Hot in West Wollongong

St Therese’s school now lets us know how hot. This morning around 7am:


Now (9 am) it reads 27. In the past two days it has gone to 35 and seems likely to again later today. According to this map from Canada’s meteorological service it looks as if we will see more in the week beginning October 12.


Details of the past few days: Sydney weather: Temperatures to climb again as sea breezes wilt.

The city vied the hottest places anywhere in the state, with Penrith’s 37.9 degrees and Wilcannia in far-western NSW at 38.1 degrees among the few warmer locations.

Canberra, meanwhile, posted 31.7 degrees on Monday, the hottest on record this early in the season for the nation’s capital. Melbourne, too, posted a new early-season mark, with its 34.4-degree maximum.

The extended heatwave is also likely to set a series of records for consecutive days of warmth this early in the spring…

…with Monday’s top ranking as the second warmest so early in the month in more than 160 years of records, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.


Looking towards the new Wollongong Private Hospital this morning.


Rosemont Street, West Wollongong this morning.

NRL Grand Final

I began to watch halfway through, finding Tutankhamun on SBS more interesting.

With the mummy permanently locked behind glass in his tomb, the emergence of a fragment of the pharaoh’s flesh in the UK now provides an opportunity to crack this mystery.

Dr Robert Connolly of the University of Liverpool was part of the 1968 team that first x-rayed Tutankhamun and obtained tissue samples for blood testing.  Now unique chemical tests confirm that the mummy was indeed burnt whilst still sealed inside his coffin.  But having lain untouched for millennia, how was this possible?

For the first time, leading fire investigators will demonstrate how an incredible chemical reaction of the embalming oils used on Tutankhamun’s mummy lead to his spontaneous combustion – providing brand new evidence that his mummification was botched.

But this mystery of the burnt mummy is also a major clue to the greatest enigma of Ancient Egypt – what caused the young pharaoh’s death…

Well worth seeing too.


Of course this time last year I watched every minute of the Grand Final. This year’s all-Queensland event, however, did prove to be quite enthralling, once I started watching. Always knew it would be close, but…



The North Queensland Cowboys have won their first NRL title after Johnathan Thurston kicked a golden-point field goal to beat the Brisbane Broncos 17-16 in a thrilling grand final at the Sydney Olympic stadium.

The Cowboys trailed 16-12 for most of the second half before winger Kyle Feldt scored in the corner in the final seconds to take the game into golden-point extra-time.

Broncos half-back Ben Hunt dropped the ball from the extra-time kick-off to give the Cowboys a golden opportunity to snatch victory.

Thurston was set up for the field goal for the first tackle. He was swamped by the Broncos defence but could not be stopped from his second attempt moments later after a strong hit-up from prop James Tamou.

From 20 metres out, Thurston kicked the winning field goal in the 83rd minute of the game to send all of North Queensland into a celebration frenzy…

But exciting as this was, maybe Broncos coach Wayne Bennett has a point: Brisbane Broncos coach Wayne Bennett says golden point is unfair after heartbreaking loss to North Queensland.

Bennett re-iterated his stance against golden point, claiming the result is a lottery.

“It’s just unfair on everybody. I would’ve been happy to come back next week and play again,” Bennett said post-game.

“I still don’t see what’s wrong with a draw. The season doesn’t have to change anything. For 100 years we didn’t have golden point and we still had a great game.”

To Surry Hills again – 2: Belmore Park

Belmore Park near Central Station is an area I have known well. For example:

Here it is last Friday:




Yes, tents for the homeless. See July 2015: Homeless Sydneysiders gather in Belmore Park in tents and sleeping bags.

This patch of ground opposite Central station – a thoroughfare for most – is home to a growing number of Sydney’s rough sleepers. Since January, the perimeter of poverty has expanded to at least 30 tents, with a highly transient population including many people from regional NSW. The tent city has doubled in size over the past month, according to the City of Sydney.

See also Homelessness on the rise just as temperatures set to plummet, 7.30: 10 July 2015.

To Surry Hills again — 1

And the Wollongong train was spot on time again both coming and going! This time the objective was lunch with M – and Max as it turned out, but not at The Shakespeare Hotel. Instead M proposed a place in Cleveland Street between Bourke and Crown: Sushi Suma.



Coming up Elizabeth Street and Cleveland Street by bus for the first time in at least six months I noted quite a few changes. Some familiar places in Little Lebanon have closed. But much is still familiar of course.



Finished the afternoon with Max at a very pleasant little bar on the corner opposite Bar Cleveland. I remembered it as a restaurant: Italian? South American? The barman was a very handsome young Mexican. Turns out it is The Black Penny. Max is a regular.

Cleveland Street welcomes another newcomer to the small bar scene.

Another day, another small bar opens in Surry Hills. This time it’s on the often troubled corner of Bourke and Cleveland Streets, which has seen many a restaurant and bar sucked into the abyss. But hopefully this latest offering may just have nailed the formula.

Black Penny, run by three local guys who left high-flying careers to get back into the hospitality industry they loved so much as students, is all for the locals. From the beer to the art on the walls and the live music three nights a week, the idea behind this bar, restaurant, gallery and gig venue is all about bringing the best of local produce to the area.

Oh, and since Cleveland Street is the boundary of Surry Hills/Redfern, both Sushi Suma and the Black Penny are in Redfern.