Thursday, November 2, 2017

Shrine of Remembrance - Melbourne

The Shrine of Remembrance is the National War Memorial of Victoria, a monument dedicated to all those who have served in the armed conflicts and peacekeeping operations in which Australia participated.
The Shrine of Remembrance with the Eternal Flame
Originally built in the 1920's as a memorial for the 89,000 Victorian men and women who served overseas in World War 1 and the 19,000 who made the supreme sacrifice. Although other monuments in the Shrine Reserve commemorate later services, the Shrine itself now honours all men and women who have served. It belongs to yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Poppy Courtyard

As we arrived at the Shrine the first area we came across was one of the courtyards. This courtyard was black walls with many many red poppies poked into holes and what looked like a huge poppy suspended above. 

The Poppy Courtyard from above
It wasn't until we could view the poppy courtyard from above that we could see the beauty of the suspended poppy. Our tour guide also informed us that the thousands of holes in the black walls that all the poppies were stuck into actually said the "Ode to Remembrance"in morse code. 

Gallery of Medals
At the entry of the Shrine we were confronted by the Gallery of Medals. This wall of medals certainly emphasises the scale of Victoria's service since World War 1.  This hallway exhibits over 4000 replica service medals since the Boer War. Each medal represents one hundred Victorians who served in armed conflicts and peacekeeping operations.

View along St Kilda Rd / Swanston St, Melbourne
Standing on the second floor balcony you get the most amazing view of Melbourne's CBD. 

Can you see William Barak?

Looking northward up along St. Kilda Rd and Swanston St. you can see the majestic St Pauls Cathedral. Beyond the Cathedral you can see a newly built striped building. Without our extremely knowledgeable tour guide we would never have noticed the magnificence in front of us. Can you see it? Constructed into the balconies of the apartment building is the face of the Wurunjeri elder William Barak. Not only was William Barak an elder of the Wurunjeri, an artist he was a social justice leader. We were absolutely amazed at this beautiful acknowledgment of a great Australian from a private building. 

Father and Son 
Centrally placed in the crypt is this very powerful sculpture "Father and Son", with this inscription. 

1914-1918 AND 1939 - 1945

Changi Flag
Captain Kenneth Parsons,2/3 Motor Ambulance Convoy, removed this union flag from the Sultan of Johore's palace in late January 1942 to prevent it from falling into Japanese hands. After Singapore's surrender on 15 February 1942, Parsons and the other Australian medical officers concealed the flag for the entire three and a half years of their imprisonment in Changi. Between 1942 and 1945, over 100 signatures were placed on the flag. Of these, 91 are Australian, including 33 Victorians, 36 New South Welshman, 16 Queenslanders and 2 Western Australians. The rest are attributed to members of the liberating forces. 

The Devanha Landing Boat
The "Devanha" landing boat is the last remaining of the six landing boats that ferried ANZAC troops to the beaches at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915.  I must admit standing beside this amazing piece of history I could almost feel the spirit of the men aboard. 

Remembrance Garden - Post World War 11 Memorial. 
Although a small out of the way area, this is a lovely peaceful spot and sit and appreciate all we have.

Hall of Columns
The Hall of Columns is part of the original substructure of the Shrine. Approximately four million bricks were used in the construction of the columns to support the original structure. This area has now been opened up to the public and with it's subdued lighting and many many artifacts it gives an atmosphere of contemplation. 

World War 11 Memorial
The World War 11 Memorial, which includes the Forecourt, Cenotaph, Eternal Flame and flagpoles, was built to commemorate all Victorians who served in World War 11. 

Close up view of the World War 11 Memorial
I've never been one for war stuff but I am so glad I included The Shrine in my adventure days. I learnt so much about some pretty sad history. War is a terrible terrible thing and these days we don't know from which direction it is coming. I don't have a solution, all I can do as one person is love and treat all other humans with kindness and compassion. 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Abbotsford Convent

For this weeks adventure I went to the very beautiful Abbotsford Convent. The site consists of 11 buildings; the Convent, Convent Annexe, St Euphrasia, Providence, Rosina, St Mary's, Mercator, Magdalen Laundries, Sacred Heart, Industrial School and St Anne's. 

