Birds at local Wetlands

One of the wetlands near my home in Melbourne’s west is dryer than usual at present, despite the large amount of rain we’ve had this summer as a result of the La Nina weather pattern. The wetlands were created when the housing estate I live in was developed and my understanding is that new developers in Melbourne are obligated to dedicate a certain amount of area for public use including open space, wetlands and parks.

I thin the bird at the front right of the photo above and in the following two photos is a cormorant of some type, although am not certain.

Perhaps because of the dryness there seem to be more birds there at present, although there are always seagulls (below).

The Swamphens (below) were so tame they walked up to me.

Australian Ibis (below) are also known as ‘Bin Chickens.’

Pacific Black Ducks (below).

I also saw three geese fly over, but wasn’t quick enough to get a photo. I’ve also seen pelicans, Rainbow Lorikeets and black swans at the wetlands, although there were none there this morning.

ANZAC Day 2020


ANZAC Day is arguably the most important day of the year for many Australians, the day we remember the Australians and New Zealanders who have served and died in war. It is held on April 25, the anniversary of the day Australians and New Zealanders landed at the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey in 1915.

Usually ANZAC Day starts with a commemorative dawn service at the various Shrines of Remembrance across the country with local services held in communities across the country. There is a commemorative address, wreaths are laid, hymns sung, the Ode is recited, The Last Post is played, then there is a minute’s silence before New Zealand and Australia’s national anthems are played.

Later there are marches, egg and bacon breakfasts, two-up (a gambling game which can  only legally be played on ANZAC Day). The pubs do a roaring trade.

This year, we downloaded an app to stream the national service and went to the end of our driveway just before 6am for our own Light up the Driveway at Dawn service. Our candle flickered on the screen but the sound on the app didn’t work. We heard The Last Post and later the Reveille being played from someone else’s driveway service but we couldn’t see where the sound was coming from. Later we could see the lights of candles  coming from people standing at the end of their driveway further up our street. We waved our mobile devices to them so they could see our candles too.

For the Fallen by Laurence Binyon (the Ode)

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them

The following photo is looking down our nearest main road at the dawn breaking a few minutes after the ceremony ended.


We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

Teddy Bear Hunting has become a thing around my neighbourhood as we self-isolate during 2020 because of Covid-19. With playgrounds and parks shut, the idea is that children spot teddy bears at other people’s homes while they are out walking.


I laughed out loud when I spotted my first teddy bear on an early morning week and each subsequent bear (or stuffed animal) that I have spotted has brought me joy.


Some bears are shy and hard to find.


I’ve also spotted rabbits during my walks around the neighbourhood. Coming up to Easter, various Premiers of Australian states have put out formal communications to ease the minds of worried children to advise that the Easter Bunny is exempt from travel restrictions. Phew!!


Hey, hey, we’re the Monkeys!

Some bears (and their families) are taking holidays in their own front yards.


I spotted what I thought were two bears in a garden in the following photo, but I was wrong. Not sure if the people who live here are getting ready early for next Christmas or if they are complete slackers! Either way, the reindeer and toy soldier made me smile.


The signs are everywhere and are delightful.

Some bears are happiest when they are just hanging around…

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are always around when something fun is happening.


The idea has come from a children’s book called We’re Going on A Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury.



Early Morning Walk

Rise and shine, everyone!


Working from home as part of Covid 19 social distancing measures means that I get to take an early morning walk around my neighbourhood at the time when I would usually be travelling on the train to my workplace in the Melbourne CBD.


These photos are taken at local wetlands (these were called swamps when I was growing up and we knew to look out for snakes when we were around them).

A twilight walk through my Melbourne suburb during Autumn


I’d like to show you my part of the world, which is a western suburb of Melbourne. I took the following photos at around 7pm during the middle of March which is autumn in Australia. The photo above was taken from a park near my home. I usually work in one of those buildings on the horizon but am presently working from home (social distancing).


My area is quite a new suburb and in Melbourne new estates are obligated to provide a certain amount of wetlands and parks.


The following photos are of flowering gums.

Spot the native bee in the photo below.


A wetland and a bird… I have no idea what the bird is, but the photo after this is of a magpie. I saw some rosellas too but wasn’t quick enough to get a photo of them.


Gum nuts from two different trees.

The next photo is of a native ground cover called pig-face which is a horrible name but these are beautiful when they are in flower.


Bottle brush.


Different barks, all Australian natives.

The following shrub is a Grevillea.


A few trees to finish off. There are more than 700 species of eucalyptus trees in the world, most of them in Australia. Most of these trees are in streets outside people’s homes.


Bradmill Factory Yarraville Melbourne


Miss S is on school holidays and is mad for abandoned places, which meant that He Who Eats All of Our Leftovers needed to come up with an adventure.

He surprised us with a visit to the old Bradmill Denim Factory at Yarraville, which operated from 1927 until 2002.

Melbourne is known for its graffiti, but this place is extraordinary.


Inside the old saw-toothed buildings there is an art gallery.

Inside the old boiler house is creepy. Pigeons flapping their wings made me jump more than once.



The graffiti in the boiler house was a different style to that in the saw-tooth buildings, but just as amazing.

The Tintin in the photo below right is a mosaic.

Some of the larger equipment and infrastructure is still in place.

My knees are still shaking from the climb to the top.

Some teenagers who were also wandering around taking photos told me that you could climb up to the top of the boiler house via the old conveyer belt structure, but I didn’t fancy it…


img_2682.jpgThe buildings are to be demolished to make way for a housing estate.




Hot Cross Buns with Gelato

Happy Easter, everyone!

Messina Hot Cross Buns with Gelato are the most craved food in Melbourne at Easter and I was lucky enough to try one at work this week!

My Hot Cross Bun was chocolate and walnut, with salted caramel gelato. Words cannot express just how good it was…


Bell’s Beach Victoria

Bells 2.jpg

Bells 4.jpg


We went for a drive down to Bell’s Beach a few days after a news story broke about a surfer who was knocked off his board by a shark at the same beach on the Great Ocean Road.*

I don’t know how many surfers are usually there on a Saturday morning in early spring, but there were around fifty people in the water when I counted, and none of them seemed to be watching out for sharks.

Bells 3.jpg

*Just read that sentence back, and realised it sounds as if we went to the beach in the hopes of seeing a shark eat someone. Not true. We read the story in the paper after we went to the beach.



The Doggies Won!


Miss G’s Western Bulldogs have won the AFL Grand Final, after 62 years!

As Miss G lives in a place where Doggies supporters are in the minority, I stepped out of my front door and took a few photos around the neighbourhood to show her how her fellow Doggies fans in my area are celebrating the first win since 1954.

Go Doggies!


Play Dough

play dough 2

Honey-Bunny and my favourite son-in-law were baby-sitting two-year old Mini recently, and knowing how much I enjoy messing around with play dough, brought Mini over to share the fun.

1 Cup Plain flour

1 Cup water

1/2 Cup salt

1 teaspoon oil

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

food colouring

Place all ingredients in a saucepan, heat, then turn out onto the bench and knead well.

My favourite son-in-law made the rose in the photo below for me and cemented his place as my favourite.

play dough