Friday, December 30, 2005

More Photos from Golden Avenue

From Golden Avenue - Pt Clare #5.

White Iron Fence
(Big version)
Rather a des res, even with the one-size-fits-all headstone.

(Big version)
What all the dead drama queens are wearing this year.

Not For The Squeamish
(Big version)
Fresh and not so fresh graves. The one at the back with the yellow flowers looks less than a week old, the one on its right looks maybe a month old and the one in the foreground is just over than 8 months.

Q Van
(Big version)
In the ambulance station on Brisbane Water Drive at Pt Clare. On the cab it says "Q Van". Had a quick Google and it looks like some sort of rescue thingy.

Taken with my pissy $20 film camera from across the road at the bus stop. These photos and one more lot I'll post next week are from the last film before my digital camera. No more hanging about for a week waiting for film to develop.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Devil's Elbow - Gosford #3 - Brisbane Water Walk #9

I'm hot, sticky and cross. It's a fucking sauna out there today. That bloody storm never showed yesterday and I got going late today, seven thirty. As I went past the pool shop I was seized by a powerful urge to scramble over their fence and sink into their display pool. It was so blue and so shady up the end and so full of beautiful cool water. I could've floated there for hours, just my nostrils showing like a croc.

I didn't walk far today. Up to Devil's Elbow then down and round a couple of factory streets. The Devil's Elbow is the same as every other Devil's Elbow in the world. A hairpin bend on a narrow road with a nasty drop on one side. This one's in my hist list as "Roadworks ... pre 1879". The 2005 street directory lists it as on South Road but it's on Debenham Road in West Gosford, up behind the abandoned Pizza Hut.

(Big version)
The view from up there's not bad. There's a lot of trees in the way but you can see out over North Gosford and Wyoming to what looks like the ridge at Holgate.

From the Devil's Elbow
(Big version)
Straight ahead is the racecourse and Presidents Hill and the hill above Gosford behind that. Over on the right you can see over Adcock Park and Fagans bay to Point Frederick and the hazy ghost of Green Point on the far side of the water.

By the time I got to the Elbow, the sweat was running free. But at least there was plenty of shade on Debenham Road. After that it was a slow hot trudge round a couple of streets full of factories then back to the bus stop. Another short walk but I got to see the Devil's Elbow at last. Been looking forward to that one for a while.

(Big version)
Some poor bastard called Tim who must've died on the road below the Devil's Elbow.

(Big version)
Old sign on a factory in Dyer Crescent. I've got no idea what Skippy's holding.

(Big version)
What better place for one of the world's most toxic plants than beside a Pizza Hut? No wonder it's abandoned.

The heat tells me it's time to switch to the summer plan. That involves walking the lanes of Woy Woy at dawn on hot days and walking in Gosford only on the coolest days. I was looking forward to biting deep into the crunchy heart of Gosford but it'll have to wait. Walking in Woy Woy again means fewer and shorter bus rides and that means I can spring out of bed in the wee hours and walk as soon as it's light enough.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005


Chatspeak, my glossary of internet slang, is back online. Too bloody hot for a walk today so I bunged ChatSpeak back up instead. Enjoy! I'm off to stick my head under the tap again.

What Santa Brung

Booze and chocolate, of course. Always welcome though there were none of those shells this year.

Book. National Trust Guide: Trace the History of Your House or Other Places. Tells you how to poke around outside old buildings for clues to their age and has massive lists of websites and books to check out. It's also light and small enough to cart round with me on my walkies. Excellent.

Digital camera. Kodak DX6440, 4x optical zoom, 4 megapixels, 16MG of internal memory, USB connection to the comp. You can plug it into one of those printer dock thingies apparently but I use my own printer for photos.
The software download was a bit fucked. The fucking CD wouldn't load the drivers then it took several goes to get it off the site. Took a whole fucking hour to download on my pissy dial-up. But it's got some cool effects in it (like making photos into cartoons) and some useful fixing functions and it's easy enough to use.
Gotta get a huge memory card. The HD in it only holds 9 photos at the highest res (4MP). I cracked it open before Christmas and took a few photos already.

I enjoyed Christmas this year. Haven't since I was about ten. This year was different. Apart from missing Gran, I enjoyed it. It was nothing major but it was good. I felt free. Since my father threw me out of the family I've felt so free and this Christmas was part of that. It felt like a whole new kind of Christmas, a good kind where I got to keep the good bits and the bad bits have fucked off of their own accord. I'm looking forward to the next one.

How was yours?

Photos from Moon Over Juicy Fruit

From Moon Over Juicy Fruit - Gosford #1.

Red Cow Inn
(Big version)

The little blue plaque on the outside of the cottage says "Henry Kendall Cottage, built c.1838, Gosford City Council Heritage Item №47". It's actually Fagan's cottage and the Red Cow Inn but Kendall's a famous Australian poet. He was mates with the Fagans and stayed with them for a bit in the 1870s.

Red Cow Inn back
(Big version)
Taken standing next to the dunny. Looking at that delivery door high on the wall in the photo above, I'd say that section is the old inn and this back section is the house part.

