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

La Perouse

Even though I’ve lived in Sydney for almost twenty years, I’ve never been to La Perouse before today. I think it’s because I’m not much of a “beach person” (fair skin and all that). But when Sue texted me today and asked me if I wanted to go, I quickly said yes.

And why not? The weather today was spectacular. Blue skies. Definitely not too hot. It was perfect weather for wandering around the beach, having an ice-cream, and having a chat about life, the universe and everything.

The coastline is really beautiful. There’s some really wonderful sandstone.

There were lots of people basking in the glory of the South Sydney win in the NRL, wearing their jerseys. “When do you think they’ll take them off?”, Sue wondered.

GMT

I spent some time this week visiting Governor Macquarie Tower, Sydney. I’ve been there a few times before and every time the view gives me a “wow” moment. I snapped a few photographs of the view this time. Unfortunately, the photographs aren’t that great (camera phone quality, window reflection), but still you can see those who normally work in this building have some damn fine views. It was nice to be a short-term visitor.

Redfern Small Bars

Even though I live fairly close to Redfern in Sydney, I’ve never really socialised much in the area. Sure, I’ve been to a few pubs. I’ve been to Railz. I’m a member of South Sydney Rugby Leagues Club. I’ve also been to the uber-hip Freda’s. But aside from that, I’ve never really experienced much of the emerging small bar culture in the area. Partly, it’s because this small bar culture has developed only in the last few years, and now being in my late forties, friends and I tend to socialise in places which are little less-hip, a little less noisy.

And that’s the one thing you have to remember about small bars: they can be quite noisy. Like us ten years ago, these bars are full of younger types out for a night on the town with their friends. They’re probably out for a pick-up too. But that wasn’t the case for two friends of mine and I on Thursday night: we were just out for a few drinks and a catchup. We had previously called ourselves “The Boozehounds”, reflective of a time when we were all a bit younger, single, and thus able to be fairly spontaneous about our social lives. But when partners and young babies come along, you need to plan such events.

That said, it was a fairly spontaneous night. We started off at Arcadia which is a nice enough bar, though really very noisy. From there we wandered to The Beardedtit, a bar which we all really loved. The bar had a great vibe about it : there was a hip young crowd, but there was also room for 40-somethings like ourselves. On the walls there was art for sale, including one piece I almost made an impulse purchase of. You could also order take-in food from nearby restaurants : we had some really fantastic Chinese. We also chatted to the woman who runs the bar, and she was really lovely. We ended up the night at The Dock. An intimately small bar, we even had a dance to a band playing just a few feet away from us. So yeah, a night of great spontaneity, and great to get “The Boozehounds” back together.

The view from Balmain Wharf

Balmain Wharf

The view from Balmain Wharf is pretty fantastic. A couple of friends (from high school) and I spent about thirty minutes there yesterday, waiting for a ferry to arrive.

“There’s nothing quite like a ferry ride in Sydney to make me feel good”, I told them. “It’s like when a dog hangs its head out the window”, I added, noting the physical sensation of sitting up front of a ferry, rather than being stuck inside.

We had spent the last few hours enjoying lunch at The London Hotel (John Dory x 2, and Tenderloin x 1, both of which tasted terrific) and as we waited, we were all a little overwhelmed at how beautiful the clouds were, the harbour was, the bridge looked and the light was. Thought I’d share.

Winter has arrived in Sydney (as you can see from the tree); it's my last day of holidays (back to work tomorrow); and these are very ugly noisy birds you normally find on top of garbage bins; but this was still a rather nice image to wake up to earlier this morning.

Staycation

I’ve never really been one for the “sit on the beach/read a book” style of vacation. Generally, I like to go somewhere interesting, discover as much as I can about the place, and hopefully get to chat with some new and interesting people.

But having enjoyed a wonderful holiday in China, I opted to take an extra week’s annual leave to stay at home in Sydney for a “staycation”. In the back of my mind, there were still plans to get out and about: to visit galleries, go walking, cycling etc. But the reality, I’m slightly ashamed to say, has been staying at home, getting out of bed late, watching a bit of catch-up television, and little else.

I’m philosophical, though, since I think your body is usually the best guide to what you should do. If you’re feeling sick, I always think it’s far preferable to have a cup of tea, go to bed and sleep for as long as you can, rather than take pharmaceuticals. I’m guessing the inner-sloth in me took over and for the last week my body has said rather clearly, “just relax”.

Still I got up earlyish this morning in preparation for a return to work tomorrow.

As you can see from the tree: winter has most certainly arrived in Sydney, and despite being woken by the awful noise of these rather ugly birds (the ones you normally find hanging out around garbage bins), it was still a rather nice view to be greeted by.

Here’s to a lovely mild Sydney winter.