Arcticterntalk.org

The blog of a travelling psychiatrist and football lover. Who happens to be a halfway decent photographer. Takes a cynical view of the world

Archive for the tag “Australia”

Waking up with Cairns. A photographic memory. Reasons to Walk in the morning at sunrise.


Cairns looked at its most beautiful in the early morning light. A long esplanade gave beautiful sea views. The light gave fascinating patterns as the early morning sun rose. A variety of folks in size,shape and fitness were all happily exercising. To see the clouds drift apart in the early morning was gorgeous. This was the time to capture the images, by mid-morning all the mystique had vanished.

Australia is not an average place by far. Things are good here


From the moment your plane lands at 5 am and you are in a taxi at 5.20 am having been through immigration you know this is a kind of special and unique country. Maybe I was slow picking this up as obtaining an online business visitor visa was free and took maybe 30 seconds. The rules here are both sensible and enforced. A few unique ones such as a maximum speed of 10 kph for pedestrians . Australia is not cheap . Paying 4.5 Australian dollars for actually an awful mug of coffee by Darling harbour surprised me. Both that it was awful and expensive , on both counts. 




Things are sensible here. Hotel rooms are not ridiculously large and have things you actually want like a free minbar not for the alcohol , though there is that, but the water and Coke Zero etc. 

Wherever you look there are curious things. Parakeets sqwarking at people and plump one legged seagulls. The seagulls seem not frightened by the walking tourists and seem in competition to sqwark louder than the parakeets. 


Australian people are normal but a little more blunt than UK counterparts. With a dry humour that I find infectious. Service in bars and restaurants is just that , service. Far better than UK and on a par with Belgium and Slovenia where the best customer service is found. 


A curious number seem to wear no shoes although this couple seemed to be arguing after a night out . Strange things are also  seen like a gate with no clear purpose or function. 


Everywhere you look there are views that somehow differ from any other country. A lot of people run and exercise and driving through cities and towns it is striking how many sports facilities there are . Even the public toilets at Darling harbour are colourful and quirky. 


The roads are generally well designed and with clear variable speed limits that often  reflect school terms and school times. Plenty of speed cameras ensure that limits are adhered to. Do be prepared though for many tolls and the costs can be large . 

The views generally are impressive and street art adorns many walls and garages with some being special. Some of the simple things in life like waking early and capturing sunrise may be some of the most beautiful things you do in Australia. 

Australia is a long way from Europe and involves around 24 hours of flying but a place well worth visiting. 

Domino Cake and Ice cream


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Domino Cake

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Domino Cake

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Reflections on Sydney Australia


A few hours is never enough to form cogent opinions on anything. Australia seems a vibrant enough place, hot, it was 37 c in the Olympic Park area and very crowded. An evening walking around Sydney Harbour was not unlike a football crowd leaving a major stadium. But what memories remain?

Australians clearly like their lager, Crown lager was a good example, but I saw no evidence of the kind of drunkeness that one might see on the streets of London or Newcastle. In fact warning posters cited large fines for drunken behaviours. But folks were clearly enjoying themselves around Sydney Harbour drinking wine in couples or in groups. Many huge hotels line the harbour area and the streets around. An eclectic mix of different mainly small restaurants and food wagons. Sad to report but my dinner that night consisted solely of ice cream bought in the Guylian Chocolate cafe. Thoroughly recommended. A single red telephone box adorned the corner of a street. Remaining on the ice cream topic there were many more examples of nice ice creams that one might see in the UK. A greater variety for example of Magnums.

The harbour in addition to being lined by people, wine, noise, ice creams and magnums, also was lined by plentiful small boats and a huge cruise liner , Carnival Spirit, docked at the terminal right in the harbour. Interesting food such as little what I termed ” Domino cakes” also was available. Despite all this lively atmosphere there was also another side to the city with evidence of homeless folks and begging. It was very difficult to say if they were genuine as the beds and the begging seemed somewhat co-ordinated. But left a sad feeling nonetheless.

Away from the central city is the Olympic Park home to the 2000 Olympic games. A large area with hotels and not much else. ANZ stadium is home to many concerts including that weekend Taylor Swift.

Sydney was selected as the host city for the 2000 games in 1993. Teams from 199 countries participated. The United States won the most medals with 93, while Australia came in 4th with 58. The games cost was estimated to be A$6.6 billion. The Games received near-universal acclaim, with the organisation, volunteers, sportsmanship and Australian public being lauded in the international media.

Last and not least the mysterious Australian Barbie. 