Two Holer Dunny
The classic Australian dunny. We've had them indoors since the sewerage came but you still see historical ones like this and there's still plenty being used as sheds in suburban backyards.
Click on the big version and you can see the two holes so two people could use it at once. Bloody glad that habit died out.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Santa Baby

Three posts today, four if you count this one.
Gang Nail - West Gosford #2
Fairlight Photos - from Point Clare #3 - Brisbane Water Walk #8
Late & Out of Timetable Order - recent walks listed in walking order

Street walkers article
Walking the world by San Fransiscan journo & walker Tom Graham.

Tomorrow is going to be a shocker of a day for heat. Forty fucking degrees (about 102 Fahrenheit) is the forecast, with a storm in the afternoon, thank Christ. I'm not setting foot outdoors until it's all over. I have my ham and my other Christmas goodies in the fridge and a welcome mat out for Santa. I'm locking my door against the madness tonight and between now and Boxing day only people with presents or booze can come in.

Hope you all have a decent Christmas/Festivus/made-up paganish celebration/whatever, free from drunken fist fights in the backyard and five-hour lectures from great-uncle Harold about Young People Today.

Blogging will resume on the 28th of January.

Late & Out of Timetable Order

Walkies posts have been chaotic lately. So here's a list to make sense of them. Starting with the oldest walk posted on this site.

Woy Woy
Plateau - Woy Woy #51
Photos from Woy Woy #53
Walk #56 - Up The Mountain - photos
Astronauts - Woy Woy walk #58
Walks #59 & 60 - Music To My Ears - photos from #59
Walk #61 - Buggered
Walk #62 - Mountain Cool
Walk #63 - Uncaffeinated
Walkings Musings
Walk #64 - Fearsome Schmearsome - photos
Walk #65 - Moonlight Bay - photos photos photos
Walk #67 - Pearl Beach - photos photos photos
Final walk in Woy Woy - Walk #68 - Brick Wharf Road - photos

Plans & stuff - things I thunk

Parks Bay
Park's Bay - Brisbane Water #2 - photos

St Huberts Island
St Hubert's Island - Brisbane Water #3 - photos & history stuff

Waiting - Koolewong #1 - Brisbane Water Walk #4
Bloody Flies - Koolewong Walk #2 - Brisbane Water #4
Lord Of The Flies - Koolewong #3 - Brisbane Water Walk #4
Koolewong Completed - Koolewong #4 - Brisbane Water Walk #4

Changing of the Guard - Tascott #1 - Brisbane Water Walk #5 - photos
Victory Parade - Tascott #2 & 3 - Brisbane Water Walk #5 - #2 photos
Rembrance Day - Tascott #4


The Bays
The Bays #1 - Brisbane Water Walk #6 - photos & more photos
The Bays #2 - Brisbane Water Walks #6 - photos & more photos
Chequers - The Bays #3 - Brisbane Water Walk #6

1847 - Kincumber #1 - Brisbane Water Walk #7 - photos
The Frost Family - Kincumber #2 - Brisbane Water Walk #7
Boora Boora - Kincumber #3 - Brisbane Water Walk #7
Kookaburra Close - Kincumber #4 - Brisbane Water #7

Point Clare
(The Point Clare walks numbers don't make sense. I've had some Christmas vodka already & can't sort the bastards out.)
Noonan Point - Point Clare #1 - Brisbane Water Walk #8
Rabbits & promises - Pt Clare #1 - Brisbane Water walk #8
First fly of Summer - Pt Clare #2 - Brisbane Water Walk #8 - photos
Fairlight - Point Clare #3 - Brisbane Water Walk #8
Mount Penang - Pt Clare #3 - Brisbane Water Walk #8
Smoke on the Water - Pt Clare #4 - Brisbane Water Walk #8
Golden Avenue - Pt Clare #5 - Brisbane Water Walk #8
Wordless - Pt Clare #6 - Brisbane Water Walk #8

Woy Woy General Store

Moon Over Juicy Fruit - West Gosford #1 - BWW#9

Fairlight Photos

From Fairlight - Point Clare #3 - Brisbane Water Walk #8.

(Big version)
№10 Welwyn Avenue, Point Clare. Circa 1910 home of John and Eliza Parr. Lovely Federation cottage with a wrap-around veranda.

Nameless Cove
(Big version)
Tiny cove on the south-western side of Fagans Bay. Presidents Hill at West Gosford in the background.

Lemonade House
(Big version)
It's the colours I s'pose that make me think of old fashioned lemonade when I see this house. It's on Brisbane Water Drive in Point Clare, near Collard Road.

Gang Nail - West Gosford #2 - Brisbane Water Walk #9

Short walk today and not terribly exciting. Just a couple of streets then off to the shops to pick up my ham.

There's RepCo and OfficeWorks on the corner of Pacific Highway and Yallambee Street. The Gosford RSL (Returned Servicemens' League) is on the other side. Behind the RSL there's the retirement village. Perhaps 300 units, early eighties down at the end and a new lot of units going up, over-tidy gardens, nothing out of the ordinary. Behind RepCo there's the big empty sheds of an abandoned timber yard, one of which has a faded old sign on it saying "GANG NAIL".

The street's a dead end on the north side of Fagans Bay. It must be mozzie (mosquito) heaven there with mangroves of the bay on one side and Narara Creek on the other. Rabbit heaven too, judging by the sign up on a fence warning of rabbit poison laid down. There were walkers tottering along the street and cyclists popping out of the end of the cycle path beside the timber yard and every second garden had a Dear Old Thing in a wide-brimmed hat fossicking about in it.

