Monday, 31 December 2007

Handicap Honours

This yacht took handicap honours in the Sydney-Hobart race. And I thought "Rosebud" was a sled owned by Citizen Kane as a child...

Actually I read recently that "Rosebud" was supposedly the pet name newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst (on whom the movie Citizen Kane was based) gave to a certain part of his lover's genitalia. See what you can find out by reading newspapers :-)

Happy New Year's Eve, wherever you are and whatever you may be doing. I'll be taking up my favourite position - on the couch.

Sunday, 30 December 2007

Jacarandas, Sydney Town Hall

In November I showed a row of jacarandas in full bloom. Keen-eyed observers of yesterday's photo of the Town Hall may have noticed that the trees out the front are jacarandas in full leaf. Here's a close-up of part of the building with one of the trees.

Sydney Town Hall is very "hotel de ville" French, and it does indeed have Italianate, and Second Empire French beaux arts influences. There's some history of it to be read here.

Saturday, 29 December 2007

Sydney Town Hall from Kinokuniya Bookshop

Sydney Town Hall and St Andrews anglican cathedral, taken from the large windows of Kinokuniya Bookshop, overlooking the intersection of George and Druitt Streets. To take this photo, I just swivelled my body from where I took yesterday's.

Here's a close-up of the clock tower and cupola, which I showed on a previous blog.

Friday, 28 December 2007

Thursday, 27 December 2007

From Milsons Point

The setting sun is reflected off the railings at Jeffrey Street wharf at Milsons Point.

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Boxing Day (aka St Stephens Day) - the view from my couch

For an Australian, Boxing Day means many things, including:
  • a public holiday to get over the excesses of the previous day and eat leftovers as sandwiches and salads, and/or hangover nursing;
  • if you're in Melbourne, perhaps attending the first day of the Boxing Day Test cricket match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground - this year the Test series is Australia v India. Elsewhere, taking it in from the couch (where you could stay for the next 5 days, as a test match could last that long - the next one always starts in Sydney on New Years Day);
  • a trip to the beach or a picnic or barbecue in a park;
  • the release of new blockbusters at the cinema;
  • visits to the relatives you didn't see yesterday (in-laws often alternate between Christmas and Boxing Day in successive years);
  • the start of the Sydney-Hobart yacht race (see my 24 Dec blog) - perhaps baggsing a spot on a headland round the harbour to watch the start of the race;
  • pushing and shoving your way through the opening day of the sales at major retail stores;
  • getting away early for the drive to your summer beach holiday. I always think of Boxing Day as the "real" start to summer hols.

Boxing Day is usually thought to have its origins in the practice of giving gifts between peers, and amongst the upper classes on Christmas Day, with servants dancing attendance on the guests in the grand manors, and then the servants receiving gratuities the following day, Boxing Day. Or perhaps on large estates, all the serfs could gather together for family festivities, and the day after Christmas was a convenient one for the lord of the manor to dispense the yearly stipends.

Here's a number of theories about the origin*.

* Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable says: "Boxes placed in churches for casual offerings used to be opened on Christmas day, and the contents, called 'the dole of the Christmas box' or the 'box money', were distributed next day by priests. Apprentices also used to carry a box around to their masters' customers for small gratuities."

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Festive greetings
of the season from Sydney.

Whatever the festival or season means for you, I wish joy and peace to all, and especially all the other obsessive daily bloggers. May the power of blogging bring an outbreak of joie de vivre and everlasting peace to all!

Monday, 24 December 2007

Preparing for the race, Rushcutters Bay

Every year Boxing Day sees the start of one of the world's great ocean races - the Sydney to Hobart yacht race. Prior to the start, all the yachts are moored at the marina of the Cruising Yacht Club at Rushcutters Bay on Sydney Harbour. Anyone can go and wander around amongst the squillionaires and workaday yachties. I know nothing whatsoever about sea-going vessels, other than it's a pretty impressive sight. I do know that if I were ever to own a boat it would be more like this:
than this (which is owned by Australia's richest man, Jamie Packer):

Here's most of the racing fleet:

Saturday, 22 December 2007

Yagoona District Brass Band

Yagoona District Band were playing Christmas Carols at Town Hall station today.

This is our second Christmas without dad, who was a great brass bandsman. Last year I posted this pic of the NSW Fire Brigades band as a tribute. I was pleased to see another band while I was out 'n' about today.

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Windy day, Mortlake

Majors and Yaralla Bays from Wangal Reserve, Mortlake. Majors Bay is named after Major Nichols, the father of Isaac Nichols, the first postmaster of NSW. Yaralla is an Aboriginal word meaning camp or home. The building across the bay is Concord Hospital.

