Saturday, 3 December 2016

Crowded House Encore

I have loved Crowded House and their music from day one.
I purchased their first album the day it was released in Australia - I was at uni, in Wagga and I still remember how happy I was to be the first in my dorm to have it!
Don't Dream It's Over was my first favourite song, but very quickly, every single song won it's way into my heart.

Over the years, I acquired every single album that Crowded House released.

Twenty years ago I was devastated when they announced they were breaking up.
And I was utterly  heart broken when I realised I wouldn't be able to attend their free farewell concert on the forecourt of the Opera House.

In 2005 when Paul Hester suddenly and sadly died, I gave up all hope of every seeing them play live.

Fast forward to 2016 and the unexpected announcement that the remining members of Crowded House would perform an encore concert at the Opera House to celebrate their induction into the ARIA Hall of Fame.

Two encore concerts blew out to four very quickly as ticket sales went ballistic!
Mr Seasons sat online for an hour or so, to finally secure us tickets for the final nights performance.

It's almost impossible to describe how excited I was!

We arrived a couple of hours early, to find this line snaking it's way back down Circular Quay.

But we were still early enough to secure a fantastic viewing spot on the steps. 

I won't bore you with a zillion blurry photos of the stage - mostly because I was too busy dancing and singing to think about taking photos!

After a brilliant evening, with a guest appearance by Neil's equally famous older brother, Tim, the skies above our heads lit up with a fireworks display.

The concert was televised live around the world - I hope you were lucky enough to see it too.
It was a special night for many of us - including this reporter - Jamila Rizvi - who summed up perfectly what we all experienced on Sunday night.

This post is part of Saturday Snapshot.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Sydney Observatory

From my Top 10 Sydney Eyewitness Guide:

"The 1858 Italiante building was converted into a museum of astronomy in 1988. The Tower's time-ball still drops daily at 1pm, while a cannon is fired simultaneously from Fort Denison."

"Lieutenant Willam Dawes established Australia's first observatory on the point that now bears his name. In 1790 he earned Governor Philip's displeasure when he refused to join a reprisal attack against Aborigines. His refrusal sprand from a relationship with an Eora woman, Patyegarang. Dawes' journals detail his converstaions with Patyegarang and document the vocabulary and grammer of the Eora. Dawes was shipped out in 1791 and spent years campaigning against slavery in the west Indies."

I've always thought it was such a shame that men of cultural sensitivity like Dawes were not encouraged to stay in the colony during the early years. Our troubled history with the Aborigines may have proceeded quite differently if men like dawes were in charge, or had a say.

In 1797 a windmill was built on the hill above the first settlement. This was the highest point of land in the early colony consisting of a rocky, steep ridge. The windmill deteriorated quickly - the canvas sails were stolen, a storm damaged the machinery and by 1800 the foundations were crumbling. The area was named Windmill Hill, but now the surrounding Millers Point is the only reminder of this earlier history.

View from atop the Observatory looking towards Balmain.

In 1803 the name of the hill changed to Fort Philip. Governor Hunter built a fort to defend the new settlement against a possible attack by the French and also from rebellious convicts.

The fort was never required. The eastern wall of the fort was converted to a signal station in 1825. Flags were used to send messages to ships in the harbour and to the signal station on the South Head of the harbour.

By the 1830's the sandstone cliffs at the bottom of Observatory Hill were being cut into to make way for the shipping industry developing in Cockle Bay, Darling Harbour.

Mortimer Lewis (colonial arcitect 1835 - 1849) began building a proper signal station on the site in 1848.

A few years later, Governor Denison agreed to build a full observatory next to the signal station.
The first official astronomer was William Scott, appointed in 1856.
His new observatory, was designed by William Weaver (during his time as colonial architect 1854-56) but built by his successor Alexander Dawson (1856 - 62). 
It was completed in 1858.

The southern dome contains an equatorial refracting telescope, installed in 1874 to observe the Transit of Venus. The dome is made from a Muntz metal - a copper-zinc alloy and sits atop an octagonal tower.

 The time-ball was the new Observatory's most important feature.
The only change to the ball since it's first use on the 5th June 1858, is the motor that now mechanises the raising of the ball in preparation for the 1pm drop.
I took a brief video of the time-ball dropping but, I can't seem to make it work here.

