Tuesday, December 21, 2010

a tale of two suburbs

So good to be here again! I've been trying to find the time to post but The Book sucked up all my
time and once it was done, left me a little dazed and confused - that's what five weeks of 16 hour
days does I guess.

But now that the book is done - it flies off to be printed this week - and I feel almost human
again, I find myself giddy with the prospect of blogging once more. Only question is, what to blog about?

I could tell you all about the book - the size, look and feel etc - but I thought I'd leave that as a

surprise for next May when it materialises on the book shelves.

I could tell you about the various ideas I have for my next project. But really, they're daydreams
at the moment and not entirely baked. Maybe in the new year one or two might be more solid.

So what I thought I'd share today is a mini-post about two suburbs, Fairfield and nearby Bonnyrigg. 
I took these shots when I was out there a few weeks ago taking some pics for a client. I didn't have
time to do my usual slow trawl but what I did try and capture is the contrast between the faded 
suburban side of Fairfield and the shiny 'just new' bits of nearby Bonnyrigg.

Fairfield has been designated as a growth area over the next few decades. Hence the 24 hour
T-Ways and futuristic looking bus shelters around the place. And the homes with names like Dover
and Newbury that are rising out of the mud at the rate of knots in Bonnyrigg. Their unblemished
blond brick and tidy gardens with super-sized sunflowers are in striking contrast to the faded
suburbia that is still hanging on in Fairfield - but for how much longer? Which is why I leapt out of
my car like a mad woman when I spied Marcus and Ben, two gentlemen from Iraq and Assyria,
quietly sipping their morning coffee in a corner 'cafe' that I bet my bottom dollar will not exist in
its current, charming, faded state for too many more moons... 

A tale of two suburbs:

the modern way

the old pub

at the cafe - Marcus and Ben

Bonnyrigg rises out of the mud


old and new


smoko :: 1

smoko :: 2



before and after

give a man a hammer


Bonnyrigg is blooming

beads and buses

2020 in 2010

for how much longer?

watch this space

I'm glad I finally saw Fairfield (I tried once before but ended up in Bonnyrigg - remember the
religious smorgasbord?). And I'm so glad Marcus and Ben just happened to be there when I drove
past. I don't know if they were as thrilled to see me - they did seem just a little bemused - but you
know, how often does a woman wielding a camera around enter a room with an atmosphere of secret
men's business and ask you for your picture? Novel if nothing else.

I suspect I won't post again until 2011 has dawned - so Merry Holidays and Happy New Year! 
I hope it brings you good health and all the happiness in the world.


  1. I was really hoping you would continue, Im sure there are 52 other suburbs in Sydney that you havent been to yet!!

  2. Thanks for sharing......wondered how the book was going and what you were up to. More fantastic inspirational photo's and these are of my home town. Merry Holidays and Happy New Year! Here's to many more 52 suburbs blogs in 2011

  3. Yaaayyyy!!!! Great to have you back!!!

    Can't wait for the book!!!

    Love Jodie

    PS LOVE Marcus and Ben!

  4. I'm sooo happy that you continuing to explore those elusive suburbs. I look foward to next year

  5. Great to see another post from you, and REALLY looking forward to the book.

  6. Have loved the whole journey you have taken us on and can't wait for the book! ~alex

  7. So lovely to see a post from you. I've missed my 52 suburbs fixes.

  8. Love the blokes boots caked in mud/cement. And Marcus and Ben and their coffee cup, and the sheep, and that old window with the lace curtain.

    Good to have another fix ... off you go and meditate upon your next venture.

    Have a good one!!

  9. So looking forward to the book, I have so enjoyed traveling along with you on your blogg, wishing you a very happy new year.

    Margo in canada.

  10. Thanks all for popping by once more.

    I really enjoyed getting out into the suburbs again. And I'd forgotten how great it is to share what I found and hear back from all of you. So thank you!

    Louise x

  11. Wonderful. Great to see you posting again.

  12. You know what excited me the most? The retro print with the 7 next to it in "Ben & Marcus' cafe", I have a print done by the same artist on my loungeroom wall... Felt kinda famous there for a sec lol... Thankyou for this much needed visual fix. Sarah:)

  13. Can't wait for the book. Absolutely love your pictures, and what a treat to get this mini-post today.

  14. Hey Louise

    So good to have you back in Blogland! After living in Sydney for 11 years (Riverview, Woolwich and Ryde) and recently returning to Hobart, I have adored your take on Sydney. I don't think you've done Ryde yet.

    There must be about 10 years' worth of books in the old girl - please don't abandon us! Looking forward to the book with great anticipation. J x

  15. Oh, so good to see your photos again...
    Can't wait for the book !
    Happy Holidays to you as well and all the best for the coming year !

  16. First the good news:

    The photos are fantastic, both technically and for their (your) feeling for humanity and community. Thanks so much. I grew up in Moonshine Avenue, Cabramatta West, in the 60's and 70's, and did my HSC at Bonnyrigg High. Was never that enamoured of my environment, but, hey, you do your best. I lived a couple of years in London, and have lived in Munich since 1992. I would so much like to return to live in Oz, but life is not so easy.

    And now the nitpicking and the bigger issues:

    You write that "the book flies off to be printed....". Surely you mean "flys"?
    Flys suggests somewhere OS? Will it be printed, sadly like so many 'Australian' books in China? If so it's pretty disappointing, I'd like to be a customer, but I'd also like to think that a book quintessentially about Australia would be produced by Australian workers.

    I hope I'm not jumping to a conclusion.


  17. Good to read an update, I've enjoyed your posts and, of course, the wonderful photographs.
    Looking forward to The Book!
    Mum @ Mum's gone 2 Aus

  18. Thanks for come back. It's great to see your post again. Merry christmas and happy new year!

  19. We missed you and thought you might not be coming back!!

  20. Great to see you're back. Can't wait to buy your book! You are a truely talented, open minded, down to earth Aussie! Keep it up ;)

  21. i missed ya and i love it i feel i know you so if you ever spot me lruking round in any of ur fifty two subs u gotta say ay lol im sure ud no me by my pic on the comments and what is in store for u next

  22. Hello all!

    So nice to be missed! And all joking aside, I missed y'all too! It is such a fantastic thing - to do a project that in and of itself is rewarding - and then on top of that, to have good souls like yourselves appreciate it too. Double goodness.

    I will be posting from time to time so please, keep checking in - or subscribe so you know when I do post.

    And Ms Ellen Charge, if I ever do spot you lurking around, I will absolutely be sure to say hello! You ask what's in store next? I am mid-dreaming right now, trying to pin down what feels right. But you will be the first to know what the next project is - when it erupts out of my brain and onto the computer screen.

    Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas.

    Louise x