'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

Go here to find out more.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Melbourne and Sharks

From the train from Moonee Ponds I was excited to catch a glimpse of a piece of bright architecture.  I've no idea what the building was (perhaps some reader will tell me) but I don't think I've ever seen anything so fun from a train before* given that backyards, the back end of anythings and grime are the usual sights from train windows.
Exciting bright peeps of architecture from the train into Melbourne. 

It was a teaste: hint, prediction, prophesy, lit; 'teasing taste' of architecture to come.

However it wasn't so evident from the window of our apartment in our diminutive and cosy Crossley Hotel in Little Bourke Street where we stayed, although there were the usual shiny windows stretching up to the stratosphere, admixed with apartments with so much window the un-made beds can be viewed by all the world.

Looking up from our window

Looking left from our window...

Looking right from our window...

The 'Shark Fin Inn Restaurant' directly below our apartment at the Crossley.
Which brings me to the sharks. Naïvely I thought the name of the restaurant opposite would be just a fun name - like calling a street Stoat's Nest Road or a cafe the Blue Moon. But TB gently suggested that they may indeed serve the infamous soup there.

Which got me thinking about how easy it is to get donations to save pandas and dolphins, but add big teeth or claws and remove fur...
To my shame I have discovered today that New Zealand is one of the few countries that allows fins to be taken (from dead sharks - I wonder how this bit is enforced?) and the other 98% of the shark thrown back into the sea.  Shocking.  The article linked below will take you about 3 minutes to read.  In that time 1800 sharks will be killed somewhere in the world.

Read the article here

I've become side-tracked.  More about the cool and zany Melbourne architecture next time.


* Except once I saw a London fox unhurriedly cross the maze of lines twenty seconds east out of Liverpool Street station.


  1. Nice to see your Melbourne shots
    Chris comes home today

  2. Ah, he'll have a whole lot of stories and snaps, perhaps?

    He's been away a long time....

  3. Boo to the nasty Kiwis who de-fin persecuted sharks! And there was me thinking your people led the world in environmental protection! Enjoy your shark fin soup tonight Katherine! Boo! Boo!

  4. Boo indeed. Did you sign the petition?

  5. So did I. I was rather taken aback by the information.

    The juxtaposition of the tall and the small must make for some very sun-starved areas.

  6. YP, GB, good.

    GB, I think it's the same in all high-rise cities... :-(

  7. Thanks for drawing attention to this Katherine. Nasty - Dave

  8. That is absolutely appalling, Katherine.

    I'm completely with you: why is it only the cute and cuddly that get protected? I can get heated about silk (commercially produced 'normal' silk, that is) on the basis that just because they are insects they're boiling alive for their cocoons, most people don't even give it a thought in passing, let alone consider it a cruelty, or unethical. I personally never buy silk - only if it's wild, or 'peace' silk, which means the moths have emerged before the cocoons are used.

    Shark fin soup? Seems like an abomination even worse than keeping hens and pigs in battery units - and I thought that was the ultimate abbhorrence.

  9. Thanks for your articulate and passionate comment Jay.
    Yes, I changed my mind about insects and ideas of sentience, among other things, and how humans commonly treat insects (even the word 'insect' is a put-down) after my academic studies last year.

    But it's hard saving all the little critters. I may have to hire myself a sweeper.

  10. Hi Katherine,

    I hope your enjoyed your stay at Crossley and all Melbourne had to offer.

    If you are ever returning to the city please let us know so we can take care of you.