Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Saturday, 26 September 2009


It takes ongoign effort to keep the shiny, stainless steel gleam in the stairwell of the Apple store in Sydney.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Two days later (Skywatch Friday)

These photos were taken two days after the dust storm, at exactly the same time (6am) and place. Scroll through the past two days to see the dust storm effect.

Look at other skies round the world at Skywatch Friday.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Dust 2.

This is what it looked like as I went towards the vantage point to take yesterday's photo. The photo doesn't do justice to the eeriness. Usually at this time of day (6am-ish) at this time of year (pre daylight saving), it is pretty much bright sunshine. But yesterday not only was there this strange orange dust-wrap, there was also a high wind making all the trees swoosh.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009


Photo above: From Towers St, Arncliffe at 6am this morning.
Photo One below: 3:40 pm 8 June 2009
Photo two below: 7:10am 25 June 2009

This morning there are gale force winds and Sydney is enveloped in the most incredible red dust blanket. When I heard about it I jumped in the car and went out to photograph the view from the same vantage point as the pics below which I blogged recently. This was AFTER sunrise. The dust is blowing across the continent from the centre to the east.

It is like a glowing red fog, but I can feel dust in every breath.

Ferries have been suspended, road tunnels are closed, flights are delayed from the airport. Our bathroom has a skylight - the bath tub has a layer of red dust lining it.

The tragedy is, this is Australia's topsoil - a very limited resource as it is, with our ancient, thin soils.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Fishing near Spit Bridge

The Spit Bridge is a bascule bridge (Wikipedia: a moveable bridge with a counterweight that continuously balances the span, or "leaf," throughout the entire upward swing in providing clearance for boat traffic. Bascule is a French term for seesaw and balance, and bascule bridges operate along the same principle. They are the most common type of movable bridge in existence because they open quickly and require relatively little energy to operate.)

It is a major traffic congester on Sydney's north side.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Centennial Plaza, Surry Hills

Looking upwards towards an office block. The view is from the ground through the atrium-like cover of the food court.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Haymarket Hotel

An old bank with lots and wodwork and marble, recently converted into a pub. Some friends and I went there recently for a drink. Very nice it was too!

Friday, 18 September 2009

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Dog Club

The toilet block at Cahill Park along the Cooks River at Arncliffe is decorated with a mural advertising the St George Dog Club and Dog Training Club, which used to meet at the park on Sunday mornings. They seem to have moved on somewhere else now, because I haven't seen them there for ages.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

The runner

I'm back on deck after one of those revolting bugs that confines you to the bathroom and bedroom for 24 hours!

Anyway, here's another pic I took last week at Sydney Park, St Peters at dusk as I came up to the top of the hill. Tomorrow, the view from the top.

Monday, 14 September 2009


I have been struck down by a bug and unable to post. Hope to be back soon.


Sunday, 13 September 2009


If you stand just outside my back door at the moment, you can hear the drone of hundreds of bees, as they pollinate the blossoms on the mandarin tree, making us a new crop for next winter.
Come June/July and the fruit drop all over the yard, but for the moment, it's blossom that is falling like snowflakes all over the garden, path, and washing on the line. There's also still a few fruit from the season just past clinging to the tree.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

A very Sydney Saturday

(photos taken on my iPhone)
Nothing obsesses a true Sydney-sider more than real estate - the price of their own property, the amount their neighbour expects for theirs, the value added by a "water glimpse", or their feigned disinterest in it all (ha! don't believe it for a moment!). One way to spend Saturdays is out tyre-kicking, looking at open houses, and attending auctions. Now you might think that because the world is in the middle of an economic meltdown that housing might be off the boil in Sydney. And there you would be wrong. It has gone down a bit at the top end (the multi, multi million dollar places), but in the middle and lower markets, it's still bubbling away. (Australia, by the way, is the only G20 country NOT in recession).

I thought I'd meander along to have a look at this rather nice place not far from where I live. Auctioneer, Tony Gardner has been selling houses in Bexley and surrounds for 30 years (and I reckon he could do a nice sideline in Kevin Rudd impersonations). He sold my mum and dad's place.

