Monday, 30 January 2012

Lane ropes

Another random shot from within the pool - lane ropes and part of my swimsuit

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Watery summer

Today I took my Canon D10 camera swimming with me. I just held it in my hand as I did my laps, and hit the button at random every so often. Got some quite interesting effects. That's sky and clouds above, seen from just under the surface of the water.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Homeward to Manly

The Manly ferry Queenscliff, leaves Circular Quay carrying many home after a Saturday night out.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Diving into the Sydney Festival

The Sydney Festival is an annual arts event held each January. It features all sorts of performing and visual arts events, talks and film.

We attended a show at the Parramatta Riverside theatre.

These cute stencils were along the footpaths, and I thought the diving swimmer one was rather appropriate for me.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Australia Day: Invasion to Reconciliation (Parramatta)

These images are part of the walkway along the Parramatta River.

On 26 January 1788, the First Fleet under Captain Arthur Phillip arrived in Sydney Cove. Parramatta, 23 kilometres west, was also established in 1788, after food growing failed in the poor soils around Sydney Cove. The indigenous Dharug people had known this as an area of rich food resources for thousands of years. It is the point where salt water becomes fresh, so also useful for farming.

Baludarri the Young Warrior, from Parramatta, befriended Governor Phillip and lived at Government House in Sydney from late 1790 to early 1791. He then left to return to Parramatta for a seasonal fishing trip, and encouraged by Phillip began to trade fish with new European residents of Parramatta.  

While fishing, convicts destroyed his fishing canoe. Phillip intervened and promised that the convicts would be punished if Baludarri did not kill a white man.  However, enraged at the act, Baludarri sought traditional revenge and speared a convict. Phillip learned of this and ordered Baludarri be outlawed and shot. Phillip later relented when he learned Baludarri had a fever. Baludarri died in late 1791 and was buried in the Governor's garden.

Between 1791 an 1805 a guerilla war was fought between Aboriginal people and whites. Aboriginal people defended their land ferociously from the appropriation following invasion. However, the arms available to the colonists ensured battle superiority. As well, the smallpox (an introduced disease ) epidemic of 1789 hit the Indigenous people very hard.

One leader, Pemulwuy, speared and killed Governor Phillip's gamekeeper, in revenge for the gamekeeper killing a large number of Aboriginal people. Phillip dispatched 50 soldiers with orders to bring back the hearts of any 6 men belonging to Pemulwuy's group. 

Pemulwuy led a series of attacks on farms. He was ambushed and killed in 1802. 


In 1805, local Indigenous representatives and a settler, John Kennedy, initiated a 'Peace conference' at Parramatta. It was described as 'a conference with a view of opening a way to Reconciliation.' This was one of the earliest uses of the word in Australia - a first attempt at Reconciliation of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Australia.

This goal remains one to strive for.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Fish Lock, Parramatta River

The Parramatta fishways project aims to unlock native fish migration routes that have been blocked by the weir system. By restoring natural breeding cycles, native fish populations and biodiversity will increase, and the river be rehabilitated. 

The vertical fish-way enables fish to climb or descend where a weir exists. The lower gate periodically opens, allowing fish to enter or exit. The upper gate then opens and fills the lock with water, allowing fish to ascend or descend.  

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

The signs must have been there !

School days are behind him, and Ben embarks on the next phase of life. Today he enrolled in his TAFE Hospitality course and he's an apprentice chef. His first family dinner was a stir fry tonight...

Looking back....maybe the signs were there all along?

There's some serious knife action happening in this kit. There's also piping bag, pastry cutters and all the other tools of the trade!

Monday, 23 January 2012


The eel and the convergence of salt and fresh water.

Before the arrival of Europeans in 1788, the Sydney area was occupied by three Aboriginal groups. In the Parramatta area, it was the Burramatagal clan of the Dharug group.

The word "Parramatta" was first used in June 1791. It is derived from Burramatta, a literal translation of which is "place where the eels lie down".

Some species of eel migrate from salt water to fresh water to spawn. The eels migrate up the Parramatta River, and the name is probably associated with that. Parramatta is located at the convergence of salt and fresh water. The river flows into Sydney Harbour.

This section of the riverside walk represents the importance of the eel to the Indigenous people.

Sunday, 22 January 2012


The Elizabeth St cycle and foot bridge across the Parramatta River, at Parramatta, was opened on 23 Oct 2003. The sculpture adorning it is called "Wake" and transforms the movement of oars into the flight of wings.

