Thursday, 31 December 2009

An outing to the city Part 4 & Happy New Year!!!

The last part of our day in the city was to catch the monorail to Darling Harbour to grab some lunch before heading home. The monorail runs a small circular route through a portion of the CBD from the Exhibition centre and Maritime museum, but is not a must do thing. At Darling harbour though I don't have a pic here is a restaurant which we would like to try one day called The Meat and Wine Company with apparently very good steaks - owned naturally by an ex Saffer!

The last pic is of part of the Sydney CBD skyline: when I have spent a week or two without seeing it as my sales territory is South of the city, it is so good to see the familiar skyline again and know I am in Sydney! It is not home - yet, but it is growing a place in our hearts and one day will be -once the rest of the clan is here. That concludes our little touristy interlude - I have decided as part of my new Year's resolution to carry my camera with me as I travel - there are some very pretty little towns here and take shots - even though my photography skills are not great to show those of you who are in the process of also making this journey what this place looks like. My blogs will not be that regular as I am studying as well, and have a couple of other projects on the go, but may you and your loved ones be much blessed in 2010 and for those still in SA - stay safe - the journey to Aus is long and even here at times very painful - the personal loss of those you leave behind cannot be overstated, but you do get here eventually! Life is lived forwards not backwards and there is no going back - for us anyway. Once you have tasted freedom, it is a jealous lover, I guess.

Take care - see you next year.

An outing to the city Part 3

After St Mary's and the aquatic centre, we made our way to the historical Queen Victoria Building shopping centre. This is an old shopping centre with wooden staircases and lots of expensive places. I never took a photo but they have a writing shop in there with quills and everything! Ahhh.... a writer's dream. In the middle of this centre that goes up 3 floors is a massive Christmas tree decorated with Swarovski Crystal, I kid you not! Next, the monorail and Darling harbour.

An outing to the city Part 2

When you stand inside or outside St Mary's you could be anywhere in Europe - flying buttresses, beautiful stained glass, huge pipe organs, etc. It is awe-inspiring and Kerry has said that she wants to have her child baptised there when it eventually makes an appearance.
Anyway, so what would you expect next to a Cathedral? A bookshop? Ok. A coffee shop? Yes - actually there is a really yuppie one just to the right of the picture underground. But an underground aquatic and sports centre? Just weird!

In the first picture is the sign which is visible in the mid ground in the photo on the piazza in front of the church. In the third photo, Richard took a closer photo of the side of these granite ponds - look at the windows along the side. The last shot is what you see if you peer through the glass. Underneath this plain granite area / piazza going down about 8 metres below the street is a whole aquatic and sports centre with basketball courts, gym, Olympic sized racing pool, and other pools with families playing etc. Cool hey? Next stop: the historical Queen Victoria Building shopping centre.

An outing to the city Part 1

Last Sunday, after Mass, we caught a train through to the city and had coffee and hot chocolate at our Starbucks on York Street. I must take a photo from there when we go again because across the road from the Starbucks is an old large sandstone Presbyterian Church - like a cathedral almost, but if you look up, over this old church they have built an office block. The foundations on these old churches are massive so a brilliant idea - that way the Church gets income to support its upkeep which must be quite hefty and it is saved from being turned into a pub like they have depressingly done with many ancient disused churches in Europe. I wonder why the evangelical Churches don't buy these up and spruce them up as they would be cheaper than the huge K-mart size churches they build from scratch. Anyway I digress.

Anyway, after Starbucks we headed across to St Mary's Catholic Cathedral through beautiful Hyde Park (yes like UK!). I heard this busker singing music - and boy what a voice! We stood and listened for a while and I bought a CD of his. His version of O Carolina, just blew me away. He is the guy in first picture. His voice is a mixture between Neil Diamond and.... actually the thing is he has that rare gift - a really unique voice. The CD doesn't do him justice - live he is really so good. His name is Gerald Renger: I would pay to see him play live. We initially made a donation, but after listening paid the difference and bought the cd and as with the guy in Venice with the glasses, I could see it was appreciated. At the edge of Hyde Park is St Mary's and it is large and impressive with the strangest neighbour I have ever seen - more on that next time.

Kiama & The Grand Pacific Highway

Yeah, I know it's a weird name, but last Saturday we took a drive down to Wollongong, a city about 85km South of Sydney and then down to Kiama -a little further on. The first shot is down below at Kiama Beach and the second photo of the same beach from the top of a hill overlooking the beach and the Grand Pacific Highway. If you look closely - maybe click on the pic to enlarge - you can see that the highway extends into the sea. We drove across it on the way up to where we shot the second photo. It really is pretty. We don't know why they built it like that, but I think it was probably safer than trying to stick a road to a cliff with rockfalls etc. - maybe an idea for Chapman's Peak, hey?

Friday, 25 December 2009

Merry Christmas!

This was out first Christmas Eve in Aus - sweltering weather - thank goodness for Aircon! Food was good, company was great and there were presents. So notwithstanding that we are all missing family and friends terribly, it was a good start to our Christmas. Since our dinner didn't finish too late, we decided to go to Midnight Mass and it was all Christmasy with the manger and gifts for the children, and reminded us of our home parish. As I write this here on Christmas morning, those in SA will be singing Carols before Midnight Mass begins. To paraphrase an old hymn: As the Church unsleeping, while earth rolls onward into light, through all the world her watch is keeping and rests not now by day or night. The sun that bids you rest is waking us here beneath the eastern sky and hour by hour fresh lips are making the birth of God's Son known on high.Here are some shots of the food - from the starter and the table setting to our tree (actually taken at Richard's place) to the last one where with S&T we greet you all with a toast to a very Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year!!! (all pics courtesy of

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Technical delay

Apologies for not blogging. I don't have an iphone and am waiting for Richard or Carmen to forward me pics... again.