Wednesday, 30 April 2008

White chairs, autumn leaves

As autumn digs in, and cool winds strip the leaves from the plane trees, it's a bit cold for outdoor cafe life.

Tuesday, 29 April 2008


The harpist who played at yesterday's commemoration for workers who died at work or as a result of the hazards they encountered at work.

Monday, 28 April 2008

International Worker Memorial Day

People place flowers and photos on the memorial named Memory Lines at a ceremony in Sydney today to mark International Worker Memorial Day . It is "...dedicated to those Australian workers who never returned home from work and to all those whose lives have been tragically cut short in the pursuit of earning a living. The life cycle, the void of loss and lines of memory are symbols represented in this sculpture. " - The sculpture is by Ingrid Skirka.

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Spiderweb, Nun's Beach

As seen on a walk I did on my short holiday down the South Coast. It was on the rocks of the headland directly under where the road "Cooks Crescent" ends.

View Larger Map

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Anzac Day Pt 2

This is my Anzac Day ATC (Artist Trading Card) for this year. For more about Anzac Day, see yesterday's post. I've used an acetate overlay to convey depth and meaning to my cards. I keep coming back to this WW1 theme because of my grandfather's involvement. This stamp was an amazing find because it tapped deep into my interest, and as I have a couple of the typical cards soldiers sent home with "My Dear Mother" sentiments. As a mother it makes me think about love, loss, men and war a lot.

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

I made the card below, 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 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. Last year I got 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.

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.

Friday, 25 April 2008

The Digger, Anzac Bridge

Bronze sculpture of a World War 1 "digger" (the term applied to Australian and New Zealand soldiers) on the Anzac Bridge. Sculptor Alan Somerville.

Today is Anzac Day in Australia and New Zealand. It commemorates the contribution made in war. The date, 25 April, is the day when troops landed at Gallipoli (Gelibolu) in Turkey in the disastrous Dardanelles campaign of World War One. I prefer to think of it as a day not glorifying war but acknowledging its futility.

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]

The first marking of ANZAC Day commemoration was in 1916. By the 1920s it was a public holiday throughout Australia, as it remains today.

The things I think about on Anzac Day include:

  • 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 than separate colonies for 13 years at the time of the outbreak of WW1.

  • Three 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.

    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. I'm watching it tonight on SBS TV.
    More tomorrow, on a more personal note.

    Thursday, 24 April 2008

    Longueville compost

    Here's a very tasteful corral for the grass clippings in toney Longueville.

    This week I'm away enjoying the beauties of the NSW South Coast. And I'm urging you to take a meander around Sydney's streets with 93 year old Alan Waddell, who has set himself the task or walkign every street in Sydney's 227 suburbs! Go one - Walk Sydney Streets with Alan!

    Wednesday, 23 April 2008

    Wedding cake fountain

    This week I'm away enjoying the beauties of the NSW South Coast. And I'm urging you to take a meander around Sydney's streets with 93 year old Alan Waddell, who has set himself the task or walkign every street in Sydney's 227 suburbs! Go one - Walk Sydney Streets with Alan!

    Tuesday, 22 April 2008

    Barbecue footy

    These people keep a BBQ footy in their front yard.

    This week I'm away enjoying the beauties of the NSW South Coast. And I'm urging you to take a meander around Sydney's streets with 93 year old Alan Waddell, who has set himself the task or walkign every street in Sydney's 227 suburbs! Go one - Walk Sydney Streets with Alan!

    Monday, 21 April 2008

    Classical windmill

    I'm away on the beautiful NSW South Coast for a few days, so I've set Blogger to automatic. Hope it works.

    For the next few days, let's take a peek into a few front yards and have a look at some of the weird and wonderful ways people express themselves to the world (or their immediate neighbours).

    And if this small taste whets your appetite, you've just GOT to visit Alan Waddell's website, Walk Sydney Streets , especially his Surprises and Secrets. Alan is a sprightly and wonderful 93 year old who has set himself the task of walking EVERY street in Sydney. Bring on retirement, I say! I'm not paying any attention to those straighteners and tighteners who want us all to keep working til we're 132! There's too much to discover in the world to keep your nose to the grindstone, and Alan is my hero. And he and his sons (who maintain the website) think of much wittier captions than I ever could. My only gripe is they haven't walked past my place and come in for a cuppa - YET.

