Monday, 20 March 2017

A hut ever so humble

From the authors of one of Australia's favourite bush camping and 4WD guides comes a striking review of the High Country's most aesthetic and historic huts. Lavishly illustrated with beautiful full-colour photographs, ‘High Country huts & homesteads’ is a nostalgic collection of abandoned mountain homesteads, shearers’ huts, traveller’s shelters and many other lonely structures. The text portrays a short history of each hut along with many fascinating accompanying stories and importantly a GPS location.

Ranging from simple log cabins, wooden slab cattlemen’s huts, eclectic miner’s dwellings to homesteads on vast alpine grazing runs, this book presents a selection of rustic buildings with their associated structures, which have become part of our High Country heritage and a legacy of times gone by.

According to Craig and Cathy there are well over 300 huts remaining in the High Country. Each at the mercy of the elements, so it is great that they have chosen 63 of what they consider classic examples of the craft to present in this coffee-table style book.
Wallaces Hut
They refer Wallaces Hut, perched near Victoria’s highest peak Mt Bogong, a crude hut which has withstood over 120 snow covered winters, and dodged bushfires to become the oldest hut on the high plains.

It contrasts with Four Mile Hut in the Kosciuszko National Park erected from scavenged materials from a nearby gold mine.
Du Cane Hut below Castle Crag
While DuCane Hut on the Overland Track and Cope Hut on the Bogong High Plains were constructed to meet the needs of walkers and skiers.
Cope Hut
The Coolamine Homestead Complex was developed in stages from the 1880s to the end of the 1890s, for the managers and their families of the vast pastoral holdings. Its last resident only leaving in 1958.
Coolamine Homestead buildings
So should more bushfires devastate the High Country, there is now a better photographic record of the huts dotted through its landscape.
Like to visit any of the huts mentioned in the book, you may want to check out Craig & Cathy's camping and 4WD guides

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Maintenant et puis

It is sometime since I've created any 'now and then' images, or showcased someone-else's, and since I've been hanging onto these - the time has come.
The vintage French postcards show the city of Nancy - the capital of the Duchy of Lorraine in north-eastern France - and have been used as the 'then'.

La Craffe Gate. The oldest gateway in Nancy. This former guardhouse, a fine example of military architecture built in the mid 14th century under Duke Jean I, was for centuries the main entrance to Nancy.

These photographs came from a book briefly on loan from a French exchange student, so sorry no bibliographic details.
And 'Maintenant et puis' ... is French for 'now and then'!

Friday, 10 February 2017

Sweep of the region

Just noticed that I had a number of panoramic photos of the Grampians (which lend themselves to panoramic landscapes) and the general area, thought I'd share them.
So here is a quick tour of the region. 

From Mount Zero in the early morning -
to the late evening -  
onto to Lake Bellfield -
 and over the range to the Wartook Valley -
 and down the Southern Grampians -
 then back up to Green Lake for the sunset -
and further west to Mount Arapiles -
continuing west of Nhill for the dawn -
passing by Cockatoo Swamp -
then time at Lake Hindmarsh -
and finally a wattle close-up -

Monday, 6 February 2017

Buying a book

Twisted Sifter has a number of photographs of the beautiful Buenos Aires ‘El Ateno Grand Splendid’ bookshop inside a 100-year-old theatre. 

Situated at 1860 Santa Fe Avenue in Barrio Norte, Buenos Aires, you will find one of the most stunning bookstores in the world. El Ateneo Grand Splendid is one of the best known bookshops in Argentina. 

Designed by the architects PerĂ³ and Torres Armengol, with ceiling frescoes painted by Nazareno Orlandi and support columns sculpted by Troiano Troiani, the grand theatre first opened in May 1919 with a seating capacity of 1,050. In the late 1920s it was converted into a movie theatre, and then retrofitted into a flagship bookshop during 2000.

According to a recent study by the World Cities Culture Forum, Buenos Aires has more bookshops per inhabitant than any other city in the world – roughly 1 bookshop per 3,937 inhabitants (Melbourne is well back at 1 per 12,945. It does fare better with the number of public libraries – Buenos Aires has one library for 35,680 inhabitants, while Melbourne has one for every 29,213 – so maybe Melbournians just prefer to borrow rather than buy!).

Monday, 9 January 2017

You have been warned

Andy Lee’s bespoke “Do Not Open This Book” was penned for his nephew.

