Posts Tagged ‘Sydney’

A vase

April 12, 2018

IMG_0027vase

Is this a vase or a work of ceramic art? Perhaps both. Please note that this old table has a white painted top as well. A pity our telephone book wasn’t taken away. It seems to spoil the photo by hiding the rest of this lovely woman’s top part of her body. I do like the composition of the photo though, but don’t ask me why. It’s rather unique.  I doubt there is a similar vase anywhere in the world. We bought it some decades ago while still living in the inner Sydney suburb of Balmain. All I remember is going to a ceramic art exhibition in North Sydney and really like this work. It reminded us of the Italian master Modigliani with its elongated neck and general posture. Look at the Modigliani painting below.

Image result for modigliani portraits

Amedeo Modigliani found little success during his short life but he would be happy to know he now is famous with his paintings and sculptures selling for millions. We went to an exhibition of some of his work many years ago when we were in Paris.

I am sure that the ceramic artist who made this vase could not but be an ardent admirer of Modigliani. It’s funny how we are all influenced by what our eyes take in. Or, would it be better put, we SHOULD be impressed by the visual world and what a blessing eyesight gives us? It begs the question though; if we are so influenced by what our eyes take in, why allow so much visual ugliness to surround us? The madness of materialism now evident everywhere. Those advertising hoarding first invented in the US and almost immediately and eagerly copied and accepted in Australia. Those endless car sales yards with yawning bonnets and happy happy balloons tied to the rear vision mirrors. Is the making of money so important allowing it to override everything?

It’s not everywhere like that though. There are havens of quiet and solitude if one looks carefully. We have a stretch of pure beauty near our house which we walk almost each day and never tire of it. A lovely walk along a small bubbling creek. There are ducks and old men who talk to each other in hushed calm voices. A parrot might fly overhead or we can find a dog scanning the reeds for hidden water fowl. We don’t have to go far to see beauty and that’s a blessing we should not take for granted.

It is lovely and makes it all worthwhile.

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A Lily as fair as a Rose.

April 9, 2018

 

IMG_0025lily

At times beauty should be allowed to take precedence. Last week, at a time just before dusk, a ray of sunshine lid up a bunch of flowers on the table. I was sitting a few metres away from it and was struck by its moment of beauty, I took the photo.

The vase of lilies resting on our table tells a story. The lilies, the story is of its obvious beauty. The table’s story is of a life-long history,  possibly much more. I recently painted the top in white gloss. It needed it. Even though the table is of an antique age and valuable best left as it was, at the age we are in, anything of monetary value becomes somewhat inconsequent. Who cares? It gives us great pleasure eating at this table, all white and shiny.

This table and most of our furniture we got while living in Holland in the 1970’s on a very old Saxon farm with a thatched roof. The farm was for sale and with the bargaining between us and its owner, the inclusion of some very beautiful old furniture, the deal was struck. It included the old table whose top is now painted white, giving rest to the vase of lilies.

We had all this furniture shipped over after we returned to Australia. It included amongst many items of great beauty, 11 chairs with thatched seats that through the decades became badly worn. It took some time to find someone who still had the art of rethatching those chairs. He was an old man living in an inner-city suburb of Sydney who took one look at the chairs and knew the period the chairs were done originally in. He managed to re-do them perfectly and till now we sit on those chairs enjoying his artistry.

The chair is not just for sitting,

its beauty in the eye outlast,

mere convenience of rest

the story keeps unfolding

for those who read chair

 

A normal nice day at Spice Alley.

March 8, 2018
Image result for spice alley sydney

With all that’s been going on we thought we would have a day in Sydney.  It came as if seeing doctors, visiting hospitals and getting referrals was becoming a routine. I would wake up, bleary eyed, and ask Helvi; ‘any appointments or doctor visits today?’ ‘ Do we need to get a referral?’ We had invested some money in fridge magnets, and as a result of possible memory lapses now pin appointments behind those magnets on the fridge. Of course, the canny quacks now get their secretaries to phone the day before to confirm appointments. It all adds up to the bottom line, you know.

Yesterday we drove to Sydney and parked our car near a friend who has lived in Balmain for many years. We never lost our love for this inner-city suburb which has now grown into a millionaire’s paradise. Our friend suggested we visit Broadway. In particular a site which used to have a large brewery now converted in smart shops and restaurants.

