Floral Friday – flower kiosk

Some of the flowers on sale at a kiosk in Martin Place, Sydney. I never buy them (too expensive!) but they’re always nice to look at as I go to or from work.



Martin Place Christmas Tree and GPO clock

This is a close-up of part of the Christmas Tree in Martin Place, with the clock tower of the old GPO (General Post Office) behind. I took this photo just before 12pm yesterday (Christmas Eve), a glorious summer’s day here in Sydney.

Season’s Greetings to everyone!

December Squares #timesquare


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!


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.


Random Fridays: Busy as

7,000 bees doing their thing.

7,000 bees doing their thing.

I know there are 7,000 bees in these jars because I asked the keeper. He added that 10,000 bees weigh about 1kg, so there is your interesting factoid for the day! I saw this display at a pop-up market in Martin Place, and couldn’t help imagine the shrieking chaos that would ensue among the hundreds of browsing office workers if that display was knocked over and the glass broke.



The Changing Seasons – Sydney: May

May in Sydney this year has been warm, dry and sunny. As changing seasons go, autumn is looking a lot like summer!

Smoke gets in your eyes (and your hair, and your lungs, and your drying laundry … )

Sydney is flanked on three sides by national parks (and an ocean on the fourth), which means a LOT of trees — which all pose fire dangers during hot, dry summers. So in autumn and winter, “hazard reduction” is carried out. On the day I took these shots around the harbour, the pre-emptive fires were in the Blue Mountains, some 125 km (80 miles) to the west. A weather phenomenon called an ‘inversion’ helped to keep the smoke sitting over the city.

It did make for days of glorious sunsets and sunrises, and interesting skies.

Smoky skies over the harbour bridge, 3pm

Smoky skies over the harbour bridge, 3pm

Hunters Hill Arts Festival

Festival of Art

Festival of Art

My goal on the smoky May Saturday was an arts festival in Hunters Hill, the smallest local government area in Metropolitan Sydney. Founded in 1861, it is one the oldest European-settled areas on the north side of the harbour and retains a number of large and impressive stone mansions. For the past 60 years, this Sydney suburb has held an annual arts festival.

Night comes early now

After the smoky ferry rides and the arts festival, and a friend’s birthday drinks, it was time to head home. It gets dark early now, and looking at this deserted train station you’d be forgiven for thinking I’d been out partying until the wee hours of the morning. However, it was only an extremely respectable 6:30pm when I took this photo.

Waiting for the train, 6-30pm

Waiting for the train, Erskineville station, 6:30pm

Mother’s Day

An occasion firmly associated with May.

Mother's Day

Mother’s Day

An afternoon of wine in the sun

Mudgee comes to Pyrmont

Mudgee comes to Pyrmont

Mudgee is a renowned wine producing area 265km north west of Sydney. I don’t know what the connection is between Mudgee and the harbourside suburb of Pyrmont, but I heartily approve of this festival! What a marvellous way to spend a sunny autumn afternoon.

Red wine, and white! My two favourite kinds.

A good time was had by all. 🙂

Raise a glass

Cheers! Raise a glass

Markets in May

Markets in May, Martin Place

Markets in May, Martin Place

I walk along Martin Place to get to/from my office and the trail station, so it’s easy to keep up with the ever-changing program of events on this pedestrianised street in the heart of the Central Business District. During May, a different Sydney market set up each Thursday. A great excuse to escape the office for a while.

Season Markers

It’s not even possible to pretend that sunlight is still hitting the west end of Martin Place at 5:30pm.

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Over at Sandringham Garden in Hyde Park, the 1pm shadow gets longer and longer. The wisteria is still looking lush and green.

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Whew, and that’s it for a busy May! Despite the sunny days, winter is definitely coming. Nights are chilly (dropping below 10C/50F) and I’ve swapped my light bedding for my snuggly down/feather duvet, and sweaters and jackets (and even scarves!) are the fashion statements now.

I’ll be away from Sydney for most of June, so next month I think I’ll opt for the version of the challenge that only needs one photo. 🙂