The Noswonky Web Log:

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Tuesday, October 31 2006

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The "Gore" was gridlocked this morning. This cut 15 minutes off my morning coffee time!

At least I saw a buggy...

Money In

I got mail from the RTA - which was a bit disturbing. But when I opened it, it turned out to be money. You can't beat getting a cheque in the mail!


In the evening there were lots of spooks and witches roaming the streets of Riverview demanding confectionery with menaces. I cowered inside like a woosy, while Yuko went outside and confronted them.

One of the pack of monsters who demanded treats

I had prepared a bag of snakes to bribe the terrorising spooks. I thought a couple of snakes each would placate them. However, I was appalled when Yuko handed over the whole bag to the first gaggle of ghouls to approach the house! Fortunately, only one group managed to find the Noswonky residence so we managed to avoid tricks.

Bag of snakes

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Monday, October 30 2006

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I had lunch at De Nero's and did a bit of work on my laptop. Naturally, I took the opportunity to try hacking into wireless networks in the area. I found five networks - only three with security enabled. However, I was unable to bludge free Internet access.


Broken Bough

Now that daylight saving (not savings) has started, there is enough time to go for a walk in daylight when I get home from work. So I did, and saw that the broken bough has been removed, leaving a pool of sawdust...

Former location of bough

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Sunday, October 29 2006

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Time Warp

Daylight Saving (not savings) began today. We therefore found it too difficult to get up in time for breakfast! So instead we went over to our favourite beach - Collaroy - in time for lunch on "The Deck".

The Deck

Yuko relaxes on The Deck

We also saw a buggy, and a badly parked car...

Badly parked car

On our last visit to Hob-Nob, Yuko accidentally left her lens cap in the restaurant. So, as Hob-Nob is right near The Deck, we dropped in to pick it up.

Yuko checks whether Hob-Nob is open - it was.

Ghost Belinda

I took a picture of Hob-Nob from a distance. It was only later when I looked at the picture that I noticed the ghostly image of Belinda hanging in the air above the road...

Hob-Nob with ghost Belinda

Decadent Mother

Today I was shocked to see that Mother has bananas in her house! She must be rolling in money.

Bananas - ripe and rotten

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Saturday, October 28 2006

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The construction of the deck in TamBayRes is coming along nicely. I just wonder what it's for...

When the bough breaks...

Sometimes boughs break. Today, one did....

Broken Tree

Fish Horror

In the evening, Yuko terrorised the fish...

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Friday, October 27 2006

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Pizza Shop Fights Back

This morning I was shocked to see that the shattered windows at GPK had all been replaced and everything was as it was before the attack!


First Week Ends

Today marks the completion of the first week of my new job. With so much to learn, it's been a hard week. But I did get to do some real work today - which was good.

At the end of one week my impression is that I'm going to like it! One thing I like already - casual dress every day. This means no more ironing or dry cleaning!


In the evening, Yuko gave me a piece of brocoli...

Lamb in Bear's Clothing

Today Yuko bought a lamb. She had intended it as a gift for Kazuki's sister, but I said that it was too cute to give away. We named the lamb Larry.

Larry Lamb (wearing bear's clothes)

Larry gets naked and does the splits

We knew that Larry was a Lamb in Bear's Clothing because of the tag...

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Thursday, October 26 2006

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Attack on Pizza Shop

There is a GPK (Gourmet Pizza Kitchen) next to De Nero's cafe where I've been having morning coffee this week. This morning, I was shocked to see that GPK had been attacked. At first I thought the windows had been hit with bullets, but on closer inspection it appeared that the impacts were from a blunt object. I counted 15 impacts on several large glass panes...

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Wednesday, October 25 2006

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Green, Green Day

Burns Bay, Lane Cove

On Monday, an employee at Pharmalab, a company located next to Burns Bay at Lane Cove, accidentally bumped a tap causing hundreds of litres of a green medical dye to pour into the bay. The result was a green bay.

Here's how it was reported on Sydney's Channel Nine News...

