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Tomato Festival

A celebration of tomatoes.

A celebration of tomatoes.

In February, a friend and I went to the Tomato Festival at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney. There were tomatoes to taste, tomatoes to eat, tomatoes to drink, cooking and canning classes, a food market — a veritable celebration of tomatoes! And there were many more people than I expected for such a quirky event.

There was tomato artwork in the form of a mandala (a circular figure representing the universe in Hindu and Buddhist symbolism), albeit with non-tomato elements.

Mandala made with tomatoes and friends.

Mandala made with tomatoes and friends.

 

I arrived before my friend, and indulged in something sweet while waiting.

Time to taste!

Tomato Festival tasting. Grab your toothpick and get stuck in!

We both agreed that this was our favourite:

Brown Berry


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Random Fridays: Broken window

Broken window and oleander, Strickland House, Sydney.

Broken window and oleander, Strickland House, Sydney.

This broken window belongs to an outbuilding at Strickland House in Sydney. The main house dates to the 1850s and has stunning views over Sydney harbour to the city, bridge and opera house. When it ceased to be a private house, the buildings and grounds became a hospital in 1915, and in 1994 the grounds became a public park.

The main house is open to the public only one day a year, during the National Trust’s Heritage Festival. I’ve never yet managed to get inside! This year, the house won’t be open due to conservation work (and judging from this window, it’s necessary!). Oh well, maybe next year.


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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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Random Fridays: Nuns’ graveyard

Cemetery behind the former  Convent of the Sacred Heart, Rose Bay

Cemetery behind the former Convent of the Sacred Heart, Rose Bay

I don’t honestly know if only nuns are buried in this graveyard, or indeed if any nuns lie here. The cemetery is in the grounds of what is now Kincoppal-Rose Bay, School of the Sacred Heart. The striking Gothic-looking pile rears up beside the harbour, looking as if it would be more at home in England than in Sydney. The original building in the complex was a private home called Claremont, built in 1851. “Kincoppal traces its origins to the establishment of two schools. The first, the Convent of the Sacred Heart, Rose Bay, was founded in 1882. The other, named Kincoppal, was established at Elizabeth Bay in 1909. In 1971 these two schools were amalgamated on the Convent of the Sacred Heart campus and became known as Kincoppal-Rose Bay, School of the Sacred Heart.” (source)

Cemetery behind the former  Convent of the Sacred Heart, Rose Bay

Cemetery behind the former Convent of the Sacred Heart, Rose Bay


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Bard on the Beach

Why sit in a stuffy theatre to watch a Shakespeare play on stage when you can sprawl on a picnic blanket with wine and nibbles, watching the play unfold around you while the waves wash against the beach? These photos are from a production of The Merry Wives of Windsor at Balmoral Beach in Sydney.
The audience starts to set up blankets in the early evening.


You can't do Bard on the Beach without a beach! This is part of Balmoral Beach.

You can’t do Bard on the Beach without a beach! This is a partial view of Balmoral Beach.

It’s a small theatre company, so the actors also sell programs and other merchandise, and collect donations at the end.

Ah, but the play’s the thing! (I know, that’s from Hamlet, not The Merry Wives of Windsor, but it fits.)


On stage

On stage

What’s a play without an audience?

Even the moon got in on the act.

Moon at dusk

Moon at night


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Five Minutes: Queen Mary 2 docks in Sydney

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My cruise on QM2 began on Saturday 25 February, but I kicked off the holiday early and spent the night of the 24th in the Sir Stamford Hotel at Circular Quay. I knew from experience that rooms on the west side offered a view of the Overseas Passenger Terminal. I liked the idea of waking up and, voila!, the ship would be there. However, I woke up at 5:30am (an ungodly hour), and peeked out the balcony door: nothing. Of course, I couldn’t go back to sleep, so every 15 minutes I peeked out again, until at about 6:15am I saw it turning past the opera house to come in stern first. So I put on my white Sir Stamford robe and my shoes, and stood on my Juliet balcony in the grey pre-dawn drizzle to capture the arrival. The feature image is the OPT before QM2 eased into view.

The Five Minute challenge suggests: “Choose a scene or an object and keep fixed on that object, and shoot for just five minutes. You can move around the object or scene but try not to interfere with it. See what happens in that five minutes, what changes, how the light changes, what comes into the frame or leaves the frame, or what other parts of the object you can focus on or use to your advantage.”

In this five-minute sequence (6:36am to 6:41am), the focus is on “what comes into the frame”. In addition to the rear end of the largest ocean liner in the world, you’ll also see a tug boat and various vehicles whizzing past in streaks of light.


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