Friday 31 August 2012


The Victorian buildings of Fremantle make a perfect counterfoil to the rosy tinted skies of early morning. If it weren't for the parked cars, one might think that one were travelling back in time...

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.

Thursday 30 August 2012


Fremantle is a city in Western Australia, located at the mouth of the Swan River. Fremantle Harbour serves as the port of Perth, the state capital. Fremantle was the first area settled by the Swan River colonists in 1829. It was declared a city in 1929, and has a population of approximately 25,000. The city is named after Captain Charles Howe Fremantle, the English naval officer who had pronounced possession of Western Australia and who established a camp at the site. The city contains well-preserved 19th-century buildings and other heritage features. The Western Australian vernacular diminutive for Fremantle is Freo.

The native Australian Noongar people inhabited the area that is now Fremantle, which was known as Walyalup. The area was considered as a site for possible British settlement in 1827, when Captain James Stirling, in HMS Success, explored the coastal areas near the Swan River. As a result of Stirling's report, Captain Charles Howe Fremantle of HMS Challenger, a 603 ton, 28-gun frigate, was instructed to sail to the west coast of Australia to establish a settlement there. On 2 May 1829, Fremantle hoisted the Union Flag in a bay near what is now known as Arthur Head, and in accordance with his instructions, took formal possession "of the whole of the West Coast of New Holland" in the name of George IV of the United Kingdom.

This post is part of the Signs, Signs meme.

Wednesday 29 August 2012


Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour is a commercial marina in Fremantle, Western Australia adjacent to the more recently constructed Challenger Harbour. It provides large sheltered mooring areas, wharf space for vessels up to 60 metres, refuelling facilities and support services to the Fremantle fishing industry.

The harbour was built in 1919 when a 300-metre breakwater was constructed to provide an anchorage for fishing vessels. South Jetty was immediately adjacent and included a fish market which was removed in 1929. A southern breakwater was constructed in 1962 and land reclaimed to house fishing companies and service industries. Between 1969 and 1972, up to 120 fishing boats were housed in the harbour and in 1982, construction of a boat lifting facility commenced. Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour is now surrounded by a well established tourism precinct, and over a dozen restaurants and a brewery are immediately adjacent.

This post is part of the Water World Wednesday meme,
And also part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme,
And also part of the Nature Footsteps Waters meme.

PS: I am travelling at the moment so I am not able to visit your blogs as much as I would have wished to.

Tuesday 28 August 2012


I am in Perth for work and these are some photos I took when our plane was coming in to land.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme.

Monday 27 August 2012


Hydrangeas are wonderful, hardy shrubs that would certainly have to be included on a list of the ten best flowering plants in the world. Some people remember the old style hydrangeas that were too tall and lanky. In recent years plant breeders have developed some excellent new varieties which are more compact and come in a range of sizes, which flower profusely.

Hydrangeas are amazingly versatile in that you can actually alter the flower colours to suit your needs. The flower colour in most forms relates to the acidity or alkalinity of the soil. In acid soil (pH 5 or less) hydrangeas are usually always blue. As the soil pH climbs towards the neutral and alkaline end of the scale (pH 7 or more) hydrangeas turn mauve, pink and red. A blueing tonic (containing aluminium and iron) will turn pink or mauve hydrangeas blue. It should be applied once a month in March and April and again in August, September and October, following the directions on the pack. A cup of lime (calcium carbonate) added to the soil in spring will cause blue or mauve hydrangeas to turn pink. White flowering hydrangeas will remain white regardless of soil pH.

This post is part of the Blue Monday meme.

Sunday 26 August 2012


Saint Joseph's Church is a Roman Catholic church in Singapore. It is located along Victoria Street in the Rochor Planning Area, within the Central Area of Singapore's central business district. The church was constructed from 1906 to 1912 with its foundation-stone laid two years earlier. The building was built in the Gothic style by the Portuguese Mission. Saint Joseph's Church is most noted for its annual Good Friday procession, during which Christ's Passion is honoured.

Saint Joseph's Church is structured in the form of a Latin cross and boasts beautifully crafted stained-glass windows. Another striking feature about this Gothic building is its central octagonal tower, capped by a dome and flanked by two smaller towers. New buildings were added to the Church in 1938, 1954 and 1956.  Saint Joseph's Church was gazetted a national monument on 14 January 2005. From 4 September to 12 November 2006, the church was one of the exhibition venues for the Singapore Biennale, Singapore's inaugural international biennale of contemporary art.

This post is part of Charlotte's Spiritual Sunday meme.

Here is the magnificent "Miserere mei, Deus" composed by Allegri and here brilliantly performed by the Choir of New College, Oxford.

Friday 24 August 2012


If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.
That strain again! I had a dying fall:
O'it came o'er my ear like the sweet sound
That breathes upon a bank of violets,
Stealing and giving odour!

