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Cheeky Monkey

Autumn Moon in the Sky - Chen Wenling

Autumn Moon in the Sky – Chen Wenling

This is one of my favourite offerings in this year’s Sculpture by the Sea. I’m not entirely sure if this character is a monkey or not, but he certainly is cheeky! And I lived in England long enough for the phrase “cheeky monkey” to be familiar.

Autumn Moon in the Sky - Chen Wenling

Autumn Moon in the Sky – Chen Wenling

The sculpture looks (to me) to be telling a tale about the autumn moon, and since the sculptor’s name is Chinese I assumed it was a Chinese tale. But I couldn’t find anything online that fit. If you know the tale behind the action in this sculpture, please let me know.

Autumn Moon in the Sky - Chen Wenling

Autumn Moon in the Sky – Chen Wenling

Autumn Moon in the Sky - Chen Wenling

Autumn Moon in the Sky – Chen Wenling

Autumn Moon in the Sky - Chen Wenling

Autumn Moon in the Sky – Chen Wenling

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Serenity in Stone

Angel, Waverley Cemetery

Angel, Waverley Cemetery

If you live in a city, there are few places where you can be alone. In Sydney, I like to go to Waverley Cemetery, a 41-acre site opened in 1877. Perched on a cliff by the ocean, it occupies some of Sydney’s more desirable real estate. It’s especially quiet now that the section of the coastal path that skirts it has been closed due a landslip. You can sit by the deserted walkway and look out to sea or along the coast, with often not another person in sight. It is as serene as the faces of these stone angels.

Angel, Waverley Cemetery

Angel, Waverley Cemetery

Angel, Waverley Cemetery

Angel, Waverley Cemetery

Angel, Waverley Cemetery

Angel, Waverley Cemetery


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Jacarandas of Woolloomooloo

Jacarandas in Woolloomooloo

Jacarandas in Woolloomooloo

Jacarandas in Woolloomooloo

Jacarandas in Woolloomooloo, with two iconic Sydney buildings in the distance.

It’s that time again in Sydney when the jacaranda trees are in bloom. One argument holds that the first specimen in Australia was planted in 1864 (source) — not in Sydney, but they have since been planted here with enthusiasm.

A carpet of fallen jacaranda petals.

A carpet of fallen jacaranda petals.

My journey to work includes a short train ride from Bondi Junction to Martin Place. Just after the train leaves King’s Cross, you can see dots of purple off to the left — but look right, and you are treated to large pockets of intense purple. Last weekend, I took the train to King’s Cross and had a good wander around this area, known as Woolloomooloo (pronounced by Aussies as “Wullamulloo”). It’s a small suburb that originally grew up around a wharf (Finger Wharf) that juts into the harbour.

In this screengrab from Google Maps (satellite view), Finger Wharf is clear. I’ve outlined in yellow the rough borders of Woolloomooloo.

These next photos give a flavour of the types of original housing: rows of small, cramped accommodation for workers and their families (with and without jacarandas!). Walking around the area, you can see that many of the houses have been smartened up, but many still look, shall we less, less smart. It’s an interesting mix.

 

In this shot, you can see the corrugated metal roof of the building behind the flowers.

Jacaranda and corrugated metal roof.

Jacaranda and corrugated metal roof.

The dock work is long gone. The wharf itself (400m/1,310ft long and 63m/210ft wide, standing on 3,600 piles) now houses an upmarket hotel, luxury apartments and assorted eateries. Built between 1911 and 1915, in its day it was the largest wooden structure in the world. (source)

Interior of Finger Wharf. You can get a good idea of its size!

Let’s finish off with more of those flamboyant jacarandas.


Jacarandas and roses.

Jacarandas and roses.

I’m linking this to Jo’s Monday Walks, but I think she’s still in the Algarve as her site hasn’t been updated in a while.


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Passing by in a blur

People walking along Martin Place, Sydney.

These two photos of pedestrians on Martin Place were taken a couple of years ago during the annual Vivid light festival. The long exposure needed for the lights created some interesting motion blur as people passed by!

I’m really not sure what this person was doing to turn into such an odd shape!

Tiramisu slice from Wellington Cakes (Bondi)
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Luscious layers of cakey scrumptiousness

Tiramisu slice from Wellington Cakes (Bondi)

Layer upon layer of sinful delight, topped with an cheeky little disc of white chocolate.

When I read that the theme for this week’s photo challenge is layered, only one thing popped into my head: cake! (Though to be honest, cake needs little prompting to pop into my head.) So I stopped by my local bakery on the way home (the dangerously tempting Wellington Cake Shop on Bondi Road) for a slice of something layered.

I ended up buying two — the second one purely as a backup, for photographic purposes, of course. Just look at these cakes: tiramisu (above) and hazelnut (below). The richly textured cake layers with their flecks of nuts and chocolate, the silken melt-in-your-mouth creaminess of the filling. Oh my.

Hazelnut slice from Wellington Cakes (Bondi)

Small flakes of nuts cling to the cake like mountain climbers scaling Everest.

Hazelnut slice from Wellington Cakes (Bondi)

Eat me. You know you want to.

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Marriage Equality: Vote Yes

The “YES vote” campaign is highly visible in Martin Place (downtown Sydney).

Here in Australia, we’re in the throes of an emotionally charged postal survey to discover people’s opinion about changing the law to allow same-sex couples to marry. The YES camp and the NO camp are putting their messages in front of the voters. The survey is not a referendum, not a plebiscite — the result will have no binding consquences and will not force the federal government to take any action.

It’s not just banners, there are ads in Martin Place too.

“This means that even if a majority of Australians vote ‘yes’ in the postal vote, it doesn’t ensure same sex marriage will be legalised. Instead, [Prime Minister] Turnbull says that a ‘yes’ vote will prompt a free vote based on a private members’ bill in Parliament. A ‘no’ vote will not trigger this action.” (source)

I walk through this avenue of banners every morning, just one more faceless drone scurrying to the office.

So we have our say in order to determine whether Parliament will even consider passing a law. Tortuous, but the only option at the moment.

Quite apart from the serious message, the banners are, well, pretty! Their bright rainbow colours are a cheery sight.

I don’t normally take an overt political stance, but this issue is a no-brainer. Love the person you love; marry the person you love, if that’s what you want. The state should have no right to dictate such matters.

An Australian flag behind a YES banner.

Update: How did the vote turn out?

The results were announced on 15 November: 61.6% of the votes were for yes (including mine). Almost 80% of eligible voters took part.
So, we’ve taken a step towards ending at least one kind of discrimination in Australia.

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Random Fridays: Wisteria

Wisteria at an entrance to Waverley Park, Bondi Road, Bondi.

Wisteria at an entrance to Waverley Park, Bondi Road, Bondi.

It’s spring here in Sydney, which means the wisteria is giving us its annual brief blaze of glory. The temperature on Wednesday was 32C, which won’t have done these delicate blossoms any good! But while it’s blooming, it’s beautiful.

Wisteria at an entrance to Waverley Park, Bondi Road, Bondi.

Wisteria at an entrance to Waverley Park, Bondi Road, Bondi.

Wisteria at an entrance to Waverley Park, Bondi Road, Bondi.

Wisteria at an entrance to Waverley Park, Bondi Road, Bondi.

Sadly, the flowers are already starting to drop.

Fallen glory.


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