Friday, July 3, 2009

Francis Greenway

Francis Greenway is the last name I added to the list while we were in Australia.

I have no idea who he or she is.

I guess I shall go find out.....

He's an architect....a longtime dead architect.

I have no idea why I added him to the list. Maybe he was another person that Birmingham mentioned in Leviathan?

I can't say I'm really into architectural history, so I'm guessing there was something unique about him that excited me. Although it could be that I felt I wasn't adding enough people. I might have said next name I see...I'm adding them!

Anyway, I'll begin.

Baby Francis was born 20 November 1777. His birthday is two days before mine.

I'm not sure if the birthday website goes back that far. I'll have to see.

Nope. The farthest they go back in 1809.

It doesn't matter. I can find out the information on my own.

First I'm pretty sure he's a Scorpio. I'm on the cusp of Scorpio and Sagittarius. I can conclude then that Greenway was a Scorpio.

Now I'll get out my calculator to do the numerology stuff.

1777 is 1+7+7+7=22 and that would be reduced to 2+2=4
November is 11 and that's reduced to 1+1=2
20 is 2+0=2
Then we go 4+2+2=8

8.

I hope I did the math right.

I'd be embarrassed if I didn't.

Anyway, 8 is about financial success and stuff like that.

Oh! I'm going to go back to that cool numerology website I found the other day.

They say this about the 8: You have the potential for enormous success and the possibility to accumulate great wealth. You are also a good judge of character a natural leader and a survivor.
That's some of the positive.

Here's some of the negative: You might be stubborn, intolerant, impatient, stressed, materialistic, impatient with people, arrogant and reckless. You have the power to accumulate great wealth, but you also susceptible to loosing everything.

I wonder if any of that resembles Francis Greenway.

Greenway was born near Bristol England. In college I had a crush on this guy from Bristol. Jesse Woodward. We hung out sometimes. He sadly left after my freshman year. Years later I was walking home from the subway station when I heard a British person calling out to me. This is horrible to say but I thought he was trying to sell me shampoo or something. In NYC at the time, British people would stop woman to talk to them about their hair products. I think they were doing surveys or trying to sell something. I ignored him for a bit, but then finally stopped and turned around. It was Jesse from college. It's funny running into people like that. The last time I had seen him was in Tennessee. And then we both end up in NYC....

You know I used to think that story was so much more amazing. Now it's kind of lost its thrill. I think maybe it's because we're so much more likely to be reunited with old schoolmates via the Internet. Although I personally HAVEN'T found that many people. That's why I put their full names on my blog. I'm hoping someone will google themselves. So far no one has done it.  Or at least they haven't landed on my blog. I guess, in my past, I somehow ended up befriending people who are all technophobes.

I should probably get back to Greenway.

He did work in both Bristol and Bath. I went to Bath with my family in the 1990's. I don't really remember much though.

There's one Greenway building left in England. It's the Clifton Club in Bristol. The building took five years to complete and opened on November 1811. I guess that would have made Greenway thirty-four at the time.

According to Lord Wiki, before the building opened Greenway became bankrupt. Ouch.

In 1812 Greenway forged a document. He got in big trouble for that. He was sentenced to death.

Oh wait. He might not have forged the document. He pleaded guilty to forging the document. That's a big difference.

I guess he was told his best chance was in pleading guilty. That happened in an episode of Medium we watched a few weeks ago. An innocent man was told by his lawyer to plead guilty.

Was Greenway innocent?

I don't know.

Fortunately for him, his sentence was changed from death to Australia.

Greenway was somewhat friends with Arthur Phillip who had since retired to Bath. Philip sent Macquarie a message on Facebook, putting a good word in for Greenway. He also sent Macquarie a virtual snow globe and a virtual ice-cream sundae.

Greenway came to Sydney in February 1814. His ship was the General Hewitt.

This website has some information about the ship. I'm going to read it.

It talks about a journey that left England in August of 1814. I'm guessing Greenway was on this ride.

The ship had 515 people. Conditions were not pleasant on the ship. People got dirty. People got sick....dysentery and Typhus. Yuck.

This has information too. I think it confirms that this was the passage Greenway was on. It says they arrived in Sydney on 7th February 1814. And Lord Wiki does say that's when Greenway appeared in Sydney. The information matches.

Because the passengers were in such a bad state, Macquarie ordered an enquiry. It was determined that the commander had been negligent.

Greenway was lucky enough to be allowed to go back to doing his architecture stuff. Lord Wiki says he designed a geometric stair for Ultimo House. I have no idea what that means.

This website has photos of geometric stairs. I guess they're stairs that curve in a fancy way rather than just going straight up and down.

