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“Summer of 2018” cocktail

“Summer of 2018” cocktail

It’s really autumn here in Sydney (the clocks went back last night) but it’s still summer weather, with blues skies and temperatures in the high 20s Celsius. And I did take this photo in summer (November) and meant to post it, but at the last minute I spotted the reflection of the ceiling fan in the glass. I kept thinking I’d take another shot, but never did, and I can’t very well wait until the cocktail needs renaming “Winter of 2018”.

To make the cocktail:

  • put 1.5 oz gin (or vodka if you prefer, but the taste will be very different), 1 to 2 tsps of triple sec, a big squeeze of lime and a scant tsp of homemade pomegranate syrup* in a cocktail shaker
  • add ice and shake vigorously
  • pour into a chilled glass
  • gently drizzle one-quarter to one-half of a teaspoon of rose syrup over the top (if you’re the type of person who has a drinks atomiser, this would be an ideal use — you want that  lovely rose fragrance)
  • if you have access to organic non-pesticide-sprayed roses, float a petal or two on the surface

*I say “homemade pomegranate syrup” because if you make it yourself you have control over the sugar. Commercial syrups (such as grenadine, which ostensibly is pomegranate syrup) have masses of sugar. My syrup has about one-quarter the amount recommended in the recipe, giving a light syrup bursting with pomegranate flavour. It is possible to make your own rose syrup, but that’s just way too much effort for me!

The marvellous colours of rose and pomegranate syrups.

I also created a “Summer of 2016” cocktail. Not sure what happened in 2017!

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Bondi Beach sunrise 2

Not the most encouraging start to the sunrise. Maybe I should have stayed in bed?

As with my previous (my first!) Bondi sunrise post in December, I woke up early today and couldn’t go back to sleep. So I figured I may as well capture the sunrise. The first sight was rather ominous, with all that heavy cloud.

The hundreds of fitness fanatics were not ominous, but they were unexpected.

It’s dark, it’s 5:59am, and they’re running. I don’t get it.

The lifeguards’ day starts early. The sun rises an hour later now (about 6:30am) than in December, but they were already busy setting up.

The lifeguards are setting out their rescue boards and the current warning signs. Still dark.

Cameras at the ready!

Papparazzi gather for the event.

The big event!

Ta da! Here it comes!

Needs a drumroll or a flourish of trumpets.

I had no idea so many people communed with the sea at this ungodly hour.

I never did figure out what this group was doing.

Greet the day in a group.

Tomorrow, I’ll definitely try to sleep through the sunrise.


Bondi photos

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Reflecting on a tragedy

The remains of the Broad Arrow Cafe: 20 people died here.

The remains of the Broad Arrow Cafe: 20 people died here.

On 28 April 1996, 35 people were killed and 20 were wounded by a single gunman at and near the Port Arthur historical site in the state of Tasmania, Australia. This was the country’s worst mass shooting and led to a reform of Australia’s gun laws.

Many of the victims were in the site’s cafe and tourist shop when the massacre unfolded. That building is now empty, lacking a roof, windows and doors — a silent memorial.

Beside the eery stone building is a pool of reflection, a garden and benches, where one is gently encouraged to remember and to pay respects.

The remains of the Broad Arrow Cafe.

The remains of the Broad Arrow Cafe.

An inscription at the site reads:

“May we who come to this garden cherish life for the sake of those who died.

Cherish compassion for the sake of those who gave aid.

Cherish peace for the sake of those in pain.”

You may read a detailed account of what unfolded on that day here, but be warned that it is disturbing.

The view from the window: Sydney Opera House from Queen Mary 2

Sydney Opera House from the Commodore's Club, Queen Mary 2

Sydney Opera House from the Commodore’s Club, Queen Mary 2

My QM2 cruise didn’t leave Sydney until midnight, giving me the chance to take this photo of the opera house from a window-side table in the Commodore’s Club. The reflections of the club’s ceiling lighting add an interesting touch.


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