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18 Jul 2018

Yangon Central


 Looking through my photos from my Myanmar trip earlier this year I came across this photo taken early on a Sunday morning at the Yangon Central Station ticket office. Note the dirt floor and the overall dingy atmosphere. No LCD monitors there. Just writing on a whiteboard. No evidence of any computers in the booking office. Paper still rules there. It looks as if nothing has changed for many years.

14 Jul 2018

Peek a boo.



It was beautiful winter's day today on the east coast of NSW. It was cold overnight but then a crystal clear, cloudless day with the sun providing a little warmth. Mid-afternoon I went out to photograph the side of the headland called the Skillion at Terrigal Haven where a large chunk of the cliff has broken off and fallen onto the rocky shore - in a location favoured by beach fisherman and children playing on the rocks. See photo below. It's a big chunk which has fallen and it does look as if more of the cliff might break off. The beach is closed and I cannot see it being opened again for some time.
Walking back from the Haven along the esplanade I spotted this man and his dog-above. I do not know the breed of dog but suddenly they seem very popular.


9 Jul 2018

Canberra Glassworks


Whilst in Canberra two weeks ago we visited the Canberra Glassworks. Built and supported by the ACT Government, Canberra Glassworks is a professional artists facility dedicated to contemporary glass art, craft and design. It is located in Kingston in an old power station close to Lake Burley Griffin. There is a great viewing facility where you can take photos-as above-and watch the glassblowers at work. Best of all it is free although we did not manage to escape without buying a beautiful piece of glass artistry. Highly recommended.


On old cars


Two very British cars seen at the Pie in the Sky biker's cafe last week. An early MG and a Morgan. Whilst I appreciate the enthusiasm many people have for such old machines I would not want to own one myself as they are so difficult to enjoy in today's traffic conditions.
My brother- in- law in the UK owns a Morgan Plus 4 and about 20 years ago when visiting the UK I had a few opportunities to drive it from time to time and found it very hard work. Heavy steering, rough ride and slow. Then in 2004 we went to the Goodwood Festival of Speed in it on a beautiful day. With the hood down driving down Sussex lanes it was wonderful.
I have owned my 1977 911 for 18 years now and even here on the Central Coast of NSW it is becoming more congested and it has become more and more difficult to find an open road to enjoy the Porsche in its element. At least in an early 911 I can keep still up with the traffic and the brakes are upto modern standards. Driving in today's traffic in that MG or Morgan would be very fraught.
Next week I am off to northern NSW with three other early 911s on our private Porsche 70th anniversary run. Hopefully we will enjoy open Mr Plod and traffic free roads and fine weather.

4 Jul 2018

Vive la France


Monsieur David Nicholls avec son nouveau jouet, une Citroen DS.
Porsche 356 aficionado and friend David Nicholls with his latest toy, a 1971 Citroen DS, at the monthly old farts with old cars gathering at the Pie in the Sky biker's caff at Cowan,NSW lunchtime today. I assume that he found the beret on the backseat or maybe in the glovebox when he bought the car.

I've always liked the Citroen DS and remember seeing it on its first appearance at the Earls Court Motor Show in London when I was a little lad. There was an enormous crowd around the car on the Citroen stand and I can remember not being able to see the whole car but I do remember seeing the one spoke steering wheel so I must have got close enough to one to peer inside.
I did have a Corgi toy model of the DS. It was yellow with a red roof and it was maybe the first,or one of the first,Corgi models to have working suspension.
My enthusiasm for the DS would not actually extend to me wanting to own one-it's way too sedate for my taste. My preferred mellow yellow wheels are in the background in the top photo.



1 Jul 2018

Winter in Canberra


I've just come back from four days in the Australian Capital Territory-Canberra-the Australian capital-visiting the Cartier exhibition at the National Gallery and taking in a few other cultural sights as well. I used to visit Canberra a few times a year on business but have not been back for 11 years. It has changed dramatically. So many new apartment blocks and office towers. A light rail system is being constructed and not before time as what used to be an easy city to find parking is now a parking nightmare. Despite all the talk of the LNP government standing for small government it does not show in Canberra with many huge new government office buldings as well as new glass towers housing all the consultants,lobbyists and contractors who are now unfortunately an integral part of government.
Architect Burley Griffin's original plans for Canberra were inspired and the city made a good start with some very attractive buildings but it lost its way about 30 years ago and almost all the recent buildings are very uninspired-glass cereal box meets concrete bunker.
I used to think that the inhabitants of Canberra live in a bubble - isolated and insulated from the rest of the country and I came away from there today feeling that this is still the case.
Purpose built capitals are not good idea particularly when they are distant from the major cities.
Photo above -wintery twilight looking over suburbia-Kingston, Canberra, June 26th 2018. Leica X1 photo

25 Jun 2018

Beautiful


View from Cromarty Hill, Forresters Beach, Central Coast NSW late this afternoon Monday 25th June. Paragliders enjoying some lift over a beautiful seascape only spoilt by the brown haze on the horizon which is pollution from Sydney 80kms to the south.
In the sea there were a number of pods of whales with quite a few breaching every few minutes. It does not get much better than this. A million kilometres from Brexit,Trump,Putin and Syria.

24 Jun 2018

Winter sunrise

View north from Terrigal this morning 6.30am

A very cold-by our standards -10ºC morning today but the sunrise was spectacular-and I had my camera with me. After yesterday's 10km 5 Lands Walk I was still feeling rather stiff but decided that a walk in such beautiful conditions was not to be missed. There were not many people around compared with usual - presumably many of them also did the walk or maybe it was the cold.
At the Surf Club Cafe there were only a few huddled around the gas heater but as the sun comes up they will be packing it out for breakfast.

Surf Club Cafe, Terrigal Eesplanade, 6.20am today.
Leica X1 photos.

23 Jun 2018

Old age


Two more photos from my Myanmar trip back in March. They came to mind today as I did the 10km 5 Lands community walk along the coast here this morning and after those big hills and the beach walking my limbs are sore and stiff. There is no way I could now ever squat like these ladies. I guess that after squatting all your life you retain your flexibilty.

19 Jun 2018

Winter


Winter has made its presence felt this week with heavy snowfalls in the Victorian Alps and the Snowy Mountains down south and snow right upto the Blue Mountains inland from Sydney. Today it was 9ºC at 6.00 am here in Terrigal . That's as cold as it gets here on the coast
Not only is it cold but it is raining cats and dogs and has been raining all night. I will have to let some water out of the swimming pool again. First world problem I know. Sorry I mentioned it.
I was suffering from cabin fever by mid afternoon yesterday having spent all morning trying to declutter my office so I went for a walk with a camera around the headland. There was a break in the rain but the sky out at sea was very dark and there were flashes of lightning then a single ray of sunshine broke through for a few minutes and I managed this photo. Not a great shot but the best I could do on a very miserable day.

17 Jun 2018

A Portugese castle-Mertola


The first time I visited Portugal in 2016 and I came across a town with a castle I thought -wow, how wonderful. It did not take me long to realise that nearly every town and city in Portugal has a castle and many of them are absolute gems. In fact on a three week driving tour through Portugal you develop castle fatigue.
This one, above, is the town of Mertola in Alentojo. Up close the castle is very impressive but as it was a Monday when all museums and national monuments are closed in Portugal I could no go in. No worries. Plenty more castles to see.
The photo was taken with the Leica Q at f1.7 -to get the out of focus foreground. In the bright sun at this aperture it needed1/10000th second exposure. No camera shake here. In the original file - before blogger compresses it - the level of detail is amazing. You can actually identify the brand/type of the cars on the street in the town.