Sunday, 31 January 2010

Australian Open

Andy Murray and Roger Federer are battling it out for the men's title as I write.

Here's a pic of Rod Laver Arena at Melbourne Park, taken when I was enjoying the earlier rounds there last week. That's Justine Henin and Elena Dementieva on court.

Below, a view of Melbourne Park (the tennis centre) and the Melbourne Cricket Ground from the top of the Eureka Tower.

Friday, 29 January 2010

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Market garden, Phillip Bay

There are pockets of Chinese market gardens in Sydney. This one is adjacent to Botany Cemetery, which you can see in the background, especially if you click to enlarge.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Australia Day

It's Australia Day, 222 years since Captain Arthur Philip and the First Fleet lobbed in to Sydney Cove to begin gthe British Colony and appropriate the place from the locals.

So, amongst the myriad of things to do on this day, like become a new citizen (shown here in 2008) , on a bright summer Sydney day, lots of people whose origins lie elsewhere (like 98% of the population!) as well as descendents of the local Eora people, head to the beach for a picnic or barbecue.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Friday, 22 January 2010

Sandstone, Little Bay

A wonderful, sheltering overhang. Bottom picture - looking back towards the beach.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Back to the beach

Sunscreen, hat, sarong, cover-up, and a bag keeping water and fruit cool....just the essentials!

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Masters Games

Here's a pic I forgot to upload at the time. The World Masters Games were held in Sydney in October. I happened across the medal ceremony for the Women's 30+ agegroup beach volleyball, at Maroubra Beach. Canadian pairs took out the gold and silver, and Brazilians the bronze. They looked like they enjoyed themselves immensely.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Chair, Bumborah Point

Someone very thoughtfully placed this chair atop Bumborah Point, overlooking Yarra Bay, part of Botany Bay.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Fish cleaning facility, Port Botany

This is a great idea for a public fish cleaning facility, at the new public boatramp area at Port Botany. Located inside the "cage", it prevents seagulls and animals populating the area.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Public boat ramp, Port Botany

New public boat ramp facility as part of the massive development of Port Botany.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Port Botany expansion - dredging

In order to expand Port Botany, dredged sands are being used to provide reclaimed land mass. Dredging vessels like this cutter suction dredger, Marco Polo, are operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It started in September 2008, and will continue til March 2010.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Port Botany expansion - the old boat ramp

Sydney Harbour port has closed, and facilities are being expanded at Port Botany on Botany Bay. A new five-berth shipping container terminal is being built.

This public boat ramp has now been closed, replaced by a brand new one I will show tomorrow.

The huge concrete structures are called counterfort units. Altogether 216 will be constructed. They are used in cantilever walls, to retain reclaimed sand. They provide a vertical face for ships to berth against.

If you are of an engineering bent, you can read more here: Sydney Ports Expansion

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Port Botany from La Perouse

We're headed round to Port Botany for the next few days, to see the changes which are taking place there.

Monday, 4 January 2010

Bare Island, La Perouse

Bare Island was part of the traditional land of the Gweagal and Kameygal Aboriginal tribes. In 1770, it was described as ‘a small bare island’ by early explorer, Lieutenant James Cook.

In 1877 it was decided that a fort was to be built on the island. Botany Bay was considered the back door into Sydney, thus making the city vulnerable to a seaborne attack. Russia was perceived as the main threat. Plans for the construction of a fort were drawn up by the Colonial Architects Department and tenders in 1880. Construction was completed in 1885.

In 1890 a Royal Commission found that construction of the fort was faulty due to the use of an inferior grade of concrete. The whole project started to crumble before it was completed. The Royal Commission was very critical of the material used and were reluctant to refer to the material as concrete. The two clerks who were responsible for the operation, Henry Purkis and Edwin Colley, were found to be neglectful in their duties of inspecting the site. The contractor responsible was asked to repay some of the money that was paid out to him. He was also banned from any other government contracts. The Colonial Architect Mr James Barnet who is more widely known for designing many of the beautiful sandstone buildings in Sydney was eventually blamed for failing to oversee the project and to limit the amount of extra funds paid out to the contractor. This led to his resignation in disgrace from government office.

Though bristling with guns, the fort was soon made redundant by advancing technology. By 1902 Bare Island was decommissioned and ceased to exist as a military fortification, with only a handful of military personnel manning the fort.

In 1912, Bare Island became a retirement home for war veterans from the Crimea, Sudan and China campaigns. It continued to operate as a retirement home until 1963, after this the Randwick District Historical Society became caretakers of the island. In 1967 it was passed onto the New South Wales Parks and Wildlife Service for use as a museum and tourist attraction. The Bare Island fort has now been declared an historical site, and can be visited by way of guided tours on Sundays.

It featured in the movie Mission Impossible 2.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Boatshed Cafe, La Perouse;site of Paragon Seafood Restaurant

Nick and Angelo Omeros, with their mother, Helen, emigrated to Australia from Greece in 1953. They, and their three older brothers, became restauranteurs.

Nick, Michael, Costa and Comino opened the Paragon Seafood Restaurant at La Perouse in November 1968. They transformed the Paragon Café and Boat Shed from a café, milkbar and take-away with boat hiring facilities. It was the second restaurant to specialise in seafood in New South Wales.

When diners turned up for lunch on the last Sunday in May 1974, they were horrified at the sight that greeted them. The collapsed restaurant building was literally slipping into the sea, a victim of the previous night’s storm. This was regarded as the worst in twenty years and caused a great deal of damage in Sydney. The restaurant was a total write-off, and the Omeros brothers moved on to success elsewhere.

Friday, 1 January 2010

Reflections on change

January 1st - a time to reflect on changes which have taken place during the past year, and things you might like to change in the coming year.

As individuals, there are things we can change, and others we can't. We can make deliberate and conscious choices. I chose to eat less and lose weight and feel healthier.

As humanity,there's a whole lot we need to change. Seems there was a collective failure of will at Copenhagen. Let's see if we can do better in 2010. Individual effort may make individuals feel good about themselves, but it's not going to be enough to save the boat we're all in together!

(the pic is a changed image of me in the rockpool at Little Bay)

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