Thursday, January 30, 2014

A drive to Queenscliff

from w
While Peceli and I had a refreshing drive to Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale today, our daughter-in-law magically transformed our house into a tidy place as good as a hotel. Even shifted MY piano! We had fish and chips from Tridant and then coffee down near the ferry terminal. Not hot today. One photo is of a building for lease - a place where my father George and his brothers and sisters spent many summer holidays - by ferry from Melbourne I presume. This was about a hundred years ago! We are so fortunate to live in Geelong as there are hundreds of places that are excellent for a drive and picnic.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Give us the money, demands Darryn

from w
Good on your Darryn.  Far too much development - over-development in Melbourne - and the rural cities and towns need a hand up.

Mayor demands $25 million from State Government for a Yarra St Pier

Mayor Darryn Lyons' campaign poster aimed at politicians ahead of November...
Mayor Darryn Lyons' campaign poster aimed at politicians ahead of November's State Election.Source: Supplied
GEELONG mayor Darryn Lyons is demanding the State Government hand over $25 million to build a pier at the end of Yarra St that is capable of berthing cruise ships.
Cr Lyons said his proposal was non-negotiable and the State Government needed to stump up with the cash to allow Geelong to take advantage of the fastest growing tourism sector in the world.
He said he was "fed up" with seeing massive Government handouts to improve facilities in Melbourne, including last week's announcement of a $298 million revamp for Melbourne Park.
"(Cruise liners) is a growing industry," Cr Lyons said.
"If a politician doesn't look at this and say this is a great business model then we're not being run very well."
Council has already pledged $5 million towards the proposed Yarra St Pier and the Royal Geelong Yacht Club has committed $2.5 million.
Cr Lyons, who is a member of the Liberal Party, said it was time the Government got serious about its commitment to regional Victoria in the lead up to November's state election.
"This election must be all about the regions," he said. 
"I am in a no negotiation state. This has to be done."
Council documents show a Yarra St Pier could attract 22 cruise ships to Geelong each year, pump $41 million into the local economy and create 403 new jobs in the first decade.
Cr Lyons also said they were in negotiations with an international cruise line to have a ship based in Geelong, resulting in nine extra visits each year.
They expect to have an answer by March.
Meanwhile, hundreds off cruise ship passengers were ferried in small boats from the Seabourn Odyssey to explore Geelong in the radiant sunshine yesterday.
It was the second of five cruise ships set to dock in Corio Bay during a record summer season.
The vessel, carrying 450 passengers and 330 crew docked about 7am and left later that day.
Americans Joan and Mike Matz, from Arizona, were on the ship after boarding in Auckland, New Zealand, on January 2.
They are on their way to Sydney after travelling down the east coast of New Zealand and said they really enjoyed their day in Geelong.
"We went up town and we went to the art gallery and walked around the waterfront," Ms Matz said.
"We've loved all the little towns along the way but this was by far the friendliest."
Tourism Greater Geelong and The Bellarine executive director Roger Grant said when the ship visited in February last year it injected an estimated $100,000 into the local economy in just eight hours.
"It's very rewarding to see a vessel like the Seabourn Odyssey returning several times," he said.
"It means we're providing a great service to the cruise industry and the region is proving a positive and memorable experience for their passengers."

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Geelong to Melbourne freeway - do not speed

from w
It's too true that many drivers get caught at various points on the Geelong to Melbourne road. We know about Point Wilson bridge but there are others too.
Cameras on Princes Freeway bridge nab more than 100 motorists a day
January 24, 2014
Speed cameras on one bridge on the Princes Freeway to Geelong are Victoria's busiest cameras, issuing more than 100 fines a day on average for exceeding the limit or driving an unregistered vehicle.
Inbound and outbound cameras on the Forsyth Road Bridge at Hoppers Crossing snared more than 9700 motorists in three months; the Western Ring Road in Sunshine West was the next highest site with 4655 offences.
The busy freeway between Geelong and Melbourne is Victoria's key road for camera fines, with five of the top 10 fine hot spots.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

On reading 'The Casual Vacancy'

from w
Our book club selection for February is The Casual Vacancy' a gritty social realism kind of novel, so different from the Harry Pottery fantasies.I'm only halfway through it but here are some of my observations.

