Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

It was a beautiful, windy day for the start of the annual Sydney to Hobart yacht race. In a very fast time of 5 mins from the start, supermaxi Wild Oats XI (left) was out of The Heads, followed not long after by Ragamuffin Loyal (right). The entire fleet had rounded the buoy and were headed south in 17 minutes.

Monday, 17 December 2012


iphone 4S 17 Dec 2012

Back in "the day" (well and truly before my day...) people used to gather in front of electrical shop windows to watch that marvellous new-fangled gadget, the (cathode ray) television.

TV came to Australia in 1956, in time for the Mebourne Olympics. Colour arrived on 1 March, 1975. In 2012 there's a whole new world of web-integrated TV, HD, LED, LCD, SmartTV, Blue-Ray, gaming, WIFI.....

And ion the 6th floor of the Myer department store in Sydney, you can settle back on a comfy leather sofa to contemplate the cricket, and your next purchase.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Crazy tree

I can't remember what this tree is called. Any help gratefully received!

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Arncliffe station

A splendid piece of Victoriana in Sydney's inner south
 Taken on iPhone 4S

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Janet and James

Taken on iPhone 4S

Two of my favourite Sydney-siders play and sing jazz together tonight.
James Valentine: radio broadcaster, musician and writer, and Janet Seidel: singer, pianist, teacher.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Theme Day - My Street

Taken on iPhone 4S 11pm
 Completley forgot about theme day, so I rushed out into the middle of my street a moment ago. It's a pretty non descript suburban street - individual cottages, some trees along the nature strip, cars parked outside house. The best thing about my street however is the corner many places have lost their all-purpose corner shops, or never had them. Feel a chocolate craving at 9pm - corner shop! Need milk for breakfast - corner shop! Forgot an ingredient for tonight's dinner - corner shop!

Friday, 30 November 2012

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Illawarra Flame Tree

Photos taken 29 Nov 2012 on iPhone 4S
A contrast to the lavendar of November jacarandas is the native Illawarra flame tree. They are often planted alongside each other. This specimen is in Arncliffe Park.

The Illawarra flame tree (Brachychiton acerifolius)  is native to subtropical regions on the east coast of Australia. Sometimes it is called a Kurrajong, like other brachychitons of which it is a relative.
The flowers are bell-shaped, and it has pod-like fruit, which contain masses of thin bristles and seeds. The seeds were eaten by Aborigines after toasting.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Beach Club, Circular Quay

photos taken on iPhone 4S
Stumbled across what looked like a "beach bar" at Circular Quay last night...but it was strangely empty.

Enter Google. And here's what I found:

"Bringing the beach to the city, Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Intel will transform Customs House Square into your ultimate inner city work space. HP and Intel Beach Club will allow you to escape from the confines of your desk and enjoy the sunshine in the fully functional outdoor beach workspace.
From 27 November to 30 November, HP and Intel Beach Club will be set up as an outdoor productivity area with group zones for meetings. HP staff will also be on site to help with any technology needs.
During the week guests will also be able to simply sit back, relax and enjoy the sunshine. Comfy beach chairs, coconuts and sun umbrellas set the scene, transforming Customs House Square into the ultimate summer location."

It was empty because it's open 10:30 am to 6 pm, and we were there around 6.

I hope the sun DOES shine at some time between 27 and 30 hasn't so far!

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Sydney - November - Jacaranda

Jacarandas bloom all over Sydney; the petals fall to form carpets of lavender, which then turn to slippery brown sludge as the inevitable November storms make themselves known. November in Sydney is:

kids doing their final school exams;
summer trying to put in an appearance - hot, sunny days of 34 degrees and cool, cludy days of barely 20;
christmas making its presence known in shops;
early pre-christmas office parties, and family get-togethers;
putting away the doona and those nights where you can't decide it you're hot or cold;
all the blue flowers - jacarandas, agapanthus, iris, plumbago....
my birthday

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Batman signs !

Guest photographer Nicole de Soleil

Batman has considered the issues and decided to sign the petition to Premier Barry O'Farrell opposing funding cuts to TAFE.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Putting Students First

by guest photographer, Fred Thorpe

Recently the NSW government ripped $1.7 billion from funding for public schools and TAFE (Technical and Further Education) colleges.

The Teachers Federation yesterday organised a community day of action at Darling Harbour in Sydney, and at regional centres across the state.

The day was a "fun day with a serious message" .

Nothing speaks more eloquently about the need to fund our public education system properly than the joy of children - who represent OUR future - and their right to be offered every opportunity to fulfil their potential.  My friend Fred captured this shot of her own children at the event. Her eldest daughter spoke from the stage....we'll see her tomorrow.

A colleague once said "public education is the promise which one generation makes to the next."

To find out more, see here, and here.

