Tiramisu slice from Wellington Cakes (Bondi)
Image

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.

Advertisements
Image

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.

Image

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.


random-fridays-logo-2

Image

Waiting for the train

Lamy station, New Mexico.

Lamy station, New Mexico. Not a lot to do.

I spent a few hours at Lamy train station, waiting for the westbound Southwest Chief to take me from Santa Fe, New Mexico to Williams, Arizona (for the Grand Canyon). It was hot. It was dusty. It was endless.

Every now and then, the station master would add a new figure to the ETA post-it note.

Delay after delay after delay.

Lamy station Indicator board.

Lamy station Indicator board. About as low tech as it gets.

Peering down the rails. Still nothing. Still waiting.

Still no train.


Can-US-badge

Image

Textures of the Great Barrier Reef

Coral is the most amazing stuff. It looks like rock, but it’s alive, and not rock at all but animal. The colonies are formed by millions of tiny soft-bodied polyps which have a hard outer skeleton that attaches to rock or to other (dead) coral skeletons. (More info about coral here.) And what a variety of corals there is! All the colours and textures that you can imagine, often growing around or on top of one another.

The ruffly yellow stuff looks rubbery, in contrast to the spikier coral behind it.

While snorkelling or diving around corals, it’s important to avoid touching them — not only can it damage the coral, but a person can get a nasty cut from those sharp edges.

What a mix of corals and textures here!

What IS that yellow stuff? It looks like spilled paint that has dried in wrinkles and folds.

I took some of these photos last week on the Great Barrier Reef near Port Douglas (with a GoPro I hired for the day), and some on the Great Barrier Reef near Cairns three years ago (with a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT20 I bought for the trip, but it was second hand and died after one outing).

This is brain coral, I believe. I imagine that if you brush your finger along it, the little white knobs would feel plush. But I have no idea!

That white coral looks smooth, but I’d steer clear of the spiky stuff at lower right!

A texture contrast here of hard coral and smooth, slippery fish.

This is a Maori Wrasse dubbed “Frank”! He’s very friendly, as these divers are discovering. I don’t dive (only snorkel) so did not get to pat Frank and discover his texture.

There are so many warnings about the health of the reef and the damage we (and nature, in the form of destructive storms and voracious starfish) are causing, that I feel now is the time to see this astonishing feature — while it’s still there.

Image

Big waves at Bondi

Big waves at Bondi

There were unusually big waves and powerful surf at Bondi Beach today. Very dramatic to watch as they gathered themselves up, curled over, and then surged in foam towards the shore.

Big waves at Bondi

Big waves at Bondi

Big waves at Bondi

Big waves at Bondi

Very few swimmers ventured into the water, but a few of the better surfers got in on the action.

Surfing the big waves at Bondi

Surfing the big waves at Bondi

Surfing the big waves at Bondi

Surfing the big waves at Bondi