I've forgotten where Ultimo is. I need to look at Google Maps.

It's right near Darling Harbour. I'm ashamed of myself for forgetting that. It's not that I expect myself to know every little thing about Sydney. It's more the fact that we were in that area at least twice. I should have remembered it!

Greenway met Macquarie in July of 1814.  That's five months after he arrived. Macquarie asked Greenway to build a town hall. He gave Greenway an instruction book to follow. Greenway was offended by this. He felt he was above merely copying a building. And I think also Greenway wasn't impressed with the building he was supposed to copy.

Lord Wiki doesn't really say whether he did the building or not. Maybe I'll find out later. Do you guys notice that whenever I say that, I DON'T end up finding out. I've noticed that phenomena when I've gone back to proofread my entries. I say I might find out later and then I never do. Oh well. Who knows. Maybe this time things will be different.

Between 1816 and 1818, Greenway did the Macquarie Lighthouse.

This website has a photo of the lighthouse and information about it. I think Fe pointed this landmark out to us from her amazing balcony view.

The lighthouse was made from Sandstone. Macquarie liked it. He liked it so much that he granted Greenway his freedom. If you build a baseball field in America, ghosts come and become your friends. If you build a lighthouse in Australia you become a free man.

Oh! It seems I might NOT have seen the Lighthouse from Fe's balcony. It seems the lighthouse deteriorated. Greenway warned the governor that this might happen because of the sandstone. His predictions came true. They had to build a new lighthouse.

Here's something interesting on the site. Australia's first lighthouse keeper was Robert Watson. Watson Bay is named after him.

I love this stuff.

I just read the website more closely. The new lighthouse is a replica of Greenway's. So although I didn't see Greenway's lighthouse, I saw one that looked like Greenway's. Although honestly we were very far away. I probably just saw an obscure white thing. And maybe that wasn't even the lighthouse Fe was pointing to. Maybe we didn't even see a lighthouse. My memory might be playing tricks on me.

Greenway went on to build famous buildings in Sydney.

He's responsible for the Hyde Park Barracks, St. James Church, and the new government house.

We went to Hyde Park Barracks. That was the same day I met Fe for the first time. This is turning into a Fe post. It's funny because Fe is strongly on my mind this morning for reasons beyond Greenway and this post.

I might have gone to St. James Church. I walked up the steps of some church and peered inside. Was that St. James? Let me go see if I can do a blog search and check.....

I can't find it.

I'm going to see if I can find it on Google Maps. That might give me a clue.

It's right above Hyde Park; near St. James station. Ah! St. James Station and St. James Church. Who is James anyway?

I just looked in my notebook filled with the notes I took in Sydney. It was St. Mary's I visited, not St. James.

Now I'm looking for information on who St. James is. I guess he's one of the twelve apostles. That's pretty damn significant.

I'm guessing St. Mary is named after THE Mary.

Back to Greenway.

Macquarie developed some issues with the guy. He felt Greenway charged too high of a fee. The next Governor, Brisbane, dismissed Greenway. Ouch.

Things didn't go quite well for Greenway after that. At one point, it seems, he sent out an advertisement begging for money. Poor guy.

He died of Typhoid in 1837. He was 59.

From 1966 to 1993 Greenway's face was featured on the ten dollar note. Lord Wiki remarks that he may be the only man convicted of forgery to be honored on money. Yes, the irony is very cute.

Oh! Cool! Lord Wiki has a list of Greenway's buildings and photographs of some of them.

He did Sydney Government House. Yeah, I know I mentioned that above. But is that the building in the Royal Botanical Gardens?

Okay. Yeah. It is.

If I'm understanding Lord Wiki right though, Greenway designed only part of the house.

There's a suburb of Canberra named after Greenway. I don't think we saw it.

Well, I'm done with Lord Wiki. I shall go and try to find other websites.

I have to admit I'm having more fun with this than I thought I would.

I think I know why I added Greenway to my list. I'm intrigued by convict success stories. I think it's so awesome that people were on death row. Then they get sent to Australia and become highly successful. It IS quite unfortunate though that Greenway didn't stay successful.

I think stories like this are very inspiring. You can hit rock bottom and still have hopes of rising to the top.

On the other hand, you can rise to the top and then die of Typhoid.

Life is a rollercoaster. It has its ups and downs. I hope all of you who are reading this have more ups than downs. That's my little prayer for you.

I'm looking at the Greenway entry on the Australian biography website.

Greenway had a wife...Mary. They had three kids. The children and their mother came to Sydney after Greenway did. Their ship was the Broxbornebury.