    In fact I'm thinking of giving up taking pictures and just pinching Alan's! (Just kidding Alan!)

    Sunday, 20 April 2008

    Even More People!

    A great big THANKYOU to everyone who stopped by yesterday to wish SDP a Happy Birthday. Here: have a piece of cake at the party!

    Above:Even more people from the past year. They get bigger if you click on the collage, or follow the links below to the individual posts if one takes your fancy. Moving from top left to bottom right:
    Theme Day: red - 1 July 2007 - The daily commute
    Central Station Busker- 12 May 2007 - Chinese puppeteer
    These boots were made for golfing - 14 June 2007 - driving range, Tempe
    We're happy little vegemites - 26 June 2007 - Vegemite in a Surry Hills cafe
    What, no cars? - 26 April 2007 - Crossing the road on a cloudy, windy day
    Turkish bread and vegemite for Anzac Day - 25 April 2007 - my grandparents' wedding photo
    Labor Party Conference - 28 April 2007 - lobbying for public education
    Sunday morning fishing, Tom Ugly's Point - 5 Aug 2007
    Lights, camera, action - 30 June 2007 - filming in a Surry Hills cafe
    Wedding photos - 24 Sep 2007 - Mirambeena Regional Park
    Boys at the hairdresser - 30 May 2007 - Chinatown
    Catching some sun - 23 June 2007 - Sunning in the Chinese Gardens, Darling Harbour
    Golfers, Little Bay - 24 July 2007
    Seeking Inspiration, Glebe Point - 21 July 2007
    Lyon Daily Photo in Sydney - 31 July 2007 - Sally meets Cedric and Angelique
    Peaceful protest - 23 Nov 2007 - student protester
    Beach Games - 12 Oct 2007 - kids playing on Ramsgate Beach
    Yuck factor 100% - 9 Oct 2007 - squeezing zits
    Backyard Sunday - 28 Oct 2007 - Tom at backyard bbq
    Democracy was served - 24 Nov 2007 - voting in the federal election
    Taste, Surry Hills - 14 Dec 2007 - pre-Christmas lunch
    Santa Bunny - 21 Dec 2007Happy 14th Birthday - 21 Jan 2008 - Homebush Aquatic Centre
    Beers in Newtown - 4 Feb 2008 - Sat arvo beer in Newtown
    Saturday sport - 12 April 2008 - the agony and the ecstacy

    Saturday, 19 April 2008

    Sydney DP's 2nd birthday

    In the past year I learned how to use Picasa to make a collage.
    When deciding how to illustrate a 2nd birthday I looked back at the photos I have posted in the past year, looking for my favourites - not necessarily the BEST, but my personal favourites.

    In doing so I realised that my favourite photos are those which speak something of who we Sydney-siders (and in a couple of instances non-Sydney-siders) ARE. What do we do? How do we live? What do our faces and actions tell us? So, I give you 16 photos of people doing things, that somehow seem characteristic of US in all our diversity.

    Thankyou to EVERYONE who has spent their time coming and looking at my snaps, reading my rants and leaving comments and generally engaging in this wonderful global community made possible through technology. I hope to be still going strong same time next year.

    From top left to bottom right (click on each title below to see the original post):

    Bronzed Aussie - 2 May 2007. Surveying the surf at Cronulla
    Trusting Cyclist - 27 May 2007 - cyclist on way to work, Surry Hills
    BYO Nargile - 16 July 2007 - family picnic at Garrison Point
    Carp catching at Birrong - 28 June 2007 - clearing waterways of pest fish
    On yer bike, Glebe - 16 Aug 2007 - youthful exuberance
    Belly dancer - 27 Aug 2007 - Surry Hills
    Recycling audit - 20 Sep 2007 - becoming more educated about recycling
    Guest Workers in Australia - 28 Sep 2007 - protest about unfairness
    Community Shed, Deloraine - 6 Nov 2007 - meeting Brian
    Wading through cement - 28 Nov 2007 - remaking the footpath
    Amy and Christina get ready for Christmas - 7 Dec 2007
    Reading in the bookshop - 28 Dec 2007 - an activity close to my heart!
    Washing the catch, Mossy Point - 10 Jan 2008 - SDP on holiday on the south coast
    Straya Day, Carss Park - 26 Jan 2008 - youthful new Australian citizens, and Aboriginal dancers representing ancient culture
    Lots of fun - 29 Jan 2008 - what would my collage be without some swimming!