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Around Sydney Harbour

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Australian Barbie

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Domino Cake

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Domino Cake

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Sydney Olympic Park ANZ Stadium

Sydney Olympic Park

 

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Sydney Olympic Park

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Calum Hood 5SOS Sketch


Every teenager has heard of 5 SOS and most have a favourite. Here are a few sketches  of Calum Hood that certainly impressed me. Scan 1 Scan 2

Amnesia 5SOS The Visual Interpretation Happily


Sometimes things and people just collide. They know who and what they are. The band 5SOS I mistakenly called a “boy band” for many months and refused to take them seriously. I then did actually bothered to listen to their music. It is way beyond being good. A few songs are special and Amnesia is one of those. The song is also the only one on their album that they themselves did not write. The clue is in the list of writers, none of whom are in the band!

 

The sketch comes from the artist Elena Bushe. Enjoy.

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Benjamin Madden Joel Madden Louis Biancaniello Michael Biancaniello Sam Watters

If you want to sing along the lyrics are below

“Amnesia”

I drove by all the places we used to hang out getting wasted
I thought about our last kiss, how it felt the way you tasted
And even though your friends tell me you’re doing fine

Are you somewhere feeling lonely even though he’s right beside you?
When he says those words that hurt you, do you read the ones I wrote you?

Sometimes I start to wonder, was it just a lie?
If what we had was real, how could you be fine?

‘Cause I’m not fine at all

I remember the day you told me you were leaving
I remember the make-up running down your face
And the dreams you left behind you didn’t need them
Like every single wish we ever made
I wish that I could wake up with amnesia
And forget about the stupid little things
Like the way it felt to fall asleep next to you
And the memories I never can escape

‘Cause I’m not fine at all

The pictures that you sent me they’re still living in my phone
I’ll admit I like to see them, I’ll admit I feel alone
And all my friends keep asking why I’m not around

It hurts to know you’re happy, yeah, it hurts that you’ve moved on
It’s hard to hear your name when I haven’t seen you in so long

It’s like we never happened, was it just a lie?
If what we had was real, how could you be fine?

‘Cause I’m not fine at all

I remember the day you told me you were leaving
I remember the make-up running down your face
And the dreams you left behind you didn’t need them
Like every single wish we ever made
I wish that I could wake up with amnesia
And forget about the stupid little things
Like the way it felt to fall asleep next to you
And the memories I never can escape

If today I woke up with you right beside me
Like all of this was just some twisted dream
I’d hold you closer than I ever did before
And you’d never slip away
And you’d never hear me say

I remember the day you told me you were leaving
I remember the make-up running down your face
And the dreams you left behind you didn’t need them
Like every single wish we ever made
I wish that I could wake up with amnesia
And forget about the stupid little things
Like the way it felt to fall asleep next to you
And the memories I never can escape

‘Cause I’m not fine at all
No, I’m really not fine at all
Tell me this is just a dream
‘Cause I’m really not fine at all

2013 in review


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 9,400 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Calendar and Wolf Park Spain


Its that time of year to make a new calendar and the good news was in one  of those generally tedious emails we call spam. However the news was that Jessops were giving 50% off cost of calendars with no catch at all except the offer ran out at midnight last night. So here are a few photos that made it into the final selection of 12 photos. Really very difficult to pick 12 photos over a year particularly when one is banned from including football or cricket photos………… Probably need to explain that this photo was taken maybe 7pm at night near Anteqquera in Spain, maybe 40 km from Malaga heading north, at a wolf Park.

This is kind of unique really. This guy best described as a sort of Wolf version of Steve  Irwin but totally into his wolves. He keeps them wild but in huge fenced areas of thousands of acres but gets in with them sometimes and had his hand almost bitten off once before.  Website URL is  http://www.lobopark.com/04_einrichtung/e/facilities.htm  and well worth a visit

Rolling Clouds in Spain

Isambard Kingdom Brunel


The very fact that someone could build a bridge across the Avon river has always impressed me, and the clifton suspension bridge is a truly amazing thing. the fact thay could build it 150 years ago defies even incredulity. Elena 11-yr old, trainee teenager, has a project to research a Victorian person and write about them. She has decided to do Brunel. Tonight she did a little research and what we found was amazing too. Not only did he build the bridge ( and others as well), but he built the first tunnel under the thames ( now used as part of the Tube line), built Paddington and Temple Meads station, then built the railway line to connect them, then built the docks at Bristol and finally built two massive boats, including SS Great Britain, that carried 4000 passengets to Australia. I am already looking forward to tomorrows history lesson.

Otherwise a very dull day today. Foggy and damp all day. The office building was almost empty with marketing folks all at some conference ( as usual) and the temperature was turned down a good few notches. Elena and I finished ” The Dragonfly Pool” by eva Ibbottson tonight, a great book.

Lovely Fruit

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