Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What a hectic week it’s been.

I think this is about the longest time I have gone without posting since I began this blog.

Work seems to have been meeting after meeting leading to one late finish after another all week.

Then finally heading home on time yesterday I got a call from E my eldest, that her car had broken down. So I drove to where her car had stopped and waited with her for the RACV (The Royal Automobile Club of Victoria) breakdown guy to come and have a look.

The verdict, a dead alternator, being new enough to have electronic fuel injection etc her car came to a grinding halt. The RACV guy ordered a tow truck so we had to wait in the cold and dark until the tow truck turned up (it is winter down this way remember).

Anyway E’s car is back on the road today after a new alternator was fitted.

Now finally after close to a week away from the blogosphere I am getting to post.

Tonight I am going to post about two things:

a photo essay on one of our weekend trips;

and another blurb for your comments (assuming you are kind enough)


About a month ago Deb and I drove up to Beechworth North Eastern Victoria.

Our very brief trip (we were in the town for less than two hours) has whet my appetite and I guess we’ll be going back.
Like many Victorian towns it was a gold rush boom town. Most of the buildings in the main street were built in the gold rush days between 1855 and the 1870s.

Which of course gives me an opportunity to get shutter happy!

So while Deb took the opportunity to check out some purveyors of Alpaca fibre, I went scenery shooting.

We parked across the road from the old courthouse.I loved the way the soft light was playing across the front of the building.
Next door is what looks at first sight like an old style gaol (that would be jail). In fact it was the Government ‘Sub-Treasury’I’ll let a piccie explain the building.On the other side of the courthouse is the original telegraph station.

I strolled down the road to snap these autumn colours.Behind these trees is the Beechworth Prison which is still in use as a minimum security facility.Across the road from the courthouse was more autumn colour.Another ‘resident’ of the main street is the post office.I snapped this road sign because I thought non-Aussies might find some of our place names interesting.I guess I should do a post on place names some time. Many of our place names are tedious rehashes (for example I think there is a Windsor and a Richmond in every Australian state), but the names derived from Aboriginal languages are simply fascinating.

Directly opposite the post office is the old Bank of Victoria building.The ‘Bank of Victoria’ basically went bust in the 1980’s and was bought up by another big Aussie bank. So the building is no longer in use as a bank.

And of course all gold rush towns had to have their fair share of pubs.‘The Commercial Hotel’ is a fairly typical Aussie ‘bush pub’ although probably more elaborate than most.

In the side street are a few other interesting buildings including:
the original fire station (still in use).

And ‘J. H. Ingram Booksellers’One wonders if they have any link with the modern international book distributor by the same name?

So that is Beechworth.

Now (once again) a request.

I have been tinkering with my blurb and wonder what you think now.
Here we go…

1937, Ebi Gausel is riding high as a member of Germany’s elite guard, Hitler’s SS.

An unexpected romance arrives in Ebi’s life in the form of the fiery Katharina.
Even with Europe teetering on the brink of war their happiness seems assured.

But Ebi’s certainty comes crashing down as Katharina disappears,
leaving hints of a dark secret.

In a war fought in the shadows…
those who live may do so at the cost of their humanity.

Two lovers united by passion
…and divided by hate.

As they fight for survival…
their most ruthless foe might be one another.


Piedmont Writer said...

Al, I may not comment often but I do peruse your pics and I must say, a trip 'down under' is now on my bucket list.

As for the blurb -- it makes so much sense now and is PERFECT! I wouldn't change a thing.

Palindrome said...

I so want to live in that courthouse or that hotel. They're both amazing! Thanks for the pics!!

Happy Friday! Have a great weekend!

Kathleen Jones said...

I like this blurb better than the other one. It sounds more confident.

AchingHope said...

I love these pictures! :D And I love finding out about street names, and city names, and such, so you totally should. We have some pretty interesting names over here as well. When I talk about 'Niskayuna' everyone gives me weird looks.

I like the end of the blurb, the whole "their most ruthless foe might be one another" is thrilling.

Old Kitty said...


I think the blurb is fab!! I think you do well by introducing the main characters - so we know who the two lovers are. I love how the blurb teases - I'd want to know what happened to Katharine and what these dark secrets are! Brilliant!

My favourite pic has got to be the signage. Interesting that Chiltern is there! I think it's amazing these historic buildings are so well preserved! The architecture is unique - all square and sharp angles - the stonework too is intricate - marble? Lovely!

