River of blue light

Light rods snaking into the distance, The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney

Light rods snaking into the distance, The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney

Still with the Vivid light festival for this photo, but now in the Royal Botanic Garden rather than Taronga Zoo.

The theme for July Squares is Blue.


Vivid blue elephants

Projection onto a building, Taronga Zoo

Elephant film projected onto a building, Taronga Zoo

Not only are these blue elephants “vivid” in their colour, but they were part of the recent Vivid light festival in Sydney. They were, unsurprisingly, at the zoo.

elephant film, Taronga Zoo

A frame from the same elephant film seen above, on a screen this time

Illuminated elephant, Taronga Zoo

Elephant light installation

The theme for July Squares is Blue.


Random Fridays: Eternity

Eternity, Central Station 2019

Eternity, Central Station 2019

“Eternity” — the word was found on the pavements of Sydney for 30 years, handwritten in chalk. This was decades before I moved to Sydney in 1999, by which time the graffito and the man responsible for it had become embedded in the city’s psyche. You can read about Arthur Stace and his graffito here.

The photo above was taken at Central Station a couple of weeks ago. I was there for the steam trains and noticed that the food court area, which has been closed for years, had finally re-opened. But what a difference! Gone are all the ugly 20th century fake walls and ceilings and now we have the original Victorian glory of the rooms. In the original booking hall there’s now a sleek bar and grill — named Eternity, and featuring Stace’s famous script as its logo.

The photo below is truly awful quality and I apologise for that (scan of a poor print) but it shows “Eternity” in use again. On the eve of the millennium, when Sydney put on a show to exceed all other new year’s eve shows, the last of the fireworks fell to the harbour’s water — and “Eternity” appeared on the bridge, shining through the smoke.

Eternity, NYE 1999

Eternity, New Year’s Eve 1999



Bubbles, Burrata and Bocconcini


Last Friday evening I did something very out of the ordinary: I made cheese! It was a “Bubbles Burrata and Bocconcini Cheese Making Class“, held at Tramsheds in Sydney and led by a cheesemaker from Omnon Cheese Making. I don’t know if the lure is the bottomless bubbly or the cheese making, but either way they are on to a good thing here; it’s a popular event and often sells out.

The setting. Tramsheds was originally a (wait for it) tram shed and depot, then empty, now revitalised as a collection of eateries.

First steps: add the citric acid to the milk, and warm it. Remove from heat, stir in the rennet, and let it sit.


Okay, so at this point it’s not especially appealing.

Time for a drink!

Bottomless indeed.

Cut and drain the curds, and this is what you get. (The curds had been prepared for us to this stage; very sensible, as bottomless bubbles, heat and precise measurements probably don’t mix well.)

A big bowl of curds.

Then it’s time to take out the frustrations of the day on the poor defenseless curds. Mash them with your hands until they fall apart and surrender.

Near-boiling water is then poured over the curds, and as you agitate gently the mass (mess?) starts to come together. Gather it all up in your hands. The contents of the bowl are very hot at this stage, which is why we all wore two or three layers of rubber gloves.

Still none too appetising …

A miracle happens as you stretch and fold it; the gloppy, stringy stuff becomes glossy and stretchy. (Mine never stretched this much, I admit!) This is why fresh Mozzarella (not the block stuff) can be pulled apart in layers.


I learned at this event that Bocconcini is just Mozzarella in small balls, and Burrata is a sort of stuffed Mozzarella pocket tied off with a knot. My attempt at Burrata was a misshapen lump that leaked. 😦


Now it was our turn to mash our curds, stretch and fold the cheese, and pinch off balls. First, though, it was time for a refill!

This bowl holds the far-from-perfect results of my two friends and me. More blobs than balls, but as the instructor said, they will melt just as well on pizza and will still taste yummy!

From the state of the table, you can guess that this was a messy process.