Founded by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd in 1863, the Abbotsford Convent operated for more than 100 years through the social traumas caused by gold rush and bust,the Great Depression and two world wars. Over the period of a century, thousands of girls and women were placed in the care at the convent, with many residing in the convent's Sacred Heart Building, and labouring in the onsite Magdalen Laundries. 

One of the two woodfired ovens built in 1901 and still in use today.
This one is now used for mainly heating and the other is used for all the bakeries daily food. 
While the convent had a positive impact for some women - many of whom were destitute and had nowhere else to go - and although the convent provided critically needed shelter, food and education in the absence of state care, the convent was also a place of hardship and ordeal for some of the women, as was often the experience of those in institutional care. 

Built in 1901, the Sisters Convent is sited on what was Abbotsford House, a former gentleman's farmlet. The Convent building was where most of the Sisters, novices (nuns in training) and postulants (women commencing life as nuns) lived.

Funds for the Convent building came from a raffle held at the Royal Exhibition Buildings, with the prizes donated by Catholic families and businesses. The raffle raised over $5 million in today's dollar equivalent. 

At it's peak, the Convent housed up to 150 Sisters and was one of the largest Catholic complexes in Australia, and by 1901 was the largest charitable institution operation in the Southern Hemisphere. 

Today many of the buildings are now home to over 100 arts and crafts practitioners, the Convent Bakery, Health and Wellbeing businesses and also spaces that can be rented out for functions. 

On Thursday 31 August 2017, the Abbotsford Convent joined iconic landmarks including the Royal Exhibition Buildings, Sydney Opera House and the Melbourne Cricket Ground in achieving the country's highest level of recognition. 

The National Heritage listing states the Convent's Laundries and asylum buildings are an important record for those Australians and their families known as the Forgotten Australians. The listing also states the harm of institutionalization and the trauma experienced by many residents is acknowledged as part of the Convents heritage. 

As I walked around theses beautiful gardens gazing at the amazing buildings it was nice to think that there was somewhere that was there to help women, but also very sad to think of all those who suffered.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Our Week with O'Shea

Last week I was truly blessed to have my gorgeous grandson O'Shea staying with me for a week. He lives about eight hours from me so I don't get to spend a huge amount of time with him or his little brother Finn. So I thought now that he is six and at school, it was the perfect time for a holiday with Granny Dave. After meeting up in Marlo and get in a bit of fishing it was time for O'Shea and Granny Dave to head to Melbourne. 

Clohesy family having a bit of a fish - O'Shea 1 - Daddy 1
My daughters two girls Clare (6) and Mikayla (4) were also looking forward to having lots of adventures with O'Shea, so Rachel and I planned a few activities. As it turned out it was an extremely busy week. 

Monday was a day at Melbourne Museum in Carlton. I have been to the Museum with Clare and Mikayla before and we just knew O'Shea would love it, as he did. I knew the kids would love the indoor play area, but I was totally surprised just how much two six year olds could enjoy a Museum. On the way home they said how much they loved it, but their favourite was the big crystals. 

O'Shea and Clare were pretty impressed with these Pygmy Blue Whale Bones

While O'Shea smiled for the camera,
Clare was just checking out those ants couldn't get to her

The both loved the crystals. 
Tuesday was a quieter day until we headed off to the movies to see The Emoji Movie. After lots of popcorn, candies and a Mexican dinner it was off home for a good nights sleep. 

Movie and Popcorn time

A bit of craziness at dinner

We spent a fabulous day on Wednesday at Werribee Open Range Zoo. Opened in 1983, this zoo covers around 560 acres and has some major exhibits with Hippopotamus, Lion, Zebra, Giraffe, Meerkat, Ostrich, beautiful Silverback Gorillas, African wild dogs, numerous antelope, Rhinoceros, and Australian animals. 

Such a magnificent animal these Silverback Gorillas are. 

O'Shea's favorite were the snakes. 

At the end of the day it was time for icypoles. 
Thursday was a day to head down to Somerton to Dinosaur World. The three kids enjoyed looking at all the moving dinosaurs, so from a kids view it was fun but from an adults point of view it was not as exciting. 

Oh how I Love these smiles

After such a big week it was time for some quiet time watching Trolls on the telly
While waiting for his Mum, Dad and brother Finn to come down to collect him it was time for O'Shea to have one last play date with his cousins. 