William Shakespeare - Twelfth Night

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Thursday 23 August 2012


But it's not cheap! These are the small, single serve bottles, beloved of hotel bar fridges...

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

Wednesday 22 August 2012


The Rio Grande (known in Mexico as the Río Bravo del Norte, or simply Río Bravo) is a river that flows from southwestern Colorado in the United States to the Gulf of Mexico. Along the way it forms part of the Mexico – United States border. According to the International Boundary and Water Commission, its total length was 3,051 km in the late 1980s, though course shifts occasionally result in length changes. Depending on how it is measured, the Rio Grande is the fourth or fifth longest river system in North America.

The river serves as a natural border between the U.S. state of Texas and the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas. A very short stretch of the river serves as the boundary between the U.S. states of Texas and New Mexico. Since the mid–20th century, heavy water consumption of farms and cities along the river has left only 20% of its natural discharge to flow to the Gulf.

Near the river's mouth, the heavily irrigated Rio Grande Valley is an important agricultural region. The Rio Grande is one of 19 Great Waters recognized by the America's Great Waters Coalition. The Rio Grande's watershed covers 472,000 square km.  Many endorheic basins are situated within, or adjacent to, the Rio Grande's basin, and these are sometimes included in the river basin's total area, increasing its size to about 870,000 square km.

Excuse the relatively poor quality of these photos, but they were taken in June 1999, with an early version of a digital camera.

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

Tuesday 21 August 2012


The city of Pompeii is a partially buried Roman town-city near modern Naples in the Italian region of Campania, in the territory of the comune of Pompei. Along with Herculaneum, Pompeii was partially destroyed and buried under 4 to 6 m of ash and pumice in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. Pompeii was lost for nearly 1700 years before its rediscovery in 1748. Since then, its excavation has provided an extraordinarily detailed insight into the life of a city during the Pax Romana. Today, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Italy, with approximately 2,500,000 visitors every year.

This post is part of Julie's Taphophile Tragics meme,
and also part of the Our World Tuesday meme.
Entering the archaeological area
View of the forum 
The amphitheatre
One of the major streets, flanked by shops and houses 
The atrium of one of the villas. Pompeii was a prosperous holiday city and the residents were largely wealthy and patrons of the arts 
A "thermopolium" or take-away shop where the ancient Roman version of "fast food" was sold. Wine was also to be had a-plenty here!
A covered portico 
The private gardens of Pompeii were elaborate and sumptuously decorated
The nascent Venus - a famous fresco in a villa garden
Ancient Roman graves and funerary monuments were situated just outside the city walls and a number of graves are seen here

A fine funerary monument
The Villa of the Mysteries or Villa dei Misteri is a well preserved ruin of a Roman Villa which lies some 400 metres northwest of Pompeii, southern Italy. Although covered with metres of ash and other volcanic material, the villa sustained only minor damage in the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD, and the majority of its walls, ceilings, and most particularly its frescoes survived largely undamaged.
The Villa is named for the paintings in one room of the residence. This space may have been a triclinium, and is decorated with very fine frescoes. Although the actual subject of the frescoes is hotly debated, the most common interpretation of the images is scenes of the initiation of a woman into a special cult of Dionysus, a mystery cult that required specific rites and rituals to become a member. Of all other interpretations, the most notable is that of Paul Veyne, who believes that it depicts a young woman undergoing the rites of marriage.The Villa had both very fine rooms for dining and entertaining and more functional spaces. A wine-press was discovered when the Villa was excavated and has been restored in its original location. It was not uncommon for the homes of the very wealthy to include areas for the production of wine, olive oil, or other agricultural products, especially since many elite Romans owned farmland or orchards in the immediate vicinity of their villas.
Giuseppe Fiorelli (1823–1896) was an Italian archaeologist born in Naples, Italy. His excavations at Pompeii helped preserve the city. 'Fiorelli ... developed the use of plaster casts to recreate the forms of plants and human bodies.' Fiorelli is most famous for his plaster casts, produced by a process named after him: the Fiorelli process. He realised that where a corpse had been buried in ash, it had rotted over time and a cavity remained. Whenever an excavator discovered a cavity, plaster of Paris was poured in and left to harden. The ash around the plaster was then carefully removed, so that a plaster replica of a person at the moment of their death remained. This process gave information about how people had died in the eruption, what they were doing in their final moments and what sort of clothing they wore. Fiorelli also took the topography of the town and divided it into a system of 'regiones', 'insulae' and 'domus' - and he developed the use of plaster casts to recreate the forms of plants and human bodies that had been covered by the volcanic ash, and had then left a hole - shaped in the form of the plant or person - in that ash after putrefaction.
Another plaster cast of a person who died in Pompeii 
Close-up of a plaster cast of a person who died in Pompeii
Karl Briullov (1799–1852) - "The Last Day of Pompeii", 1830 - 1833. Oil on canvas. 456.5 x 651 cm. The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia