Blogging

  • My Local Pedestrian Crossing - I’ve been thinking about this local issue for quite some time. Tonight, I wrote to the relevant authority in NSW. I’ll update when I get a response. My concern is about the pedestrian crossing between Devonshire and Cleveland Streets in Surry Hills. Though I (as a pedestrian) really appreciate the introduction of this crossing, I […]
  • Out & About - The view from Sydney’s “Ensemble Theatre” is one of Sydney’s hidden delights, both from the restaurant below, and the bar upstairs. Even though the theatre has been there for over sixty years, I’m guessing most Sydney-siders have never visited “The Ensemble”. “There is , however, a large, loyal subscriber base”, I told the guy I […]
  • Vale Google+ - Do you know what shits me most about the end of Google+? Aside from losing a really terrific forum, and an introduction to some awesome people? It’s the way “tech journalism” has maintained a “campaign” against this platform over a number of years. This article describes Google+ as having a “few loyal fans”. WTF? What’s […]
  • Face for Radio - Twenty years ago, or so, the ABC used to feature a state-based TV show called “Snapshot”. It went to air just before the 7.00pm news. Hosted by people from ABC Radio, it was a brief “what’s on” program, focussing on arts and cultural events happening in each state. Put simply, the radio presenter would come […]
  • Life Right Now - Though I’m not exactly sure what they are, the back laneway is full of these at the moment. Are they gumnuts? There’s lots of them, and I think they’re absolutely gorgeous. Should I pick one up and taste it? They look like they might make the basis for a tasty jam. Either way, they’re a […]
  • Some Photographs - In the last few weeks I haven’t found much time or inspiration to write, so this is a bit of a photographic catch-up.
  • Swedish Class - Like Sydney, Stockholm is a city under construction. In Sydney, it’s the light rail; in Stockholm, it’s the development around Slussen. I noticed this first two years ago, the last time I visited Stockholm, hoping for a break from the construction in Sydney https://jamesobrien.blog/2017/05/19/stockholm-under-construction-2/, only to find the same thing was underway in Stockholm. From […]
  • Captain Moonlite and James Nesbitt - Having spent a few years in the early 1990s, living in Wagga Wagga, I was well aware of the story of Captain Moonlite, the bushranger, and the hold-up at nearby Wantabadgery Station in 1879. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captain_Moonlite What I wasn’t aware of until the mid 1990s, was the suggestion he had been involved in a same-sex relationship […]
  • Life Update - “You got a big weekend coming up?”, a number of people at work asked me this week. “Are you planning a big outrageous night”, Maggie, the bar manager at my local pub, asked me earlier tonight. Although I’ll often pop up the road for a look at the start of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian […]
  • Flying Home - Back in the day, one of the oddest things about flying in and out of Lismore was the stop-off in nearby Casino. Literally half-an-hour away by road, and eight minutes by plane, the aircraft would take off from Lismore, head towards “Parrot’s Nest” a location half way there, and immediately begin the descent. Passengers from […]
  • Tourist In My Town - I spent some time on the weekend as a “tour guide” for some friends visiting from the US. On Saturday, I took them to “Wendy’s Secret Garden” https://jamesobrien.blog/2018/04/22/wendys-secret-garden/ and the “Cartoon Walk”, both at Lavender Bay. If you’re ever visiting Sydney, or have visitors, they’re both highly recommended things to do. Catch a train or […]
  • Federal Election Predictions - Tonight I went to an event a Twitter in Sydney about the federal election, with an awesome panel including people from Fairfax (Tory Maguire), Sky (Laura Jayes), Nine (Chris Uhlman) , Buzzfeed (Alice Workman) and New York Times (Damien Cave). As well as awesome drinks, canapes and views, there was also an awesome discussion. These […]
  • Lunar New Year - “This is better than Vivid”, I said to my friend, visiting from Canberra, as we walked around the Lunar New Year Lantern Display around Sydney’s Circular Quay. “Every year”, I told her, “it rains at Vivid”, the festival of light held in Sydney. And even though it was awfully sticky tonight – we’re waking most […]
  • Pigalle - “I really love French disco from the late 70s to the early 80s”, I whispered into the ear of my friend, Sue, as we watched and listened to the DJ, and waited for the show to start, a production called Pigalle at Sydney Festival. As examples, here’s a few clips from the period. Heavily influenced […]
  • Canberra - I had the most fantastic nap this afternoon. I caught the bus from Canberra, and was asleep before we even left the city limits. When I woke, we were already at Liverpool. In preference to the train, or a car, or a plane, I really like the bus trip between Sydney and Canberra. Although it’s […]
  • The Start of 2019 - It’s almost fourteen months since Reko Rennie’s beautiful artwork at Taylor Square was painted over so the building could be “more attractive to rent out”. The other night, wandering along Oxford Street, I noticed the “For Lease” sign was still there. A sad start to the new year, I thought, as I really love public […]
  • Photographs of Snow and Ice - In the midst of a warm summer in Sydney, I’ve been watching friends post photographs of snow in Europe. Their photographs have inspired me to go looking for photographs from the past where I’ve experienced snow myself (which I love) taken in Sweden and Iceland.
