This photo blew me away – and July with it!

I was in awe of this photo when I saw it this morning in my WordPress Reader.


Isn’t that just wonderful? For more see Leanne Cole:

Leanne Cole is a Melbourne based photographer and teacher. She finds inspiration in the city of Melbourne and travelling throughout Victoria to take images of what she sees and making fine art images of them. She loves teaching people how to take photos, both in classes, groups and individually. You can learn how to use your camera or how to edit your photos from her.

Leanne Cole’s blog is one of a number I follow on WordPress. I often share posts from them on Facebook.

On my own blog this past month:

Same same! July 2016, like June, has averaged 41 visits a day. Yesterday at 61 was the best day of the month.

Most viewed posts/pages in July 2016:

  1. Home page / Archives 632 views
  2. Ziggy’s House of Nomms 29
  3. Shellharbour: very nostalgic 23
  4. And the 45th President of the United States MIGHT be…. 21
  5. More Oz Election: and I learn something new every day! 21
  6. Outnumbered, Merlin, and other recently seen TV 21
  7. All my posts 18
  8. The swimmer 17
  9. The most evil words in the world? 15
  10. Last of the Mohicans? 15
  11. Into my 74th! 14
  12. Tom Thumb Lagoon 12
  13. About 12
  14. The air-raid siren of Woodleigh 11
  15. What was I up to ten years ago? 11
  16. Random Friday memory: 1 – John Mystery, my brother, Illawong 10
  17. What was I up to 15 years ago? 
  18. Valerie who? 8
  19. Tangible link to the convict ship “Isabella” and the immigrant ship “Thames” 8
  20. We almost have a government: now go back to July 2013 7

Shellharbour: very nostalgic

This photo appeared just recently on Shellharbour History in Photos on Facebook.


South Shellharbour Beach and Bass Point 1966.
Photo thanks to Tongarra Museum.

The resolution isn’t great, but I have attempted to mark one well-known spot:

13669202_1811187302437938_3918516495396016002_n Which corresponds to this:

Screenshot - 8_04_2014 , 9_11_17 AM

See my 2014 post Shellharbour:

My dad’s birthplace in 1911 and where he and my mum married in 1935. See my photo blog archive.


Kenneth Ross WHITFIELD (b.1897  d. 1967) m 1920 Esma H. EAST (b. 1895 d. 24 Mar. 1971)

That’s my Uncle Ken, whom I remember well….

What was I up to in September 2000?

This time I don’t have to resort to the Internet Archive as some time ago I created a page on Ninglun’s Specials: Blogging Sydney’s Olympic Year 2000 — Entries complete, unabridged, and sometimes embarrassing! There were five YouTube embeds on that page, of which only two still work. One of the problems of incorporating YouTube in a blog post is their habit of disappearing! So in this selection I use still images only.

The torch lighting that almost didn’t happen!

Sunday, September 3 2000: 12 days to the Olympics

They say Moore Park will be finished before the Olympics, but they are finding it difficult as there are not enough graders available to do the job. Meantime Belmore Park, near Central Station, is now carpeted–not with bright flowers, or fresh green grass, but with daggy green carpet! Very tasteful. There was a bomb scare at Kirrawee Railway Station south of the city last week; apparently emergency personnel were misdirected to Canterbury Station (some distance away and on quite another line) due to a “pronunciation problem”! However, Central Station refurbishment has been completed–well almost.

Extra police on the streets and quite a few foreign visitors are already apparent in the city. The athletes, of course, have started moving into the Olympic Village.

Today was Yum Cha again–for the uninitiated this is Cantonese for “drink tea” and is essentially an endless supply of delicacies (steamed buns, dumplings, chicken feet, etc) washed down by tea. One can if one chooses have a 24 course breakfast–or more. There were ten people today–PK, Ian Smith, J***s, Sirdan, ABC Andrew, Clive, a guy from Houston Texas, a lesbian Olympic volunteer official from NZ (a friend of Sirdan), Bruce from the Albury, and me. Rabbit sent his hugs to all but was otherwise engaged today. Sad news is that John Wilkinson, who was there last time, an old friend of M, is critically ill in hospital: M has just gone to visit him…

Tuesday, September 5

Irony: a student who speaks the purest Beijing Mandarin (having come from China only 2.5 years ago) reports that he was penalised in an oral Mandarin assessment because he had a “Cantonese accent”. He cannot speak Cantonese! It is a bit like telling Queen Elizabeth II that she sounds too much like someone from North Carolina (no offence meant to the good folks of NC)!

