Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Farewell Bec

from w
There are heroes that are famous people, and in Geelong, it usually is about sport, but also there are heroes that are courageous people who live with grace and humour no matter the kicks that life gives them. Such a person was Rebecca (Bec) Carter who died aged 31 this week. What a wonderful girl she has been, an inspiration. Many days we do see people who are confronted with tragedy or really bad health issues, and we admire them because of their courage.

from the Geelong Advertiser:
Farewell brave Bec

| August 27th, 2011

BEC Carter was a medical one-off but to family, friends and almost the entire Geelong community, it was her magical, positive personality that was the real one-off. The Lara resident was born with a congenital disease so rare it was named after her.

She spent many months at Geelong Hospital, with a liver transplant and heart, stomach and hip surgery though she was always positive and selflessly concerned for others.

On Thursday afternoon, at age 31, she passed away at peace with her extra-ordinary life.

Her father Graham said to know Bec was to love her. "She had an amazing personality, she was bright and bubbly and outgoing," he said. "Bec you were an inspiration to all those who knew you. You endured more in your life then anyone should have to. You were a true fighter right to the end. Thanks for all the memories. GO CATS!!"

"She always thought about others. When she was waiting for a liver transplant she was given 24 hours to live. A donor became available and she said 'But what if someone needs it more than I do?'

"We were very proud of her. She was an inspiration, she touched that many people I don't think she even realised herself how many."

Mr Carter said despite the happy face, his only child had never lived a day without pain, and in the end she was exhausted. "A good day for Bec would be a crappy day for anyone else. She had gone through a lot of terrible things and we tended to think she would just keep going but she was tired," he said.

Described as one of the Geelong Football Club's biggest fans, Bec struck up a warm friendship with Cats onballer Joel Corey after he visited her in hospital about five years ago. A regular visitor to the Carter home, Corey often referred to Bec as his 'inspiration' in player profiles. At the request of her family, the Cats onballer, who has already been ruled out of today's game against Sydney, visited Bec in her final hours and was too emotional to speak to the Geelong Advertiser yesterday.

Bec's love of the Cats was on full display recently when she moved into her specially-designed house, revealing to friends and family at her housewarming a blue and white bedroom.

Seeing her parents in their own home was on her list of accomplishments, worried that her medical bills would rob them of the Australian dream.

And a surprise visit from packaging company tne owners Alf and Nadia Taylor on the television show Secret Millionaire in 2010 saw it turn to reality. Mrs Taylor described their ongoing friendship with the Carters a privilege. "Fond and loving memories we will always have of (Bec), her big smile, her infectious magnetic personality, her cheering of her favourite team," Mrs Taylor said. "(Her) amazing zest for life will always be with us."

Also on her list was a Cats premiership.

Friend and former club president Frank Costa said Bec was one of the true believers who had retained faith in the Cats during the pre-2007 premiership drought. He believed her fervent support of the team had kept her going through many tough times. "She lit Geelong Hospital up, the place used to buzz and everyone loved her," Mr Costa said. "She was a real example of leading a full and happy life and not worrying about the little things. She will be sorely missed but her memory will live on." Mr Costa said the team would be thinking of Bec during today's game, while she will be cheering louder than ever from above.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A red kelpie

from w
One of my favourites of the canines is the red kelpie. One of my brothers raised them, some of our farmer friends in the Mallee bred them. They are fine, intelligent, hard-working farm dogs. Well, tonight Peceli and I went to the movies to see 'Red Dog' and it was a captivating film, very Australian, and surprising to see a mining town celebrated by the story of a dog! I wonder how many kelpies they used to make this film because the dog certainly was the star. A great story from a novel by a fine writer, de Berniers.

Here is one review from a West Australian paper.

Red Dog (PG) 4 stars

Koko the dog, Josh Lucas, Rachael Taylor, Luke Ford, Noah Taylor

Director: Kriv Stenders

You'll like this if you liked The Black Stallion, The Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, Amelie, Ratatouille, Marley and Me.

Early on in this adaptation of Louis de Bernieres 1970s-set novel celebrating the life and times of the famed four- legged Pilbara traveller there's a wonderfully droll exchange that nails the appeal of Red Dog - and, more importantly, captures the magic of this deceptively canny, visually striking movie.

A truckie named Thomas (played by Luke Ford) who has just rolled into Dampier is stunned to find the community distraught over a dying dog in the back of a pub. He's not just any dog, the publican named Jack says, he's Red Dog, "probably the most famous dog in all of Australia".

Thomas, thinking he's heard of Red Dog, asks if he was the one who warned about the fire or the one who saved a child's life. But Noah Taylor's Jack snaps: "No, no, no: you're looking at it all wrong. It's not what he did. It's who he was . . . is, I mean."

In other words, Red Dog has passed into WA folklore not because he performed extraordinary feats.

Indeed, his legendary travels, which are said to have taken him as far south as Cottesloe beach and as far north as Japan, are as much a product of liquored-up imaginations and tall-tale telling as eyewitness accounts.
Rather, the itinerant red cloud kelpie was cherished by the Pilbara community during the first WA mining boom, said the filmmakers, because everyone he encountered projected on to the feisty, stubborn son-of-a-bitch their own determination to survive in unbelievably harsh conditions. He symbolised their oddball situation and their scrappy natures.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Outdoor art in Whittington

from w
One part of Geelong, not noted for its high-class art environment as it's a suburb which people put down, however, has an excellent garden space with sculptures by Aboriginal artists, mainly wooden poles. Here are some of the work.

