We arrived in the harbour city of Sydney, New South Wales on 17 January 1998. For the first ten years we did not consider living anywhere else.
The face of our chosen suburb, Newtown, gradually threw off its grungy working class garb. Gentrification crept through the streets. Great news for house prices as rough edges of the area were smoothed. For the niche bars, retailers and eateries, rising rents pushed them out.
Pushchairs replaced colourful characters, walking goats and parrots. Foot paths barely coped with the jam of people, spilling from increased apartment living.
Joining the exodus, we made our way, step by step west to aircraft noisy Stanmore then sleepy Petersham before landing in luscious Leichhardt. In hindsight, we should have settled here, instead of chasing the bright lights of Newtown.
Arriving too late to secure a residence we journeyed 917 kms north (570 miles) to Morningside. The vibe in Queensland is more relaxed than we are used to. Ignoring the Summer daylight saving implemented by other states, Queenslanders arise and retire early to bed.
Here we are in the river city of Brisbane, celebrating 22 years in Australia. Uncertain of where life will take us next.
Town Hall clock tower, viewed from the Queen Victoria Building, George Street, Sydney.
Norman Foster +Partners designed the Lumière apartment building behind.
Hanging garden viewed through reeded glass, 11th floor lift lobby, Four Points by Sheraton, Broadway, Sydney.
Almost a year has elapsed since we moved from Sydney to Brisbane. A morning stroll from Central Park took us through UTS (University of Technology Sydney). Gazing at the final touches of the rebirth of Building 2, my mind wandered to memories of the eleven plus years of mostly enjoyable work time spent there.
Our transversal of Darling Harbour allowed a glimpse of the boat show, gently bobbing in Cockle Bay.
Ambling down George Street alongside the ‘soon’ to be commissioned tram tracks, my thoughts turned to reminiscing the good times, hosted in venues that are being replaced.
The two-hour journey ended at Circular Quay. As we approached, the Harbour Bridge and Opera House emerged gracefully, appearing to shake off the shackles of the surrounding structures of transportation and wealth. Claiming their place as man made jewels atop the deep blue sparkling water of Port Jackson.
SOH a bit more
View of a roof top garden from the 18th floor of Four Points Sheraton, Sydney.
Whenever we sit down at an outdoor café table Stan goes into protection mode. Medium to large dogs, walking by with their owners and children around 75cm high receive the ferocious force of a guard dog.
Stan’s passion is intense enough to move tables and chairs with his lead. When Stan is sitting on one of our laps all is right with the world, peace and calm prevails.
Barking at other dogs started when we moved to Leichhardt, almost four years ago. Stan’s issue with children began after an incident outside the Pig and Pastry, Petersham. We were quietly having lunch when a young girl slapped him on top of his head, as she walked past.
I worked at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) for around eleven and a half years. During that time, I learned a lot about myself, the institution’s operations from faculty and central student administration perspectives, and the higher education sector.
It holds a special place in my memories, as the University took a chance on someone, a migrant, looking to change career direction.
The serenity of a Winter sunset, reflected in one of it’s buildings contrasted against the bustle of Broadway mirrors my mind as our move interstate looms.
Winter is the only time I can sit in the Australian sun without burning.
On Thursday, I waited for a colleague to arrive, jacket buttoned up, seeking warmth from my coffee cup. I would rather have been sitting in the shade of a tree, on a hot day.
An unusually warm Autumn has made way for a chilly, bleak Winter.
Power lines are part of Sydney’s scenery, running alongside and crisscrossing roads and streets.
The humble timber power pole plays an important role in supporting the cables that connect homes and businesses to the grid.
In the picture above, it also provides lighting.