Walked along the highway for a few minutes after that. It was another hot steamy morning. The air was filled with jasmine and jessamine and exhaust fumes and noise. The morning traffic roared through the lights and some bloke in a van shouted "Fuckwit!" at another bloke in another van. Three ambulances went past in the space of ten minutes, one nosing through the traffic with lights and siren on. A couple of the Dear Old Things here were taken out feet first last Christmas. Hopefully there'll be none this year.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

First Fly of Summer - Photos

From First Fly of Summer - Pt Clare #2 - Brisbane Water Walk #8.

St John's
(Big version)
St John's church in Takari Street, Point Clare, next to the school. Until I find out more about it, I'm putting this one down as 1900 - 1940s with identity issues.

The middle part, under the middle roof, is minimalist Carpenter Gothic (circa 1840 - circa 1890) like a lot of the smallest churches in Australia. So are the furtherest section and the windows on the closer section. Church buildings tend to be built to a theme so the Carpenter Gothic thing may be a theme carried on after the actual Carpenter Gothic period.

The foundations are 1940s brick piers (stumps) at the back and the brick wall foundation you can see on the side here goes with the 40s piers.

The pitch and style of the roof on the closest section look like a 1940s addition. Leftover or copied windows but otherwise 1940s. The furtherest section I'd go for as an old parish schoolhouse dated about the same time as the middle.

The sandstone wall has me stumped. Is it from the earliest building on this site or later? When I find out when Gosford quarry stopped quarrying sandstone I'll have a much better idea.

Back of St John's
(Big version)
The back of St John's. You can better see the 1940s brick piers (stumps) & accompanying wall foundations. And is that a hideous 1970s window there above the bush? The decade that style forgot is dead right.

Point Clare School
(Big version)
The oldest building I could see from the road at Point Clare Primary. Probably 1940s, going by the brick piers and the pitch of the roof.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Noonan Point - Point Clare #1 - Brisbane Water Walk #8

[UPDATE 21-12-05: Can't believe I didn't post this already. I walked the bastard on the 2nd of December.]

The forecast promised "possibly violent" storms this afternoon and getting back from The Bays is a pain in the arse. So I thought, Fuck it, I'll start Point Clare and get home in time to enjoy these possibly violent storms in the comfort of my own home.

Yacht on a Silvery Morning
(Big version)

Point Clare is piss easy to get to. Leap on any bus in the low 50s at Woy Woy station and leap off at Point Clare shops. Point Clare is a squarish sort of peninsula with Noonan Point at the Woy Woy end and Point Clare itself at the Gosford end.

Noonan Point is nearly opposite the tip of Longnose (current name Point Frederick but it used to be called Longnose, which is a much more accurate name for its shape). At the end of Noonan Point Avenue there's a rough low sea wall. It's made from purple and orange and golden rocks like the ones along the Woy Woy waterfront. There's ducks by the dozen there, an upturned kayak in the shallows, mangroves and rocks oysters and a long private jetty with a barbeque and a seat. The ducks were quacking and the water was slapping and gulping amongst the rocks.

Noonan Point Rocks
(Big version)

On my right was the ridge above Tascott and the houses at its foot. The ridge and Brisbane Water Drive curved away to the south and the ridge stopped at the Woy Woy end of Koolewong. The Woy Woy station area was hidden by the ridge but I could see the pines in the Memorial Park on Brick Wharf Road and Pelican Island low and green in front of them. To the left of the pines was the hulk of Blackwall Mountain. It's a funny bugger. Looks like a small hill from close up but the further away you are the bigger it looks. One of them optical illusions I expect, haze and all that. Anyways, to the left of Pelican Island and in front of Blackwall Mtn, there's that little mangrove islet at the tip of Saratoga then the steep hill of Saratoga itself. And between it and Blackwall Mtn, was The Rip Bridge and Daley's Point and beyond them the distintive shape of Lion Island and, behind that, the lighthouse on Barrenjoey Head. Didn't think I'd see that far from Noonan Point, particularly on a hazy morning.

There were a fair few Federation era (circa 1890 - 1915) houses at Noonan Point, mostly with the usual forties fibro and red-tiled roof renovations. But there's only one place on my hist list for Noonan Pt ("House, 'Katie Dawson's', 15 Alukea Ave... c.1910") and I missed the bastard due to forgetting my list. Been sitting here racking my brains for the memory of all the houses in that street but nada. Ah well. I'll get it next time.

There's a pedestrian tunnel under Point Clare station and another one at Point Clare itself that must come off Welwyn. The Welwyn one comes out at TS Hawkesbury (the TS is for Training Ship) and you wander along a narrow road beside the water until you get to Kurrawa Avenue. TS Hawkesbury consists of an obselete mortar cemented to the ground, flagpole, a large boat shed and jetty and several dozen kayaks in open air racks. Just past TS Hawkesbury is the Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol. They share the jetty with the Navy but they have powerboats. They also have rabbits though they may not know it. Rabbits are not native to Australia. Some dickhead brought them over from the UK (Britain) in the 19th century and we've been trying to get rid of the bastards ever since. You know that movie Rabbit Proof Fence? That fence is real and tells you how desperate we are to get rid of the bloody rabbits. Some other idiot introduced foxes from the UK to get rid of the rabbits so we got bloody feral foxes to get rid of as well as the bloody feral rabbits.

