A harvest festival

We took the train to New Gisborne on the weekend. The train moves reluctantly through Melbourne’s western suburbs and comes out into the sort of countryside post-apocalyptic film makers are drawn to – a flat, grey landscape interrupted by Calder Raceway’s bald banks of clay before the land tails off into the backends of paddocks strewn with car wrecks and open acres of weed that might well have survived a nuclear holocaust.

By the time the train pulls into New Gisborne (which is actually old Gisborne) the hand of a more gentle civilisation and the green from a bit more rainfall has prevailed.

The first Sunday of each month is market day in Gisborne but we were off to a family and friends autumnal gathering with our two jars of uncured chutney, made as a novel experiment the night before, to swap for more refined culinary contributions.   The walk down to Gisborne township (which is the new Gisborne) is a lovely wander past some pretty houses and their shady gardens.

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Jackson Creek #1

By the time we’ve walked along a bit the sun comes out to watch the under 10’s scrabbling like a cast of crabs for a football somewhere at the far end of the oval and there is a sudden rush of dogs and people heading back from the market.

A couple of bridges criss-cross Jackson Creek which has been revived by a local friends group into a sparkling, plant rich watercourse on its run through Gisborne from where it trickles along southward to join other streams to form the Maribynong River, which finally finds its way into Port Phillip Bay.

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Jacksons Creek #2

Parts of the creek would do well for a Millais painting – although thankfully we didn’t spot any fair maidens along the banks looking a bit depressed. The fair maidens of Gisborne were (by contrast) seen riding skateboards down steep grassy hills on the other side of the creek and generally having a good time.

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Ophelia by Sir John Millais 1851-52 (Tate Britain, London)

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Jacksons Creek #3

Finally arrived for the preserve swap and what amazing things people had made or grown. The sparkling mead and double chocolate stout were snaffled up quickly!

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The Preserve Swap!

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The Preserve Swap #2

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7 thoughts on “A harvest festival

  1. I’ve been redriving a route I rode on a bicycle a number of years ago, Chas. So far it has mainly involved driving through desolate areas of the Southwest US desert. Your post-apocalyptic comment struck a note. And I also remember how much I appreciated a little green along the way. –Curt

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    • Hi Curt – the sort of open silence of the desert is probably quite beautiful compared with some of the city margins around the place. I can’t understand why a little more can’t be done on these uncared for edges.

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      • Both beauty and silence, Chas. Some areas, such as Death Valley (which I biked through) have been protected. So far, the main protection has been the difficulty of living in desert areas. –Curt

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