Mary Rose

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About Mary Rose

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  1. Why do live where you do?

    My brother lived in Picnic Point for over twenty years, and I've grown to rather like the area too. Revesby, Panania, Padstow, all have good shopping centres and railway stations, with the train to the City taking about 35 minutes I think. You can drive to Cronulla in about half an hour I think, via Menai and Sutherland, for a swim. There are nice homes around Menai, Alfords Point, Bangor, although there is no rail service.
  2. I was just thinking that if I'd met somebody in 1978 who had come here 36 years before, they would have arrived during WW2. I also realized that most of the books I scoured the libraries for in 1977/78 were written by people who came here in the post-War period. I never intended to come to Sydney either as I wanted to stay in Perth, which I loved, but I could not get a job. Adelaide was/is probably OK but I was lonely and 'homesick' for Perth and my new friends in the hostel. I even bought a bus ticket back to Perth and the guys in the hostel wrote on the notice board 'The Adelaide Kid is coming back!' But then I met two Norwegian guys who were going to Sydney and I arranged to meet them on the steps of the Sydney Opera House, thinking that if I went back to Perth, I'd go home without ever seeing the Opera House or the Harbour Bridge. I did meet up with those two guys too on the steps of the Opera House. I wonder if they are on Facebook! Now, one of my brothers has been here in Sydney continously since 1979, and the other was here for 15 years from 1979 before moving to the USA, and I've had two stints of 18 and 6 years, with an 'inter-regnum' of 12 years back in the UK. What is the line from 'San Franciscan Nights' by Eric Burdon and The Animals? 'I wasn't born there perhaps I'll die there There's no place left to go, Sydney. (sic!)'
  3. I read in the Sunday Tele, why we are having almost daily thunderstorms in Sydney - something to do with weather on both sides of The Blue Mts. Most evenings it has been warm and mild both after and before the storms, although last Wednesday, I had a swim (for the first time) at Kyeemagh (near Brighton-Le-Sands) and it was unpleasantly windy. I was a bit scared in the water, despite it being an enclosed swimming area. I don't like being the only one in the water, and there was thunder and lightning about. How safe are you sitting in a car in a deserted car park? I went down to Bronte on Saturday evening at 8pm thinking that I'd left it far too late but there were still people swimming in the pool. 6pm now so OK but I will get caught in the peak hour traffic.
  4. Spit to Manly Walk

    I've not done that complete Spit to Manly for a long, long time, though I did, earlier this year, park above The Spit, far enough to be free, on the road that winds up to Balgowlah, and walk to Clontarf for my first ever swim there, then stumbled back to The Spit in the dark, which was stupid of me. I'm sure I saw a sign at the start of the walk which mentioned carrying on from Manly up the Northern Beaches and to St Ives. I'm not sure how much of that would be actual 'bush'. A couple of weeks ago, I walked part of the 'Two Valley Trail' from Bardwell Park to Tempe. I got the train from Central to Bardwell Park, not realizing you can walk from Bexley, which I would have preferred to the pavement walk to Sydenam. The complete walk is from 'Campsie to Bexley North via the valleys of the Cooks River and Wolli Creek.' (I'm quoting from the brochure.) I think the bit along the Cooks River is suitable for cycling, or pushing a pram, but the bit along Wolli Creek is part 'proper' bush walk, although never far from 'civilisation.' You could probably do a good walk from Rose Bay to South Head, to Bondi Beach (and carry on the coast path to Coogee.) It's not a bush walk as such, but parts are on the sand - at Rose Bay, and parts are 'bush' heading on to Neilsen Park, and around South Head, and parts are on grass/paths on the cliffs between Watsons Bay and Bondi. I think Neilsen Park has the largest remnant of actual bush left on the south side of the harbour. I've just had thought I probably left it too late again to apply for a ticket to watch fireworks on NYE from Neilsen Park. The last place I would recommend is around Balls Head, near Wollestonecraft or Waverton. I had a walk around there this year.
  5. From UK