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Wangal Centenary Bushland Reserve, Mortlake

A peaceful picnic spot overlooking Majors Bay, part of the Parramatta River at Mortlake."Wangal" is the name of one of the Aboriginal clans of the Eora nation, original inhabitants of the Sydney area.

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Window display, Surry Hills

PS I just posted an update on a previous blog about two Chinese workers in Australia who were battling for fair recompense for the work they did. Their case was settled in their favour.

My blog entry is here, and the Sydney Morning Herald report is here.

Monday, 17 December 2007

Chewing gum

Did you ever stick your chewing gum under a school desk? I was working in a school today, and note it's still as prevalent as when i was at school.

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Tutus and handbags

Tutus from the Australian Ballet enhance this display in the window of the Hermes store.

Friday, 14 December 2007

Taste, Surry Hills

Taste Bakery - Thai restaurant. Three of my work mates from my section (there are about 12 altogether) waiting for lunch to arrive. It was absolutely wonderful! We rarely all get to eat together, but Christmas time is a great motivator.

Thursday, 13 December 2007

From the Dunera Boys to this...Jones Bay

"On 10 July, 1940, the troop ship Dunera, owned by the British India Company, left Liverpool England for Australia. On board were almost 2000 German and Austrian internees, most of them Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany. Also sailing with the refugees were 200 Italian Fascists and 251 German Nazis.

The eight week voyage was not a happy one, with many of the internees being mis-treated and humiliated by the British armed guards. The vessel was also attacked by a German submarine and hit by two torpedoes, both of which failed to explode.

After disembarking, the Italian and German prisoners, along witha few "doubtful" internees in Melbourne, the Dunera continued on to Sydney. Despite the obvious delight of most of the internees when they landed at Jones Bay, Australian authorities took no risks. The Sydney Morning Herald reported:

'Every thirty feet along the wharf were men armed with revolvers, and the entire wharf was surrounded by a cordon of police...' [sounds like APEC!]

Each year surviving 'Dunera Boys' and their families and friends gather to remember the day they first set foot in Sydney.

- from a commemorative plaque on the wharf.

Dunera Boys reunion 1990

A memoir of a Dunera Boy

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Green grocery, Kogarah

We really are spoiled with fresh fruit and vegies in this country. This is a typical suburban fruit and veg shop. And it's apricot, plum and cherry season - my favourites!

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Can't anybody spell any more?

I know it's confusing when we have metres and meters in Australian English, but I do get annoyed when professionally made signs are misspelled (or misspelt; the Macquarie Dictionary tells me both are correct!)

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Bedford St, Surry Hills

Yesterday's photo subject, Cleveland House, is over your left shoulder from where this photo was taken. This looks along Bedford St towards Chalmers St, with the swimming pool at Prince Alfred Park visible at the end of the street. (More pics of the pool here). The sandstone building on the right at the front is an old Presbyterian church.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Cleveland House

A heritage-listed colonial Georgian house built about 1824 by Captain Cleveland of the 73rd Regiment of the NSW Corps. It is in Bedford St, just off Chalmers St in Surry Hills. In the early 19th century Surry Hills was on the outskirts of the city and the ideal place to build a mansion. There were farms and market gardens. In the past century, Surry Hills has seens a mix of light industry and warehousing, most notably associated with textiles and clothing - 'the rag trade'. Now it is a rapidly gentrifying suburb right on the fringe of the city, with many warehouse conversions.

I'm not sure or what the house is currently used for. The land surrounding it has been developed with apartments, some sympathetic, some not. The pretty park in front contains a jacaranda tree (the blossoms have now finished and the leaves are developing), and plantings of agapanthus and plumbago.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Red sky at night, sailor's delight

Sunset tonight from the front of my house (I don't have fancy programs for removing power lines). Can you see the aeroplane?

Monday, 3 December 2007

Footbridge across Johnston's Creek Storm Water Channel

The same channel as show yesterday, looking in the opposite direction towards its outlet at Rozelle Bay. This was originally a natural waterway which provided fresh water to the earliest settlers in the area.

I found out at
this website, where there are some good historical pictures, that the aqueduct shown yesterday was a sewer aqueduct.

"Before 1890 the watercourses which served to carry stormwaters were almost entirely in their natural state. These were receptacles of the sewerage of the large population and led to health problems for the community. By 1900 numerous stormwater channels had been constructed, causing the mortality rate to be greatly decreased in these constructed drainage areas. The Johnstons Creek trunk drainage system was constructed during the period of 1895 to 1900 by the Public Works Department."

It is listed as a heritage item. Most storm water these days is carried underground, of course (although Sydney gets such huge downpours from time to time that sometimes it just doesn't cope, especially as development becomes more intense and population density increases)

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Johnstons creek channel and viaduct

A stormwater channel and the old goods railway viaduct at Jubilee Park, Glebe, which now forms part of the Sydney light rail (tram) line.