Rowland, the writer certainly disappoints with this book as there are very few characters the reader can really like. It's about a small town filled with of stupid, immoral, lazy, angry, manipulative, corrupt people. At about page 30 I thought it was a satire or at least meant to be funny, but later on, no, the writer is seriously trying to portray the fibre of a small town with a housing estate next door. She writes best about the teenagers and should have stuck with just that angle I think

The Age reviewer says: The Casual Vacancy is, in one way, a very conventional book, playing on the prototypes of popular fiction. In another way, it is a cry against the horrors of conventional life. It is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a work of art and it is a very odd book to come from the pen of a great and fabled entertainer. But, despite stretches of cliche and failures of compassion (and dollops of sentimentality by way of a corollary), it does have a propulsion and an ability to hook the reader in the face of an attempted novelistic vision of life that's pretty rough and tough.

Read more:

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Is this a kangaroo on a Portuguese manuscript?

from w
Some people want to rewrite the history books of European 'discovery' of the Great South Land - which we call Australia. They have identified a drawing as that of a kangaroo but the large tail is not in the drawing. I have my doubts actually because living in the Amazon in Brazil there's an animal that looks like a kangaroo but without the big tail.  Also the drawing on the manuscript of a person could actually be a man from the forests of the Amazon.  Anyway, of course it's very likely that the English were certainly not the first Europeans to visit Australia.

Here's the article which I might dispute the conclusions. It was published in both the Age and the Sydney Morning Herald.
16th-century manuscript could rewrite Australian history
January 16, 2014
Charli Newton
Image of what is thought to be a kangaroo on a 16th-century processional could lend weight to the theory that the Portuguese were the first explorers to set foot on Australian soil, before the Dutch or English.
A tiny drawing of a kangaroo curled in the letters of a 16th-century Portuguese manuscript could rewrite Australian history.
The document, acquired by Les Enluminures Gallery in New York, shows a sketch of an apparent kangaroo (''canguru'' in Portuguese) nestled in its text and is dated between 1580 and 1620. It has led researchers to believe images of the marsupial were already being circulated by the time the Dutch ship Duyfken - long thought to have been the first European vessel to visit Australia - landed in 1606.
Portugal was extremely secretive about her trade routes during this period, explaining why their presence there wasn't widely known. 
The pocket-sized manuscript, known as a processional, contains text and music for a liturgical procession and is inscribed with the name Caterina de Carvalho, believed to be a nun from Caldas da Rainha in western Portugal.
The manuscript may precede what is believed to be the first European docking in Australia.
The European discovery of Australia has officially been credited to the Dutch voyage headed by Willen Janszoon in 1606, but historians have suggested the country may already have been explored by other western Europeans.

