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Archive for the ‘My Photos’ Category

Daily Walk Photos

I’m up to day 220 of daily walks and, according to my iPhone, I’ve taken over two million steps since August last year. Thankfully, on most weekday mornings, Big Boy still walks with me.

Here are some recent pics from our early mornings on the Inner West Greenway and the Iron Cove Bay Run. We’re blessed to have such lovely public spaces within minutes of home!

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Our route takes us under several bridges, and I’m always intrigued by the play of light on the water. Last week, the City West Link overpass created amazing stripey reflections. I walk under this bridge almost every day, but I’ve only ever seen this effect once…

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If you look carefully, you can pick the two shades of reflected light – white and gold…

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In the morning, the sun is gentle and shaded, but in the afternoon, it glitters like diamonds on the water…

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It has rained every day in Sydney for weeks, which has made walking tricky (I’ve had to resort to the treadmill on a couple of occasions). But all the extra water has created lush, fairytale trees…

..and glowing green lichens…

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Overcast skies produce mangificent watercolour hues…

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Pete said I needed to disclose that the photo below wasn’t taken in a woodland setting – it’s a gutter in Surry Hills during a rain shower (I cropped out the cigarette butts)…

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Captured on a rare sunny day a few weeks ago, these aluminium boats are known locally as tinnies. To my eyes, they make the photo quintessentially Australian…

The best coffee on our route is made by Sammy at the UTS Rowers Club…

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We’ve become avid cloud watchers, but we’re still rubbish at identifying them…

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I now understand why artists paint the sea in blues and greys, because this is exactly how it looked this morning…

Finally, my wonderful son, reflected in one of the many mirror puddles left by the recent deluge…

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Wishing you all happy days! ♥

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Food and Wine

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We’ve had some amazing wines lately.

I’ve been opening carefully cellared bottles to share with my sons, both of whom love the older vintages. Ever since the boys were little, I’ve put bottles aside in the hope that we could drink them together one day. So this is, quite literally, a dream come true…

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Anita, Alison, Jenny, Helen and I are new-old friends.

We reconnected at our 40 year class reunion in May and have eagerly sought out opportunities to spend time together since. We met up at Central Park last week, ate yum cha at Din Tai Fung and then spent an hour charging around Daiso like the crazy old women we are.

After buying everything from fillable tea bags to battery-powered erasers to microfibre polishing slippers (and face massagers and detox foot pads, each item costing just $2.80)…

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…we dropped into the Koi Dessert Bar for cake and coffee…

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Apart from being delicious, this funky new cafe offers some of the prettiest treats Sydney has ever seen…

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My brilliant friend, the Spice Girl, took me to this little Taiwanese restaurant in Chatswood. It specialises in street food…

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The menu made me laugh out loud…not sure stewed pork trotters need to be labelled as a “non veganism meal”…

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Speaking of the trotters though, they were ridiculously good…

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I took Pete back to try these steamed pork belly buns (3 for $10) and he loved them…

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I’ve had trouble all year sourcing chestnut flour, so I was pretty excited to find it at a deli in Five Dock last week. I bought the last two bags they had and made up a batch of my favourite brownies (plus a tinned peach cake for my mum)…

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These are the most expensive brownies I make, and every time I put a batch together, I feel incredibly grateful that we can afford such luxuries. Each tray uses 750g (!!) of Callebaut Belgian chocolate, and that’s before the imported chestnut flour, butter and eggs. They’re decadent, rich and wickedly delicious. We make a point of sharing them around…

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The sun is shining in Sydney today and life is grand.

I hope you’re all eating and drinking and making merry too!

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Sunshine on the Water…

Sunshine on the water makes me happy…

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Sunshine on the bridge can make me smile…

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Mirrored reflections look so lovely…

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Sunshine on the sea…all the while…

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Bits and Pieces

What’s made you smile this week? Many things, I hope!

First on my list is this wacky sock monkey I made last night. It took me hours and his ears are crooked, but he was pretty cute in the end. Which is just as well, as I can’t see myself making another one! I’ve named him Richard, in honour of our podiatrist, the giver of socks (I’m sure he’ll be delighted).

