Is it a weed? Is it art?

Morning Glory vines and graffiti provoke complex reactions. Both can be beautiful but, as a gardener might put it, ‘in the wrong place can be invasive.’ It seems both favour ‘disturbed ground’, and our local building site is proof. Here is what it looked like early one morning; as its name suggests, Morning Glory is not an afternoon person.

Morning Glory

This chimney launched a thousand picture frames

The worst summer job I had was stuffing pillows in a factory.  The sight of a pillow still gives me a shudder and a sleepless night.  I am, however, extremely glad that Melbourne is still full of factories that make things.  There is a factory in Fairfield that makes wooden mouldings for, amongst other things, picture frames.  Here is what it looks like.  For this picture I used Michael Harding oil paints.  They are gob-smackingly good – like a tube of sunshine.



Holidays are for restoring faith in human nature

A large city offers a cornucopia of ways to lose faith in human nature.  Queueing for just about anything, driving in heavy traffic, or competing for the last seat on the train, to take a few examples, seem to bring out the reptile brain and people are often stupendously, disproportionately snarky to one another.  But at the beach on New Year’s Eve, everyone was happy and kind; it was crowded but no one bumped into anyone.  The people simply were better than usual.

Here is what it looked like (to keep things simple I did not paint every person on the beach – apologies to all whom I deleted).


New Years 2

New Year’s Eve

We went to the beach on New Year’s Eve.  The surf livesaving flags were very festive against the water, but (how to put this) not the most exciting subject for a picture.  Then this happy little girl ran up and made my day.

New Year's Eve

Burke and Wills at Collins and Swanston

Burke and Wills left what is now suburban Melbourne, walked all the way to the top of Australia and died on the way back.  It was in some ways the ultimate killer commute.  There is a statute of them that has moved around Melbourne over the years.  It was most recently on the corner of Collins and Swanston, but is now in storage whilst the new Town Hall train station is being built.  Here is what it looked like.

Burke and Wills

Saturday night at the beach

Nothing has ever been better than childhood Saturday nights at the beach.  A bit cold, a lot wet and salty, a whole night of TV waiting at home, and no school the next day.  I always knew it was time to go home when the ferry went past with its lights on.  It was called the Tom Thumb III and it is still doing it, as it has most nights since 1949.

Tom Thumb III