Second day out of lockdown

And I stayed at home. It was rather damp and cold yesterday morning, but also perhaps I had just a little more Shiraz at Diggers than I should have the day before….

But I did not waste time too much, and I do have plenty of food here at home — except for bread which I must renew from the local shops today. One thing I accomplished was downloading my official vaccine status document form Medicare. This is the business end of it:

Me not having a smart phone, that only exists on my laptop. I have not yet printed a copy either as my printer really is useless as I have basically given up buying ink for it. I can no doubt contrive to get a printed copy later on. So for the moment any venue I try to enter must either 1) accept the Wollongong Medical Centre’s statement, which I carry with me at all times or 2) wait while I fire up the laptop. Not that it takes all that long.

Meanwhile quite a few have been marking the passing of a remarkable Australian, Holocaust survivor Eddie Jaku who has died at age 101.

Inspiring.

Various lockdown hacks and escapes — 75 — music and memories

In June I posted on hearing of the passing of a lovely talented woman The Albury Piano Bar — my second lounge at one time… Sylvana Bonnaci.

I knew her best from the Albury Piano Bar, but she sang at many other venues including Paddington’s Unicorn Hotel, another place I used to frequent in the late 80s and early 90s, and also the White Horse in Surry Hills. Not to mention her career on cruise ships.

At The Unicorn — 1990

Imagine my joy to discover a whole treasury of Sylvana on YouTube thanks to someone called dajen123. Here are just three. I went into a total time warp listening to all of them!

The Julian Lennon song “Salt Water”.

We are a rock revolving
Around a golden sun
We are a billion children
Rolled into one
So when I hear about
The hole in the sky
Saltwater wells in my eyes

We climb the highest mountain
We’ll make the desert bloom
We’re so ingenious
We can walk on the moon
But when I hear of how
The forests have died
Saltwater wells in my eyes

That one captures the feeling of the Piano Bar beautifully.
Oh yes!

And here is a whole show! This time at the Midnight Shift, also now just a memory… But what memories!

Clearly post-2000, probably post 2010. But what a voice, what a show!

So thanks, dajen 123, whoever you are! I suspect we must have crossed paths…

Various lockdown hacks and escapes — 73 — finding something inspiring!

This is quite wonderful. You’d be a fool not to watch it right through! Your heart will be lifted up.

From the South China Morning Post

Tony Chung is working on his master’s degree in Biomedical Science and has long dreamed of going to medical school. But the Covid-19 pandemic has him considering an additional goal, working alongside his father running a Vietnamese restaurant, Pasteur Grill and Noodles, in New York’s Chinatown. “I started to help out because our restaurant was struggling,” the 24-year-old said, “It’s not even just about the business, it’s more about keeping the legacy alive.” Along with waiting on tables, Tony plans to update restaurant decorations and its menu to attract new customers as well as those who stayed away during the pandemic. He says the experience helped father and son find common ground, and a chance for him to understand the hard work his dad has done in the decades since he fled the communist regime in Vietnam to come to the US in about 1980.

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This too is inspiring:

Various lockdown hacks and escapes — 71 — on just about everyone except our government being inspirational about our planet

Sad, isn’t it, the shag on a rock stance of the current Australian government when even the great bastions of tradition are seeing the light! See for example Dozens of prominent religious figures from around the globe meet at the Vatican to demand world leaders take immediate moves.

So radical eh!

And the next is beautiful and gloriously WOKE! As all of us should be in 2021 — :DEAD or ASLEEP are the alternative states after all.

The background to that hymn:

Hymns for Our Contemporary World: a new collection of hymns addressing some of the dominant themes of our contemporary world.

  • Social justice
  • Racial equality
  • Mental health
  • Refugee crisis
  • Environment
  • Societal divisions
  • Global pandemic
  • Isolation
  • Truth
Recording session, Leeds Minster July 2021.

31 October to 12 November 2021 — UN Climate Change Conference UK 2021.

Mind you, there have been crazy tree-hugging greenies in politics for years — and thank God people like Alan Jones and Andrew Bolt to put them in their place — both of whom sadly missed out on the Nobel Prize for Physics yet again! Bloody woke leftist global warmist mainstream media eh!.

Look at this woman — one of the most notorious tree-huggers ever! And she apparently hated fossil fuels too as she caused more coal mines to close than anyone at the time thought possible…

Mind you, her reasons might not entirely have been environmental.