‘I’ll call an ‘uber’ and we will be there in twenty minutes,’ he said while pulling out revolver-like, his cell-phone. ‘I’ll show you,’ ‘I have special uber app.’  He is American and has always held a love for internet and computing. I have to admit also becoming handcuffed to cell-phones and the day is not far off I too will be applying for apps.

He tapped in his cell-phone the address in his uber app he wanted us to go to and within seconds he showed me a GPS map on his phone with  a spot resembling a car crawling towards our address of departure. It also let us know in minutes how long we might have to wait. It was three minutes. The uber car pulled up. Absolutely amazing. I like uber and so does Helvi.

Our friend in particular wanted to show us a part of Broadway/Chippendale that has an area of converted Victorian terrace house that now house a number of Asian eateries named ‘Spice Alley.’

https://spice-alley.com.au/

It is really an area now buzzing with life. The very essence of a city on the move. Of course, we were elderly just short of walking stick aids (it won’t be long now) and could not be more in contrast with all the hip-student mainly Asian hurriedly looking for a spicy lunch, pedestrians. No one shuffles or are hesitant. The young on the move, ambitious, furiously fast and still clear-sighted.

We also wanted to look at a building designed by a well known American architect Frank Gehry. His architecture is known for difficult execution, a nightmare for builders but brilliant in form and pure art.  Almost organic looking, sprouting from the ground up like a mushroom.

Here it is.

Image result for uts frank gehry

We had a beef Rendang. A lovely spicy well cooked Indonesian dish with rice and vegetables. We shall make visiting Sydney again ‘a must’.

Byron Bay with sharks.

September 12, 2017

 

untitledGustav Aschenabch

Gustav Ascenbach

The week to Byron Bay was too short, but all good things come to an end which is never truer (incorrect spelling, it is either true or not true) when it involves a break from routine. It’s a good sign when time passes quickly. Mind you, the devouring of almost two thousand kilometres there and back in the confined space of a metal object on wheels  can be tedious.

A funny anecdote towards the end of our trip was rewarding. Out of the blue, a hissing sound emerged within the car while driving to my brother’s place at Toronto, not far from Newcastle on the way back to Sydney-Bowral. We looked at each other and I asked Helvi if she could tell me the possible direction of this hissing sound. The car has so many electronic readings on a screen it is frightening. However, the screen kept on with supplying us navigational directions back home. I stopped the car convinced I had a leaking tyre. But all were rock-hard. I remembered vaguely reading in the car’s manual that a leaking tyre would be indicated on the screen but nothing appeared on the screen.

It turned out that I had accidentally turned on the radio which was off-tune. I never listen to car radio, and thankfully Helvi doesn’t like any musical sounds inside a confined space either. We are in total harmony and well attuned to avoiding noises; musical or otherwise. The accidental turning on of the radio was because a tiny miniscule button on the steering-wheel had accidentally been activated. How do people know all those things? Do they really have the stamina to read the 200 page car-manual? Anyway, my brother and us thought it very funny and laughter was a welcome relief.

The four night stay in Byron Bay was wonderfully informative as well as entertaining. As expected, the numerous spates of shark-attacks had left its mark. There were a lot less people in the water but this was more than compensated for by many more going around on hired push-bikes.  The people that were in the water were just near the edge of the sand and kept looking out for sharks. In the town I noticed a few people walking around with missing limbs. Of course, I did not go around and ask if it was a shark that caused the shortage of their foot or arm.

The hiring-out of surf boards was at a stand-still but the canny entrepreneur soon swapped over to hiring-out bicycles. One shop even supplied electric bicycles. Byron-Bay is now an international tourist destination and it is not difficult to understand why that is so. It does have a good vibe. One reason might well be that the Haight-Ashbury like hipness and aging hippies nearby Mullumbimby caused many to move to Byron-Bay. In the sixties, Mullumbimby drew many young people with a penchant for ditching bras and smoking pot. Even today it has the largest population of people refusing vaccinations together with fluoridated water.

http://www.aussietowns.com.au/town/mullumbimby-nsw

Some complain that this busy hive of Byron-Bay  used to be a simple fishing place, and now swamped with tourists. There are still many simple fishing villages along the way, and they will remain very sleepy and simple. Tourism doesn’t really go much for sleepiness.

