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Showing posts from 2008

The cup

This is my last post from my farewell walk in Sydney and it's not really about Sydney because all eyes in Australia today were not on Sydney, but to our other great city Melbourne. The Melbourne Cup, a horse race, stops the nation. And for anyone who can escape work for a party, the chance to dress up. This shop window in George Street displayed the perfect shoes for the big day. Musing: From A Dream of the Melbourne Cup by Banjo Paterson "Now for the start, and here they come, And the hoof-strokes roar like a mighty drum Beat by a hand unsteady; They come like a rushing, roaring flood, Hurrah for the speed of the Chester blood; For Acme is making the pace so good They are some of 'em done already. But round the track she begins to tire, And a mighty shout goes up "Crossfire!" The magpie jacket's leading; And Crossfire challenges fierce and bold, And the lead she'll have and the lead she'll hold, But at length gives way to the black and gold, Which ri


Martin Place is flanked by old buildings at the heart of corporate Australia. Around the corner on George Street I was surprised to find these window boxes -- a modern, homely touch, quite unlike our normal cityscape. Musing : Morning at the Window by TS Eliot "They are rattling breakfast plates in basement kitchens, And along the trampled edges of the street I am aware of the damp souls of housemaids Sprouting despondently at area gates. The brown waves of fog toss up to me Twisted faces from the bottom of the street, And tear from a passer-by with muddy skirts An aimless smile that hovers in the air And vanishes along the level of the roofs."

Martin Place

We took a short diversion to Martin Place on our way back. Our guest wanted to see the Channel 7 studio where the Sunrise breakfast show is broadcast. I instead focused on the more traditional monuments in Martin Place. Musing: From Beach Burial by Kenneth Slessor ""Unknown seaman" - the ghostly pencil Wavers and fades, the purple drips, The breath of wet season has washed their inscriptions As blue as drowned men's lips, Dead seamen, gone in search of the same landfall, Whether as ememies they fought, Or fought with us, or neither; the sand joins them together, Enlisted on the other front."

Sydney sandstone

It was time to walk back home. On the way we passed the Town Hall and Queen Victoria Building. Sandstone is characteristic of Sydney's grand old buildings. Musing: From Wikipedia : The main public buildings in Sydney, completed from the 1850s until the 1900s were built in sandstone from Pyrmont where some 50 quarries operated. The best stone was 'Paradise', a soft rock that is easy to carve, and when weathered colours to a warm, golden straw colour. It is pale grey when quarried but contains the mineral siderite, an iron oxide, that virtually rusts and gives the stone the yellow colour.

Stepping out

I was intriged by the theatric way the crowd in Chinatown dressed, including their shoes. Musing: From These boots are made for walking a pop song written Lee Hazelwood and first sung by Nancy Sinatra "You keep saying you got something for me Something you call love but confess You've been a'messin' where you shouldn't 've been a'messin' And now someone else is getting all your best Well, these boots are made for walking, and that's just what they'll do One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you You keep lyin' when you oughta be truthin' You keep losing when you oughta not bet You keep samin' when you oughta be a'changin' What's right is right but you ain't been right yet These boots are made for walking, and that's just what they'll One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you"


After church we continued our walk to Chinatown where we enjoyed a pleasant lunch with our guest.

Morning church

After breakfast we went on our own walk into the city to attend the morning church service at St Andrew's cathedral. A great place to worship with excellent teaching, beautiful music and a very friendly welcome. Musing: The organist was playing Prelude & Fugue in F by Vincent Lubeck.

More walking

During our leisurely breakfast on Sunday morning, looking down from our room with a view to the street below, we saw yet another crowd of people purposely walking. A quick web search revealed these were on the 25km Seven Bridges Walk . Musing: From View of Sydney Australia from Gladesville Road Bridge by Les Murray "There's that other great arch eastward, with its hanging highways; the headlands and horizons of packed suburb, white among bisque-fired, odd smokes rising; there's Warrang, the flooded valley, that is now the ship-chained Harbour, recurrent everywhere, with its azure and its grains; ramped parks, bricked containers, verandahs successive around walls, and there's the central highrise, multi-storey, the twenty-year countdown, the new city standing on its haze above the city."


