunday 28 October 2012


Heide Museum of Modern Art, more commonly just "Heide", is a contemporary art museum located in Bulleen, east of Melbourne, Australia. Established in 1981, the museum comprises several detached buildings and surrounding gardens and parklands of historical importance that are used as gallery spaces to exhibit works in various mediums by contemporary Australian artists.

The museum occupies the site of a former dairy farm that was purchased by the prominent Melbourne art collectors John and Sunday Reed in 1934 and became home to a collective known as the Heide Circle, which included many of Australia's best-known modernist painters, such as: Albert Tucker, Sidney Nolan, Laurence Hope, Joy Hester and others, who lived and worked in the former farm house (Heide I).

Between 1964 and 1967, a new residence was built (Heide II). It is considered to be one of the finest examples of modernist architecture in Victoria. In 1981, the museum was established on the site, incorporating the existing buildings and surrounding gardens & parklands as exhibition and gallery spaces. A dedicated gallery building (Heide III) was constructed in 1993 and the museum continued to broaden its collection of works to include all forms of contemporary Australian art, including some by contemporary Indigenous artists.

The museum underwent major redevelopment in 2005-06 which included the installation of several sculptural and installation art pieces, landscaping & redesign of the gardens, construction of a new education centre and gallery space, extension of the Heide III building and various other works. The gardens and parklands surrounding the museum are a joy to wander through at any season.

This post is part of the Scenic Sunday meme,
and also part of the Shadow Shot Sunday meme.

Saturday 27 October 2012


The Capital City Trail is a shared use path for cyclists and pedestrians, which circles the Melbourne city centre and some inner Eastern and Northern suburbs of Melbourne. A popular starting point for the trail is at Princes Bridge near Flinders Street Station. The rider can head off in an Easterly or Westerly direction. If heading off in the Westerly, either side of the river can be used, but the South side tends to be more popular. The Capital City Trail uses the same path as the Main Yarra Trail up to Dights Falls, where it continues, using the same path the Merri Creek Trail, as part of its loop around the city.

Here, near the city one can see the Swan St Bridge to the East, and the city skyline to West. Daylight savings means twilight lingers well after 8:00 pm in Spring.

This post is part of the Weekend Reflections meme,
and also part of the Sunday Bridges meme.

Friday 26 October 2012


Melbourne's parks offer a wonderful range of opportunities to make the most of one's leisure time. With a network of nearly 480 hectares of internationally acclaimed parks and gardens, there is something to suit everyone's lifestyle. Ranging from gardens with classic 19th century heritage features and majestic tree avenues, to the 170-hectare Royal Park with its unique bushland landscape and wetlands habitat, Melbourne offers a variety of open spaces and recreation opportunities.

Here are some photos from the Darebin Parklands at sunrise.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme,
and also part of the Weekend Reflections meme.

Thursday 25 October 2012


The olive (Olea europaea) is a species of small tree in the family Oleaceae, native to the coastal areas of the eastern Mediterranean Basin (the adjoining coastal areas of southeastern Europe, western Asia and northern Africa) as well as northern Iraq, and northern Iran at the south end of the Caspian Sea.

Its fruit, also called the olive, is of major agricultural importance in the Mediterranean region as the source of olive oil. The tree and its fruit give its name to the plant family, which also includes species such as lilacs, jasmine, Forsythia and the true ash trees (Fraxinus).

The word olive derives from Latin olīva which is cognate with the Greek ἐλαία (elaía) ultimately from Mycenaean Greek 𐀁𐀨𐀷 (e-ra-wa - "elaiva"), attested in Linear B syllabic script. The word 'oil' in multiple languages ultimately derives from the name of this tree and its fruit.

The climate of the Southern parts of Australia are conducive to the culture of the olive and numerous olive groves are now to be found in Victoria and South Australia. In Melbourne olive trees are common in gardens, but also planted in nature strips along streets. At the moment, all of the olive trees are in bloom in Melbourne, although one has to look carefully to see the tiny clusters of creamy white flowers.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

And here are the fruits usually seen around April/May in Melbourne.


An art deco style retail centre fronting both Collins and Little Collins Streets, "Australia on Collins" features some of Australia’s best known fashion outlets anchored by Country Road and David Lawrence, together with Australia’s leading crafts retailer Lincraft. There are over 60 fashion, take away food and restaurant outlets located within the centre. The centre features an observatory lift in one of Australia’s largest atriums which links into Melbourne’s renowned Novotel on Collins Hotel.

Located between Swanston and Elizabeth Street on Collins Street, the site in 1877 was Gunsler’s Café which became Melbourne’s favourite meeting place. Collins Street in 1877 became a dress promenade every afternoon at four o’clock in which ladies displayed their personal taste in millinery in lavish profusion on what was termed locally as “The ‘Block”. In 1890 two Austrians - Edlinger and Goetz became proprietors of the Café and renamed it “The Vienna”. It became the centre of social life in Melbourne during the last quarter of the century. To be seen at “The Vienna” was a social ‘must’. Many a business deal or a new relationship was consumated at “The Vienna”.

Australia on Collins is continuing its celebration of the seasons with the second in its installation sequence, "Spring Takes Flight". This features floral artistry, exotic birds and antique birdcages reflecting the Spring season’s new beginnings.

This post is part of the Signs, Signs meme.