Irony 2: a student came to see me this afternoon distressed because a friend had just told him he (the friend) was gay. Feeling that two revelations would be too many for one day I conducted myself impartially, but did ask if his friend was the same person as he was last week. Nonetheless I could see the dilemma: was there an agenda in the confession? I advised the student to stay cool, to stay a friend, wait and see, and deal with anything embarrassing [should it arise–I am not punning ;-)] with tact. There was no homophobia involved I am pleased to report.

Delightful day really. 🙂 …

Saturday 9 September

Down in Chinatown where I do some tuition each Saturday, quite close to the Darling Harbour Olympic venues: the buzz is definitely in the air now, and team members visible on the streets. Chinese Moon Festival is coming up too; I am looking forward to our mid-month Yum Cha at the Golden Harbour 10am Sunday September 17. Why not join us? See Ninglun and his friends live and more or less in the flesh. 🙂 The Dowager Empress of Hong Kong will be there to give out titles and maybe mooncake…

Tuesday, September 12 — 3 days to go!

The Torch is in Sydney and has been spotted by The Rabbit (see his webpage); in fact it passes through his area again today. It passes by here on Thursday at about 9.30 am. Just as well it wasn’t today! Around 9 am a police car (on a high speed pursuit?) crashed into a power pole on the corner of Elizabeth and Cleveland Streets, just where the Torch turns. Pretty spectacular; the pole somehow must have broken the water mains, so there was a fountain about four storeys tall as well. Police cars everywhere, disrupted traffic, Channel 7 crew!

Moore Park is almost finished! Quite amazingly, all the mountains of earth have gone, the turf almost covers the park, trees have appeared, and the footbridge across the Eastern Distributor seems almost ready for business!..

Friday, September 15

… Oh yes–the Olympics start today. Grey in Sydney at the moment, whereas yesterday was perfect.

4.30 pm: Juan Antonio has influence: the weather now appears ideal for the Opening!

8.45 pm: The Parade of Nations is on now. I would love to have been cynical about the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games, but (after an iffy start) it was MAGNIFICENT! The image of the small girl and the songman is a powerful symbol of reconciliation, and I am proud to see it sent around the world…

Saturday, September 16

GO THORPIE!!!! Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi OI!!!!! That 4X100 relay was sheer magic.

More on the Opening Ceremony–yes that torch thing did get stuck apparently! However, wasn’t that “underwater” lighting spectacular! And the waterfall! Yes–they did lay the politics of reconciliation on a bit thick, but it needs to be addressed and the Olympics was a powerful symbolic time: so too for the two Koreas and East Timor–moving moments both. However, I think the image of the girl and the songman remains the most powerful image for me.

I was tutoring in Chinatown today. One student, an 18-year-old from Mainland China, came in clutching tickets to the Olympic Table Tennis where his team will undoubtedly do well! He too admired the message of reconciliation in the Opening Ceremony, and was touched not only by that and the two Koreas being united, but also felt the fact China and Taiwan could play together in the Olympics sent a good message to the world and to the people and the politicians.

And my site passed the 2000 today! A minor matter but pleasing….

Monday, September 18

Today began with the scent of bushfires in the air; there have been some in the lower Blue Mountains. It has continued summery, and now (4.30 pm) must be pushing near 30C. Even I have been shirtless some of the day, but not outside as my skin has suffered from too long in the sun, as is true of many older Australians. Nor would I call myself a cutie: in fact the sight of me shirtless could frighten overseas visitors, so out of sheer patriotism I spare them the experience…

Saturday. September 23.

