Tuesday, 31 July 2012


Waiting for the early morning train at my local station. There are signs Spring is on its way and the days are definitely getting longer!

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme.

Monday, 30 July 2012


Homer, the famous ancient Greek poet, who wrote "The Iliad" and "The Odyssey" described the sea as "wine dark". This is very interesting, given that wine is reddish or greenish yellow and the sea (especially in Greece!) is amazingly blue, as these photos of the Aegean Sea near Cape Sounion in Attica show. The answer is quite startling according to some theories. and I quote here from Nigeness, a blog to be found here.

"The Wine-Dark Sea
Why, you may often have asked yourself, is Homer's sea invariably 'wine-dark'? Dark is descriptive enough, but the resemblance to wine is elusive... The clue is in another Homeric fact: that there are only four colours in all of Homer - black, white, greenish-yellow and red. No blue. It seems perception of colours evolves slowly, beginning with the obvious light-dark distinction that gives rise to black and white, then invariably (this is according to Brent Berlin and Paul Kay's 1968 study Basic Colour Terms) the third colour to be named is red, followed by green and yellow, with blue trailing in sixth and brown seventh. This appears to be universal, across all human cultures, and it would explain why some languages still have the same word for 'red' and 'coloured' (Spanish colorado, Portuguese tinto). So it would seem that, in the absence of blue, Homer saw the sea as simply 'coloured', therefore 'red' - this despite living in a landscape dominated by the vast and various blues of Greek sky and sea. How very odd."

This post is part of the Blue Monday meme.

Sunday, 29 July 2012


St Mary's Star of the Sea Cathedral was opened in 1962, having been designed and built as a War Memorial Cathedral in the aftermath of the 2nd World War.   It is situated in the heart of Darwin, at 90 Smith Street, corner of McLachlan St, Darwin.  It is the seat of Most Rev Eugene Hurley, Bishop of the Diocese of Darwin.  Visitors are welcome to visit the Cathedral to attend Mass, to pray or to view the building and environs.

The idea of the War Memorial Cathedral in Darwin was actually first mooted by war troops stationed there after St. Mary's Church had been severely damaged in an air-raid in 1942.  The troops had a close affinity with St. Mary's while they were in Darwin.  Some of the Chaplains were MSCs and the troops worshipped at St. Mary's which was, and still is, the garrison Church.  As Darwin grew after the war, the need for a new St. Mary's became more evident.  Mr Ian Ferrier, of the firm J.P. Donoghue, Cusick and Edwards of Brisbane, designed the new building.  The first sod was turned on 16th December, 1957, and the foundation stone was blessed by Bishop O'Loughlin on 13th July, 1958.  This stone was cut from a piece of crystalline metamorphosed rock from Rum Jungle, the site of the first uranium mine in the Territory.  The stone shows extensive silification.

The Cathedral was blessed and opened by Bishop O'Loughlin on 19th August, 1962, and consecrated on 20th August, 1972.  It is dedicated as St. Mary's, Star of the Sea, and is the centre of the Church's activity in the Diocese of Darwin.  At the same time the Cathedral is a war memorial to those servicemen, Australian, American, British and Dutch, who lost their lives in the area during the war, and to the civilian residents who died in the war.  The memorial character is reflected in a series of stained glass panels in the west window donated by the Australian and American Armed forces, and depicting their respective emblems.

The lines of the Cathedral's contemporary neo-gothic design are majestic.  Special features are a series of parabolic arches, 16 metres high, and the extensive use of local sawn stone.  The white porcellanite stone was cut from the cliffs of Darwin Harbour in the Church's own quarry at Larrakeyah.  Apart from the walls, porcellanite was used in the baptismal font and pulpit.  The Cathedral is dominated at the main entrance by a 26 metre tower, topped by a cross 6 metres high.  The graceful tower sets off the building contours.  A spiral staircase gives access to a gallery at the top, commanding a panoramic view of the city of Darwin.  The roof of the Cathedral is copper.  Designed to meet local tropical needs, the entire length of both nave walls can be opened up by a series of glass panel doors.  Windows in the walls above provide further ventilation and are protected by the broad roofing overhang and concrete grille.

This post is part of the Sunday Psalms meme.
and also part of the Spiritual Sunday meme.

The music today is Barbara Bonney singing Franz Schubert's "Ave Maria" and accompanied by Geoffrey Parsons on the Piano.

