Garden meets seaside Sorrento. Beautiful succulents, Eco shop and recycled metals.
Idyllic bathing huts – Dromana – relax and reflect.
It always amuses us that when we go on holiday we are drawn to the historical aspects of the city or place we are visiting. As we drove through Ned Kelly country on our way here to a Canberra, we often discuss the places such as Glenrowan and their significance for our cultural heritage. Of course, when in Canberra a must see for Australians and overseas tourists alike, are the old and new Parliament Houses. They are icons of our identity.
Set parallel to one another and only 300 metres walking distance apart, the two Houses are indeed worlds apart, both in architecture and modern significance.
I can’t really say which one I preferred. New Parliament House circa 1988, is certainly modern and thrust into the 21st Century with its bright and colourful chambers and glass and steel facade. However, what caught my eye in both Houses we the similarities in light fixtures. It is as though one looks back to the past for inspiration and knowledge whilst the other seeks to find innovation and foresight. Both “light” our democratic paths.
Indeed, both venues balance the old and the new and are tributes to the men and women who guide and led our nation in peace and in war; in times of great social change, political upheaval and national pride.
Let us now remember to see the past as an investment in our future and see our future as a beacon of hope and enlightenment.
Our winter school term has just ended and we have made the seven hour drive up to Canberra to meet up with Daughter Number Two and her husband. No, it can’t be compared to Florence, however, since Canberra celebrates its Centenary as our capital, we have come to see its yearly tulip festival, Floriade and some its culture as well.
Last September we were fortunate to take a school trip group to Italy. Travelling through Rome, Siena, Verona, Turin, Milan and Florence, we experienced a memorable time together. One year on, our thoughts turn to that remarkable excursion. I guess it has something to do with the fact that we are coming out of winter and the weather is not dissimilar to the beautiful weather we also experienced in Italy.
The marvel that is Florence cannot be compared to any other place in the world. It is a man made splendour. Whilst in Canberra we hope to visit some lesser forms of man made art, however, for today we turn to the splendour that is nature in Spring – a celebration of floral splendour and time with family.
We enjoyed a perfect sunny day, basking in the glory of tulips in full bloom. While our thoughts may return to the memories of Italy, we revel in our present time together. How do you keep your memories alive?
Father’s Day at a heritage listed mansion, Rippon Lea, built in1867 yielded its many treasures both inside and out. If you’re looking to upgrade your garden feature any time soon, here are my top ten suggestions
To top it all off, a tower from which to view your vast garden empire!
I think I overshot my photos to twelve top garden must have’s.
We had a lovely day sitting in the sun – our first warm day and just in time for spring. Happy Father’s Day Dennis!
As we continued our stay with Daughter Number Two in Sydney, we spent the day walking around the city. Our intention was to visit the State Library as I had heard of an interesting photographic exhibition.
One must appreciate that Sydney was the first settlement in Australia with the First Fleet landing in Circular Quay in 1788. Sixty odd years later gold was discovered in “them there hills”. This
led to a building boom in what was to become the leading city of the vast area known as New South Wales. Similar events in Victoria led to Melbourne also being “build on gold”. So when I heard of an historically rich photographic exhibition featuring gold miners, their families and their lodgings I was intrigued.
These photographs are reproductions of the original glass plates featuring images of life in the goldfields of New South Wales and Victoria. These plates were found in a garden shed fifty years ago and only after much time and money, resurrected to their original forms. They are quite extraordinary.
It would have been a harsh and unforgiving existence. The women bore numerous children who often did not survive disease nor the poor sanitation of the time. I love their long dark gowns, their stern expressions and their children’s wondrous looks.
It was a wonderful end to a great weekend. I think how fortunate we are to live in our technology rich times but still do marvel at the ingenuity, the resourcefulness of that time. Incidentally, the Holtermann nugget, pictured below was not the great legacy left by this prospector. Instead, it was the commissioning of photographers Merlin and Baylis from the American and Australian Photographic Company which is our greatest treasure. These photographs chronicle an important time in our history – the discovery of gold and the harsh life this entailed. We are richer for these photographs.
We have come to the end of our Italian journey. However, before we say good bye to Italy, for this time, a comment or two must be made about the last two cities we visited – Milano and Torino. The purpose in taking the group to these cities was as diverse as the cities themselves. Turin saw our school pilgrimage come full circle while Milan became the pinnacle of consumer decadence and artistic grandeur.
Turin is a beautiful city. The pedestrian promenades are lined with exclusive shops but really this is not why one comes to Turin. For without the rich baroque architecture and the dynamic piazzas, Turin would be another soulless sprawling city, peddling its labels. Visiting the Reale Palazzo – entry gratis – the home of the Savoia family, one can understand why the revolutions of the mid 19th century occurred. It is grand indulgence, grand decadence and grand opulence outdoing itself in every grand room. From the immense crystal chandeliers, I counted at least twenty, to the museum and trophy room where the spoils of the hunt are immortalized alongside the fine embalmed horses in full galloping gait preserves a glimpse of a dynasty and points in history long gone. A spectacle which one must see if visiting Turin.
Next door and just beyond the gates of the palazzo is the small chapel of Saint Lorenzo. This heavy, dark place of worship contains a replica of the shroud of Turin. Certainly there has been much debate as to the original’s authenticity, however, carbon dating in the 1990’s apparently revealed it was of the 12th C. Nevertheless, it, and the adjoining displays of crucifixion torture, are equally indicative of a cruel time as well as being an icon for faith.
Speaking of which, our young travelers had predominantly come to Turin to visit the Casa De Madre of the Salesian Order, Valdocco. We spent most of the morning here learning about the work of Don Bosco and his legacy, that of educating the person through a charism of faith and kindness. Our students were really able to appreciate the vastness of his mission and indeed witnessed a practice Mass at the Basillica for future missionaries. Milan, is a different story and worthy of its own post.
Check out, Caffe Torino images!