Thursday, September 24, 2009

Geelong to be here?

Last weekend we were in Geelong for the biennial Conference on Science and Christianity, organised by ISCAST. The main speaker was Prof Simon Conway Morris, from Cambridge, and we had just been hosting him in Hobart. He does a very good impression of the rumpled Cambridge don, kinda neo-Chestertonian. I love the story of GKC who sent a telegram to his wife one day which read "Am in Market Harborough Stop Where ought I to be". I can imagine Prof Morris sending something similar from Hobart. But the visit here went well, though I was glad when it was over.

This was our second visit to Geelong, but better weather this time allowed a little more exploration of their fine waterfront. One of its features is a host of bollards painted, rather whimsically, to represent people, and apparently some local stories.

Geelong waterfront
No takers for the seawater pool yet

Botanical gardens
Nice cactus beds

Jean liked these metal trees

The rather nice botanical garden has this very proper lady and her butler. But why the slight blush? From behind we see that she is discretely nicking a few cuttings.

Caught in the act!

Then there were bathing beauties and lifeguards, but why is one of then carrying a seagull? and why do two of the others have black eyes?

Note the seagull in a bag
The rabbit turns up in many places

Two lovely black eyes
(But why?)

The waterfront extends right around the bay and offers a pleasant stroll and many opportunities for food and coffee. Having visited the interesting wool museum last time (Geelong was the main port for wool export and has many impressive old warehouses), we went to see the art gallery. Amongst the good things there we found this charming little statue. Why hasn't someone made a replica for sale? I'd buy one.

About half life size

And this week in Australia I couldn't finish without noting that it's the footy grand final this weekend and that Geelong are playing for the third year in a row. We were in town in 2007 on the day they won, but this year we were there for their victory in the semi-final. Hard to over-emphasise how important footy is for the town and indeed most people. They play St Kilda on Saturday afternoon. Go Cats!

The Geelong strip is blue and white, but the style has changed a bit


  1. Nice blog!

    xx Jeannie

  2. Only? What are we, chopped liver!

    I love the statues - great characters all of them.

  3. I knew you'd get here soon, Jac.

  4. ... if you're chopped liver Jac, praps I'm a kidney?

    I loved the statues too... but am going to have to look up where Geelong is... near Geeshort?

    ps... off walking again... meeting up with Tim tomorrow :-)

  5. I have a photo somewhere of a little Jac near one of those bollards. The metal trees are something new, since we were at Geelong. Cannot add any light to the seagull or the black eyes, as they are repainted every few years and change character. A very nice place and boy has it grown now as with the new freeway, its like an outer suburb of Melbourne, and not so far away.