Saturday, 18 April 2015

Autumn in ... anywhere

This is me for the rest of the day!

My first raking this season was February 21, making this the 9th weekend of raking. I usually count on 13 weeks. I am now into two sessions a week. There is a forecast downpour this arvo, so want this all squared away before that!

Next season, I want to have me a small mulcher in place, to make use of all this beauty. Also need to spread my current bin of compost, and load up another. I'm late, I'm late, for a most important date. Ciao my lovelies!

Friday, 17 April 2015

Tempe House - serenaded by brass

The 'open" day for Tempe House was really a selling day for the apartment blocks that loom behind the 1836 building. I guess they know their potential clientele better than I. I have nothing against brass bands, and this was a good one. However, I just know that if this sales pitch were to happen anywhere near where I live on the North Shore, they would have engaged the services of a hip recreator of the '50s, channelling Rosemary Clooney, and Patti Page. However, The Kogarah Concert Band swayed me with renditions of music from Disney, and the 1848 barricades.

So, I have bitten the bullet and here show you the tiny, Georgian villa being overwhelmed by Pete Seeger's "little boxes".

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Tempe House - a Greek kowtow

The house was built for Alexander Brodie Spark who was Scottish, after a design by John Verge. I emphasise the Verge link as he is more "famous" than is Spark (IMO). Spark was born in Elgin, Scotland ad his "literary pretensions" may help to explain two things about Tempe House. In the mid-1830s when the house was designed and built - as a farm and rural retreat - the area was called Cooks River, then it became Tempe, and today is known as Wolli Creek.

The fact that Spark emmigrated from Elgin, Scotland to Sydney Town in 1823, already gives us a Greek connection, with the Earl of Elgin swiping the marble reliefs from the Parthenon in 1801. Spark named his rural retreat after the Vale of Tempe, in Thessaly, Greece just south of Olympus. To further stress his intent, he named the small wooded "mound" in his grounds "Mount Olympus". These gates lead to this hillock, which is left in its natural state with uneven ground, and exposed rocks, and not fit for the likes of myself.

I am still loathe to show you a full-frontal of this poor little villa. In his biography of John Verge, Harley Preston notes the house as "a small Regency villa, practically a ferme ornée".

I should reference the "kowtow" of my title. Its meaning may have commenced as a sign of deep respect, but I mean it in the modern meaning of grovelling.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Tempe House - colonial feng shui

Tempe House, in the inner-southern suburb of Wolli Creek (formerly Tempe) was built in 1836 for Alexander Brodie Spark, by the well-respected colonial architect, John Verge. Spark was a magistrate, and an assessor for the Supreme Court. After a chequered history,the house is now being encroached upon by masses of cookie-cutter apartment towers. Part of the monthly Strata Fees for these apartments is garnisheed by the developers for the maintenance of Tempe House and its landscaped gardens.

Could be worse!

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Sydney Cove - Home is where the heart is

Only missing one icon. I have the bridge. I have Sydney Cove. I have Circular Quay. I have a ferry.

To get to the missing Opera House, follow the crowd of people around to the right ...