Sunday, March 30, 2008

The headslands at Port Stephens and day sailors eager to sight the dolphins who often like to swim and play right near the bow of the boats. The bays and the off-shore islands can be seen from the navigation light house which had an 130 year anniversary in recent times.
Here is an old house on a small property reached by a narrow road up from the bay and visitors can wander around in peaceful surroundings, have a coffee and see over the small museum and the coastal patrol and souvineer shop. A car park is situated outside with a turning spot and the level area is limited, steps and a ramp give access to the views. Or one can park and walk up from the bay. Supplies, staff, refuse services and service vehicles would add to the visitor traffic.


This old dwelling houses a museum as a community work by amateurs and a laid-back cafe is at the side, which is both a little discrete and discreet behind a picket fence and is a private business selling light refreshments.




Coastal Patrol has a communications centre behind the old house. A souvineer shop is on the ground floor as well as other utilities. The patrol workers have parking space for maybe five vehicles. Parking space for about 12 - 16 vehicles is also provided for visitors.





A Cafe is on the far side of the house under a shelter and is not very obvious and has only a smallish sign on an inside wall of the verandah. Light refreshments are available which are prepared in a room in the old house . Large stainless refrigerators have been placed on the back verandah of the house behind screening.



A navigation light was originally inside the circular room. It now houses exhibits and the garden has several features to check out.
So, this nice little spot is largely free of ubiquitous features and was pleasant to visit.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


Glass ceiling at an angle. Ways to keep out the heat and cold seen at CSIRO Mayfield West.



Friday, March 28, 2008


Sustainable energy tower 'resting' after sunset. Sunlight is focused and leads to a reaction between natural gas and water for a stronger gas of increased energy. Stored solar energy. A CSIRO project.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


Solar collectors forming a wall at CSIRO Research, Mayfield West.The photo is deceptive, the collectors are high up and rather extensive.
I have visited cities in blogs, seen Octoberfests and even lions in lederhosen but my connection was too slack to leave visiting cards.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Just the usual Beaumont Street, Hamilton.

Monday, March 24, 2008


Remember the circus tents in Burwood Park? Remember when we drive down King Street it was the scene of an earlier urban 'battle' when the park was given up to the roadway as I seem to recall.
I am mistaken. This is really Birdwood Park not Burwood.


A smaller version of Birdwood Park remains in between the roadways.




An old stadium was near this end of the park.
I think the stadium held popular housie games but of course would have had other uses.





Marketown was built there with something of the circus or stadium theme in mind.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

In Gregson Park Hamilton last month.
Hope is not glib or simplistic. It is not a bubbling, cheeful optimism; it is the grinding, hard-won strength we find to enable us to live our lives as tough as they might be.. . Bishop Malone, Easter message in The Herald.

It would be crass to add it's time for a genuine kick start and do we approach this with hope as a combination of Little Miss Sunshine and Iron Lady rolled into one.



Thursday, March 20, 2008

Famous Tiananmen Square in 'Jing has classic heroic statues. People's Republic of China.


Yonghe Lamasery is described as a monastery for monks of Tibetan Buddhism in central Beijing.
A Palace of Peace and Harmony with a Pavillion of Infinite Happiness is found there.
The Middle way meets the Middle kingdom.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008



Close to Newcastle city centre, below The Hill in the background, looking green and restful is this Mental Health Facility and sports oval. This site has been occupied for a long time and has tall Norfolk Island Pines and to some extent the site is 'cut into' the hill behind it. The Law Courts and Police HQ occupy land to the right but are not shown. Other buildings seem to be disused. What's around the corner - a sell off?
My grand scheme, mine alone, would open this area and make it all continuous parklands with the high open land of the parks nextdoor- Fletcher park and King Ed park- and re-route the through traffic out of there onto the roads in the built-up area but leave some means of access for day visits. It acts as a parking lot as it is.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Thinking of registering? Cities....groups or individuals.....
LINKS:
www.earthhour.org
www.flickr.com/groups/earthhour/

The lighted candle is symbolic in this post. Who knows, candles with a romantic glow could be on a par with electric light as far as environment is concerned.




A perfect day on Lake Macquarie, Belmont.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Wurlitzer Theatre Organ.


Curiosity led to going along to a concert featuring a renowned Wurlitzer Theatre Organ. The Sunday arvo gathering, in a 1930's cinema, was relaxed, quite retro and anachronistic yet presented an opportunity to hear a powerful and majestic instrument.
The lights dimmed as they say and from the empty stage music sounded and in fine traditon the Wurlitzer and the performer ascended from the depths onto display under the spotlights. The cream and gold console was wicked looking and the performance was grande with tremelo and leslie-like effects to the fore.





























Back down in the pit again. The instrument has about four key boards and a pedal board and has an array of about 150 stops and controls to manipulate the sounds.






The excellent artiste, Mr John Atwell gave us rip roaring numbers very typical of the genre along with other lilting modern arrangments. (He is a research scientist in his other life.)