    I had to Google '300 Visa' to see what it meant! I guess you are married to an Aussie and now you both want to move to Australia? My nephew has recently gone to England with his English girlfriend whom he met here (she was on WHV) and I think their plan is to stay in England for a year to 'prove' their relationship is solid. (Actually, I shall have to ring my brother and ask him about that?) My nephew has gone to England at the age - 22 - as my brother was when he came here. Hope to see you sometime next year then?!
  6. New architect in Sydney CBD

    What IS art?! Have you seen the 'two matchsticks' - one burnt and charred, the other pristine? I think they are near the Art Gallery of NSW, and were designed by Brett Whitely??? Actually, I don't mind 'modern art' ever since I went to Tate Modern by accident, just walking by along The Thames, and it was free to get in too!
  7. Commuting to/from Parramatta

    Parramatta is nasty if you drive, but it's actually not bad at all if you are commuting by train as it's almost exactly half way between the City and Penrith. I get the Blue Mts Train from Central to Penrith which does the trip in 48 minutes, stopping at Strathfield, Parramatta and Blacktown, and it's no more than 20 mins from Central to Parra. The Western Line trains are pretty good too, probably about 30 mins - must check the timetable. Parra is also a bus / train interchange so there is probably a bus to where you work. Occasionally, I do drive to Penrith but it's always something I regret, although it's not too bad once you are on the M4 at Concord, and Parra is about ten minutes from there, but in between, Parramatta Road is INFURIATING, with about 40 sets of traffic lights between the junction of City Road/Broadway and Concord. (Yes, I was sad enough to count the lights once!) Why not consider my suburb - Surry Hills? (Unless you want a house with a 'proper' garden?) I am ten mins walk from Central Railway. The nice thing about Surry Hills is just how central you are to everything. You can walk to most places. I'm having lunch with a friend in the Chinatown end of George St, and I will probably walk down there. I love going to the beach too, and they are all relatively close - around 7/8 kilometres to Bondi, Tamarama, Bronte, Clovelly, Coogee, and the harbour beach at Red Leaf or rather Murray Rose as it is now called, is only 5 k. I see you mentioned Bondi Junction and that is not a bad choice. Change trains at Town Hall or Central, then to Parramatta. Bondi Jn has all the facilities you will want and it's easy to get down to the beach. Where exactly are you working near Parramatta? I checked the travel times to Parra from Bondi Jn and see this one has you changing to Blue Mts train at Central but it's probably easier to get the Western Line service as it's a shorter walk between platforms. Going the other way, from Parra, well, you get on whichever train you prefer. 07:03From: Bondi Junction Station Platform 2, Bondi Junction T4 Eastern Suburbs & Illawarra Line Bondi Junction to Waterfall or Cronulla service 07:17To: Central Station Platform 25, Sydney Wheelchair accessible service View stop sequence TimeStop nameAccessibility 07:03Bondi Junction Station Platform 2, Bondi Junction 07:06 Edgecliff Station Platform 1, Edgecliff 07:09Kings Cross Station Platform 1, Sydney 07:11Martin Place Station Platform 1, Sydney 07:14Town Hall Station Platform 4, Sydney 07:17Central Station Platform 25, Sydney 07:23From: Central Station Platform 7, Sydney Blue Mountains Line Central to Bathurst service 07:48To: Parramatta Station Platform 2, Parramatta
  8. I used my Seniors' Card to get a $2.50 ticket (well, I buy them in bulk from the convenience store and keep them in my wallet), walked to Central, got the train two stops to Wynyard, found Medicare in shopping centre joined to Wynyard, then went for a walk. I did not have any plans, crossed George St, cut down a narrow alley, then into Australia Square Tower, or rather below it where there is a popular outdoor bar, then carried on over Pitt St, Gresham St, admiring the colonial buildings - Dept of Lands I think, four stories, very ornate with statues, figureheads, then into, I think Macquarie Place, with its obelisk dated from 1818 and showing the distance to various places in the colony. Finally I went down to Circular Quay and, although I must have seen the view of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House a thousand times, it never loses that 'Wow, one of the wonders of the world' feeling! It was warm too, even hot! I had jacket and beanie on and really I did not need them, and sunny of course. Sydney really is an amazing place! (And more important, I live here!)
  9. Making Friends (For Nigel!***) in Sydney.

