I've kept this blog, on and off, since 2006. In 2015 I used it to chart daily encounters, images, thoughts and feelings about volcanic basalt/bluestone in Melbourne and Victoria, especially in the first part of the year. I plan to write a book provisionally titled Bluestone: An Emotional History, about human uses of and feelings for bluestone. But I am also working on quite a few other projects and a big grant application, especially now I am on research leave. I'm working mostly from home, then, for six months, and will need online sociability for company!

Friday, March 06, 2015

My Year with Bluestone: Friday House Day (6): Under House to Under Water

Today the Friday House blogging moves inside, and under water. Fifteen years ago we did a major renovation on the old house. We pulled off all the wooden additions to the original brick building (the kitchen with its raw cement floor and gaps between floor and walls, the half-built bathroom, funny little spare bedroom, laundry, outside toilet and utterly shabby but delightful-in-winter sunny passageway. And Paul dug a cellar into the bluestone.

More on the cellar next week but today we feature some of the bluestone rocks Paul pulled out of the ground under what is now the pantry, and stored around the garden for five years till we got this big fish tank. Just as he used them to landscape the garden, he used them here to "riverscape" the tank. These are mostly South American freshwater river fish: catfish, discus fish, clown loaches and a very shy but enormous sailfin gibbiceps who could not be tempted out to appear in the home movie. (The cats, by contrast, made sure they prefaced the movie with typical behaviour: Orlando finding a good spot; then Wulf muscling in and chasing her off.)

The driftwood came from various expeditions: most recently to the Grampians last summer. If you look at the big lump of volcanic stone on the far right, you can see the plane where Paul would have split it with one of the successively larger jackhammers he had to use. Tune in next week to see how he did it, with the help of two small children.

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