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Mull and Australia

Coming to the tiny settlement of "Gruline" at the End of the "scenic route" from the Ross of Mull north along the West coast at the end of Loch Na Keal, one finds basically two big estates and a bunch of holiday homes. Driving next to the estates overgrazed fields, one finds there a big sign "MacQuarie Mausoleum" looked after by the National Trust of Australia.

Since I heard that name before (I think, everyone who ever was in Australia knows that name, since he is regarded as the "Father of Australia") I wanted to have a look at it. Lachlan MacQuarie (1762-1824) is not the founder, but the first governor of Australia who regarded it not merely as a prisoners camp but rather as a potentially nice place. When he arrived in Autralia in 1810 he found a wild, chaotic situation of mainly ex-prisoners from England and turned it into a colony with a future. He treated all settler equally (free settlers and former prisoners). He is responsible for proper buildings (the oldest buildings one finds in Sydney today are from his era), built streets, send lawyers into the country etc. He, as the governor of New South Wales, believed in the colony's future and laid the foundations for it to be able to have a striving future. I remember from my time in Australia over 20 years ago finding "MacQuarie" very present in the form of street names, parks, pubs, buildings and a university being named after him.

Anyway, he was born on Ulva and such is a Mullian. Together with his second wife, who was from Gruline they are both buried here in a mausoleum built for them.

Fiona enjoyed this day out very much, especially since she discovered her love of mud puddles, and on the track towards the mausoleum were many of them.

I was surprised how much this discovery (of Lachlan MacQuarie being from Mull) changed my perspective of the place (Mull) and my place in it. With Fiona having her own speed on her way back to the car (lots of puddles to splash), I had time to think about my Australian bonds. The father I grew up with is Australian and I spend a year staying with my uncle in Sydney when I was 16. This was a great experience which shaped me even though I never felt quite at home there. But I wish I could go again and see what I would experience being in Australia now and after (I believe) Australia has changed a lot in the past 20 years. I still have relatives there that I would like to visit and Charlot has a good friend there (Anna, who came to visit us here on Mull exactly a year ago), who invited us to visit her in Adelaide- even with a job offer for a few month. Maybe a good idea for the case that we want to escape the next Mull winter - which this year was incredible long, stormy, rainy and dark... I`m starting to dream about an Australia trip...

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