    Come down for that quiz any time. Actually, I went into a new cafe/restaurant/bar last night in the old Readers' Digest building on Commonwealth St, and the guy in there was telling me how they do their quiz night using mobile phones. He is Scottish and the food and drink has a Scottish feel - haggis! I've never had it and I'm going back for a meal very soon, maybe tonight. I just had coffee last night, late arvo really, and was just looking for a place open past 4pm. Their quiz is on the same night, so I'm planning an early meal, but going to the Strawbo for the quiz as I've been doing it for a couple of years there. 'Arisaig' is the name of the restaurant I think, must Google it to check. I was talking to the young bloke who runs it - Celtic fan, but with a Rangers chef, I think. He told me that his parents have migrated to join them and it cost them $80,000!? I hate going on about 'boat people' but if they ARE 'economic migrants' entering illegally, that sounds grossly unfair to me. Come down to the quiz any time. It's not about being clever. The important thing is to have different minds, with different 'specialities'. Someone who watches Home and Away, Someone who watches The X Factor, that sort of thing. It's fun, and a good way to get out and meet people. Contemporary Bar and Dining at The Arisaig Tea Rooms The Arisaig Tea Rooms is a contemporary Scottish bar and restaurant located in Sydney's vibrant Surry Hills neighbourhood. Our Head Chef, Karen McPherson, and her team are passionate about creating fresh, homecooked produce which is inspired by Scotland's classic recipes and stunning natural larder. Alongside our stunning wine list, we have a range of Scottish Craft ales and beers from the heart of Perthshire alongside some local favs. We recommend 'a wee dram' after your meal and our collection of Scottish malt whiskeys won't disappoint. Our signature "teapot" cocktails are inspired by some famous Scottish landmarks and are so popular we offer cocktail making classes through our events experience partners. The Arisiag Tea Rooms is located within the iconic Reader's Digest Building and is accessed off our delightful hidden courtyard where you can relax, soak up the sun and people watch. Inside our main space is inspired by Caledonia and our iconic wine glass feature always impresses. We have a number of option available for private functions, including our Buchanan Room. Come and see us. We promise a warm welcome! The Arisaig Tea Rooms 27 July at 10:19 You asked, we listened! Haggis, neeps n' tatties, haggis sliders, chicken balmoral and Glaswegian style pakora is now on our menu. Thank you to all our customers who have taken the time to write us a positive review of their experience. We are very grateful!
  10. Why do live where you do?