We are moving out of the room with a view this week so spent a final weekend here in Sydney with our latest guest. Eating a meal at King Street Wharf on Saturday night we were surprised to see thousands (yes thousands) of people dressed in a fantasy of pink walking past. It was the Dove Pink Star Walk in aid of breast cancer. Musing: From Tears Idle Tears by Alfred Lord Tennyson "Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean, Tears from the depth of some divine despair Rise in the heart, and gather to the eyes, In looking on the happy Autumn-fields, And thinking of the days that are no more."

Heading home

This is the wrap up for this trip. On the way back home we saw the canola field again. Canola, known as rapeseed in other parts of the world, can be a contentious crop.

Blue Wren

Having finished the circuit at the zoo we settled down for a nice lunch at the cafe. This chirpy little blue wren came close to our table while his brown wife Jenny jumped playfully on the grass. Nesting swallows swooped in an out of the rafters. Musing: The Blue Wrens and the Butcher Bird by Judith Wright "Sweet and small the blue wren whistles to his gentle hen, "The creek is full, the day is gold, the tale of love is never told. Fear not, my love, nor fly away, for safe, safe in the blackthorn-tree we shall build our nest today. Trust to me, oh trust to me." Cobwebs they gather and dry grass, greeting each other as they pass up to the nest and down again, the blue wren and the brown wren. They seek and carry far and near, down the bank and up the hill, until that crystal note they hear that strikes them dumb and holds them still. Great glorious passion of a voice-- sure all that hear it must rejoice. But in the thorn-bush silent hide the nest-builders side by side.

The one I caught

This little one stayed still long enough for me to focus.

The one the got away

The birds flitting about at the zoo fascinated me as much as the exotic animals. I tried to get a good close shot when one jumped up on the Rhino's fence but I was a bit slow as usual but rather liked the shot anyway. Musing: By Emily Dickinson "She sights a Bird - she chuckles - She flattens - then she crawls - She runs without the look of feet - Her eyes increase to Balls - Her Jaws stir - twitching - hungry - Her Teeth can hardly stand - She leaps, but Robin leaped the first - Ah, Pussy, of the Sand, The Hopes so juicy ripening - You almost bathed your Tongue - When Bliss disclosed a hundred Toes - And fled with every one -"


I named this post after the mythical many headed beast. This intriguing photo of the giraffes with their heads so perfectly aligned was actually in the background of the another shot I was taking. Aren't they beautiful.


While we were in Wellington we did the 50Kms or so drive to Dubbo and visited the Western Plains Zoo. Ok I know the photo is of a Rhino but I wanted to use the poem which is a match with yesterday's poem. At the zoo I was getting hot and tired by the time we went past the Tiger's area so I gave them a miss, then regretted it when it came time to be writing this blog post. Musing: Tyger by William Blake "Tyger! Tyger! burning bright In the forests of the night, What immortal hand or eye Could frame thy fearful symmetry? In what distant deeps or skies Burnt the fire of thine eyes? On what wings dare he aspire? What the hand dare sieze the fire? And what shoulder, & what art. Could twist the sinews of thy heart? And when thy heart began to beat, What dread hand? & what dread feet? What the hammer? what the chain? In what furnace was thy brain? What the anvil? what dread grasp Dare its deadly terrors clasp? When the stars threw down their spears, And watered heaven

Little lamb

It was so lovely to see the countryside looking lush, green and idyllic. I found it hard to photograph lambs. The instant I came within view the ewes bleated and led their little ones further into the paddock away from the fence. Musing: The Lamb by William Blake "Little Lamb, who made thee? Dost thou know who made thee? Gave thee life, and bid thee feed By the stream and o'er the mead; Gave thee clothing of delight; Softest clothing, wooly, bright; Gave thee such a tender voice, Making all the vales rejoice? Little Lamb, who made thee? Dost thou know who made thee? Little Lamb, I'll tell thee, Little Lamb, I'll tell thee: He is called by thy name, For he calls himself a Lamb. He is meek, and he is mild; He became a little child. I a child, and thou a lamb, We are called by His name. Little Lamb, God bless thee! Little Lamb, God bless thee!"

Spring bells

I took this photo near the Lion of Waterloo hotel. I noticed these trees, each with a beautiful burden of flower, all over Wellington. I don't remember ever seeing this type of tree before. Musing: From Villanelle of Spring Bells by Keith Douglas "All evil men intent on evil thing falter, for in their cold unready ears bells in the town alight with spring make clear the fresh and ancient sound they sing."

