Saturday, 31 May 2008

Vino


Lots of lovely vino to try as we make our way through Italy, southern France and Spain.

I'm off travelling (back to Rome today), and as I won't be taking any new shots of Sydney for a few weeks, and I've not taken a computer, I'm not sure I'll be able to post photos. So, I'm publishing some of my art works in the form of Artist Trading Cards. These small canvases are made on card of 69 x 89 mm dimensions (3.5 x 5.5 inches). They are made to trade with other artists, as the name implies. It is extremely bad form to sell them. Any medium can be used, but my preferred method of creation is by using rubber stamps and inks.

Friday, 30 May 2008

Paestum - The Diver

As regular readers know, I love to swim. Today may be the day we visit the magnificent Doric ancient Greek temples of Paestum. I am also looking forward to the museum where one of the highlights is this 5th century BC fresco of a diver, found in the Tomb of the Diver. The fresco is thought to represent the journey between life and death.



I'm off travelling (currently staying in Pompei), and as I won't be taking any new shots of Sydney for a few weeks, and I've not taken a computer, I'm not sure I'll be able to post photos. So, I'm publishing some of my art works in the form of Artist Trading Cards. These small canvases are made on card of 69 x 89 mm dimensions (3.5 x 5.5 inches). They are made to trade with other artists, as the name implies. It is extremely bad form to sell them. Any medium can be used, but my preferred method of creation is by using rubber stamps and inks.

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Italian Playing Cards


Whenever we travel, we always take a set of Italian playing cards. There's two games my husband's Sicilian grandparents particularly loved, called Scopa and Briscola. We often play them on trains and when waiting around to pass the time.

I also collect regional variations of the 40-card Italian decks.

I'm off travelling (currently in Pompei and Naples), and as I won't be taking any new shots of Sydney for a few weeks, and I've not taken a computer, I'm not sure I'll be able to post photos. So, I'm publishing some of my art works in the form of Artist Trading Cards. These small canvases are made on card of 69 x 89 mm dimensions (3.5 x 5.5 inches). They are made to trade with other artists, as the name implies. It is extremely bad form to sell them. Any medium can be used, but my preferred method of creation is by using rubber stamps and inks.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Off to Pompei today


I call this ATC Writing On the Wall, There's plenty of graffiti and fresco art in Pompei.

I'm off travelling (currently in Pompei), and as I won't be taking any new shots of Sydney for a few weeks, and I've not taken a computer, I'm not sure I'll be able to post photos. So, I'm publishing some of my art works in the form of Artist Trading Cards. These small canvases are made on card of 69 x 89 mm dimensions (3.5 x 5.5 inches). They are made to trade with other artists, as the name implies. It is extremely bad form to sell them. Any medium can be used, but my preferred method of creation is by using rubber stamps and inks.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Cats







I wonder if our cat is missing us? No shortage of cats in Rome! Here's some hepcats, a king of the backyard, an Egyptian cat and a pink pussycat.

I'm off travelling (currently in Rome), and as I won't be taking any new shots of Sydney for a few weeks, and I've not taken a computer, I'm not sure I'll be able to post photos. So, I'm publishing some of my art works in the form of Artist Trading Cards. These small canvases are made on card of 69 x 89 mm dimensions (3.5 x 5.5 inches). They are made to trade with other artists, as the name implies. It is extremely bad form to sell them. Any medium can be used, but my preferred method of creation is by using rubber stamps and inks.

Monday, 26 May 2008

Here's a card I made for a swap called "All About Me". If you look at it closely, you'll learn quite a lot about me.

I'm off travelling (currently in Rome), and as I won't be taking any new shots of Sydney for a few weeks, and I've not taken a computer, I'm not sure I'll be able to post photos. So, I'm publishing some of my art works in the form of Artist Trading Cards. These small canvases are made on card of 69 x 89 mm dimensions (3.5 x 5.5 inches). They are made to trade with other artists, as the name implies. It is extremely bad form to sell them. Any medium can be used, but my preferred method of creation is by using rubber stamps and inks.

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Not in Venice



I'm not in Venice, but I'm not in Sydney either, so I thought you might enjoy this interpretation of Venezia

I'm travelling (currently in Rome), and as I won't be taking any new shots of Sydney for a few weeks, and I've not taken a computer, I'm not sure I'll be able to post photos. So, I'm publishing some of my art works in the form of Artist Trading Cards. These small canvases are made on card of 69 x 89 mm dimensions (3.5 x 5.5 inches). They are made to trade with other artists, as the name implies. It is extremely bad form to sell them. Any medium can be used, but my preferred method of creation is by using rubber stamps and inks.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Caffè


How better to spend time in Rome than sitting at a cafe sipping caffe?

I'm in Rome, and so I won't be taking any new shots of Sydney for a few weeks, and I've not taken a computer, so I'm not sure I'll be able to post photos. So, I'm publishing some of my art works in the form of Artist Trading Cards. These small canvases are made on card of 69 x 89 mm dimensions (3.5 x 5.5 inches). They are made to trade with other artists, as the name implies. It is extremely bad form to sell them. Any medium can be used, but my preferred method of creation is by using rubber stamps and inks.

Friday, 23 May 2008

All Roads Lead To Rome


All things going well, this morning I arrive in Rome, where I am spending the next 5 days.

As I won't be taking any new shots of Sydney for a few weeks, and am not taking a computer, I'm not sure I'll be able to post photos. So, I'm going to publish some of my art works in the form of Artist Trading Cards. These small canvases are made on card of 69 x 89 mm dimensions (3.5 x 5.5 inches). They are made to trade with other artists, as the name implies. It is extremely bad form to sell them. Any medium can be used, but my preferred method of creation is by using rubber stamps and inks.

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Come Fly With Me

Today I take off on an adventure in Europe. As I won't be taking any new shots of Sydney for a few weeks, and not taking a computer, I'm not sure I'll be able to post photos. So, I'm going to publish some of my art works in the form of Artist Trading Cards. These small canvases are made on card of 69 x 89 mm dimensions (3.5 x 5.5 inches). They are made to trade with other artists, as the name implies. It is extremely bad form to sell them. Any medium can be used, but my preferred method of creation is by using rubber stamps and inks.

Today as this is published I am taking off from Sydney, first to Singapore, and then on to Rome, a total flying time of about 20 hours.




Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Sunset, Sydney Harbour

Taken from Milsons Point, near North Sydney Olympic Pool. Anzac Bridge is poking up at the left of the photo.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Victoria Barracks, Paddington


An Australian Army barracks, one of the best-known examples of colonial military architecture in Australia. The majority of the barracks was constructed by convicts, using locally quarried sandstone, between February 1841 and April 1848. The barracks were occupied by British troops up until 1870 and then taken over by the New South Wales colonial forces. Currently home to both Headquarters Land Command and Headquarters Training Command.

There are guided tours at 10am on Thursdays. I took these on a Saturday, and couldn't get in - took these photos through the fence.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Swimming Under The Bridge



I think this pool says a lot about the place of swimming in the Australian psyche. Here is it, right under Sydney Harbour Bridge, next door neighbour to Luna Park. I can't think of another place in the world where a swimming pool occupies such a prime piece of real estate. Maybe Monaco, which I will see shortly, thanks to Jilly! And not only is there no question of its continued survival, in 2001 a redevelopment was completed, feturing a new indoor 25m pool , splash pool, child care facilities, a renovated cafe and restaurant, gymnasium, picnic areas, solar heating and hot water heat pumps.

The pool was originally built in 1936 on a site where much of the construction work for the Sydney Harbour Bridge had been carried out. The Bridge opened in 1932. 86 world records have been set at the pool by such swimming greats as Dawn Fraser, Jon and Ilsa Konrads, Murray Rose, Lorraine Crapp, Frank O'Neill, Judy Joy Davies, John Devitt, Shane Gould and Michelle Ford.

I also keep a Swimming Blog, because I love swimming. I was delighted to see another swimmer share his love in this weekend's This Life contributor column in The Weekend Australian newspaper. Rick Kane, I don't know who you are, but you captured my thoughts beautifully. The only differences are that I usually DO score a lane to myself, as I use a gym, and the bulk of people are into the sweaty, running shoes stuff; I swim 60 laps about 4 times a week (80 if I'm on holidays); and my magic number is 23 - the lap when, having let the mind go blank other than the repetitive mantra of lap-counting, most of the world's problems and complex work-related issues are solved. Swimming to me is meditation, transcendence, sensuality (the water feels like a silk scarf running over my body).

Here's Rick Kane's piece entitled This (Lapping) Life from the The Weekend Australian May 17-18 2008:
"Swimming laps is all about numbers. For starters, I’m 44 and I go swimming at 6am (ouch). The first time I ventured to the pool (I mean leisure centre) at that early hour, I thought I would be bothering the guy who had drawn the short straw to open up.
I imagined a pot-bellied, sleepy-eyed grump wheezing on a fag, clutching a coffee, mumbling something like, “Mate, give us a sec, I’ll crank up the generators and then she’ll be right.” I was wrong.
At 6am your local leisure centre is going off. People turn up in droves. There’s a queue t. In June, with temperatures hovering at 5C, there may be 40 or more people of all ages (well, over 35), queuing to get in there and get on a walking machine, or spin cycle or bench press, or whatever it is you do for exercise. In my case, it’s to go swimming.
I love swimming. You’ve got to love an activity that has a stroke called butterfly that involves the most ungainly actions. There are five lanes allocated for laps. Every swimmer hopes for a lane to themselves and every swimmer is disappointed. I swim 2km, three times a week. As I swim in a 25m pool, I swim 80 laps ach session, but who’s counting? I am.
My convoluted counting process involves calling ach lap a quarter (as in time: 1:15, 1:30, 1:45, lap 2, and so on). And, yes, I’ve even counted the amount of strokes it takes for each lap (about 40), swimming laps is taxing, invigorating and fun. It is also as boring as watching someone who is boring.
The repetition may suggest a mundane activity, but for me swimming is pretty close to transcendence. Gliding through cool water can free the body and has the potential to free the mind. While swimming laps, I try not so much to solve everyday problems but move through them. Counting laps maintains a rhythm (as does the stroke), but water is the melody, allowing you to free-form freestyle. Everything else is of little moment.
The light at that time of day, just as the sun is rising, is striking. It produces hazy shades ad textures across the pool. Underwater, where a swimmer is mainly looking, these shades reflect patterns and beats across the tiles that move and distort as the swimmer pushes through the water.
And away the mind goes, maybe to a daughter’s smile, having been told her class project is excellent, or the scent of a bakery from a half-forgotten holiday, or to the woman swimming laps in the next lane. Swimming gives you space to open up the value of a reflection. It is the languorous dance of the solitary. Swimming is sensual and water a sweeping beauty.
I push myself. But I have terrible rhythm and I swear it is the reason I can’t push myself harder. There is, well, um, another reason for not pushing myself harder. Hey, I put in a lot of effort swimming 2km, or, wait for it, 3200 freestyle arm strokes. I swim non-stop. When I finish, I’m huffing and puffing. But then I go to wipe sweat from my brow and all I’m wiping is excess chlorinated water.
For all the effort Thorpie and I exert, there is no freakin’ sweat to show the world that we work damn hard. That just doesn’t add up. Still, I keep at it, with the numinous thoughts and the numbers swimming around in my head. "



Below: the 2001 indoor pool, sitting up the hill above the existing outdoor 50m pool.

Friday, 16 May 2008

Harry's Cafe de Wheels, Haymarket

Not the original at Woolloomooloo, and not on wheels any more, but a Sydney institution nevertheless.
Harry's started as a late night pie cart in 1938, a traditional stop for late night revellers finding their way home, taxi drivers and the like.
By the way, for North American readers, in Australia, "pie" is not synonymous with "sweet". They are most usually savoury, traditionally meat based, though being tri-lingual (we speak and understand Australian, English and American) there is some cross-over these days. My favourite are steak and kidney.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

What's foooty without a barbie?