    I understand, but in a way there are two PIO's for me, the one with the ratbags (including me!) and I can't help getting into futile 'yes it is, no it isn't' arguments, and then there is the one where I feel like I'm doing a bit of good, both for me and for the people asking questions. I'm off work at the moment recovering from my hernia, so spending a couple of hours on here gives me something to do, though I should be trying to write something for myself. I suddenly realized that this forum is ratbag-free and I use it also to, hopefully, hone my writing skills. (Even if there is nobody reading them!) That was the problem when I decided to write a blog. After a while I got despondent, with no 'followers except me!' Anyway, you are OK. How is the house coming along? My other brother in America has got into this house-sitting, not swapping, looking after places and pets whilst the owners are away, first gig in Vancouver now, and then one in England I think. He really is a bloke for whom 'where ever I lay my hat, that's my home.'
  11. *** Just my little pun! 'We're only making plans for Nigel, we only want what's best for him.' (quoted, or more likely MIS-quoted from XTC (I nearly said 10CC too.) Funnily (or not) enough, just after I arrived in Sydney in December 1978, so probably in 1979, XTC came out here. I wish I'd seen them too, now. 'Generals and Majors was the other song I remember from that time. I've suddenly realized that I can pontificate to my heart's content on 'Life in Sydney', without having to put up with all those pesky doomsayers who disagree with me on Poms in OZ. Of course, the downside is that I am often 'shouting into a valley with no echo?' It does s**t me, though (a nice Aussie expression, there, and one of the first I learnt. I can still remember 'M' this Pommie lady I worked with in 1979, saying to me 'B is giving me the s***s.' - that, I am trying to be positive about my experiences in OZ, and someone else is saying 'it's all BS.' This is on the subject (finally) of my post, ie. making friends in Sydney, (or anywhere else in OZ.) I was saying (on PIO) how I had 'pushed' myself to talk to more people, on this, my second, time in Sydney, wherever I met them, in cafes, pubs, shops. I introduce myself, tell them my name, and ask them theirs. Outside my door are two convenience stores and two cafes. I know the names of the people who run them as they do mine. One of the guys on PIO replies, very patronisingly, I thought, 'we are talking about making friends, not knowing the service staff.' Well, most of our friends ARE 'serving staff', or similar, when we first encounter them? You meet for the first time, then go through a gradual, never-ending process of getting to know them, what they like, maybe common interests. I have a friend whom I met in one of the pubs - Strawberry Hills - we were b0th watching AFL on the screen. He regularly goes to live games with one of the barmen, whom he did not know until he started going to the pub. I went in to one of the shops the other day, and I thought I recognized the lady behind the counter. 'Did you used to work here?' 'Yes. I am friends with the lady who bought the business from me, and now I work for her a couple of days a week.' (Making friends again!) I could not remember her name, but I did remember her son and husbands' names and she was pleased that I did. Yesterday, I went for a walk about noon, and thought I'd pop into the Royal Exhibition hotel to say hello to two of the barstaff. I often do that, don't have a drink, just say hello. Actually, funny thing is, that I had a sudden desire to have a beer, had two in fact - schooners of Coopers. I don't know what came over me, as, although I love having a beer in the evenings, I rarely do during the day. The other funny thing is that, I went home at 2pm, and it reminded me of England in the 1970's when the pubs opened and closed twice a day, particularly that Sunday session from noon to 2pm. (I remember a bloke I knew telling me Sunday lunch was the only time he went for a beer. Mind you, he had eight pints!) The two ladies in the pub have become friends. I've been for a meal with them. One of them often looks up at my flat to see if I'm there if she's out with her dog. And on my birthday - the big 60, this year (Anzac Day) they got me a present - lovely shirt - and a cake, and we had an impromptu little party in the bar, with two other friends from the bar, plus the bouncer, and a bloke who worked for Sydney Trains who was having a beer. Anyway, don't believe all the c**p you will see and hear about how unfriendly Aussies are, about how they don't have 'our' sense of humour, about how you cannot enjoy any banter with them, how it's easier to make friends in the UK, etc. ad nauseam. Take people as they come. Smile and say hello. If you have kids, you are just as likely to make friends with other parents on the school run as you are in the UK. If you like football (soccer), well, there are plenty of places to watch the EPL with fellow fans, Pommie and Aussie. But why not make an effort to get into Aussie Rules and Rugby League or Union? Don't just dismiss it as rubbish. I still largely prefer football to the other codes, at least when it comes to watching Spurs, but I LOVE watching AFL when the Swans are winning (which they are in every game this year.) I vaguely follow an NRL team - Melbourne Storm - and love the State of Origin series, which is the most popular sporting event on TV in Australia, and also follow the NSW Waratahs in the Super Rugby (they are having a great season too.) I've got plenty of Pommie and Irish friends as well as Aussies, but I don't go to those meet ups for 'New Chums', perhaps because I've been here too long, and I don't have anything in common with them other than my nationality. I have to admit that I sometimes find Pommies from different parts of the UK - Liverpool, Manchester - almost more alien than Aussies. (I'm from Hampshire!) I'm being too harsh, because when you are new here, it can seem an alien environment, and meeting up with others who have just arrived can be good, sharing experiences and the like. Sorry, I've gone on too long now. I'm cold (and miss my English central heating) so I'm going for a walk, may have brekkie in one of those cafes. There is a quiz night at the Strawberry Hills hotel on Wednesday nights at 730 if anybody fancies coming down to join my team (of one!)
  12. Mercury Colleges - opinion