The historical Wurlitzer was formerly in the Capitol Theatre, Sydney, and was relocated to the Orion Theatre, Campsie, restored and installed by the Theatre Organ Society of Australia (NSW Division) and unveiled in 1988.
The Theatre Organ Society is the expert in these matters. Another relevant web site is here.


















Under the stage is a large basement housing the ranks of metal and wooden pipes, percussion and gadgets that are activated by the magician at the keyboard to emulate an orchestral sound. In this way it differs from the electronic organs that only produce electronic sounds.







The sound emerges from a long opening along the front of the stage and is heard forte or piano by physically opening or closing a set of shutters probably controlled by a pedal.











The Wurlitzer descended out of view and the support artists took over: The Enso Toppano Duo, the frail elderly father was a virtuoso piano accordianist who outshone his son and if anything overdid the up-beat numbers.

This was special in that he is among a wave of immigrants who are now reaching old age and whose traditions may fade with them.

Mrs McNaughton (accordanist, wife of ex-Lord mayor of Newcastle & charity worker) would have been impressed!







The Orion theatre opened as a Cinema in 1936 and in the foyer was a mural of the P & O's newest most modern liner Orion. Overall the Art Deco sytle is evident but restrained.


Nowdays, instead, in the foyer, is a mural once displayed on board the Ocean liner Orion which ended service in London in 1963.
P & O Australia saved the oil painting and it was hung in its Sydney offices until 1984. Summer Storm by Tristram Hillier.
















A touch of fantasy remains because the venue holds wedding receptions and is into 'dream mandaps' with Indian style glamour for that special day. (Sacred tents for Hindi weddings)



The surrounding suburb of Campsie is small and busy with a large population of people with a Chinese background as well as Koreans and Vietnamese (from my observations) and it caters for all these tastes in a big way which is interesting to see. There bikes are left outside the rail station and is a little reminiscent of how their homelands used to be.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Under the walk way, is this a tram or a truck? The city sights can be viewed en route in this novel form of transport. Has been seen on the school run as well. Saturday night work as a booze bus is another possibility.
Late late-Saturday nights and Sunday mornings have been the routine for years and years in the city but this behaviour is under the spotlight lately. Are a few representatives from the young crowds asked to join in the official discussions for a civil society?
They say how youth increasingly look to their groups and like hanging out together as a goal but perhaps they don't really see how little else there is to do on Saturday nights in the city. Is the entertainment so ordinary that they are apt to 'break out'.

Monday, March 10, 2008


Enjoying sport on Sunday morning. The cricket season is finishing.
The chautauqua or rant is as follows.
Must we pull ourselves up by the boot straps?
'Society does not owe me a living'....'ask what I can do'.....however, there should be unrest in this society whilever it fails to put within reach a bearable and pleasant, reasonable, not over the top, lifestyle and gender equality without super super-human effort.
The aim is for family friendly workplace and homelife and supports etc as a given in return for a fair days work.

All power to pressure groups or whatever it takes to move ahead and improve the good life.
Can we leave the protests or the struggles for improvement to the work of volunteers or cash strapped student? It takes more than that.
Volunteering may be fulfilling but so is paid employment.
(Let me say my volunteering efforts are not extensive.)



Macedonian Orthodox Church. St Mary. Broadmeadow. The Iconography is prominent and almost covers the walls.

Friday, March 07, 2008


The Kite Runner, the movie, is showing this week.
This is from a writer who tells a grand tale and it is resonably good in a restrained manner which is pretty darn unusual for a US movie. Not only that it has sub-titles and even tries to take-on the foreign movies at their own game. The film fits in with western ideology.
Quite rightly, the good Afgani people are portrayed in a positive manner aided by the fact that they are moderates and not given to overly overt religious customs or beliefs. They lead us into the world of the baddies and the extreme factions such obvious targets for the allies.

So, instead, it would be a good change to see some average Muslims who are not 'just like us'; who do take on their religion in its entirety and are still considered worthy to be seen on the screen in a positive role.

Thursday, March 06, 2008


Outside the building formely known as the Regional Museum. Prior to that it was a brewery.
Gen xyz wonder about my pronunciation of the word brewery.
Maybe the crowds from the boutique brewery on the harbourside say things differently which is quite understandable !



We were very pleased with ourselves as a city, when this regional museum, as a first, opened in the late eighties. At least we're flexible. The museum will move and open again next year in Honeysuckle.





The museum was initially opened by Queen Elizabeth amid officials and crowds. The capital funding for the project was from the City Council and the Bicentennial Council of State Government.






Side view of the ex-museum and Wood Street with students heading home again from TAFE (if that's the current name for the Tech College with chefs etc in training)


Wood Street in the eighties. The trees have grown well since then. The TAFE college is at the far end. Was this before the venerable Australian Broadcasting Commission offices existed at the end of the street? Their building first opened as a restaurant or somesuch. The WEA/Temple bookshop was on the right then.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


Seafood Sustainability Day is upon us. Choose to buy the sustainable catch of the day. Biological diversity of marine habitats is crucial. Orange Roughie aka sea perch for anyone? Our funny habit of revising the names of fish is related in this tall tale here under Your say, Fishy Tales, Whats In a Name, 21 May 2002