Inside the south dome

The north dome was added in 1878 to allow for a view of the eastern sky.
It now houses a modern computer controlled 40cm reflecting mirror telescope.

"Observatory Park: Given its location beside the southern approach to the Sydney Harbour Bridge, this small park below the Observatory is surprisingly peaceful. It offers great views of the working harbour. Near the bandstand is a memorial to the Australians who served in the South African War (1899-1902)."

The Museum of Applied Arts and Science website is here.

The Gadigal peoples were the original inhabitants of the area around Observatory Hill, Millers Point and Dawes Point. They co-existed with the European invaders in this area, that became known as the Rocks, until about 1840.

In 1788, it was estimated that about 1500 Aborigines lived in the area, but more than half probably died after the 1789 smallpox epidemic.

View of the Parramatta River from Observatory Hill in 1789 (image courtesy Australian National Maritime Museum)

View of Sydney from North Sydney by Conrad Martens 1841 (courtesy State Library NSW)

View of Millers Point and Darling Harbour c. 1870 (image courtesy of State Library NSW)

This post is part of Saturday Snapshot

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Supermoon Monday

Monday night, very fittingly, was Supermoon night.
Unfortunately, though, Monday was also a cloudy day in good old Sydney town.
Not ideal for watching a supermoon rise.

However that didn't stop lots of local luna lovers from gathering on the foreshores of our peninsula, just in case.
There's always plenty of picturesque views to admire regardless of the moon.

The cloud cover hung low, so we did miss the moon rise.

But we did get a break as the moon reached the arch of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
People cheered, cameras clicked and #supermoon2016 trended!

The middle of the bridge! How lucky!
How perfectly picturesque!

How lucky to have your Bridge Climb walk booked for the night of the supermoon!
You can see one group crossing the centre of the bridge and another group beginning their descent.

The Australian flag and the flag of NSW were flying tonight.

And there she goes!
45 minutes of la bella luna, before the clouds obscured her pretty face once again.
I'll be 66 for #Supermoon2034 - I wonder where I will be?

This post is part of Saturday Snapshot.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Jacaranda Time

November is jacaranda time in Sydney.

The streets of home are a gorgeous shade of purple. 
Their petals litter the paths and gutters and verges, carpeting the world in a violet haze.

The stunning purple skyline looks fabulous against blue skies, grey skies, buildings and walls.

If you follow me on instagram, you may have seen some of these earlier.
I do not apologise at all! 
They only flower for one brief month & I am determined to make the most of their beauty.

This post is part of Saturday Snapshot.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Sculptures by the Sea 2016

Annual events like the Bondi to Tamarama Beach Sculptures by the Sea remind you how quickly time flies by. This year marked the 20th anniversary of the event.

Mr Seasons & I had so much fun taking photos of the sculptures this year, I think I will have to turn this into a 'to be continued' post. The afternoon was perfect. 
About 25 C degrees, a little breeze and moderate crowds.
A few of the sculptures suffered storm damage last weekend, but there was still plenty to see.
As per usual, there was the usual mixture of graceful, baffling and idealogicial.

The Tractor by Markus Hofer

Skin Cube by Louise Sparre

Memory Lane by Fiona Kemp

Buried Rhino by Gillie & Marc Schattner

Mr Seasons photographing Inawe by Rebecca Rose

Fluid by Norton Flavel

Green Room by Sharyn Egan

New Moon Tilted Vase by Philip Spelman

Being Now Here No Where by Mee-Sun Kim Park

Untitled Coral by Alessandra Rossi

Signed by Jonathon Leahey

Boolaloo by Lou Lambert with Shallows by James Roger in the background.

The Music of Steps by Paul Selwood

Big Intention by Mikaela Castledine

Measuring the Sky by Mimi Dennett

Flower Power by Silvia Tuccimei

Mr Seasons having fun with Dave by Cathyann Coady.

Link iii 2007 by Inge King

Mountains Air-Circles by Koichi Ishino

Weave the Reef Love the Reef by Marion Gaemers

Sunset over Bondi by Brona!

Adaptation by Niharika Hukku (they glow in the dark apparently)

Detritus Parisitus (part 1) by Ian Swift

Detritus Parisitus (part 2) by Ian Swift

Water Blocks by Tsukasa Nakahara

This post is part of Saturday Snapshot