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This Week in Port Phillip 1841: 25-31 August 1841

THE SAD TALE OF OF VEZELLA RAINBOW It was not particularly common for the Port Phillip Herald to comment on the parlous circumstances facing impoverished individuals, but during much of June 1841 it conducted an appeal in its columns for … Continue reading ?

This Week in Port Phillip 1841: 17-24 August 1841

THE WATER CARTERS At this stage, Melbourne was reliant on water carters for its water supply. Having recently spent some time in Nairobi where our house was reliant on tanked water for its domestic supply, I have a new appreciation … Continue reading ?

‘Where Are Our Boys?’ by Martin Woods

Where Are our Boys: How Newsmaps Won the Great War Martin Woods 2016, 227p & notes Now that I come to think of it,  maps don’t figure prominently in our graphic-rich environment much any more.  I’m old enough to remember … Continue reading ?

‘Black Rock White City’ wins the Miles Franklin

In past years I’ve assiduously worked through the short list for the Miles Franklin, but it seems to have crept up on me this year. What was on the shortlist? Actually, I’ve read several of them without realizing it. The … Continue reading ?

Movie: Truman

I’ve been learning Spanish for the last year and that was the main reason that I wanted to see this film. It’s odd- I came out of the cinema smugly happy with my ability to recognize a couple of words … Continue reading ?

This Week in Port Phillip 1841: 9-16 August

There’s been a little story bubbling along in the papers over the last week or so about a “cowardly assault” on the Rev. A. C. Thomson, the Anglican minister of St James Anglican Church.  St James was the only Anglican … Continue reading ?

‘The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer’ by Kate Summerscale

2016,  307 P & notes Spoiler alert When watching yet another episode of the interminable Midsomer Murders, it is our practice to time how long it takes until the murder takes place. (In fact, I was rather disconcerted that in … Continue reading ?

Movie: Mustang

Set in Turkey, five orphaned adolescent sisters find their freedom increasingly circumscribed when the neighbours complain about the girls’ rambunctious behaviour with boys. Prompted by the girls’ uncle, their grandmother insists on them wearing shapeless, all-covering clothes outside, their schooling … Continue reading ?

‘Skin Deep: Settler impressions of Aboriginal women’ by Liz Conor

375 p & notes, 2016 On the first page of the introduction to this book, there is a picture of a young aboriginal woman, staring directly at the camera.  It comes from a book by Alice Duncan-Kemp called Where Strange … Continue readi...

NSW Premier’s History Awards Shortlist

The shortlists for the NSW Premier’s History Awards have been announced. Australian History Prize (on Australian history, addressing subjects of national significance) The Eighties: The Decade that Transformed Australia – Frank Bongiorno. (see my review here) Just Relations: The Story … Continue reading ?

This Week in Port Phillip in 1841: 1- 8 August 1841

Melbourne was bravely proclaiming that perhaps things weren’t too bad economically here (even if Sydney, South Australia and Tasmania were in trouble)… but then the ships came in.  Seven in all – five of them big ships- disgorged 1356 bounty … Continue reading ?

A Call to Peace- Heidelberg Chorale Society

I went to a beautiful concert last night by the Heidelberg Chorale Society.  It was the world premiere of a piece called ‘When the Bugle Calls’ written by Australian composer Nicholas Buc to a libretto by one of the chorale … Continue reading ?


Thanks to Google image search I can confirm that the creator of this intense image on Rose St near the corner of Gore St is Georgia Laurie, whose street name is Allure Art. … This post was first published on Fitzroyalty. © Brian War...

‘The Tsar of Love and Techno’ by Anthony Marra

2015, 318.  (How odd- there’s hundreds of images of this front cover online, but none of the front cover that sits on the desk behind me, which shos a leopard and a cossack. I think mine’s the UK version) I … Continue reading ?

This Month in Port Phillip: July 1841

Oh dear, all my good intentions of writing a weekly report have all turned to dust! I think I’ll just do a quick skate through July 1841 and then take up again in August 1841. So what did happen in … Continue reading ?

This Week in Port Phillip 1841: 24 June-30 June 1841

MR DIGHT’S FLOUR MILL You might remember that on May 1-7 the Port PHillip Herald announced that construction was to begin on a water-driven mill at what we now know as Dight’s Falls. Work had continued apace: NEW FLOUR MILLS. … Continue reading ?

‘Reckoning’ by Magda Szubanski

2015, 371 pages I wonder if some of the very positive response to this book springs from a sense of surprise that such a familiar comedian could take us to such varied and dark places.  This is not your usual … Continue reading ?

the urge to destroy

Is street art over? I think there has been a decline in the diversity and quality of work created in the past couple of years compared to previously. The work of Tenet and Astrotwitch are prominent exceptions to this. In this example...Show More Summary

Graeme Davison on visions of the future

I mentioned the History of the Future exhibition at the Melbourne Town Hall. In the little booklet that accompanied the exhibition (which I had to email for, as they had run out), there is an essay written by the  curator … Continue reading ?

And so here we go again….Banyule Homestead

It’s Groundhog Day here in Heidelberg, with changes to Banyule Homestead in the air again.  You can read about it at

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