AUSTRALIA ~ The Antipodes

AUSTRALIA ~ The Antipodes
I love a sunburnt country / A land of sweeping plains / Of ragged mountain ranges / Of droughts and flooding rains / I love her far horizons / I love her jewel-sea / Her beauty and her terror / The wide brown land for me / ~ Dorothea Mackellar (1885-1968)


Saturday, June 30, 2012


There is always an eerie atmosphere in foggy mornings.

In the morning mists
Questioning reality
Open gate welcome

Linking to:
Weekend in Black and White

Friday, June 29, 2012

Sunset After Rain

It has been raining, raining raining.
Finally, some colour in the sky at the end of the day.

Watery colours
Like a wash of candy puffs
Like melting moments

Linking to:
SkyWatch Friday

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Enchanted Child

Strange to see a sign for a children's clothing, toys and stationery boutique right above signs for a tax agent at Balnarring.
(Yes! this image was taken near Christmas time! The star added interest!)

The Enchanted Child
Fantasy is still alive
Advertising art

The Enchanted Child is at street level with the tax agent above it - upstairs.

Linking to: Signs, Signs

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


To finalise their studies of media, I asked my Year 9 students to create a video, introducing new students to the elective.
This is part of one draft for a video script, representing how confident the students are now to meet new challenges.

Confidence shining
New challenge means excitement

 Linking to:
Sensational Haiku Wednesday - Confidence

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

William Parkinson Wilson

This grave for William Parkinson Wilson is at Mornington Cemetery on the Mornington Peninsula.
Born in 1826? in Northamptonshire, England, he was founding professor of mathematics at Queen's College, Belfast in 1854.
But a year later, he was one of the first 4 professors appointed to the University of Melbourne.
He may have been a Professor of Mathematics, but his special interest was astronomy.
In 1871, he led an expedition to north Queensland to observe an eclipse of the sun.
He established an observatory at Mornington.
In 1874, he participated in observations of the transit of Venus.
Two days later, on 11th December 1874, he died of cerebral haemorrhage.
William had been suffering ill health for some time, but perhaps the excitement of this event contributed to his death.
He was just 49.

William was a bachelor, lived in university apartments and later maintained a house in Mornington named Wolfdene.
(According to one source, it was formerly Mornington Hotel for some 10 years after 1858 and then became a school?)
As Mornington was only accessible by water or horse back at the time, it is presumed he only stayed there when the university was in recess.
But he took care of the education of his two nephews.
This partly explains why his nephew's name appears with him on his headstone.
More information on the varied career of this academic is HERE!

An academic
A man of many colours
Who loved star gazing

Linking to:
Taphophile Tragics

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Wind Singer

Sounds like some legendary jewel
But the gem 
The walled city 
Has lost the sparkle of the wind singer
The strangers' tall tower of
Wooden beams and metal pipes
Has lost the voice of
The soul

Young twins
Bowman and Kestrel
With a little whimsical help from Mumpo and
The bonding of a wish huddle
Search for the lost song 

From the stench of the Underlake
And the enigmatic delicacy of mudnuts 
To the windy plains of sand
To a crumbling parapet high above a gorge

From the cursed touch of the old children to
A lonely emperor's passion for chocolate buttons

Riding wolves or
Sailing in the claws of eagles

Space, time and beings are not always what they should be
Or could be

Not till the old queen's silver hair clasp
Unlocks the voice

Not till the killing golden Zars 
Not till the winds that bring the wind singer to life
Blow the dust
From their bones

And Grey District
Orange District
Maroon District
Dare to mingle
Their colours

The Wind Singer (Wind on Fire, #1)The Wind Singer by William Nicholson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An extraordinary fantasy that hints of breaths from old legends and becomes a chameleon of reality and dream! And if you feel the spirit deep down, you will feel the smudges of our society lurking.
View all my reviews

 Linking to:
Real Toads - Open Link Monday

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Seashell Shadow

Seashell on Rosebud beach, Mornington Peninsula

Beauty cast on sands
Like an exile from the sea
Like a frame of life

Linking to:

Saturday, June 23, 2012


Stark liquidamber
Bristly, dry seed pod baubles
Unpleasant to touch

But for those in need
The secret tastes of Nature
Support dark winters

Haiku Heights ~ Prompt ~ Support


Just taking a pause
Just taking time for some dreams
Just me and the waves

Linking to Weekend in Black and White

Friday, June 22, 2012

Lonely Looking Sky

Winter's beach at Balnarring

Lonely looking sky
Just one bird wings his journey
Through Winter's beauty

Linking to:
SkyWatch Friday

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Tyabb Grain Store

So many signs for the Tyabb Grain Store at the Tyabb Art and Craft Village all clustered round the entrance.

