Monday, 30 April 2007

First European cemetery in Australia

Despite this part of Sydney being named the Sutherland Shire (or Godzone - as in God's Own Country - to locals), it wasn't actually named after this Sutherland. The full story here.

Sutherland died of consumption (TB), on 30 April 1770.

Sunday, 29 April 2007

How close is too close?

An array of teller machines, and people standing the appropriate distance back from the person currently using them. What is the sense of "personal space" where you are? Is it similar to this? Further back? Closer? Or do you not have teller machines in the open like this - only the ones where you enter a private cubicle?

Saturday, 28 April 2007

Labor Party Conference

After 11 years of government under Prime Minister John Howard, the opposition Labor Party hopes to form government at the election later this year. Their national party conference began in Sydney today. Outside there were two demonstrations : one opposing uranium mining (Labor is planning to lift its ban on extending uranium mining), and one in support of public education (reminding the Opposition of the neglect of public education of the current government, and not to repeat their mistakes).

President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, Sharan Burrow, held a press conference supporting additional funding for public education.

...and then shared a joke with some of the demonstrators -

There's more photos at Sydney Daily Photo Extra (click on link)

Friday, 27 April 2007

Coal train

I saw these empty coal train passing through as I was going down the steps at the station. What I liked about the scene was the series of diagonal lines, some parallel, created.

Thursday, 26 April 2007

What, no cars?

For me, one of the biggest photographic challenges is trying to create interesting pictures that provide a sense of the mood when it is rainy. Easy to photograph Sydney's beautiful bits when the sun is shining. I snapped this from my car when I was stopped at a red light and the young woman started crossing the road.
The most unbelievable fact, for anyone who knows Sydney, is that this was on the Princes Highway heading towards the city during morning peak hour a couple of days ago! Just a chance occurrence - I was stopped first at these lights, and cars in the opposite direction were stopped at a set up ahead, hence the appearance of no traffic!
Looks like the sun is out this morning, but more rain forecast.

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Turkish bread and vegemite for Anzac Day

A marriage made in heaven: toasted Turkish bread, and the salty Australian spread, vegemite. My Anzac day breakfast, washed down with a nice cup of tea.

Today is Anzac Day. Many Australians and New Zealanders have a special place in their hearts for Turkey, the site of the birth of Anzac, during the disastrous Dardanelles campaign of 1915, on the Gallipoli (Gelibolu) Peninsula. The British and French, as well as other allies, were there of course, and in greater numbers, suffering greater losses, but as the Great War inevitably meant far more to them on home soil, it does not have the same significance for them. In a short blog, I can't say everything there is to say about Anzac, so what follows are a few ramblings.

The allies landed on the peninsula, the Australians and New Zealanders at a little bay which is now known as Anzac Cove, at dawn on 25 April, 1915. [ANZAC means Australian and New Zealand Army Corps]

Last year I wrote: "Anzac Day, commemorating the contribution made in war. .. I prefer to think of it as a day not glorifying war but acknowledging its futility."

The first marking of ANZAC Day commemoration was in 1916. By the 1920s it was a public holiday throughout Australia, as it remains today. There are many people who have commentated about why this is such an important day for Australians, and some scoff at a country which commemorates a huge military defeat as a national day.

But there are some amazing things that have come from Anzac. For me they include:
  • an opportunity to remind us that peace is precious and always worth striving for;
  • that great friendships can be forged once people lay down arms and realise we are all human - Australians have great bonds with former foes in Turkey, and former allies in France.
  • The Turks engaged in one of the most generous acts of reconciliation, when Ataturk in 1934 urged the mothers of the slain not to weep, as "your sons are now also our sons."
  • a chance to study the history and realise that while Australians went into WW1 as colonials - part of the British Empire - and many still at that time regarded England as "home" - fighting for "God, King and Country" , somethign else was forged on those battelfields, an Australian identity that hadn't yet become real. australia had only been a unified country, rather thanseparate colonies for 13 years at the time of the outbreak of WW1.
Two years ago I attended Anzac day commemorations in France, at Villers-Bretonneux, and Bullecourt, two scenes huge Australian involvement on the Western Front. There was far more loss of life in France than Gallipoli, as horrific as the latter was. Here are some of the pictures I took then.