Anyways, I digress. Stopped beside the water for a while and drank in the view. Immediately opposite me on Longnose was a park. A wide strip of grass down to the water and a single large tree at the top end of it. Not marked on my map but it looked like it's between Spears and Dunn Streets. I'll find out when I walk Longnose.

Two Men in a Boat
(Best at this size)

It wasn't a particularly quiet spot, not at that hour. The throb of early peak hour traffic came across the water from Gosford and I could see it jerking and flowing at the lights by the pool on Dane Drive. Out on the still silver water a couple of blokes were sitting silently in a tinny, hunched over their rods. Behind me the narrow shady road was fairly busy with walkers and joggers and cyclists and dog walkers. A couple of cattle dogs bolted from their owner and plunged into the water after a duck. Another dog passing by bolted as well. I heard the clatter of claws on bitumen and a despairing "Nooooooo!" from its owner then I got a warm wet nose up the bum. I turned around and there was a grinning bitsa and its embarrassed owner. I must smell pretty good bcause I've had a lot of dogs' noses up the bum over the years and I'm way past embarrassment. Plus they usually just want a scratch, the nose is the canine handshake. This one slobbered on me a bit and thumped its tail and was dragged away still grinning.

I did a few more streets after that and looked for a couple of hist list places on Brisbane Water Drive.

(Big version)
"Shop, 'Theroy', 59 Brisbane Water Drive Point Clare ... c.1920".

Dragon-scale Cottage front
(Big version)
Not on my hist list, just a nice old bungalow.

Dragon-scale Cottage
(Zoom version below)

Dragon-scale Zoom
Zoom in of panel below bungalow's side window.

The sun came out in the last few minutes of my walk and the flies started to swarm thick and bold. If there was a poll I think the Oscar would go to Lightly But Persistently Alighting On The Ears over Swooping In And Straight Up The Nose. With Perching On The Tip Of The Nose And Making People Cross-eyed With Rage would run a close third.

Got the train back from Point Clare station and by the time I got back home half an hour later the sky had clouded over again and a cool wind started. Looks like we'll have those possibly violent storms in a couple of hours. Excellent.

Moon Over Juicy Fruit - West Gosford #1 - BWW#9

The moon was still up at seven this morning as I walked up Juicy Fruit Drive. (It's real name's Jusfrute.) Juicy Fruit's a light industrial area behind the West Gosford shops with lots of industries like "Phuim Services". WTF Phuim do behind their seventies brown-tint windows is not indicated anywhere on their property so your guess is as good as mine. It was quiet there, even though it's fifty yards from the Pacific Highway. Maybe it was just the wall of sound effect from the cicadas up at Kendall's Rock.

Had a look at the outside of the Henry Kendall Cottage between Juicy Fruit and the shops. He was an Australian poet who lived from 1839 to1882. It was never actually his cottage, he only stayed there for a bit. But the cottage is a museum now and there's a seventies building beside it which will be chockers with souvenirs and historical artifacts. The little blue plaque on the outside of the cottage says "Henry Kendall Cottage, built c.1838, Gosford City Council Heritage Item №47". My hist list from Strom says "Cottage: museum (former inn), Peter Fagan 'The Red Cow Inn', Henry Kendall Road ... 1836/40". Don't yet know if Peter's the same Fagan the bay is named after. The cottage is a tiny stone building that barely looks big enough to house a dog let alone an inn. There's a few pictures of it here.

It was nice and cool in the shops. The shopping centre is a white eighties job with extraneous metal tubing and plastic verandas. But in the tunnel to the toilets you can see the back of the shops and the three in the middle have 1940s red brick backs with the bars still over their windows. Cool.

It was a pretty short walk. Started at 6.30 and finished at 8.20. The forecast was for 35 sweltering degrees (95F) so I wanted to finish at a decent hour. slacked off for a few minutes in the park down by the river. It must've been thirty degrees already but there was a seat under the trees beside Coorumbine Creek. There's a foot bridge over the creek then the cycle path winds through some pines. The sun was low still and blinding on the water, making a white haze and turning the mangroves in the bay and Point Clare and Green Point into dark silhouettes. The magpies were carolling in the trees, dog walkers were trotting along the path, someone was walking to work.

An aggro guy with a fat arse came along on his bike and yelled at a walker and a magpie in the tree overhead crapped too close to my notebook. It was time to go home.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Kookaburra Close - Kincumber #4 - Brisbane Water #7

The bus to Kincumber rattles and trundles its way over The Rip Bridge, around Daley’s Point, past St Hubert’s Island, down to the wharf at Empire Bay, past Cockle Bay, into Bensville for a quick loop around, past a vast mobile home village and into Kincumber. When it gets to Kincumber it goes up the hill at the east end and winds through and around another big retirement village then down Avoca Drive which goes through the centre of old Kincumber and out the other end.

I walked from one side of Kincumber to the other. It’s not a wide town, only five blocks wide, but it’s fun to do stuff like that. One end of the walk was at the Carrack Road jetty and the other was in Mynah Close at the hill end of Carrack.

Kincumber Broadwater
(Big version)

The jetty is at the end of Carrack Road. There’s a little forest of a few dozen pines and an opening onto a muddy carpark between the pines and the back of a retirement village. I stood on the jetty and looked out over Kincumber Broadwater. Down at the other end of the Broadwater there's the low hill of Davistown and beyond it the flattish top of Blackwall Mountain at Woy Woy. To the right of that is the little pointy hill of Saratoga then Yattalunga to the right of that. Yattalunga's low and beyond it you can see the ridge above Koolewong and Park's Bay.

