Saturday 3 September 2011 – South side of the lake

After I’d had a weekend off because of my back, we decided to complete the two-bridges circuit by walking on the south side of the lake. Dac reckoned we should park at Regatta Point, same as last time, but for some reason the carpark (practically empty) was cordoned off. So we went back under Commonwealth Avenue Bridge and parked in what I think of as the Floriade carpark, in Acton. We were not at all sure how we would get to the path on the other side of the bridge, but we headed bravely off.

The footpaths across Commonwealth Avenue Bridge are narrow, but heavily used: cyclists, walkers, walkers with prams… Everyone was adaptable and friendly, though. When we reached the south side, there were serious flights of stairs, but I surprised myself by getting down them without too much anguish.

Like the R G Menzies walk, the southside path is good and wide. It was a lovely clear sunny day and the place was thronging with all sorts of people: many families, many dogs!

Only a baby

This was the first dog I photographed (look at those huge paws it’s going to grow into!) and the first time I issued one of the cards I’ve made to let people know where the photos can be seen.

My card


Top = front
Weekend Walks
[Silhouettes of Black Mountain Tower, a box, a palm tree, and a doggo]

Bottom = back
Dogs and date palms, memories and mountains, history and housing in the streets of Canberra
Posts may take a week or two to appear

Dog owners are nice people, I’ve found since I started talking to them on these walks. They want their dogs to pose for a photo – doggos invariably have other ideas, however. Still, the owners always seem happy to be approached. They seemed pleased to be given a card as well – so pleased that I started worrying they’d expect professional portraits. On the next walk, I made sure to tell them not to! I hope the dog owners from this walk aren’t too disappointed.

Second dog of the walk

Until 2009, when I lived for 10 weeks with Teesy the Great Dane, I was pretty wary of dogs: even Brian’s dogs, the ones I see most often. When your balance isn’t good and any kind of impact causes you pain, it’s hard to relax around bounding, exuberant creatures – and that includes friends and family… Constantly being told that dogs can sense your fear doesn’t help, either!

Back when I used to walk in Westbourne Woods, I kept being jumped on by a large black labrador called Pogson. Pogson would be sure to take a nice dip in the lake before leaping all over me with big, heavy, muddy paws. His owner used to stand by, calling ineffectually. People seem more careful with their dogs’ behaviour these days.

Certainly I feel more relaxed about my safety. The wonderful variety of dogs; their friendly, happy faces; the evident bond between them and their owners – all this makes me very happy, if not yet ready to become a dog owner myself.

Big dogs, photographed without permission

In a separate post I’ve transcribed the map on the red sign above: lots of information about the Parliamentary Triangle. (On the same page is a transcription of a nearby sign about the International Flag Display.) I didn’t get a chance to ask permission for the photo because we were too far away, but the dogs were so splendid, and taking their woman and boy for such a thundering run down the slope beside Speakers Square, that I took the shot anyway.

Commonwealth Square and its Forecourt were new to me. There were coffee kiosks, a jetty and, where the Portrait Gallery used to be,  the Gallery of Australian Design – on the list for visiting another day.

Dac, and blossoms across the lake

Here’s Dac in front of Lake Burley Griffin, with the new A S I O building plus crane in the background on the right. As aforementioned it’s a pity the secret police have muscled into the vicinity of the Parliamentary Triangle, which otherwise is all public and positive.

The south side of the bridge walk is much shorter than the north! We soon found ourselves in the lovely Sculpture Garden in front of the National Gallery.

Angel of the North (maquette) by Antony Gormley

I believe (though this may be wishful thinking) I saw the real Angel of the North when we were driving about with Jill in September 2009. At the very least, I’ve seen it on TV. It’s huge, and I enjoy the aeroplane/person cross. I’m also pleased with my photo, which (while the angel’s a bit dark) caught the carillon and the rabbit ears American War Memorial in the background.

Dac with Cones by Bert Flugelman

The photo above is to match the photo of Dac with Tumbling Cubes by Bert Flugelman that appears two-thirds of the way through the Belconnen Town Centre walk.

Sculpture Garden at the Australian National Gallery

In conclusion, a selection from the sculptures we saw (identified clockwise from top left):

  • Nude studies for Jean de Fiennes (left) and Jean d’Aire (right) from The burghers of Calais by Rodin
  • Floating figure by Gaston Lachaise (my favourite)
  • Penelope by Emile-Antoine Bourdelle
  • The burghers of Calais by Rodin: Eustache de Saint Pierre, Jean d’Aire, Pierre de Wiessant and Andrieu d’Andres (four of the six)
  • The Mountain by Aristide Maillol
Quite an easy walk, to get back into the swing of things, followed by another lovely lunch at the members’ lounge at the Gallery.
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2 Responses to Saturday 3 September 2011 – South side of the lake

  1. Jill says:

    Brilliant brilliant card. I only read two sentences and had to respond straight away. We are off to Oxford in a minute so I’ll read the rest later.

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