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)


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Winter Sales

This sign in Main Street Mornington was erected by the Mornington Chamber of Commerce.
Often, the chamber helps the shopkeepers to advertise.
This particular sign intrigued me.
It represents a headless mannequin with scarf and coat, but there seems to be an "almost face" in the background.
Amazing what reflecting glass can do.

Advertising ploys
Gimmicks to push sales targets
Always so tempting

Linking to:
Signs, Signs

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

G is for Globes

These globes form interesting lamps in Melbourne streets

A small globe of light
Awakens night colours
Magical streetscape

Linking to:
ABC Wednesday Round 11

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mornington's Griffeth Family

If you think that this looks very much like a garden bed with a central feature, then you are close to the story behind this family grave site.

Sited in Mornington Cemetery on the Mornington Peninsula, it represents generations of the Griffeth family.
The male family members were pioneers in the nursery business on the Mornington Peninsula.
Two Bays, at Two Bays Drive Somerville, was built by the Griffeth brothers in 1903-1904, about fourteen years after they had started a nursery on the property. 

Brothers Charles and George - the founders of this nursery - died of natural causes.

The death occurred at Moorooduc on Monday night of Mr. Charles Griffeth, managing director of Two Bays Nurseries and Orchard Co., Pty. Ltd. He was aged 81 years. Mr. Griffeth and his late brother, Mr. George Griffeth, were the founders of an extensive business of nurserymen and orchardists carried on at Somerville, Moorooduc, Nyah, and other places for many years. The brothers were born in the State of New York, U.S.A., and came to Australia more than 50 years ago. The business is now carried on at Moorooduc, the orchard comprising about 700 acres. Mr. Griffeth was a widower.
The Argus 7th November 1934. on Trove

But the Charles who carried on running the business suffered a quite different fate.

Councillor Charles Melbourne Griffeth, president of the Shire of Mornington and managing director of the Two Bays Nurseries, was found dead this afternoon in unusual circumstances. Councillor Griffeth left the nurseries at 10 o'clock this morning with the intention of going into Mornington. At 10 minutes to 3 o'clock his car was seen in the orchard, and the wire fence was down. Mr. Griffeth wai found lying dead under the car. Councillor Griffeth, who, aged 44 years, had apparently cranked the car while in gear, and had been crushed to death. He leaves a widow and two children. 
- The Argus 1st January 1932 on Trove
NOTE: Strangely, I missed seeing a plaque here for this Charles??? Yet he should be here with wife Leila.
But Australian Cemeteries records that Leila died at St Kilda, further north on Port Phillip Bay while Charles is buried here at this plot.
Yet St Kilda Cemetery records show no Leila Griffeth, in facts no Griffeths at all.

**And there is an eerie connection between the Two Bays property and 2 other tragic events on the peninsula.

Mrs James Firth died in tragic circumstances in February 1923.... Middle aged Mrs Firth was driving across Moorooduc Crossing at a moderate speed when she saw a train coming.... Certain that the car would be hit, she clambered into the back seat (according to a witness) and then jumped out of the car in blind terror. Ironically the car rolled out of harm’s way while Mrs Firth jumped right in front of the train. Trove shows that the incident was reported in the Argus as well as in newspapers in Brisbane, Rockhampton, Hobart and Perth.
Extract from Family Tree Circles

This incident was on the then property of Two Bays Nursery.

But there's more!
I posted the story of the drowning of footballers in Port Phillip Bay 21st May, 1892.
Ellen Firth's brother (brother-in-law?) John's 17 year old son James was among them.
My post was A Minister's Rocky Road - of Rev James Caldwell's involvement with this tragedy.

A fruitful lifestyle
Growing seeds of the future
Tragic connections

Linking to:
Taphophile Tragics

Monday, August 27, 2012

Old Mornington

The Mornington sign marks where the old Mornington station used to be and in the background is the familiar blue building of Peninsula Surf - a sporty clothing shop.
The Baxter to Mornington line opened in 1889 and closed in 1981.
In 1991, the line re-opened as a heritage railway, with two small differences.
The line began at Moorooduc and the new Mornington station was sited at Yuilles Road in Mornington.
(The old station site made way for shopping centre growth behind Main Street, Mornington.)
There is hope that restoration of the line to Baxter will be restored.