There's a canteen and barbecue to run for the hungry spectators and to raise funds for the club (great steak sandwiches, sausages in a roll, hamburgers or chicken burgers for only $3.50)

Friday, 9 May 2008

Five ways you can tell you are in Melbourne, not Sydney




Part Five: Trams, of course!

The most obvious saved for last.
Sydney's last tram ran in 1961. Lines had begun closing in 1939, line by line.
By contrast, Melbourne was sensible and reatined its tram network, a great form of public transport, which makes Melbourne easy to get around, particularly the inner and middle distance suburbs. Like most cities which have grown phenomenally in the past few decades, public transport has not kept pace with suburban sprawl.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Five ways you can tell you are in Melbourne, not Sydney




Part Four: Hook Turns
To accommodate trams, and allow them to move smoothly through intersections, some of Melbourne's city streets require motorists turning right to move to the far left to wait to turn. (Don't forget we drive on the left, so normally would position ourselves in the centre, or just left of centre, of the road to turn right). It's easy once you get the hang of it, but the first few times can be a bit unnerving.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Five ways you can tell you are in Melbourne, not Sydney

Part Three: Fences, weatherboards and bricks



I've rarely seen these woven wire fences in Sydney, and weatherboard is not a particularly common building material. For cheap building material fibro is more prevalent in Sydney (and rarely seen in Melbourne). There are of course some weatherboard houses in Sydney, but it is rare to see them lovingly restored; these days they are more likely to be knocked down and replaced by a McMansion. Many inner suburbs of Melbourne have beautifully restored examples of Victorian and Edwardian weatherboard houses.

Now to the peak-capped brick fences. Common in 1950s Melbourne fences; unknown in Sydney.
The colour of bricks depends on the clay you have for raw material. This particular shade of red brick is a Melbourne special, as is the blonde brick. Having lived in both Melbourne and Sydney, show me a traditional commons brick from either city and I reckon I'd have a pretty good chance of getting its origin right. Weird, but there you are!


Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Five ways you can tell you are in Melbourne, not Sydney

Part Two: Easy-access stations
Aligned with yesterday's level crossing, is the fact that access to Melbourne train stations is usually via a minimal number of steps, or a ramp. Contrast this with my local station in Sydney, which you can only get to the platforms by going up a whole heap of stairs, and down another heap of stairs. Makes it really hard for mums with prams, anyone with physical challenges, older people and so on.

Monday, 5 May 2008

Five ways you can tell you are in Melbourne, not Sydney


Part One: Level Crossings
Suburban railway "level crossings" don't exist in Sydney (maybe there are one or two?). There is always a road overpass or underpass. They remain very much part of the Melbourne suburban landscape. Bells and lights start, the boom gates come down, and the pedestrian gates across the tracks close automatically.

Apparently Melbourne stopped its program of replacing level crossings in the early 1970s, to divert money to construction of the Eastern Freeway.

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Melbourne City Baths





I'm in Melbourne for a meeting, and taking the opportunity to visit a frend for the weekend. Yesterday I swam out the crinkles at the historical Melbourne City Baths. It was fabulous; I've been wanting to swim here for a long time. The pool is 30m in length, which is fairly unusual - they are more commonly 50m or 25m.

These beautiful Edwardian Baths started off as public baths (for washing) and urinals. After dereliction, and closure in 1899 they were re-designed and re-opened, to include two swimming pools, in March 1904. Men and women had separate entrances (the signs are still seen on the facade), and there were first class baths upstairs, and second class in the basement.There were also Turkish and vapour baths, a Jewish ceremonial bath - Mikvah bath and a laundry.Mixed bathing was introduced in 1947.In the 1980s, in disrepair, they were nearly closed, but were saved in 1983 by a public campaign and $4 million refurbishment.

My mum (now aged 79) tells me that when she was a young, single woman, workign in the city in the late 1940s/early 1950s, she used sometimes to use the washing facilities here after work, to freshen up beofre going out with a young man or friends.