Tag Archives: Hawthorn

Revisiting sites

With a friend last Thursday and then with another yesterday I returned to Bushy Park,  where I introduced them to the hop kilns/Oasthouse precinct that is hidden at the end of 10 Acre Lane, next to the Derwent River.  They were amazed and delighted with the discovery.

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As it was when I first walked there, no-one else appeared on site. Thanks Alex and Andrew for the revisits. This site proves to be enthralling and special each visit.

Yesterday I realised the vegetation had grown dramatically and lushly in recent weeks so that ‘fences’ of flowering and green leafed Hawthorn blocked some previously easy views.  When Alex and I smelt delicate fragrant perfumes floating in the air, our noses were led to a throng of tiny roses clambering over themselves with a very strong but beautiful perfume. Standing beside this tangle was a flowering tree with perfumed drops of flowers somewhat similar to those on a wisteria, although coloured white.  We couldn’t identify this tree.  In another part of the precinct was a mass of trees with flowers in cone shaped clusters sitting up above their branches. Alex thought they might be chestnut trees.

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The ducks ran out of the Junior Angling Pool hoping for a feed.

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Idyllic.

Revisiting the hop kilns was my reward after walking a little more of the edge of the Derwent River. But more about that in later posts.

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My sunhat has seen better days but it has a long way to go yet.

Searching for my place in history

When I talk with strangers about my project to walk from the mouth to the source of the Derwent River, people often ask why. I trot out a range of reasons but, in truth, it is never clear to me at a deep level why I am making this walk.

My experiences over the past few days have given me new insights.

Earlier this year I began immersing myself in family history searches, with the view to knowing something of family members who were born and had died before me.

When I realised that the 150th anniversary of arrival in Melbourne Australia from England of the first family with my surname, from which I am a directly descended, will occur next year (2016), I decided to find and see where they lived in Victoria. Last Friday, I walked the Melbourne suburban streets of Carlton and the areas governed by the Boroondara City Council in Hawthorn of Glenferrie, Auburn, Deepdene, Kew and Camberwell.

I found all the streets in which my great great grandfather lived, however his houses have been replaced with various vintages of newer architecture. The landscape was changing while he lived in Melbourne when massive land sale and building booms wiped away acres of farmlands. And, of course, since he died in 1889 ‘development’ has progressed.  Nevertheless, because homes built in the 1880s still exist with their facades intact, I developed some understanding of what an original streetscape might have looked like during that decade.  Unfortunately late 1860s and 1870s buildings are no longer in evidence.

Throughout my-day long walk, I felt very much attached to the areas where he lived. A weird sense of belonging.  Albeit transient. And I was profoundly happy that in every street, one or more magpies warbled as they watched my progress.

My father’s family home, located in rural central Victoria, has always been special to me. It was during my early childhood visits that the music of the magpies perched on trees above nearby gold-mine slag-heaps, caught my attention. I have loved their intelligence and beauty ever since. Therefore, I should have not been surprised when I made a trip to the family home on Saturday and the wonderful sounds of magpies made me weep.  It seems the melodic notes of these black and white beauties provide me with a marker of family places, and also to other places where I gain so much pleasure.

Throughout my blog postings following the walking stages along the Derwent River, I have recorded my observation of magpies, and my delight in their song.  Rarely do magpies fly through my part of suburbia, so now I realise that part of my purpose for walking the Derwent is to hear the glorious communications of magpies. I guess it is my way of finding my place, as I make my own history – which becomes part of my family history.

Magpies singing

I always love hearing the voices of magpies singing in the bush, and it was no different during my Stage 13 walk.

Today, a follower has made a comment about the connection between blackberry pies and magpies, and then went on to make the connection with the Australian Rules League football match being played tonight in northern Tasmania. One of the teams happens to be ‘my team’ (Collingwood known as the magpies) but unfortunately I can’t be in the stadium to cheer them to a win.

Collingwood logo

The website http://www.afltas.com.au/hawthorn-v-collingwood-launceston-2015-nab-challenge-fixture/ reports that The 2015 NAB Challenge will kick off with a match between Hawthorn and Collingwood at Aurora Stadium on Thursday, February 26 … Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten said “Hawthorn are back-to-back premiers and this will be their first outing for 2015. On top of that we have another tier-one side in Collingwood, playing their first match at Aurora Stadium and first ever official match in Tasmania. It’s also a fantastic way to kick of the celebrations for the 150th year of football in Tasmania and we would like to acknowledge the role of AFL Tasmania CEO Scott Wade in working with the AFL to bring Collingwood to Tasmania.”

The Collingwood team have the largest paid up membership of any of the AFL teams and  members usually fill the large mainland stadiums when games are played.  In so doing, when the Collingwood team plays, the crowds throng and any match is expected to provide a good revenue stream on the gate.  So, I believe this is the reason the League has never let Collingwood play in Tasmania before, because our island population is so small, our stadiums are smaller by comparison and the entry gate takings are less.  The fact that my magpies are coming to Tassie is a softening of the old approach. Admittedly tonight’s game is not part of the main roster and is part of a warm up series before the main games start later in March.  But the team is here and probably in the early hours of warming up for the big game. ” ‘Carn the ‘pies!”

I have loved the magpie birds all my life.  Perhaps that is why I chose Collingwood to be ‘my team’ when I was a child.  Followers will have seen me mention the song of the magpies on many stages of my walk along the Derwent River.