Thursday, 21 December 2017


Today, at 4.42 pm, a 4-wheel drive vehicle attack on a busy pedestrian crossing in Melbourne’s Flinders Street (at the T-intersection with Elizabeth St) left 19 people in hospital, six of them critically injured. A pre-school-aged child who was injured with severe head trauma is now stable.

Police have announced that they believe this attack was the work of a mentally ill drug addict and it is not being treated as terrorism. The driver is thought to be a mentally ill man with a history of addiction to the drug ice. It is understood he has no known links to extremism and is not known to counter-terrorism authorities.

A second man pictured arrested at the scene was unconnected to the attack. He was video-taping the incident and was arrested because police found three knives in a bag in his possession. No other weapons were found in the offender’s car, the vehicle itself of course being weapon enough in the driver’s control.

In these days right before Christmas there will be many households in our city that will be affected by this horrible act of violence. The families and friends of the victims first and foremost of course, but also the family of the offender who must grieving not only for their child but for all those he injured. Add to them every other rational human being who observes this and similar senseless acts of violence and cannot help but feel revulsion, abhorrence and outrage.

All we Melburnians feel rather numb seeing this is the second incident of this type that has occurred in our city this year. On January 20 earlier this year, a car running wild in the Bourke St mall caused the death of six people and injured 28 others. The driver, Jim Gargasoulas 27 years old was charged but has pleaded “not guilty”, his defence being “mental illness”.

Our city is changing, our world is changing, people are changing and I’m afraid that things are not changing for the better. Melbourne was a beautiful city, its people mostly friendly, courteous and law-abiding. In the last 30 years we have seen Melbourne, The Large Modern City – the Most Livable City in the World slowly becoming Melbourne the Post-Modern Megalopolis: Overcrowded, noisy, congested, riddled with crime, corruption, and home of violence related to drugs, mental illness, homelessness, racial tensions, and the ever-present threat of terrorism hanging above our heads.

We have created a monster by allowing our city to become this. Corporate and individual greed, political expediency, public insouciance and a misguided desire to be a “World City” has brought us here. Now we pay the price. Melbourne you have come of age, now you belong there with all the other megalopoleis of the world. Megalomania deserves its own special reward - the loss of soul. I hope against hope that this incident is the last that we shall see, but logic says otherwise - more such incidents are to follow, I think...

My Melbourne is no longer Fresh, and I can no longer post a Daily beautiful offering in a city that is becoming increasingly more and more dehumanized. I still live here because this is my home and I shall try to find pockets of sanity to insulate myself from the increasing madness of the city. I shall try to still find beauty where I can, and continue to associate myself with people who are rational, open-minded, tolerant, charitable and altruistic. I shall continue to try to change my world for the better in any way I can. It is becoming more and more difficult...

This is the last entry for Melbourne Fresh Daily. Thank you to all the loyal followers and readers who have accompanied me here since 11/11/2011. It’s been quite the ride.

My best wishes to you and your loved ones for a peaceful Christmas and a calmer, better, saner 2018.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017


For a city of of its size, Melbourne has a reasonable number of public transport options. There are buses, trams, coaches, taxis and trains that cover nearly every suburb in the greater metropolitan area, and beyond.

Metro Trains Melbourne operates the metropolitan train network under an agreement with the Victorian Government. There are 15 separate lines in the Metro train network, 837 km of track and a total of 218 stations, 80 of which are premium stations with enhanced facilities. The fleet size consists of 407 three-car sets comprising: 187 Comeng, 72 Siemens, 134 X'Trapolis and 14 Hitachi trains. The annual patronage for the 2012-13 year was 225.5 million passenger trips.

Most of the rail track in the suburbs is above ground as shown here but there is a largely underground rail loop in the City centre. Over the next eight years the Level Crossing Removal Authority will oversee the removal of 50 dangerous and congested level crossings across Melbourne. Construction has already commenced on several sites, and planning and early consultation is underway for the delivery of the entire project.

This post is part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017


City Baths, in Melbourne, Australia, is a historically and architecturally significant building. Located at 420 Swanston Street, it is an instantly recognisable Melbourne landmark.The Melbourne City Council opened the first Melbourne City Baths on 9 January 1860, which housed public baths. The objective was to stop people from bathing in the Yarra River, which by the 1850s had become quite polluted and the cause of an epidemic of typhoid fever which hit the city resulting in many deaths. However, people continued to swim and drink the water.

The Baths were leased to a private operator, but lack of maintenance resulted in such deterioration of the building that the Baths were closed in 1899. New baths designed by John James Clark were opened on 23 March 1904. Strict separation of men and women was maintained, right down to separate street entrances. Two classes of facilities were maintained, with second class baths in the basement and first class baths on the main floor. The popularity of the swimming pool increased with the introduction of mixed bathing in 1947.

The Baths now house a swimming pool, spa, sauna, squash courts and a gymnasium. To cater for all types of swimmers, the swimming pool is divided into four lanes: an aqua play lane, a medium lane, a fast lane and a slow lane (or 'aquatic education', when swimming lessons are given).

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.

Monday, 18 December 2017


The Christmas Tree in the background image is the tree in our garden at night. A long exposure picks up the lights and creates the asterism effect. On that I have superimposed the images of the mosaic jewel tree and the greeting.

This post is part of the Mosaic Monday meme,
and also part of the Macro Monday meme,
and also part of the Through my Lens meme,
and also part of the Seasons meme.

