Saturday, 13 August 2016

The city by night

I recently had a day long conference in the middle of Sydney.
The office had a great view of the Bradfield Hwy as it approaches the Harbour Bridge (below).

I decided to walk home around the new Barangaroo work site to get to the Darling Harbour ferry.
The area around Wynyard Station is still a bit of a mess, but pedestrian overpasses are in place and every time I go by, you can see more features.

I'm not quite sure where the new Barangaroo area becomes the location we've always known as Darling Harbour. Maybe the use of these names will change as time goes by?

Wherever the cartography dividing line might be, the Imagine sign marks the end of the construction area and the beginning of the lovely waterside boardwalk around Darling Harbour.

The view from the ferry back along the boardwalk I had just walked down.

Darling Harbour was a working harbour until just after the end of WWII.
The area was full of warehouses, wharves, trains, boats and smog.

Barangaroo used to be called The Hungry Mile during the Depression years as hundreds of out of work men lined up there waiting to get work in one of the warehouses or on one of the boats.
The old pics below are from Wikipedia.

Darling Harbour 1900 looking from Pyrmont across the Pyrmont Bridge into the city.

Darling Harbour & Barangaroo 1950 from the city looking across to East Balmain and Goat Island to the right.

This post is part of Saturday Snapshot

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Bathurst Winter Festival

Recently I visited my family in Bathurst.

The area around Bathurst was originally the home of the Wiradjuri peoples. 

Bathurst is now the oldest inland settlement in Australia. Last year the city celebrated 200 years of white settlement with a big festival and street party.
It was so successful they've decided to make it an annual event to coincide with the two weeks of the winter school holidays.

Bathurst has had a number of very cold, snowy days and nights this year, but it's never usually cold enough for the snow to last for very long (it usually melts by lunchtime each day). 

So even though their new Winter Festival features lots of snow related activities, there was very little real snow in sight (although the freezing cold wind was blowing in from somewhere snowy close by!)

Bathurst has done a lovely job of celebrating the cold with markets, food and wine festivals, an ice skating rink, ferris wheel and Vivid-like lights. 
I'm sure this is a festival that will continue to grown and evolve.

Bathurst Court House looked beautiful with it's Winter Lights.

My parents enjoying the light and snow display.

Apparently there is a new ice hockey comp happening in Sydney this year.
Several of the teams travelled to Bathurst for the Winter Festival to play some exhibition games.

 The line for the Ferris wheel was too long at night, so Mum & I returned the next day.
It would have been lovely to see the town all lit up at night, but the daylight ride gave us a fabulous panorama view of the surrounding areas.

This post is part of Saturday Snapshot.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

French Onion Soup

Weekend Cooking with Best Fish Reads allows me to get one last post in for this year's Paris in July event with Thyme for Tea.

During the winter months I love my slow cooker, but I've never tried to use it to make soup. This weekend I felt inspired to give it a shot.

I have a wonderful Slow Cooking book by Aussie kitchen legend, Margaret Fulton. 

We've enjoyed her Osso Bucco, Lamb Pilaf, Lamb Shanks and Beef Stroganoff over the years and I've used her chicken and beef stock recipes as a basis for making my own stock.

I always find her recipes easy to follow, using ingredients I usually have to hand with the end results guaranteed yummy for the whole family (although I always add a little more herb and spice than she recommends).

In honour of Paris in July, I decided to try her French Onion Soup (soupe a l'oignon).

Onion soup dates back to Roman times and was considered the poor person's soup.

In the 18th century, the French developed the modern recipe we all know and enjoy.

Legend has it that it was actually King Louis XV who made the first French Onion soup from the only ingredients to be found in his hunting lodge - butter, onions and champagne.

The gratin and gruyere cheese version familiar to most Francophiles is a modern invention.

As with all her recipes, Fulton's French Onion Soup was easy to prepare and cook.

The aroma of the caramelising onion and butter was divine.  

I added some sprigs of thyme during the slow cooking phase because I simply have to have more flavour.

I also added some parsley, croutons and parmesan cheese at the end, but decided against gratinising it as I was too hungry to wait any longer.

It was delicious, although a I found that a little goes a long way. The sweetness of the caramelised onions was a little overbearing at times.

One recipes I read (for comparison) suggested using water instead of stock to get a more traditional flavour. I might try that version next.
I will also definitely explore adding more spices like pepper and garlic next time to give my savoury taste buds a break from the sweetness.

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera Exhibition

An exhibition of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera's work from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman collection is now on at the Art Gallery of NSW until 9th October.
The exhibition also includes many photographs by Edward Weston, Nickolas Muray and Frida's father, Guillermo Kahlo.

It's worth the long wait in line to get a ticket (even on a weekday!)
I'm beginning to wish I'd paid the extra for an unlimited ticket as I'm already feeling the urge to see it again. The spirit of Los Fridos (devotees of Frida) seems to have infected me too.

Hot tip - become a member or buy your ticket online to avoid the queues.

One of the many portraits of Natasha Gelman by Kahlo.

Natasha Gelman (as calla lily) by Rivera.

I was amazed by the number of photographs with Kahlo, cigarette in hand.

The power of love!
Rivera almost looking handsome and dashing at the hands of Kahlo.

I have a coffee mug with this Picasso print on it.
We saw it in 2012 when we had a Picasso exhibition in Sydney.
I got a weird thrill to think we'd viewed the same painting.

There were also three movies showing brief scenes from their life together, including their famous meeting with Trotsky in 1937.

This post is part of Saturday Snapshot

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Tom Uren Trail

Tom Uren was a well-known and much loved Balmain resident. After his years away at war, boxing and working for the Labor movement, he enjoyed walking the streets of Balmain in his retirement. 

His death last year was the catalyst for local residents and council to work together to honour his memory with a walking trail around the streets he knew so well.

The trail chosen was one Tom's favourites.
It takes in many of the various water views and parks on our peninsula.

Propeller Park overlooking Mort Bay

Nowadays Mort Bay only hosts ferries and small boats. But in Tom's youth, Mort Bay was a working  dry dock - busy, smelly and noisy.

The Trail is mark by signs and pictures of his iconic slouch hat.

0ne of the slouch hat posts lining the trail

This post is part of Saturday Snapshot