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

The shock of the Block auction

four cottages in Richmond, Melbourne before the renovation.
from w
It's hardly a laugh a minute program - one of the 'reality' programs, but 'The Block' has been a popular TV program, this time involving the renovation of four adjacent very small houses in a street in Richmond, a Melbourne suburb, once thriving with factories and cottages and mansions. My grandmother, Francis Hillman was a child in a cottage like one of these when her father was a tailor in Flinders Lane in the 1880s. Hardly the kind of house-block I would like but Richmond is an interesting suburb with excellent Chinese/Vietnamese cafes and shops and the kind of old mansions that look as if they have secrets inside.

Okay, the auction. Well, this was a laugh a minute, with the reserve prices about $850,000 and more and hardly a murmur of a bid. How crazy - these little houses with no car ports and no sense of community identity - well, there goes the neighbourhood I suppose - each for his own. With the cost of the renovation, there's NO profit to be made as THREE of the four houses did not get the right bids and were passed in. That makes the program a bit of a fizzer. As was said on the Geelong radio this morning - Bay FM - you could do a program in Geelong for a quarter of the cost! We do not have tiny houses for $900,000 here!

Meanwhile some Melbourne owners of property in Geelong seem intent on wrecking what we have here. One fine restaurant has to close because the owner puts up the rent 15% thinking an old bluestone building not too far from the waterfront is so great! A supermarket in Whittington was closed not long ago because the Melbourne owner put up the rent too high for the supermarket to continue. Money matters have taken over from human values it seems.
some comments from the media before the auction:

THE production company behind Channel 9's DIY renovation hit, The Block, is set to take a financial hit from the sale of the show's houses. The four properties in Cameron St, Richmond, will be auctioned on August 20, with agents quoting $800,000 to $880,000 for the three single-fronted residences. The double-fronted property renovated by Melbourne's Josh and Jenna is being advertised for $900,000 to $990,000.

Watercress Productions paid about $950,000 each for the dilapidated Victorian and Edwardian houses, including stamp duty.

The four couples have each spent more than $100,000 renovating the properties, though that fails to take into account the second storey added to the single-fronted houses, which would have cost upwards of $200,000, pushing their cost to around $1.25 million each.

Advantage Property Consulting's Frank Valentic said that once holding costs were taken into account, each house would need to raise between $1.3 million and $1.4 million to break even.

"There is no way they are worth that," Mr Valentic said. "It's definitely not what I would call a profitable renovation syndicate. But Channel 9 has paid a premium for their TV ratings."

Biggin Scott Richmond director Russell Cambridge, who is selling Polly and Waz's property at 37 Cameron St, said Watercress paid above the market rate to secure four properties side by side in fashionable Richmond.

"An inflated purchase price was paid to get all four properties in a row," he said.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Breakwater bridge too far away

from w
The huge undertaking to build a new bridge at Breakwater is going well and now part of the new bridge spans the Barwon River. The new bridge will be a fine landmark for Geelong. Peceli and I went for a walk along the river to see the progress and also to stroll onto Peceli's golf course - Barwon Valley which lost a bit of land with the bridge project. The fairways are green and lovely, not like in the drought years.


Saturday, August 13, 2011

late autumn leaves

from w
Sometimes when I'm doing my exercise walk - or on an errand to help someone with a computer problem, I pick up leaves and feathers and small things on the footpath, a habit from childhood. This time I put some on the scanner and then made some images. No titles though they started off as almost dead leaves from a tree that occasionally bears lovely fruit - locuts I think.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Geelong is multicultural and that's good

from w
Away from the mayhem of other cities in the world, Geelong is a peaceful city that celebrates diversity and this morning the City Council launches an action plan as a multicultural city with many guests from ethnic groups, religious leaders, interfaith people, Diversitat and as prime guest, Ted Baillieu with hordes of huge cameras hogging the spaces for a short time. Here are some photos I took this morning such as signing a mandala, a hip-hop group Agaist Racism, international students, and so on. Peceli, Jordan our grandson and I went to the gig.

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You fill up my senses

from w
Well, Tuesday night here was Census night and we filled in our form on-line for eight people. The questions were mainly about jobs, money, nothing really about are we happy or not, do we feel safe, how do we feel about our neighbourhood, do we think robbery is by baseball bats or by the stroke of a pen. Rather lame really and mostly stuff that already is known by the bureaucrats in the government departments.


Tuesday, August 09, 2011

music and symmetry

from w
I was trying to get out of housework so cut up and tore up some coloured pages from a magazine plus a page of old music, Bach I think. Two collages and I found a photo of a man playing the piano. I was thinking of symmetry in music and how music has various moods, dark, soft, mysterious, so made a few images using Picasa and by overlapping images. The rest of the family didn't appreciate the results. Okay.

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Monday, August 08, 2011

Connewarre Lake

from w
Occasionally we go for a drive down a road never explored by us before. The other day we drove towards Connewarre Lake from the Leopold side past farms with huge pine trees, tenderly nurtured gardens, green fields. The lake was still and serene and the council had made some kind of carpark but really the place could be landscaped and be an excellent spot for picnics and for fishing - instead of pouring money into the CBD of Geelong with its empty shops and junk for sale on most streets.

Lake Connewarre was once the place for Aboriginal settlements as there were fish, mussels, birds, plenty of food resources. Alas, along came the settlers two hundred years ago who took the land away from them, and for much of the edge of Lake Connewarre there is no access for the general public.


Friday, August 05, 2011

Emerging buds

from w
When we dutifully care for plants they may not bloom well but then we forget about them and they just get on with it. Some recent emerging blooms near the back door. Some kind of orchids that my son planted.