Bombardment of signs
The grain outweighs the antiques
Font size impression

Linking to Signs Signs

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Joseph Harris

I was struck by the 3 crosses on this headstone for the Harris family at Mornington Cemetery on the Mornington Peninsula.
Not till I researched Joseph Harris on Trove did I realise what a notable pioneer he was.
Born in 1833, Bristol, England, he trained in his father's nursery.
He left England on the Morning Star in 1856, but initially tried his luck (unsuccessfully) on the Korong gold diggings near Wedderburn, a rural town 214km north of Melbourne.
(Today, Wedderburn has a Gold and Heritage Festival held round the end of February to beginning of March. Wedderburn, part of the 'Golden Triangle', was once one of Victoria's richest goldmining towns. Many large nuggets have been unearthed here in the past and – for some – continue to be discovered today.)
In 1862, he set up his own seed shop and made it a successful venture for 23 years.
A Liberal, he represented the electorate of South Yarra for some years but never accepted a government portfolio, though it was offered to him.
He was also Government nominee of the Council of Agricultural Education.
 His specialty was tropic vegetation, and to study this, he travelled widely in the north of Australia.
 He also made several voyages to the Pacific Islands.
For 30 years he was horticultural editor of The Australasian.
(The Australasian was a weekly tabloid newspaper from 1864 until 1941, but after 1941 adopted a magazine style and became known as The Australasian Post.
When it closed in 2002, it was the longest running picture magazine in Australia.)
He sat on many boards,
(including the Victoria Coffee Palace in Collins Street, Melbourne where he was chairman of directors)
but the strangest one involves the church.
A member of the Church of England, yet he was on the board of the South Yarra Presbyterian Church for 20 years.
In 1932, the Joseph Harris Boy Scout Park at Mount Martha (near Mornington) was opened.
The 80 acres of land was donated by Mrs H.G. Pitt (Rosa? using initials of her husband?) in memory of her father Joseph Harris.
( Not sure just who this daughter is. The former Trove article says:
 Two daughters -Mrs Rosa Pitt and Mrs T.P.Long, - survive him and one son - Mr F. Harriss. The third daughter Mrs F. Vanderkelen was the wife of Mr. Vanderkelon who for several years was the Belgian consul in Melbourne.

Joseph Harris has one more unusual claim to fame.

He imported a prefabricated Japanese Tea House to his holiday property at Marina, Mornington.
(The original Marina was destroyed by fire in 1915, but re-built as a gabled bungalow. Even though the property was subdivided after Rosa's death, the re-built house has been retained.
More details HERE and HERE!)
It is now heritage listed, the only known example in Victoria in a garden setting.
The tea houses are also rare in Japan. Ref: HERE

A man of the earth
A man of many colours
A man of legend

Linking to:
Taphophile Tragics

Monday, June 18, 2012

Like a Seahorse?

An unknown small tree in my garden has a strange shape that curls and bends as it grows.
This particular morning I captured it "mid curl", complete with shadows through the leaves.
The tree does not flower, but gets odd pea-like "buds" and sheds Autumn-toned red leaves in the summer.
This is a Winter view.

A strange little tree
Stubbornly upturns seasons
No flower or fruit

Linking to:
 Macro Monday 
Shadow Shot Sunday 2

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Beauty of Trees

Winter trees

Trees on Crittendon Winery driveway, Dromana

Farm at Red Hill

The beauty of trees
Textured trunks and spindly boughs
Seasonal colours

Linking to:
Fototriss ~ Trees

Sylphs of Old Decay

Muted clouds are gathering
Like gaunt sylphs of old decay
Like listless moods pondering
The fears of midnights today

Air is hushed and whispering
The monologue of distress
Winds are lost in tinkering
Earths cringe in plaintive duress

Tiny birds seek sheltering
A cat - alert eyes widened
A child bows low whimpering
A mother's hopes seem muted

Linking to:
Real Toads - Celtic Quatrain

Shadowy Reflections

Leaves of yesterday
Reflections and shadows meet
Last sighs of Autumn

Linking to:
Shadow Shot Sunday 2

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Sign for a Science feature at the Melbourne Museum in 2010.