The Byron-Bay Beach Hotel is still the pivotal attraction where most tourists sooner or later end up. For us it was the magic of musical bands each evening playing their stuff. The hotel itself is magical. More like a huge shed on the edge of the beach opening up to the sea. Lots of seating and with a choice of good food.

http://www.beachhotel.com.au/

PS. On the way home we stayed a night at a motel and the news on the TV had yet another shark attack near Byron Bay. Lucky for the surfer this shark attacked the surfboard which it broke in half. He had a piece of his wetsuit bitten out and  received a gash in his side. Of course, anyone in the water rushed out, and no doubt fewer people will venture into the water. It is a dilemma? The sea is the sharks territory. It doesn’t help killing sharks. The sharks don’t care and don’t differentiate between another fish or a surfer!

Perhaps, cycling is a safer option!

A dangerous haircut.

July 18, 2017
IMG_0874Bowral Ducks

Bowral Ducks

It was suggested more than once to go and get my hair cut. ‘You are starting to look as if sleeping rough.’ This reference isn’t exactly an encouragement to go to the barber. I have often thought of sleeping ‘rough’. Over the last fortnight we watched two TV episodes of rich people experimenting with what seems to increasingly happen in Australia, homelessness.  A few TV people were assigned to imitate the lot of those unfortunate souls that are forced to sleep outside. What was lacking in the TV show of course was that those who did sleep outside for a few nights did this out of choice, and not out of necessity. The TV cameras followed them at all times and this made it all look a bit frivolous and silly. A kind of ‘Master-chef’ and it even copied the lining up of the participants in between the ‘sleeping rough’ episodes.

My idea of sleeping rough was awakened during our walk to the State library last year in the middle of summer. Martin Place in Sydney was full of the homeless sleeping rough but it had become a well organized ‘rough sleeping’. A kitchen had been set up and as far as I could see, the homeless made the best of a desperate situation.  There was hot food, tea and coffee, and most seemed to have reasonable shelter, either by small tents or overhanging awnings, sheltering them from rain.  It also had a book exchange for those vagrants with literary aspirations.  A most innovative idea. There existed an atmosphere of brothers/and sisters united in poverty and in spirit. Tenaciously they hung in there.

Martin Place of course is one of the most prestigious open squares in Sydney and millions of visitors walk through this lovely Town Square each year. It is surrounded by expensive shops and during lunch one can see smiling stock- brokers and Van Heusen shirt wearing criminal lawyers churning and belching their rich lunches down. It is indeed a spectacle of opposites in this Martin Place that the observant walker or tourist might well witness.

But…getting back to the impending hair-cut. I always go to the same barber. It is a franchise. You push a button and out comes a ticket telling your number in the queue and how much time will lapse before one gets the hair-cut. I was lucky and had to wait just twelve minutes giving me a chance to walk around my little local town-square, alas without homeless sleeping rough.

A solid girl was assigned to my head. I told her to try and envisage the state of my hair about eight weeks earlier and take it from there. I also told her to use comb nr 7 which gives the hair cutter some idea of preferred length of hair. Once I had taken out my hearing aids and taken off my glasses, peace and quiet reigned. I noticed she sniffled a little but otherwise she seemed a healthy woman and I felt confident my head to be in good hands.

As the girl with her cutting implements did the rounds she did suppress a few coughs and at one stage took herself off to a small backroom. I could hear her racking coughing loudly. On her return I put her at ease and told her that the winter is certainly giving people colds. A bit of a silly statement but without hearing aids I could not really risk engaging a conversation  that was destined to be difficult, especially when the poor girl was obviously having a bout of flu. I felt confident in my being risk-free with having taken the precaution of the yearly ‘flu-shot.’ At one stage and after another suppressed cough, I noticed her wiping a string of nasal expelled phlegm onto her black apron. I had quickly averted my eyes away from the mirror opposite me not wanting to further embarrass the situation.  She looked at me if I had noticed anything. I did not let on I witnessed this generous nasal expulsion.