Again as usual I was tutoring in Chinatown today. On the way back at 4.30 pm I never saw such crowds in that part of Sydney: the whole precint from Darling Harbour, through Paddy’s Market, Chinatown, Belmore Park and Central Station was packed. I saw members of the Japanese track and field team, the Radio Beijing Cheering Squad (!), and people, people, people. The carpet in Belmore Park was virtually invisible, as a capacity crowd (some shirtless ;-P) cheered on the Australian Men’s Medley Relay Team to Silver (USA gold, Germany bronze) on the big screen set up in the park. Swimmers look good on a giant screen. I shouldn’t be surprised if the crowds passing through Central were record-setting themselves today…

Sunday, September 24: Ninglun goes to an Olympic Event

11.00 am: Just back from shopping and then watching the Women’s Marathon from Anzac Parade near Sydney High School. At that point an Australian was in the front bunch, about tenth; the Japanese were doing well and were well supported. As one might expect Kenya and Ethiopia were well in evidence. Eleven helicopters buzzing overhead made it easy to see when the race was approaching. They are so tiny, these Marathon runners!…

Monday, September 25

What a pain the new tax system is; I have spent the morning doing fiddly little invoices for bits of money that I get from tuition and renting my garage.

Been relaxing mostly, except for my tuition, but work looms and I must get down to some more this week: updating my school records, tutoring the Little Buddha tomorrow, the two Chinese on Wednesday, and Saturday two more Chinese–then school next week. For certain friends the HSC looms even more threateningly. Stay cool guys/girls, but you should all be doing some systematic revision or practice, as I know some of you are. Oh dear, the teacher in me is taking over…

What a night in Track and Field! Cathy Freeman’s race was as heart-stopping as Ian Thorpe’s great performances earlier in the games…

It’s ironic, and sad, that when I went downstairs a few minutes after the Women’s 5000 Metres the first thing I saw was one of our local petty thieves going from parked car to parked car with a torch, looking in to see what might be stolen. She, for it was a she, and her boyfriend were about 15 maybe–they come as young as 10–and seem to be part of a regular business; you often see them at it. And I’m afraid to say–they are inevitably Aboriginal. Here in Surry Hills anyway.

So there was a bit of a contrast. Anyone who knows me (or even knows this site) knows I’m 100% for reconciliation, and furthest from my mind is to say that Aboriginal people are more likely to be thieves than any other people under circumstances I can only guess about. At the same time it’s fair to say that right here in Surry Hills (and nearby areas) there are services for and run by Aboriginal people, heaps of them: it is tragic to see the crime (and drunkenness/drugs) cycle still sucking young ones in. And it is a feature of life for us inner-city residents, and a hazard for shop-owners.

I (part-Aboriginal myself remember) don’t have a panacea for this; but the Cathy Freemans of this world can’t but do good. And my delightful friend Kristina, and others I’ve met. And the phenomenon probably has more with being an underclass, rather than Aboriginality as such.

Wednesday, September 27

You may notice I have not mentioned the weather lately: today is cool and very wet, not the best for the Olympics but very good for the garden and for the hastily planted grass in Moore Park!…

Sunday October 1

Well, what a Yum Cha! Frankly, I was not feeling well this morning, but Yum Cha soon changed that. A record attendance on this last day of the Olympic Games. Seventeen people–so I won’t list them all…

And the Olympics Closing Ceremony is in progress as I write. Soon the sound of fireworks will fill the night here and I will go out to look. What a time to be young, Mitch and Hilbert, and all my younger friends. What memories to keep! I have such a mixture of feelings, I who was a bit of an Olympics cynic. But it has gone so well. If you are overseas reading this, you just would not believe how good it has been to be in Sydney in the Year 2000–despite, well, the Australian dollar…etc. But bugger all that, as we say in Australia, without the rudeness that might seem to suggest. This has been a good time for the human spirit. I hear now in the background the sounds of indigenous Australia; I scan the list of volunteers and see in that multicultural Australia in action–the Zhangs, the Xus, the Smiths, the Xuerebs…all one! I am a proud Australian at this moment, totally unashamed of this emotion. Wishing my father were here, my mother…my cousin who won gold at Munich and now gone from this life…No more words…

The best Games ever? Yes, maybe it really is so.

Never thought Ninglun would say all that!

Yes I know there will be a hangover in the morning, but….

I’m on a high–why not? See you all later.

What was I up to in August 2000?

Yes, my blogging can reach back to the year of the Sydney Olympics, thanks to the Internet Archive.

