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 “taylor swift”

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. 


Around Sydney Harbour



Australian Barbie



Domino Cake



Domino Cake



Sydney Olympic Park ANZ Stadium

Sydney Olympic Park




Sydney Olympic Park


Is B and Q the gateway to hell?

It is sad to admit but on this beautiful sunshine filled day I have wasted an hour of my life walking to and from B and Q in New Malden. Thankfully DIY does not form a major part nor often any part of my life. Today however the annula battle I wage against the flying ants in my garden necesitated such a visitation. Could this be the most miserable place in the world? The inhabitants staff and customers shuffle aimlessly around giving good theatrical interpretations that fall mid way between Shaun of the Dead ( a film essentially about lifeless zombies who cannot ever die) and those queueing at the gates of hell, or worse those doomed with Fulham FC season tickets.

I recall a TV advert for Persil washing powder where housewives were challenged to use this new powder to make their clothes ” whiter than white” ( a curious concept really, how can something be whiter than white? Surely it still remains white? ), my challenge to B and Q could be regarded similarly as impossible. Two separate endpoints. Firstly to make the customers smile, ¬†well at least one, secondly, to make the staff smile. I do not recall where staff walked around with the miserable demenaour of the eternally damned, looking like group bulk ECT might be a feasible option, perhaps an electrical point in the electrical section. All of them without exception did not smile once in my 30 minute visit. The customers looked to a man miserable and fed up. Possibly as nothing could be found anywhere. Possibly because of this hideous systme that is creeping in of ” self payment”. The curious thing is that even though fewer staff are working on the checkouts as customers scan the items themselves ( is this good customer service?), there seems no reductions in prices. Mostly they edged around the store in vain attempts to find anything looking like they were preparing to enter the seventh circle of hell, which in a curious way they probably were. The music playing also was a curious choice to accompany this unbridled misery, “love story” from Taylor Swift.

So come on B and Q do something about it. Or at least dont pretend in your adverts that your staff are so happy and smiling that they border on a psychiatric diagnosis of mania. Or I am going to get more profuse in the use of my new phrase this week ” miserable complaining”.


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