All posts tagged: Sydney

Happy New Year, & what am I gonna do about Social Media since going to Nepal?

Hi darling Readers- it’s been so long I know… I hope you all survived/thrived during the silly season, and have come out the other side ready for a delightful 2019? I gotta confess: I hate Xmas. I can feel the collective stress rising in the air; I know lots of people love getting together, but an equal number of folk find it a very depressing, lonely, combative, irritating, or just all-round emotionally triggering time, not to mention the intense social pressure to spend money we don’t have on crap we don’t need. Having said that, this year I had a fab time! Mainly because it was low key, with almost no gifts (see photo), and a mainly vegetarian feast for Xmas Eve & Xmas Day- don’t forget it’s hot down here in Oz, so we go for outdoor garden settings & lots of salads. How cute does our Xmas table look, in my Aunt’s courtyard? And underneath that mound of pomegranate seeds and parsley front centre of photo is a layer of yoghurt and tahini …

Me Monday: celebrate Australia Day? No damn way. And here’s why

I emigrated to Australia in early January 1987, aged 20. Moved into a run-down three level terrace house in a dodgy inner suburb of Sydney, and began settling in to the new ways, sights and scents of my adopted home. The smell of sickly sweet mangoes rotting and fresh frangipani flowers still triggers memories of my first real Australian summer. A national day of celebration was quickly upon me: January 26 is nominated as ‘Australia Day’, celebrating the first arrival of Captain Cook, who claimed this land for the British Crown. It’sΒ a public holiday 3-day weekend, involving beer, barbecues, and ridiculous waving of the ugly Australian flag with patriotic pride. That particular morning dawned hot, and outside our scruffy student home, on a wide street where the heat was already shimmering off the asphalt, folk began to gather in the park. There were banners, drums, didgeridoos, ochre body painting, and cardboard signs everywhere, plus lots of black. Black armbands, black T-shirts, black flags, and of course black, brown, white, and pink faces. It was a …

‘You have such a three-year pattern! Look at yourself, for god’s sake!’

The door slams. It’s 1994, in a hot Sydney summer, when even the fat cockroaches in our slummy student house look a bit sweaty. My friend R has left the living room, but her dark mood and comment lingers. I frown back, staring down her words. Am I really a 3-year addict? Does it matter? Obviously it does to her, but I’m not feeling that distressed. The sink pipe knocks as usual while I pour myself a glass of water; is our hopeless landlord ever going to fix that? Well, it won’t matter anyway, if I move out… I’ve lived here for a while now, and it feels like time for a change… to the beach maybe, over at Bondi. How long has it been, this inner city dwelling? Nearly 3 years of hot pavements, squashed terrace houses with fragrant frangipanis, the endless hum of cars and their exhaust fumes. Before that, it was a scruffy flat in Coffs Harbour, with greasy carpets, and peeling paint on all the weatherboards and windows. Did I live …