Old makes way for new
The useful becomes useless
But re-invented

Linking to:
Blue Monday

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Am I Still Yesterday?

Kite flying in the Rosebud Kite Festival held in March on the Mornington Peninsula each year.

Wings change tone and balance
When Summer colours find Autumn

Midway in life's journey
Yesterday's child finds the mirror

Linking to:
Carry on Tuesday ~ Midway in life's journey...- Dante
Poet's United ~ Poetry Pantry
dVerse ~ Open Link Night

Quiet Aliens

March each year is a time when the flying of kites is celebrated over Rosebud Beach on the Mornington Peninsula

Kite flying dramas
Spectacles of hushed flying
Like alien eyes

Linking to:
One Single Impression ~ Spectacles
Haiku Heights ~ Alien

Lacy Shadows

Early morning shadows at Centro, a Mornington mall

Lacy chair shadows
Gathered round a shadowed glow
Sweet morning magic

Linking to:
Shadow Shot Sunday 2

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Gentle Mist

There have been many cold misty mornings lately which unfold into glimpses of sun and then more rain.
Spring is so near but seems so far.

Wandering cold mists
Like restless veils of silence
Like some lost spirits

Linking to:
Weekend in Black and White

Friday, August 24, 2012

Lonely Grey Beach

A rainy view of the coastal walk by Dromana beach looking toward Mount Martha

A lonely landscape
Waiting for more grey weather
Sad clouds hanging low

Linking to:
SkyWatch Friday

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Beware Lightning!

I have not seen a sign like this before.
It is on the pillars of a tall tower structure at Cranbourne Botanical Gardens.
At the top of the tower you get views to the Dandenong Mountains and the valleys in between.

These are the stairs to the look out.
I did not climb the stairs.
I could appreciate the view from below.

Beware climbing heights
Hazard of a stunning view
Some stunning lightning

Linking to:
Signs, Signs

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

F is for Figures

Figures around the streets of Melbourne
The lady in gold was celebrating the tennis season.

Collection of souls
Some figures from yesterday
One breathing gold

Linking to:
ABC Wednesday Round 11

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Presence in a Cemetery

For this TT post, I decided to break away from my usual research indulgence and consider the whole "context" of one cemetery.
This is a view of Flinders Cemetery on the southern end of the Mornington Peninsula..
Each time I have wandered here, I have felt the trees add a distinct "Australian painting" presence.

The trees seem like grand mothers, gently nurturing the souls who rest here.

A soft, quiet place
Where the white boughs of Nature
Are the earth angels

Linking to:
Taphophile Tragics

Monday, August 20, 2012

Blue and White

Blue striped boat shed on Dromana beach.

Bold lined boat shed
Reflects the blue of the sea
Even on grey days

Linking to:
Blue Monday

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Two Faces of Summer

I was let out for a couple of hours today to enjoy a grey beach, grey waters and a grey sky in Dromana.
Even a lone seagull couldn't muster much height, fearing another icy deluge was imminent.

When tied and gagged in Winter's freezer for
Endless, bleak, misty days
We hope for some wayward sylph from Mother Nature to
Saunter by and
Move the door

We hope for more than
(The pretty time)

We want Summer


According to SOS
(Stereotypes of Summer - published by the Utopian Dictionary Press)
Summer spells:
Swimmming refreshing blue seas ~ real or metaphorical
Unifying body and spirit with the balm of holiday happiness
Mellowing ~ the mind
Massaging ~ the body into

The other dystopian dictionary would have us believe
(If I can vaguely remember):
Sizzling sunburn ~ of earth and flesh
Unsightly plague of pesky flies
Manipulating ~ the patience
Masticating ~ the temper into
Regret that we ever chose Summer as our dream season

But I lost that dictionary
Somewhere in the pile of melancholic leaves
I raked up
Last Autumn

Linking to:
dVerse Poetics ~ Summer-y; Dog Days/Zucchini

Touring Grass

Car parked on the main street of Dromana
Apparently there are a few cars round the world that have embarked on this grass idea.
Some are covered in "astroturf" and some have real grass plus sod!!!!
Check out the range of oddities HERE!

