A nail biting walk back to Central Station


Almost ThereWith the submissions of my literary Magnum Opus  😉  to the State Library having been satisfied, the saga continues. The books might not equal the Finnish Kalevala, but it might well be looked  upon so by future Oosterman generations. The Kalevala is to Finland what the Sydney Opera House and cricket is to Australia.


After a short but important break at Myers with feet suitably shod in Velcro strapped sandals, our epic journey continued. My refrain “I am very hungry now,” was responded by, “yes, I have heard it three times now, we will go to Queen Victoria building.” Myers is connected below groundlevel to Queen Victoria building as well as to the Town Hall subway rail station and numerous other shopping Meccas. The changes happening in Sydney are fast and furious. The speed by which people now walk is astounding, or, is it my own speed that is slowing? The Sydney below ground level is at least as large and fast as the above ground Sydney.

After arrival we climbed up out of the bowels of the underground and into the basement of The Queen Victoria building.  We climbed to the top floor and soon found a restaurant that seemed to serve food with enough customers still eating at 3.30pm  installing enough confidence we would be sold a good and hearty lunch. This top floor has such inclusive and luxurious shops, rumours have it that Lucy Turnbull ( The wife of our Prime Minister) buys her handbags and other accoutrements there. Normal shoppers avoid the top floor except perhaps those dreamers that are on the cusp of yet discovering that money doesn’t bring happiness. ( neither does happiness bring money) We just averted our eyes and only opened them to study the menu.


We watched a recent documentary about Queen Victoria. She was quite a tyrant and a cruel women. She had nine children and hated anything to do with productivity. There is a very stern bronze statue outside The Queen Victoria Building. She looks fierce and I became a bit scared looking at it even after all those years. She had the penis chopped off from a copy of Michelangelo’s David statue.

After that late lunch with a cool beer, we made our way back to the Central Railway station. The walk of that day would have totalled perhaps 8/10 kilometres. We did not even feel tired. I suppose proof the success of that day. It was exciting. Which made me think, as I have a want to, in reflecting a move back to Sydney. But, we like living here in Bowral. We don’t get the humidity or the heat. Above all, in Sydney’s real estate world one would not get much change out of  $1.5 million for a modest town-house.

We decided to do the trip more often. The train journey takes almost two hours with the fast train a bit slower than the slow train. But the fast but slower train does have better seats and the buffet. On the way home I ordered a delicious sausage roll. It was hot and flaky. We arrived back  just after 8pm with fading light.

A good and memorable day.

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27 Responses to “A nail biting walk back to Central Station”

  1. leggypeggy Says:


    Liked by 2 people

  2. http://www.salpa58.wordpress.com Says:

    Sounds like a productive, lovely day but nothing beats. “Home sweet Home”. :o)

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, and let’s not forget, ‘Own bed sweet own bed!’
      Even though the day was stinking hot by the time we reached home again the temperature was in the low twenties. During the day we had lots of water with just a small beer in between.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. petspeopleandlife Says:

    Now you are officially in the state library and can breathe a sigh of relief. It all sounds like a productive day. The “fast train is slower than the slow train.” That’s about how things go Gerard. We think we have progress but often things are so high tech, that those things don’t pan out as they should. But anyway you and Helvi made it back home and that is what counts.

    To put it lightly, Queen Victoria was a nut case.

    Yvonne D.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. auntyuta Says:

    Oh yes, “Home sweet Home”, in my experience nothing beats coming home after a long day away from home. 🙂

    I get that impression too, that Sydney people walk around very, very fast.

    Some four months ago Peter and I stayed overnight in Sydney in one of the METRO Hotels. From there it was supposed to be a ten minute walk to Wynyard Railway Station:


    When we checked out of the hotel on the morning after my 82nd birthday it was raining a bit. The plan was to walk the short distance to Wynyard Station. Really, no big deal.

    We both had a little suitcase with wheels. So off we went. Peter was usually walking a few steps ahead of me. I could not always keep up with him, especially when people, who hurried to work, kept overtaking me.

    After a memorable walk in the spitting rain through the early morning crowds we ended up at an entrance to the station where there was not lift, not even stairs, only an escalator.

    I felt dizzy and shaky and definitely not up to step on that escalator together with my suitcase. Peter had gone ahead with his suitcase. Then he noticed that I did not follow him. So he left his suitcase at the bottom of the escalator and came back up to fetch me with my suitcase!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. gerard oosterman Says:

    Well, Uta. We can only hope we will be as fit at 82. You both must have had a good time. I can imagine Peter running ahead of you. Just as well it wasn’t an escalator in Moscow. It is so long that at the bottom you can’t see the top.

