Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The fine streets of Surrey Hills

Perhaps not such fine streets. Surrey Hills is a middle class, middle Melbourne suburb. I am surprised to hear it has some unmade streets. Council wants to 'make' them but many residents are quite happy with how they are. I offer no opinion either way.

What I find interesting is how one particular street is described in The Age.

'LINED with sugar gums and native scrub and dotted with perambulating chickens...'

Now look at the photo. While it was easier to see in the hard copy newspaper, I think I can spy agapanthus, acanthus, what seems to be a birch tree, an alder, a liquidamber, a cotoneaster and violets. Nice, but not native species. However, the chicken does appear to be an accurate description, although whether it is prerambulating or not is arguable. Perhaps in Surrey Hills chickens do perambulate. Ours used to only scratch and peck, although the rooster occasionally strutted.

Is this important in the bigger picture of life? It is indeed. As soon as you put the words gum tree, native and add in an animal, straight away it becomes ideological and emotive. If you read the whole article you will find umpteen examples of words to draw out feelings of the above.


  1. Very interesting post - very interesting street- now would I want to live in a street with perambulating chickens?

  2. "As soon as you put the words gum tree, native and add in an animal, straight away it becomes ideological and emotive." Yes indeed. But that is what skilful advertising is about, surely.
    Manipulating the viewer's real needs by tugging at the right heart strings.

    Put in "big back yard with swings, kiddies playing safely, friends coming in for afternoon tea on the veranda" and you tug a different set of heart strings.

  3. Not every nook and cranny needs to be covered in paving, it gives the place some 'old time chique'.

    If the residents like it the way it is, let them.

  4. Could be very messy Dianne.

    Indeed it is Hels. There weren't media classes when I went to school to teach me about media and advertising manipulation. I have had to learn it all on my own.

    For sure Peter. I am quite happy with neatly mown grass and edged and nicely gravelled roads. Seriously, apart from a huge and kind of natural park, Surrey Hills is very much a paved area.

  5. Wonder if they would mind a few goats running around their streets too.. that could be arranged ( giggles and runs off)

  6. Cazzie, that would be the end of any vegetation, native or otherwise.

  7. Looks pretty good to me - we had an old cranky white rooster years ago - no one would walk those streets if he was there - he came to a meesy end

  8. Deserved messy end by the sound of it MC.