Walking the neighbourhood

June 14, 2014

I love living in the northern suburbs of Melbourne but sometimes it becomes so familiar, I stop really seeing it. Last weekend, the kids and I went for a walk, a meandering and rambling kind of walk.  We took the camera and we looked.

IMG_2860We saw some chickens grazing on a nature strip next to the road.  Their daytime corral was a wired chrome table frame.

IMG_2867We exchanged some books at the local library. This wondrous little library is made of an old bright yellow filing cabinet on its side and is part of the worldwide Little Free Library movement.  These little tiny libraries are located in neighbourhoods and are simply a collection of books that folks can swap, borrow or donate to.  Our kids think it is marvellous.

Look at what we picked out.

IMG_2871One of the books, the book about farming even had old livestock insemination records interleaved in the pages! The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is the treasure though.  I stumbled upon this a couple of years ago but had forgotten all about it until I saw a copy here.  Told through letters, it is an intriguing story of a group of ordinary yet remarkable people on the British island of Guernsey, set just after German Occupation.  Mary Ann Shaffer was in her seventies when she wrote the novel.  It was her first and only novel and when her health declined, her niece undertook the final editing for publication. It is my addiction at the moment.

IMG_2879Then we wandered through the back alleys.  I love these places.  This is where you can see the layers of occupancy in the neighbourhood.  Sheds and fences added to and patched from the twenties and thirties till now. Rust, wire and ageing timbers, layers of improvements, mending and fixing by generations of home owners. Not pretty but absolutely fascinating.

IMG_2881IMG_2892The kids notice all kinds of things…an old can concreted into the edge of a shed floor, grass in gutters and the insides of pipes.

IMG_2916 IMG_2905 IMG_2885