Take care

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I love your blog! Seriously. Those photos are wonderful, and as a non-Aussie, I LOVE your wacky street names. A trip to Australia is a fantasy of mine. :-)

Kristen M. said...

Another wonderful town. If you head back, I would love to see more of Beechworth Prison! (Or was that the only interesting part of it?)

I think this blurb definitely gives more of a sense of the characters and plot.

Myrna Foster said...

I like this blurb a lot better.

Also, that is the most adorable fire station I've ever seen.

Theresa Milstein said...

I think your blurb sounds interesting. I'd like to see where the story goes.

I love the first building. The color of the stones is soothing.

Vampires and Tofu said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog =)

Lovely pictures, I want to travel!!
And great blurb...I am intrigued =)

DJ Kirkby said...

Great photos as usual. I was suprised by the colour of the leaves, I keep forgetting you're 6 months ahead of us! Your blurb is good but too 'bitty', I think it would flow better if written as one or two paragraphs.

Christine said...

I love the colour of the stone on the old courthouse. You continue to delight us, Al.

The revised blurb, is good I think, suggesting tension, drama, excitement..

Lisa K. said...

Some weeks really do just seem to get away from us. Thanks for sharing your great pictures. I really enjoyed them. What amazing places!

L'Aussie said...

Great job with the pics, Al. You'll be doing more for tourism than the bureau!

The blurb is fabulous. Why change it?

There is an award for you. Pick it up at Hope you will participate.

Anonymous said...

First: I adore your pictures. Australia is a country I desperately want to visit.

Second: I love your blurb. I know that's not particularly helpful, but truthfully I can think of no ways I would change it. Good job! :)

Al said...

Hi Anne,
Lurkers are always welcome too :-).
Hey, I hope you fulfil that travel ambition some time.
Thanks for the praise about the blurb – very pleasing!

Hi Hanna,
I agree the buildings are gorgeous.
You’re welcome!

Hi Kathleen,
Thank you for that, that is exactly the kind of feedback I need.

Hi Achinghope,
Pleased you like the pics!
I can see I am definitely going to have to do something with names. ‘Niskayuna’, what a great name!
Thanks for the feedback on the blurb. I struggled with the whole thing so it is good to hear it works and ‘thrilling’ is great!

Hi Jennifer,
Thank you for your praise on the blurb. I tried to follow the feedback that people gave last time. I was hoping for a tease, so I am happy I’ve achieved it.
I thought the sign would spark some interest. Chiltern, like so many places is named after locales in ‘the old country’, of course names like ‘Yakandandah’ are home groown.
The buildings were well built in the first place, but they have been well maintained and in some cases restored. I love the architecture, very distinctive. The stone work is as you say interesting – I think it is a local granite.

Hi Shannon,
Thank you, what can I say I’m happy you like it!
We have some great names here in Oz – the good ones are mostly Aboriginal in origin.
Hope you get to make a trip Down Under some time.

Hi Kristen,
Pleased you like Beechworth. The prison is off limits, I did get a couple of other shots of the front wall. When I go back I’ll have to get some more from other angles.
I'm happy to hear you think the blurb works better, characters and plot were the things that most people said they wanted last time.

Hi Myrna,
Happy to hear you like the new blurb better than the previous attempt (especially since you didn’t say bad things about the other)

Hi Theresa,
Thank you that is exactly the sort of thing I hoped to hear about the blurb.
I loved the stone too, I love stone in general but that stone is really fetching.

Hi Angelique,
Welcome to my blog!
Thank you, I hope you get to travel!
Thank you about the blurb, intrigued is what I was aiming for!

Hi DJ,
Pleased you liked my piccies. I am kind of used to the different seasons, but it certainly is something that is easy to forget/mix up.
I agree about your comment on the blurb, I guess I was simply trying to get it to stand out well on the screen.

Hi Christine,
The stonework is gorgeous isn’t it? Pleased to hear I ‘delight’ you, thank you.
I’m glad to hear the revised blurb works. Tension, drama, excitement all work for me.

Hi Lisa,
We all seem to live terribly hectic lives these days.
You are welcome, I’m happy to share.

Hi Denise,
Thank you about the pics. Maybe I should hit the bureau for a commission :-)
Happy you like the blurb!
Finally Thank you for the award!

Hi Kimberly,
Thank you! I hope you get your desire some time!
Thank you on the blurb – it’s great to hear it works for you!

Milo James Fowler said...

Tight blurb; well done! Makes me want to read it, and I reckon that would be the point.