A message from Brigid ....

I have been a blogger since 2005. At the height of my blogging busy-ness, I had "a small stable" of blogs on different topics: social and political commentary; desert spirituality; food; waste and ....

A few years ago I called time and ceased blogging altogether - although there was an occasional post. I had called it quits. I am an aged woman these days with a couple of serious illnesses. I am not allowed to drive. I am no longer active in organisations. I think it fair to say that I am housebound. I am active on Facebook, although I am not there as often as once I was. I have decided to embark on a re-entry into the blogging world ... beginning with The Trad Pad and, possibly, a return to my food blog, Oz Tucker. I have always used a lot of photographs on my blogs ... and I miss not being out and about with my camera.

The Trad Pad has been my blog for the lovely things of life. The controversial or political has seldom intruded. Occasionally, the spiritual has found its way in, but I kept spirituality for the blog, Desert. I don't yet know if I will revive that. I will stick pretty much to food and the lovely things of life. If I have some regularity with those two categories, I feel that I will be doing well. I hope that, with this blog new friendships can be formed and old friendships renewed; new lovelies discovered; new reflections can enter into the meaning of modern life. I would love to hear from you - particularly if you have suggestions for new topics to enter into the conversation. So, it is a new year. Let's see what it has in store, what it can bring to us. And I hope that those who share the spirit of The Trad Pad can spread the message of a world of beauty, the creativity of humanity, and the joys of simplicity and tradition. ~~~ February, 2017

Saturday, September 11, 2010


A great film for a great cause! 
All funds to help us protect human rights defenders 
in Colombia, Indonesia, Mexico, Guatemala and Nepal.

6.30pm - Cinema Nova, 380 Lygon Street, Carlton, Victoria 
Thursday 7 October 2010.  

Tickets: $18 full / $15 Concession

Festival De Cannes, Official Selection Closing Night Film
Director Julie Bertuccelli’s adaptation of
Judy Pascoe’s bestseller Our Father Who Art In The Tree.

Filmed in the open Australian bushland,The Tree will open your mind. Alternating skilfully between the supernatural and down-to-earth reality, the filmmaker immerses us in the lives of a devastated family, with grace and a delicacy that is illuminated by the presence of Charlotte Gainsbourg. - Marine Cluet, La Tribune

Join us for drinks and refreshments at the Back Bar at the Cinema Nova before the film starts.

Bookings essential!  
Pre order your tickets at or 9016 3769 

Our Father Who Art in the Tree
Our Father Who Art in the Tree

Friday, September 10, 2010

Maria, Mildura and the Murray in a mini flood

From Drop Box

I have received a small collection of photos from Maria Reidl, that great Water Warrior, of the iconic Murray River at Pinkie Point, Mildura in what Maria describes as a "mini flood". The real thing has yet to arrive. Currently somewhere near Echuca!  Make safe your houseboats!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Tobie Puttock and Cook Like an Italian come to Readings @ Hawthorn

Dear Trad Padders,

Please get out your diaries.  We're off to Readings, 701 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn again on Monday 27 September for a 6.30pm assignation with the delightful Tobie Puttock.

To welcome the beginning of Foodie Month at Readings Hawthorn, they have Tobie Puttock talking about his third cookbook, Cook Like an Italian.  

I love Italian cuisine.  While I am vegetarian, unless the dish specifically features meat - like Osso Bucco - Italian food is easily converted to meat-free.  A lot of the cuisine is derived originally from self-sufficient and sustainable home-garden produce and is easy to replicate at home and so it is good to see Tobie bringing his personal passion for cooking Italian food, and more importantly, for cooking simple Italian food – perfectly – to our very own kitchens.

For the past few years while teaching people to cook in his kitchen at Fifteen Melbourne, Tobie has been yearning for something more… something to inspire him. So he went to Italy! 

Cook Like an Italian is the result. 

An amazing culinary journey through wonderful Italy.

$20 per ticket includes tastes from his cookbook, and wine by Scorpo
Tickets from Readings Hawthorn.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

In search of the rushing, gushing Yarra River - Part 2

The Yarra River at Warrandyte at 3.30pm (approx) on Monday 6 September 2010

These pictures were taken from the walk below the Riverside Cark Park.  As you can see, the water was only about 50cm below the walkway.  Would not have taken much more to break the bank on this side.  The other side does not have a low embankment.

