Tuesday, January 14, 2014

White-hot Hot

It's getting ghostly, not because there's too much darkness, but because there's too much light...
the dandelions have given up. 
Underneath the ghostly sheet, an oak sapling. Four days of over 40 degrees temperature are enough to extinguish many strugglers -
- this is not an easy country. It makes you or it breaks you. 
I long for a land of plentiful water...
...as does my girl.
Is it an emergency, here, now? I don't know, but even the toughest wilt.
At least there is life still. It is paramount, is it not, to have birds in a garden? It is here, for me at least.
It's no use shutting windows or doors - the heat, it permeates everything.The most challenging time is this, this white-hot season, when the help you hope the world will get may be thwarted. And so you accept it. Or must.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Europe Endless

It was on going to lunch for my sister's birthday at The European in Spring Street that I did a quick wander in this, one of my favourite parts of Melbourne.
St Peter's, Eastern Hill is an institution, a high Anglican enclave on the edge of the CBD. But I'm sorry to say my intentions today have been a little more earthly and temporal...
I like this stark and strictly defined planting round the side of St Peter's...
just as I like this nearby view, European Heritage, with Greens. 
Oops, here we are at the blurry drinks menu at The European. Oh, we ate all sorts of delicious things today; I had gnocchi with broadbeans, mint and peas and sage. The atmosphere was what I think of as European, elegant, simple, refined, relaxed and convivial.
We left little behind...barely enough for a mouse. The cheeses and wines were superb. The waiters were quick, discreet, friendly. I felt blessed, not only to be able to enjoy this - and being the poor relative, I didn't have to pay - but to be able to enjoy it with those I love.
It was something like 34 degrees Celsius today, but they get that heat in the Mediterranean, so I didn't feel it was such a long stretch to feel myself on the other side of the world. But you can in Melbourne, this city of many, and many harmonious, cultures, where life is timeless.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Garden Architecture 1

With a pressing need for an off-the-ground bird feeder but with marginal handyman skills, assembling lying-around bits and pieces into a coherent unity is, well, possible. See above.
The Spladder - de Chirico Model, it is hoped, will spare pecking varieties of birds from FELINE ATTACK. Or, given that The Spladder has climbable rungs, it will at least spare pecking varieties of birds from INSTANT attack.
 So far, of course, 24 hours after installation, not a single pecking bird from the many pecking birds encouraged to visit this garden through the distribution of birdseed ( formerly placed on the ground ) has even noticed The Spladder's aim or utility...
is that a design fault or a failure of marketing strategy? Are the birds here simply too spoon-fed or lacking the sharp instincts of their wild or under-nourished cousins?
I could call a spade a spade but I am not. I am going to call a spade an integral part of a piece of garden architecture and hope my beaked friends can perceive that this particular assemblage has a purpose beyond its stunning visual impact. Birdseed anyone?