A pseudo grass car
Borrowed Nature's green ideas
Plastic invention

Plastic surfacing
Dubious tenacity
Mother Nature shrugs

P.S. Just had a terrible thought.
Imagine this vehicle coming toward you by night - with headlights on.
You may begin to believe that the green-eyed monster was actually all green and very real!!!

Linking to:
Haiku Heights ~ Green

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Morning Reflections

Small waterway at Mornington

Shivering tones in
Sultry morning reflections
Like a stream of tears

Linking to:
Weekend Reflections

Friday, August 17, 2012

My Wall

Scratchy network of discordant shadows
Like yesterday's bones bathing in new lights
Nature's stark mural of fleshless hollows
Reaching for semblance of credible heights
My patchy tangles from cold listless nights
Like echoing moans churning in some sea
Of desert wasteland flung far from your sites
While I pale on walls of eternity

NOTE - This is my second attempt at a huitain.
(My first attempt was A Monk's Tale for Real Toads.)
It is a poem in a single Ballade stanza.
The verse form was most popular in the 16th century and was often used for epigrams in the 18th century. One source suggests the huitain may have begun in Spain.
The basic layout is:
Line length: 8 (French) or 10 (English) syllables
Rhyme scheme: ababbcbc
Number of lines: 8

**No websites seem to explore the association with death as an "undertow" theme in the huitain,  even though I have observed that many old examples of huitain seem to do this!
I have not noted this as a feature on my dVerse post, but I have acknowledged this theme's presence in both my huitain by suggesting the death of some old life.

Linking to:
 FormForAll - Huitain - Gemma Wiseman - My post on dVerse
Shadow Shot Sunday 2

Is it almost Spring?

Awakening Spring skies in my Dromana beach world looking toward Dromana pier

The world of the beach
Each season offers new light
Always enchanting

Linking to:
SkyWatch Friday

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Rubbish Art

Not often does a rubbish sign fascinate and amuse me, but this one does.
The sign is on a bin at school in the main staffroom.
A partially eaten pie?????
It even includes a yoghurt cartoon symbol!

Art of rubbish
Some foods and food packaging
Our waste can be sad

Linking to:
Signs, Signs

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Timothy Ryan Noble

Timothy Ryan Noble's grave may be sited at Sorrento Cemetery on the far south of the Mornington Peninsula, but his tragic car accident, on 21st November 1998, occurred at Frankston, the northern gateway to the peninsula.

His sister Skye gave a presentation to the Teenagers Road Accident Group.
She explained that in total there were 8 boys in the car, 2 in the front, 4 along the back seat and 2 in the luggage compartment.
It was an accident waiting to happen.
And it did.
3 of the boys were killed, one being her brother.

All boys were in the final stages of Year 11 at The Peninsula School.
The driver was an unlicensed 17 year old.

Details of Skye's presentation are HERE!
Richard Jones, also a passenger in the car, gave another presentation to the Teenagers Road Accident Group - HERE!

The Peninsula School now has a Memorial Scholarship to honour the memory of the students killed.
Details HERE!

Media of the day presented many perspectives of this tragedy.
One article HERE gives an insight into all boys involved - including the driver Gene Thomas.

But perhaps the most poignant story emerged in The Age 12 years later - August 10, 2010.
Finally, the son of The Peninsula School's principal in 1998 gave a little of his story.
David Hille travelled in this same car, but walked away from the wreckage unscathed - at least physically.
About a year after the accident, he was drafted into the Essendon football club.
He became an icon there, using sport as a release from his private tragedies - losing friends in a car accident and losing his mother to depression and eventual suicide.
Sport has always been the undercurrent, the support mechanism, that has kept me going. 

I chose today to tell this tragic story of teenagers because now begins a crazy cycle till the end of November.
 Senior students embark on deb balls and formals (our school had one last weekend) and valedictory dinners before the final exams; before that big step into the big wide world.
And in that time frame they seem to get licences.
And in that time, accidents seem to happen.

If just one teenager reads this post, explores the links, looks at lingering consequences of avoidable crazy driving situations, and then makes wise driving decisions, this post has been worthwhile.
I so hope!

May you drive with care
May you remember loved ones
Don't leave them with pain

Linking to:
Taphophile Tragics

Monday, August 13, 2012

Bayview Blue

Bayview Motel is at Rosebud with views of Port Philluip Bay and right near Rosebud beach.
Not surprisingly, the sign is dominated by blue!

