Lockdown blog


Stuck in Sydney in the family home, I’ve begun a daily blog inspired by my daily walks through the nearby Dame Eadith Walker Estate.  Here’s a sample.


The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne by Gilbert White (1720-1793) has provided both an inspiration and a template for this lockdown blog.  The following has been lifted directly from this text:

The author of the following letters takes the liberty, with all proper deference, of laying before the public his idea of parochial history, which, he thinks, ought to consist of natural productions and occurrences as well as antiquities.  He is also of the opinion that if stationary men and women would pay some attention to the districts in which they reside, and would publish their thoughts respecting the objects around them, from such materials might be drawn the most complete county-histories.


Day I – Saturday the 24th of July, 2021 AD

Dear Sir

The Dame Eadith Walker Estate is within half a mile of my current accommodation. Lockdown has provided myself with the opportunity to walk the grounds of this fine estate on a daily basis. In the following days I will provide you with a description of my observations on a daily basis.

Today, a stiff breeze from the north-west at around 20mph (ref. BOM) has discouraged most birds from feeding in the open grass field on the north side.  They have mostly retreated to the trees or to the southern fields on the lee side.  Welcome swallows (more details to follow) and magpies are the most obvious.

Yours etc.

Sunday the 25th of July 2021 AD

Dear Sir,

The Dame Eadith Walker Estate, also known as Yaralla Estate, and now home to the Dame Eadith Walker Hospital, lies in the suburb of Concord West, in the city of Canada Bay, formerly the municipality of Concord, in the Parish of Concord, in the County of Cumberland, in the state electorate of Drummoyne, in the federal division of Reid, formerly the division of Lowe, located on a promontory on the Parramatta River between Majors Bay to the east and Yaralla Bay to the west, approximately half-way between the centres of the cities of Sydney and of Parramatta, in latitude 33.847 south and 151.087 east.

The Estate is bordered on it’s west side by Nullawarra Avenue. The avenue is lined with what I think are maple trees.  At this time of year, they are totally bereft of leaves, but the branches are still holding a fair number of seed pods.  There are hundreds of these pods on the ground under each of these trees.  The pods are hard, sharp, dry and brown.  They are a serious trip hazard and must be responsible for many sprained ankles. They’re aesthetically unpleasant and do not look appetising at all. However I’ve witnessed rainbow lorikeets tucking into them. They must have been hungry.

Yours etc.

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