Monday, August 27, 2007

Big Boys toys, what fun !



I spent a delightful day out yesterday playing trains. Not far from Lake Macquarie on the outskirts of Toronto there is a narrow gauge railway that has been set up on a property in the last couple of years. People have been working away to get track laid and engines fettled and some carriages rolling. They are having fun and the aim is to provide more people with more fun. A lot of hard work is yet to come but they are having some guests now to enjoy a retro day with them. The weather was perfect people brought picnic lunches and a bit of smoke and a cinder is a small price to pay! They had a small set back recently with some flooding in the very wet time but a meter or so of water in the sheds is nothing to these dedicated people! May they continue the good work.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Work Ute

Seen on the street yesterday. Looks like a builders truck with a trailer attached. I suppose if this is the ute to carry the tools around then you need a trailer to avoid the ute getting dirty or scratched ! Things have changed over time and a utility vehicle to go to work and carry the gear has now become a "sports utility vehicle" or SUV. A good example here of how the manufacturers are catering for the change and the accessory market provides the rest. Better than the boreing old utes of the past but the price is high too !

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Reaching for the energy

Newcastles only big wind turbine seems to be reaching up to the sky for the breezes to keep the city running during the approaching night! Is this the future of energy, 'free' renewable and non polluting. For a city which has been based on technology we are slow to move on from the old coal based power structure. People want their power but what is the cost? Later generations will have to put up with the results of our excessive use and pollution it causes.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Another view of Lake Macquarie

The same lake as last picture but looking at a different area. Fortunately the lake is not fully developed . That is not houses along every shore. The western side has large parts which still have no houses and bush coming down to the water. In the distance there are nice hills still with bush covering and areas available for picnics and bush walking. We have been lucky that mining has prevented some areas from being sold for houses but perhaps this will change in the future. However for the moment we have large tracts of undeveloped areas to enjoy. Even the waders can enjoy the lake with us.

Monday, August 20, 2007

A Grey day on Lake Macquarie

A View from Belmont 16 ft Sailing Club
On Newcastle's doorstep is Lake Macquarie. Actually a City in itself but really joined to Newcastle now and just a short drive away. Newcastle regards it as its own. In summer it is sparkling and a delight to use. Many people have boats, large and small and watersports are the norm for the hot days. However in winter things are a bit more restrained. On a windy day the sailing boats skim around from the sailing clubs and provide entertainment for those who like to watch. However on this day it was cold and wet and no wind so the boats stayed in and the entertainment was a good lunch inside.

Saturday, August 18, 2007


While moving a house it seems the load was too wide so the removalist turned off the road into the entrance of Braye Park Lookout and is stuck on the embankment. The house probably struck a road sign and began falling apart to some extent. It had only just begun its journey. Several houses will go so that land can be used to build extensions to a nursing home in Edith Street. One house is an old classic, empty now, but the former elderly owner was a character and had a lovely collection of Victoriania and what nots that were in keeping.

Monday, August 13, 2007


Development is around the corner! Another misleading Sign. ( 'Medical Centre Open Seven Days')
This is a 'stones throw' from the shops in one of the most restless areas in town where the shopping centre grows and grows. Charlestown Square is the largest around here. The sign is only pointing to the medical centre elsewhere - I think!

Friday, August 10, 2007


One of the very numerous Australian species of the genus Acacia (Maq Dictionary) Wattle, flowering ahead of spring time, but that's not very unusual. A Steel works is in the background.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


I'd like to see a furry creature scurrying across high above that four lane highway.
Wildlife have their favourite paths and a new highway is a barrier for them
so they have been given a bridge. As well, the top of the wire fence is curved so as to discourage kangaroos or even hitchhikers from jumping onto the road. We drive on the left hand side, I'd say.


Chess for gaming giants? In between bouts I stole a photo and saw a rook on the rook . Is nothing like what it seems?

A Light (but heavy) tower for navigation purposes has been on this site since 1865. Perkin Street on The Hill offers views, which eluded the camera, down to Newcastle, the harbour and beyond that to Stockton.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


Last week the seas were benign in Providence Bay at Bennetts Beach and the town of Hawks Nest to our north. Here's an island strangly shaped like Ularu. The rare and endangered seabird, Gould's Petrel, comes ashore to breed and does so only on Cabbage Tree Island. Several isles make up a group in a protected nature reserves set in a marine reserve.
Broughton Island has a very tiny fishing village and several years ago, my relatives and others, went there over the waves for a quiet memorial and wake for our relative, who had been a very keen fisherman, but, sadly, died of cancer and was farewelled in that special setting.

The islands are a short distance north of Yaccaba Headland photographed from inside the entrance to Port Stephens, a large harbour given over to small towns, holidays, boating, whale and dolphin watching.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


A little rural village that has almost become a suburb. People still ride trail bikes and horses to the pub surrounded by bushland but for how long.