Sunday, 4 November 2012


I wonder if one day these walls will be exposed in an archaeological dig?
Graffiti tags still visible under the building, a budget hotel,  is complete.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Pigeon pair

At the (restored) Ibero - American Plaza, commemorating the contribution of Spanish and Portugese speaking peoples to the history of Australia.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Seasonal bounty at The Boathouse

Last time I was at The Boathouse at Palm Beach it was autumn (1 May 2010). This time it was spring - 29 October 2012.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Barrenjoey Head

Barrenjoey Head from West Head iPhone 4S 28 Oct 2012 2:22pm

Around 10,000 years ago the headland was cut off from the mainland due to the rising sea level; subsequent buildup of a sand spit or tombolo reconnected the island to the mainland (a 'tied island'). It is the location of Barrenjoey Head Lighthouse, a lighthouse that was first lit in 1881. (Wikipedia)

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Lion Island from West Head lookout

Canon PowershotG12 2:02pm

West Head in Kuring-gai National Park - looking north across Broken Bay to the Central Coast. Lion Island is at the entrance to the Hawkesbury River. The island has the largest population of Little Penguins in the Sydney area. No human access is allowed. It is a breeding ground for shearwaters and free of feral foxes and cats.

iPhone4S 2:23pm

More on West Head

Monday, 29 October 2012

Aboriginal rock engravings

Excavations at an old industrial site, a coal loader, at Waverton, unearthed several Aboriginal rock engravings. Read more here

Canon PowershotG12 28 Oct 10:47am

Friday, 26 October 2012

Film set

Today I stumbed onto a film set

iPhone pictures / Picasa3 collage. Approx 2:30pm

A Tale of Two Sydneys

Top left and right: At Guildford Foodworks, in Sydney's west, a rather limited milk cabinet, and bulk containers of haloumi and fetta cheeses and natural yoghurt. At the brand new Woolworths in Wolli Creek (bottom pics), a huge selection of milks, and equally startling array of youghurts, all labelled - full cream, light; no fat, reduced fat milks, and everyday, premium, low fat, natural and kids yoghurts, "adult" desserts, custards, custrad creams and creams....then there's cheeses....and separate fridges full of flavoured milks....

Nola and I really liked Foodworks, where there were also large bags of basmati rice, fresh almonds, Turkish semolina, Lebanese Black coffee and a large selection of foodstuffs catering to the diverse, multicultural population of the area.

Taken on iPhone 7pm approx 7pm and 11pm

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Urban ship?

The swimming pool in Prince Alfred Park, Surry Hills, Sydney is being re-developed. It was supposed to open for the summer season this year, which is now. I pass this site nearly every day and have been wondering when it will re-open (It is close enough to use for a lunchtime swim, and will be open year-round).

According to the Sydney City Council website  there have been delays caused by contaminated soil having to be removed from the site, underground services had to be completely replaced, and unprecedented rain last year caused delays. 
It's looking really good...the roof has been planted to create a meadow-effect. Here's a previous blog on this pool.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Windy day

It’s windy today. I was out walking and mused that it is impossible to actually photograph the wind – only its effects. So I looked for something that was a bit different to the usual paper rolling down the street, or banners fluttering. Here’s what I found. A cafe menu about to lift off.

Iphone picture 3:23pm

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Hayden Orpheum, Cremorne

Beautifully restored 1935 art deco picture palace. More here

 Later I saw similar colours at sunset


Monday, 20 August 2012

"Go and tell your kids the story of Peter Norman"

I first published this blog on 11 Oct 2006. Today the Australian Parliament voted to offer Mr Norman a posthumous apology for the treatment he received subsequent to this public act of solidarity against racism.

You can see a report of the issue and the profound effect on various people by clicking here.

Click here for lovely opinion piece about the treatment of Norman.

Mural, house near Macdonaldtown Station, Sydney

At the Mexico Olympics in 1968, Australian runner, Peter Norman, won the silver medal in the 200 metres, behind gold medallist Tommie Smith, and ahead of John Carlos, two Americans.

Tommie Smith and John Carlos were pall bearers at Peter Norman's funeral on Monday. They remained friends after the moment on the victory dais in Mexico which shook the world. The photo of the event was declared by LIFE magazine and Le Monde to be one of the 20 most influential images of the 20th century.

The Americans were shoeless, an expression of their empathy with the poor, and each wore a single black glove, which they raised in a black power salute during the American national anthem. Norman stood alongside them wearing the badge of the Olympic Project for Human Rights. He fully supported their actions, and had suggested to them, that as they had only one pair of black gloves, they wear one each.

"We knew that what we were going to do was far greater than any athletic feat. He said, 'I'll stand with you'." Carlos said he expected to see fear in Norman's eyes. He didn't. "I saw love. Peter never flinched (on the dais). He never turned his eyes, he never turned his head. He never said so much as 'ouch'. You guys have lost a great soldier." Carlos said that Norman deserved to be as well-known as Steve Irwin. "Go and tell your kids the story of Peter Norman," he said.

The US Track and Field Federation has declared October 9 Peter Norman Day.

Thanks to Kate_R for telling me about this mural.

Newspaper story