So, did that post title get your attention? 😉 This is a boutique brand of gin I encountered at a wine festival recently, from Baker Williams Distillery, est 2011 and based near Mudgee in Australia. Botanicals include juniper, pepperberry, cinnamon myrtle, traditional herbs and spices, and local cumquat [sic]. This stuff is wonderful! I can’t imagine sullying it with tonic or anything else, and am savouring it (even as I type) with just a couple of ice cubes. A bit like a martini but without the vermouth. 😉
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.
Hunters Hill Arts Festival
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.
An occasion firmly associated with May.
An afternoon of wine in the sun
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. 🙂
Markets in May
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.
It’s not even possible to pretend that sunlight is still hitting the west end of Martin Place at 5:30pm.
Over at Sandringham Garden in Hyde Park, the 1pm shadow gets longer and longer. The wisteria is still looking lush and green.
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. 🙂