Please note the height of the bridge.  Even strong bridges can be damaged by drivers as one can see in the picture.  But there was a bridge before this bridge...
This memorial post commemorates 
the artist Walter Withers who was
a member of the famous Heidelberg School

Here is the Withers picture of the Old Bridge, Warrandyte.
Please note the wattle tumbling down the hilly embankment.
If you look closely in my pictures above, 
you will see wattle on that embankment - 
not as profuse as portrayed in the painting by Withers, 
but there still.

The Heidelberg School had something of a colony at Warrandyte at one time - although it was not the best known colony of this unique group of Australian artists.  The legacy, though, lingers on.  Warrandyte is still a place that attracts creative people.

The day was getting darker.
Lunch should have happened hours ago.
A lovely old building summoned and I pulled into the carpark.
Smoke rising into the eucalypts from a stone chimney is a welcoming sight.

First stop, a long overdue browse at The Linen and Larder...
and in through the beckoning doors...
Linen and Larder is bursting with good stuff - 
homewares, gifts, clothing, and stuff for eating and eating upon.
A return journey with credit card is required.
Perhaps some thoughts for Christmas.
You will find L & L here:
Linen & Larder
321 Warrandyte-Ringwood Road
Warrandyte, Vic 3113

Tummy was still calling ... but a little louder ...
and so to next door ...
... and the Stonehouse Cafe Restaurant.
It has hints of yesteryear - but the decor needs a few additions.
I would suggest a deal with Linen and Larder for the interior.
There are two large banks of windows
opening out on to a verandah under the gum trees
with greedy, nosy sulphur-crested cockatoos a-visiting.
These windows - set into their stone walls -
could do with a couple of school benches under them.
A perfect place for newspaper and coffee.

But back to my tummy ...
I asked for a bowl of hot tomato and herb soup ...
and the bread was s-o-o scrumptious ...
... with some hot chocolate ...
Tummy was well looked after - then home.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

In search of the rushing, gushing Yarra River - Part 1

I had a lovely day out yesterday.
It was full of the unexpected and pleasant surprises.

Large tracts of Victoria are under water at the moment.
A vast contrast from the worst drought since white settlement
and the deathly bushfires of last year.

The radio said that the Yarra River was expected to flood
at Yarra Glen.

I didn't want to wait till the Yarra actually flooded.
I wanted to see the Yarra gushing and rushing
with the water of the yet-to-be flood.

And I did.

This is the story of my day in search of the pre-flood Yarra.
The map at this site will give you a bit of an idea of where I went.

As I left the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne behind
and hit the Melba Highway,
everything was green
and there was water, water everywhere.

Dams were full to the brim.
A few drops more and they would overflow.
Water was lying at the edge of the road
and the Yarra billabongs were spreading.

The photos above and below were taken
from Skyline Drive looking back to Yarra Glen.

Looking for Sugarloaf Reservoir Park was quite an exercise.
I think there is a job going begging in the Victorian public sector -
Commissar of Signage.
I find the signage poor in and around Melbourne -
sometimes beyond belief.
It doesn't compare with the signage in Sydney -
where the traffic moves so quickly
and the layout of the city is so convoluted
one would never survive without clear signage.

I turned off the Melba Highway at the appropriate sign.
Not to see another sign on a major road for the rest of the day.
I later was told I did not go far enough along
the Yarra Glen to Eltham road before turning off.

I had two sets of "clear" instructions
neither of which delivered the desired result.

After wandering hither and yon -
yes, I didn't have a clue where I was -
I found Sugarloaf in the distance.
The photo below is the result.

My camera is fairly humble -
a Kodak EasyShare DX7590
(5.0 mega pixels and 10X optical zoom) -
and I am an even humbler photographer
(for this read ignorant and unskilled).

If I were clever,
I could probably customise settings
but I am not clever enough to figure all that.
Given these limitations,
I was rather pleased with this photograph.
I was a great distance from the water,
and I couldn't tell how well the zoom
was handling what I was asking of it.
I consider myself fortunate to have
recorded not only the water
but the dam wall and, somehow, the CBD in the distance.

