31 May 2004, Comments (0)

Possum Magic

Author: Helen

Holy sheeit! Look at the size of this…

The Cast Iron Balcony has been given a prominent position in Nick Possum’s Werrong Lane Newsagency. Nick Possum’s site, Whispers from the Mean Streets, has been boosted by his latest piece on Nick Berg being picked up by Richard Neville. Although I’m currently underwhelmed by Neville, for the same reason as John Quiggin is pissed off with him, apparently it has done wonders for the traffic.

Thanks for the link, Nick. I feel “humbled”: Media speak for swollen head. I’ll be over it soon, promise. Just one suggestion– Instead of one great big graphic link to the Cast Iron Balcony, reduce it to thumbnail size and put on more blog links. Have a Blog section.

Just a bit of Cast Iron Background here for people who aren’t from Melbourne, or perhaps even Australia. The name of this blog was based on the writer Hal Porter’s autobiography, The Watcher on the Cast Iron Balcony. The first few years of Porter’s life were spent in a typical Victorian terrace house in Bellair street, Kensington. Which had, as they all have– (except the ones with the mad 1970s Landlord) — beautiful ornate cast iron balconies. People like me, on the cusp of Baby Boomer and Gen X, were lucky enough to be able to rent such places as share houses in the 1970s and 80s before our housing market went feral, so we have had the rich soul nourishment of high ceilings, moulded archways and halls wide enough to prop bikes in.

I gave the URL of this blog to my friend Frank, remembering he grew up in Kensington himself. Turns out he lived in Bellair street, too. He went back there to have a look recently, and spotted another famous Australian icon, Barry O. Jones, watching from his Cast Iron Balcony. (There you see, great minds, etcetera.) Frank asked Barry where the original Porter house was. Unfortunately, it has been demolished. A kindergarten stands on that site now. Well, better than a MacDonald’s.

As Salam Pax said,

I think I can tell after this experience what, for me, the difference between a journalist and a blogger is. A journalist has to actively run after things, a blogger just watches and takes things as they come.

Like someone who sits and watches from a cast iron balcony.

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