Sculpture by the Sea

The last few times I’ve been to “Sculpture by the Sea”, I’ve found the sheer number of people visiting to be a little too much for my liking. I think it’s great so many people go to see the exhibition, I’m just not one for crowds, these days. So I decided I’d get up early this morning and head off to see the exhibition before the big crowds descended. Sue was planning to come with me, but piked at the last minute, deciding an hour or two extra in bed was preferable.

Even at seven o’clock there was already a healthy crowd of people. There were lots of photographers (possibly an organised photo walk). Add to that, every man and his dog with a smart phone seems to think these days an event never happened unless there’s a selfie to accompany it (I include myself in that). So despite the early hour, there were moments I found myself having to queue to take a photograph. On top of that, there were the glares from the Bondi locals who are used to the Bondi to Tamara trail as the site for their morning run, who you could see weren’t happy about having to share the space.

While there were no “wow” moments for me with any of the sculptures this year, I thought the standard was pretty good. I was also really pleased to see a lot of more traditional sculptures (humans) compared with the more abstract works which have dominated in the last few years.

Makeup at Myer

Men and Women

“Do you mind if we call in to Myer? A girlfriend told me about some great new mascara and lipstick from Clarins”, my friend asked as we made our way through the city this afternoon.

As I stood and watched, I listened to the conversation between the two women. “It doesn’t run and all you need to do is rinse with warm water…” the assistant told my friend. “What about tears? They’re warm water, aren’t they?”, I interjected. The looks on the faces of both my friend and the shop assistant clearly told me I was out of my depth in this conversation.

It was then I looked down and saw cotton buds, presumably used in the application and or removal of makeup. “I could really clean my ears out with those”, I thought to myself. It was then I realised the difference between men and women.

Day Trip to Parramatta

As we made our way into the park hosting Parramasala (the arts festival at Parramatta in Sydney “that celebrates the global impact of asian arts and cultures”) an older couple with European accents approached us. “Is there anywhere nearby where we can just get a nice sandwich?”, they asked us, almost in desperdation. Perhaps we were wrong to assume, but we later laughed about this, concluding they might have found the food on sale in the park a little “challenging”.

We had come to the park to see a poetry slam. My own connection with poetry slams goes back to 2008, when working for 702 ABC Sydney, I was the executive producer for radio of the National Poetry Slam at the Sydney Opera House. The event was also shown on ABC-TV and was co-hosted by Andrew Daddo (then the 702 Evening Show presenter) and Miles Merrill, who pretty much brought the poetry slam genre to Australia. The winner that night was a bloke called Omar Musa, who has since gone on to fame and success with a book earlier this year that both sold well and was received well by the critics.

Both were at today’s poetry slam. The slam and the poetry was interesting enough, though slightly challenging for us since half the poems were performed in Hindi. It made it a little hard to judge which were good and which weren’t, aside from making judgements about musicality and performance.

Still, it was a fun thing to do, and we caught the ferry back which is a lovely trip.

Love Dem Apples

Discovered a new shop on my morning walk around Surry Hills, this morning. “Love dem Apples” sells what appears to be “gourmet” toffee apples. Very tempting, though possibly a little too early in the day.

The Friendly Bus Driver

Not the actual bus.

Not the actual bus.

Have just sent the following note to Sydney Buses…

I know you get lots of complaints. Previously I’ve complained about drivers who fail to stop. But today, I’d like to pass on a compliment about the driver of the 393 route, bus 4873 which just brought me home from Railway Square. He greeted everyone with a smile and a “how are you”, and as people got off he wished them well. You could “feel” the impact it had on passengers to be welcomed on a bus. So, a big thumbs up to the driver, and I hope he does well and continues to maintain his positive energy.

Hoping you might encounter this driver on your next Sydney bus trip

The Big Prawn at Ballina

45 Minutes in Ballina

After the glorious weather of the last few days, I’ve arrived back in Sydney to a thunderstorm. I like thunderstorms, by the way.

I went in to the Lismore office for work today and got a remarkable amount done. I guess that’s always the way when you’re out of your regular workspace.

Mid afternoon, I headed home and then we made our way to Ballina Airport for the flight home. We actually arrived at the airport about forty-five minutes earlier than expected as the traffic was unexpectedly good.

With a bit of time to spare, we did a bit of sight-seeing. After years of neglect, it was great to see the Big Prawn has been given a lick of paint. It was also a lovely day at the beach which was nearly deserted, possibly due to strong winds.

Here are some photographs taken during 45 minutes in Ballina.

Railway Bridge crossing the Wilson's River at Lismore

Back Home

As I made way through the main park in the centre of Lismore, I saw a group of men sitting in the bandstand. “Hey brother, watch out for the magpie”, one of them yelled out to me. Having grown up with blonde, straw-like hair, I was well aware of the risk of magpies at this time of the year. As if by some strange cruel twist of fate, magpies would regularly nest in the trees near both my primary school (South Lismore) and high school (Richmond River). After the bloke yelled out to warn me, another followed it up with, “He’s already swooped three other baldies today”. We all laughed.

Of far greater risk than the magpie was the potentially stupid decision I made to cross the old railway bridge between North and South Lismore. It’s something I’d done many times as a child without risk. A few family members worked on the railways, and I would regularly travel over the bridge, as I accompanied one most weekends to check the track between Lismore and Bexhill. That’s of course, back in the days when trains regularly travelled through Lismore. As it’s at least a decade, probably longer, since the last train came through Lismore, I felt I could comfortably walk across the railway bridge. I hadn’t counted on the missing sleepers which appeared half way across, and so my crossing was somewhat tentative, and it was with a sigh of relief I crossed to the other side. A warning for kiddies: don’t ever attempt what this stupid forty-something did earlier today.

I’m home for the weekend visiting family. As quite a few of them are much older than I am, I figured a walk around would be a good thing to do, as they retired to an afternoon nap. I made my 10,000 steps (and more) wandering around North Lismore, South Lismore and the CBD. Here are some of the photographs I took along the way.