Wednesday, 31 January 2007


These building workers rest in the shade for a lunch time break. Taken out my office window.

Tuesday, 30 January 2007

Getting ready for work

I've got used to people doing all sorts of things as they drive, but increasingly people are using public places to do what once were purely private acts, such as applying makeup. Before I got my camera out, this woman spent some time plucking her eyebrows. I was sitting right next to her and debating with myself whether to take a picture, and then I thought "Well, she's oblivious to my idea of privacy, so let's see how she goes with the camera." She didn't miss a beat, just put away her lip pencil and got out her mascara.

Maybe she was also going back to work for the first time in ages and hadn't calculated the morning time?

Monday, 29 January 2007

Back to work

Today marks the end of the summer holidays. Teachers go back to work, kids follow tomorrow. And I'm back to work after several weeks holidays (interrupted rudely by a week at work in early January!) . So, once more, the morning train will deliver me at Central Station.

Sunday, 28 January 2007

Big Strong Men

I hate being advertised at as much as we are, but sometimes you can't help laughing! Especially when you're stuck in heavy traffic on a boring stretch of road.

Friday, 26 January 2007

Reconciliation - when? Not on Australia Day 2007.

This is a picture of Sydney Cove, taken from a significant point on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

On 21 January, 1788, Captain Arthur Philip and the First Fleet, a raggle taggle collection of convicts and hardly-better British soldiers, reached Sydney Cove (the water in this picture) to establish a British convict colony.

On 26 January, the British flag was raised at Sydney Cove and the colony officially began.

Captain James Cook had sailed along the coast 18 years earlier, and had stopped in Botany Bay, south of here. Cook saw the entrance to the harbour on May 6, 1770, and named it Port Jackson, after a friend, one of the secretaries of the British Admiralty, George Jackson. He noted that it looked like a good anchorage, but decided to sail on, so he never entered this magnificent harbour. Cook, and his botanist, Joseph Banks, recommended a settlement at Botany Bay, however Philip found it did not possess a reliable fresh water supply, so after anchoring there on 18 January 1788, decided to move on to explore the possiblity of the anchorage at Port Jackson. Philip and the First Fleet arrived here on 21 January, and named it Sydney Cove. There was a stream, the Tank Stream, for water.

On 26 January, 1788, Philip raised the British flag and so founded the colony. That occasion id now commemorated as Australia Day, a public holiday.

That act also signifies the dispossession of the land from its original inhabitants, the Aboriginal people, although that was probably not the original intention.

A doctrine was used in British law, known as terra nullius (empty land) - now overthrown in Australian law. It asserte that the land was empty of people, and thus free for the taking. Cook had thought, because he encountered so few people around the coasts, that the interior must be empty.

In fact living in this very place were the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, Philip was under instructions to be friendly and to treat with them. A subsequent governor (Macarthur) went back to England to get terra nullius invoked, when he wanted to clear Aborigines from land he wanted to expand into.

This has led to more than 2 centuries of injustice towards the Aboriginal people.

At the southern end of the walkway across the Sydney Harbour Bridge, a plaque commemorates the Reconciliation Walk of 28 May 2000. On that say, there seemed like there was enormous hope for reconciliation between Australia's Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, as referred to yesterday. Under the policies of the current federal gocernment, that hope has dimmed - I hope temporarily. Now THAT will be a day to celebrate!!

The plaque reads:

On 28 May 2000, more than 250,000 people walked across the Sydney Harbour Bridge in support of reconciliation. In the months that followed a million more Australians participated in similar walks throughout the nation. Mari budjari yana. Unveiled on 27 May 2004

Thursday, 25 January 2007

Redfern Park. Redfern Speech.

On 10 December, 1992, the Australian Prime Minister at the time, Paul Keating, made a speech at Redfern Park which offered great hope for the future of relations between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians. You can read the 'Redfern Speech' here. Along with Keatings speech at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Canberra, I rank it as one of the great speeches of Australian history.
Unfortunately, since that time, under an exceptionally conservative government, the hopes expressed here were not realised, and relations have, if anything, deteriorated.
Redfern is an inner suburb of Sydney with a large Aboriginal population.
Tomorrow is Australia Day which commemorates the date of the first European settlement in Australia. I will have more to say about Reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians tomorrow.

Wednesday, 24 January 2007

They're here!

On 29 July 2006 I wrote about the imminent demise of the old destination indicator boards at Arncliffe railway station, and their replacement with computer operated monitors. Well, they have arrived....vale sentimental journey, hello "progress".

Tuesday, 23 January 2007

Lane etiquette

One of the delights of summer is being able to do my daily swim in the local outdoor pool. It's important to follow proper lane etiquette to avoid any collisions. Like driving in Australia, you must keep left - up the left side of the black line, and down the other side. It's also nice being able to stretch out in a proper 50 m pool, instead of the indoor 25 m one. Not so many turns... Psychologically it seems easier to complete "half" the number of laps!
In the mornings, 4 lanes are reserved for lap swimmers, and 4 for leisure swimmers - plenty of room for everyone.
PS Iam away from home for a few days on a very slow connection, so apologies for not visiting other sites very often.