Last year my Anzac Day post was a tribute to my grandfather, who was at Gallipoli, and the Western Front in France.

I made this card featuring a photo of my grandfather, who survived unscathed, unlike many of his colleagues, who were either damaged and fractured, or slaughtered (the images behind him). Featured are copies of woven postcards he sent his mother (the card reads "My Dear Mother") and a photo of a poppy I took in the Somme area of France in 2003.

Later, I made this one, My Dear Mother, which is a tribute to the relationships expressed in the letters sent home, between sons and their families, especially their mothers:

Over the past several years I have spent many hours researching the activities of my grandfather during that war, starting with several letters which he sent from Egypt and France, but mainly using the magnificent collections of the Australian War Memorial and Australian Archives. In the past couple of weeks I have managed to get his story up on the web. He was an artillery driver, meaning he was in charge of teams of horses dragging the artillery to the artillery lines. You can read about his story, and the significant battles in the Somme and Flanders, as well as Gallipoli at this site - Percy Smith, Anzac.

Anyone interested in exploring more about Gallipoli and France/Belgium from the Australian point of view, I thoroughly recommend these books: Gallipoli by Les Carlyon, and The Great War, also by Les Carlyon.

The movie, Gallipoli, starring Mel Gibson and Mark Lee, made in 1981, holds up remarkably well. It is shown nightly at the Anzac Pansiyon in Canakkale in Turkey!

But for documentary film, you just can't go past this Turkish production, also called Gallipoli, from 2005. It is a magnificent film, telling the story of the war from both sides, and depicting the crazyness of it all, as well as the humanity on both sides, mainly throught the personal accounts of combatants on both sides. It uses the photographs, diaries and letters of three Australians, two Britons, three New Zealanders and two Turkish soldiers from the beginning of the campaign to its end. Review here. Do try to see it if you are at all interested in this part of our history.

And, finally, here's a picture of my grandfather an grandmother on their wedding day. My existence is thanks to the fact that, along with a mere 7 000 others, my grandad survived both Gallipoli and France to be able to come home to be the gentle, peace-loving, war-hating man he was.

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Rainy Day, Young St

At various times yesterday it bucketed down; when it rains in Sydney, there's no mistake - no delicate Scotch mist or fine drizzle here- just great big fat downpours! Here's a break between showers, looking down Young St towards the Quay, taken from Farrer Place. .

Monday, 23 April 2007

Spooky Sky

Early evening, after a storm, in my street. The sky and whole atmosphere took on a weird, pinkish glow.

Sunday, 22 April 2007

Your Rights At Work March and Concert

This morning tens of thousands (my educated guess is anywhere upwards of 50 000) people attended a rally at Hyde Park, then march to the Sydney Cricket Ground to attend a rock concert in protest at the industrial relations laws of the Howard federal governmment.

The issue is looming as a major factor in the federal election which is due later this year.

People of all ages took part, and I believe the cricket ground is full for the "Rockin For Rights" concert. Lots of well-known Australian acts on the bill.

I've posted some more pics at Sydney Daily Photo Extra.

Saturday, 21 April 2007

Market City

The major fruit, vegetable and produce markets of Sydney have moved from the Haymarket (Chinatown) area in central Sydney to Flemington in the western suburbs. Nevertheless, the site has been incorporated into the "Market City" development, which includes a retail fruit and veg section, and tourist/ cheap mass-produced stuff stalls (called 'Paddy's Market'), as well as a modern retail mall and food court.
But don't confuse it with Paddington Market, which is a high quality crafts marekt held each Saturday in the grounds of Paddington United Church.

Friday, 20 April 2007

After the party

Walking past the old Police Headquarters in College St, I noticed the carefully arranged aftermath of a Good Time Having Been Had By All (on the next planter box were 4 equally carefully arranged beer bottles). It made me laugh. Maybe the homeless people who seek shelter under the porch had been helping celebrate yesterday's SDP anniversary?

Thursday, 19 April 2007

A first birthday

What to post for a first birthday? Something topical? Or controversial? A crowd-pleasing and recognisable shot of one of Sydney's obvious assets? A picture of "my favourite place" ? (How to choose THAT?)

