Monday, November 30, 2015

Expansion for Leopold

from w
Leopold is a suburb of Geelong with about 10,000 people and expanding from the sea to Connewarre lake. For a time it was a quiet area of new houses but no substantial shops. Now with the development at the entrance to the suburb it will surely grow quickly. However shopping isn't the only thing to do. I would like to see more community access building programs - for learning, for social functions, even for a modern church in Leopold!

Leopold’s Gateway Plaza to be five times bigger under $72 million redevelopment

Geelong Advertiser

Gateway Plaza is undergoing a $72 million redevelopment.
A BUNNINGS Warehouse and a Kmart store will anchor the major expansion now under way at Leopold’s Gateway Plaza.
Bunnings is scheduled to open in the middle of next year as part of the complex’s $72 million expansion and redevelopment which will also include discount supermarket Aldi. The major retailers will be joined by 40 new specialty stores opening in stage two of the redevelopment, due to be completed late next year.
The expanded shopping centre will be five times bigger than it currently is once stages one and two of the redevelopment are finished. Vicinity Centres senior fund manager Jason Ferris said the enlarged centre was planned to offer the right mix of retail and services for residents now and into the future. “With the addition of Bunnings Warehouse, Gateway Plaza Leopold will be the key shopping destination on the Bellarine Peninsula,” Mr Ferris said.
The new plaza will have an interactive water feature and a new parents’ room will include a secure toddler play area, several private nursing booths and a large baby change area.
There will also be a new alfresco eating area and casual dining precinct.
Vicinity Centres estimates that once completed, Gateway Plaza will generate at least 200 new jobs.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

At Point Lonsdale

from w

Two couples at Point Lonsdale

The day I made this sketch I wrote a story. Two couples in the picture. Three couples in the story. Fictional of course!  I posted this a few years ago, but perhaps I have different readers nowadays.

Paradise Point

The sea music pulses with my heart beat, but as we reach out for bliss we find that the grasp is foolish because we are flawed; then the hollowness comes again, inside us, like the threatening of nausea never resolved.

A damaged pine tree grows beside Beach Road at Paradise Point, ugly from the repeated loping, branches cut off square and awkward like flat plates. In front of the tree sit the elderly couple, and not far away a boy and girl curve into each other on the grass.

You and I sit up to a table, facing different directions. You look at the dreadful tree, try to draw the ugliness, and I stare at cloud shadows on the flawed grass before changing my focus to look seaward. I think of my widowed friend and the anguish when her husband went missing.

‘That’s where Mick leapt into the sea,’ you suddenly say, not unkindly, and you are reading my thoughts as you often do.

I watch the young couple in jeans and sports tops who seem to be oblivious to holiday families wandering below them on the narrow strip of sand. They are a self-absorbed couple just as we were once, not knowing that the knife-edge of experience will eventually change them. We once sang in the sunshine too.

The girl’s blonde hair touches his dark head and their sunglasses clink. His arm curls around her buttocks, massaging ownership. Because of the cool day, they wear warm clothes, but her sport stop is short exposing her freckled back. When the wind changes, a newspaper flutters on the grass then lifts in the air before falling again. The young man suddenly stands up and leaps towards a car. I hear her utter an angry obscenity as she runs after him.

I watch the elderly couple who face one another glumly as they sit up ramrod at a green pine table. A hat is clamped over her primped curly hair. She brushes crumbs from her pleated Fletcher Jones skirt and her feet are restless in her strappy white sandals. Her large white handbag is placed primly next to the woven plastic picnic basket. He wears a cap, giving him a jaunty Irish look but his mouth looks sour as he doodles on the table. When the wind changes, they pack up in a hurry and though she struggles with her walking stick, he does not lend a hand.

You and I do not talk at all after you say, ‘Go away. Go somewhere else. You are disturbing me.' Your gesture of irritation knocks a plastic bag of mandarins onto the grass. Two mandarins are eaten, their peel left drying. Seagulls swoop down then change their minds.

When I wander off and sit near two bent ti-trees in a hollow of darkness, I notice a tree split by a gale and when the branch is shorn from the trunk there is a dull red wound shaped like a human heart. I think of Mike’s widow and the three children, now adult, who are still confused. He had leapt when the police were closing in on him – after the scouts had spoken up.

