Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Had a nice day out yesterday which started on the 10:33 train from Northwich. Listened to my MP3 player - old radio shows from the 40's - ITMA and Arthur Askey etc. Train smelled of old flannel. Walked from Piccadilly to All Saints. Hazel warned me I'd be too hot in my duffle coat but wore it anyway and felt fine for a while but soon realised she was right as the sweat pored down my face and dripped onto my shoes - at least I think it was sweat.
Met up with old chum Roger Stevens, the poet, ouside the Art School and we had a tour of the Interactive Arts studios trying to find Hazel who was in the office all the time. Sound of men bricking up corridor. Crash clunk. Popped to see Ian who is doing the book about the objects and he explained to Roger what needed to be done as simply as he could - Roger stroked his chin looking thoughtful. Hmmmm?
Then to the Noodle Bar for refreshments and lunch of Monks Soup and prawny dip things. Yum! Clatter bang woops thud. A noisy place.
Hazel went off to college again and we walked down the Cornerhouse to have a coffee and chat and how my blog is full of stuff just like this and how best to get my collages out there to a wider world. Is there a world wider than the internet? The thought of which filled me with inner dread and horror.
Anyway, then off to the Manchester Art Gallery and an interesting inter-active (that word again ) show by a Mexican Canadian artist Raphael Lorenzo- Something or other. His Pulse Room can be seen in short video above which doesn.t really do it justice. Some nice and playful exhibits. Also went round the impressive Pre-Raphaelite room to see The Scapegoat, Light Of The World, The Hireling Shepherd etc.
More coffee . Then after a rest we walked to the station via the Pound Emporium and the Banardos charity shop.
Roger went off to meet Jilly who had been at the Labour Party Conference and I met Hazel and Will on the platform just before the train to Northwich left. Had a nice chat to Will about his holiday in Wales and mushrooms etc.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Down Under

Just back from a trip of a lifetime to Australia. I really didn't want to go at first as I hate flying but Hazel convinced me that it would be nice to see places we had only seen in books and on film- also it would be a chance to meet her relatives some of which she'd never met herself.
For the first 10 days we were in Sydney. Our hotel was very close to the harbour so only a short walk to the ferry terminal, Sydney Opera House, The Botantical Gardens and the famous "coathanger" bridge.
In the above photo we are at the Maritime Museum in Darling Harbour which we managed to walk to. Most places are easily reached on foot but sometimes we got the ferry to the Zoo and Manly for example which were too far. We found everything very expensive- twice as much as in the UK , maybe because the pound has rather slumped against most overseas currencies.

Above we are at the Featherdale animal park near Blacktown- halfway between Sydney and Kurrajong were Hazel's Auntie Audrey and Uncle John lived. We din't go there until 11 days later so jumping ahead of ourselves rather.
Most of the animals seemed very sleepy or very sad looking being in small cages and pens. It was a petting zoo for indigenous species so plenty of wallabies, kangaroos, wombats and koalas etc. The big zoo at Sydney was much better and one felt the animals were happier in larger paddocks and enclosures.

One day we walked over the Sydney Harbour Bridge to Luna Park on the North sides - an old fun fair built back in the 40's and still containing some old rides like The Rotor and Gallopers etc. Still plenty of opportunity for photos in the crazy mirrors and these "stick your head through the hole" novelties. Got the ferry back from a nearby jetty. They were very regular and stopped off at many places all over the Sydney and beyond.

Here we are climbing up the many steps to the pedestrian walkway that runs next to the main road and rail bridge. Archie was keen to do the Bridge Climb right over the arch but it was 160 dollars ( about 95 quid! ) which seemed a little pricey.

Lost track now of all the places we visited but needless to say we went to many museums and art galleries including the Art Gallery of New South Wales, The Powerhouse (Science and Technology), Contemporary Art Gallery, Museum of Sydney, Museum of Australia and Maritime Museum to name but a few. No wonder our legs ached in the vevenings when we staggered back to the hotel. Also went to the Opera House twice to see some George Melies films with live jazz accompniament and The Pirates Of Penzance which was fun.
Met up with Adriana from Flickr- also known as Crafty Dogma- who showed us round Newtown and treated us to a nice Thai lunch and a couple of days later the junk market at Rozelle.
Above is the statue of Solomon Wiseman, a convict who built a small community on the banks of the Hawkesbury River. The ferry is a popular day trip for Sydney siders who who can drive along the old roads by the river and see where the convicts cut their way through the limestone to open up the country back in the 1800's. We went over the river on the "punt" with Uncle John who drove us to many places in the Blue Mountains. Also doing the guided tours were Cousins Mark and Cousin Rohan who drove us to the Jenolan Caves and the Zig Zag Railway respectively. Another high point (quite literally) was the day out to The Three Sisters by way of the Norman Lindasy Gallery ( Magic Pudding fame) in the Blue Mountains. I have posted many photos on Flickr if you want to see more.