Sunday 30 November 2014


St Francis' Church is the oldest Catholic church in Victoria, Australia. Located on the corner of Lonsdale Street and Elizabeth Street, it is one of only three buildings in central Melbourne which predates the Gold Rush of 1851. The church's foundation stone was laid on 4 October 1841, the feast day of St Francis of Assisi, to whom the church is dedicated.

It was commissioned by Fr Patrick Geoghegan, the first Catholic priest in the Port Phillip District of New South Wales, which became Victoria in 1851. In 1848, St Francis' became the cathedral church of the first Catholic Bishop of Melbourne, James Goold, and continued as a cathedral until 1868, when the diocesan seat was moved to the still unfinished St Patrick's Cathedral (which was not formally consecrated until 1897).

Centrally located in the Melbourne's CBD, St Francis' has never lost its place as one of the city's most popular and widely used churches, and today is the busiest church in Australia, with more than 10,000 worshippers attending each week. Since 1929, it has been a centre of Eucharistic Life in the care of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament.

The church is listed with Victorian Heritage Register, the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) and the Australian Heritage Commission. Although there have been many changes made to the building, including the erection of a new tower, a gift from the Grollo family, to house the original 1853 bell imported from Dublin, the church remains essentially as it was designed by Samuel Jackson.

This post is part of the Spiritual Sundays meme,
and also part of the inSPIREd Sunday meme.

Saturday 29 November 2014


Rainy day on the Sandridge Bridge, going from Southbank to the City. Our early Summer rain makes fro a very muggy day...

This post is part of the Weekend Reflections meme,
and also part of the Weekly TopShot meme,
and also part of the Photo of the Week meme,
and also part of the Scenic Weekends meme.

Friday 28 November 2014


On the banks of the Yarra River as the sun is coming up, watching the rowers from the rowing clubs go into their morning routine.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Thursday 27 November 2014


We are very lucky in Melbourne to have both the climate and the passionate gardeners, which conspire to bring about colourful, flower-filled gardens and streets. While walking this morning, we saw this house, which had three blooming trees in a row: A pink oleander, a blue jacaranda and a yellow tree grevillea.

Nerium oleander is an evergreen shrub or small tree in the dogbane family Apocynaceae, potentially toxic in all its parts. It is the only species currently classified in the genus Nerium. It is most commonly known as oleander, from its superficial resemblance to the unrelated olive Olea. It is so widely cultivated that no precise region of origin has been identified, though southwest Asia has been suggested. It is grown for its single or double flowers in many colours.

Jacaranda is a genus of 49 species of flowering plants in the family Bignoniaceae, native to tropical and subtropical regions of Central America, South America, Cuba, Hispaniola , Jamaica and the Bahamas. It has been planted widely in Asia, especially in Nepal. It has been introduced to most tropical and subtropical regions. The genus name is also used as the common name. Jacaranda caerulea, the species shown here is the commonest ornamental species grown for its abundant, fragrant flowers.

Grevillea robusta, commonly known as the southern silky oak or silky oak, or Australian silver oak, is the largest species in the genus Grevillea of the family Proteaceae. It is not closely related to the true oaks, Quercus. It is a native of eastern coastal Australia, in riverine, subtropical and dry rainforest environments receiving more than 1,000 mm per year of average rainfall. The tree is grown as ornamental for its abundant orange-yellow flowers in early summer.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 26 November 2014


I was in the City last Monday and it proved to be quite a wet and grey day, although quite muggy too. The good old Melbourne trams were doing a roaring trade as people used them to avoid a walk in the rain.

The Melbourne tramway network is a major form of public transport in Melbourne. As of May 2014, the network consisted of 250 kilometres of track, 493 trams, 25 routes, and 1,763 tram stops. It is the largest urban tramway network in the world, ahead of the networks in St. Petersburg (240 km), Berlin (190 km), Moscow (181 km) and Vienna (172 km). Trams are the second most used form of public transport in overall boardings in Melbourne after the commuter railway network, with a total of 182.7 million passenger trips in 2012/13.

Trams have operated continuously in Melbourne since 1884, with the opening of a horse tram line in Fairfield. Since then they have become a distinctive part of Melbourne's character and feature in tourism and travel advertising. Melbourne's cable tram system opened in 1885, and expanded to one of the largest in the world, with 75 km of double track. The first electric tram line opened in 1889, but closed only a few years later in 1894. In 1906 electric tram systems were opened in St Kilda and Essendon, marking the start of continuous operation of Melbourne's electric trams.

This post is part of the Waterworld Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme.