    Please indulge me - I am going to have a 2 day birthday party, and do another collage tomorrow. Please do return if you have time.

    Friday, 18 April 2008

    What I Learned Today

    According to the young man on the megaphone:

    1. Taxpayers pay teachers' salaries. (True: for public school teachers)
    2. 90% of taxes paid in Australia are paid by Liberal Party* voters (manifest nonsense, and one would hope for better from someone with ambitions to be a politician in this country)
    3. Ergo, teachers who belong to the teachers' union and who don't support the Liberal Party are shooting themselves in the foot.

    * The Liberal Party in Australia is the conservative party. These 12 or so young people are members of the Young Liberals, and they staged a "demonstration" today outside the building of the public school teachers' union. It was very funny. Their megaphone work needs a little work, and their grasp of facts helps one understand why their party is not in government nationally, or in a single state! But they were very polite.

    Thursday, 17 April 2008

    Miles Franklin 1879-1954, Hurstville

    Statue of the author of My Brilliant Career, Miles Franklin, born Stella Maria Sarah Miles Lampe Franklin . Located in suburban Hurstville, the sculpture by Jacek Luszczyk commemorates her connections with Hurstville: she and her family lived at nearby Carlton and she hired a Hurstville hotel room to type in.

    The Miles Franklin Award, the first and most prestigious literary award in Australia, was established in 1954 with a bequest from Franklin. The award celebrates Australian character and creativity and is awarded for the novel of the year that has the highest literary merit and presents Australian life in any of its phases. The Award this year is worth $ 42,000.

    The 2008 Longlist was announced on 13th March. 59 books were submitted. The longlist of nine comprised:

    Landscape of Farewell by Alex Miller
    Love Without Hope by Rodney Hall

    Orpheus Lost by Janette Turner Hospital
    Secrets of the Sea by Nicholas Shakespeare
    Sorry by Gail Jones
    The Fern Tattoo by David Brooks

    The Memory Room by Christopher Koch
    The Time We Have Taken by Steven Carroll
    The Widow and Her Hero by Tom Keneally

    Today the shortlist was announced, and it is those books highlighted above.

    Read more about them here.

    19th June - Winner announced

    There are more photos of the sculpture at Sydney Daily Photo Extras.

    Wednesday, 16 April 2008

    Cafe Hyde Park Barracks, Macquarie St

    On the opposite side of the Hyde Park Barracks compound to yesterday's memorial to the Great Irish Famine, is this delightful Cafe of Plenty.

    Tuesday, 15 April 2008

    Monument to the Great Irish Famine

    Monument to the Great Irish Famine, at Hyde Park Barracks, Macquarie St
    Post famine Irish immigration to Australia was very significant with some writers claiming that over 30,000 single Irish women alone arrived over a fifteen-year period between 1848 and 1863. In a male dominated society, these numbers would have altered the demographics of Australia in a very significant way. It is also claimed in many quarters, that 30% of its present population have some Irish blood in their veins.
    The Hyde park Barracks were constructed by convict labour (much of which was Irish). As the principal male convict barracks in New South Wales it provided lodgings for convicts (many of whom were Irish) working in government employment around Sydney until its closure in 1848. After then it was an Immigration Depot for single female immigrants (the previously mentioned Irish women) seeking work as domestic servants and awaiting family reunion from 1848 to 1886 and also a female asylum from 1862 to 1886. From 1887 to 1979 law courts and government offices were based at the Barracks.

