Wednesday WIP: Historic Portsea on Parade

Two Wednesdays ago, I mentioned that one of my works in progress is set in picturesque Portsea (that’s Portsea, Victoria, Australia, not Portsea, Portsmouth, England, just in case you were wondering).

As part of my research, I looked at (and took) a lot of pictures of the Portsea pier, which is on the beach behind the Portsea Hotel (which featured in the other post).

In the process of finding these photos, I came across some gems from the Australian screen archives.

They show happy people – probably mostly day-trippers from Melbourne – frolicking on the beach and pier at Portsea in the 1920s.

I love the stripey beach shelters, the variety of 20s beach fashions and the blase attitude people show to being filmed. I wonder if we would be more or less relaxed about a camera on the beach these days?

It’s also interesting to see how many people were there.  Now wonder someone thought it was a good idea to set up a pub in those sand dunes!

My novel is set in the present day, but I still found these fascinating and thought you might too.

I’m sorry, I can’t embed them, but if you click on the links you’ll be taken to the page.  Don’t bother turning up your sound – they’re silent!

http://aso.gov.au/titles/newsreels/picturesque-portsea-pageant/clip1/

http://aso.gov.au/titles/newsreels/picturesque-portsea-pageant/clip2/

I love little snippets of history like this.  What about you?  Have you come across anything interesting in your travels lately?

WIP Wednesday: Location, Location, Location

One of the stories I am working on right now is set in a real place, namely, Portsea.

Portsea is a tiny little spot near the end of the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria.

For those not familiar with the geography of Victoria, Melbourne is situated at the top of a bay, called Port Phillip Bay.  The Mornington Peninsula forms the east side of the bay and Portsea is right down the end, within sight of the tip of the western shore of the bay.

Portsea is within a couple of hours drive of Melbourne and I have had great fun going down there to do ‘research’.  The picture above is from one of these jaunts.  It is the Portsea Pub, which has been on this site since the 1920s and is a nice place for a beer and a burger and a think about one’s story.

I enjoyed going there so much, in fact, that I set a scene there; which just goes to show that providing beer and food is a good way to make friends with a writer…

The funny thing is, though, that I never intended to set my story here at all.  I was going to Continue reading

Wednesday Review Takes Tea

On the weekend, I went out for Tea.  Please note the deliberate capital ‘T’ in Tea, for this was not just the beverage, which I can have at home, and do, on a regular basis.

This was Tea, or High Tea; a glorious collection of little sandwiches and cakey things, accompanied by leaf tea, in a pot, taken in elegant surroundings, with one’s favourite people.

Continue reading