I have now, and still am having, the worst flu episode ever. Totally Crook as Rookwood and am so full of lemon and honey, bees are buzzing around. What a bore and proof that flu shots are no guarantee against not getting a cold.

http://grammarist.com/usage/as-crook-as-rookwood/

 

The ‘Bespoke’ permanent Australian residency test

April 26, 2017
IMG_20150516_0010

Bottle

With our daughter being on the ‘cusp’ of buying a three bedroom unit closer to Sydney town, I was intrigued by a new word that seems to have caught the world by storm. It is the word ‘BESPOKE.’ Readers might well remember we were all on the edge of our seats some years ago, when our Government was urging their ministers to find  ‘new paradigms’. This soon spilled over to the voters. As is the wont of most Governments, the task and responsibility of finding the new paradigms was shifted to us. It wasn’t finding just any old paradigm, no it had to be the latest version. It made us all a bit nervous at first, but soon put shoulders under the task looking for our special new paradigm.

During or perhaps shortly after those revelational urgings many also took to forever being on the ‘cusp’ of something. It did not really matter what it was. As long as we were on the ‘cusp’ of something we were on solid ground. Helvi and I used to sit around sipping our coffee while looking for new paradigms, and hovering around being on the ‘cusp’ of something or other. I remember distinctly being on the cusp of buying our new lithium battery powered cordless vacuum cleaner an hour or so before we actually took off to buy one. We deliberately waited in order to prove our ‘cusping.’ Of course, naming our newly acquired vacuum machine a new paradigm might be pushing credibility a bit too far.

Getting back to the business of ‘bespoke’. It all came about when reading the Real Estate Agents’ lofty appraisal of trying to sell this home-unit to our daughter. They provided a lengthy list of the usual mouth watering morsels to attract the potential and often gullible buyer. It had three bedrooms, all with blinds and insect screens, a ‘media’ room and ‘European’ appliances. The word European is like honey to those on the hunt for living space.  It seems at odds with our Prime Minister’s urging us to stand firm on our national identity and hail all that is uniquely Australian. Are we all at risk of losing our permanent residency status if we buy a European stove?

But, what really floored me was that the European 5 burner cooktop had a ‘bespoke’ wok. A bespoke wok? Of course some decades ago Dad was most circumspect of real estate agents. Why are they called ‘real’ he mused, while blowing out his Douwe Egbert’s tobacco infused ringlets of smoke. ‘Infused’ is now on the wane, folks. We are getting some respite. You can all take a rest. None too late. It is hard work keeping up.

Nice dad, he was. I remember him well. He would never look for paradigms or bespoke woks.

 

 

The Auction

March 26, 2017

 

IMG_0767Christmas Dec 2015

Daughter with our grandsons

Well bid, Sir.

And with that a small 2bedroom home-unit changed hands to a lucky new owner. Last week has been hectic, too hectic for some seniors. Readers might remember that after that last heat-wave we decided to get air-conditioning installed. This all happened last Thursday.  Three trucks arrived at 7am. The evening before we were warned not to be in our pyjamas. This referred to when we asked for a quote and we were still night-clad at 11am a few weeks ago, when the man arrived to measure and quote for the air-con. We got sprung. It is rare for us to be out of night-gear before mid-day. It is a nice luxury and it is not as if we  have to catch the 6.30am bus (401 Balmain-Sydney)) to get to the train and then to work.

We had also made a move to go to a real estate Auction this last Saturday. Our daughter has for some time now been mulling over moving. It is funny, Sydney is not as homogenous in its people as one thinks. Perhaps with all the influx of migrants many areas have grown starkly different. Our daughter decided to move away from her area that seems to be mainly peopled by working couples. Dual income no kids or  known as DINK couples. The Dinks want to move upwards and want the mystery of ‘life-style’. And they want it now! That’s why they scurry out of the door to work, and in again after work. They are the 6.30 am bus catchers. Sydney  house prices though might mean they will have to catch the bus for many years yet!

‘Not many children or teenagers, not enough coffee lounges and bookshops,’ our daughter said. She also added. ‘There is just not enough loitering of people walking the streets,’ it is just not cosy.’  It is a boring suburb. She is referring to where she has lived for the last few years. I am familiar with the boring. Could she be a chip of the old block?  She likes the areas where the diversity is somewhat greater. I suppose she might also remember the halcyon years, when growing up in the inner city suburb of Balmain.