Overall we had a fantastic week and next time little Finn will be old enough to come for his first holiday from home. 

Sunday, October 1, 2017

My Decluttering Cleansing Challenge

Last month I have been challenging myself and others with a 30 Day Decluttering Cleansing month.  I must admit I put the challenge out there for totally selfish reasons. I find that if I put it out there to others it makes me more accountable. Hence when I'm accountable to others I usually am successful with my challenges. But that wasn't always the case. Years ago I had a bit of a hoarding problem but with lots of work and soul searching I was able to get over it. Here's  how I made myself realise that I just didn't need all the stuff I had.

I think my issues started when I went through a divorce and was left with lots of stuff from my past. For a number of years my two kids and I lived with the clutter until after a bit of a revelation I realised that all the stuff that I was keeping from my past was stopping me from moving forward into my new life. At first I didn't know what to do and I found it very difficult to part with anything.
So to start off I set up some boxes in my lounge room and I labeled them throw away, donate, keep, pass onto owners, and don't know. At the end of each week I emptied the boxes to where they belonged. I only tackled one area at a time eg. one draw at a time, one tiny area at a time. After a lot of soul searching and positive self talk to myself  I had mostly everything under control but there were still a few issues.
After quite a number of years the time came for us to head off for twelve months in our camper "Myrtle". I had to put a lot of stuff into storage and my incentive was "Do I want to pay for this to be in storage?"  So once again I got the boxes set up and promised myself to be a lot more ruthless.
My clutter issues are pretty much under control now although I must admit I do still have some issues with my craft room. With that in mind this month I am going to challenge myself with all the craft supplies, half finished objects, instructions and incidental things my craft room holds.

If you would like to join me in this challenge please let me know. I'd love to have you along for the ride.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Buddha's Smile at the National Gallery Victoria

After a bit of a delay I am finally getting back into having an Adventure Day every week, to explore what my city, Melbourne has to offer.

I always like visiting the NGV with it's impressive waterfall entrance and it's amazing Grand Hall with it's spectacular stained glass ceiling.

National Gallery Victoria - St Kilda Rd, Melbourne

The magnificent waterfall entry to the NGV.  
The first time I ever visited this gallery I thought the water ran down between two sheets of glass. It wasn't until I put my face and hands on it and I got drenched I realised it didn't. 

The Grand Hall was opened on August 20, 1968.
This magnificent ceiling is the world's largest stained-glass ceiling
and was designed by Australian artist Leonard French.
The ceiling is high 13.72 metres and a  vast 60.9 x 15.24 metres.

The 224 triangles of diamond-cut primary colours weigh 300 kilograms each.

This latest venture was to the National Gallery of Victoria to see the Buddha's Smile Exhibition. Anyone who knows me and my obsession with Buddha's would instantly know this is one exhibition I would have to visit.

11 Headed Bodhisattva

A delicate but powerful piece

It was hard to get a great photo of this statue as it was behind glass.
But for some reason it mesmerised me. 

 The explanation in the NGV information brochure is "Explore the story of Buddha in his multitude of incarnations, from Buddhist-inspired works of art and Zen philosophy to Buddhist costume, religious symbolism, painting conventions and historical narratives. Buddha's Smile reveals the unique style and mediums of art throughout Asia with a focus on the tranquility and silent transmission of Buddhist philosophy through simple gestures of a smile."

Liu Xiaoxian
Our God, Laughing Buddha
Digital print on aluminium

The Our God, Laughing Buddha work is actually made up of
thousands of photos of Jesus, as shown in detail above.
The artist also made a corresponding piece of work of Jesus made
up up thousands of photos of the Laughing Buddha. 
I did have a little feedback from a friend that they thought the exhibition was just OK. From my perspective I thoroughly enjoyed it and found it very informative with some amazing pieces of art.

Ceremonial hanging and covering... 19th Century
Depicting the life of King Ashoka -Buddha

"The Buddha smiled and varicoloured rays of light extended from the smile, up to the gods in heaven and down to the various hells, where warmth brought relief to those suffering in the cold hells and it's coolness brought relief to those in the hot hells'..........
......Adaptation from The Legend of King Ashoka