Opposite the beach
Where blues mean seaside pleasures
Sign of temptation

Linking to:
Blue Monday

Sunday, August 12, 2012


A billowing flag
Symbol of a country's soul
Sign of inner pride

Linking to:
Haiku Heights ~ Soul

Fireplace Shadows

This feature stands to the side of our fireplace.
The basket usually holds twigs for kindling.
But the base is a very special pot.
My aunt collected small instruments used in her first years of nursing and fixed them to this pot.
They are linked together with a pearl necklace worn by her sister who died of diabetes at the age of 21.
Then she sprayed it all in gold.
An unusual idea that I treasure!
The final product is about 60 years old!

Pot and basket
Quite ordinary objects
Revitalised life

Linking to:
Shadow Shot Sunday 2

Saturday, August 11, 2012


When there's days of rain, it's easy to find some puddle reflections.
This one was taken in Dromana Hub carpark.

Puddle reflections
Strange views of reality
Converted landscapes 

Linking to:
Weekend Reflections

Friday, August 10, 2012

Low Light

Morning skies near the "red garden" at the Cranbourne Botanical Gardens

Low bundles of cloud
Like cumbrous burdens of light
Like darkening moods

 Linking to:
SkyWatch Friday

Thursday, August 9, 2012


Last Christmas holidays I travelled into Melbourne for the day.
This sign was one of many, inviting people to some special exhibition.
I loved how this particular sign invented a new word - "brickvention".

Lego is for all
An old creative building game
And still popular

Linking to:
Signs, Signs

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


I am departing from the usual rule of posting my own photos - except for picture prompts.
This is a photo (not mine) of my son Scott at Ecuador.
He has just begun the ride of his life - for 5 months.
(He is currently up to Day 5 of riding.)

Quote from his blog post Friday 29th June:
The ride involves riding my mountain bike 11,000km alongside, on and crossing the Andes mountains in South America. Riding south from Quito Ecuador at the equator, to Ushuaia Argentina. Ushuaia being just about as far south as you can get before going for a chilly swim to Antarctica. 

Yes, I am worried, but I am also very proud of his inner strength and courage, daring to challenge his body, mind and spirit.
And he does it all with a purpose in mind.
He is raising funds for the Kids' Cancer Project.
If you have time, I would so love you to check out his blog and maybe leave an encouraging comment.
And if you have a little more time, maybe insert his widget (on his blog's right sidebar) so you can keep pace with his posts of this amazing journey.

Courage means daring
Daring to push barriers

Courage means dreams
Convert to reality
Living inner strength

Linking to:
Sensational Haiku Wednesday

D is for Design

Design features around Melbourne

Touch of magic style
Touch of dream and fantasy
Some urban landscape

Linking to:
ABC Wednesday Round 11

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

WARNING! Tangled Stories from the Grave!

Always an unusual grave feature attracts my interest, and then I go exploring the details.
This feature is at Mornington Cemetery on Port Phillip Bay.

And here is the full grave site view from 2 perspectives.
It looks like some pedestal marker.

This is the grave of James Dawson Kerr, who died in 1880 and his wife Jane.

And the intrigue begins.

Details from the Kerr clan family tree
James Dawson KERR
O: Farmer, Developer, Foundry
B: 1819 or 1827/29 Scotland Glasgow Lanark Scotland
M: 28/6/1846 @ Bridgeton P: 622 Barony Glasgow Lanark Parish 622
D: 28/4/1880 (yet grave says 20th April)
C: Mornington Cemetry Emigrated to Australia in 1851 -1854??
R: Built 12-14 Simpson St East Melbourne in 1873 then maybe Snapper Point Mornington before death?? Owned Land In Mornington
Notes: Children - Adopted son John Kerr

John KERR Farmer – Tarrawingee NE Vic
B: 1858 Glasgow Scotland Adopted From Another Kerr WHO?
M: 1884 Rego: 6905 P:
 D: 1932 C:
 R: Built Bella Vista ? Esplanade Snapper Point Mornington, Then moved to 12-14 Simpson St East Melbourne (Fathers Home)
Notes: Children - James Dawson Jnr, John Leslie, Rudolph Morier, Malcolm Edgar, Donald Wallace, Jane Morier Jnr, Ada Amelia, George York, Malcolm Edgar, Lilian, Grace Rudolph Morier, Septimus William, Colin Harold