If you’d like to make your own, it only takes one pair of socks and these brilliant instructions from Craft Passion…

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Last Thursday, we took my mother to explore the Hidden Sculpture Walk at Rookwood Necropolis.

Mum was amused and a tad disconcerted to be strolling through a cemetery, but I found it incredibly peaceful. The artworks were scattered through the old part of the necropolis – along paths and in amongst the graves themselves…

Twist of Fate (Widow-maker) by Jane Gillings was my favourite piece. The artist has turned used champagne corks back into a tree…

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Lotus Labyrinth, by Diamando Koutsellis…

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Peace in Death by Rachel Sheree won a prize…

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Tears & Courage by Kirsty Collins sat comfortably in amongst older graves…

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Sydney University is building a brand new museum which will open late 2018 or early 2019. It will combine the collections of the the Macleay and Nicholson Museums, and the University Art Gallery.

This means the Macleay would be closing at the end of November for two years (the Nicholson will stay open until the end of 2017). I’m embarrassed to admit that I’d never been before, despite attending the university and living in Sydney all my life, so Pete and I spent an afternoon wandering around campus and reminiscing.

The Macleay is a glorious Aladdin’s cave of old natural history specimens, including large and small skeletons, specimens jarred in formaldehyde, small stuffed animals, and ancient instruments. I was thrilled to see these old Moa bones…

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Specimens in jars, some dating from the 1800s…

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Large skeletons, many of which were previously acquired for teaching purposes, are on display…

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Old tools and equipment tell the stories of various university departments…

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A wall of magnificent butterfly specimens are on display – I never knew their colours could be so bright!

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If you’d like to read more about the history of the Macleay Museum, the Uni has just uploaded a PDF copy of  Mr Macleay’s Celebrated Cabinet. It was published in 1988 to commemorate the museum’s centenary.

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From the Macleay, we strolled over to the Nicholson Museum.

At present, there are a couple of interesting exhibitions there – one called Death Magic, which explores the beliefs and traditions surrounding death in Ancient Egypt. How cool is it that we can see sarcophaguses in Sydney? (For free too!)

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The other exhibition which I loved was Memento: Remembering Roman Lives.

Two sections of wall in the museum are hung with Roman funeral inscriptions…

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A translation of each one is offered via an interactive tablet nearby. Having spent an afternoon at Rookwood Necropolis the week before, it made me reflect on our basic human need to commemorate lost loved ones…

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From the Nicholson, we visited Floating Time: Chinese Prints 1954 – 2002.

This free art exhibition at the University Art Gallery showcases wood cut prints from the Mao era and beyond. I’m not a fan of traditional Chinese paintings, but these were stunningly beautiful. I’m taking Mum back to see them before the closing date of 25 November…

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On our way home, we walked through the Main Quad of Sydney Uni.

The large jacaranda tree in the corner is just hanging in there – it’s about a third larger than it was in our time, and looking far less robust. In the 1980s, exam results were posted on a board in that corner of the quad, and new students were always told, “once the jacaranda starts flowering, it’s too late to start studying…”

Edit: sadly, we were right and the tree really was just hanging in there – it collapsed less than a week after our visit. Thankfully the uni has a clone of the original tree ready to go back in its place.

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Earlier this week, Small Man and I sat down to a lunch of homemade sourdough, eggs from the backyard, and a family crossword puzzle. Life doesn’t get much better than that! (He looked up and caught me taking his photo!)

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Finally…it’s hard not to smile when this hottie is all mine, and has been for over thirty years. That look on his face was in response to the suggestive comments I was making about his sexy new leather jacket…

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I hope you’re all having a fabulous week! ♥

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Miscellany

Let me catch you up on what’s been happening around here. All continues to be mellow and quirky in our universe – hope it’s the same at your place!