So to business. The bidding opened at 750 thousand, and then the bids went: $800k, $810K, $820K ...nice and steady. Then a confident bid of $850K, seeking to blast the opposition out of the race. OK, so at $850, it was called "on the market...which means it has reached the reserve price and will sell. Someone decided to slow it down...$851K, then $870K, $871K, $880K, $881K, $900K, $901K ....the cat and mouse game was on. Confidence reigned and the bids went $910K, $920K, $930K, $940K, $950K, $965K, $970K, $975K, $980K, $985K, $990K, $995K, $1 million, $1,005,000, $1,006,000, $1,007,000, $1,008,000 and, finally it was knocked down at $1,010,000. There were 16 registered bidders, and I think about 4 took part.

So there you are, property moguls, that's what one million and ten thousand dollars could buy you on a sunny September Saturday in a middle-distance bog-ordinary Sydney suburb, under the airport flight path. A nicely renovated 1930s house, with 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a new kitchen/family room and second living room. A garage and carport, and a couple of sheds, on an 803 square metre block. (There's another shed at the bottom of the yard. And don't forget you get the Hills Hoist as well :- In fact, houses in Australia are usaully sold with light fittings, curtains, carpets, oven and cooktops and rangehoods and frequently dishwasher as well if it is fitted and not worth moving).

Friday, 11 September 2009

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Stairway to fitness?

According to health experts, we are all meant to do a minimum of 30 mins vigorous exercise a day, to the point of being mildly breathless (unable to sing, but able to talk).

I am very hit-and-miss about exercise (what about you?) and despite best intentions, rarely meet that target, though I do go to Pilates twice a week and yoga once, and try for a swim a couple of times.

One way is to use the stairs rather than the lift in your workplace, if you work in a multilevel building. Here's the stairwell at mine. I make it a rule ALWAYS to use it when I go downstairs, and try to remember to go up as well. I work on the third - it's 72 stairs between the entrance and my office, so I try to go up those at least twice a day. This was taken from the second floor today (for North Americans - the second floor is two stories above Ground, not one!)

Wednesday, 9 September 2009


Walking home through the park at dusk, clouds gathering before a short storm....I spied the sunset glow through the trees. This photo and yesterday's were both taken yesterday - one as I approached work in the morning, one as I approached home in the evening. I deliberatley tried to frame them similarly.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Spring is sprung

Fresh air, fresh blooms, fresh leaves on trees. Azaleas bloom in late winter, early spring, and they have been at their best the last week or so. The plane trees are re-leafing after their short hiatus. Winter is pretty short and unbrutal in Sydney, and spring doesn;t last long either!

Monday, 7 September 2009

Swimming into the night

Cook + Philip Park aquatic and fitness centre in College St, central Sydney. Built on the site of the old City Bowling Club, featured recently - see here.

Sunday, 6 September 2009


When I saw this burned out house, I was entranced by the burned curtains flapping in the breeze, wondering how they survived when all else seemed to be gone. That was two years ago when I was last in Terrigal.

My next thought was less charitable. Surely, it wouldn't be an insurance job prior to redevelopment. Such thoughts were prompted by the types of development taking place alongside.

The amazing thing is all is exactly the same as it was two years ago!

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Bottle brush

Still at Terrigal, here's a lovely bottlebrush blooming for spring.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Terrigal Beach

One for Nathalie, from her old stamping ground of the Central Coast, which though not part of Sydney itself, is part of its commuter belt.

Above - looking southeast. Below - looking northwest along Terrigal Beach

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Paddling pool, Terrigal Beach

I took the photo above at Terrigal on 19 September 2007. Terrigal is a coastal town a couple of hours north of Sydney.
On Tuesday (1 Sep 2009) I was there again for work, and the tide was obviously low!

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Rally of TAFE teachers

Four thousand Technical and Further Education (TAFE) teachers and supporters from across NSW rallied outside Parliament House in Macquarie Street today.

The particpants voted unanimously to continue their campaign to ensure the NSW government delivers proper salary increases without destroying the quality of TAFE education in the state.

The government wants to increase teaching hours and take away professional development opportunitties.

In total, they want to fund a $15 million salary increase for teachers by making $50 million of cuts in conditions and services.

Teachers at TAFE are the people who train our plumbers, electricians, engineers, hairdressers, hospitality workers, technical people, library support staff, child care workers.....and hundreds more groups of workers. They also offer opportunitites for second-chance education.

They are the engine room of productivity and the Australian economy, trainign and educating our workforce. Yet the government looks to this group of workers to solve their own budgetary black holes.