Saturday, 28 July 2012


A winter's night and walking by the Yarra River, a young couple oblivious to the cold and rain.

This post is part of James' Weekend Reflections meme,
and also part of Madge's Weekly TopShot meme.

Friday, 27 July 2012


One of the joys of Winter is the parting of the clouds to reveal a lucidly blue sky, which looks particularly lovely when viewed through the bare tree branches. A little bird also thought it very wonderful and was singing about it!

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Thursday, 26 July 2012


Here is a Cattleya Caudebec x Batemaniiana orchid showing an unusual stippling of petals and quite a beautiful colour.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.


The Queen Victoria Market (also known as the Queen Vic Markets or the Queen Vic, and locally as '"Vic Market"') is a major landmark in Melbourne, Australia, and at around seven hectares (17 acres) is the largest open air market in the Southern Hemisphere. The Market is significant to Melbourne's culture and heritage and has been listed on the Victorian Heritage Register. The Market is named after Queen Victoria who ruled the British Empire, from 1837 to 1901. The Queen Victoria Market is the only surviving 19th century market in the Melbourne central business district.

The Market is open every day of the week except Mondays and Wednesdays. On Wednesday evenings in the summer months, there is a night market which offers dining, bars, live entertainment and a variety of other stalls. Here it is on a Monday!

This post is part of Pat's Things in a Row meme.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012


Sheltered and quite dry
Under my black umbrella:
Looking at wet leaves.

This post is part of Kim's Water World Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Nature Footsteps Waters meme.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012


Next to the Festival Centre in Adelaide, by the banks of the Torrens River, is a monument to Doris May Graham (1912-2004). She was a South Australian woman who did much to better the relations between white Australians and Indigenous Australians. She and he husband Cecil Wallace Graham wrote "As we’ve known it: 1911 to the present", published by the Aboriginal Studies and Teacher Education Unit (ASTEC), Underdale, in 1987. It is an Autobiographical account of life at the Point Pearce Mission.

I could not find much else relating to Doris May Graham, except the information on the memorial, which stands as a cenotaph to her memory. Her 15 children I am sure would be proud of her and may have had something to do with the erection of this memorial.

This post is part of Julie's Taphophile Tragics meme.

Monday, 23 July 2012


The Yerrakartarta ceramic mural was constructed between 1993 - 1994  and is located in the Lower Forecourt, Intercontinental Hotel, North Tce in Adelaide City. The word ‘Yerrakartarta’ is an indigenous Kaurna word meaning 'at random' or 'without design'.

This work reflects the seemingly random order of the natural world and consists of various sculptural elements set within the pavement and surrounding walls. The work incorporates fossil-like animal forms, representing the history of the land and includes a large ceramic mural about the Tjillbruke Dreaming story.

The work is also a celebration of the ongoing and contemporary nature of Aboriginal art. At the time of its installation the project was the largest public commission of Aboriginal artwork to be designed and directed by an Aboriginal artist, Darryl Pfitzner Milika, with assistance from several other artists including Muriel Van Der Byl, Stephen Bowers, Jo Crawford and Jo Fraser.

The labels read: 1) Kaurna Yerta Natta atto Nanga Bukki Nakki. This artwork is a tribute to the Kaurna people who are and have been part of this country since time immemorial understanding and observing the immutable laws that bind us all.
2) These works tell a story built upon other stories most notably that of Tjilbruke, a kaurna ancestor. The name Yerrakartarta means 'without design' or 'at random'. Yerrakartarta, How far do we isolate and unravel and what is measured?

This post is part of the Monday Murals meme.

Sunday, 22 July 2012


Due to the River Torrens path through the centre of Adelaide, transport necessitated the construction of many bridges. Prior to the bridges all crossings had been via fords which proved a dangerous practice in spring and winter. The first bridge was one of timber built in 1839 approximately 500 metres west of the current City bridge, but destroyed by floods in September 1844. In 1849, £6000 was allocated to bridge the Torrens. Within four years three wooden bridges had been built and subsequently destroyed in floods. In June 1856 the English manufactured, iron City Bridge was opened, extending King William Street to North Adelaide. It was widened in 1877 then converted into a two-lane bridge in 1884. The bridge was replaced in 1931 with a concrete arch structure, which still stands today.

This post is part of Louis' Sunday Bridges meme.