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Pottinger Street, Millers Point (Walsh Bay)

WOW, bridges....where do you start in Sydney, a city with stacks of bridges. I've posted lots before, Tom Ugly's and Captain Cook over The Georges River; the soaring Anzac Bridge; Gladesville over the Parramatta River; Sydney oldest bridge the convict built one at Lansvale; and even have a page on Sydney Daily Photo Extra dedicated exclusively to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. I've done railway bridges and footbridges, and even the little bridge we call 'Pooh" Sticks Bridge' at my home away from Sydney. (If you don't know what Pooh sticks are and what it has to do with bridges, well, AA Milne can help...or Wikipedia.)
So, I agonised over what to go and photograph, as I like to go out and do something specific for each theme day. Then I got sick (see yesterday's blog), and had to dive into the reserve stack for inspiration....and I guess it's back to the bridge with a zillion images, and I thought - here it is without any water, just like any old suburban bridge really.... (though rents round this gentrified part of inner Sydney can be $2000+ a week!)

Here's links to bridge pics in 128 different places:

Boston (MA), USA - San Diego (CA), USA - Stayton (OR), USA - New York City (NY), USA - Portland (OR), USA - Montego Bay, Jamaica - Inverness (IL), USA - Singapore, Singapore - Stockholm, Sweden - Setúbal, Portugal - Brussels, Belgium - Phoenix (AZ), USA - Seattle (WA), USA - Hyde, UK - Manila, Philippines - Fort Lauderdale (FL), USA - London, England - Austin (TX), USA - Toulouse, France - Weston (FL), USA - Sesimbra, Portugal - Selma (AL), USA - Silver Spring (MD), USA - Saarbrücken, Germany - Cleveland (OH), USA - Crystal Lake (IL), USA - American Fork (UT), USA - Seoul, South Korea - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Norwich (Norfolk), UK - North Bay (ON), Canada - Arradon, France - Paderborn, Germany - Durban, South Africa - Philadelphia (PA), USA - Cypress (TX), USA - Cottage Grove (MN), USA - Prague, Czech Republic - Portland (OR), USA - Greenville (SC), USA - Boston (MA), USA - Port Angeles (WA), USA - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Wichita (Ks), USA - Saint Paul (MN), USA - Petaling Jaya (Selangor), Malaysia - Grenoble, France - New York City (NY), USA - Nottingham, UK - Hobart (Tasmania), Australia - Arlington (VA), USA - Minneapolis (MN), USA - Miami (FL), USA - Cheltenham, UK - Albuquerque (NM), USA - Saratoga Spgs. (NY), USA - Las Vegas (NV), USA - Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina - Nashville (TN), USA - Toruń, Poland - New Orleans (LA), USA - Port Elizabeth, South Africa - Melbourne, Australia - Moscow, Russia - Trujillo, Peru - Château-Gontier, France - Quincy (MA), USA - Melbourne, Australia - Port Vila, Vanuatu - Joplin (MO), USA - Bellefonte (PA), USA - Brookville (OH), USA - Chateaubriant, France - Chandler (AZ), USA - Stavanger, Norway - Baziège, France - Auckland, New Zealand - Wellington, New Zealand - Ocean Township (NJ), USA - Subang Jaya (Selangor), Malaysia - Detroit (MI), USA - Riga, Latvia - Nelson, New Zealand - Budapest, Hungary - Cape Town, South Africa - Sydney, Australia - Dunedin (FL), USA - Sofia, Bulgaria - Radonvilliers, France - Turin, Italy - Montpellier, France - Kansas City (MO), USA - Minneapolis (MN), USA - Haninge, Sweden - Wailea (HI), USA - Lubbock (TX), USA - Rabaul, Papua New Guinea - Terrell (TX), USA - Mexico City, Mexico - Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation - Budapest, Hungary - Montréal (QC), Canada - Sharon (CT), USA - Le Guilvinec, France - Jefferson City (MO), USA - Saigon, Vietnam - London, UK - Crepy-en-Valois, France - Orlando (FL), USA - Maple Ridge (BC), Canada - Paris, France - Mainz, Germany - Newcastle (NSW), Australia - Wassenaar (ZH), Netherlands - Menton, France - Monte Carlo, Monaco - Darmstadt, Germany - Naples (FL), USA - Torino, Italy - Saint Louis (MO), USA - Bogor, Indonesia - The Hague, Netherlands - Minneapolis (MN), USA - Anderson (SC), USA - Melbourne (VIC), Australia - West Sacramento (CA), USA - Christchurch, New Zealand


I have drafted and saved my post on bridges. Now Blogger won't let me get in to my Drafts, so further delay...sorry. It's now 2 dec here....