Rustic fence

I liked this rustic fence at the Lion of Waterloo hotel. It has none of the craftsmanship I admired in the dovetailed fence by Ken at Stouffville Daily Photo. But it has a \slapped together Aussie country quality. Musing: Written by Cole Porter and Robert Fletcher and sung by many Hollywood stars. "Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies above, Don't fence me in. Let me ride through the wide open country that I love, Don't fence me in. Let me be by myself in the evenin' breeze, And listen to the murmur of the cottonwood trees, Send me off forever but I ask you please, Don't fence me in."

Yellow and green

Isn't this canola field awesome. At least four other cars stopped to take photos the same time as us. Musing: By Emily Dickinson "A Light exists in Spring Not present on the Year At any other period -- When March is scarcely here A Color stands abroad On Solitary Fields That Science cannot overtake But Human Nature feels..."
Last weekend was a long weekend and we went wayfaring again at last! It was off west to Wellington where we had so much enjoyed the June long weekend. The weather was mostly fine, the grass was verdantly green after recent rain and there was an explosion of spring blossom in the gardens. Musing: By Emily Dickinson "A little madness in the Spring Is wholesome even for the King, But God be with the Clown — Who ponders this tremendous scene — This whole Experiment of Green — As if it were his own!"

A host of golden daffodils

On a drive over to Bathurst a week or two ago I insisted that we take the quick detour on the side road to Rydal because there is a property not far off the main road where thousands of daffodils flower. It was too early then, but this weekend they were perfect. Musing: From Daffodils by William Wordsworth I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high o'er vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of golden daffodils; Beside the lake, beneath the trees, Fluttering and dancing in the breeze. Continuous as the stars that shine And twinkle on the Milky Way, They stretched in never-ending line Along the margin of the bay: Ten thousand saw I at a glance, Tossing their heads in a sprightly dance.

Daffodil time

The daffodils in my garden have been delighting me for weeks but are just about finished. West of the mountains the they are just hitting their peak. Rydal had their daffodil festival this weekend. Musing: In time of daffodils by e.e. Cummings in time of daffodils(who know the goal of living is to grow) forgetting why,remember how in time of lilacs who proclaim the aim of waking is to dream, remember so(forgetting seem) in time of roses(who amaze our now and here with paradise) forgetting if,remember yes in time of all sweet things beyond whatever mind may comprehend, remember seek(forgetting find) and in a mystery to be (when time from time shall set us free) forgetting me,remember me.

The office

I've learnt how to take night shots successfully at last. So here is the office that glistens from my balcony each night -- only one tenant seems to be green-aware. I must confess that even though I am fond of the shifting display from the room with a view I would really prefer to be back in the leafy green of my mountain home. Musing: From Clancy of the Overflow by Banjo Paterson "I am sitting in my dingy little office, where a stingy Ray of sunlight struggles feebly down between the houses tall, And the foetid air and gritty of the dusty, dirty city Through the open window floating, spreads its foulness over all. And in place of lowing cattle, I can hear the fiendish rattle Of the tramways and the buses making hurry down the street, And the language uninviting of the gutter children fighting, Comes fitfully and faintly through the ceaseless tramp of feet. And the hurrying people daunt me, and their pallid faces haunt me As they shoulder one another in their rush and nervous


The latest excitement outside the window is the arrival of Doulos an old steam ship built in 1914 -- apparently the oldest working ship on the sea today. Today it's a floating Christian bookshop that visits ports all around the world. Doulos is a greek work meaning "Servant" Musing: From The Servant Song by Richard Gillard "Brother let me be your servant. Let me be as Christ to you. Pray that I may have the grace To let you be my servant to. We are pilgrims on a journey We are brothers on the road. We are here to help each other Walk the mile and share the load. I will hold the Christ light for you. In the nighttime of your fear. I will hold my hand out to you, Speak the peace you long to hear. I will weep when you are weeping. When you laugh, I’ll laugh with you. I will share your joy and sorrow ‘Til we’ve seen this journey through. When we sing to God in heaven We will find such harmony Born of all we’ve known together Of Christ’s love and agony.