This is the uncut speech made in November 1989. I commend listening to it right through. Some of it may surprise you. She is crystal clear on what the problems are and how we are part of those problems. Her thoughts of 32 years ago would not play at all well in the Murdoch media today, particularly among the denizens of Sky After Dark here in Australia. Yes, you will note her advocacy of nuclear — but she is not alone among environmentalists and advocates of action on climate change in seeing that as part of a solution, even today. I certainly can see merit in the thought.

But that is another argument. In the main the speech is passionate, articulate and still convincing. And as relevant as ever.

And on the 2021 Nobel Prize:

The Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to three scientists who have made significant contributions to our understanding of climate science.

Syukuro Manabe, 90, from the US, and Klaus Hasselmann, 89, from Germany, were cited for their work in “the physical modelling of Earth’s climate, quantifying variability and reliably predicting global warming”.

The second half of the prize was awarded to Italian Giorgio Parisi, 73, for “the discovery of the interplay of disorder and fluctuations in physical systems from atomic to planetary scales”.

The panel said Dr Manabe and Dr Hasselmann “laid the foundation of our knowledge of the Earth’s climate and how humanity influences it.

Various lockdown hacks and escapes — 65 — thinking about Newtown

As I said on Facebook: part of my regular round through the late 80s, 90s, and first decade of this century. I was introducing this marvellous video:

And a few days before I had thoroughly enjoyed this one:

Looking back through my blogs I find many a reference in the various archives.

2006

Welcome to the Newtown Precinct

07 MAR

Link.

I now have a strange machine called a holter taped to me; it will record all my heart gets up to for the next 24 hours until I go back to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital to get it removed. Just outside the hospital I ran into, and spoke to, Professor Brian McCaughan, still very recognisable, who was a member of the Class of 1968 at Cronulla High, my first teaching post. I have of course heard of him, but have not seen him since 1968. That was nice. Kind of ironic though, given he is a member of the Australasian Society of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgeons, among other distinctions. Some of the most brilliant people I ever taught were at Cronulla High, but then the opposite was also true…

I started the day at Erskineville, dropping in on the ESL teachers’ Information Network meeting. Then up to Newtown where I bought a couple of books, had lunch, and a beer at the Newtown Hotel. King Street beats Oxford Street these days, no risk. There is just no comparison. King Street is a far more interesting place.

2008

Well now, that’s my Mardi Gras event for this year

28 FEB

courthouse

After coaching tonight I caught the slow bus from Chinatown to arrive on a cold and wet Sydney night at Newtown’s rather wonderful Courthouse Hotel for the blogger meetup. That’s not our group in the picture on the right. I was late, so I missed Marcellous.

Even before I had settled into the group for an hour I met of all people someone I had taught English with at Dapto back in 1970, one of the Spender sisters, Dale and Lynn, the former a rather well-known feminist writer, the other no slouch either. It was Lynn I saw, though initially I thought it was Dale. We both contemplated the years that had flown since then with some amazement, though I have to say I am a minnow compared with what those two have done with that time. (See also When I was a twenty-something conservative in transition…)

Back to the blogger meet: it was great to put a face to Panther at last. James O’Brien I knew instantly, though I had never met him before, and I discovered why The Other Andrew is so called.

Someone whose travels eclipse M’s trips in duration, if not quite in exotic destinations but he comes very close, is this person:

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I’m an Aussie who has just spent 2 1/2yrs roaming around Europe with my dog, a very large Alaskan Malamute by the name of Bondi. Our adventure began in May 2005. So far we’ve travelled around much of UK, including a week-long walk across Scotland; spent 2 months each in Spain & Paris, plus a 5 week circuit of Ireland; done a load of family-tree research; a coast-to-coast crossing of England on foot along Hadrian’s Wall path, and a side-trip to dive wrecks in the northern part of the Red Sea. Most recently we completed a 20,000km 20-country tour of Europe by car, and 3 months in Scotland.

I also discovered what the wonderful header on Dancing About Architecture is all about.

Check here to learn more about what this meet was and who was there. I imagine a relevant post might appear before long too. Topics as various as knitting, historical reenactments, and Number 96 — that site was especially referred to — were being talked about as I, noticing that it was getting dark out, decided I had to set off home, which I did via an excellent Chinese noodle shop in King Street.

Newtown at night is, I have to say, far more interesting and far more pleasant these days than Oxford Street.

2010

In Newtown – same building, different feeling

Posted on  by Neil

Wonderful what playing with lighting does.