Thursday 31 August 2000

Fourteen days to the Olympics as of tomorrow. Moore Park, near where I live, has been in a state of destruction/reconstruction for the past two years, mainly due to an airport tollway built on its perimeter. The tollway is done, but the park is still mountains of topsoil. Interesting, as the pedestrian access to certain Olympic venues (according to the official map that arrived in my mailbox yesterday) goes right through it. Hmmmm.

Just finished The Boy in the Lake by Eric Swanson; I swear I didn’t know it was a gay novel when I borrowed it from the library, but it is, and it is very good indeed. A rather slim novel, American, it explores relations between present and past, issues of adolescent sexuality, and guilt,love and betrayal. Here is a review, and a few other books which I haven’t read thrown in. Remarkably uncliched, and humane first and gay second–if you know what I mean.

Monday, August 7 2000

I thought people might find this amusing and interesting. It is a report I have written for our school newsletter:



Chinese students

Last Saturday the visiting students from Hangzhou returned to China. On Friday morning at a morning tea in their honour all five students spoke eloquently (in English) of the kindness they had experienced with their host families and here at our school. Two indeed wrote poems in English for the occasion; as these are to be published elsewhere I cannot use them here. In keeping with the multicultural nature of the occasion, I congratulated their teacher, Mr Xu, in very brief and halting Mandarin, on the students’ skill in English. Here are some more examples of the students’ writing.

Differences between Australian culture and Chinese culture

“1. The Chinese don’t show their feelings to others. There are no kissing or hugging. For example, a Chinese boy will do lots of things for his girlfriend, but he won’t say ‘I love you.’

“The Australian people are quite different. When you see an Australian people, you can know his feeling, happy or unhappy. It’s very easy. When someone disagree an idea, an Australian will say: ‘You are wrong.’ A Chinese will say, ‘Maybe you are right, but I have another idea.’

“Family is important to Chinese. A Chinese can do everything for family, even to die. The most familiar people is his wife, son, then his friend.

“I think the most important thing for an Australian is himself. When he is 18 years old, his father is his friend, not a father again. I find there are a lot of people have pet, a dog or a cat. That may be because he don’t have a child. The pet is his child.

“In all, there are many differences between the two cultures.”


“2. (Australians) think if you like it, you should say. And if you hate it, you should let him know. But people in China do something different. For example, a guest wouldn’t say any of the meal is terrible, though it really is. He would force himself to eat it and try not to show his embarrassment. Because he think it is the custom.

“Second, Australians respect a people’s ideas more than people in China do. Parents wouldn’t let children to decisions to their own business. But in China parents would do more decisions for children, no matter if their children like. If you have a choice, the Australian would let you make it yourself, but Chinese people would give you more suggestions and even decide for you.”

— Robert

Wednesday, August 9 2000

Just back from the dentist–not too bad.

Yesterday a Singaporean-Australian student I taught a few years ago at my school brought me a copy of an anthology entitled Shades of Grey in which he has a piece published. In a very flattering inscription addressed to “one of the best teachers I had” he outlines the purpose of the collection: “to encourage a greater understanding of ethnic Australians and the community, and share and raise awareness of the thoughts and feelings of ethnic Australians,” especially the youth.

This is directed to all Australians, but also to Asian youth in relating to the older generation and their cultures. It is a splendid little book with poems, essays, memoirs and stories by a range of young men and women, particularly Vietnamese, but also Greek, ABC (Australian-born Chinese), and Chinese from various countries. The group behind the anthology has a website you may like to visit.

Monday, August 28 2000

Looking at the ergonomics of my setup here, and I will have to do something–experimenting moving stuff around. Partly this is some bad aches and pains in the neck and shoulder region. Maybe also the cold snap recently, or some flu-like thing. Who knows? The doctor seems almost as vague as I am about it. Get my neck x-rayed on Wednesday: maybe an old car accident? I had one or two.

Nothing like a few aches and pains to make one feel a bit of a relic, especially at my age. And the TV series Four Corners on ABC-TV (Australia. that is, still blessedly non-commercial and not to be confused with American ABC!) was on 21st century sweatshops known as “call centres”: I must say it made me more sympathetic to the people I sometimes deal with after going through the “Press 1, Press 2, Press Star” routine. Here I am on a computer right now–but I’m still a technophobe or pre-hi-tech romantic dreamer at heart. Ah me!!!