''A kangaroo or a wallaby in a manuscript dated this early is proof that the artist of this manuscript had either been in Australia, or even more interestingly, that travellers' reports and drawings of the interesting animals found in this new world were already available in Portugal,'' Les Enluminures researcher Laura Light said.
''Portugal was extremely secretive about her trade routes during this period, explaining why their presence there wasn't widely known.''
Peter Trickett, an award-winning historian and author of Beyond Capricorn, has long argued that a Portuguese maritime expedition first mapped the coast of Australia in 1521-22, nearly a century before the Dutch landing.
''It is not surprising at all that an image of a kangaroo would have turned up in Portugal at some point in the latter part of the 16th century. It could be that someone in the Portuguese exhibition had this manuscript in their possession,'' Mr Trickett said.
National Library of Australia curator of maps Martin Woods said that while the image looked like a kangaroo or a wallaby, it alone was not proof enough to alter Australia's history books.
''The likeness of the animal to a kangaroo or wallaby is clear enough, but then it could be another animal in south-east Asia, like any number of deer species, some of which stand on their hind legs to feed off high branches,'' Dr Woods said.
''For now, unfortunately the appearance of a long-eared big-footed animal in a manuscript doesn't really add much.''
Les Enluminures Gallery, which lists the manuscript's value at $US15,000 ($16,600), acquired the processional from a rare book dealer in Portugal and will exhibit the piece as part of an exhibition.
Also entwined in letters of the text are two male figures adorned in tribal dress, baring naked torsos and crowns of leaves, which Ms Light said could be Aborigines.
Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, John Gascoigne, said proving that the Portuguese were the first Europeans to arrive in Australia would be ''forever difficult to document because of their secrecy and because so many of the records were destroyed in the Lisbon earthquake of 1755''.
''The possible date span for the manuscript goes up to 1620, which would accommodate the arrival of Willen Janszoon in the Duyfken in northern Australia in 1606,'' Professor Gascoigne said.
He speculated the images could come from a 1526 trip to Papua.
''Looking at it from a European perspective, it is surely evocative to wonder what these exotic images must have meant to the Portuguese nun gazing at them from within the confines of her convent's walls,'' Ms Light said.

Overlapping to make abstract pictures

from w
Rather than think of life and nature as snapshots in time I like to overlap pictures because time moves on and there are changes.  So some of my instant photos are used differently and become abstractions rather than realistic looking images by overlapping one image over another, using Picasa.

Monday, January 20, 2014

working with Picasa

from w
There are several applications that I haven't tried at all with Picasa but I found one today that takes away some of the colours and also creates a painterly effect, more like an illustration with paint. Here  are some examples.

A 3 size pictures

from w
I took photos of some of my A3 size pictures because I can't scan them - tried to put one plus one together but they didn't fit so decided to use a camera instead. Here are some of them. On a beach at Malolo Island. Eastern Beach Geelong. St Leonards near the sea. Tree in Botanical Gardens Geelong. Near Barwon Edge cafe and a reverse colour pic.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

A picnic at Torquay

from w
Now that the hot weather has ceased for a while it was pleasant to feel a cool breeze down in Torquay yesterday.

.  Several people were swimming, surfing, wind-sailing there or strolling, skateboard, bike riding and generally having a good time.

Two of the pictures were made earlier - the pen drawing of the rocky headland, and the one of colourful rocks.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Cartoon in today's Herald Sun

from w
Another rotten hot day - up to 45 but at last by 5 p.m. the temperature had started dropping. It's still muggy but about 35. We spent some time today at the Newcomb library reading papers, ordering books to read and using the internet. So cool and beautiful, and full of people escaping from

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Coping with the heat

from w
Never has there been such a heatwave in our area - over 40 degrees Celsius four days in a row. Yet the tennis goes on in Melbourne so I really feel pity for the players where it must be about 50 on the courts.  How do we cope with such heat?  Our house is not air-conditioned so it is a furnace with three electric fans helping just a little. We eat watermelon, drink iced coffee and lots of icy water. It's too hot for cooking.  Meanwhile hundreds of the bats that fly about Melbourne and Geelong are falling from the skies, though one took a dip in the Yarra. Last night there was dry lightning and about twenty fires in the Geelong region, so the firefighters were very busy.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

It's very hot in Geelong

from w
We are having a terribly hot week in Geelong, four days over 40 and yesterday it was 47 at the Geelong Water Board, and last night it was still over 30 so we bought an extra fan to help a little. The little guinea pigs are suffering because they can get heat-stroke easily. They are really conked out by the heat.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Trees of various shapes and sizes

from w
As the grandchildren were away at the National Christian Youth Convention in Sydney for a few days, our household was rather quiet and I was able to concentrate on working on some drawings of a variety of trees and rocks, The ti-trees were at St Leonards, the rocks at the Youyangs and the tree stump - well I can't remember where!

I altered the images in different ways using Picasa and Gimp. Click on any image to see enlarged.