Monday, August 06, 2007


Sunday afternoon and riders are indoors taking a break at a watering hole on the outskirts of town where the suburbs petter out and riders escape to the byways for off-road riding.
Cowboy and Moby are tethered near the fence. Guess which one used to be called Dick but the current owner said he didn't like the name.
The landmark TV towers are there on Mount Sugarloaf.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


Here is an appealing old school building on The Hill. Not just any old building. The sign states the earliest school in Australia 1816. But what is the reality? As an institution of learning the primary school had several sites until more recent times when it moved to this latest building.
The fluid and dynamic nature of 'signs.' Another sign (lower photo): Public education: Our students are Australia's future. What this really means is stop privatising education.
Why does this country copy others that way? Who wants to be like all the rest?

Saturday, August 04, 2007


" TEN MINUTES A DAY. The best investment you can make in your child's future. Reading aloud to your child is a great opportunity to share and bond with your child. At the same time, they're learning valuable skills and you're giving them a wonderful base to begin their education." Poster in Wallsend library.

One of the many paths to begin to 'see outside the square'

Friday, August 03, 2007


Here is a frightening replica of the monolith Ularu. It serves as a roadhouse on the Pacific Highway north of Newcastle.
It was originally build by the Leyland Brothers as part of a theme park but that venture struggled and was unsuccessful. The Leyland Brothers, their wives and family were initially into outback adventure and pioneered entertaining films about their travels to remote corners of the land and probably influenced many others to take to the roads in their four wheel drives and take up camping or caravaning.

Thursday, August 02, 2007


Reflections a la Nathalie, this city of Sydney is a close acquaintance of hers.
(That poster/billboard just happens to be there with the wrong message yet isn't that typical...even amusing in some way)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


Hunter Wetland Centre has breakfast for the birds each morning at the swim-up bar. Yes, there, a continental breakfast and a health spa is/are included. Magpie-geese,teal, swans and others swim around the freshwater lagoons and marshes in lush surroundings.
Humans can enjoy a picnic or have a coffee, hike or canoe and study at this Ramsar Wetland.
Birds have their global escapes and fly 10-15000 ks to the Artic Circle - to Siberia, to Alaska etc. via China, Japan, Russia.
And here is one habitat awaiting their return.
The evocative story The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde touches on this theme.

The Breakfast theme in the following sites will be served with delight and surprise .

Saint Paul (MN), USA - Bellefonte (PA), USA - Menton, France - Monte Carlo, Monaco - New York City (NY), USA - Tel Aviv, Israel - Hyde, UK - Port Angeles (WA), USA - Mainz, Germany - Stockholm, Sweden - Paderborn, Germany - Singapore, Singapore - Haninge, Sweden - Nottingham, UK - Ampang (Selangor), Malaysia - Manila, Philippines - Boston (MA), USA - Seoul, Korea - Singapore, Singapore - Joplin (MO), USA - Chandler (AZ), USA - Paris, France - Sequim (WA), USA - Greenville (SC), USA - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Boston (MA), USA - Chennai, India - Madison (WI), USA - Baton Rouge (LA), USA - Toulouse, France - Seattle (WA), USA - Mexico (DF), Mexico - La Antigua, Guatemala - Selma (AL), USA - Wassenaar (ZH), Netherlands - Albuquerque (NM), USA - Cleveland (OH), USA - San Diego (CA), USA - Lubbock (TX), USA - Jakarta, Indonesia - Sheki, Azerbaijan - Sydney, Australia - Mumbai, India - Seoul, South Korea - Cottage Grove (MN), USA - Cypress (TX), USA - Saarbrücken, Germany - Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina - New Orleans (LA), USA - Budapest, Hungary - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Austin (TX), USA - Singapore, Singapore - Villigen, Switzerland - Montréal (QC), Canada - Stayton (OR), USA - Melbourne, Australia - Silver Spring (MD), USA - Moscow, Russia - Springfield (MO), USA - Inverness (IL), usa - Arlington (VA), USA - Cologne (NRW), Germany - Anderson (SC), USA - Oslo, Norway - Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation - Manila, Philippines - Kajang (Selangor), Malaysia - Maple Ridge (BC), Canada - Bandung (West Java), Indonesia - Stavanger, Norway - Bastia, France - Hong Kong, China - Wailea (HI), USA - St. Louis (MO), USA - Chicago (IL), USA - Rabaul, Papua New Guinea - Sydney, Australia - Bucaramanga (Santander), Colombia - Kansas City (MO), USA - Grenoble, France - Paris, France - Evry, France - Saigon, Vietnam - Prague, Czech Republic - Cape Town, South Africa - Brookville (OH), USA - Brussels, Belgium - San Diego (CA), USA - Wellington, New Zealand