It’s Tuesday night and I have been back in Sydney for over two weeks. Darwin seems like a million years ago. I can scarcely believe I have spent three and a half months, this year, living away, until you look at the house. Mind you, almost all of the work has been done on the house that needs to be done. On Thursday morning, the carpet will be relaid and I will have my normal house back again. Actually, an improved house, as I’m changing my ways, I’ve stopped being a horder, and have been pretty happy to throw things out.
My friend, Sue, from Melbourne, got to see the damage of the flooding first hand, and was there, every morning, as the builders arrived to do their thing. Sue visits Sydney about three or four times a year for the “residential” for her university course.
While Sue was here, Damien asked me to go and see a play, “Milo’s Wake”, at Belvoir Street. The synopsis reads,
Milo O’Connor is alarmed. Although his doctor has declared his chest is clear and has given him a clean bill of health, Milo is still convinced that he can see Nostradamus in his X-ray! This can only mean one thing – he is going to die! For Milo one of the sadnesss of life is that people only say good things about a person once they’ve died. He’s determined that this won’t happen to him and decides to hold his own wake before he dies. A wake complete with songs, poetry, and live music to give family and friends an opportunity to raise a Guiness and sing his praises. But the family and friends have other ideas.
I thought the play was enjoyable, but predictable. The actors were very good.
On Sunday, I undertook one of the many historic walks you can do of “The Rocks”. Although I know a fair bit of the area’s history, and have undertaken an Historic Pub Drinking Tour, this one was very different and I learned some really interesting things about the area. According to the company which runs the tours, The Rocks Walking Tours, the area
…is Australia’s European Birthplace. In 1788 a fleet of 11 British ships safely moored in Sydney Cove after an eight month voyage from Portsmouth, England. So began the exciting saga of the exiles in an alien land. Banished, as these convicts were to an unknown continent with little hope of ever returning. The sandstone breathes their story today. Sydney’s humble beginnings were that of a penal colony, inhabited by 1,300 disoriented convict rabble, military and their families and the indispensable government officials. On the western shoreline of Sydney Cove steep ledges of sandstone and outcrops of rock rose up from the water’s edge. The male convicts were ordered to go ashore onto ‘the rocks’ to build crude structures for shelter. Convict camps replaced Aboriginal camps on The Rocks. For the local Aboriginal people, the Cadigals, the harmonious life these people shared with the land changed forever. The Rocks colourful history continued by becoming a lively part of town catering to the sailors of the world who manned those early tall masted ships full of cargo, sometimes human, to this isolated land.
Last night was a big night for television, with the season finale of “Big Brother”. Although I didn’t really warm to the character of Peter, he seemed like a deserving winner. The moment when his young brother, Tom, who he’s cared for since the death of their parents, ran into the house was touching. Everyone I spoke to at work today said they cried when it happened… as did I.