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Hotchpotch seems to be turning into a revamping of the month. I don’t mind reliving this month. It had many delights.


The National Museum of Australia offered more pleasures than Songlines, Midawarr and virtual reality. Here’s a taste of a few things I saw in passing.

A 1950s picnic with a silver Holden, and a pink caravan built for promotional use in 1956, as Australians began to acquire cars, a disposable income, and leisure.

Brabham BT23A-1 Repco V8, Formula 1 racing car, designed and raced by Jack Brabham, a household name in Australia in my youth. He himself drove it to victory in 1967: since then it’s been owned, raced and crashed by a number of owners but still has the original chassis, centre body and steering shaft.

From the windows of the museum there’s a view over landscaping or the outdoor dining area, across Lake Burley Griffin, to the Captain Cook fountain.

The National Arboretum

The building itself, “elegant and light-filled”, has a high arching roof, huge windows and stone walls. Inside, the forms are inspired by leaves and trees. The timber frame uses laminated Tasmanian oak from sustainably managed plantations and contains over 3,000 unique structural members, cut to shape from computer models, test fitted in factories in Tasmania and then erected on site. So says the fact sheet. The gumnuts, tree trunk and plantation of palms are in Hotchpotch, because I can’t identify them.

University House

This is my favourite accommodation in Canberra. Not only is there a John Wolseley painting near the reception desk, but there is a waterlily pool and the ghosts of my youth. It was here I used to come to visit my friend Rosemary when she was studying and I was teaching in Temora … long, long, l o n g ago.

The beach …

… always the beach! Which needs no commentary.

Gallery Bodalla

This local gallery behind Bodalla Post Office has wonderful exhibitions, but photography isn’t encouraged. I couldn’t resist sneaking a closeup of paintwork in Justin Pearson’s work, and wish I could show you his figures, unfinished-looking but full of pure energy.


In pursuit of the falling of light I captured J’s washing baskets replete with rumpled clothes, my weekend supplies in a Carrefour bag, and the shelf for rock specimens, all enclosed in efficiently labelled zip-lock bags. Light was supposed to be a lengthy ongoing project, but it dwindled to one collage in the face of other preoccupations.

And finally, plants …

… garden flowers, staircase leaves, fallen star flowers and noble bark.