Pacific Dawn

It's nearly the end of August and I have not made a single post this month. It's time to rectify this with a few new shots from my room with a view. I woke early the other morning to find the Pacific Dawn berthed outside my bedroom window, ready to take another load of tourists for a cruise on the high seas. Musing: Sea Fever by John Masefield. I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky, And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by, And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking, And a grey mist on the sea's face and a grey dawn breaking. I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied; And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying, And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying. I must go down to the seas again to the vagrant gypsy life, To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's


Musing: From The Patriot by Robert Browning "It was roses, roses, all the way, With myrtle mixed in my path like mad: The house-roofs seemed to heave and sway, The church-spires flamed, such flags they had, A year ago on this very day. The air broke into a mist with bells, The old walls rocked with the crowd and cries. Had I said, "Good folk, mere noise repels-- But give me your sun from yonder skies!" They had answered, "And afterward, what else?" ... There's nobody on the house-tops now-- Just a palsied few at the windows set; For the best of the sight is, all allow, At the Shambles' Gate--or, better yet, By the very scaffold's foot, I trow"

More sunday sailors

Sunday sailors

Fun in the sun

It's not all toil and trade. Sometimes there is fun.

Car lot

Big ships spew hundreds of cars into a giant parking lot. The cars disappear. A new ship comes and it happens again in a never ending cycle. Where do all those cars go?

Tug boats

And the other busy little boats are the tugs, nudging the big cargo ships gently into the harbour.


A frequent visitor into our frame of view -- busy little ferry boats plying their trade of tired city workers and happy holiday makers.


Daylight dances on the distant buildings and picks out the geometric lines of Anzac Bridge.

Good morning

What a sight, the harbour waking on the morning light.

Party is over

With the last hallelujahs fading in the air, Barangaroo returned to its former life as a windswept patch of bitumen waiting for building developers to move in.


As the sun began to set in the west the Pope took off on a motorcade through the city. Hovering helicopters followed his progress, which we watched on the big screen below our balcony.


The harbour is like a moving canvass. One day I woke to find a giant cruise ship parked outside but discovering the Pope's vessel pulling in outside my bedroom window just about takes the cake. We had the big screen to catch all the fun and were serenaded by religious concerts several nights last week.

Room with a view

Is it really nearly 3 weeks since my last post? There is a reason, work got busier and busier and the long daily commute got me down so we have taken up week-day residence in the city. Off early in the morning and back in the dark doesn't leave me with a lot of time for photography or blogging but I will see if I can make amends before my life gets too out of balance. One of the surprises of our new residence was to discover we were overlooking Barangaroo one of the key venues for the papal visit. This week the bare patch of bitumen transformed into a sea of pilgrims. A very happy time in our city with glorious weather to welcome our many youthful visitors.

Sinking sun

It's time I let the sun set on Wellington. That's it for the while until I go on another wayfaring adventure.


The weather in Wellington was sunny, warm and glorious and a change from what had been a constantly grey wet week in the city. The townsfolk were kind enough to acknowledge that we were having a good weekend but couldn't resist mentioning that they were anxiously awaiting rain. They dry landscape was dotted with windmills faithfully pumping much needed groundwater to the surface. Water restrictions in the city and Blue Mountans have been lifted a little now the catchment has 66.7% storage. We can wash our cars again. The other side of the picture is that the drought has not yet broken in the bush, Lake Burrendong near Wellington is still at a mere 25% Musing: From Summer in the Country by Peter Skrzynecki "... watching grasses and grains shimmer in paddocks or sheep and cattle grazing beyond a windbreak of pines. Galahs clanged over the homestead. A windmill turned when a breeze sprung up. Cockatoos screeched from the pepper tree."

Fire engine

OK, it's time I moved on from old stuff, but I couldn't resist the fire engine.


Another memory, my Dad showing us the traction engine that he used to drive, by then rusting and languishing in an overgrown paddock near the saw mill. Musing: From The Dog Beneath the Skin by W.H. Auden a play he wrote with Christopher Isherwood "Now through night's caressing grip Earth and all her oceans slip, Capes of China slide away From her fingers into day And the Americas incline Coasts towards her shadow line. Now the ragged vagrants creep Into crooked holes to sleep: Just and unjust, worst and best, Change their places as they rest: Awkward lovers lie in fields Where disdainful beauty yields: While the splendid and the proud Naked stand before the crowd And the losing gambler gains And the beggar entertains: May sleep's healing power extend Through these hours to our friend. Unpursued by hostile force, Traction engine, bull or horse Or revolting succubus; Calmly till the morning break Let him lie, then gently wake."