Comedian Andy Lee of Hamish & Andy fame, became a children's book author after publishing 'Do Not Open This Book' as a present for his nephew George's first birthday.

Andy told The Project that originally he "wanted to surprise my sister. I've got a nephew, George, who's about to turn one. I thought writing a book for him as his birthday present would be a nice thing to do."

"I wrote it up, I gave it to my best mate who's a kid's books publisher and I said 'Can you just make one copy for me?'. He rang me back a few weeks later and said 'I asked the other publishers and they'd like to print this'. I said 'Nah mate, give us the one copy'."

But Lee finally gave him the okay, provided that they held back until Andy had surprised Alex and George on his birthday.

"We did manage to surprise my sister. It was little George's birthday and we managed to set up a bookstore with the book in it and as I was taking my sister out to lunch I managed to show her the surprise."

Andy rigged up a bookstore with cameras to capture Alex's heartfelt reaction before Hamish swooped in to interview little George.

Funnily enough, his friends' children have actually been scared by 'Do Not Open This Book'. "Do not buy this book anyone," warned Andy (well you could buy it after you've borrowed it from your library).

"It is about this little character who's trying to convince the reader not to turn the pages. He uses all sorts of tricks, reverse psychology, all these things, but watching a couple of kids read it, I've taken it around to a few of my mates houses, and some of them are too petrified to get to the end."

Adults and parents though love it, a great combination between Andy and illustrator Heath McKenzie - borrow it!.

Friday, 6 January 2017

Don't play with your food

Just came across Carl Warner's work. Artist & photographer Carl began his career as a landscape and still life photographer - and he still is - but he has departed from the norm and struck out into 'foodscapes'. This leaves model-makers for dead!
'Spaghetti Western'
This is one of my favourites, it might be a more obvious choice of construct, but just check out that sky.
Never worry about getting kids to eat their greens if you provide them with a lettuce seascape.

 And when they have devoured their vegies, maybe they'd be allowed this pretty in pink number.

A nod to Australia with Ayers Rock, and to John Steinbeck with this Cereal Dustbowl.

 More at Carl's website
Stilton Cottage

Monday, 2 January 2017

Lost for words

Statistics can be boring, but they can also be enlightening.

Take for instance this message from the Geocache people -

We travel from geocache to geocache. We make friends. We are explorers (even if we sometimes get lost). We each have our own story, come in different shapes and sizes, hail from various corners of the planet (though the planet is round), and have our unique missions and goals.
But what brings us all together is this: We love geocaching.
As 2016 has come to a close, we want to say thanks. This game is co-created by people around the world like you: hiding geocaches, hosting events, sending trackables out into the wild, writing logs, and supporting the game

geocaches were logged. 

new geocaches were placed. 
So lets get out there and make 2017 a 3 million year of caches found! 

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Merry Christmas To All
This year's Myers window
Salute to a great Christmas Tradition - Carols by Candlelight at the Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Before Harry

Not that it needs any advertising, but J.K. Rowling's "Fantastic beasts and where to find them : the original screenplay" has been released.

The plot:
In New York, Newt Scamander, a young activist wizard from England, is on a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures. Inside his expanding leather suitcase hides a wide array of diverse, magical creatures that exist among us, ranging from tiny, twig-like ones, to majestic and humongous ones. 
Set in the 1920s (years before Harry's birth), times are troubled since the already fragile equilibrium of secrecy between the unseen world of wizards and the ordinary or "No-Maj" (American for Muggle) people that the MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America) struggles to maintain, is at risk. 
Meanwhile, the voices against wizardry keep growing with daily protests led by anti-magic crusader - Mary Lou Barebone and fuelled by the increasing disasters ascribed to the terrorising dark wizard - Gellert Grindelwald.
 At the same time, by a twist of fate, Newt's precious suitcase will be switched with the identical one of an aspiring No-Maj baker, Jacob Kowalski, while demoted Auror, Tina Goldstein, arrests Newt for being an unregistered wizard.
To make matters worse, with the suitcase in the wrong hands, several creatures manage to escape to unknown directions. Before long, this situation will catch Senior Auror Percival Graves' attention who will target both Tina and Newt amid panic caused by an invisible, devastating and utterly unpredictable menace that still wreaks havoc in New York's 5th Avenue. Is there a hidden agenda behind Graves' intentions and ultimately, what will happen to the remaining magical creatures still loose in the streets? 
How can you fit that storyline into just 290 pages of script and illustrations?
Find out by borrowing either the real physical book, or the ebook