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Friday, 15 December 2017


The Dandenong Ranges (commonly just called 'the Dandenongs') are a set of low mountain ranges, rising to 633 metres at Mount Dandenong, approximately 35 km east of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The ranges consist mostly of rolling hills, steeply weathered valleys and gullies covered in thick temperate rainforest, predominantly of tall Mountain Ash trees and dense ferny undergrowth.

After European settlement in the region, the ranges were used as a main source of timber for Melbourne. They were popular with day-trippers from the 1870s onwards. Much of the Dandenongs were protected by parklands as early as 1882 and by 1987 these parklands were amalgamated to form the Dandenong Ranges National Park, which was added to again in 1997. The ranges experience light to moderate snow falls a few times most years, frequently between late winter and late spring. In Summer the temperature is several degrees lower than that at Melbourne and the dense vegetation is luxuriant.

Today, the Dandenongs are home to over 100,000 residents and the area is popular amongst visitors, many of which stay for the weekend at the various Bed & Breakfasts through the region.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme,
and also part of the Friday Photo Journal meme,
and also part of the Weekend Green meme.

Thursday, 14 December 2017


Victorian Christmas Bush (Prostanthera lasianthos) in the Lamiaceae family, is the largest of the Australian native Mint Bushes and has the widest distribution. It ranges from southern Queensland to Tasmania from coastal to sub-alpine altitudes, and grows from 2 m in exposed mountain sites to at least 10 m high. It is best known as a tall, graceful forest shrub about 5 m high, and is popular also in the gardens of native plant lovers. It grows by creeks and in the moist shade of dense, wet sclerophyll forests, where it may have room to develop a good shape or scramble through a tangle of vegetation.

Not far from Canberra towards the high mountains, it occurs in forest hollows, near tree ferns and luxuriant mosses, reaching 5 m. When not in flower it can be detected by its menthol fragrance when touched; though sometimes too strong, it is more pleasant than in some native Mint Bush scents. Examples in the Australian National Botanic Gardens vary greatly owing to different origins and different planting positions. Plant form, leaf, flower and flowering time all vary, making an interesting study. Moist, shady conditions are not necessary for this species to grow, and it will recover from neglect as shown by older examples in the Gardens - 5 m shrubs 25 years old and growing in full sun. They were shaped by past droughts and storms into sprawling irregular shrubs with thin branches on which the upper bark is attractive and shiny.

Prostanthera lasianthos is unaffected by light frosts and will grow in light or stiff soil in sun or shade, but constant wind should be avoided. It is excellent for hiding a fence, as a tall hedge or by a red brick wall. With a good mulch and some watering it would thrive in city gardens, giving flower when most purple Mint Bushes have finished. Foliage is attractive in plants growing freely and can be bright-yellow green to darker green, hairless, sometimes shiny, and without blemish. Mountain forms and plants in full sun have slightly leathery foliage. Leaves are up to 15 cm long and from 13 mm to over 19 mm wide, larger than in other Prostanthera species. They vary in denseness, taper finely, and the margins are generally toothed, sometimes also waved or curved.

Masses of thin, soft flowers in wide-angled tapering sprays are the main attraction. The flowers are around 2 cm long and are funnel-shaped with spreading lower lobes. In the throat are tiny purple blotches and larger orange ones. In some the flowers are white but others, highly prized, appear pale pink or mauve from a distance. Close inspection shows suffused blotches of pale purple or violet, extending sometimes to the calyces and thin flower stems. These latter are slightly viscid and in some cases even more scented than the leaves. A separate light perfume can sometimes be detected in the flowers, but generally it is masked by the minty scents.

The flowering season is November to December, though it lingers till January in some years, and no doubt Christmas flowers could be planned with the right form in a cool position. A magnifier allows one constant feature to be seen in the flowers - they are coated inside and out with fine hairs, a fact which sets this species apart from other Prostanthera spp. Short branches of flowers last well in water, and are graceful and easy to arrange. Propagation is by seeds or cuttings. The only disease noticed has been die-back from the root-rot fungus referred to elsewhere, and as mentioned affected shrubs have fully recovered later.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017


Warrandyte is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 24 km north-east of Melbourne's Central Business District. Its local government area is the City of Manningham. At the 2011 Census, Warrandyte had a population of 5,520.

Warrandyte is bounded in the west by the Mullum Mullum Creek and Target Road, in the north by the Yarra River, in the east by Jumping Creek and Anzac Road, and in the south by an irregular line from Reynolds Road, north of Donvale, Park Orchards and Warrandyte South.

Warrandyte was founded as a Victorian town, located in the once gold-rich rolling hills east of Melbourne, and is now on the north-eastern boundary of suburban Melbourne. Gold was first discovered in the town in 1851 and together, with towns like Bendigo and Ballarat, led the way in gold discoveries during the Victorian gold rush. Today Warrandyte retains much of its past in its surviving buildings of the Colonial period and remains a twin community with North Warrandyte, which borders the Yarra River to its north.

The Warrandyte Road Bridge over the Yarra River connects Warrandyte with North Warrandyte. The first bridge was built in 1861, but after its demise, the current bridge was built in 1952.

This post is part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017


Melbourne's outer northern suburbs are considered to be one of Australia's fastest growing corridors. The high population growth occurring in areas 25-35 km from the city centre in the north continues to drive demand for housing and has resulted in this being one of Melbourne's growth hotspots.

Melbourne's growing northern metropolitan fringe is changing the character of what was a sleepy, bucolic area with acre lots and larger farms into a densely populated suburbia with town centres, schools, health and educational facilities that are servicing the increasing population. Pockets of nature and recreational facilities are being preserved, such as this, the parklands around the Yan Yean Reservoir, which is the oldest of Melbourne's water dams.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.