Thursday, 31 July 2008


I was driving home a couple of nights ago, and was behind a truck with this display on the back. Boardroom is a brothel and escort services agency.

It reminded me of this report which suggested that business boomed - up 20%- during the recent Cathollic World Youth Week. It was suggested media and other support personnel associated with the even were responsible for the increase in trade. Many brothels offered a 10% discount to pilgrims.

Prostitution is legal in New South Wales and other parts of Australia there are different laws in each state). Brothels are usually in commercial or industrial areas. There are all sorts of conditions which must be met for licencing. Street prostitution is also legal in NSW unless in, near or within view of a dwelling, school or church. Clients and sex workers can also be prosecuted for taking part in an act of prostitution in or within view of a public place.

Sex workers have been very proactive in anti-HIV/AIDS campaigns and there is virtually no infections through legal prostitution.

Sadly, there have been some cases of women being brought in to Australia as sex slaves to work in brothels. There have also been prosecutions of rogue brothel owners.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Ice creams in winter

It's slow trade right now, cos it's pretty cold. Still, sometimes, perversely, I quite like a cold drink or ice cream on a cold day. Do you?

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Trip photos

No, not Sydney! This couple were having their wedding photos taken on the Spanish Steps in Rome, and we were sitting eating our picnic lunch, almost at their feet. (I have since read that picknicking on the steps has been banned for the summer period!)

Anyway, the point of the post is to let you know that My Trip Blog - Europe 2008 has been finished, and you can check it out by clicking on the link.

Peacock, Auburn

I met this fellow outside the Auburn Botanic Gardens.

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Shopping music II

I was just feeling so mellow with that piano music in DJs I went back for some more! And I didn't buy a handbag either. It's a beautiful piano, so today I show you more of it.

Friday, 25 July 2008

Music To Shop By

David Jones Department Store in Sydney employs pianists to serenade shoppers. This elderly couple were enjoying a rest and the music. The piano is in one of my favourite sections - the handbags department! This painist told me she has been working at DJs for 20 years.

Have you come across any musicians in department stores or other unlikely places?

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Gathering support

Some Falun Gong practiotioners were out and about garnering support from the Catholic World Youth Day participants recently. With some success as you can see above!

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Marlborough Hotel, Newtown

The Marlborough pub in Newtown. Pubs have traditionally been called Hotels in Australia, probably because most used to offer accommodation upstairs. Some in the country still do, but it is much rarer nowadays. I took ths photo just because I loved the neon blue.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

And thanks to the city workers

The success of people-intensive events depends on the hard work of so many behind the scenes workers. This city of Sydney worker was picking up rubish in Hyde Park to keep the area clean for the Catholic World Youth Day revellers.

Today is, apparently Ratcatchers' Day. I hope this young woman doesn't have to deal with any rats!

It's also Pi approximation day in countries that use DD/MM/YY format for dates: 22/7

Monday, 21 July 2008

Bread and Circuses

The circus has been in my suburb, at one of my local parks. It's been winter school holidays and families were flocking there on Sunday morning when I was out and about. Christians and Lions - that's what was keeping Sydney interested this week, and having both arrived together, it's time for both to depart as school goes back for third term.

I do like circuses - ones without animals, like Cirque du Soleil, or Circus Oz - and would never go to this one. My mother refused to take me to the Moscow Circus when it toured in the 1960s, because of the treatment of bears. I whinged to her for ages, but she patiently explained her position, and stayed resolute. I guess her values stuck with me. These lions in that small cage make me feel quite sad.

What do you think about the circus? Do you go?

Sunday, 20 July 2008


Despite being a practising curmudgeon and confirmed heathen, I thought I'd wander over to the Darling Harbour Exhibition Centre and check out the Catholic Youth Day vocational expo and see if there was anything there to be learned. I found out from one stall that :

I'm pretty sure that this myriad of exhibitors and representatives of every branch of Catholicism you could imagine, are hoping that some will heed the call.

Not all exhibitors had entirely smooth sailing, however, if this newspaper report is anything to go by:

Accused priest had job at stall
by Dylan Welch and Jane Gibson
Sydney Morning Herald
July 19-20 2008

"A Catholic priest who allegedly took photographs of naked schoolboys when he was a Brisbane high school teacher more than two decades ago has been caught working for World Youth Day.

