It sounds trite, but I find that one of the interesting things about Australia is that when you look at the sky, you know you're in a big country. There's something about the sheer scale of the land mass which seems to impact on the clouds which always seem so much higher in the sky than they are where I grew up, in Scotland, where louring, rain-filled, threatening clouds of slate-grey hue sometimes seem close enough to touch. Even in countryside north of Sydney, in the Hawkesbury Valley which is farmland like the landscapes I'm used to and has similar contours, there would be no waking up from a long journey and mistaking it for East Lothian.
This picture was taken from the balcony last night. It's spring, the days are sunny but the nights are cool, and the moon beamed through the clouds above the city.
Monday, September 27, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
I've moved cities, from Hong Kong to Sydney. I have a bit of time in hand before I start my new job and have created a new blog, A Place A Day, to give me an incentive to go out every day and find somewhere new. It's been a satisfying experience, although I find that as usual I have put pressure on myself to complete it every day; during a week I was spending at work, I only managed one post and felt strangely guilty about it. I'm so used to working full time in a proper role; I'm in a strange limbo where I no longer have any responsibility for Asia and have yet to take on any responsibility in Australia. It's taken a few weeks but I am beginning to enjoy it.
In the meantime I am also enjoying sitting in the sunshine on the balcony every morning with a takeaway latte and a (terrible, on my first attempt) homemade muffin; buying flowers (beautiful ranunculus and straight-as-a-die tulips); and cycling along civilised streets on civilised cycle paths looking for interesting places.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
At work this week, I attended a meeting of the managers of one of our government contracts. It took place in a drab government office with awkward chairs and yellowing sellotape still stuck to the wall from long-gone admonitory posters. The managers, who'd moved from Castlereagh Street bringing their giant desks with them, were apparently much more well behaved than usual because I was there; and to top it all off, someone had very thoughtfully bought a packet of Iced VoVos which were served on chipped plates. The Iced VoVo is an old-fashioned kind of biscuit, which was described to me as being "the kind of biscuit that old ladies have when you go round to see them". I'd never come across one before and was quite delighted with them - so much so that I ate four. It's a thin biscuit topped with a stripe of jam, banked by two strips of sprinkled coconut. Colourful, tasty, and satisfyingly old fashioned: coupled with the surroundings, I could have been in a meeting in 1975.
Wednesday, September 08, 2010
Sunday, September 05, 2010
Friday, September 03, 2010
These beautiful, and beautifully wrapped, objects arrived in a parcel from Singapore this morning. From Vice and Vanity. I love the witty little skeletal arm on the perspex necklace, and the uncompromising uniqueness of the golden half-moon. Objects to display as well as wear.