Monday, 22 January 2007

The view from the Harbour View pub

From the outside terrace of the Harbour View pub in The Rocks, you can check out the returning bridge climbers (many of whom give a wave) and the boats on the harbour beyond the Hyatt Hotel.

Sunday, 21 January 2007

Day Night Cricket at the Sydney Cricket Ground

My son, (who turned 13 today), left, and his friend trying to keep cool with a wet towel, in 40 degree heat at the cricket. We took lots of frozen water and sunscreen.

Mexican waves and bouncing huge inflatable beachballs amongst the crowd (and endeavouring to keep them off the field, otherwise they get confiscated) is all part of the cricket scene.

It was a close call, but Australia triumphed over New Zealand. It was a day / night match at the Sydney Cricket ground - started at 2.15 pm, sun set about 8.15, and the game continued under lights til about 10.15pm . The photo above was taken as the sun was setting and the lights taking over. (Panorama stitched together from 5 shots)

Late today

My photo will be late today. It's my beloved cricket fanatic son's 13th birthday and we're off to the cricket - Australia vs New Zealand - so check back later!!!

Saturday, 20 January 2007

Circular Quay at night

Tonight I went out for drinks in The Rocks area with some friends. Afterwards I walked back to Circular Quay to catch a train home. This is taken from the railway platform, and it's a view that no matter how long I live in Sydney I never tire of. It is gobsmackingly beautiful, day or night. The only pity is that they built the apartment block known as "The Toaster", which partially obscures the view of the Opera House (to the right). "The Toaster" looks like a serrated edged comb, highlighted by the white light of the Opera House.

Wednesday, 17 January 2007


Budgies are native to Australia. Many people keep them as caged birds. This collection lives in an enclosure at my sister's flats.
Smuggling Australian native birds is a very lucrative illegal activity worldwide.

But the term "budgie smuggler" has another meaning too....

Read all about it here
and here's the meaning without words!

Tuesday, 16 January 2007

Drought and Mirage

Sydney is surrounded by water. However, along with much of the Australian continent, it is experiencing severe drought, and we have water restrictions - can't water gardens except on certain days at certain times, can't wash cars with a hose, and so on.

Nevertheless, it is difficult to convey the full severity of the drought without travelling outside the metropolitan area.

This is Lake George, on the road between Sydney and Canberra. Lake George is special because from time to time it disappears althogether, and at other times it is partially water, and also mirage. Many times you come across it and it APPEARS to be full, but it's just a mirage. Today there was a slight mirage in the distance, which you can see if you click on the pic to maximise it.

The lake has no stream flowing into it, so for many years it has remained a mystery as to where the water came from. It now appears it is fed through an underground aquifer system.

However, the real story here today is just how dry the country is, not terribly far inland (only a couple of hundred kilometres from the coast). Australia is a dry continent, true, but is this just a cyclical drought, or a symptom of more permanent climate change?

Saturday, 13 January 2007

The Rabbitohs - A Sydney institution

Rugby League is the main "football" style game played in Sydney.

The South Sydney "Rabbitohs"*, aka "the Bunnies" and "Souths" are a Sydney rugby league team, with a proud history in the working class area of Redfern. (Note the older style terrace houses, and public housing blocks in the background). Over the years Souths have had various ups and downs, including winning more premiershipsthan any other team (the 1950s, 60s and 70s were their best years), and being dropped from the competition in 2000, after financial problems saw them lose some of their best players, and the Rugby League wanting to cut teams from the competition. Rabbitohs supporters are diehards, however, and with great popular support they came out fighting, went to court, and won re-admission in 2002.

Actor Russell Crowe has been a fervent supporter, and in 2006, he and a business partner, Peter Holmes a Court, bought a 75% share of the team, gioving them effective management contol.

Now their former home ground at Redfern Oval, in Redfern Park, is being re-developed by Sydney City Council as a state-of-the-art training ground. When I went past today, the old seats, from the now demolished stands were piled up, presumably awaiting removal.

The Rabbbitohs colours are red and green, hence the colour of the seats.

* How did "The Rabbitohs" get their name?

According to Wikipedia:

One version of how the club got the "Rabbitohs" nickname comes from their rugby union days at the turn of the 20th century. In those hard times, players wearing their cardinal red and myrtle green football jumpers, earned some extra money on Saturday mornings by hawking rabbits around the district with the traditional cry of "Rabbitoh!" echoing through the narrow streets. As they made a sale, they would sling the bunny from their shoulder and skin it on the spot, inevitably accumulating some of the fur and blood on their jerseys as they did so. When they played in those blood stained jumpers that afternoon, opponents from wealthier rugby clubs did not always appreciate the aroma and would mockingly repeat the 'Rabbitoh!' cry.
Another version relates that the Rabbitoh name was a derogatory reference by opposing teams to South's home ground being littered with "rabbit 'oles". In those early days Redfern Oval was then known as Nathan's Cow Paddock.

