Thursday, 30 April 2009

NSW Ambulance Band

The band plays under a beautiful tree in the grounds of NSW Government House.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Guest house Government House

To provide extra accommodation, this attractive arts and crafts style house was built in the grounds of Government House prior to the arrival of the Earl of Jersey as Governor in 1891. (He looked like part of the chinless contingent of British aristocracy).

I wonder what it's used for today?

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Maidenhair Fern

Some people put themselves through all sorts of cultivational contortions to grow a maidenhair fern. Hours are spent pondering the optimum position for light, spraying mist around to maximise humidity...
Not me. It grows wild down the side passage of my house. Nice ground cover. As in smother-cover for the weeds which would otherwise flourish. Mind you, weeds are only plants which you've decided you don't want - there. If anything were calculated to drive me nuts because of its insidious little rhizomes it would be oxalis. In England, my friends look upon it as a fine garden plant.

Sally's green thumb tip for the busy blogger: If it requires anything more than a few weeds being pulled out every few months, or a light prune to prevent it taking over the house, it's not for me. In my garden, you're on your own. This means roses long since bit the dust (black spot in Sydney's humid summers), and some years the camellias look a bit pathetic, but hey, there's always next year to look forward to. Thanks to water restrictions, it's years since I watered anything (other than dumping the odd bucket of grey water outside)...I can't be bothered trying to remember which days and between what hours you can water...and it must be two and a half decades since any plant was welcome inside. Despite all this cruel neglect, my small garden flourishes in Sydney's benign climate. Lucky plants!

Monday, 27 April 2009

Elizabeth Street Sunday

From a bus shelter, Elizabeth St, on a very quiet Sunday afternoon. This is the heart of the city. In cities like Paris it would be teeming with people out walking at this time (3:27 pm) on a Sunday. The first time I went to Paris and was walking about on Sunday afternoon I thought there must be an "event" on because so many people suddenly appeared on the streets. And then I realised it was just singles, couples, and whole families out for a walk after completing their Sunday lunch. In Sydney, by contrast, most people live in the suburbs, and will be at home relaxing, maybe entertaining with a barbecue, or reading on the sofa, or out enjoying the waterways, beaches, parks.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

End of my birthday celebration

What would an auto-celebration of this blog's birthday be without an homage to swimming?
So...some of my swimming shots over the past three years.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Anzac Day - Kokoda Track Memorial

We interrupt the birthday celebrations (but come back for the final collage tomorrow! )

The Kokoda Track or Trail is a single-file foot thoroughfare that runs 96 kilometres (60 mi) overland — 60 kilometres in a straight line — through the Owen Stanley Range in Papua New Guinea (PNG). The track is the most famous in PNG and is renowned as the location of the World War II battle between Japanese and Australian forces in 1942.

The Kokoda Track memorial Walkway is 800m long, along the Parramatta River in theh suburbs of Concord West and Rhodes. It provides a lasting memorial to those who served in WW2, especially in the South West Pacific theatre. The centrepiece is this beautiful series of granite walls, with images of the Kokoda campaign sandblasted on them. Water and rainforest also play a central part.

Click here for previous Anzac day posts.

I have written an account of my grandfather's experiences in the First World Way, from training in Melbourne, to Egypt, Gallipoli and the Western Front. It is based on official records including his service record, histories and 21 letters and cards he wrote home, which remain in the family. Click here to have a look at it.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Happy Birthday to me - Continued

Sydney. What's iconic about Sydney? Yesterday was about people. Today is about THAT bridge, and some of the shots I've made of it over the past three years. (That one in the bottom row with the lamppost is taken ON the bridge) of that other distinctive Sydney shape.

And because it's Skywatch Friday, there's lots of sky in there to enjoy. We don't have too many cloudy ones, do we? According to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology climate stats, we average 133.3 cloudy days a year, so 36.5% of days. Well, must be I don't point the camera at the bridge on too many of those days! (By the way, only 100 days on average - 27% - see 1 mm or more of rainfall; winter and spring have the lowest rainfall, summer and autumn the most. Get the full story here.)

Click on the photo to enlarge if you wish.

And while you're at it, click here to see skies around the world.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

SDP has turned three! (On 19 April)

Sydney Daily Photo has gone through babyhood and infancy to toddlerhood....and on April 19th had a third birthday.

I forgot about it, but there's no need to worry - a delayed birthday party is better than none. So for the next few days I'm going to collage a few highlights from the past 3 years.

For a start, I blelieve that as much as monuments and nature and lovely places help form the character of a place, it is, above all, the people who shape identity of place. So, here are some of the faces I've shown of Sydney people going about Sydney things.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

The Thin Blue Line

In a non-descript suburban Sydney street in Concord, called - well, Sydney St, the blue line painted on the route for the 2000 Olympic Games marathon is still clearly visible.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Camellia Sasanqua

Having been sick for quite some time (but mended well now!) and then away down the coast (both reasons I haven't paid too many visits to blogs lately either), I haven't been taking too many photos. But I ventured out my back door and decided my camellia sasanqua, blooming right now, was a beautiful thing to behold! It's been rainy and windy and many petals are strewn on the ground and turned brown on the shrub.

