March 2014 on this blog

1,149 hits, according to WordPress, but the daily average was down (37) compared with February (39). Sitemeter shows a total of 5,227 page views from 3,999 visits – best since last September – for the whole set of “Floating Life” blogs, of which this blog is the only one still active – apart from some work recently on the family history page. See the following results for the first quarter of 2014 for that archive:

  1. Family stories 3 — About the Whitfields: from convict days 306 views since 1 January 2014
  2. Home page / Archives 216
  3. Family stories 4 — A Guringai Family Story — Warren Whitfield 156
  4. 10. But is it art? Responses to the Bill Henson controversy of 2008 85
  5. 07 — a controversy — For the record: the great SBHS race debate of 2002 62

On this blog the first quarter of 2014 has been as follows:

  1. Home page / Archives 2,315 views since 1 January 2014
  2. Tom Thumb Lagoon 69
  3. About 43
  4. Kiama in the early 50s, and memories of car sounds… 38
  5. Family history–some news on the Whitfield front 35
  6. Pyne and his jolly like-minded duo — and the report we all can predict… 34
  7. South of the Lake — 1 33
  8. Back with eBooks 31
  9. Lost Wollongong 30
  10. How many people do you know… 28
  11. What a treasury of family history! 27
  12. All my posts 21
  13. So beautiful I cried 21
  14. Light and dark 20
  15. One hundred years ago or thereabouts… 17


Wollongong Station yesterday morning

I remember you well at The Shakespeare Hotel…

One objective of yesterday’s trip to Sydney was to have lunch with M. Given his work times and other commitments it is harder for him to come down to The Gong than for me to go up to Sydney – plus for me it is just $2.50 all day fare for all the relevant trains or buses.

We lunched at The Shakespeare Hotel.

The iconic Shakespeare Hotel is located in the heartland of Surry Hills at 200 Devonshire Street. One of the last authentic pubs left in Sydney, The Shakey is truly a piece of local Victorian history and is adored by locals. It’s your home away from home.

Owned by the same Family for over 40 years, what makes The Shakey special is whether you’re in the mood for some top notch great value pub food (nothing over $12.50, no conditions!), a beer after work or a sneaky brew late at night – you’re assured a comfortable time to create your own little bit of history…

Come on down to one of the last remaining humble corner pubs in this fair land of ours. You won’t be disappointed.

The story is often told that Ruth Park and Darcy Niland lived in a room in The Shakespeare Hotel when she was writing The Harp in the South, though I now see according to Ramona Koval (2011) they rented a room over a shop just up Devonshire Street from the pub. The shop is almost certainly still there, but it could be a Japanese restaurant these days.


This model of the pub has appeared since my last visit.

That last visit in 2011 with Sirdan


Yesterday: waiting for M

Mr R and Sirdan in the Shakespeare Hotel

One of the more memorable visits was after Lord Malcolm died in 2007:

Dinner on Malcolm at The Shakespeare

02 JUN 2007

M was unable to come, but Sirdan and Kristina did. Lord M would be pissed off that The Shakespeare is now offering a $10 Sunday roast, something he had long advocated/desired as the place is so handy as well as being a great little family pub. When Sirdan gets back from Africa we will definitely give it a go. So Sirdan headed off home, and Kristina and I continued talking for a while outside the pub. But then, Kristina being Kristina, she ran into an old friend and we all got chatting: Geoffrey Rush! And a few others.


Did you organise this somehow, Lord Malcolm? After all, you were paying. 🙂

Malcolm had left cash behind after his death so that we could have dinner at his expense. We had spent a fair bit of time there. Malcolm and Kristina had much in common.