Down this end of Gulgong is the local musuem, a wonderous place full of every conceivable object from country life. Having grown up in the bush where nothing is thrown out and in an era when 'old things' were used much longer, there is much that is familiar in the museum. The old mangle reminded me of Monday mornings (before the washing machine) -- the boiling copper, sheets rinsed in blue, school clothes dipped in starch and my mum semi-whistling hymns as she turned the handle of the old mangle mounted on the cement wash tubs. As it happens, my Mum was a member of the Salvation Army, so this poem by a famous American poet amuses me just about as much as the museum. Musing: Washerwoman by Carl Sandberg "The washerwoman is a member of the Salvation Army. And over the tub of suds rubbing underwear clean She sings that Jesus will wash her sins away And the red wrongs she has done God and man Shall be white as driven snow. Rubbing underwear she sings of the Last Great Washday

Delight in disorder

Gulgong is another tidied up town -- in fact the main street has been so tarted up I found it hard to distinquish between real history and "Ye Olde" fake. But off the main street I was pleased to find the real thing. I like wrinkles on old faces and things being just a little astray. Musing: Delight in Disorder by Robert Herrick "A sweet disorder in the dress Kindles in clothes a wantonness: A lawn about the shoulders thrown Into a fine distraction-- An erring lace, which here and there Enthrals the crimson stomacher-- A cuff neglectful, and thereby Ribbands to flow confusedly-- A winning wave, deserving note, In the tempestuous petticoat-- A careless shoe-string, in whose tie I see a wild civility-- Do more bewitch me than when art Is too precise in every part."

Henry Lawson Festival

After Yoeval we drove to Gulgong because we had heard the Henry Lawson Festival was on. I admire Henry Lawson's writing, particularly his short stories. Henry, a quintessential Australian writer from the turn of the century (last century not this one) apparently lived his early life in Gulgong. Musing: From Faces In The Street by Henry Lawson They lie, the men who tell us for reasons of their own That want is here a stranger, and that misery's unknown; For where the nearest suburb and the city proper meet My window-sill is level with the faces in the street Drifting past, drifting past, To the beat of weary feet While I sorrow for the owners of those faces in the street. And cause I have to sorrow, in a land so young and fair, To see upon those faces stamped the marks of Want and Care; I look in vain for traces of the fresh and fair and sweet In sallow, sunken faces that are drifting through the street Drifting on, drifting on, To the scrape of restless feet; I can sorrow for

He's wrong

We took a drive to Yoeval, for no particular reason other than to see what was there. We found a small historic town with all the things you would expect -- shops, schools, churches, masonic temple, RSL club, vet and ag supplies, football field, picnic spot by the creek, no doubt a CWA branch somewhere and of course a Royal Hotel. I'm sorry to say this, because the good citizens of Yoeval are obviously very proud, but I don't like this town, it has somehow tidied itself up too much.

I like this town

In Wellington I kept saying "I really like this town" to which my husband responded "You say that about EVERY country town we visit." But it's not only the town, I like the the surrounding countryside too.

44 gal

Yesterday I was thinking of Mum. Today it is Dad.

Old words

This shop window had me remembering bygone words -- drapery, manchester, haberdashery, millinery, napery -- such words tripped off my mother's tongue with ease. Musing: According to wikipedia "Draper is the now largely obsolete term for a merchant in cloth or dry goods, though often used specifically for one who owns or works in a draper's shop or store. A draper may additionally operate as a cloth merchant or a haberdasher. The drapers were an important trade guild."


There is a large and rather strange sculpture at the gateway to the town. I bet this one divided the locals. Musing: Words of explanation at the sculpture "Made from the old Wellington bridge which collapsed in 1989, its form is based on the shape of a seed pod, representing the fertility of the valley and the future potential of the town ... growing out of the pod are large metal and mosiac plants starting with kangaroo grass, spreading out to the large purple Patterson's Curse."