In the end I chose something that is part of my (almost) daily life - the walk to the station from home to get to work. This may not be the best shot I've ever taken, but it's small moments when you see something pretty, like a plumbago bush with blooms and raindrops after an overnight shower, on a sunny autumn morning that give joy to life and a glad-to-be-alive feeling in a world which sometimes seems to have gone totally mad. Along with looking at the snippets of life from around the globe in the Daily Photo family

Thanks to Ming in New York, via Alice in Arradon's blog for the instructions on how to make pics bigger. What do you think about the new look for a new year?

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Scootin' around

Lunchtime. Elizabeth St, Surry Hills.
He's wearing the currently very fashionable Dunlop Volleys, which have recently re-invented themselves from daggy 1950s style tennis shoes to must-have items.
Tomorrow is Sydney DP's 1st birthday!

Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Change - corner Pitt and Goulburn Streets

On the southeast corner of Pitt and Goulburn Sts, you can see the growth of high rise apartment living, until 20 years ago virtually unknown in Sydney. The Victorian building in the centre contains refurbished apartments, and the art deco building on the corner is the Chinese Mandarin Club, once a notorious den of illegal gambling, before the days of legalised casinos and pub gambling. The building with the peeling paint was also a cheap hotel, and is now a backpacker hostel.

The southwest corner has a fairly low-rise building dating from 1908, and one I would guess from the 1930s. It includes a cheap hotel (now backpackers, second-hand books and record store and nightclub.
On the northwest corner is the tower of a huge residential, office and retail and food court development, World Square.
I wonder how much long the backpacker hostels, cheap hotels and lower-rent retail will remain in this part of the city?

Monday, 16 April 2007

Reading Room, State Library

It's back to work for me today after a lovely week's break. I'm a researcher, so I'll no doubt be putting in some time reading today. Not at the State Library Readng Room like these people, however.
What's on for you this Monday?
(PS Eora is the name of the original Aboriginal clan of the Sydney area)

Sunday, 15 April 2007

Wolli Creek

Not all of city life is hustle and bustle. This is Wolli Creek, near my home. It is about 6 kms from the centre of the city. It runs through one of the last stands of bushland so close to the city. Community activists over the years have had to fight to preserve the area, and the battles continue. It's been pretty polluted, but in recent years has been recovering.
Wolli Creek Preservation Society. The website allows you to take a virtual walk through the area (see on right hand side of their site)

Saturday, 14 April 2007

Back in the Big Smoke

Back home from the bucolic charm of kookaburras on clothes lines, flowering gums to the cityscapes which include high rise living. Each has its charms and attractions. Whcih do youprefer - the quiet of country life, or the hustle and bustle of activity all around?

Thursday, 12 April 2007

Kookaburra (sits on the old clothes line)

Kookaburra sits on the old clothes li-ine
Merry merry king of the yard is he-ee
Laugh! kookaburra, laugh!
Kookaburra, gay your life must be...

(Play the song and listen to its laugh here)

I came out in to the backyard, and saw the kooka sitting on the clothes line...

so I came a bit closer...
and closer...while he checked me out...
I must have passed scrutiny...because he sat perfectly still as I came yet closer...

until I was less than a metre away...

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Late afternoon, Rosedale Beach

It was the softest of afternoons, calm and still. T-shirt and shorts warm in the last rays before it was time to put on something a little warmer for the autumn evening.

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Flowering Gum Tree

This dwarf variety of grafted eucalypt grows to about 3 - 5 metres and is perfect for street plantings or smaller gardens. This is one of several beautiful specimens in the car park at Mogo.

Monday, 9 April 2007

Boats at Boatshed Beach

The northern end of Rosedale beach is called 'Boatshed', becasue....there are boat sheds! But not all boats spend the night in sheds...

Sunday, 8 April 2007

South Coast Landscape

A couple of months ago I showed you what the drought-afflicted landscape looks like inland from the coast. It still looks pretty much like that. (Reminder here)
Along the narrow coastal strip between the sea and the Great Dividing Range, it's a different story, as this photo shows.
(Sorry I can't visit all your sites; I'm back on the 41kps dial-up!)

Saturday, 7 April 2007

The Blowhole at Kiama

Kiama is a rapidly developing, formerly sleepy holiday town, a couple of hours south of Sydney. It's apopular day trip from Sydney, or stop when heading firther south (like us).
Ever since people have been taking holidays, the main attraction at Kiama has been the blowhole. The first European to see it was George Bass in 1797. Aboriginal people know it as Khanterintee.