I only heard about this last night on the TV news, so when I went down to gawk at it this morning before work, the green colour had dissipated significantly. It still looked green, but not so much that it looked unnatural.

The picture above is from the article about it at NineMSN, while the one below is how it looked today.

Burns Bay today - just a little green

And then the greenness continued when I saw a green buggy on the way to work...

Green buggy


Mother took us to Hawks at Eastwood for dinner. We didn't go to Maroo because it's still closed for renovations. We arrived at Hawks at about 7pm and found it surprisingly quiet. Perhaps Wednesday is the best day to go there in future.

Then we had coffee at the Noswonky residence and Yuko showed off her new pink transparent back-pack. She also forced Mother to model it...

Yuko wears backpack
Mother wears backpack

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Tuesday, October 24 2006

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Boring Building

At lunchtime today I explored the Kingsford are a bit. I found a building that looked pretty boring so I took a picture of it...


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Monday, October 23 2006

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De Nero's


Today I started my new job as a Perl Application Developer at a small company at Kingsford. I therefore had to go through the Harbour Tunnel and the Mister ED. On the way, I saw a buggy...


The drive takes about 25 minutes which is not bad compared to the 60 minutes it used to take to drive to my previous job.

I have never worked in a small company before, so it will take a bit of getting used to. But it's "cosy" and there are plenty of coffee sellers within easy walking distance! Today's coffee picture was taken at one such place - De Nero's.

Mister ED

Coming home, there was an electronic sign warning of a problem on Burns Bay Road. I considered avoiding it, but then I forgot and went there anyway. But there was no problem at all!

When I reached Burns Bay Road there was no sign of a burst water main

And it was cold...

Cold Feet

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Sunday, October 22 2006

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In the morning I had to remove lint from my jumper. This lint remover is the second greatest invention of the 20th century (the greatest being the remote control). Just pass it over the fabric and the lint is gone!



Laughing Mole

Yuko is thinking about buying another camera lens and she wanted to do some comparisons, so we arranged to meet blog reader Laughing Mole at Epitome. Yuko took some test pictures with Mr. Mole's fancy "L series" lens for comparison with her "toy" lenses.

Fancy Mole Lens

Yuko tests the lens

I have not heard the results of these tests.

Cricket, Bird and Balloons




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Saturday, October 21 2006

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As usual, Yuko left me at Epitome and went off on an unrestrained shopping spree. She came back with this box of cake cutlery...

Sewer Hole

Last evening, some dudes from Sydney Water came to our front door and said that they had received and odour report and their investigation had revealed that the sewer cover (which is in the middle of our driveway) was missing!

Actually I knew about the hole - the plastic cover was broken long ago by being constantly run over by car wheels...

The sewer hole

The broken lid

The Sydney Water dude said that I had to go to the hardware shop and buy a lid for the hole (which he said is a standard size). So today I went to Bunnings at Artarmon and bought this...

New sewer lid

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Friday, October 20 2006

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Money Out / Money In

Strangely, although I left Salmat more than a month ago, I still received my normal salary payment into my bank account a few days ago! I was thinking that if this continues, I would be able to retire to a life of luxury. But unfortunately I got a call from the Salmat pay office on Wednesday asking me to return the money. The lady who called me sounded humble and meek - perhaps she was afraid I might decline to return the money. But to her relief, I offered to mail them a cheque. That's money out.

I also recently received my M5 Cashback claim form. I should get back $335 in tolls. That's money in.

Today I mailed them both...

Money out / money in


We decided to go to Balmoral for breakfast. This time we wanted to go to the other cafe - Watermark - which is located next to the baths. I actually like this cafe better than the Bather's Pavilion because it has a nice outdoor deck.


We arrived there at about 10.15am only to be told that breakfast finishes at 10am! How barbaric! So we went to the Bather's Pavilion again.

After my usual cappuccino, I ordered an iced coffee. Yuko then threatened to tell Mother about it and demanded money in exchange for her silence on the matter...


In the afternoon I went to Macquarie Centre to do some miscellaneous shopping - a reference book, some DVD's and some clothes.