The priest was accused by three of his pupils at Villanova College of taking the photographs of them 25 years ago. Last night the Seven Network reported that the priest had been working at an Augustinian stall at the youth day's vocational expo, setting up an audio-visual display. Organisers said they did not perform background checks on everyone working at the event, and were not aware of the priest's background.

Members of the Augustinian order said they had kept the priest under close supervision during his time at the stall. Once his background became public, he was removed."

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Death takes a holiday*

Above: the label says this is a hat worn by Pier Giorgio in a photo of him on a bus in Berlin.

One of the official visitors to Sydney for Catholic World Youth Day is Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati of Torino in Italy. Not that he is seeing very much, and jetlag wasn't a problem; he has been dead since 1925.

This is the first time he has been taken to a World Youth Day. I am not sure exactly why he has made the journey to Sydney, but I suppose it is because he was a young and fervently enthusiastic Catholic, chosen as a role model for young Catholics today? One website devoted to him describes him as the saint for the youth of the third millennium.

Frassati died of polio in 1925 at the age of 24. His father Alfredo was the founder editor of the main Turin daily newspaper, La Stampa, and later an ambassador and senator.
Pier Giorgio was an engineering student who, despite his privileged background, championed and aided the underprivileged. He was a fervent, joyous Catholic, handsome and athletic, who was a keen mountaineer, seeing the sport as an embodiment of his aspiration to higher things.

In 1990 he was beatified by Pope John Paul II. Beatification is the stage before sainthood (a second miracle is required for sainthood; there is an Australian nun, Mary MacKillop who has been beatified and claims of her second miracle are being assessed by the people at the Vatican who do these things. )

Pier Giorgio's body was exhumed at the time of beatification, and his coffin opened. His relatives say his body was intact. The coffin has remained closed in Sydney.

"The day of my death will be the finest day of my life." - Pier Giorgio

To my mind, if you're going to trot a dead'un half way round the world and worship at his coffin, then do it properly. Here's Santa Zita in Lucca - she's 736 years dead, and looking pretty good.

This newspaper article says: "He was propelled on his fast track to sainthood by a vigorous campaign by his sister, Luciana, who wrote several books about him before her death last year (2007) at the age of 105.
Pier Giorgio was recognised as Blessed by Pope John Paul II in 1990. He had been the same kind of strapping, mountaineering, fervent Catholic as John Paul.
And it was no harm to his cause that Luciana had married a Polish diplomat and, during World War II, made risky journeys to Poland to help the anti-Nazi resistance."

Friday, 18 July 2008

Waiting for God....oh...*

I had intended to go up Sydney Tower today and get some aerial shots of crowds following the pope's progress as he "officially" arrived in Sydney (He's been here since Sunday). Unfortunately, there was a wait of at least an hour and a half to get to the top. Lots of young Catholics had the same idea! So, I wandered through Hyde Park, looking for some photo ops, and ended up right at the fence opposite St Mary's Cathedral. The crowd was one deep, so I then decided I would call this post "I did but see him passing by..." and wait with the faithful, as a faithful Sydney blogger, to witness his arrival. After all, there really was only one event in Sydney today.

Here's a pic I took of myself. Waiting.

Here's a pic of the excited (?) crowd.
And here's a pic of the cathedral, with Apollo seeming to be pointing towards it. The side door we were facing is under that middle tower:
It wasn't too long before the masses started to realise that in a triumph of unfortunate planning, il papa was going to arrive in the dark. Maybe it should have happened an hour earlier? Had someone forgotten that it's dark at about 5pm in Sydney in winter? Mutterings began about whether mobile phone cameras would be up to the job of snapping the pontiff as he drove slowly past in the Popemobile. I busied myself trying out various settings on the camera, taking and deleting pics furiously as I tried to decide which setting might cope with both darkness and a slow-moving vehicle. I phoned home to ask someone to turn on the TV and check where he was.

A ripple of laughter went around the crowd (which was getting a bit antsy) as one wag commented that this probably wasn't the popemobile.
Then the helicopters overhead increased in number (about 5) and proximity, one even coming quite low. And a group of cars whizzed past at high speed at the end of the road. I THINK the blurry streak of light you can possibly see behind the telegraph pole was perhaps the popemobile. Or part of his entourage. Someone said it was anyway, so I clicked off a snap.
We waited for the motorcade to round the corner, do a loop around the cathedral and come past us. A group of "official" pilgrims stood on the cathedral steps facing us and waited - at least people around me said they were the official pilgrims' greeting party.