Yesterday we stopped at Kiama for fish and chips for lunch. The blowhole was working a treat.

Click here for more about how the blowhole works, including a really cool animation. People can and do scuba dive the blowhole. Read more here.

As the water receded after a blow, a lovely rainbow emerged:

and then disappeared again until next time:

Friday, 6 April 2007

Happy Easter from Chocolate sellers of the world

Four days off work for most people, 2 weeks holidays for school kids. We're off down south this week. Traditionally it rains like crazy north of Sydney and is glorious on the south coast, so here's hoping!

Thursday, 5 April 2007

Underground swimming

Cook + Phillip Park swimming pool, under the paved area shown yesterday.

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Cook + Phillip Park

Looking from the steps of St Mary's Cathedral towards the Australian Museum. Tomorrow, a glimpse of what's underneath the paving. This area is a favourite with skate boarders - see a previous photo here. The area is criticised for being stark, user un-friendly and in bad repair; a major upgrade is about to get underway, which will see an end to the skaters.
I think that's a bit of a shame unless an alternative is provided for them; kids, especially teenage boys seems to get a raw deal in urban areas. What do you think?

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

The beautiful Strand Arcade

Here is the Strand Arcade, where yesterday's fashion shot was taken. Late Victorian architecture. I especially love the iron and glass roof, which reminds me of galleries and passages in Italy and France. Here we can see Sydney Tower through the roof. Below are the three levels of very expensive shopping!

Monday, 2 April 2007

Fashion in The Strand

Fashion in the beautiful 1892 Strand Arcade in central Sydney. Three levels of shops, including many of Sydney's leading designers of clothing and jewellery.

Sunday, 1 April 2007

Public Mail Box - April 1 theme day

A typical, suburban red mail box. You will find these every few streets around every city, suburb and town in Australia. Mail is collected every day by 6pm, for next day deliveryin your city, second day delivery inter-city.

But what is that green box alongside it for??? A snail mail postcard for the first to tell me! (Yes, I know the answer....)

Many Daily Photo sites are participating in the 1st April theme, "A Public Mail Box", please use the links to below to visit them. Due to time zone differences and other factors, the theme photo may not be displayed until later if you are viewing early in the day.
London (UK) -Grenoble (France) -Rotterdam (Netherlands) -Greenville SC (USA) -Hyde (UK) -Villigen (Switzerland) -Albuquerque NM (USA) -Mazatlan (Mexico) -Montréal (Canada) -Stayton OR (USA) -Shanghai (China) -Jing -Arradon (France) -Sequim WA (USA) -Newcastle upon Tyne (England) -Seattle WA (USA) -Kim -Bastia (Corse) -Minneapolis MN (USA) -Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) -Joplin MO (USA) -Sharon, CT (USA) -Cottage Grove MN [USA] -Houston, TX (USA) -Candice & Megan -Singapore - by Keropokman. -Guelph, ON (Canada) -Menton (France) -onte Carlo, Monaco -aples, FL (USA) -Kyoto (Japan) -Tokyo (Japan) -Aliso Viejo, CA (USA) -Cape Town (South Africa) -Jakarta (Indonesia) -Kitakami (Japan) -Tel Aviv (Israel) -Vantaa(Finland) -Guadalajara (Mexico) -Auckland (New Zealand) -Nelson (New Zealand) -Tuzla (B&H) -Brussels (Belgium) -Anderson, SC (USA) -Lubbock, TX (USA) -John, Melbourne, (Australia) -Stavanger (Norway) -Tenerife (Spain) -Stockholm (Sweden) -Boston, MA (USA) -Not Strictly Seattle, Susan -New York City, (USA), Ming the Merciless -Paris [Eric], (France) -Ampang (Selangor) -Sydney (Nathalie) Australia -ailea , HI (USA) -Manila (Philippines) -Sydney (Sally) Australia -Cork (Ireland) -Saarbrücken (Germany) -Saint Paul MN (USA) by Carol -San Diego, CA (USA) -Mexico [POLY], (Mexico) -Budapest (Hungary) -Singapore (Singapore by Zannnie) -Madrid [Dsole] (Spain) -Nottingham (England) -