I parked in row "B" on the Green level...

Green B

More Council Works

The council is doing more construction work down in TamBayRes. They're building a wooden deck so that picnics can be held without setting foot on the grass.

Deck construction zone fenced off

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Thursday, October 19 2006

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Hob Nobbing


For this reason, Yuko suggested we go somewhere to celebrate. We decided to go to Hob Nob at Collaroy...

It may be close on Labour day, but it was pretty far today!

Mother Hob-Nobbing

At the risk of being labeled barbarians, we arrived quite early (5.30pm) so there was nobody else in the restaurant

I poured Yuko's beer, but I consumed only soft drinks

Entrees - Spring rolls and Stuffed Chicken Wings

Yuko insisted that the stuffing in the chicken wings was chicken mince, while Mother and I said it was pork. Yuko bet us $1.00 each that it was chicken. She then asked the waitress, who said that it was pork. Thus, Mother and I won some money!

Later in the evening, Yuko became abusive...

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Wednesday, October 18 2006

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Mother's Adventure

Mother asked me to drive her to Sherringham's nursery to buy some garden supplies. We went in Mother's car...

Mother at Sherringham's

When Mother saw this she exclaimed "Crocs Rule!"

After Sherringham's, Mother wanted to get her car washed so we stopped at the nearby petrol station where they have an automatic carwash. I purchased a ticket for the cheapest wash ($8.70) and proceeded into the machine.

The car ahead of us.

As the grotesque machine engulfed us, Mother said she was "Not quite terrified".

But when we parked later and inspected the car, it was still filthy! Mother was disgusted and appalled.

Mother inspecting the filth

Mother then bought me a coffee at Epitome (see coffee pic at top).

When we got back to Mother's house, she found a dead body floating in the water near her front gate. A "problem solver" was called in to resolve the situation...

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Tuesday, October 17 2006

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Beakless Bird

Here is a picture of two beakless birds which was sent to me by a reader. The interesting thing about this picture is that it actually shows the elusive beak of the beakless bird!

Beakless Birds

Walking in Riverview

There seems to be a frenzy of council sponsored activity recently. First the stonework in the bush tracks, and today... pool cleaning...

Pool cleaning

I also saw a buggy...



We decided to go to Maroo (the Korean BBQ restaurant at Eastwood), but when Yuko called to book they said that it's closed for renovations. So we went to Katsura at Neutral Bay instead.

While waiting for our food, Yuko demonstrated "how it moves"...


Mother at Katsura

Then we went home and gloated over our collection of coffee makers...

Collection of coffee makers

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Monday, October 16 2006

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There be stones down by the bay...


Animal Slaughter

Yuko doesn't mind the slaughter of innocent animals for the advancement of the fashion industry. Today she bought a mink fur thingy which she wrapped around herself and blatantly flaunted in public...

Yuko flaunts the remains of an innocent animal - note the innocent animal in the background

I felt the fur...

Feeling the fur - it feels nice!

Chicken Email

The good thing about having a 3G phone is that you can receive emails about chicken where-ever you are...

This is not spam - it's chicken!

Soy Sauce Crisis

When we got home (after I'd just done the grocery shopping), Yuko realised that we had run out of soy sauce! As this is not a survivable situation, I travelled to Mother's house to offer a trade - Rhubarb jam for soy sauce. She accepted...

Rhubarb Jam
Soy Sauce

Mother also had a problem with her house lights. it was a tripped circuit breaker which I reset with my thumb...

Thumbing the breaker

When I returned home I gave Yuko the soy sauce, prompting the following reaction...

From Message
Laughing Mole
5690 Days Ago
You could re-arrange the stones to spell a rude word!

From Message
5690 Days Ago
I would like to do that, but I'm too wimpy to lift them!

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Sunday, October 15 2006

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The two-day heatwave ended today and we sat outside on Epitome's balcony for the first time in a while.

Later, I saw a kayak.

Then we decided to sit at home and rot.

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Saturday, October 14 2006

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Today it was hot! The official temperature was 36C. At Epitome, I drank cold things (see above) while this clown clowned in the plaza...