Tuesday 25 November 2014


The Yarra Footbridge is a relatively recent addition to the Yarra River crossings in Melbourne. The bridge stands between Princes Bridge and Sandridge Bridge (a former railway bridge, now another pedestrian bridge). It is the closest footbridge to Federation Square and the Melbourne tourist information office.

The Yarra Footbridge links Flinders Street and station with the Yarra Promenade on the Southbank. It is very busy at the rush hour as it is one of the main pedestrian links to the railway station from the Southbank. For tourists and those visiting Melbourne, the Yarra Footbridge offers great views of the Melbourne skyline and easy access to the restaurants and cafes that line the Southbank.

The Christmas decorations are up on the bridge and the splashes of red cheer up the dull grey, rainy day we had yesterday! The padlocks secured on the bridge is a worldwide pop cultural phenomenon and you can read more about it here.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.

Monday 24 November 2014


Located in the heart of Melbourne’s retail precinct (just off the Bourke St Mall), Union Lane is unusual. There aren’t any of the usual bars, boutiques or cafes to entice visitors but they come nonetheless. What they congregate to see is one of the city’s best known street art sites. Just about every square centimetre of wall is covered by graffiti murals, some 550 square metres in total. Born out of a mentoring program launched by the City of Melbourne, the work was created by 50 young artists in late 2007. Since then the original art has been effaced by layer upon layer of graffiti, new art and tagging. Although street art remains controversial in many quarters, its immediacy, verve and accessibility are hard to deny.

This post is part of the Monday Murals meme.

Sunday 23 November 2014


The Lady Chapel within St Francis' Church is a most beautiful and sacred place. In 2000 Mulholland Restorations were commissioned by the community of the Blessed Sacrament Fathers to restore the chapel paint work. Starting from its original highly decorated scheme, the chapel had undergone a number of changes and abbreviations since it opened in 1858.

Over varnishing and water entry had also had a negative effect and the interior was quite smoke stained. A decision was made to restore the chapel to its full original painted design. Works proceeded to remove all extraneous matter and coatings to regain the ‘lost design’.

The walls were consolidated and the repainting works advanced. Paint scrapes revealed what was added and what was missing and allowed the company to undertake the redecoration of the most beautiful chapel in Melbourne. The work is of the highest standard and the results allow the chapel to stand in the most dignified painted condition and spectacular appearance possible.

This post is part of the Spiritual Sundays meme,
and also part of the inSPIREd Sunday meme.

Saturday 22 November 2014


There are some delightful late Spring days when the temperature is just right, there is no wind and the sun shines. What better place in Melbourne than on the Yarra River, close to the Kew Boathouse for a spot of rowing?

This post is part of the Weekend Reflections meme,
and also part of the Weekly TopShot meme,
and also part of the Photo of the Week meme,
and also part of the Scenic Weekends meme.

Friday 21 November 2014


Coburg North is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 10 km north of Melbourne's central business district. Its local government area is the City of Moreland. At the 2011 Census, Coburg North had a population of 6,576. The suburb lies north of Coburg, and has the same postcode (3058). The majority of Coburg North is zoned residential, though there are some industrial pockets. The major commercial strip on Sydney Road is primarily automotive-related businesses. Merlynston has a small shopping strip with some caf├ęs. The rest of the suburb is reliant on corner shops for everyday needs.

Along the Merri Creek as it runs through Coburg North are some open spaces, parklands and former industrial areas. This view is from the former site of the Kodak factory. About 600 Victorian workers fell victim to the digital age and lost their jobs when the photographic giant Kodak closed its film manufacturing plant there at the end of November 2004. The site is about 20 hectares and located to the east of Edgars Creek. It is surrounded by residential properties along Elizabeth, Boyne, Ronald and Tilley Streets. The site, renamed 'Coburg Hill' is to be redeveloped for residential purposes.

Here, we are looking South towards the City, and all of the open land visible here will be built up in the near future. In the first image, the red asterisk down the bottom, centre, indicates where the photos were taken.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Thursday 20 November 2014


Our local nursery proclaims that it's high time in Melbourne to plant our tomatoes so we can harvest the first ones before Christmas. There is a bewildering variety of cultivars available and they all look wonderful on the colourful labels of the seedling trays, while the descriptions wax lyrical about the taste and texture of the fruit...

We always put in a few tomato plants every year, a couple in the garden amongst the rose bushes and a couple in pots. I must admit, that although a bumper crop is not assured us each year, even the few tomatoes harvested (whatever the variety) are infinitely better than the plastic ones sold in the greengrocer.

So, off to plant the tomatoes, with lots of organic fertiliser and a good supporting frame, hoping for a good crop for the Christmas salads!

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme,
and also part of the Signs, Signs meme.