16 Sep 2019

More Portugal

The second part of my retrospective of photos from my Portugese travels in 2016 and 2018.

11 Sep 2019

Not Portugal again

Yes, I'm soon off to Portugal again. The third visit in four years and it would have been three visits in three years if events had not overtaken me in 2017 forcing a postponment of the trip.
We love Portugal. OK , it's a long way from Australia but so are so many places. You just have to put up with that if you live here. But it's well worth the effort.The country is small and the driving distances between the sights are easy. The driving itself is easy. There is a good Aiutoroute system . The cities, towns and vilages are well preserved and the countryside is pretty. The people are friendly and the wine and food are good and cheap and the climate is very similar to the east coast of Australia-with more rain. what more could you ask?
This and the following two posts are some of the photos from the two earlier trips.

5 Sep 2019


A few musicians, actual and budding. Four of the grandchildren. Photographed last weekend.

30 Aug 2019

Riders in black

 Sunday morning at Jerry's Cafe, Kulnura, New South Wales. A HOG -Harley Owner's group-chapter sets out on a ride.
Leica X1 photo.

28 Aug 2019

Winter dawn

Just a tiny slither of the moon and the first light of the sunrise through bare branches at 6.00 am yesterday.The mornings are getting lighter but summer is still some time away although summer temperatures are forecast for next week. We've had some rain this week on the coast but nowhere near to make any difference to the dwindling reservoirs although more rain is forecast for tomorrow.  Inland the situation is desperate. The problem is we need weeks of rain to banish the drought and refill the dams and reservoirs.
Meanwhile our appalling government does not even recognise climate change yet alone the desire of the majority of the population for them to take some serious steps to reduce the country's carbon emissions and our contribution to the global problem through our coal exports.

27 Aug 2019

Lament of a very old lady

I am Phoebe. I'm a very old lady. I'm 19 which is really old for a Himalayan cat and I am told is equivalent to more than 90 in human years. This is photo shows how I now spend every day-curled up asleep on the sofa-my favourite sofa.
 Like very old people us old cats like our routine. I am really set in my ways nowadays. I wake up at close to 4.30am and start bellowing to wake my human slaves. They usually manage to resist until about 5.00am when the old male human turns up downstairs to give me my breakfast. Then I go to the box. I have very regular bowel habits you understand. Then I ask the male human slave to let me out onto the deck. Most days in winter it is way too cold to stay outside so I wait until the slave is a decent distance from the door and I bellow to be let in. He always complies. So well trained.
After that it's a quick visit to clean up any left over scraps of breakfast and then I climb up on the sofa to start my day long nap. A girl has to get her beauty sleep you understand. I used to spring up onto the kitchen bench but nowadays sometimes even a climb onto the sofa is a big effort. I wish that I was not so old.
Of course life has not been quite the same since I lost my little friend Zoe back in May. I did not think that I would miss her so much but I do. She was no trouble and she was a lovely friend.
I sleep all day with occasional visits to the water bowl and maybe a trip to the box for a pee. As a very important old cat I do insist on the highest standards of cleanliness and if my box needs the litter changing I draw the humans' attention to their sloppy standards by peeing on the floor next to the box. Fortunately the human training has been a very succesful program and I have not had to resort to this disapproval signal for some time.
I wake up from my beauty sleep at around 5.00pm and ask for dinner by standing to attention next to the food bowl. It always works a treat. Then it's a short excursion onto the deck again keeping the humans on their toes by going out of one door and demanding to come in through another.
Then it's more dinner followed by the evening TV curled up next to the male human on the sofa. I really like to be tickled under the chin and stroked slowly and if he gets bored doing it or is non compliant by trying to read I do find that a sharp tap with a paw soon brings him into line. I fall asleep during the evening or so he thinks but really I am waiting for him to go to bed. I wait until he's been in bed for about ten minutes and then I really start bellowing and demanding attention. The humans always ignore me so sometimes when I feel upto it I go upstairs in the dark which I hate nowadays-and climb onto their bed and demand attention. After about 5 minutes I call it a day and go downstairs to sleep myself although nowadays I do get lonely in the night and often wake up and shout for a human. It sometimes works.
The humans say that I am doing really well but I still wish that I was not so old. Phoebe

23 Aug 2019

Surf's up at Avoca

Thursday afternoon a big very windy cold front swept up the east coast of NSW whipping up
big seas just for a few hours. By this morning,Friday, the sea had calmed right down. The sight of the big seas drew out the surfing contingent at Avoca Beach. I arrived at the car park by the surf club at 3.00 pm and it was only half full . By 3.30 it was completely full and the rush to the water was on.
Some very brave souls were riding the monster waves way out to sea. Photos taken with a Fujifilm X-E2 and an XC 50-230mm lens.

18 Aug 2019

A man and his passion

I took my 2.7 911 down to Sydney Motorsport Park today to display it at the Shannons Classic display day. There was an enormous entry of literally thousands of cars from Austin 7s and Goggomobiles to Ferrari Testa Rossas. As usually happens I caught up with many people I knew including David Berthon-motoring journalist and broadcaster- pictured above -who was there with his magnificent Rolls Royce Silver Ghost which was entered in the Concours.
The Rolls Royce won the Best Car of the Show award and also  the veterean class. David's delighted with the result-as he should be.

11 Aug 2019

Light and shade.

Light and shade. Paperbark trees on the shore of Smiths Lake, Myall Lakes National Park, NSW, Australia. Leica Q photo.

5 Aug 2019

Glory and Honour Department Store

Spotted in the Chinatown market complex in Singapore. The Glory and Honour Department Store. Where did they get the "Glory and Honour" from and it's far from being a department store. It's great to find things like this. The homogenisation, globalisation and harmonisation of the world is taking away the local colour everywhere.

30 Jul 2019

All change in Singapore

I first visited Singapore in 1974 on a business trip. I took a little Olympus Pen half frame camera which was loaded with Kodachrome. I have had a search but cannot find the slides which is a pity. I know that they are somewhere. So many photos, so little system.They would show a very different city to the one I visited two weeks ago.  I was a timid photographer back then so the slides don't show the cargo being unloaded from junks and lighters on a quay right in the heart of the city or the coolies pulling carts overloaded with goods and the shophouses-shop downstairs,house upstairs-the streets full of bicycles, British cars and the ancient Leyland buses putting out clouds of diesel fumes. Nor did I photograph the expats -predominantly British- who were still very visible running the trading houses, banks and other institutions back then. They all went back "home" long ago.
Today Singapore is a model, modern city/state  - just don't mention democracy, free speech or the death penalty.
Some enclaves of old Singapore remain preserved -saved from the wrecking ball-often at the last minute. Land reclamation around the mouth of the river has changed the shape of the city. The Merlion statue, the national symbol, still stands on the quay but all around it has changed and whilst I was a solitary tourist photographing it on a Sunday morning in 1974 on my recent visit there were crowds of tourists from all around the world taking photographs.