Then a big burly cop with lots of stars on his shoulders came past and said "That's it folks, he's not coming round this way!" Some people thought he was joking and started to laugh. But big burly cops with lots of stars on their shoulders don't joke about these things.

The crowd was left to disperse.

As I was standing right near the merchandising tent, I had to go past the entrance to leave the park. There was a huge queue of people waiting to get inside. It was crammed full so they were only letting a few in at a time. I spoke to a couple at the head of the queue. I asked if they were seeking solace in retail therapy, and it appeared they were...

Moral: Next time, look more closely at the official route map.

* with apologies to Samuel Beckett

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Fountains and young boys

Fountains are always hold a strong attraction for young boys. Hassan and Mahommed and their dad, originally from Senegal, were having a really fun time playing at the Archibald Fountain. Their joy was infectious. (Dad was happy for me to photograph his boys).

Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney claimed the day the pope arrived in Sydney that western nations need to populate or perish. He claims that "No western country is producing enough babies to keep the population stable, no Western country..."

Australia's population is growing. Thanks to lovely young people like Hassan, who was born here, and his family who have made Australia their home. So what does Cardinal Pell really mean? Does he mean white Catholics aren't having enough babies?

Australia is a far, far better place for its multiculturalism than it ever was before. Sure there's occasional conflict, but tell me a society, even heterogenous where there hasn't been conflict - Us'es and Thems?

George is also a "climate sceptic" (an interestingly divergent view to that of his pope), which makes his views even more interesting. Does he discount population pressures as a problem, or maybe he's just concerned about population growth in non-western countries?

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Happy young faces

What's made these boys so joyous?

Answer to yesterday's quiz: One group is Artemis (Diana) the Huntress, another Theseus slaying the minotaur, and the third must be Pan - the young god of the fields and pastures. Click on the photo and expand it and I think the clue is in his right hand!

Sicard, the sculptor, wrote:

" Apollo represents the Arts (Beauty and Light). Apollo holds out his right arm as a sign of protection, and spreads his benefits over all Nature, whilst he holds the Lyre in his left hand. Apollo is the warmth which vivifies, giving life to all Nature. At the touch of his rays, men awake, trees and fields become green, the animals go out into the fields, and men go to work at dawn.
The ancient Pliny adored the sun, symbol of Life. It is on this account that I wished this figure to be the chief one in the memorial.
At Apollo's feet the star of day is indicated by a semi-circle, of which the rays spread out in jets of light (the rising sun). The horses' heads represent the horses of Apollo's chariot. Out of their nostrils the water will fall into the first basin, to fall from there into the second, and run away into the large basin.
The large basin is divided into three groups. One represents Diana, goddess of purity, of peaceful nights, symbol of charity; the ideal which watches over mortals - all that stands for poetry and harmony. The second group symbolises the good things of the earth - it is the young god of the fields and pastures, of the pleasure of the countryside. The third group represents sacrifice for the public good. Theseus, vanquisher of the Minotaur. The spirit triumphs over bestiality. Theseus delivers his country from the ransom which it had to pay to this monster. It is the sacrifice of himself for the good of humanity. Between these groups tortoises throw jets of water. "

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

A le quartorze juillet

OK, yep, I know it was yesterday, but I'm catching up, ok!

There are some not so obvious links to France in Sydney, one of them being what is probably our most well-known fountain, The Archibald in Hyde Park.

It was built in 1932, a gift to the city of Sydney under the terms of the will of a Francophile J F Archibald (in whose name also an annual portrait prize is awarded). As a plaque says, Archibald's intention was to "commemorate the association between Australia and France in The Great War 1914-18" and is the work of French sculptor Francois Sicard.

It depicts a bronze Apollo surrounded by other mythical figures. Horses’ heads, dolphins and tortoises exuberantly spray jets of water.

In the 1880s AF Archibald founded the Bulletin newspaper, famous for encouraging an Australian idiom in Australian writing. But in his own life Archibald was fascinated by all things Parisian. He changed his name from John Feltham to Jules Francois and wore a little French style beard when no one else was wearing them. In donating the Archibald Fountain to the City he imagined its civic design and ornamentation developing to rival the city of his dreaming.