    I Googled Mercury Colleges but don't know anything about them. They have been going for over 50 years though, so I would assume they are reputable?
  13. Why do live where you do?

    I live in Surry Hills, or sometimes I say Strawberry Hills, which is a suburb within a suburb, kept alive only by its post office and a pub. Surry Hills is in the inner city, so close to Sydney, that I sometimes just say that I live in the City, and it is the closeness to everything that is its main drawcard. Central station is five minutes walk, with buses outside my door. I can walk to UTS, Sydney Tech, the ABC,and China Town in 10 - 15 minutes, and not much more to Town Hall. Cafes, pubs, restaurants, shops are all around, literally hundreds within 10-15 minutes walk. Lack of space for a garden, especially if you have kids, is probably the main drawback, and most of the homes are either 19 century terrace homes, or more modern blocks of flats. I don't think there would be a single suburban house or bungalow in Surry Hills. That does not mean it is unpopular with families, and many like being able to walk to school, rather than drive, and make use of parks to make up for the lack of gardens. One of my friends was here today, and we had breakfast in a cafe right outside my flat. She lives in St Ives, and whilst she brought her kids up in the 'burbs, now, as a single person she finds the suburbs a little stifling. They are great when you are bringing up kids and you can make your life around your home, but not so much fun when you are on your own, and the nearest cafes/pubs etc are all outside easy walking distance. Finding a place to live also depends on where you are going to be working, because Sydney is not a pleasant place to commute long distances to work, and the weekend traffic is often worse than during the weekly peak. The most affordable homes are in the far-flung suburbs, around Campbelltown, Penrith, and also north, south and further west of Sydney, on the Central Coast, Illawarra, and Blue Mountains. Many people spend an hour or more commuting each way. I work at Penrith, which is between 50 and 70 minutes by train depending on which service I use. I live and work close to the station but I still have to allow ten minutes either side of the train journey, so I am spending 90 minutes each way commuting. So, if you can both find a place, and afford a place, close to where you are going to be working, that is what I would recommend!
  14. Why do live where you do?

    I have not noticed you around lately? Or am I walking around with my eyes closed (as usual!?)
  15. Actually, it may just be that I am recovering from my operation still, that I am feeling it more. Last week, I was in bed, wearing two pairs of socks, three layers of fleece and wool, hot water bottle, air heater, and my feet were still bloody cold. I think there has been something of a cold snap, and all the more of a shock because of our 'Indian summer' which extended till the end of May. I really did start to believe in climate change for a moment, then I realized it's just another one of those climatic aberrations. Remember the long, hot summer of 1976?! There has been snow in The Blue Mountains, -1 I heard it was in Katoomba, yesterday, and warnings of black ice on the roads. I've still not found out if they grit/salt the roads here? It was odd the first time I went to the snow, to find out that I had to carry chains! Then there is the lack of central heating in Aussie homes. How does reverse air con work? My brother has an oil/electric radiator, I think, which they like, but I miss the way the central heating clicks on before you wake up, and before you come home, to a warm house. But cold as it is, many blokes are around in shorts, though they look to be shivering sometimes before the sun comes up. PS 'Going to the snow' (and 'going to the bush.') Aren't they odd, but rather endearing expressions? I remember my brother warning his daughter when she was a toddler, to watch out for 'nakes' when she went into the bush with Nana. (My Mum!)