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2011

2011 retrospective–2—February

Posted on  by Neil

I ended February in the cardiac ward at Wollongong Hospital. A neighbour of mine who was helpful at that time was Paul the Poet, himself no stranger to the hospital as he was on renal dialysis there three times a week. Paul passed away on Saturday night. Rest in Peace.

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“This guy Paul used to sit outside the 7eleven store on King Street in Newtown and for a very small consideration he would recite a little poem…. I just thought he was wonderful…. he was quite ill at the time and on some kind of benefit which really wasn’t enough to live on so when he felt up to it he would get out on the street and earn a few more dollars…. so much better than begging although it was still kind of heartbreaking that he had to do it… and yet his poems where really fabulous and it always brightened up my day to see him about….” – Juilee Pryor

So he ended his days living here at The Bates Motel.

2013

On Facebook I shared a story from the South Sydney Herald.

Coby Smith-Carr (second from left) with fellow Corroboree Sydney dancers Photo: Supplied

Smith-Carr, who was featured in the March issue of the SSH, has been chosen to dance as part of the performances for Corroboree Sydney in November. A new national festival, Corroboree Sydney is for all Australians to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, and according to Sydney Opera House Chief Director Louise Herron is set to be “the largest Indigenous arts and culture festival in Australia’s history”.

Since the SSH last talked to Coby, who has achieved many sporting awards in water polo, swimming and dancing, she has been busy performing with the NSW Aboriginal Dance Company. Being one of only eight students to be selected from a number of Sydney high schools, Coby had the opportunity to learn inside tips on dance technique, performance and production from Bangarra Dance Theatre and Nederlands Dans Theater during a week-long work experience program.

She now works at Sydney Unversity’s Gadigal Centre.

Coby is a proud Aboriginal woman with ties to Wiradjuri Country from her family in Wellington, New South Wales. She joins the Gadigal Centre, having previously held a role within the Indigenous Recruitment Team within Sydney Future Students. Coby believes education is important for everyone, especially our Indigenous people in order to close the gap and make a difference. Students can go to Coby with any questions and support they may need, or just to catch up and have a chat.

2021

On Facebook in July I recalled this person and place:

Looking back beyond the last five minutes, I recall many a conversation in Newtown in the 1990s with the wonderful Bob Gould, whose amazing bookshop was something of a Mecca — so long as you got over your fear of towers of books falling on you. How he ever knew where anything was I’ll never know, but he always did. I was searching out material in those pre-Google days for my book “From Yellow Earth to Eucalypt” (Longman 1995) and knew that not only was Bob’s shop a likely place to find things but that Bob himself was a living treasure on the history of Marxism(s) and the Chinese variety in particular.

Back in the day, as he says himself, he was heavily involved in the Chinese faction of Australian communism: “Just recently, under the Freedom of Information Act 30 year access rule, I squeezed my ASIO file out of the government, and was rather amused to be reminded of the fact that in the early 1960s I was a member of the Australia-China Society and participated on the side of the pro-Chinese grouping in a very intense faction fight with the pro-Russian Stalinists who were trying to hang on to control of the society after the Sino-Soviet split…. I’ll never forget until the day I die, sometime in the heady year of 1968, that enormous Falstaff of popular Australian Maoism, Albert Langer from Melbourne, sleeping on the floor of my house during some conference or other in Sydney, playing The east is red interminably on our record player, and being jumped on playfully by my seven-year old daughter.”

That is from a remarkable wide-ranging essay “Over the hills lies China” which Bob wrote in 1999. It is still very relevant as background to where we are today. Bob reviews a number of books in the essay, including the very popular (at the time) and quite dreadful “Among the Barbarians” by Paul Sheehan. He also (as he did in our conversations) commends Simon Leys/Paul Ryckmans, a critic of Maoism who punctured many an illusion about Chinese Communism, but from a great knowledge and love of Chinese history and culture. “While revelations since 1976 have shown a lot of this to be rather eccentric and sad illusion, and the more critical stance of such China scholars as Simon Leys has been proved much more correct a view of the devastating, cruel and counterproductive effect of the Cultural Revolution, nevertheless, this widespread Western enthusiasm for China and Maoism contributed substantially to a decline in the fear of China and hostility to the Chinese.”

And a bonus ABC documentary from 1995

A 25 minute documentary focusing on the characters that inhabit King Street in Newtown, Sydney – aired on ABC TV 9.2.95. I was around at the time…