So, off we went and scoured the real estate pages, including http://www.domain.dot.com and all those sites that at the flick of a button opens up the world of apartments for sale nation-wide. The advertisements are all false. ‘They are false estates,’ Trump would say. Photos are taken with wide angle lenses that make a mere toilet look so big one would think buying an airport lounge. The interior measurements are juggled with but that’s alright and dealt with by the small lettering down the bottom warning buyers to not rely on anything the brochures and advertisement might be stating. Fake brochures. Fake figures.

Her choice finally singled out on a 2bedr, town-house at Dulwich-Hill. After  pre-contract perusing by solicitor and financial  acrobatics and skirmishes between daughter and us, we worked out some details. The value of her present property, a 3bedr double story unit would most likely be less than the pokey 2 bedroom place she was interested in. We would hang in there for the difference! A premium is now paid for closeness to latte sipping venues and bookshop browsing opportunities. Mothers with prams while nonchalantly sipping a latte from a carton cup while strolling about can add thousands to properties. A premium is also paid for 6am coffee shops opening while catering for lycra clad bikers/joggers and senior dog strollers with fold-out walking sticks.

The mood at the auction was electrifyingly tense. People were eyeing each other, trying to estimate the depth of their wallets. I had pre-booked our interest and my bidding number was nr. 9. The auction started at exactly 9am. It must be the law. No late comers allowed upsetting the procedures.  We had a pre-arranged limit over which we would not bid. Our daughter was tense. We pointed out the smallness of the unit. Will this be enough for you and two growing teen-age sons, we asked?  She just nodded a bit nervously. How much the worth of latte, I could have added but did not.

The crowd had gathered outside, and a movie camera was pointed towards all of us. There would have been a fair sprinkling of neighbours curious about how much their units had shot up over the last year or so. Sydney is now the most expensive city in the world and a dangerous bubble is ready to bust anytime.

The opening bid after a few seconds was $ 850.000.-. It soon was incremented by $5000.-lots, when it all started to stall at around $ 900.000,- Our limit was  firm at $920.000.- I kept calm but knew we would soon be out of the picture. The auctioneer started getting serious and wanted it to get over with. No doubt he had other auctions scheduled for later on. He started to raise his little wooden hammer, his tool of trade, and threatened to call it. The real action started. The serious buyers were now getting into their stride. The final bid was $ 970.000.-

The oddness at auctions is that when the property gets sold, people clapped as if they had seen a performance or an opera. Perhaps it was operatic. I enjoyed it. But, the buy was over the top. Our top anyway. I felt relieved and Helvi was ecstatic. She felt it was far too small and dark

The auctioneer congratulated the successful bidder by saying, ‘ well bid, Sir.’

Adele, the Phenomenon

March 12, 2017
IMG_0765

Lobelia

Hello, but am I missing something?

I asked my neighbour how he was. It’s the usual way to start a conversation. Sometimes, we talk but only if mutuality allows it. No obligation to talk. It should be free choice. It really is a matter of observing the other person and likewise the other way.

He said, ‘I’m fine and we are going to see a concert in Sydney tonight.’ ‘A concert, I replied. Where are you seeing the concert?’ I expected, the Opera House or some other venue, may be a Private school or Art gallery. You have to remember that to me a concert is something that includes Beethoven with an orchestra, possibly a grand piano, violins and a conductor with baton. It was nothing like that.

He said, ‘it is held at the Olympic Park and fully sold out. We are taking all the kids as well.’ Our neighbour’s kids are grown girls. The Olympic Park is at Home-Bush and was specially built for the Sydney Olympic games in 2000. ‘It’s Adele, he added.’ The ‘missing’ part is that I know very little about fame and its people. Never heard of Adele. I have heard of The Gypsy Kings and The Beatles, but Adele is well below my radar. That is not surprising because I don’t watch much TV or read newspapers. With both forms of media I generally don’t read or watch sport or brush up on any fame. The only recent pop star that I remember is Bieber. ‘Can you make me look a bit like Bieber?’ is what I habitually  ask my barber.  And that is starting to fade as well.