Kincumber Broadwater to Yattalunga
(Big version)

It's quiet at the jetty there. Few boats, not much noise comes through from Avoca Drive and there's not much in the way of buildings on the Davistown-Saratoga-Yattalunga shoreline so not much noise comes across the water either. There's mangroves on either side of the jetty. A duck was quacking in the swamp behind them and some fluffy grey baby ducks were following their mother about on the edge of them, a lone kookaburra chuckled to itself somewhere nearby and a crow cawed half-heartedly. The sky was low and grey and the water was black from the silt in the shallows. No oyster farms here. Not enough flow expect.

It started to sprinkle and I got on with my walk. Straight up Carrack Road to Kookaburra Street and Mynah Close at the other side of Kincumber. There's a bit of a view of Kincumber Broadwater from there but it's not high. From there I went down to Kincumber Street. Between the Neighbourhood Centre on Kincumber Street and the seventies shopping centre on Avoca Drive there's a little old church and a couple of Federation cottages. The church is not used now and has fallen into disrepair but the cottages are in good nick and in use.

No6 Kincumber Street
(Big version)
No6 Kincumber Street. Probably the house owned by John or Peter Burns and built circa 1900. The Burns family house built in 1927 is just out on frame on the left.

I got a look inside one of them, the one now in use as the Kincumber Community College. Its Federation interior is gone but its internal walls are intact so you can see the original layout. Outside its front door there's a blue plaque saying "Burns family, built 1927". There's no heritage number on the plaque but a worker complained about the renovation restrictions of its heritage status. The other cottage, same style and right next to it, had no plaque. One of the two is one my hist list as "House, John/Peter Burns, Avoca Drive (opp. Kincumber Hotel) ... c.1900". They've both got the wide wooden verandas of classic rural cottages and the KCC one had high ceilings to keep it cool inside and tea tree bushes on the sunny side to shade the biggest windows.

Burns house 1927
(Big version)

Side of Burns house
(Big version)
The side of the Burns family house.

The church is another of the plain Carpenter Gothic ones dotted about Australia in small towns. This one's been painted light brown at some point in its life, perhaps by the Girl Guides whose fading logo is by the door. When I was there (November) there was water under the front if it but, apart from some kicked-in bits on the walls, there didn't seem to be a lot wrong with it. Of course, it could be eaten away by damp rot inside or something but it looks pretty salvagable from the outside. It's a pleasant little building and hopefully someone will find the funds and a new use for it.

Disused church
(Big version)
Carpenter Gothic style, circa 1840 to circa 1890, like St Luke's in Woy Woy.

Back of disused church
(Big version)

Monday, December 19, 2005

Chequers - The Bays #3 - Brisbane Water Walk #6

Sore feet. Which means I'm walking further and doing well with my training for the Woy Woy to Gosford walk in June. Only got to increase my endurance to 11 kilometres so it's not going to be difficult.

The wind over the weekend was beautiful. Cool and almost constant, coming up from the south and keeping the temperature down. But we're due for 32 - 36 (89.6 - 96.8F) this week so it's just as well I got The Bays finished today.

I last walked there on the 16th of November and stopped because it was a pain in the bum to get back from on hot days.

I started at Della Bosca's house. There's a wee plaque on the gate I didn't see last time. "Ernest Garrett's, built c.1908, Gosford City Council, Heritage Item Nº132". I over-estimated its age last time I saw it, thinking it was around 1870-80. No matter, it's still Federation. His dog stuck its nose hopefully through the gate at me and I gave it a chest rub. Lovely black dog with 'Chequers' on its collar. Couldn't see the back of the house but there was a brush turkey standing in the backyard looking bemused. There seems to be a lot of bachelor brush turkeys still wandering about.

The sulphur-crested galahs were out and about, sailing overhead, screeching and cackling in the trees on the ridges. Saw a couple more brush turkeys and a kookaburra sitting on a branch not ten feet from me as I went past. I stopped and it turned its head look at me but seemed quite relaxed.

Today's was a hilly walk with not much traffic on The Bays' roads and plenty on Woy Woy Road up to the F3. There was a couple of corners on Woy Woy Road where a pedestrian might get skittled. But I find if you pay attention and look at the numberplate first then straight into the driver's eyes they're much more careful. Further down past Horsfield Road there's about 500 yards of road too dodgy to risk in the pre-Christmas traffic. A sharp drop down the hill on one side, a cliff on the other and a three-inch verge. Later maybe.

The views were good. Didn't get many of them due to the trees but from Kunala Lane and a few other spots you can see down in Horsfield and Deadman's (AKA Correa) Bays and right across to Daley's Point and St Hubert's Island. I watched the glints of traffic on Rawson Road and Woy Woy Road for a few minutes and felt pity for all those people locked into the Christmas panic. From the top of Horsfield Road you can see out through Box Head and Barrenjoey Head to the sea. There were tight cumulus forming out at sea so perhaps we're due some more rain and storms. Hope so.

With finishing The Bays today and Point Clare last Friday, I've done all up the western side of Brisbane Water. Excellent. Next is West Gosford at the north-west corner.