After that we decided to sit at home and rot.

From Message
5693 Days Ago

From Message
5693 Days Ago
Hello anonymous. I believe I recognise you from your writing style - short and to the point!

From Message
5691 Days Ago

From Message
5691 Days Ago

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Friday, October 13 2006

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de Nero's


Lot's of coffee (and coffee pictures) today!

In the morning I had to go to XXXXXXXXX XXX XX XXXXXXXXXX While there I had coffee at a cafe called de Nero's. I went there primarily to escape the heat (probably over 30C) and this was the only fully enclosed, air-conditioned cafe I was able to find in the area.

Animals and Chocolate

At Epitome, we got animals with our water. Yuko asked me whether we could keep them or if they had to stay at the restaurant. I didn't know, so Yuko then asked the manager. He said she could take them home. She was very excited!

My animal
Yuko's animal

Then we saw this sign outside the flower shop...


Mother took us to Taiki for dinner. As usual, she ate prawns, I ate chicken and Yuko ate something strange. Unusually, we stayed for coffee at Taiki (see coffee picture number 3 at top) rather than going next door to Yellow



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Thursday, October 12 2006

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Stone Carving

Further the the construction of new steps in the bush two days ago, they have now carved another set of steps out of solid stone...

Steps in stone

Glass Thingy Found!!!!!!!!!

Several years ago we purchased a coffee maker at a garage sale. The device consists of two glass vessels separated by a filter - a glass thingy. This was our favourite method of making coffee. But alas - the machine met with a horrible accident and was destroyed. Only the glass filter thingy survived.

We then combed the coffee equipment suppliers of Sydney looking for a replacement coffee maker of the same type. We eventually found the device, but with a woosy cloth spring-loaded filter instead of a glass thingy. (See: May 2004 - Buying the second coffee maker)

We therefore used the surviving glass thingy (from the first machine) with the new machine. Eventually, the second machine was also destroyed and yet again the glass thingy survived! (See: January 2006 - The destruction of the second coffee maker)

We then bought out the entire remaining stock of coffee makers and have continued using the original glass thingy with these machines (See: January 2006 - Buying the last two coffee makers in Australia). But we have always worried that if the glass thingy ever got broken, there would be no way of replacing it.

But now, we have two glass thingies!

It began when Yuko was reading her book at Epitome, unaware of the momentous event which was soon to follow...


Then she disappeared as usual to peruse the wares at Vinnies. Some time later she returned in a blissful state. She had found the elusive Glass Thingy for which we had been searching for several years!

It came in a box - apparently having never been used - and there was also a coffee maker included, all for just $8.00!

Box containing a glass thingy
The elusive glass thingy

Inserting the glass thingy

You can't beat a glass thingy!

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Wednesday, October 11 2006

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Curtain Hanging

Mother has washed her curtains! So I was called in to re-hang them....


World Trade Center

We went to see the movie World Trade Center. Mother didn't want to see a movie involving death and destruction, so she did not come with us. It was on at Macquarie Centre and we parked in Green D...

Green D

It's the story of two Port Authority cops who go down to the World Trade Center on September 11 2001 to rescue people, but instead need to get rescued themselves.

The movie was adequate, but not as good as the other 9/11 movie United 93 which was saw recently.

Greater Union Macquarie - The crowds on a weekday are small


After the movie Yuko bought a dead chicken which she later photographed. I photographer Yuko photographing the chicken...

Photographing a dead chicken

Green Waste

It's Green Waste day - a day to waste green things...

Yuko wasting green things

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Tuesday, October 10 2006

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Boatshed Cleanup

The debris from the TamBayRes Boatshed - recently burned to the ground - was being cleared today and they seemed to be using a boat to transport it. This makes sense as there is no road access to the site - only a walking track.

Boat shed cleanup

Bush Construction

A few days ago I saw some unamerican dudes hauling big rocks into the bush. Today I saw the fruits of their labour - new steps...


And they left their tools behind too!



