and the landscape is dotted with their magnificent blooms. For one or two weeks in November they are conspicuous and beautiful in the northern climes where it's warm and humid. They were one of the observations we made driving around Sydney over the girls behave badly weekend.
Friday night The Merry Widow, Thommo and I ventured up to the 'Vicar' to meet the pub crowd and an almighty spring storm prevented us from venturing onward to a restaurant of our choice so while we enjoyed the light show, we and 11 others had dinner at the pub.
We came home and chatted, opened another couple of bottles then retired before an early start to pick up Struth Ruth and the Teacher who was flying in from Melbourne at 8:30am. The weather was shit. Warm but raining and that put the moccas on our preferred cliff walk from Bondi to Tamarama so we resolved to hit Paddington markets. Deciphering the times and meters was a problem and lovely gay boy with a pretty bulldog told us we could park there until 10 without paying. I think the fact that we were conservatively dressed and didn't have dreadlocks or model good looks gave us way as Westies! We needed a heart starter and found a coffee shop with an equally gay and very entertaining owner who gave us cheek and after a latte, flat white, decaf cappuccino, soy flat and a cup of tea in a teacup and saucer (The Teacher's fussy that way). We headed for Paddington which is the respectable end of the Sydney gay district in Darlinghurst. Terraced houses, expensive real estate, fabulous shops, a wonderful market, colourful people. The Teacher and I had a scrunched up newspaper thrown at us by some drunk while the other three tried on shoes. Yep, it's that kinda place.
Then on to the markets. The markets are quality but due to the influx of tourists have become overpriced. I still bought a mask for Adam's birthday (guitar hero devilly thing . . and a cup cake kit for perfect Christmas dainty's). I didn't take many photos due to poor light and feeling a little self conscious about photographing things I had no intention of buying. I've never seen so much home made jewellery in my life!
Paddington Markets in inner Eastern Sydney. Famous. Quality. Expensive.
I guess the Big Issue, transcends posh borders . . ..outside an exclusive shop on Oxford Street.
Gorgeous shopfront of a jewellery shop with other bits and pieces. Japanese jeweller . . if only!
Then we wondered across the Domain (large green Central Park kind of space in the middle of the city) to head towards the Art Gallery. Underneath that green carpet is a 6 level carpark!
One of the many Moreton Bay Figs that don the Domain and surrounds and a backdrop of St Mary's Cathedral and the city skyline . . .
The Art Gallery. Small but interesting and this time a little disappointing because one level was closed for viewing and on it's exterior are the words "Michael Angelo" nobody fixed the poor spelling. We actually went in the hope of seeing the Monet exhibition but the queues were longer than those for the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland so we had lunch and drank and then plonked through the free bits.
I was allowed to take photos without a flash except in the Aboriginal section. Talk about precious! Apparently Japanese tourists have been digitally enhancing the brown and white blobby art and turning it into fabric . .for God's sake, I can photograph a Whitely but not some spotty aboriginal Wanjina . . .
The Merry Widow loves Whitely . . .
Thommo notices that a past prime minister actually does have opposable thumbs contrary to popular opinion . . .
Yep thats a WTF piece. A rock wedged in a bronze tree . . .
We then wondered down to Woolloomoolloo . .yep real name. It's one of many 'finger wharves' that surround the harbour where boats used to unload and in it's former incarnation was actually my first glimpse of Australia. In 1969 it looked like a cattle shed and we'd wondered what on earth had we done to land in such a ramshackle place . . .now, it's posh apartments and restaurants . . $14 for half a glass of chardy . .yes I paid! And the teacher wasn't happy having her tea in a coffee cup! Melbournians are more civilised it seems.
We bought a fish THIS BIG . . Beautiful Atlantic Salmon that we stuffed with lemon, capers, dill and some secret ingredients. Smeared with olive oil and salt and baked fast for about 40 minutes . . perfect!
Serve with mixed lettuce and snap pea salad, wasabe, balsamic vinegar dressing, baby chat potatoes in herbs and maaaaaan . . did that fishy taste good!
Following morning we headed into the Parramatta River Festival . . the half bridge above is made out of shopping trolleys! But we found that the festivatl was all over bar the rubbish . . .clearly someone had too much time on their hands and painted sad faces on the rubbish bags . . .
But the steps were interesting . . .
Then we headed home . . .along the rainbow serpent path of course! See the little Jacaranda in the background . . .
That's all you 'need' to know. What's said on tour, stays on tour. . I love my homies!