Brisbane Water Walks
(Big version)

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Boora Boora - Kincumber #3 - Brisbane Water Walk #7

Every time I go past on the bus I look for 'Boora Boora'. It's a "house and cottage, James Dunlop ... Avoca Drive (near Dunlop Hill) ... 1840s, 1907". They could still be there, hiding among the trees on the side of the hill, weeds grown high and some Dear Old Thing quietly mouldering away inside. Or perhaps they're both gone and the street named after them is all that remains. The street runs from Avoca Drive down a gentle slope to Kincumber Broadwater and if you stood on the loo of a house at the top you could see across the Broadwater to Yattalunga and Davistown.

Kincumber Broadwater
(Big version)

Kincumber Broadwater's a quiet bay. Not many private jetties compared to the rest of Brisbane Water. The ferry doesn't go there and it's pretty sheltered. The cicadas are a wall of sound on Dunlop Hill and the air is perfumed with climbing jasmine and roses.

At the bottom of the hill there are foot lanes between the houses leading to a narrow park along the waterfront. Quiet and hot on a cloudless day in late spring and scarcely a ripple on the water.

Most of the houses near the water there are from the seventies to noughties. The older houses are up the hill and strung along Avoca Drive. Today, with the Christmas king tides, the water will be lapping high on the low bank there.

A guy came out of a cul-de-sac and walked ahead of me. Ordinary guy, shorts, shirt, about thirty, average looking. But weird, definitely weird. It was his hair. A guy like that, straight looking, thirty-ish, dressed like that usually has shortish hair and no beard or mo. This guy had a beard down to his chest, a real bikie beard. The beard was unusual but not unheard of. But his hair was long and matted. Not dreadlocks, dreads are neat and regular. This was like he hadn't combed it for a few years. It just didn't fit with the rest of him. He didn't walk like a nutter, no twitching or starting at sudden noises or muttering to himself. When he passed he didn't whiff at all. Just this thing with the hair. His beard was clean and combed and his hair didn't look dirty. Maybe he was some sort of extreme bear (proudly hairy gay guy).

Old Kincumber Post Office
(Big version)
I wandered along Avoca Drive again and came to the 1945 Post Office. The current Post Office is a generic place down the road at the shopping centre, opposite the cop shop, and the one before this was at Manasseh Frost's place.

Old Kincumber Post Office
(Big version)
You can see the old Post Office sign about the current occupant's sign.

Old PO Boxes
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The old PO Boxes are still there, albeit closed up. I wonder if the upholsterer uses the backs of them as a cupboard.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

The Frost Family - Kincumber #2 - Brisbane Water Walk #7

My regular readers will be gobsmacked. For today there's the photos of the walk with the walk post. I did the walk while I was offline last month. Had to go to Kincumber a few times so I walked while I was there. At the same time I was walking in Tascott (BWW#6) so Kincumber became #7 and Point Clare, which I finished yesterday was #8. Confused? Me too. Check out progress map in the right hand column. It may not help.

Okay. On with the walk.

Avoca Drive, which is the main street in Kincumber and runs through the middle of the older half of Kincumber. The wee stone church is at the top end, on the corner of Empire Bay Drive. Next to it, on the downhill side, is a seventies cottage. Could've been built on the old frame of a Federation or pre-Federation cottage. The roofline certainly suggests it. But I'm not sure, it could also have been a sympathic design. Maybe someone didn't want to put some crass seventies design next to such a nice old church.

Anyways, in front of that cottage is an old wooden fence. It's falling down in places and if I hadn't done the research already I'd've put it down as maybe 1910. But my hist list has it at circa 1880. Cool. "House and post-and-rail fence, George Frost, 168-170 Avoca Drive". Local readers better be bloody quick if they want to see it. When I was there in November there was a for sale sign in front of it.

No 168-170 Avoca Drive
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"House and post-and-rail fence, George Frost, 168-170 Avoca Drive".

These Frost guys must've been local big shots. There's an old shop and house at Nº154, opposite the school. My hist list has "House and post-and-rail fence, Manasseh Frost, Avoca Drive (opp. Public School) ... 1901" and "Post-and-rail fence, former Frost property, Avoca Drive (opp. Public School) ... 1904". There's also "House, James Frost, 119 Avoca Drive ... c.1913" but that's gone and a seventies house is in its place.

No154 Avoca Drive
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"House and post-and-rail fence, Manasseh Frost, Avoca Drive (opp. Public School) ... 1901" and "Post-and-rail fence, former Frost property, Avoca Drive (opp. Public School) ... 1904".

The house and shop has a helpful sign on the shop end saying "M Frost Kincumber Cash Store". Have a decko at the historical info sign on the pole near the gate. There's a photo on it of just the house part and what looks like most of the Frost family in front of it. The photo is circa 1919 and the people are down as "Mrs Amelia Triller Frost, Elizabeth (Lizzie?) Frost? Maud Frost ... Claire Riley, lan Frost, Nadia Frost (Mrs Atkins, Majorie Frost (Mrs Yamall), Doris Frost (Mrs Ticknell)". The house part on the right was built around 1901, the Post Office in the middle around 1905 and the store "added soon after" and "operated until the mid 1930s".

Manasseh Frost
(Big version)
I can't pick the bit that was the Post Office. Maybe it was one little room with a door on the side that's covered up by the store part. The info sign says the Post Office operation went "further west" to William George Humphrey in 1945.