  • Almost Too Sick For The Doctor - I have been away from work for the last two days with some kind of weird hayfever/summer cold kinda thing. In fact, I felt so shit I was on the verge of cancelling my planned visit to the doctor to have some potential skin cancer spots identified. It would be all too confusing I thought, […]
  • Christmas Week - Chatting with a colleague yesterday, she told me she felt “terribly organised” for Christmas this year, in a way she hadn’t been previously. This surprised me, as she’s ordinarily a “terribly organised person” in my view. “It must be the placement of the days”, she told me. And indeed, it was lovely to have three […]
  • Yearly Review – 2018 - “Where will you live? Will you live in Goonellabah?”, a relative asked me on the phone the other night, when I told her about my retirement plans, which involve returning to my hometown, Lismore. “Oh no, not Goonellabah, but most definitely somehwere on the hill, probably East Lismore”, I told her. Having grown up on […]
  • Things I’ve Seen Lately - On behalf of everyone in Sydney, I felt so incredibly embarrassed recently. Though I don’t subscribe to that whole Melbourne/Sydney rivalry thing (both are terrific cities), I know that many people in Melbourne believe Sydney-siders are an uncouth bunch of yobbos. A gross generalisation, of course, and if you look at the stats, Sydney-siders are […]
  • Recent Dining - It must be a decade, maybe more, since the glory days of the Grand Pacific Blue Room on Oxford Street, Sydney. They had good food and service, and they were located in an imposing building which, sadly, has remained empty for a number of years. That particular part of Oxford Street, which was once vibrant, […]
  • The Busy/Quiet Time - As you may have seen on the news, we had quite a big hail storm in Sydney this week. Or should I say hail storms? There were two distinct storm periods in my part of Sydney, separated by a half-hour period of stunningly bright sunshine. I’m lucky to live in the middle floors of an […]
  • When Will I Ever Learn? - So every night, when I come home from work (or an evening out), I walk up the stairs to my front door, pull out my keys, and switch on the light. This is what happens next. Do I learn from this? Finally, yes. The first day of the rest of my life starts tomorrow.
  • Dance Rites at Sydney Opera House - Today, my friend Kate and I spent quite a few hours at Dance Rites, a celebration of First Nations culture at the Sydney Opera House. Though we didn’t stay around for tonight’s performances (we’re not as young as we used to be), we were there for the massive opening “contemporary corroboree” as Rhoda Roberts called […]
  • Back To Tamworth - For a brief moment today I was transported back to Tamworth (NSW), and in particular the Country Music Festival. The launch of the Golden Guitars for 2019 was held today at my workplace in Sydney. Attending, I was reminded of being one of the judges, and making my way through a crate-load of compact discs. […]
  • Plans For The Weekend? - “What are you doing on the weekend?”, a number of people asked me at work yesterday. “Nothing, absolutely nothing”, I told them, adding I might have a sleep in, but not much beyond that. I’ve had a really busy week, both with work and social activity. This was my week, So by the time the […]
  • Birthday Celebrations - Fifty-three is such a “meh” birthday, and yet it was actually quite as good one, with a few highlights. Yesterday, I woke early and went out in search of an early morning “adventure”. I left the house before 6.00am, and wandered in the direction of Kings Cross. I figured an early morning breakfast in The […]
  • Never Drink During The Speech - A colleague messaged me yesterday saying “I just watched Caroline Wilson’s speech. I saw you in the crowd”. He was referring to the Andrew Olle Media Lecture, which I’ve written about previously. In reply I asked him if they’d crossed to me with a glass of wine in hand, as once occurred. I learned my […]
  • Parbury Ruins - The last couple of days in Sydney have been extremely warm, with temperatures in the mid-30s. Today was a terrific day to head underground, to visit a place with a climate resembling a wine cellar. The Parbury Ruins, at Miller’s Point, were uncovered only a few years ago during the construction of an apartment block. […]