The artists are Susan Milne and Greg Stonehouse. Find out more about their works here. Clicking that link will also show what it looks like at night.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Happy Birthday, Ben!

Our wonderful son is an adult - 18 today! A myriad of great memories and fun times to revel in....

Friday, 20 January 2012

My local pool

My local municipal swimming pool means a lot to me; I swim there as often as I can. However, it is reaching the end of its life, and needs a complete upgrade. The Council has a brilliant plan before it, and it will really make for a magnificent community facility. Of course, as with any far-reaching proposals, there are detractors.

A local newspaper is runnign a poll on whether it should be upgraded in the manner proposed.
To have a look at the plans, click here.

You can read an article in the local newspaper, and vote by clicking here. (You don't have to live in the local area - it's just a newspaper poll!)

Thursday, 19 January 2012


Looking over Wylie's Baths at South Coogee towards the group of rocks called Wedding Cake Island.
Midnight Oil wrote an instrumental song called Wedding Cake Island.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012


A leaf from a nearby tree slowly sinks to the bottom of a pool

Saturday, 14 January 2012

A night at the opera 5

Last light over the bridge (facing west), and a reflection of the bridge. Taken from the back balcony of the opera theatre at interval - 8.30pm

Thursday, 12 January 2012

A Night at the Opera 3

The "sails" of the Opera House are covered with glazed ceramic tiles in an off-white colour. The main areas are glossy, with matt tiles edging each creates an effect such that the building shines but does not become mirror-like. They change colour according to the light.

The sail like "shells" are set on a podium which Danish architect Joern Utzon said was evocative of a the raised platform of a Mayan temple.

After all these years, and seeing countless performances there - ballet, theatre, opera, concerts, even the filming of the Carol Burnett Show, and Bette Davis live, it is still a thrill and "special" to go to something there. Sometimes I even get goosebumps. I love to get dressed up to go there, though it is by no means "compulsory". In Sydney's democratic environment, a glamour and diamonds can sit side by side with jeans and sneakers.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

A night at the opera 2

Sydney-siders and visitors alike are pretty relaxed and casual at the forecourt Opera Bar at the Opera House.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

A night at the opera 1

Let's start the evening with a cocktail at the Opera Bar, backdrop Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Monday, 9 January 2012


December 25 and Jan 8 - both good swims under different conditions. McIvers Ladies Pool

Sunday, 8 January 2012

This morning at McIvers

conditions were a little different to what I showed yesterday (which was taken on Christmas Day)

Saturday, 7 January 2012

aaaaah, summer

McIvers Ladies Baths, Coogee
Previously shown on 21 Dec 2006 and 14 Feb 2009
McIvers Baths is under a cliff face, on a rock platform between Coogee Beach and Wylies Baths. The baths have magnificent oceans views and are relatively well screened from the surrounding area.
The baths were built in 1886, but according to the National Trust it has been a popular swimming spot for women since before 1876.
This pool (entrance donation 20 cents) is popular with nuns, Muslim women, lesbians, and elderly women (well women of all ages, really). In 1995, after a challenge in the courts, it was granted an exemption under the Anti-Discrimination Act to continue operating as women-only, probably the only one of its kind in Australia.
I'm going again tomorrow.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Bubble preparation

1. In you go:

2. Air pipe goes in:

3. All zipped in:

4. Nearly ready to be rolled over to the pool:

Thursday, 5 January 2012

The Bubbles - getting water legs or mostly not!)

Yesterday I showed the girl who conquered walking on water. Most kids who had a go spent most of their time falling down! This boy was pretty unsure about the whole thing, and observing pretty closely.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

The girl in the bubble

This looks like enormous fun! Most of the kids having a go spent most of their time falling down, but this little girl was a real expert. If I wasn't wearing a dress I think I might have hopped in and had a go.....imagine the feeling of walking on water!

Had to laugh at the sign.  No adolescents need apply, it seems.

When I took this, I thought of Jilly in Menton, who has managed so many fabulous shots of kids having fun on various amusements along the beach there.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Spectators 4: The Tall Ship

The South Passage is a schooner launched in 1993. She hails from Queensland, and according to her official website (see here) was built to suit 14–17 year olds,  to give young people an experience at sea. She was designed such that all the sails can be managed from the deck.  She has an aluminium hull and uses modern materials but apart from an engine everything is done manually.

Acknowledgement: Picture at left under sail, is from the official website.