Stone stumps
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The Post Office end of 154 Avoca Drive. Notice the sheets of tin over the top of each stump to stop the ants eating the wood of the building.

Killuna Road was next. There's a foot bridge at the end of it going across the creek to the light industrial area on Cochrone Street. There was a wharf there in around 1850 but there's nothing now, just mangroves. The creek must've been a lot wider then. It's bloody narrow at the end of Killuna, you could barely get a canoe down it.

Most of Kincumber that I've seen so far has been the old places on Avoca Drive, some forties houses, a lot of seventies houses and eighties retirement villages. There's three retirement vilages down in the old part of Kincumber. Broadwater village had 578 letterboxes and at a guesstimate I'd say there's another 1450 retired letterboxes in the old part. Up on the hill there's Brentwood and that's a huge place, at least four times the size of Broadwater. So that's over 4000 retired letterboxes in Kincumber. About average for towns around Brisbane Water.

Friday, December 16, 2005


Forgot to say I finished Point Clare this morning. Back to The Bays next week to do the rest there.

Brisbane Water Walks
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Wordless - Pt Clare #6 - Brisbane Water Walk #8

Beautiful wind last night. Cool and strong. There was the spooky theme music from Midsomer Murders and the curtain floating and shivering in the wind. I sat mesmerised by it for an hour or so. Doesn't take much to amuse me.

This morning I was up at sparrow's fart. It was already slightly muggy. But they've promised us a nice storm and with any luck it'll come tonight. Brisbane Water was silvery grey again and the sun was a small white glow behind high grey clouds. Excellent atmosphere for prowling about in a cemetery.

Point Clare cemetery isn't very old. The oldest grave I found was 1912. But it's a nice graveyard, tucked away in the corner of Point Clare, just back from the ambulance station and with bush on two sides. There's a big sign in curly iron saying "Point Clare Cemetery" then a road with a chunky sandstone pillar on either side if it. The plaque on one of the pillars said they were put up in 1964. Just past them, standing by itself, there was a column with an urn on it dedicated "to the memory of the 7 employees who lost their lives in the launch 'Joyce' 15th May 1948". The urn business is listed in the Rookwood book (Sleeping City) as favoured by Scots Presbyterians and Methodists and I think it's more of a Victorian thing than mid-20th century.

Whenever I can get into a cemetery I wander about looking at the graves. The language of death is interesting. "Sleeping" and "at rest" are among the most popular in any cemetery. The headstones of babies have the least on them in the way of epitaphs. The dates tell you all you need to know. There was a group memorial to babies at the back of Point Clare with about 40 names on it and nearby a tiny headstone on a tiny grave had the baby's name and two dates 14 days apart. About halfway there was a "To our loving mother" and at the bottom something about what she "wanted us to read" and a long list of bible references. On the other side of the road was "With Christ, which is much better". That one gave me a giggle.

There were half a dozen small trees growing out of graves. I've seen plenty of rose bushes growing out of Victorian era graves and some from early last century. But these were mostly trees and there was a lovely big lavender bush on 1963 grave. It had a wrought iron fence aroung it too, looking smart in a coat of fresh white paint. Not far from that one was an unusual grave. A child's, judging by the size, no marker on it. It was covered in moss, which is not all that unusual, then it had what looked like an old child-sized wooden bed frame over it like a fence. The other unusual one was wooden too and also rotting, shaped I think to represent an open book but every word once on it worn away by weather.

After that I went into the Point Clare Estate. One of those swathes of houses done by developers. This one's off Brisbane Water Drive just near the ambulance station. There's a couple of short walls as an entrance then a tree-lined road between them. The road goes over the creek and there's a bit of a wildlife reserve happening there. The whole place is nineties with a Federation influence and judging by the uniformity and landscaping it was all built in one go as a showcase. Bottlebrushes and orange jessamine are the staples so the whole place smells great and is buzzing with bees. It's also chockers with retirees. One look at the lawns and the roses tells you that.

My op shop gardening book has various rose scents down as "myrrh", "fruity", "musk" and "tea" and this crowd waffle on about "hints of raspberry and anise ... orrisroot, nasturtium, violet and lemon ... banana, citrus, honey and clover". Tea I'd agree with, though the garden shop the other day had tea down as champagne. Presumably because champagne pays better. The rose scent I love the best is from the same black red roses Nana had in the backyard. Tall spindly bushes with not that many flowers on them but they smelt glorious.

After I'd sniffed everything that didn't have a bee in it, it was back to the bus stop. I was prickly with sweat by this time and I'd forgotten the bloody spray stuff to ward off the flies. It was sitting by the door at home where it was of no help at all. The cicadas were rivalling the peak hour traffic for volume but the bus came soon and the water was silver again out the bus window and there's a lovely strong wind again now.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Photos from 1847 - Kincumber #1

From 1847 - Kincumber #1 - Brisbane Water Walkies #7. Point Clare, where I'm walking at the moment is #8. Started Kincumber when I had to go there a few times in November. Walking clockwise round Brisbane Water, it's due to be finished in the middle of next year.

Entrance of St Paul's
(Big version)
I love the simplicity. It falls into the Victorian Free Gothic style and period (circa 1840 - circa 1890) but suffers none of the frilliness.

Built in 1847, according to my hist list (didn't find the foundation marker while I was there). The earliest grave I found in its churchyard was 1810 so I'm guessing there was another church building on the site or nearby before this one was built.