Monday, 20 April 2009

jazzy bee

This little fellow has been appearing on walls and surfaces around Reservoir St, Surry Hills.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Just a Sunday street scene

A benign Sunday afternoon in Surry Hills - people going about their business.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Eve St Wetlands

In inner urban Sydney there are some remnant natural habitats which have been degraded over the years. It's always a battle to protect them, and the Eve St salt marsh wetlands in Arncliffe are no exception. They are bordered by a motorway and recreational lands, including a bike path and golf range. Efforts have been made in more recent years to rehabilitate them. They provide a haven for local and international birds who come to feed and rest there.

Below: A pelican on the water. You can see the elevated motorway, and the bike track which curves beneath it.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Fatima Island

This tiny island in the Cooks River is a haven for waterbirds. It's called Fatima Island. A nearby sign says that once there were three tiny islands in this part of the river, where Fatima Island now stands alone. In 1951 hundreds of Catholics made a rosary crusade to the riverbank in homage to the Portuguese pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima. The island has been called Fatima Island since.

The birds for which it is a haven include pelicans, ibis, common silver gull, little pied cormorant, little black cormorant and the occasional crested tern.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Robert Brough Memorial Fountain, Sydney Hospital

From the Colebrookdale (UK) factory, installed near the Nightingale Wing in 1907 and dedicated to the memory of (Lionel) Robert Brough. The design comprises a group of brolgas surmounted by black swans displaying their crimson beaks.

Robert Brough (1857 - 1906) actor, was born in England and made his debut there as a comedian in 1870. In 1885, he and his actress wife, Florence Trevelyn, travelled to Australia where their combined talents, particularly in the field of musical comedy, endeared them to Australian audiences.

Monday, 13 April 2009

Sunday, 12 April 2009


Painting on the side wall of a local shop. It's a mixed business / grocery.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Outdoor eating and Central Local Court

Outdoor eating across the road from the Central Sydney Local Court in Liverpool Street.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Fishing at Gymea Baths

Gymea Bay forms part of Port Hacking, to the south of the city centre of Sydney. Part of the Sutherland Shire, it was mainly developed after WW2 with modest fibro and weatherboard cottages and public housing, but nowadays, like anywhere with a water view, it's a much more up-market proposition.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Lots to see!

Above: Greyscale by Leahy and Watson (2009)
Above: Habitat # 12 by Beverley Veasey (2009)

at Hazlehurst regional Art Gallery at Gymea, including these outdoor installations. We spent an enjoyable time here on Sunday afternoon; and lots of people were enjoying whiling away the late afternoon at the cafe. Here's some more information about the exhibition.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Nothing to see?

Where are we? Where will we go from here?

Come back tomorrow, and we'll find out!

Monday, 6 April 2009

Pier One

Hickson Road, Dawes Point/Walsh Bay.
This area of Sydney has been revitalised by theatre and other performing arts companies, and upmarket housing and hotels. This building on the former finger wharf Pier One is a Sebel Hotel.

You can read about its history here.

Across the water you can just see the ferris wheel at Luna Park, and the tall buildings of North Sydney.

For previous pics of Walsh Bay - click here
For previous picks of Dawes Point - click here

PS For some reason yesterday's post would not allow comments to be left. I have no idea why. Just a Blogger quirk...

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Steps and flowers

...and a "lubra" statuette. Once upon a time it was fasionable to have garden ornaments depicting "exotic" Aboriginal characters - men in "noble savage" pose with spear, or women like this one, derisorily called "lubras".

There is one fashion that has been and, thankfully, gone, surviving only sporadically in older people's gardens. Their hey-day coincided with the era when Aboriginaes were non-citizens, not counted in the officiial census, so "non-people" - people whom most suburbanites had no acquaintance with, other than as ornaments like garden gnomes. Humiliating and demeaning.

Here's an interesting article about the phenomenon.

Saturday, 4 April 2009


These houses are next door to each other. Their front yards present quite a study in contrast. I am especially intrigued by the drums which seem to be filled with cement and have steel poles sticking out of them in the second photo! What on earth could that be about?

Thursday, 2 April 2009

More yellow: retrospective

Post-theme day. Still confined to barracks with illness, so, inspired by some terrific collages featuring yellow on yesterday's theme day (Kim, Julie, Marley, Simon, Julia, Jeremyb - sorry if I missed anyone) I decided to look at the Yellows I'd captured in almost 3 years of this blog.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Augusten Burroughs and Mark Trevorrow - portrait in yellow

You know those photos you take that you're not quite sure what to do with? These are two of those. Last August I went to an evening of conversation between touring American author Augusten Burroughs and Australian entertainer - comedian and radio host, Mark Trevorrow (aka Bob Downe when doing his comedy act).

Not wishing to make a show of myself, I took the photos without flash, and my little handheld of course wasn't quite up to this inside job. But I loved the photos because it was such an enjoyable experience.

So, I've put it into the great photographic grinding mill*, said abracadabra and come out with a "pencil drawing" and a "watercolour". I am particularly pleased with the way the "still life" of water bottle, plate and glasses turned out in both. Puts me in mind a little of Giorgio Morandi.

I've also been playing around with some computer manipulated Artist Trading Cards lately, combining my interst in rubber stamping craft and photography. I've also been ill* and not venturing out for new shots, though there'll be some fresh yellow on Friday!

What do you think? Successful, or just a silly cover for some dud pics?

Today's theme for City Daily Photo bloggers is Yellow
Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

*Ulead Photo Express 6.0

* Yellow is not an inappropriate theme colour: recently I've been in hospital with some irritating liver/biliary complaint and mild jaundice - errrr - yellowness - has been part of my pallor! But you're not getting a self-portrait of me like that.