Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Sunday Scribblings, "Me"

My Sunday Scribblings entry this week is late because I couldn't get into my blog to write. For some stupid reason it has decided that it won't accept my password, three out of the last four times I have tried to get into it.. Ahhhh! frustration!
My dear hairy son, who understands such things as computers has helped me tonight so I can come back and annoy you all. Ti's good? No?
Males would think that the prompt word for S.S. this week was spot on for a woman. What woman does not like to talk about themselves. Hahaha. I think it is a good one because hopefully I can say a little about what makes me tick and maybe see a little of the same from you.
Last weekend Peter and I went to Sydney for the weekend for a change of scenery.
Sydney is a big town, with beautiful natural scenery and mad, as mad as a busy city can be if you are not used to such things, but it is a good place to visit...... So to tie "me " into this.
When I was 10 years old my Mum, Dad, sister and I moved to Sydney from Darwin, and lived in a flat on the border of Waverly and Bronte. My dad was a soldier in the Australian army for most of his working life and we moved around the country every two to two and a half years.
In Darwin I bloomed. I hunted tadpoles, bugs, fish, geckos, and shells. I played in the rain and made friends and ate buckets of juicy Mangoes on the front steps with the hose running in my swimming costume to wash away the mess. I lived in my swimmers.
In Sydney I lived within a 5 minute walk from Bronte Beach, about the same from Tamarrama Beach and 20 minutes walk from Bondi beach. In those days kids could wander around a bit more freely than they are allowed to do now days. So I explored the parks and museums and climbed the sandstone cliffs , explored the rock platforms and beaches in my local area.
These first 3 pictures where my playground, the park behind Bronte beach, revisited last weekend. They have changed somewhat in that time. But they are still there, 40 years later. This is the park where my school went to play sports it's just the same, we didn't have a big playground and what was there then was covered in asphalt. From what I could see of the same school on Sunday when I drove past, there are now buildings over where the playground was then. I was slow and clumsy at all sports. I remember one day my class was playing a game of softball here. The other kids knew that if they hit the ball in my direction I would never catch it and they could run the bases and get home. One day I actually caught the ball and stunned everyone.
The nastursiums are still growing wildly up and down the slopes in the park behind Bronte beach. I loved to pick big bunches of them to take home to give to my Mum. Landcare people were in the park on the weekend trying to restore the native bushland, indigenous to the area, which means they will be gone soon I guess. Progress.
The mini train was still running in never ending circles near the beach, Mums and Dads more excited about it than the children riding on it. We had fish and chips for lunch there.
The ocean pool and rock pool where I used to poke at blue ringed octopus with my bare fingers is just the same.
The big banksia tree I used to climb that hung out over the park sideways was gone. Probably toppled over, or maybe that small tree, in almost the same area was the same one, and I grew bigger. The rocks we named after ourselves which sat midstream in the creek and were good fun to climb on are gone too. They are replaced by a stone work lined drain.
First pic above, is looking towards the beach area.
This little waterfall is at the top end of the park, I used to get tadpoles from here, and at the back of this was a big cement pipe that I could stand upright in and we used to yell into to hear the echo, if you went inside the pipe it lead to the bottom of a big block of flats up the top.
This is the park behind Bronte beach again, leading away from the beach. My old play ground.
A beautiful place that molded me in my continuing love of nature and environment. I love that children are so adaptable and can find an adventure to play where ever they live.
I always loved the wonderful sandstone in the cliffs around Sydney. This is honeycombed sandstone along the walkway above the ocean pool at Bronte beach.
The pic above is a bit gray looking as it is mid winter, but it was taken on the upper walkway above the ocean pool at Bronte. In the early 70's when I lived here I remember a huge storm where the waves were breaking over this walkway. The little jetty that used to be at La Perouse disappeared in that storm also I think.
Pete and I visited the Gap which is east of the city on South Head (the southern entrance to Sydney harbor). This picture is a view of the city in the distance from there. My Dad worked at South head base before he went away to Vietnam while we stayed in Sydney. Pretty place isn't it. We walked around the cliff tops on the walking tracks that are there now. The Gap is quite an infamous spot due to many people over the years choosing to end their lives, jumping from the high sheer cliff tops.
On Sunday morning we went for a drive around the eastern suburbs. This tree is a Morten Bay fig. I loved the way it wound and twisted along, clinging to the rock face in the park there.
This is the view from the kiosk at Neilsen's park where we had breakfast. I had a pot of tea and raisin bread toast. Very nice. I wonder what the poor people were doing for their Sunday breakfasts. Hahaha. Across the harbor in this picture you can see middle head. Until recently it was a military area closed to the public. You can go in there for tours now and see the tunnels and gun placements that were built in the early days of the colony and during the war to protect Sydney harbour.Dad took us there years ago for a look and it was fascinating but wet, dark, smelly and spooky, long before it was open to the public.
On Saturday afternoon Pete and I went for a ride on the ferry across to Manly. This is Circular quay where the ferries leave from, with the city sky scape in the sunset behind it.
From the ferry you get a wonderful view of the opera house. The Sydney harbor bridge is affectionately known as the big coat hanger.
This is the big coat hanger in the late afternoon winter sun, taken from the ferry.
Fort Denison, nicknamed pinch gut by the convicts that were imprisoned there in the early days of the colony. In the harbor surrounded by water and sharks they were fed very little, hence the name. Now it can be hired for parties and tours and is used for weather forecasts and harbor navigation. Behind that you can see garden island, the navy depot, prime real estate.
Silver gulls were following the ferry away from the wharf on the way back from Manly. Someone on the upper deck was throwing chips to them. I took this pic from the lower deck. A chip landed on my head as I was trying to take the picture so you can guess what I though had happened to me. Hahaha. Manly beach and wharf is lined with Norfolk pines, that is them you can see in the back ground. A lady I know in blog land lives in America and said she has one of these in a pot that she was given as a christmas tree. She was wondering if she should plant it out in her garden, if she sees this I am sure she will change her mind they grow absolutely huge, not a garden tree at all.
Peter and I warming ourselves at Fairy Bower , Manly beach on Saturday afternoon and squinting in the sun. Yes there are real fairies here, fairy penguins, recently renamed little penguins for the sake of political correctness. What rubbish!
Rock Platform at fairy bower, Manly.
Manly ocean beach on a cold sunny Sydney winters afternoon. Yes people were swimming, many without wet suits. The water temp is warmer than the air temp at this time of year. Not much surf but that does not stop them getting out with their boards either.
A closer picture of the Opera house. I remember going here for a school excursion when I first started high school and it wasn't finished being built yet. Not long after it opened my Dad got tickets and took us all to a concert there. There was audience participation, so...Yes I have sung in the Sydney opera house. hahaha.
The bridge again looking across from the walkway above Circular Quay towards the rocks and the overseas terminal. One day when i get rich....I want to be in one of the hotels overlooking the harbor on new year's eve when the fire works go off. One day.
So... that is a bit about my formative years spent in Sydney. I lived there for 2 years the first time, then we were posted to Singapore for 18 months then back to Sydney to live in exactly the same flat we had been in before, until Dad retired and we moved back to Wagga when I was 16.
I wandered about Sydney with an amount of freedom that is not available at the same age to today's children. I think that is a bit sad. I always learned best by doing and not being told. Mistakes are made and learned from that way. I learned about people, to be cautious, to explore, to take charge of myself and situations.
Hmmm. There is lots about me.
And I will never, never tire of being a tourist in my very own home land. Lots and lots more to see and love and learn right here yet. This earth runs through my blood.
That's all Folks.
Love Linda.


