One of my favourite things about this hospital is that is has its own book stall. What a brilliant idea! It's located as obviously as possible, just inside the main entrance, and there is always something different to see here. Some days the shelves are so chockers with books you can hardly get one out without knocking the whole stand over, then a few days later the shelves might be all but bare. All books are $1 and I think I've seen every kind of book imaginable except the 'adult' kind among the collection over time - contemporary novels, classics, academic texts, religious books, children's books, bodice-rippers and trashy romances, biographies and dictionaries, foreign languages and strangely random community publications. I've collected a few fine titles myself here, and I know that some locals actually come here to the hospital just to look at the books. I really think that every hospital should have a book stall, simply for this reason - if you ever find yourself stuck in hospital unexpectedly, a good book can make all the difference. For this reason I give my own books that I don't need to keep any more to this book stall. I always say a little prayer for them to be found by someone who really needs and loves them.
It wasn't surprising, given the current climate of celebration of multi-culturalism, that the old chapel gave way to a modern, multi-faith Spirituality Centre during the last major renovations. All welcome.
|Artwork - EARTH and AIR by Patrick Negri, b. 1935, Australia|
In a little nook to the right of the painting is a spontaneous art therapy station - a blank book, pens and pencils, and an invitation to put them into action. The book is half filled with children's art, lots of colourful hearts and heartful prayers and letters. It didn't seem appropriate to photograph the contents.
There is a selection of literature from various faiths. I am always disappointed by the conspicuous absence of any pagan religion. The only earth-based religion represented here is the beliefs of the Wathaurong people of South-Western Victoria.
In a corridor on the way to the outpatients clinic, this glass artwork by Wathaurong Glass, and a telling of the creation story of the Wathaurong people.
Then outside to The Garden of Reflection and Remembrance, with a theme of military history. This mural is dedicated to health workers who served in military situations. The Aleppo Pine framing the image is a Lone Pine Tree - a direct descendant of the original Lone Pine at Gallipoli.
There are plenty of park benches here, and rose bushes, and everything has its own little brass plaque, or possibly several, dedicated to our collective ancestors, in groups or individually, by number or by name.
Little splashes of secret colour hide low among the mulch.
Outside the enclosed garden now, and around the grounds to the west and south of the buildings.
This one perfect rose is blooming among a bed of bushes that are all pruned bare, right up in the corner that is closest to all the passing traffic, both pedestrian and vehicular, as though it were reaching out to all the people going by the main entrance.
Roses galore and decadent in a lovely bed outside the day stay unit.
This little patch of wandering jew, tucked away in a shady, windy corner, is, I suspect, a survivor from the old days. Its status as an introduced pest means it was unlikely to have been included in the latest, politically correct, drought-resistant landscaping projects. I'm so sorry that I couldn't come close to capturing the vibrancy of its dramatic autumn colours in the picture. The maroon was positively glowing.
A good swathe of bottlebrush flowers always reminds me how lucky I am to live in this beautiful land.
Rampant salvia in full bloom, resplendent in today's unseasonably hot sunshine. And I mean hot. I got a little sunburned just while on this little nature photography jaunt.
And, of course, I do love a fine gum tree... or two. One of the things I love about the trunks of gum trees is the way they wrinkle so neatly where they bend. These handsome trees are splendid examples - you can see the sharp relief of the wrinkles.
Back indoors, I had my first ever desire to whip out my camera while in a public toilet - I had to laugh at this purpose-printed dunny-door literature. There's a logo in the lower left corner - it says 'Toilet Talk.' It's supposed to make us 'feel better.' I don't know whether to think it's cute or crude, so it's probably very Australian. Featured quotes include -
"You will never amount to much." - German schoolmaster to Albert Einstein.
"We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out." - Decca Recording Company rejecting The Beatles.
Meanwhile, inside the day stay unit, everyone was being very nice to Mr. CJ, miraculous modern technology was employed, and all went well. Nurses are awesome and they need support - please have a look here to see what they have to say.