Saturday, November 25, 2006

Dandenong Show - Community

A sense of community through shared activities is something that can be lost in the busy-ness of daily life. It was, therefore, wonderful to see the community involved in the Dandenong Show. The photos below put the community message forward loud and clear.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Dandenong Show - and the Smithy

In a long ago schoolgirlhood, Miss Eagle loved the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem, The Village Blacksmith. She can't resist an opportunity to share it here:

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Under a spreading chestnut-tree
The village smithy stands;
The smith, a mighty man is he,
With large and sinewy hands;
And the muscles of his brawny arms
Are strong as iron bands.

His hair is crisp, and black, and long,
His face is like the tan;
His brow is wet with honest sweat,
He earns whate'er he can,
And looks the whole world in the face,
For he owes not any man.

Week in, week out, from morn till night,
You can hear his bellows blow;
You can hear him swing his heavy sledge,
With measured beat and slow,
Like a sexton ringing the village bell,
When the evening sun is low.
And children coming home from school
Look in at the open door;
They love to see the flaming forge,
And hear the bellows roar,
And catch the burning sparks that fly
Like chaff from a threshing-floor.

He goes on Sunday to the church,
And sits among his boys;
He hears the parson pray and preach,
He hears his daughter's voice,
Singing in the village choir,
And it makes his heart rejoice.

It sounds to him like her mother's voice.
Singing in Paradise!
He needs must think of her once more,
How in the grave she lies;
And with his haul, rough hand he wipes
A tear out of his eyes.

Onward through life he goes;
Each morning sees some task begin,
Each evening sees it close.
Something attempted, something done,
Has earned a night's repose.

Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend,
For the lesson thou hast taught!
Thus at the flaming forge of life
Our fortunes must be wrought;
Thus on its sounding anvil shaped
Each burning deed and thought.
Longfellow's smith is a worthy example. But this is Australia and THE iconic figure in Oz is Ned Kelly: he who, with the rest of the Kelly Gang, beat ploughshares into armour. Miss Eagle is a great admirer of the craft of the blacksmith so it was with great joy she came across Salty and his Ned Kelly Armour stand at the Dandenong Show.

Dandenog Show - Horses and Carts

The horse is one of humankind's favourite companions. One of the joys of the Dandenong Show was the wonderful and diverse collection of horses. Miss Eagle shares this joy below.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Dandenong Show - Animal Nursery

On Saturday 11 November, Miss Eagle spent the afternoon at the Dandenong Show. The suburb of Dandenong is in south-east Melbourne, Australia. Dandenong is an industrial area trying to avoid becoming a rust belt. But at the Dandenong Show you would never have thought you were anywhere else but the Australian countryside. It was a traditional country show. This was nowhere more evident than in the animal nursery: with alpacas, goats, sheep, ducks, geese, roosters, an itinerant turkey, horses, and donkeys.