I lack the honesty to admit to my neighbour I had never heard of Adele. There is no lie really. Can omission to not know of a well-known thing be a lie?  I went inside somewhat ashamed for not having continued the neighbourly conversation. He was also in the process of washing his car. The noise of the  garden hose hitting his ducoed car wasn’t helping much of me hearing what was being said. I decided to go inside and seek the help of Helvi in clarification of ‘Adele.’ She is much more on the ball than I.

‘Of course, I have heard of Adele,’ she said. ‘She is a singer and writes music as well.’  I however, had never heard of her. It is well-known that snobbish people often state that their superiority has reached such stellar heights and is so far above everyone else’s, they proclaim, to everyone still patient enough to listen , they know nothing about sport or pop stars.

With me it is not so. I am just quickly dulled by sport or famous pop-stars. My dad was the same. I have his gene. I also don’t know about much else as well, it’s not only sport or pop! In any case. I went back to my neighbour and told him the last concert I went to was a concert of The Gypsy Kings, a long time ago. He was nice about it and told me he still has all their music. So, that was nice. I did not come through the total ignoramus.

Just now I put on a song by Adele and it’s called ‘Hello.’ The neighbour said that at the concert thousands were in tears, sobbing. That’s the power of that  song by Adele. I put it on for Helvi’s benefit. After 20 seconds she asked me to put that screaming woman off.

So, there you go. Different strokes for different folks.

 

 

 

 

 

What price Freedom?

February 27, 2017
DSCN2823

Mum in Holland with a Hoover electric vacuum cleaner. (not cordless)

We are all not so sure anymore if it is safe to visit the US. A pity. We have never been there. Perhaps it might be possible take a cruise and visit New York without getting off board and risk going through Border Control and be detained. When Ali Jr hardly got through how about anyone with a non-Anglo name? I visited Egypt back in 1961. This might well come to punish me. No doubt the FBI or secret service have kept a tab on that visit.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/02/25/customs-alis-son-wasnt-detained-because-hes-muslim/98419924/

While ‘Oosterman’ doesn’t sound Arabic, it does smack of something sinister. Oost is easily an East, and we all know what that means, don’t we? And what about that ‘man’ at the end?  A man from East? Say no more; detain him.

All kidding aside, and with all respect to my US based friends rest assured that the same is going on here in Australia. We don’t detain for a few hours, our prime minster Turnbull detains people for years if not life on Manus and Nauru. Woe those daring to enter Australia and not having drowned. You will be punished.

When I visited Egypt so long ago it was still allowed and possible to get right inside the Pyramid of Cheops. There was a tunnel that led one right up into the Queen’s chamber. It was quite a hike up and then down with a never ending stream of tourists doing the same. Afterwards there was the obligatory camel ride. I took a bit of stone from the pyramid and kept it for years together with a fez that I had bought in Port Said on our migration trip to Australia in 1956. So, our involvement with the middle East started early. The fez and pyramid piece of stone have long gone, possibly pinched by our children when young, showing off to their friends how well travelled their parents were!

http://www.guardians.net/egypt/gp4.htm

Rumblings of Turnbull’s demise and Trumps impeachment are growing fatter and gets richly fertilized as time goes by. We shall see. In the meantime I am still kept busy with another type of freedom; the Hoover cordless ‘Freedom.’ I have just done ( vacuumed) our whole house with one charge. What do you think of that? Of course, the battery is a lithium. It is now the new catch word in electronic jargon. People ask ; How are your lithiums going?

We were in Sydney yesterday having a lunch with daughter and one grandson. The other one is fighting with his mother over not being home ‘on time’ as promised. We know that problem well. However, it is their turn now. We are old and beyond feeling guilty about grandchildren behaviour, especially teen-grandchildren. There are lots of books about teen problems now. Just don’t read them.

Ever since we started brushing Milo, the hair load on our floor has eased. We brush him twice daily. He likes it and actually leans against the steel rubber tipped hairbrush. I then have the job of unpicking Milo’s hair from the brush. It is quite a job. (twice a day) I was surprised therefore that even with all that brushing I had to empty the ‘Freedom’ cordless twice as the canister was chock-a-block with Milo’s dust and hair. Milo just studies my vacuuming and then yawns.

That’s freedom for you.

 

A nail biting walk back to Central Station

January 24, 2017

 

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.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalevala

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.

https://www.qvb.com.au/

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.