Wisdom needs knowledge
Tempered by understanding
And a gentle soul

Wisdom of foresight
Knowing when silence can speak
A wealth of feelings

Haiku Heights ~ Prompt ~ Wisdom

Church Wall in Black and White

Side wall of St Mark's Anglican Church, Dromana
Construction of the Neo-gothic-style St Mark's Anglican Church was commenced in 1892 and the first service was held in the church in April 1893. The church was constructed using rusticated limestone with red brick quoins and features rendered parapets at the gable end. 
St Mark's is the Mornington Peninsula's third oldest Anglican stone church and is only pre-dated by St John's in Sorrento (1874) and St Andrew's in Rye (1882).
Ref: Australian Heritage

Textures and shadows
Rigid lines and curving shapes
Sacred monochrome

Linking to Weekend in Black and White

Friday, June 15, 2012

Wintry Balnarring Beach

Moody winter skies at Balnarring beach

It may be so cold
It may seem grey and lonely
But it's beautiful

Linking to:
SkyWatch Friday

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Snakes Live Here Too!

Sign at Cranbourne Botanical Gardens

Beware sliding things
Pretty world but be careful
A place for sharing

Linking to Signs Signs

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Washing in the Mist

Colours in the mist
Like lost traces of living
Like unloved symbols

Connecting ideas
Freestyle imagination
Mist of allusion

Linking to:
Sensational Haiku Wednesday ~ Freestyle

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Captain James Logan-Bell and Beyond

A simple headstone at Sorrento cemetery on the southern end of the Mornington Peninsula,
but it signifies and leads to so much.

James Bell (founder of the famous Scottish printing house of Bell and Bain in 1831 and one of the oldest printing companies still operating in Scotland) was my father's Grand Father. My father's name is Captain James Logan-Bell , OBE MID, ASC, 1914 to 1922, Royal Horse Artillery, First Cavalry Division, BEF. who emigrated to Australia in 1924 and enroute met and fell in love with my Mother Ethel Lilian Shelley, private secretary the Caterer to the House of Lords, the De Vere Group of Hotels. They married and settled down in Melbourne and surrounding districts. I was born in 1935, an only son. Both now lie buried in the picturesque and historic pioneer cemetery in Sorrento, near where our Prime Minister Harold Holt mysteriously drowned at Cheviot beach on 16 December1967. I live with Merlyn my wife and younger Daughter Christina here at Carnegie, an attractive inner Melbourne suburb. Merlyn's family were pioneer miners, the Trembaths from St Just, Cornwall who originally settled in Bendigo at the time of the Victorian Gold Rush. Her Grand Father grew quite wealthy and established a stock broking business, his Grand Son Robert still practises with a family broking firm. 
Extract from HERE by James Logan-Bell, born in 1935, an only son.
More from him HERE

In 2007, the Liberal Party awarded this James (Jim) Logan-Bell a certificate of appreciation  
In recognition of more than ten years continuous service in an executive position for the Liberal Party in the Federal Electorate of Goldstein
He has been secretary of the Glen Huntly branch of the Liberal Party and Treasurer for the Victorian Snowsports Association.
He is keen on creating programmes representing opportunities for indigenous and low socio-economic communities to enjoy snowsports.
Perhaps the interest in indigenous welfare stemmed from his attendance of Wesley College, South Perth, Western Australia.
During the 1960s, the Methodist church had assumed responsibility for the Mogumber Mission at Moore River and two boys were provided with places as boarders at the school. Dean Collard and Trevor Holmes were the first Aboriginal students at Wesley College, some four decades after the opening.    Ref: HERE
There is a strong indigenous representation now at Wesley and scholarships are available for this group. 
Jim supplied a 1951 sketchbook for the Wesley archives. Is/was he an artist?
Mr Jim Logan-Bell's painting of a view from Prince Charles' Australian school, Timbertop, was presented to Charles and Diana at their wedding. SMH Nov 3, 1985
BEF = British Expeditionary Forces
ASC = Army Service Corps - before 1918; RASC after 1918
MID = Military Intelligence Detachment

Note the 15 years age difference between husband and wife.

Logan-Bell saga
Beacons in two distant worlds
Quiet achievers

Linking to: Taphophile Tragics


My Year 9 English students have just completed studying Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.
They were required to create character masks for an assessment oral.
One student decided to create a half mask representing Capulet.

Visiting Shakespeare
Connecting to his old world
Through the mask of time

Linking to:
Ruby Tuesday 2

Monday, June 11, 2012

Circus Colour

One of the many colourful features of a circus at Rosebud on Port Phillip Bay

Bold circus colours
Dazzling curious senses
Tempting the children

Linking to Mellow Yellow Monday

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Shadows of the Night

Shadows of the night
Lurking beauty after rain
Mysterious soul

Verandah and chair
An ordinary setting
Just a place called home

Linking to:
Shadow Shot Sunday 2
Haiku Heights ~ Prompt ~ Ordinary

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Wetlands in Black and White

Small wetlands in a reserve on Boundary Road, Dromana.

