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!

Monday, March 16, 2015

My Year with Bluestone: Guest Post: the mystery of the stolen bluestone

Bronwyn popped into my office the other day and told me her fabulous bluestone story. In my hunger for written discourse, I asked her to write it up for me. I'm wondering if I might be able to collect enough of these to have them scattered through the book in little text boxes: anecdotes, impressions, memories. Do you have a story or encounter with bluestone you'd like to share with the world?

Bronwyn's story is a wonderful story of family and the domestic space...

Growing up, one of my first encounters with bluestone was an event that has been retold so many times that it is part of my family’s folklore. It is the story of the night my younger brother was born. 
On this rather eventful evening, my mother was hanging washing out in our backyard when she heard what sounded like a truck pull up on the road outside the house. My dad had taken my little sister to the local doctor’s surgery, and as the family home was on a property just outside of Sunbury, then a semi-rural area north-west of Melbourne, trees lining the driveway meant that we could not see the road from the house. When my dad arrived home, he noticed, to our subsequent collective outrage, that someone had stolen one of the bluestone slabs that marked the entrance to our driveway. The pair of bluestones, which my dad bought from a local man, took at least three men to lift, so we were amazed that anyone would go to so much trouble to take one of the pair. 
The police were called, and, in due course, arrived to take a statement. One of the young constables asked my mum when her baby was due, and then began writing faster when she told him that she would be heading to the hospital later that evening. Sure enough, after the police left, my parents went to the hospital and my baby brother was born at breakfast time the following morning. 
27 years later, the remaining bluestone rests in a sunny nook tucked behind my dad’s shed.

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I love this family anecdote. It has a fairy-tale quality about it, I think; as the bluestone is lost, but is replaced by the baby. And in the general weirdness of fairy-tales and the subconscious, it just happens to be Bronwyn's brother's birthday today. Happy Birthday, bluestone baby!!

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