The rains starts and we run for the car. Soon it will be teeming down, loud as a rapturous ovation after a performance.

It is not that Paradise is an illusion but that it is so transitory. Bliss can never be contained, captured, enclosed and held. As we look, Bliss moves like a bird across the water, gliding in an arc of beauty then it flies away beyond the Point.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

New library in Geelong

from w
For $48 million dollars the new library does look impressive but at first difficult to manoevre - walls of glass so which one is a door, what floor is this one, long way to walk to find a book.  Is it really suitable for people with shaky legs?  I only really had a look at the heritage centre sections. Another floor was admin, and the top floor was out of bounds except for the particular tours at 11 a.m. etc. Many colourful chairs to lounge in for reading or contemplation. I saw one young man seemingly fast asleep, his feet on the fine armrest. Actually there weren't many people inside, and it was already closing time by 5 p.m. so I used the stairs, not daring to go into a lift. I haven't tried the main entrance yet and the cafe, so I'll have to go again. At least I gave back my bookclub novel - finished it in a day and a half. McCall Smith about trains and lovers, not a bad read, but not memorable.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

An amazing little horse in Geelong

from w

Tiny miniature pony foal Jakarda Angel measured just 14 inches at birth

Breeder Lynda Wishart with Jakarda Angel who is unusually small for a miniature pony and stands at just 14 inches tall. Picture: Mitch Bear
GOOD things come in small packages, and little Jakarda Angel is living proof.
The week-old miniature pony foal measured just 14 inches tall at birth and is considered tiny, even for her breed.
Lynda Wishart has bred miniatures for 15 years and said she had never seen one so petite, with most foals averaging around 18 inches in height.
Jakarda Angel has a snooze on breeder Lynda Wishart. Picture: Mitch Bear
“Angel’s a miniature, but she’s a very small miniature — we’ve never seen one that small,” the Bannockburn breeder said.
“We don’t know why she’s so tiny because her parents are normal-size miniatures, but we walked out and there she was.
“Many small ponies are dwarfs and don’t live a long life, but she’s tiny and perfect.”

Thursday, November 19, 2015

New library for Geelong

from w
Opening tomorrow. Article written on Thursday in Addie.

Geelong’s spectacular new library. Picture: Emma Cross
GEELONG’S new $45.5 million library and heritage centre open its doors on Saturday with a program packed full of celebration in the weeks ahead.
Doors open Saturday and Sunday at 10am.
Join a tour which leaves on the half-hour, beginning at 10.30am.
Or explore the building yourself.
Meet the architects and hear the story behind the inspiration at 3pm at The High Ground.
Reptiles and human statues.
Science shows, story time, authors.
Green-screen fun, virtual reality experiences and lots more.
November 23
Pop-up tech talks
Lego Club
Author Gregory Day will discuss his novel Archipelago of Souls, 6.30-7.30pm
November 24
Create an e-book
Learn basic programming
Author Magda Szubanski will discuss her memoir Reckoning, 6.30-7.30pm.
November 25
Program a robot
Chris Judd with discuss his autobiography Inside, 6.00-7.00pm.
November 26
Learn to animate with Makey Makey kits
Edit photos
November 27
Relax and unwind with live music, 5.30-7.30pm.
Monday to Friday (ground and mezzanine) 8am-8pm (level one and two) 9am-8pm.
Saturday and Sunday, 10am-5pm.
The Geelong Regional Library Corporation CEO Patti Manolis said the library would be “a real landmark for the city, which people can be really proud of” with its multifunctional spaces providing space for everybody.
“We want everyone to come in and feel a sense of wonder and excitement,” she said. “We want them to see the boldness of the exterior reflected in the services we offer and the spaces inside and we want them to come in and explore the building fully and to find the spaces they really love,” she said.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Sitting on a park bench

from w
I had one photo of a man sitting on a park bench at Barwon Heads then I wondered how many pictures there are on the internet of people on park benches. There are heaps!  Here is my picture and a sampling. Of course there were a lot more cheerful ones too!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Pelicans at St Leonards

from w
As it was a sunny day we drove to St Leonards via Drysdale where we picked up some fish and chips for a picnic. The beach there isn't terrific, a bit stony in places and with a lot of seaweed. However I discovered a dozen or more pelicans near a fishing pier (waiting for their luck no doubt) who posed and barely moved as I took photos.