Archive for the 'Year diary' Category


Posted in Writing, Year diary on August 13th, 2011

Mid August and not a word for this year so far. A sign of busy times writing a book and tending children.

Last week while I was in London, parts of the city went into free fall. It started in Tottenham and spread to Enfield, Brixton, Peckham and then England: Birmingham, Liverpool, Nottingham, Manchester and Salford, and even sleepy old Leicester.
I went to the Proms and a play called ‘Betrayal’ by Harold Pinter that I had last seen in the late 1970s, and a marvellous Joan Miro exhibition at the Tate Modern. All in between the rioting each night. The streets we walked were clear and clean- the rioting had the effect of making London a pleasant place to be instead of the overcrowded pushing and shoving that is normal. The West End was glossy and gleaming with blazing windows of opportunity for conspicuous consumption. No police and no rioting that we could discern..

Apparently The PM David Cameron is bringing in an American cop from Boston to tell the police here how to sort out the gangs. He might do well to start in the City with the bankers and move on to Parliament where ex members of the Bullingdon club still meet to conspire to loot and pillage the poor. There is a nice letter going around addressed to Cameron’s parents berating them for bringing up such a destructive boy… All the usual cliches are running wild right now and the rest of the world must be wondering what it is like in England. Well there are ordinary people making the best of the situation and pulling together with the usual British style. However there is so much anger amongst all parties it is leading to heavy sentencing - six months gaol for looting bottles of water worth 3.50 for someone with no criminal record who committed a wrong doing in a moment of opportunistic madness. The most powerful comment came this morning from the father of a young man mown down on the street in Birmingham who said: “there is too much anger- we must not give in to that” He is proving to be a man of real influence on hotheads who want to go out and bash Afro-Caribbeans. He is a Muslim.

It all seems a world away from the city suburbia of Sydney where not much happens except the occasional drive by shooting. Even so Mosman made the headlines in Britain with a story of a girl held to ransom with an explosive collar around her neck which the police took ten hours to remove.

Year by year diary

Posted in Travel, Writing, Year diary on March 10th, 2009


Elections Elections Elections

The UK turns Tory aided and abetted by the Lib Dems. Labour out to pasture and a new leader after Gordon Brown retires defeated and depressed.

This year will see an  Australian federal election and the fate of Rudd’s government decided by the press and a gullible public. or am I thinking UK here? All the same really.

For the record, sterling slowly declines against the aussie dollar: 61pence to $1.

Spring in the UK is glorious and the clear blue skies belie the dark volcanic clouds of ash way above. The air is free of vapour trails and noise the 6 days and people here the birds once more around Heathrow and in Kew Gardens.

Autumn in Sydney is bright and breezy. Jessica, the 16 year old sailor, arrives at the Opera House after her global circumvention in her 30 foot yacht to be greeted by the PM and NSW Premier and crowds lining the harbour foreshore.
We sell and move back across the road.  Downsizing is difficult but satisfying.


December: Back to the land of X Factor and sailors going astray into Iranian waters and Tiger Woods refusing to come clean. Oh and yes the war and climate change- occasionally.

November: Interest rates go up again for the third time making Australia unique in the world for this - well it is unique any way but this is an unexpected surprise. For the record
100,000.00 Australian Dollars = 55,490.00 British Pounds a rate of 55 pence to the dollar.

In the Land of Oz while waiting for the recession to become depression we discover that Australia has bucked the trend and is coming up roses. Growth is small but the aussie dollar is king.

On September 24th 2009 the Red Centre came to Sydney turning the skies a murky pinkish brown and coating our tongues and other surfaces with a film of ‘bull dust’. People with memories of the London smogs compared the similar experience.

In Sydney we had 28 ships in 28 days including the Queen Victoria, Queen Mary 2 and the new Arcadia.

I came to Australia with my family for the second time in 1957 on the old Arcadia. I remember the Suez canal as a ten year old and the signs of conflict in Port Said. I kept a journal at the time which was lost.
Resolve to return to blogging. I blame Facebook fiddling which takes up more time than I care to admit.


2008 Seems to have passed by without comment

And yet there was so much happening:

On August 4th Lulu Elizabeth Candy Shannon arrived in the world and made her first impact

In September the credit crunch became the bank meltdown and the global market fell into disarray from which it has yet to merge.

In November Barack Obama became President of the  USA and we all felt hope again.

2007 Highlights

July The Tour de France starts in London: the only two days of sunshine after weeks of rain and floods.

March: Uluru (Ayres Rock) and Kata Tjuta (Olgas)

At Longitude 131: 10 kilometres direct to the face of Uluru
Rain on the Rock turns it into a grey beast and the red desert into speckled green.

Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth 2 converged in Sydney harbour over 40 years since their predecessors did the same. QM2 blocked our view of the Opera House as she turned on her way into Garden Island to dock. When QE2 arrived and passed QM2 they sounded their horns to one another barely audible under the helicopter noise above. Thousands gathered on the many harbour foreshores and the traffic all over the city snarled up. QM2 left that night. Later in the week QE2 crept quietly out hardly noticed.
In Sydney in the summer is hot and humid. A time to stay quiet and soak in the relaxation..

The first version of a website dedicated to Emma is finished and I have put some of my diary entries on this blog and linked to the site.

The UK in springtime: where else in the word would you get daily rain combined with a constant threat of drought?

It is June 2006 and World Cup fever runs high:

The English complain about the hot weather and lack of water in their first match against Paraguay.

In their very first World Cup victory, the Aussies come back from behind to beat Japan 3:1. Later they go out to a dubious penalty to Italy.

England is out: the ten men of England- minus Wayne Rooney battle on heroically and are knocked out on penalties by Portugal. National gloom coupled with relief in quiet corners.

Now both my teams are out.

Then Italy wins the cup!

Another gloomy drug doped year for Le Tour. Landis is shamed.

No more heroes.
2005 I went to Italy, England, Vietnam, New Zealand and Heron Island on the Great Barrier Reef.