The Argus, Melbourne 17th December 1892 (Trove)
On the 14th inst at Bella Vista Mornington, Jane relict? of the late James Dawson Kerr (late of Robison Bros), aged 69 years

1. Another website (HERE) says:
Bella Vista was built in 1889 for John Kerr a farmer from Tarrawingee (North East Victoria)...It is thought Kerr lived here around 1898.
So Jane dies in her adopted son's home?
(Comment - It seems odd that a farmer from north-east Victoria toddles down to build a house at Mornington on The Esplanade overlooking Port Phillip Bay then moves into his father's Melbourne house!
In 1861, he was still judging a ploughing match at Tarrawingee. - Trove
In 1890 John Kerr was listed as being from Tarrawingee when he sold 123 fat lambs at Melbourne markets. - Trove
Did he build it for his father as a holiday home?
Many homes built on The Esplanade at Mornington were holiday homes for the 19th century Melbourne elite.
And Tarrawingee, in Victoria's High Country and just south of Beechworth, was part of the Ned Kelly gang country in the late 1870's!!!)

2. Robison Bros is the oldest surviving engineering and metalwork business in Victoria.
It was established in 1854.
Robison Bros were the pioneers of the centrifugal pump in Australia.
Their first pump was built in 1874.
(Ref: 100 Years of Engineering in Victoria)
Jane's death notice suggests that hubby James Dawson Kerr was an important figurehead in the evolving of Melbourne rather than Mornington.

And mysterious stories continue in this family...

James Dawson Kerr, clerk in the Statistician's office, committed suicide at his residence, 12 Simpson Street, East Melbourne to-day, by cutting his throat with a razor. The deceased, who was only 25years of age, was of a particularly ambitious and studious disposition. He filled in his spare hours preparing himself for a university degree, and overstudy is said to be chiefly responsible for his fate. Sometime ago he left his home to reside in Carlton in order that he might secure in absolute quiet. Yesterday he returned home and it was at once noticed that he seemed peculiar. A doctor was called in, and he decided that it would be well to keep the young man from his studies for a while. He was kept under constant watch, and not once during the night was he lost sight of. At about 9 o'clock this morning he went into his room, and his father followed him. From that he passed to another room, and his father hesitated in following him for a minute or two, fearing he would make the lad unnecessarily un easy. When he went to the room it was to find his son falling to the floor with a gash in the throat. Ref: Trove -  The Advertiser (South Australia) - 23rd. July 1910

Many tangled webs
The intrigue of old stories
Lives with deep secrets

Linking to:
Taphophile Tragics

Monday, August 6, 2012

Sunny Curbs

The yellow borders in the Dromana Hub shopping centre carpark seem to glow on grey days.

Ordinary curbs
Like radiant rings of sun
Some light on grey days

Linking to:
Mellow Yellow Monday

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Small But Big

Holiday units overlooking Port Phillip Bay on the Mornington Peninsula

Perhaps they're quite small
But units with grand views
Are worth the tight space

Linking to:
Shadow Shot Sunday 2

Saturday, August 4, 2012

I once was a tree...

Reflections in the wetland area at Moonlit Sanctuary, Pearcedale

I once was a tree
Tall, proud, a sense of purpose
I do remember

Linking to:
Weekend Reflections

Friday, August 3, 2012

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Beetles for Breakfast!

This sign is at Cranbourne Botanical Gardens.
I love how a serious message is presented in a funny way.
The Southern Brown Bandicoot is an endangered species of bandicoot.
More information HERE!

Little bandicoot
Some think it looks like a rat
But it's just so cute

Linking to:
Signs, Signs

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


At first, this seems to be just a view through a doorway.
But then the door opens outwards.
And there's an odd, free standing frame.
Actually, there are many frames, like a half complete house, right in the middle of a garden.
Each one offers different perspectives of the Cranbourne Botanical Gardens.
Great for photography!

Connecting ideas
Where indoor becomes outdoor
Creative talent

Linking to:
Haiku Wednesday - Talent

C is for Clock

Clock at Melbourne Central

Clock for all seasons
Some time hangs in the balance
Some time for living

Linking to:
ABC Wednesday Round 11



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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