The story starts with Miss Eliza Donnythorne, daughter of an eminent man in the colonies. After an encounter with a young shipping clerk, and another encounter, maybe more, Eliza fell in love.
'Daddy, Im going to marry him" she said.
"No darling, he's not of our class"
Daddy, I um... I HAVE TO marry him.
'Oh. I see'.
So the wedding was arranged, the table spread with a lavish wedding luncheon, the church brimming with Sydneys leading families.
The bride waited. She waited
The groom never, ever appeared.
The poor girl went mad with grief. She didn't let anyone touch the plates of food, she kept her wedding gown close to her. When the baby came, it was given to the servant to be raised.
One of Eliza's very few visiors was a lady named Caroline Chishom, who kept a friendly correspondance with a London writer, Charles Dickens.
Yet another Australian who makes it bigger overseas than at home.
Made by the children at Sunday School, the candy represents the heavy burdens of law the Pharisees heap upon the people.
Very pretty little girls.
They were very very quiet, during the sermon, while the cakes were being made.
Less so after they were eaten.
Strange creativity by kindly, working-class men
Here is the headstone for John Leys, a foreman-Engineer from the docks.
He must have been kind, like Great Expectations blacksmith Joe, as his men loved him enough to piece together this for him. I think from an old propellor.
Just because the men of 1883 didn't smile in their photos doesn't mean they were any less playful than we are today.
Its a truly beautiful Church, built with large donations from Eliza, who, like Miss Havisham, was heiress to a great fortune.
The sextons cottage, beside the church, is surrounded by a community garden. There is a bunny called Kevin, there are chickens, and quite a few edibles.
The corn looks happy.
|Broccoli turned to lace by white cabbage butterflies|
The brassica's less so.
That's why I'm not to hot about community gardens. They don't get the love, the observation and attention that an owned-garden can have. Things get quite...cobwebby.
Today I used it to keep the cabbage moths off My sister-in-law Laura's edible gardens. Prettily.
I also used it as the ballerina-style cover for sprouting the fenugreek seeds that I found lurking in the spice cupboard.
As I was buying the tulle, I explained to the shoplady.
"It looks like the most ornamental, airy and insubstantial fabric in the shop. In fact, the opposite is true".
Just like me.
If I may say so myself.