    Sunday, 13 April 2008


    Last night I went to the Australian Ballet at the Opera House. It was a superb production of Swan Lake, reconceived by Graham Murphy, Janet Vernon and Kristian Fredrikson, choreographed by Graham Murphy. Watch out for this production later in the year if you are in Paris or Manchester.
    This handbag was carried by another ballet patron, and it made us laugh! Its owner was enjoying herself too.

    Saturday, 12 April 2008

    Saturday sport

    The agony of a missed kick for goal (never mind, there were also successes!)

    Chances are if you're a parent, you're familiar with Saturday sidelines ...

    Mouthguards in, last minute words from the coach, and we're back on after quarter time:

    Australian Rules footy is only played in, well ......Australia. It's a fast flowing, running, kicking game. If you're a visitor to Australia from late March to September you should try to catch a game.

    ... and if you're not on the field yourself, there's usually some action BEHIND the posts

    Friday, 11 April 2008

    Billy Elliott

    Off to see this production tonight.
    Do you like musical theatre? What is your favourite form of the performing arts?

    Thursday, 10 April 2008

    Wednesday, 9 April 2008

    Macquarie Street, lunchtime

    Some people wondered if yesterday's photo was my pool. I wish! No, it's a free, public pool. And I live in far more modest surroundings than this suburb with some of Sydney's highest property prices (start thinking many millions of dollars for an apartment). LOL.

    Tuesday, 8 April 2008

    Sydney from Cremorne (MacCallum Pool)

    Ive posted previously about the free MacCallum pool - here - and how it was begun by a local, early Olympic swimmer Fred Lane . But on this day, it was the view across to the city skyline- Sydney Tower, Opera House, Harbour bridge was as pretty as a picture :-)

    Sunday, 6 April 2008

    Under the fig tree, Cremorne Point (Walk Pt 4)

    Time for a lunch break, under a giant Port Jackson fig, overlooking Mosman Bay. Our American guests learn the secrets of the game of cricket - at this point, the importance of the ball's seams in spin bowling if I remember correctly.

    Saturday, 5 April 2008

    Tree poisoning, Mosman Bay (Walk Part 3)

    This huge sign has been erected where a tree has been destroyed. The sign directly faces a house. I wonder if the Council particularly wants the residents of that house to read the sign? We strongly suspect so. Destruction of trees by people complaining they 'spoil their view' have become more numerous . The aim of the signs is to block, or at least mar the view thus 'created'.

    Friday, 4 April 2008

    Boats on Little Sirius Cove (Walk Part 2)

    Continuing on our walk, looking across Little Sirius Cove to Curraghbeena Point. Look carefully at the right hand side and you can see the apartment block the spider was "attacking" two days ago.

    Aerial map:

    Thursday, 3 April 2008

    Curlew Camp, Little Sirius Cove (Walk Part 1)

    The city, with Robertson's Point (Cremorne Point) and its lighthouse, from Curlew Camp on Little Sirius Cove, Mosman.

    Let's take a walk on a beautiful sunny day, from Taronga Zoo Wharf to Cremorne Point, around Little Sirius Cove and Mosman Bay.

    You can see a fantastic aerial shot of the route of the walk here:
    In the 1890s, Curlew Camp was the haunt of artists Arthur Streeton, Tom Roberts and friends. Heavily influenced by French Impressionism, they set up their easels in the bushland and stayed in a fairly elaborate camp here on the shore of Little Sirius Cove.
    Above: Arthur Streeton - Rain Over Sydney Harbour 1893
    Above: Arthur Streeton - Sirius Cove about 1895

    Wednesday, 2 April 2008

    Tuesday, 1 April 2008

    Water - Daily Photo Theme Day

    Water is a precious commodity in a city, state and country where drought is frequent. I live in a city with many waterways, but until the drought broke recently, rain was a rarity over the past few years. Much of Australia is still in drought. Sydney-siders have become much better at using water, and we use far less now (per capita and in total) than we did 20 years ago, even with a much larger population.

    I saw this sign on a local road sign pole.

    Have a look at what other Daily Photo blogs around the world have to show us about water by clicking this link.