Saturday, 21 July 2012


The River Torrens is the most significant river of the Adelaide Plains and was one of the reasons for the siting of the city of Adelaide, capital of South Australia. It flows 85 kilometres from its source in the Adelaide Hills near Mount Pleasant, across the Adelaide Plains, past the city centre and empties into Gulf St Vincent between Henley Beach South and West Beach.

The upper stretches of the river and the reservoirs in its watershed supply a significant part of the city's water supply. The river's long linear parks and a constructed lake in the lower stretch are iconic of the city. At its 1836 discovery an inland bend was chosen as the site of the Adelaide city centre and North Adelaide.

The river is named after Colonel Robert Torrens, chairman of the colonial commissioners and a significant figure in the city's founding. The river is also known by its native Kaurna name Karra wirra-parri. The river and its tributaries are highly variable in flow, and together drain an area of 508 square kilometres. They range from sometimes raging torrents, damaging bridges and flooding city areas, to trickles and completely dry in summer. Winter and spring flooding has prompted the construction of flood reduction works. A constructed sea outlet, landscaped linear parks and three holding reservoirs contain peak flow.

The river's flora and fauna have been both deliberately and accidentally impacted since settlement. In the 19th century, native forests were cleared, gravel removed for construction and many foreign species introduced. With construction of the linear parks, many species native to the river have been replanted, and introduced species have been controlled as weeds. Since European settlement the river has been a frequently touted tourist attraction. During the early years of settlement, the river acted as both the city’s primary water source and main sewer, leading to outbreaks of typhus and cholera.

This post is part of James' Weekend Reflections meme,
and also part of the Scenic Sunday meme.

Friday, 20 July 2012


On July 16, 2012 at 6:21 am I took this photo while waiting for my morning train in to work. Two planets (Jupiter and Venus) and the moon are clearly visible, as can be identified from the astronomy program diagram below the photo. Betelgeuse is also visible ont he right.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.


“Each violet peeps from its dwelling to gaze at the bright stars above”  Heinrich Heine

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Thursday, 19 July 2012


I am in Adelaide for work for three days and very full days they are too. I always enjoy visiting this city and even if I am very busy, walking around the CBD is quite a nice way to appreciate the architecture and some of the history of the place. As the days are very busy, I had to do my walkabout during the evening hours...  Adelaide is the capital city of South Australia and the fifth-largest city in Australia. Adelaide has an estimated population of more than 1.2 million. The demonym “Adelaidean” is used adjectivally in reference to the city and its residents.

The University of Adelaide (colloquially Adelaide University or Adelaide Uni) is a public university in Adelaide, South Australia. Established in 1874, it is the third oldest university in Australia. It is associated with five Nobel laureates, 104 Rhodes scholars and is a member of the Group of Eight, as well as the sandstone universities. Its main campus is on the cultural boulevard of North Terrace in the Adelaide city centre, adjacent to the Art Gallery of South Australia, the South Australian Museum and the State Library of South Australia.
The university has five campuses throughout the state: North Terrace; Roseworthy College at Roseworthy; The Waite Institute at Urrbrae; Thebarton; and the National Wine Centre in the Adelaide Park Lands. It has a sixth campus, the Ngee Ann – Adelaide Education Centre (NAAEC), in Singapore.
The University of Adelaide was established on 6 November 1874 after a £20,000 donation by grazier and copper miner Walter Watson Hughes, along with support and donations from Thomas Elder. The first Chancellor was Sir Richard Hanson and the first vice-chancellor was Dr Augustus Short.

The first degree offered was the Bachelor of Arts and the university started teaching in March 1876. The University has a long history of championing the rights of women in higher education. In 1881, it was the first Australian university to admit women to science courses and its first female graduate was Edith Emily Dornwell (BSc., 1885). The university also graduated the first female surgeon, Laura Fowler (MB, 1891). Ruby Davy (B. Mus., 1907; D. Mus., 1918) was the first Australian woman to receive a doctorate in music. The University was also the first to elect a woman to a University Council in Australia, Helen Mayo (MBBS, 1902).

The great hall of the University, Bonython Hall, was built in 1936 following a donation from the owner of The Advertiser newspaper, Sir John Langdon Bonython, who left £40,000 for a Great Hall for the University. The University of Adelaide graduates include prominent individuals who have made significant contributions to their fields nationally and internationally, and include Howard Florey, Lawrence Bragg, Mark Oliphant and Hugh Cairns.

This post is part of Lesley's Signs, Signs meme.