Eye of the dragon
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Chinese New Year: Street Performers

Dragon dancer and head.

Dragon dancer and head.

I was in Chinatown last week, tracking down the last three of Sydney’s “lunar lanterns” in my quest to bag all 12. (I’ll post some photos of the lanterns soon.) I was lucky enough to come across some street performances as part of Chinese New Year celebrations.

The backdrop for these dancers is the Goat lunar lantern.


Dancers, Chinatown

Dancers, Chinatown

This woman was a wonderfully expressive dancer.

Other performers stood to the side, waiting their turn.

Random Fridays: Caress (Valentine’s Day)

Caress

This photo seems appropriate for Valentine’s Day on Sunday. I was initially going to call it “Get a room!” because this couple’s behaviour was far too amorous for a public place! (You can see the ‘public place’ in this photo. They were on a chair on the left.)

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Aside

The petty pace of time

You know that feeling when the hands of a clock seem stuck?

You know that feeling when the hands of a clock seem stuck?

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way
– Pink Floyd “The Dark Side of The Moon”

You know how it is. You could be at work, or at school or even at home: you have things to do, but they don’t hold your attention. You can’t concentrate. You look at the clock and you can’t believe how little time has passed since the last time you looked. It’s as if the hands of the clock are moving in slow motion, or have stopped altogether. As Shakespeare put it, time “creeps in this petty pace.”


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Summer of 2016 cocktail
What's on - January
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The Changing Seasons – Sydney: January

"Voyager of the Seas" moored alongside the Overseas Passenger Terminal.

In Sydney, summer means cruise ships! This is “Voyager of the Seas” moored alongside the Overseas Passenger Terminal.

I wasn’t sure how to approach Cardinal Guzman’s “The Changing Seasons” monthly photo challenge. Two problems arose. One was that by the time I learned about the challenge on 27 January, all the things that characterise Sydney in January (the festival, the outdoor concerts, Australia Day) had passed. Second, and perhaps bigger, is that the seasons don’t really change in Sydney! Oh yes, in winter the non-native trees lose their leaves, but we have green grass, flowering shrubs and palm trees year-round; there are no dramatic snowfalls or ice storms or frosts to contrast with gentler weather. As for the first problem, the cardinal reminded me that there’s more to life than just highlights; as for the second, well, maybe Sydney will have a freak snowstorm this winter!

Yesterday I had a couple of hours to kill between social engagements, so I decided to see if I could capture some January photos. I was in the Opera House-Circular Quay-Rocks areas.

Australia Day may have come and gone, but some banners remain.

Australia Day banner near the Museum of Contemporary Art

Australia Day banner near the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Now here is something you don’t see every day: a pop-up gin bar. It’s associated with an exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art and runs all summer.

If gin’s not your thing, you could just chill on a deck chair and watch the world go by.


Or perhaps you prefer a blue-striped deck chair?

Or perhaps you prefer a blue-striped deck chair?

One thing has characterised our season this January: violent thunderstorms. The hot, humid days mean torrential rain and driving winds hit the city almost every day, usually around the early evening rush hour. They cause power outages, wind damage and traffic chaos. 30 January was no different: by 5pm, it was a case of when, not if!

Very ominous sky over the harbour bridge.

Very ominous sky over the harbour bridge.

Umbrellas up! These are security guards by the cruise ship.

Tourists and Sydneysiders alike headed for home — but at a leisurely stroll. No need to panic.

Wet paving stones gleaming in the first fall of rain.

Wet paving stones gleaming in the first fall of rain.

The heavens opened and it was no time for waving a camera around. I took shelter at the Overseas Passenger Terminal along with a few dozen others. Now was the time to panic.

Do you really get less wet if you run?

Do you really get less wet if you run?

Those deck don’t look so inviting any more, do they?

Blown-out deck chairs in the storm.

Blown-out deck chairs in the storm.

I had never noticed this statue on the roof of the art museum before. I like how it’s pointing up at the storm!

Hey look, it's raining! Again!

Hey look, it’s raining! Again!

Perhaps the only good thing about these violent January storms is that they don’t last long. The sky soon brightened.

A patch of blue sky!

A patch of blue sky!

“Voyager of the Seas” was down to only a few mooring lines, about to head off to sea. And I had to head off to meet my friends.

Ready to go.

Ready to go.

That’s it for January in Sydney. I just squeaked in under the deadline!

A vibrant rainbow of red, orange, yellow, green peppers