Immediately after arrival to Sydney, Greenway had a private practice. The website says his office was at 84 George Street. I wonder if that's near the Passionflower Ice Cream place we went to.

I'm looking at Google Maps. 84 George Street is in The Rocks.

The biography website says Greenway was self-confident, temperamental, and quick to take offense.

Governor Macquarie asked Greenway to do a critique of the Rum Hospital. Greenway didn't give it rave reviews. He gave it quite awful reviews. Expensive changes had to be made. People were not happy with Greenway. The experience gained him enemies.

I wonder.....

Was he overly harsh....like nasty Simon Cowell and other famous critics of today? Or were people overly sensitive?

I have very low tolerance for nasty critics. It seems a lot of people criticize just to be mean. They're not helping anyone really. To me, it's just a form of bullying.

But I also have low tolerance for people who can't handle CONSTRUCTIVE criticism. I mean it IS hard to take sometime. We all want to believe our work is perfect and 100% lovable. But often there is room for us to grow.

I've received a lot of criticism for my writing. I joined critique websites and all that. Most of the people who commented on my work were very nice and fair. Sometimes I agreed with what they said and sometimes they didn't.

A few years ago I got involved with some writers on Livejournal. They did this thing where they shared a piece of their work and people would make comments. One time a young woman shared revisions of part of her novel. I told her I liked it, but I was honest and said I personally preferred the earlier version. She was furious and fairly nasty. I then took a closer look at these writings that people shared. I noticed that the comments for the most part were all positive. Whenever these people shared their writings, their followers patted them on the back with flowery praise. I really do NOT understand what the point of that is.

It reminds me of something I read a few weeks ago regarding blog cliques. The author says, I hate PR blog cliques. I find them to be pathetically juvenile. You know the bloggers I mean: the ones that constantly link within their little circles; the ones that feel the need to shower their buddies with praise and thanks for even mentioning them; the ones that can’t post an original thought without being assured that their clique-mates will back them up if anyone dares to speak out against them or their opinions.

I think that's the danger of too much praise. It makes us feel we we should be immune to criticism or disagreement.

I'll admit that at times I've wished I had loyal followers. I've wished to be one of those bloggers who ends up with at least ten comments on each post. I've wished to have my own cheerleading squad. But if that happened, the sad truth is I might become as nasty as some of the other people who have been bestowed with such a gift. The sad thing is I just thought to myself Well, so and so have tons of comments on their blogs. And they're so sweet and nice! They're not mean at all! You know what though....with these particular people, I've never said anything to disagree with them. It's not that I've been afraid to. It's just they haven't said anything I've had issues with. What if I did disagree with them? Would they accept that and be civil? Or would their number of faithful followers make them feel they are undeserving of disagreement? I honestly have no idea.

And what would I turn into if it happened to me? Is it inevitable that someone with too many fans (or a small number of zealous fans) will turn into some kind of monster? Can we be adored without getting a swell head? And if we get a swell head, can we still manage to be kind to the people who don't act like they worship the ground we walk on?

I need to get back to Greenway.

He was arrogant.

He had his talents, but was disliked by some people.

His wife was the opposite of Greenway...self-effacing. I wonder if they got along well or not.

Greenway had some fights with Macquaire about land. Greenway was granted pastoral land, but he wanted town land.

Greenway struggled as Lord Wiki said. He got a small amount of private business. He did some writing. He tried to make something of his land, but it was marshy and yucky. Poor guy.

I guess in the end his arrogance was his downfall. At least that's the impression I'm getting. He kind of reminds me of Gordon Ramsey.

I think when you're great at something but an asshole; at first people will love your work so much they'll forgive your personality. But then after awhile they realize your work isn't THAT great. And it's not worth it.

That's a lot like how I felt about the Passionflower ice-cream place. I can't deny it. That ice-cream was the best we ate in Australia. But the attitude of the place was very arrogant. To me, it's not worth going back there. I'd rather eat at a place staffed by nice people...even if the ice-cream is a little less great.

I wish though that Greenway hadn't died so poor and lonely. I wish he could have changed. I wish he could have become less arrogant. And I wish the same for Passionflower. I don't wish it to burn to to ground or go out of business. I wish eventually they'll realize it doesn't matter how great their ice-cream is. They can still be more pleasant to their customers.

We ate at Scoops in the South Coast. The ice-cream wasn't out of this world. It was fairly nice. But the people working there were SO incredibly friendly to us. Because of that, we have very fond memories of the place.

Anyway, I think I'm going to stop here. I have a feeling most websites are going to give the same information. And besides that....I'm ready to quit and do other things.