At home, I live not far from Camberwell. It's where generations of my family lived, and where my father was born. For that reason, and is there a better one? I wanted to visit Camberwell, Melbourne before I leave.
After yesterday's heat there was a night of heavy rain, followed by a grey cold day with intermittent drizzle. Perfect for suburb touring.
As it turns out, the two Camberwells, while being topographically dissimilar, have things in common. Both are suburbs which would have been homes to market gardens, and homes for the well to do middle classes. Both saw their status tumble and have been reclassified as downmarket, and both are again on the rise. The Main Street of Melbourne's Camberwell is home to a jumble of shops, testimony to the transition status they enjoy. There are chic cafés and cheap take aways; two great shops selling plants within doors of each other; unsympathetic alterations made to shop fronts and structures; chichi shops selling items to aspirational home owners; buildings of changed usage.
We reckoned this bar was once a bank.
These terraces caught my eye fom the car. You'll see it was still raining. I particularly liked the windows.
There were bits of street art, including this mural in the side if a restaurant. We were quite taken with the Audrey Hepburn part.
These three mosaics were grouped outside a building. They're evidently connected to the Olympics and Paralympics of 2000, but why they were placed here, and what the dog reference is about, we have no idea.
Other dogs were easier to understand. This one was on duty in a shop selling soft furnishings. Her rôle was clearly to show how a pet makes a house a home. And she did it very beautifully.
We had splendid home baked cakes and good coffee at The Rustic Table which was also a deli. Evidence of the baker's wide interest was a wall of cook books. The Rustic Table would be a regular haunt of mine if it were in my Camberwell.
The rain continued to drip and Vicki stayed under cover while I explored a little further. The side street were full of attractive houses.
Some had the gates of their drives and doors of their garages open. The people living here seemed to love cars, Fiats in particular.
Attracted by this stained glass, I went into a church.
Two women working in the drop in centre came to see if I was alright, and we chatted about our respective Camberwells. They kindly let me see the glass from the inside.
I found Vicki and we went back to the first plant shop for some retail therapy. We are both the proud owners of little metal washing lines to go in plant pots.
I think there's a Camberwell near Sydney too. I wonder if I'd have time to visit.