Saturday, 31 May 2008

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Molly's Corner

Its becoming harder and harder to find old pubs that still have character and have not been tarted up. This is one of the few that are left. The East Sydney Hotel opened in 1856,is a lovely old pub, renovated rather than restored, it has warmth and atmosphere.
It also has a darts board, pressed metal
ceiling, walls covered by old photos and posters, and a commemorative plaque above the corner seat of a former regular. A definite plus is that it has no pokies (poker machines) which is extremely rare these days.

Monday, 26 May 2008

Big Ben

Ben Chifley, that is, son of a blacksmith who became Australias 16th Prime Minister during the 1940s and whose Government is remembered for the post war immigration scheme, Australian citizenship and the Snowy Mountains Scheme, a hydro-electricity scheme and the largest engineering project undertaken in the country.

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Corpus Christi

Walking back to the station after having lunch with a friend I wondered why all the city streets were barricaded. Several minutes later I found out - the annual Catholic Church Corpus Christi procession, apparently bigger than usual this year in the lead up to World Youth Day in July.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Sir Roden Cutler Wheelchair Roll

Yesterday I heard car horns in the street below, looked out the office window and saw something unusual - one side of the roadway had been cleared to allow a parade of wheelchairs. The banner at the front (which I glimpsed but could not photograph) said it was the Sir Roden Cutler Wheelchair Roll which it turn out it an event held annually by the Sir Roden Cutler charities to celebrate Sir Roden Cutler Day. Sir Roden was New South Wales' longest serving Governor and a war hero, having been awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery.

Full Moon in the Morning

These photos were taken between 6.00 am and 7.00 am on Thursday, 22 May.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Peace, Justice and Unity

Peace Justice and Unity was originally painted on the wall of Pilgrim House on the corner of Pitt & Park Streets Sydney in 1984. The mural was reinstated in late 2003. The 24m x 13m mural had been absent for 2 years after adorning its lofty CBD site from 1984 to 2001, a period of 17 years.

Wildlife in the Suburbs

Rainbow Lorikeets love the bottle brush trees that line my street and are there every morning.
Photo's a bit fuzzy because its difficult to get a good shot with a little point and shoot camera. Am determined to eventually get a clear shot of one low down. They are beautiful birds.

Saturday, 17 May 2008

St James tunnels

This is the "island platform" at St James railway station. The rail tracks are to the extreme left and right of the picture beyond the colums.

St. James was originally intended to be a major interchange station. As a result, St James has several abandoned tunnels, one of which has flooded and produced an underground lake. St. James station was designed to support four tunnels, but only two were ever constructed. The remaining two are stubs, which lead some way off from the station but then abruptly end. The intention behind this was that if they later decided to use these tunnels, they could extend them without causing interference with St. James station, thus permitting it to remain in operation.

Despite not going anywhere, they have still seen a significant amount of use over the years. This has included use as a mushroom farm and a World War II bomb shelter.

The two disused tunnels lead off both to the north and south of St. James station, in between the two tunnels currently in use. The platform of St. James Station is in fact two separate island platforms, with a space between them for the tunnel tracks; but this space has been covered over with a false floor, giving the appearance of a single platform.

For those interested, here is a detailed history of the St James tunnels. Please note that the Australian Railway Historical Society is no longer running tours of the tunnels.

Foggy Day

Thursday morning was extremely foggy, however by the time I got into town the fog had pretty much lifted. There was a little bit of low cloud hanging around but by about 9.00am it was another beautiful, sunny, Sydney autumn day.

The Sydney Morning Herald has a good set of photos of the early morning fog which was so heavy that the airport was closed (with planes being diverted to Brisbane) and ferries cancelled.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

The Barracks Cats

Not many workplaces have pets. The Barracks Museum is one that does. A couple of years ago a mother kitten who had recently given birth was found in the grounds. The staff were given permission to keep the mother and two of her kittens (the third kitten was adopted). The cats live in the grounds and brighten the day of many public servants, not only Barracks' staff but those from surrounding buildings. Tourists are fascinated to see them there.

Spice, the mother.

Cinnamon, her daughter.
The other "kitten" is Nutmeg who is extremely shy and, on the rare occasions that I see her, won't let me get close enough to take photos. I'll keep trying and I'll also try and get better photos of these two. Its a fact of life that as soon as you point a camera at a cat they get up and walk towards you.

Remembering Irish Mothers

The Memorial to the Great Famine is in the Grounds of Hyde Park Barracks in Macquarie Street in Sydney and commemorates the famine in the mid 1800s caused by the failure of the potato crop which led to the population of Ireland dropping by some 25%. Many died, the others migrated to America, Canada and Australia.

Last Sunday was Mothers' Day in Australia.

Over the weekend flowers had been left at the Memorial wall with cards remembering mothers and grandmothers, whose forebears no doubt migrated during the famine and helped build this country.

Saturday, 10 May 2008

Jet Trails at Sunset

To see jet trails this clearly you need very clear, crisp conditions. Normally the trails are white. I noticed this one as the sun was setting and it was glowing pink.

Dawn till Dusk

Lately I've been leaving home before dawn for tai chi class. One of the few compensations for leaving home in the dark is that there have been some stunning dawns in the past week.

Even the station looks good in the dawn light. It looks like a totally different place, as a fellow commuter commented on seeing the photo - it looks like a little country station, not a boring suburban one.
As the sun sets between 5.00 pm and 5.30 pm at the moment, if I can get away from the office on time I'm also seeing sunset.

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Mali and the Festival Au Desert 2008

The trip report of my January 2008 trip to Mali and the Festival au Desert has now been moved to my Travel Blog.