Today Yuko sent me to the shops to buy a bag of potatoes. After reading the blurb on this particular bag, I just had to buy them...

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Monday, October 9 2006

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Day of Decadence

The Bathers' Pavilion - Balmoral

The pinnacle of Mosman coffee culture

We sat by the window looking out at the beach

Cool clear water

You can't beat eggs by the sea!

Low Tide

Later in the day I went walking and saw the lowest tide ever...

Low low tide at Burns Bay

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Sunday, October 8 2006

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Before breakfast, I inflated 18 balloons. These would be used later in the day...

Balloon Inflation


It was the day of the Lane Cove Fair. Roads were closed and a frivolity was in abundance...

The Fair

Only tiny cars were allowed on the roads

Epitome staff were painted

The Lane Cove Town Crier

Merchants displaying their wares


Today was also Mother's birthday. We took her to a movie in the afternoon using the free tickets which Yuko obtained from her hairdresser on Thursday. The tickets were only valid this weekend and were only for a specific movie - Little Miss Sunshine.

It's the story of a family driving across America in a Kombi van so that their 7 year-old daughter can pursue a career as a stripper. Yuko and I found it adequate, but Mother found it less than adequate.

After the movie we returned to our filthy house where we had a small birthday party for Mother.

Mother opens present

Mother blows out candle

Yuko cooked Mother's favourite food - Tempura Prawns. You can't beat Yuko's tempura prawns!

We all wore party hats

Then Yuko sang. Some of the 18 balloons I inflated in the morning are visible in the following video...

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Saturday, October 7 2006

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Sign From God

Today we saw a sign from God, but we ignored it...


At Epitome, Yuko targeted me like a paparazzi photographer prompting bemusement from nearby diners.

Note bemused girl

Then Yuko went away from a while (as usual) and returned with yet another watch! It only cost her $8.00, but she thinks it's probably much more valuable.

Another watch


In the afternoon I went out shopping for a birthday present for Mother. It's hard to choose an appropriate gift and I spent a lot of time walking around Chatswood aimlessly. I eventually found something that I thought she'd like, but by the time I got home I was a zombie.

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Friday, October 6 2006

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In the morning, Mother and I went to look through the house at St. Leonards where we used to live - and have not seen for 27 years. The agent greeted us at the door and showed us through. I didn't take any pictures inside.

The house is vacant, and it was fascinating to see the rooms where I spent my childhood. My Father was actually born in that house! Some things had changed a lot - the kitchen and bathroom were completely new. But there were lots of little things that were still the same and triggered old memories - like the pattern on the glass in the bathroom window, the mechanical doorbell on the back door, the string-pull light switches!

And the price? They're asking at least $950000 which is a factor of 15 more than my parents sold it for 27 years ago!

Then as we left the house, Mother stole a cutting from the front garden!

Plant fragment stolen from house

Afterwards we went to a nearby cafe for coffee. On the way, Mother rested outside the SALMAT building...

Mother rests outside the SALMAT building

At the cafe we saw a beagle - possible a descendant of the dog we had when we lived at the St. Leonards house all those years ago...


Unamerican Rock

During my usual walk through the bush, I saw a couple of dudes hauling big rocks into the bush and placing them in clusters. I assume this is part of some bizarre religious ritual - like Stone Henge.

Cluster of rocks

When I exited the bush track I saw that the rocks were coming from a trailer - and they were UNAMERICAN!


I got a text message saying that our mobile phones had come back from repair and were ready to be picked up at the 3 shop. We have been using loan phones for the last couple of weeks.

Yuko actually likes the loan phone (a flip style) better than her own phone. So we went to the shop at St. Leonards and she asked the sales dude if she could keep it. He said he'd be in a lot of trouble if he swapped phones, but he suggested that she could sell her handset and buy another handset similar to the loan phone. So Yuko decided to try selling it.

3 Shop

Then Yuko left me at St. Leonards and took a train to the city for a couple of hours. She wanted to pick up some free movie tickets from her hairdresser, visit her watch repairer and try selling her phone. While she was gone, I went to Olio, the cafe at St. Leonards Station. This is where I took today's third coffee picture (top).