oldegg said...

What a beautiful reminiscence and travelogue of your life. Thank you so much for letting me glimpse into your life. It was real treat.

gs batty said...

always love to drop in and spend some time with you. I always make me a "spot" of tea and then sit down to follow you around Australia. Don't ever stop. I have learned a lot about the "real" Australia by reading your blog. Looked for you on SS but missed you. thought you were on vacation. thanks for the comment on my little poem. I truly appeciate it.

Merle said...

G'Day Linda ~- Great post and it is nice to hear about your early days.And it is nice to go back and see the changes. I lived in a little place called Dixons Creek, and now our old house has gone. We were there during the 1939 bush-fires and they were the worst until last years terrible fires.Homes were burnt of our neighbours in Dixons Creek.
I agree about that Prince's Fairytale. A man sent it to me.
Take care my friend, Love,Merle.

Annie said...

I was completely enchanted, Linda. Completely and totally. Your romantic look back saw all the good of childhood. What a marvel to be able to still see the pool of water where you caught tadpoles. Your post made me yearn to go back to Wisconsin where I lived for a short time and explore the park and river across from the house we lived in. Alas, like you, the freedom to explore the river's edge probably would not be encouraged today. Thank you for such a magical glimpse of your childhood.

Blondie said...

Found you through Sunday Scribblings. Thank you for sharing the pictures! Australia is one of those places on My List to visit someday!

Merle said...

Hi again Linda my dipstick friend from your mate down Mexico Way.
You sound well and happy and that is wonderful. Keep up the good work.Glad you liked the Crabby Old Man and I can imagine how sad many old folk feel in those facilities.
My granddaughter works in one in Qld.
Who knows what the future will be for
us all as we get older.
Take care, Dear Linda, Love, Merle.