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Last Friday, Hong Kong Millie came over on her new pushbike to help with our garden. She’s completely gorgeous, and very obligingly let me add wings to her bike helmet to increase her riding speed…

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Sydney always has sooo much wonderful free art on display! Pete and I spent a lazy afternoon in late August walking through Sculpture at Barangaroo. Horizon by Lucy Humphrey was originally shown at Sculptures by the Sea in 2013…

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Empirical View (2016) by Marcus Tatton, was Pete’s favourite…

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The Grove (2014) by Margarita Sampson, is clad in red cedar shingles…

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In September, Big Boy put me onto this free iPhone app

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I thought I’d try out the guided Chinatown to Circular Quay art walk…

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It was huge fun! I was astounded to discover an entire alley installation, just metres away from the main entrance to Chinatown. It’s been there for ages – I’ve been within half a block of it at least a dozen times in the past few years, but I’d never noticed it before.

In Between Two Worlds (2011) by Jason Wing, has suspended half human, half spirit figures inspired by the Aboriginal and Chinese heritage of the artist…

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In the evening, these figures light up – I was fortunate enough to catch them just as the sun was setting a couple of weeks later. If you go looking for this installation, Kimber Lane is close to the Paddy’s Market Light Rail stop…

It wasn’t part of the tour, but this sculpture on George Street was shimmering like a giant snake…

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Dobell Memorial Sculpture (1976) by Herbert Flugelman, Spring and Pitt Streets, Sydney…

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I was delighted to discover the gloriously named Obelisk of Distances, erected in 1818 as the official point for measuring distances in NSW…

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I’m pretty sure all distances to Sydney are now measured to the GPO, but it’s a joy that such a wonderful piece of Aussie history has been so carefully preserved…

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A great favourite of mine – Forgotten Songs (2011) in Angel Place is a creation by Michael Thomas Hill to commemorate the songs of 50 bird species once heard in central Sydney prior to European settlement. “A poignant elegy”, my friend Joanna commented. As you stroll under the cages, the bird calls can be heard clearly, mingling with the noise of sirens and traffic from the busy city..

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Windlines (2011) at Circular Quay is a wind powered sculpture in honour of the 2008 centenary of Scouting in Australia.

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Inlaid riddles point to the names of sixteen locations in Greater Sydney.

I wondered if “Be Resolute Like Flint & Steel” referred to the Iron Cove Bridge…but in fact, it’s a pointer to Resolute Beach and Flint and Steel Bay in Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park (not much of a riddle, really)…

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As I strolled down George Street, I passed this wonderful window display at Louis Vuitton…

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…and found monkeys in Chinatown! I’m guessing they’ve been up since Chinese New Year…

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Serendipitously, the Strand Arcade was celebrating its 150th birthday when I wandered through. It’s hard to pass up a Saturday whisky tasting…

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Aliens! Or as Ella Dee pointed out, more probably markings for future tram works. Either way, many of the roads in Sydney city are covered in scribbles at the moment. On the off chance that they’re actually part of some sinister Dalek plot to invade the earth, I thought I’d better document them…

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I think they’re fabulous – it’s like some mad (but very neat) mathematician has graffitied the footpaths…

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The manic bag making continues (I’ve tidied up my sewing room, so I can finally get to my machines). For my 50th birthday a couple of years ago, my friend Nic wrapped her gift in a gorgeous tea towel that was just too pretty to use. So last week I turned it into little zippered bags…

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We popped into Bonarchè in Leichhardt with Kevin and Carol for huge burgers and their to-die-for kimchi fries. Run by Roger and Tracy, this delicious little restaurant is within walking distance of home, serves wickedly good local brews, and is (thankfully) only open Thursdays to Sundays…

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Here’s a photo from Small Man’s birthday dinner there in September…the sweet potato fries alone are worth the visit…

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…and their British style fish and chips are the bomb

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After scoffing burgers with our friends, we were embarrassed to call it a night at 7pm lest our sons (we have five between us) made old people jokes, so we settled down for a couple of hands of 500.

It’s one of the few things that Pete and I can’t do together – we decided long ago that for the sake of our marriage, we could never be card partners. So for the last thirty years, it’s been Kevin and Pete vs Carol and I.

The night ended with a draw, and perhaps it is indicative of old age that none of us felt the need to play a decider round…

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What a longwinded post! If you’ve made it to the end, thank you for reading. What’s been happening in your world? I hope all is well with you and yours! ♥

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