When Yuko returned from the city, she said that she had failed to sell her phone, but she looked happy...

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Thursday, October 5 2006

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A money spider crawled across my newspaper today...

Money spider


In the evening, we went to Mother's house for dinner. We ate fish and Yuko talked a lot!

Yuko talking


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Wednesday, October 4 2006

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During my walk today, the tide was low and I decided to walk out onto the muddy riverbed. I was surprised by the large number of jellyfish stranded on the mud. I don't think they're very intelligent.

Jellyfish baking in the sun


Yuko's friend George, who is an antique dealer, has two sons who are surfers. Yuko asked him if she could take some pictures of them surfing, and he agreed.

Yuko told me she was to go to his house at Turramurra and they would walk to the surf from there! Readers familiar with the geography of Sydney will appreciate that walking from Turramurra to the surf would be a tad tiring!

Further enquiries on my part revealed that George actually lives at Tamarama, which would make the walk to the surf much shorter indeed! So we headed east...

On the way, we saw a buggy - and the opposite of a buggy...

Opposite of a Buggy

We arrived at George's house at about 2pm. It was indeed close to the surf.

Tamarama - George's house circled

Yuko photographs one of George's sons

We went inside where George's mother gave us tea and biscuits. Yuko and George discussed antiques. George's mother told that when she and her family had come to Australia from Italy as a poor immigrants in 1950, the government had treated them like cattle and had treated the English immigrants much better.

George's mother

Yuko and George discuss antiques

Then Yuko, George and the two boys walked down to Tamarama Beach and I debarked to a cafe at Bronte for coffee and cookies (see coffee picture at top). In the cafe I saw a pigeon...


Tamarama Beach - Yuko and George are down at the water's edge

After about an hour I returned to the beach just in time to meet Yuko and George ascending the steps. Yuko said she had taken about 700 pictures.

Yuko and George

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Tuesday, October 3 2006

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Today I saw a lizard...


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Monday, October 2 2006

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Mother needed to go to Chatswood but was feeling unwell and did not want to drive. So I offered to drive her there. We went in her car and she directed me to her favourite disabled parking space. I then went and had lunch in a cafe in Chatswood chase while Mother conducted her activities.

Chatswood Chase

There was a missed call on my mobile from earlier in the morning, so while I was sipping my Lavazza (see picture at top), I returned the call. It was an occasional reader of this blog. He said he had been reminded of my existence after seeing a Mokador sign and had wondered if I was still alive. I told him I was.

He then tactfully told me that I was going through a mid-life crisis and that to conform to the MLC stereotype I should sell the house and buy a red Ferrari. I said I'd consider it.

Walking with Yuko

In the afternoon Yuko and I went for a walk together (which is unusual). So I decided to show her the sights I saw yesterday. First, the pile of ash that used to be a boatshed...

Yuko gawks at the former structure

Then we visited the three gazebos. They looked the same as they did yesterday so I won't show them again. But when we reached the third gazebo I decided to record our visit by vandalising one of the steps...

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Sunday, October 1 2006

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Yuko checked her jewelery in the mirror before we left to go to Epitome.

Yuko checks her jewelery

At Epitome, Yuko asked me to attempt to shorten the band of the watch she bought yesterday. I tried using a toothpick, but this was not successful and I gave up.

Watch maintenance with a toothpick

Three Gazebos and a Pile of Ashes

I finally got to see the latest handiwork of the North Shore fire bug - The TamBay boatshed which was destroyed by fire early on Friday morning. To reach it I had to walk along the bush track which starts at the end of our street.

Former boatshed

Then I continued along the bush track and visited three gazebos...

First Gazebo

Second Gazebo

Third Gazebo

The third gazebo was one I had never seen before, and I only discovered it by chance. It is located high on a cliff face overlooking the Lane Cove River. It was clear however, that I was not the first human to discover this gazebo - I had been preceded by the two brave explorers Cullen and Droulets who had recorded their visit in stone...

I rested there and contemplated the river before continuing my trek.

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