A postcard to the first person who can correctly name the three mythological characters from each of the sculptural groupings shown below!

Monday, 14 July 2008

God and Mammon - Catholic World Youth Day souvenirs

Once upon a time, the churches opposed retail trading on Sundays. Once upon a time, Mammon was regarded as a false god.

Times change and every large event needs its official merchandising arm.

The merchandising tent in Hyde Park associated with Catholic World Youth Day was doing roaring business on Sunday- everything from national flags, to Benedict XVI baseball caps, t-shirts, hoodies, and not to forget Aussie flag boxer shorts and thongs, and ugg boots.
Screens were set up inside the shop showing Guy Sebastian, a former Australian Idol winner performing his WYD anthem. Sony his music distributor is flogging his latest CD (Nashville songs) as well as the anthem. Sebastian is a member of Protestant Pentecostalist sect, Hillsong.

One Catholic group is protesting against the merchandise. Click here for full story.

"Alan Hockey and Michael Gravener - who help run the Share the Meal charitable group at St Vincent's Catholic Church in Redfern - said yesterday that they wanted to voice their protest against the commercialisation of World Youth Day.
Mr Gravener inspected official "I Love Jesus" T-shirts while wearing an orange T-shirt he had bought online, saying: "Where is Jesus in WYD08?"
"This is actually one of the first times I've actually seen Jesus mentioned in the whole promotion of the event," he said.
Mr Hockey said he would not buy any of the official merchandise."They're selling Guy Sebastian CDs but no one has stopped to ask what he actually practises. He's not Catholic - he's from the Hillsong Church and there's a big difference. We're Catholic and we will protest against anything that doesn't put Jesus at the centre of the faith." "

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Friday, 11 July 2008

Mind The Gap

Anyone who has travelled on The Tube in London will be familiar with announcements exhorting passengers to "Mind The Gap". I was sitting in the lower deck of the train on the way to work and was eye level at Sydenham with one of the stencilled platform signs you find on Sydney's railway platforms.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

In The Pink

Shadows of bright winter mornings.
Walking to the station on the way to work, I noticed my own shadow on this brick and paling fence (this time a little chunkier than 'Stilt Woman' the other day!)
What is your favourite time of day for walking?

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Relationships? o0h!

I don't THINK there is a relationship between the shopfront advertising their pest control services, and the billboard in the airspace above, despite the colour schemes of both. (The billboard can currently be seen in many locations around Sydney).

o0h! But I have been laughing about it ever since noticing this juxtaposition on the Princes Highway at Tempe yesterday morning.

It certainly put a smile on my dial, but on the other hand, perhaps it's just creepy?

Monday, 7 July 2008

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Ski equipment

Ski shop, Princes Highway, Banksia.

Winter is here, and although the ski season has started, I'm not sure that there's a lot of snow in the Australian Alps yet.

Get equipped before you head for the snow. The nearest ski resorts are about a 7 hour drive south from Sydney.

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Once upon a time in Avignon...

No, not Sydney. I haven't had the chance to go out and take photos yet. Since returning I have been sleeping, and washing and drying clothes and trying to keep warm and dry, because it's turned cold and rainy.

Everywhere we went in Europe people said "You've brought the sun with you!", because every single place we arrived in it had been raining and then cleared to warm sunshine as soon as we arrived (aahhhhhhhhhh, sweet). You can see the threatening sky in the second photo, but it bypassed us in favour of bright, warmth and sun.

I have no intention of posting all my travel photos on this site, which is after all Sydney Daily Photo! Never fear though...I will post a link to wherever they do end up :-) However in catching up with bloggy friends, I couldn't help post these. And there is a Sydney link.

I first met stupendous photographer Nathalie of Avignon In Photos when she was living in and blogging from Sydney. And when we arrived in her re-found home town, she took us into the fields to pick cherries - bags and bags of them. (Right before she took the photo of Ben and me and the cokes). We lived on cherries for days, and then Nathalie's friend Françoise gave us more!

The apricots were just starting to ripen. But, lo! what did I see when working my way back through Avignon In Photos? Nathalie's talent has been recognised, and she's turned wedding photographer! And I recognised those apricots!

Friday, 4 July 2008

To arrive where we began

If you are seeing this particular card, then it's an indication that I haven't had a chance to resume Sydney pics - either through jetlag, busy-ness, or ....

Health and circumstances permitting, may there be many more journeys.