Friday, 12 January 2007

Sydney in January is very slow

Back in Sydney, while many still are not. There's much less traffic on the roads, and business is pretty slow. I haven't ventured in to any sales yet, but they don't excite me very much anyway.
I love January - the long summer holidays, and the totally languid feel. February is a bit more fraught because everyone is back into the full swing of things at school and work, and Sydney usually experiences its most humid weather. There's also lots on around town in January - Sydney Festival events.

Thursday, 11 January 2007

For Kris in Szentes, in Hungary

The other day Kris posted a photo of washing hanging from a balcony drying. More than that, she confessed her fascination with clothes lines!

Here's a classic Australian-invented Hills Hoist rotary clothes line. It's in my backyard down the coast. While we're lucky enough to have space and ample sun for drying outdoors, I must confess I do love my towels dried in a machine - they are just so much fluffier.

Wednesday, 10 January 2007

Burial site

Developments along the coast are always controversial, particularly when there is a site of Aboriginal significance involved. Here it is known there is a former Aboriginal burial site.
The Minister for Planning approved the development.
This advertising sign had disappeared the day after I took the photo.

Tuesday, 9 January 2007

Big Sky

The sun slips down behind the cloud over the Moruya River, 7.50pm

Monday, 8 January 2007

Learning to surf

My son spent most of last week learning to surf. More pictures about the process here.

Sunday, 7 January 2007


Known in Australia and New Zealand as Bluebottles, the Portuguese Man-o-War is sometimes found on beaches. Their tentacles can be up to 10 metres long. I never swim when there are bluebottles around. I don't like risking the "ouch" factor. Fortunately noone in Oz or NZ has ever been reported dieing from a bluebottle sting.
Did you know they are hermaphrodites?
Read all about them here
I know in the UK a certain kind of blowfly is called a bluebottle.

Saturday, 6 January 2007

Camel, Moruya, Saturday morning

Saturday morning, and Moruya markets are in full swing...and camel rides in the park by the river.

Friday, 5 January 2007

Sunrise over Jimmy's Island, Rosedale

Up early again today, so I wandered down to the beach before sunrise. I wasn't the only one there! There's a whole sequence of this sunrise here.

Thursday, 4 January 2007

Wednesday, 3 January 2007

Early morning surfer, cloudy morning, Broulee

To all my Daily Photo friends: Sorry if I can't visit you as often as I'd like . Am on a very slow dial-up connection while on holidays. I appreciate your continued visits to my 'holiday site' and hope you are enjoying being on a typical Sydney-sider's summer beach holiday.

Tuesday, 2 January 2007

Gang-Gang Cockatoo

I met this fellow (and his rather drab wife, who wouldn't let me photograph her) on my morning walk. Natives of southeast Australia, they are usually found in more elevated areas, not so often on the coast.
Read more here

Monday, 1 January 2007

Happy 2007!!!

Well, maybe not my best photo, but the most exciting photo for me, because it reflected MY Sydney, and was the result of me meeting an interesting person with a fascinating story to tell. As well, I have been trying to take better portraits and "people shots" throughout the year, and to me, this photo captured so much of the character and work of Kevin, including the hands, and concentration of the artist.
You can read all about Kevin here.
I have collected some of my personal favourites, and all my 2006 "people" photos at Sydney Daily Photol Extra.

Many of the Daily Photo family are celebrating their "Best of 2006" today. Follow the links to see the Best of City Daily Photos in the eyes of the creators.
Happy New Year, everyone!

Porto (Portugal) -Albuquerque, NM (USA) -St. Paul, (USA) Kate -Greenville,SC (USA) -Stayton, OR (USA) -Szentes (Hungary) -Hyde (UK) -London (UK) -Dubai (UAE) -Buenos Aires (Argentina) -Shanghai (China) -Nelson (New Zealand) -Twin Cities, MN (USA) -Joplin MO (USA) -Stavanger (Norway) -Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) -Not Strictly Seattle, WA (USA) -Jakarta (Indonesia) -Auckland (New Zealand) -Sharon, CT (USA) -Evry (France) -(Aust) John -Newcastle upon Tyne (England) -Paris (France) -Bandung (Indonesia) -Brussels (Belgium) -Minneapolis MN (USA) -Aliso Viejo, CA (USA) -Seattle, WA (USA) -Budapest (Hungary) -Singapore by Zannnie (Singapore) -Tenerife (Spain) -Santa Clara, CA (USA) -Houston, TX (USA) -Sydney by Nathalie (Aust) -San Diego, CA (USA) -Vancouver, BC (Canada) -Singapore by KeropokMan (Singapore) -East Lansing, MI (USA) -Sydney by Sally (Australia) -Tucson, AZ (USA) -Nottingham (UK) -Sequim, by Norma -Hong Kong -Vantaa (Finland) -Kyoto (Japan) -Tokyo (Japan) -Santiago (Chile) -