Here I am on the tram, off to lunch at Jimmy Watson's in Carlton with my friend Ian, but before I do, I'm stopping off at the University of Melbourne to try to capture some of the spirit of the many pieces of garden there...
The university is old. How old? Older than me. I first attended the university in 1977, but it was founded in 1853. I love that in a university, aspects of life that may be chopped off in the wider world are allowed to loom as they will.
Despite its age, significant attempts have been made, throughout its time, to keep its surrounds contemporary, interesting, and alive. A courtyard, above, circa 1970s.
And here, a piece of some old building's been incorporated into landscape.
Not being a plantsman, I've no idea what you call this glorious green and gold thing, but I love its boldness, set as it is, against old stone.
Look! Someone's decided to transform a bit of old industry into sculpture. Despite my checkered history as a student of this university, I only feel at home here contemplating its spaces.
I hope to be able to post a more comprehensive survey of this university's grounds before too long, but racing off to lunch as I was, I had little time to spare. Fortunate then, that time stands still sometimes...
...in Swanston Street, The Ian Potter Museum of Art, or its facade, seen here, is an integral part of the university.
Just down the road, an example of the streetscape the university belongs to...
...and here, a dunny, or to European/American ears, a toilet, of an outdoor variety.
And here, the wonderful King and Godfree's, a delicatessen, wine store,a place to lose or find your senses...
The neighbourhood is intoxicating. A local church, above, gives a sense of the age of this most popular of Melbourne's shopping precincts.
At last I've made it to Jimmy Watson's, an institution in Melbourne for 60 years. My Dad used to come here. You go in, and everything's the same as it was then, even the menu, more or less. Was it the first wine bar in Melbourne? It was certainly the most popular place to stop and enjoy friendship and good, honest, Italian-inspired food for the University of Melbourne's academics.
I am not an academic, but I enjoy a simple meal, good food ( a seafood risotto ), and a decent red. More than that, after all my racing, I enjoy my friendships, whether they are here in this very cultured city, or far away, across the world, in gardens, or not.