Monday, 15 September 2008
Two weeks in Melbourne and they flew by in the blink of an eye. In-between chasing Ethan around slippery dips, hanging clothes, cooking, washing dishes, spending quality time with my partner Lucy, and venturing into the city, I also had some time to check out a few genealogical details at the Library and VIC archives.
What I found out was quite interesting. Whilst my mother's family ties are limited in Victoria, my dad's are more extensive and showed up some fascinating details. Perhaps the most interesting being that I now know where my height comes from. My folks are both beneath the 6ft mark, whilst I'm 6ft 3. According to a cousin I spoke to, my great grandfather was 6ft 11. Quite a surprise, and a revelation that has me now revisiting the theory that he may have had African origins in addition to his well documented Aboriginal side.
I learnt that my great great grandfather owned 98 acres of land near Moama, 10% of which was sewn with wheat, that my great uncle was training to be a lawyer in the 1930's (unheard of for Aboriginal people in that era) and I unearthed a few more baffling genealogical mysteries.
Beyond my trips to the archives and library, looking through acres of fiche of the Sydney Morning Herald obituaries, some shipping records and electoral rolls, I also managed to dig out enough free time to check out Hellboy II. A fun flick, I quite enjoyed it.
Perhaps the highlight of my stay was pulling Lucy out of her choppy weekend routine and checking out both the Souths v Melbourne Storm game, and then a jaunt to Mount Donna Buang to show Ethan his first glimpse of snow.
Mount Donna Bunag is a bit under an hour north west from Melbourne, in the Yarra ranges past Healesville and close to Warburton. A warm day, we arrived with the expectation that we had probably arrived too late in the season to see any snow, so we took our time enjoying a rainforest walk on a lower slope of the mountain. The rainforest walk was a highlight, although I'm not sure if I was more disturbed by the 20 metre high canopy walkway that seemed less stable than a temporary rock show stage, or the strange photo that Lucy took of a tree that appears to have a few faces in it, peering back at the observer.
Beyond the oddity of the rainforest walk, it was highly enjoyable, and helped Ethan in learning how to count with each of the many steps he climbed. One.. two.. six.. zero.. he's getting there!
At the peak of ole' Donna was a sight we had expected. No snow.. until we looked beyond a shrub in the car park and Ethan found this pitiful excuse for powder...
Looks excited, no?
Anyway, after climbing the observation/suicide platform, we saw that there was still quite a bit of snow down the side of the plateau and we climbed down to explore it. Much better, a nice covering which was more than enough for Ethan and Lucy to make a snowman. Well, kind of...
In all, a great day out and a wonderful two weeks. I can't wait to go back.