February 24, 2014 … abundance in the lucky country

Sunday in Sunny Melbourne was very pleasant.

Melbourne Tram

During some morning spots, the trams are big and spacious. The nearer they get to the city, or in rush hours, they become claustrophobic nightmares

Of course, it was all the better for it being sunny after a series of cold days, though the temperature was not as high as it often gets in Victoria at this time of year. We had some visiting to do in the early afternoon, so while Catherine and Mark followed the path of virtue at their gym in the morning, I took a tram to the South Melbourne Market.  It was one of the newest generation of Melbourne trams, and though it seems faster and quieter than earlier models, it is still uncomfortable if it is overcrowded (and it was).

Meat in South Melbourne

No matter how much they sell, they seem to keep the trays full.

The markets fascinate me, just for the sheer volume of goods on display. Meat, fish, cheese, fruit,  are all laid out in enticing arrays, with the stall-holders shouting their offers and telling why theirs is better than the stuff next door. Families and grandmothers from all of South Melbourne’s infinite variety of ethnic groups explore, seeking the best bargains.

A land of plenty

At least in this part of the market, the structure is still open and you can easily compare the offerings of one vendor with the next.

To my eye, most things were cheaper than at home, even allowing for the currency difference, though there were exceptions. I suspect that most of the high-priced exceptions were due to protectionism by Australia which tends to protect its domestic agriculture from foreign competition using the pretext of biosecurity. That’s not to say that there aren’t some real biosecurity threats out there that should be protected against.

Calorific overload

These look to me to be genuine hand-made pies … spectacular

Pastry and baked goods were enticing, though I didn’t succumb. The general merchandise section of the market has changed since my last visit. They have installed permanent walls between the individual stalls and instantly, much of the liveliness and competitive spirit is extinguished.

Mural

The graffitists have tagged the warning sign, but left the work of a fellow “artist” unscathed.

Mindful of afternoon social commitments, I went back to the tram, where I saw this obviously commissioned mural at the tram stop. If nothing else, it inspires sufficient respect among the more feral graffitists that it is not significantly defaced. The tram towards St Kilda got as far as St Kilda Road when a broken overhead line brought the system to a complete halt.

Anglican church on Acland Street, St Kilda

Warm stone, much preferable to the threatening dark grey found elsewhere

 

There were helpless trams everywhere as I walked the twenty minutes or so back to Catherine and Mark’s home. However, the judicious selection of back streets took me past this suburban church, typical of Melbourne’s ecclesiastical architecture in its choice of warm stone as a building material.

Diamond Princess

Local fishermen are unmoved as this huge ship sails into the evening haze and south from Port Philip Bay

In the early evening, as we headed out for dinner, the cruise liner Diamond Princess was departing from Melbourne on its way to Adelaide. It was a lovely evening and the haze produced a lovely sunset. In keeping with good manners, I had left my camera in the car, so I missed it.

Thus endeth the day.

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About wysiwygpurple

I am a family man, a passionate amateur photographer and a retired academic . What's the purpose of this blog? Well in the first instance it provides me with a platform from which to resume writing, an activity I greatly enjoy. What will the blog be about? Anything that takes my fancy but it is likely to arise from things I see and experience, in my family, in my travels, or anything else I feel like. Each daily post will contain one or more images made the previous day. Sometimes the image will illustrate the points made in the prose, and sometimes the prose will attempt to interpret the image. What kind of images will they be? Always safe for work and family. Usually they will be representational, and sometimes they will be impressionistic or experimental.
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