Saturday, 22 December 2012

Break, break, break

Break, break, break,
On thy cold gray stone, O Sea!
And I would that my tongue could utter
The thoughts that arise in me.

O well for the fisherman's boy,
That he shouts with his sister at play!
O well for the sailor lad,
That he sings in his boat on the bay!

And the stately ships go on
To their haven under the hill;
But O for the touch of a vanish'd hand,
And the sound of a voice that is still!

Break, break, break,
At the foot of they crags, O Sea!
But the tender grace of a day that is dead
Will never come back to me.

Friday, 21 December 2012

DJ's Chrismas

I thought David Jones' Christmas windows might be easier to photograph on an overcast day, but no, still far too much reflection to get anything good.

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Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Marble Bar

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I hadn't been to the Marble Bar under the Hilton Hotel for probably 20 years. It was retained as part of the hotel redevelopment and is even more beautiful than I remember it. Bit pricey for me at $10 for a glass of house red.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Cashing in

Pop up One Direction store. Probably be gone after Christmas.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Covered up

Sydney Town Hall is undergoing restoration so presumably no Christmas lights this year.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Joadja (2)

Hidden in the bush at the end of a dirt track is a small cemetery.

Monday, 3 December 2012


Joadja is a ghost town in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, in Wingecarribee Shire.

It was a thriving mining town between 1870–1911. It was home for approximately 1,100 people, many of whom were skilled immigrants from Scotland, and was connected to the nearby town of Mittagong by a narrow gauge railway that terminated adjacent to the main Southern Railway line in Mittagong. The town existed to mine oil shale from which kerosene was extracted by the Australian Kerosene Oil and Mineral Co. The process was superseded by conventional kerosene production from oil and the oil shale mining became uneconomical. By 1911, the town had become deserted as inhabitants relocated in search of work. The property was auctioned off that year to a private buyer. The fruit orchard, which included 6,700 trees continued to operate until 1924, exporting fruit for local and interstate consumption.

Situated in a deep valley, the town had limited access by road, instead exporting shale via a steep railway out of the valley. The passage into Joadja has improved greatly since then, with the gravel access road maintained annually. The township is still recognisable, despite the state of its ruins. The sandstone school, the mine, houses, refinery and even the cemetery remain as a testament to the community that lived in the valley more than a century ago.

Local lore is that the old town is haunted by at least two ghosts.

The property has recently been resold, with the new owners setting up a boutique whisky distillery as well as continuing conservation work of the township. Large parts of the valley have now been sub-divided and sold for hobby farms. The ruins of the retorts, refinery and houses are being stabilised to ensure future generations the opportunity to view the site and appreciate its part in Australia's national heritage.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Look what's happened to Gowings

This is brand spanking new QT Hotel which occupies the old Gowings and State Theatre buildings in Market Street. Much as I miss Gowings, I love what they've done. The staff are dressed in specially designed uniforms and specially wigged and made up every day. I just wish I could afford to stay there. Have a look at the rooms.

Coffee Shop in the Foyer, opposite the lifts

While preserving two of the city’s most iconic buildings, QT Sydney is destined to become a new landmark by reviving a rich and colorful past of theatre and retail. Set within the historic Gowings department store and heritage-listed State Theatre in the heart of Sydney’s central business district, the surrounding area is brimming with culture, art, fashion, cuisine and design, while still being within easy reach of sandy beaches. With stars from stage and screen having performed in the State Theatre over the past 80 years, and the classic retail of the Gowings department store, the QT Sydney captures the intrigue and excitement of the past in an edgy, contemporary design style. 

The 200 guest rooms come in 12 different styles – most equipped with a signature oversized bathtub and shower and unique design pieces that reference the buildings’ past. The lower levels of the buildings have remained unchanged, but important historic fittings and fixtures – such as original stone cladding, gargoyles, facade detail, original timber floors and retail showcases – which have been damaged or removed over decades, have been carefully restored.

The lifts.