10 km in 1 hour 20

The timetable promised a travel time of one hour and ten minutes. In reality the journey on the 370 took a further ten minutes. 

Many bus services have been diverted due to the construction of a light rail from Central to Randwick and Kingsford. 

Rather than sitting for even longer to follow a detour around three quarters of the University, I opted to stretch my legs by taking the main walkway from lower to upper campus. 

Be, bee

Sitting on the left hand side of George (not the Beatle) Harrison’s English Language class, I recall a grey cloudy day. Typical English weather regardless of the season. 

Individual timber desks with lift up tops and a place for an ink pot with a sliding brass cover were arranged in rows of two. Monica with long brown hair and a Mediterranean complexion sat next to me. It was unusual to have a pupil from America at Harborne Hill Secondary Modern. 

While travelling to work yesterday morning I was cogitating the word live. It brought back this happy school memory from 1979. It was the day I learned about words that sound the same but have different spellings and meanings. There and their is an everyday example that causes some to agonise over which to use in a sentence. 

An in-class competition of which pair of students could come up with the most examples was run. It doesn’t matter if we won or not. Even today I play the homophone identification game in my head. It brings focus to my otherwise  chaotic mind. 
I took the photograph of the bee mural while on an Experimental walk

Meadow like

The oval is clipped to within an inch of its life. In comparison, the lawned areas of the surrounding park are meadow like. Proudly displaying lush green blades of 200mm plus grass, the result of cooling autumn weather and an abundance of rain. Petersham Park was resplendent during our walk with Stan today. 

Conference with a view

So many conference venues I have visited either don’t have windows or they are heavily shaded. What a treat this week while attending a University Community Safety and Wellbeing conference; windows and views. 

The Elizabeth Street clock tower completed in 1907 is a Melbourne landmark. Glimpsing it signals proximity to Flinders Street railway station. 

This picture was taken from a room on the twelfth floor of Victoria University, 300 Flinders Street. 

Pretty in pink

See how the size of this glorious pink crepe myrtle tree dwarfs the cars parked nearby. I couldn’t resist capturing the pretty pink flowers contrasted against the vibrant green leaves of the tree behind. 

Marriage inequality

Forty five years ago today on a chilly Spring morning in England my brother aged five and I aged eight pulled on purple velvet trousers. Long sleeved shirts featuring a small floral motif in shades of purple, lilac and lavender against a white background and cravats completed the outfit. Later that day in 1972 we would parade down the aisle of the Church of the Redeemer in Birmingham with our mother as she took the hand of my first step father. This was the beginning of a decade and a half of an abusive relationship that at its lowest point saw us experience the despair of living in a ‘battered wives home’. Marriage vows didn’t hold much weight with this step father. 

Seventeen years ago today on a chilly Autumn day in Australia my partner aged thirty seven and I aged thirty six stood in our underwear as our torsos were smeared in Vaseline and glitter. White faux fur boots, shorts and polar bear heads and arms completed the outfit. Later that day we would parade up Oxford Street onboard the Noah’s Ark float with hundreds of other people celebrating diversity and calling for equality as part of Sydney Mardi Gras 2000. 

Under UK law and being British subjects we were able to marry at the Consulate in Sydney in 2014. Our non-abusive marriage is not recognised in Australia. The choice of entering a loving same sex marriage is not available to our Australian friends. 

Happy Mardi Gras 2017. 

Friendship rekindled

During the last twelve months of residing in the U.K. we became friends with a lovely couple. They shared our love of great food, wine and conversation. We enjoyed going to antique fairs, afternoon teas and dining in each other’s homes.

The date drew nearer for when we were due to emigrate to Australia. They told us that they were relieved that they hadn’t known us longer as the farewell would would have been much worse. 
We exchanged emails and Christmas cards for a number of years. Somewhere during six house moves we lost touch. Towards the end of October last year we were delighted to hear via LinkedIn that they would be visiting Australia in 2017.
Over their five days’ stay in Sydney we caught up for dinners and a lunch. The nineteen years slipped away in conversation, laughter and gaiety. 
I took the above picture of three of us chatting while gazing across Coogee Beach. There is mutual agreement that we will all catch up again, when we can. 

Variation on an eclair

Our regular lunchtime haunt on weekends is the Pig and Pastry cafĂ©, Petersham. After enjoying savoury dishes we normally crave a chocolate treat. 

Last Sunday we were not disappointed; a variation on an eclair. None of the traditional choux pastry and cream was to be seen. Instead, alternating blobs of milk and white chocolate cream sandwiched between Genoese fingers topped with chocolate icing. Delicious!

One Central Park

Slowly capturing views of this growing tower, this is the east face. I like the contrast of the neighbouring sun kissed terracotta buildings against living greenery. The north and west faces can. E seen in Vertical Garden and Poetry of people and place
Built on the site of a brewery that was hidden from view by a high concertinaed brick wall, One Central Park rises above eateries, design studios and fashion stores located in the podium. 
The Old Clare Hotel, seen in the middle of the picture is one of the heritage buildings that have been retained as part of the 5.8 hectare site in Chippendale, Sydney. 

Experimental walk

Rear lane, Newtown

I was at my physical fittest when I walked for forty minutes to work and the same amount home again every day. Increasing living costs and a change of employer has led to living further out from the city and a reliance on public transport. I try to incorporate some exercise into my journey by catching the bus from a stop further from home, walking for longer than is necessary between buses and getting off early on the return trip. 

As the start of a new academic year looms my thoughts are taken up with how to avoid the morning frustration of having to wait for ten to twenty minutes for the express bus from Central Railway Station. The queue stretches around a quarter of Belmore Park to facilitate the transportation of ten plus thousand students each morning. 
There are a few options available to me, including a ten minute walk down the road to catch the 370. The route is picturesque, zigzagging from Leichhardt, through Annandale and Glebe to Newtown. As the total journey time can take over one hour on one bus I opt for a split journey that includes joining the 370 later along its meandering path. 
This morning leaving the house at 8:15, I catch the bus from the stop nearest home on the Parramatta Road. Alighting at around 8:30, I walk a few steps along Mallet Street to be greeted by the familiar sound of song birds that reside in the area. Also, the electric buzz of cicadas in the trees of Camperdown Park; it’s going to be a hot day! 
Being on a schedule I refrain from stopping to take pictures every few steps as I rediscover the quiet backstreets of Newtown. Row upon row of simple Victorian terraced houses squeezed into every available space and pockets of vegetation jostling for a spot to burst forth. 
When I reach King Street I am confronted by the thunder of cars, buses and trucks speeding towards the city. This is an aspect of the suburb I don’t miss. 
Taking my place in the shade of the awning I forget to look around to check if it’s safe to stop. The look on the face of a young skateboarder barely missing me lets me know that it was not. 
The journey from Newtown to work usually takes twenty minutes. Queuing for the traffic lights as we approach Botany Road in Alexandria has quickly eaten into this overly ambitious target. I reach work at 9:50, an hour after boarding the bus. Even though I managed to take a rather lovely twenty minute walk the outcome of my experiment was disappointing. Maybe I can improve on the overall time by setting out earlier from home.