Wednesday, 30 October 2013

About my home town

One of my blogger friends recently asked me to tell her a little about where I live.  Well this is not an easy thing to do, how much do I say,  I do want to protect myself  but, I also want to connect with her and others that read my blog.  This is what I have decided, I don't need to give my address or tell too much about my shire, but I can tell you about my State.    I live at the bottom of Australia, the only place further down and across the waters of  Bass Strait is the island of Tasmania.   My home is in the state of Victoria, named after Queen Victoria, we were settled by the British and most of our ancestors were criminals who were shipped from the motherland England as convicts to settle this great land, although  my ancestors are mostly Irish   My home town is Melbourne it has a population of about 4 million people, I live in a shire about 50 kilometres on the outskirts of Melbourne.  Our shire has a population of roughly a hundred and twenty thousand people, with about a half of the community under 38 years old.  This area was once farming land, the original road through the shire was the Cobb and Co., coach road used to access the gold fields of Ballarat.  The Shire sprang up around the pub and coach office. The outskirts of the shire are still farming but are becoming required for housing.  Victoria's weather is classified as temperate, basically meaning we have very hot summers, mostly dry heat, occasionally it will be humid but this is rare, it has been know to reach 47 degrees celcius in the middle of summer to cold and hopefully wet winters. We have experienced fifteen years of drought but this winter has been kind to us.   Our winter tempretures usually vary between 1-2 degrees celcius to about 12 degrees, this of course varies, especially now we are feeling the changes due to global warming.  I love my town, Melbourne has bush on one side and open beaches with cafes on the forshore where most spend their time in summer.  On the other side of the city it is suburbia and housing,  but then if you want to ski during the winter it is only about one hundred kilometres to the snow fields.    In the summer we are not far from  the world renowned surf  coast of the Great Ocean Road and the beaches of  Bells Beach, Lorne, and Anglesea.  Melbourne is a lively young city, we have the Yarra river which winds it's way through the centre of the city, and has become the hub of many shops, cafes and water sports.  The sport mostly played is Australian rules football in the winter and Cricket in the summer,  and let me tell you everyone who has a club they support is very passionate about their team.  Not far from where I live there are kangaroos, koalas, wombats, beautiful wild birds, parrots, galahs, cockatoos etc, and of course the dreaded snakes.  If you look very carefully along creek beds you may come across a platypus or two, not as many as there used to be.     Kangaroos are taking over parts of this country, they are breeding in large numbers and are now being culled for their meat, which by the way is delicious, little fat and high in protein.  Snakes are some of the most dangerous in the world, and we have many.  
This was taken not far from my house overlooking  farmland
The city of Melbourne has many high rise buildings,  wonderful museums, art centres, theatres, hotels and of course the scorned casino. Most of us live in single story dwellings, we do not have cellars or attics, but saying that,  a lot of the earlier heritage terraces around the city do. The photo on the right is not typical, most people live in suburbia, I think I am very lucky to live outside what is called the green wedge, the land between the city and my shire. This area is becoming smaller as more land is needed for housing, but I am happy as I drive home that I can enjoy the scenery around me and unwind.
My home is a single story house with a garage attached to the side, it has three bedrooms two living areas and two bathrooms, I have a small yard, just enough land to have a garden and a small vegetable plot.  Diane, I hope this has given you an insight into my town and where I live. I have been told Melbourne reminds people a little of Seattle if that will help, not sure.
I took this photo from a hot air ballon eleven years ago, it is early in the morning, with the sun just rising.  We were coming over the city from the east, down below is the Yarra river and the tennis stadium in the middle of the photo with the some of the city buildings beyond.