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

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  1. Wonderful pictures and accompanying text. I was particularly taken by the picture of the chickens. It’s good for chickens to feed in different areas, and putting wire around the metal table frame seems like a great idea to make a moveable enclosure! (I am really drawn to the idea of keeping chickens!)

  2. Thank you for taking us with on your walk through your neighbourhood. The chickens table cage is a great idea!! And how wonderful is the little library. You got a great selection of books. Beautiful photos of the alleys with the corragated iron, and half hidden treasures.

  3. Hi Rebecca, I really love your photography (as well as your blog) – you show a very discerning eye! What type of camera did you use?

  4. How awesome is that novel. Loved it! I read it a 3 or 4 years ago when training to work. Highly recommend it as well.

  5. This is lovely lovely lovely. I love that children (especially your children) notice the wonder of the pedestrian – grass growing in gutters and the Jim Beam can in the shed moorings… I’m also a fan of the littlefreelibrary movement. I just put one out the front of the State Library which felt a little bit magic… Here’s a pic from their website.. https://www.facebook.com/statelibraryofvictoria/photos/a.54455794331.66397.32256104331/10152235158439332/?type=1&theater

  6. The Little Free Library is such a great idea!! I love walking through my neighborhood also and take a different route each day. Amazing to see what goes on and changes through the days, weeks and seasons. It’s great that your children are training their eyes to see all sorts of things in their surroundings besides pretty flowers.

  7. Beautiful shots! It is amazing how when we take a little more time getting to and from where we are going, our whole perspective can shift and we notice the most incredible things.
    This is the first time I’ve heard of the Little Free Library but it is such a fantastic idea!

  8. great post loved the alley pics particularly. Reminded me of an installation film I once saw which merged many alleyway spaces one over the other as the camera moved forward, to make a constant seamless path. They are such interesting ‘forgotten ‘ spaces.

  9. Great jaunt you and the Dear Ones went on! I am always impressed with the changes in nature in the woods on my dog walks. I even like being a passenger as opposed to being the driver! I miss so much being a driver. So glad you are instilling that curiosity in them.

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