Interesting line in the program from a Phil Ruthven: “It’s not our values we have to change; it’s our habits.”

Most apt, as another aspect of my present health thing is my blood pressure was way up on its usual normality: so the ciggies must stop (again) and have today. God I stink! So does the apartment. If you don’t, guys and girls out there, DON’T SMOKE! Take it from me–nothing to recommend it, and a bastard to give up–for me anyway.

Promise to be more cheerful next time 🙂

I didn’t finally quit smoking until 28 February 2011! And that x-ray did uncover a one-time broken neck!

What was I up to in July 2000?

Yes, my blogging can reach back to the year of the Sydney Olympics, thanks to the Internet Archive.

Sunday, July 30, 2000

So this closes the June-July on-line journal! How time flies. Watch for a new journal for August-September starting up soon–and this will cover the Olympic Games. Of course very early there will be another yum-cha, by which time there could be news about PK who is going through a crisis regarding his employment. Guess from, what I can gather, I should welcome Delenio to these pages, and Ali from Turkey–both ICQ friends. Speaking of ICQ it has been good to contact Johnny Wu (coastway on ICQ) by that means, as well as through email…

Remember ICQ?

Thursday July 13, 2000

This Thursday ten years ago is when I first met X. While I was away from my seat at the Albury Hotel that night he came and sat on it. Thus we met, and the rest is history as they say. Thinking about some of the funny times we’ve had. Like him telling me a certain Mandarin expression meant “darling” when in fact it was something very rude and uncomplimentary. Like in the first year we were living together and his English was not of the best: we were sharing with another couple, Philip and Michael, at that time. Philip had prepared a nice dinner, and my friend said “Sorry. Not hungry. Have big lunch and steam bum.” No, he was referring to a yumcha he had been to, not an encounter in a steam bath–or the size of his….

No, it’s really been a good ten years for me.

And tomorrow is…..


The Albury Hotel

Sunday July 16, 2000

Welcome to Jason who reads these pages from the USA.

July 14 was, of course, French National Day. But also someone had something on then: what was it? Oh yes, HAPPY BIRTHDAY (again).

Friday night I took back some poems to J***s at the Albury and we had a really good talk about his marriage, his life, the impact of religion in his life, and many other matters. We were joined by Ian Smith. I noticed a hole appearing in the back of my jeans and as I investigated with my finger, the hole suddenly assumed alarming proportions.

Now before I go on I should say that I normally wear jocks or boxers, but sometimes (never at work or if expecting company) I “hang loose”–partly for comfort, partly to save washing! This night I was hanging loose and soon felt cool night air on my gluteus maximus. Fortunately my sweater could be pulled down.

Well, I left the “sacred site” around 9.30 to 10.00 after 4 beers, but though I had had 3 hours to consume them, I hadn’t eaten yet, so I was a little tipsy. I crossed Oxford Street and ran almost straight into a student (aged about 16) from the school where I work. He greeted me and started telling me about Woodie Allen: I was rather conscious of my (invisible) bare-arsed state and my tipsiness. I did not of course refer to the former, but the latter was apparent, so I asked if he was in the habit of accosting half-pissed teachers in Oxford Street. Being a good-humoured young man, he just smiled and said “Not really!!” Not my first such encounter over the years in Oxford Street I must say.

So I then had a meal (at last) and came home. Last night was very quiet, aside from some rather dark talk here at one point. Downloaded ICQ after first Ian Smith and then my young friend had pointed out its advantages.

On ICQ I am Ninglun Wu only, not the Anglophone version my parents gave me.

Dear me! I had forgotten about that incident!

FotoSketcher - 28007_232493056881850_343139337_n1

Evoking the ghosts of the Albury Hotel: mais où est l’Albury d’antan?

July 1, 2000

Here in Australia we begin the Goods and Services Tax (our Prime Minister’s Big Mission In Life) today: so some goes up, some goes down. Curious: the Australian newspaper this morning cost 5 cents more than the Herald: why? Reading William Dalrymple’s The Age of Kali. Anyway, that gets July started: yumcha tomorrow. Also solved by trial and error, cutting and pasting, a big HTML edit problem on this page 🙂