CUWAM- Temporary Beauty

Sydney- a city of villages…one of the promotional catch cries that have been applied to my home town in the last two years…

And on Saturday morning  I embraced this village concept with gusto…driving to Bondi for a early morning coffee at hipster hangout: Bondi Picnic….then to the inner west, via the back streets of Surry Hills, Redfern, Darlington where café culture is alive and well, tables decorated the sidewalks, steam from hot coffee danced above the breakfast patrons…People emerging from the Eveleigh Farmers Markets with fresh produce I worried would be left to rot in fridge!!

Destination Newtown, and parking the car near Sydney University, I paused momentarily at the activity unfolding on the University sport grounds…soccer and league matches were in full swing…. Me, I just wanted to continue my slow graze approach to breakfast…

A pastry from Luxe bakery on Missenden Road was found to be  underwhelming…the croissant I am certain was more than 1 day old. A quick browse at Berkelow Bookshop and then the car journey home, along Cleveland street, Surry Hills…traffic was bumper to bumper, and as I gazed out my car window I began to wish I had my camera with me.

Home by Midday…inspired by the city sites, I changed transport modes, and hopped on a bus bound for Surry Hills.

Café Nookie on Cleveland Street, a hole in the wall coffee hang out…literally….A door, from which behind it stands a lone barista serving coffee…The coffee is good, the service cheery….and the café blackboard is always entertaining, providing chalk drawing commentary on current affairs, the controversial, the topical, the humorous…

And the picture that caught my eye on Saturday, was a childlike sketch of the characters from the wonderful children’s book ‘ Where the Wild Things Are’ by Maurice Sendak, who passed away on the 8th of May.

It was a beautiful drawing, the boy Max, and two of the ‘Wild Things’ standing at a single gravesite, paying respects to their creator. The sun shone overhead, a sign of hope, that their sorrow and grief would pass.

From first glance from my car…I knew I had to capture this image on film..

Between the time I first saw the picture, to the time it took me complete the drive home, gather by gear and catch a bus back to the city…I truly wondered whether I would indeed be able to capture this image on film….If the drawing had been erased by the time I got back to the café, it would live on only in my memory, and over time, perhaps I would even question whether it had ever really been there, was it imagined?

As I rushed back into the city, I came to realise that it was the temporary nature of this drawing that was its true was beauty….Its job was done the moment I spotted it from my car window, for it transported back in time, to my childhood, to Sendak’s story of  the power and importance of imagination,  happy memories….

Whether it was there on my return was irrelevant…the drawing had worked its magic

Upon return….the image remained …pure luck…which means that I get to share it with you.

I hope you enjoy

CUWAM- Numbers

I have neglected my true calling of late…that of a writer.

As an administrator I have been hit by a tsunami of paperwork, emails, letters, faxes, courier pigeons….complaints, tears, tantrums…the occasional smile…but by and large…the last four weeks have felt like one long, long whinge.

There I said it, got it off my chest…and I feel GOOD.

I actually feel GREAT, for tomorrow I fly to the West Coast of Australia for 7 glorious days of fun in the sun. A three-day self-imposed silent retreat at Rottnest Island, followed by a further 5 days on the main land with my beautiful friends Steve and Lisa.

Looking back on the week that was, well, you would have read about the highlight that was dinner at Jamie’s….and that was pretty much it….Everything else can be summarised in number form…Number of days till I got on the plane ( finally the figure is in single digits) number of times I abused my computer screen ( 127), number of times I am sure my colleagues cursed me and silently wished that I would just get over it (352), number of alcoholic beverages consumed to ease the pain of administration madness ( could not put a figure on it)

Yes, I have said it before and I will say it again….hours have felt like days, days like weeks, weeks like months, month like years…

And while number and digits floated around it my head…the photo essay that I took on Crown Street. Surry Hills on the weekend just past, also captured this theme….

I ate breakfast at FourAteFive cafe…I took a sneaky shot of my favourite Crown Street Pooch, Dasher, who resides at home number 433…who is super cute, ageing and as the signs implies ‘ on a special diet’

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When I next write I hope to be inspired by a boost of vitamin D, energised by the seaside beauty of Rottnest, the calm of the waves, the smile of a local…Paradise awaits…Office maddness can be placed on the shelf for a while…It will be waiting for me on my return…but for now, paradise awaits…..

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