Once I discovered this back part (well I think it was the back part of the reservoir), I followed a road which ran alongside the high Melbourne Water perimeter fence. So you don't lay awake at night wondering, I have to tell you that there is a fair degree of security around our water storages.  I went past all sorts of signs and many, many locked gates.  And after this journey, I eventually came to a half-open gate.

In spite of warnings to trespassers, I - lost in search of a pre-flood experience - entered.  I went down a bitumen driveway and came to a large concrete area.  At one end of this was a multi-story building.  But I couldn't resist walking across to the fenced off section at the other side of the concrete apron.  And there I was - high above the Yering Gorge.  And the water was rushing and gushing.

Camera was quickly put into action and, just as I had taken these, a man came to see what I was doing.  I explained to him about looking for Sugarloaf, the poor signage, seeing the Yarra in flood, etc.  And he gave me directions....

....and I did make it to the Sugarloaf Reservoir Park....

and here is some explanatory signage

Click the above photos (3) to enlarge and make legible.

The picture below is of a section of a narrow peninsula jutting into the reservoir
which is covered in low blooming wattle.

and then there was the getting out -
and, if the getting in was a mystery, so was the getting out.
And it had its adventures too...

.... I found a castle in the hills.
A modern version - but, I think, a castle nonetheless.

One finds all sorts of things on roadsides in the bush.
The quaintest are usually letter boxes.
This is the most curious.
One can imagine baskets left there
to receive the bread, the parcels.
But...what is the story with the picture frame?

Hopefully this is a successful partnership.

Bush flora.

Driving down the bush road,
I spotted the beautifully rusty wheelbarrow.
I could not resist.
Pulled up the car right in the middle of the road,
because - with the Kodak zoom lens - I thought 
I could get a picture from the road.
Next thing, a woman came into view.
I walked over and explained how I had found the wheelbarrow -
or it had found me.
Introductions done -  she is Deirdre.
Her cottage garden is small.
She would like to plant her favourite daphnes
but there is no room.
Nillumbik Shire Council has some tight controls.
The amount of land given to non-indigenous plants is limited.
Deirdre has planted out a number of wattles -
but these are wattles indigenous to the area.
As well, the shire dictates the height of houses.
Deirdre's house fits well into the landscape -
almost hugging the ground in comparison
with the bush around.

I told Deirdre about my Yering Gorge adventure,
and she told me how her Bend of Islands home
overlooked the gorge and took me to the verandah
so I could photograph her view.

Yering Gorge in the Bend of Islands -
photographed from Deirdre's verandah.

And, across the old white bridge above,
I exited the Bend of Islands
through some beautiful green Victorian bush.

The story continues to-morrow
with the rushing, gushing Yarra River
at Warrandyte.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

The Wheeler Centre: literary and functional

On Thursday and Friday, I was at the Public Interest Journalism and New Media Conference held as part of the Melbourne Writers Festival. It is otherwise known as New News 2010 and is sponsored by the Public Interest Journalism Foundation at Swinburne University.

The Conference was held at The Wheeler Centre which is in the precinct of the State Library of Victoria.  The establishment of The Wheeler Centre is in response to Melbourne's status as a UNESCO City of Literature.  Melbourne was the second city in the world - and the first in the southern hemisphere - to be honoured by UNESCO.  The first was Edinburgh

So for those of you who may not have visited Wheeler, I took some pictures... just to give you a feel of the place.

External signage above Little Lonsdale Street

The Foyer
 Copper door with copper architrave
 The Auditorium

The Green Room was used by the conference for informal conversations with guest speakers and "Unconferences" - you could put your unprogrammed offering on a white-board.
Green Room - Southern end

Green Room - Northern end

Green Room - Kitchen doors

and, finally, I thought this banquette was designer cute and smart
You sit carefully in/on this banquette - because it has no back support.  When you sit on the one or two upper curves (depending on size) the curves either side become arm rests.  So as well as eye-catching, it is quite functional.  I was able to sit quite comfortably (and I am a larger size) and have a conversation with the person sitting next to me. 

All in all, the Wheeler Centre provides
functional spaces for the City of Melbourne.