    Many stations now have lifts, a great invention which should have been installed decades ago.

    Those Sydney subway rail stations are nerve wrecking, so many people run like maniacs and take stairs three steps at a time. Mind you, so did I forty years ago. Now I can hardly open the corn flakes.

    It’s not easy.
    I hope Peter’s suitcase wasn’t pinched.
    Helvi too, is somewhat hesitant and doesn’t like looking down on those escalators. I tell her to look at me as I am taller. She reckons that is worse.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. bkpyett Says:

    So good to hear that you’re distributing your book, Gerard. I love hearing about Sydney as it’s decades since I’ve spent any time there and things have changed. Helvi must be patient, that sounded a very big day in the heat.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      The books are part of a literary competition, Barbara. They are not going on the bookshelves of the library (yet).
      It is exciting and I can hardly contain myself thinking how at least five literary judges or more will glance through my books. Of course, it might well be that after the first few of my words the books get tossed aside accompanied by a well practised and professional sneer. But I enjoy writing writhing and that can’t be taken away.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Dorothy Brett Says:

    Hate to say it but I can almost guarantee there will be a lift at Wynyard station. Since recovering from a replaced hip,I know every lift from Woy Woy to the airports.
    Mind you there is not a lift at Hawkesbury River Station, which is a shame because it is a lovely little place.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes Dorothy, I am sure there must be a lift. Perhaps the lift is not near the entrance as Uta is pointing out. In peak hour traffic a lift might also be packed.
      Bowral has two lifts, One for each platform. The platform toilets are always kept locked, but requesting through the intercom the station master can release the lock. High tech. but am not sure I would like to shout; “Hey, can you unlock the door, please? I want to go urgently for a nr 2.”


    • algernon1 Says:

      You’re right there are lifts at Wynyard to both levels from the main concourse. Hawkesbury River is quite beautiful (I’ve played cricket there Gerard). Mrs A and I took the Riverboat Postman last year, highly recommended.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Happy Go lucky Says:

    I thought Gerards blog told me that apart from the huff and puff, the city still has beaut attributes. The harbour alone scores 10 out of 10 by me. The transport infrastructure has gone forward somewhat but still a long way to go with speeding up journeys.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      We enjoyed the day very much. I think Sydney is an exciting city taken in small doses. The QVB is outstandingly beautiful and the State Library a revelation. The main improvements are all those cafes where people can sit down and talk with each other. This was absent fifty years ago.
      They say that Melbourne is even better.


  9. gerard oosterman Says:

    The billboards are up:



  10. bkpyett Says:

    I do wish you every success, Gerard, with the competition. This is exciting, but when any committee tries to make a decision, it’s seldom easy! You have the right attitude, you’ll write regardless of the outcome! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  11. gerard oosterman Says:

    Actually, Barbara. The first book ‘Almost there’ is available from The National Library in electronic format.
    The results will be known in May.
    Thank you Barbara. Keep fingers crossed.


  12. shoreacres Says:

    The link to the Kalevala was so interesting. One of my favorite professors was Finnish. Although he didn’t recite poetry to us, he did tell us wonderful tales of life there. I thought the photo of the brothers reciting poetry on the Wiki page was — not spooky, exactly, but otherworldly.

    i’m with you on the sausage roll. I was at a meeting today when some homemade ones appeared, with the best venison sausage inside. They truly were splendid, but it sounds like you may have have the best.

    Do you have a timeline for hearing about the books? They surely will use it for their own publicity, so would have a reason to keep things clicking along.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. gerard oosterman Says:

    Glad you found the Kalevala link interesting, Linda. It is what defines modern Finland today. When I went to Finland in 1965 it was a revelation how beautiful this country was and still is. The design of everything Finnish is due to their national epic, the Kalevala. Their architecture, music, literature and all visual arts stem very often from it.

    I am not sure about the timeline of the books and the judging but shall try and find out. A very good American friend actually alerted me to the competitions.

    We both share a fondness for the occasional sausage roll.


  14. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    Though I never knew him, I understand my father’s father was a sausage maker, They sound very good to me right now.
    We loved Finland on many levels, but a cute memory remains with me as a dog lover; an elderly gentleman who walked his dachshund in the park near where we were staying, wore a green Alpine type hat. His little dog wore the same one. He said he had many hats and had copies made of each for his little pal.


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