Beautiful creamy golden sandstone is the standard for stone churches in Australia. Mind you, this poor bugger desperately wants cleaning. All that dark colour is from pollution. It's on a major crossroads.

Corner of Avoca Drive & Empire Bay Drive in Kincumber. There's a wee carpark immediately after it on the downhill side.

St Paul's graveyard
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Squeamish peeps, fear not. That grave isn't as fresh as it looks. The date on the headstone is "10th May 2004" and this photo was taken in November 2005. The settle rate of this grave is normal, from what I remember from a tour at Rookwood.

The back left corner of the churchyard, looking from the Empire Bay Drive side. Beautiful old sandstone headstones in the background. Couple of metres to the left of this photo is the wall of plaques where the urns go and more of the newest graves.

Looking up at St Paul's
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This side faces Empire Bay Drive. Behind the camera is the front left corner (as seen from Empire Bay Drive) and the oldest graves.

St Paul's & graveyard
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The back of the church, as seen from the Empire Bay Drive side.

I love the bell-onna-stick thing over there on the left. They don't have a bell tower so i guess the minister used to get out there on Sunday mornings and give it a good clanging.

As you can see from the newness of those graves in the foreground, this graveyard is still in use.

Hall of Arts
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Kincumber School of Arts, circa 1914, directly opposite St. Paul's, on the corner of Empire Bay Drive & Tora Street. Still in use.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Golden Avenue - Pt Clare #5 - Brisbane Water Walk #8

Saw a 1940s retirement village today, on Sunnyside Avenue. You don't see many retirement villages that old round here. Mostly they're 1970s. This one was built by some crowd calling themselves the Loyal Orange Institution, which seems to be some sort of society for the preservation of secret handshakes.

But mostly today's streets were filled with dodgy seventies houses, a pre-forties house on the corner of Margaret Street with a very rusty roof and a nineties house with a peculiarly long lawn.

It was lovely and cool at dawn. Perfect walking weather. I went back to sleep. When I finally got going the sky was clearling and the cicadas were at it already. It was a bit steamy but there's a decent breeze now.

There were plenty of frangipanis today and most of them beautifully shaped. I spent so long standing lusting after one its owner twitched the curtains at me in a very meaning way. There was a garden shop round the corner and I wandered round in there for a bit. Their plants were a bit mingy but I did find out two very useful things. One, lemon trees are happy in pots as long as they get enough sun and they don't mind a bit of espalier either. Two, that jasmine bush I've been trying to look up to get the proper name and order the bloody thing from the nursery is not jasmine. It's orange jessamine (Murraya paniculata). It's the one that used to grow outside the Pizza Hut opposite the library. It's a feral (imported species gone wild) but there's a sterile one available.

(My balcony garden is coming along a bit faster now, by the way. Most of them have gained more than an inch over spring and they've got a few more months to grow during summer. The smaller daisy bushes are the exception. Looking very sad and dog-eared, poor things. But the biggest one is doing fine.)

Wandered down Golden Avenue. Beautiful name. Very evocative. I pictured a street in a North American town like those really lush ones in American movies. Lots of trees and a wee Carpenter Goth church with its white wooden spire and big old white wooden houses everywhere and happy dogs on big lawns. You know the sort of town. And an avenue of quivering aspen all golden and shiny in the cold crisp mornings of autumn. There's an avenue of them up at New England uni. It's cold enough for them up there. I love their papery shivery sound.

It even drowned out the sound of the cicadas for a few minutes. Round the corner at the bus-stop the bastards were deafening. They were in the trees along the drain beside the ambulance station and in the boggy reserve behind me. The reserve backs onto Fagan's Bay. The local Bushcare crowd must be sobbing into their beer since those bamboo shoots starting appearing in it. It's already got some blasted strangle vine climbing the trees and killing them as well as bloody asparagus fern swarming over everything at ground level.

The ambulance station at Point Clare is not an attractive building. It's got the late sixties dappled beige brick then it's got this weird green moulded something along the eaves. Completely unnecessary and just plain weird. But they've got an interesting vehicle in the window.

The garage has huge tinted windows along the road side of it and this yellow truck is parked in there. It's got two massive spotties on top of the cab and a ladder on top of the body. It's got the standard St. John's Ambulance logo on it then "St. George-Sutherland District" on the side. On the cab it says "Q Van". Had a quick Google and it looks like some sort of rescue thingy. A while back they had an old wooden cart that was an early ambulance by the look of it. Cool.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Woy Woy General Store

No2 Woy Woy Road
(Big version)
"Woy Woy General Store, 2 Woy Woy Road, Woy Woy South ... c.1912". From my hist list, my list of pre-1940 buildings around Brisbane Water.

In the big version you can see the windows in the middle and on the right are seventies. Seventies "modernisation" saw a lot of crappy windows ruin facades of a lot of otherwise beautiful houses.

Take a look as well at the roof gables. See how different the left one is from the right one? Different pitch (angle of slope), different vent (round thingy), different materials (weatherboard on the left, brick under render on the left). The windows on the left look real even up close. Old windows can be bought at demolition sales.

Old side of No2
(Big version)
Looking at the roofline and looking up close, the original shop seems to be the middle and right hand side.

Second hand windows
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Up close I could see the style and materials of the 1980s on this section of the building (the left hand side). These windows look genuine enough though. Probably bought from a demolition site.