Ordinary space
No action or excitement
Just plants and water

A space for dreaming
Where grasses sway in the winds
Collecting secrets

Linking to:
Weekend in Black and White
Weekend Reflections
Haiku Heights ~ Prompt ~ Ordinary
Inspiring Photography

Friday, June 8, 2012

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Wacky Packs

Sign at a recent school book fair

Fun with younger books
Crazy titles in one pack
Bulk buy for reading

Linking to Signs Signs

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


A scene from a recent performance of Romeo and Juliet on my school stage.
A small troupe of actors visit the school, perform, and then answer questions about the play.

Universal theme
Romeo and Juliet
Love needs love to live

Linking to:
Sensational Haiku Wednesday - Universal

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Downward Pioneers

The Downward family - pioneers of settlement on the Mornington Peninsula - feature prominently at Mornington cemetery.
Yet only one seems to reveal some internet detail.
The first mail services to the Western Port side of the Mornington Peninsula did not commence until 1858. Prior to that mail was delivered by horseback to either Schnapper Point (Mornington), Dromana, Sorrento and Cape Schank. From 1857 a coach ran from Mooroduc to Sandy Point, bringing mail, but the first contract to deliver mail to the area began in 1863 when mail was delivered twice a week by horse back to Hastings from Schnapper Point. In 1866 this contract, awarded to Alfred Downward, was extended to Balnarring as well. 
- extract from Hastings District Heritage Study
Alfred Downward was a long standing member of Federal parliament.

Alfred lived at the large property of Redwood - so named because of the many redwood gums - Mornington.
Initially, he worked on his father's sheep farm at Balnarring. From 1874 he ran sheep on his own selection at Tubbar Rubba (also known as Tubbarubba, just outside Dromana, where a gold bearing reef was discovered in the 1870's but shafts were first struck 4 years earlier) and took a great interest in land settlement and development of the Peninsula.
In September 1895, Alfred was one of 13 shareholders forming the Tubbarubba Gold Mining Company.
(No significant finds were ever recorded!)
Member of Flinders and Kangerong shire council for 25 years, president 1890-1892; also councillor and president of Mornington shire.
These 3 shires covered the peninsula.
He was MLA for Mornington, representing the Country Party, from 1894 till 1929, just before his death in 1930.
In that time he held a range of impressive portfolios.
More details HERE!

Trove records a number of newspaper comments.
Alfred was the oldest member of the Legislative Assembly when he retired.
He was one of the largest landowners on the peninsula and was a leading sheep breeder.
His son Herbert (1880-1973) represented the Country Party for Mornington after Alfred's retirement.

In the mists of time
Some notable pioneers
Become elusive

Linking to:
Taphophile Tragics

Monday, June 4, 2012

Solar Powered Model

Little solar powered model created by Grade 6 students at my school.
(And it works!)
A number of creations are on display at the front of my school, but I only discovered them a few days ago!
I was amazed what the primary students can do!
The school is encouraging younger students to explore new ideas.

Solar energy
An invisible power
With stunning results

Linking to Mellow Yellow Monday

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Library Shadows

Morning shadows in my school library

Thoughts free to wander
Gathering a world of souls
Soft shadows of life

Linking to:
 Shadow Shot Sunday 2

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Young Footballers

A young team of footballers organising their game play before a Sunday morning match at Dromana oval.

Youthful football team
Organising game tactics
Adrenalin rush

Linking to Weekend in Black and White

Friday, June 1, 2012

Wintry Morning Sky

Wintry morning skies in Dromana

Chilled hush of dawn warmth
Wonder of winter dawning
Casket of secrets

Linking to:
SkyWatch Friday



A place of beauty in the Western Tiers


View near Blackwood Park Cottages, Mole Creek

New Landscapes

New Landscapes
New Worlds

Archive of Blog Quotes

  • A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken. ~James Dent
  • Autumn is an introspective season when stray thoughts of the mind dive into the mystique of the soul - Gemma Wiseman
  • Autumn is the bridesmaid of Summer and the flowergirl of Winter ~ Gemma Wiseman
  • Autumn whispers the tones of yesterday in a minor key ~ Gemma Wiseman
  • Love is born / With a dark and troubled face, / When hope is dead / And in the most unlikely place; / Love is born, / Love is always born. - Michael Leunig's Christmas Song Cycle "Southern Star"
  • Spring paints the stars of heaven in Earth colours ~ Gemma Wiseman
  • Summer sizzles with a sibilant hush / Broken by dreams of / Clinking ice ~ Gemma Wiseman
  • The object of a new year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul. - G.K. Chesterton
  • Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all. - Stanley Horowitz
  • Winter is the fire, simmering lonely in the soul ~ Gemma Wiseman
  • Winter is the shadow, the etching of the seasons in the mist ~ Gemma Wiseman

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