Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Weird weather in Woy Woy

(Random walkies)

Hot and sweaty this morning. By 8AM the cicadas were at it but the forecast was for 24 (67 F). Weird. But I thought fuck it and set off on my walkies.

It got weirder. The sky was blue and there was a cloud front on the southern horizon. That'll come over by this afternoon, my fellow bus-riders were saying. But 10 minutes later the whole bloody sky was overcast. The front came in fast as fuck and with it a hard gusting wind. Dear Old Things were being blown off the pavement, dogs were yelping, shop signs were crashing and sliding about everywhere.

Brisbane Water Drive & Parks Bay from Woy Woy Wharf Woy Woy

Dunno if the cloud was just low cloud or if it was sea mist. This is it laying low over Parks Bay at 9.30. The road is Brisbane Water Drive.

Koolewong & Point Clare from Woy Woy 29th November 2006


Took these photos 15 seconds apart (at 9.30). The cloud was coming in so fast and low it obscured Point Clare (background) in fifeteen fucking seconds.

It's still gusting fairly hard this afternoon and I'm loving it.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Empire Bay strikes back

Well, okay, it doesn't strike back. I was just stuck for a title. It's a beautifully cool day today, overcast and a cool breeze, same as yesterday. But like all bar three days this month, a crap day for photos. So, once again, here's some I made earlier.

Empire Bay foreshore

Empire Bay foreshore. Looking east towards what looked like a nice storm brewing but turned out to be nowt. That's Kincumber South/Bensville on the left, on the eastern shore of the bit before the Kincumber Broadwater.

It was quiet. A couple of seagulls came to inspect us, a dog dragging its owner chased the seagulls off and cocked its leg on our seat, a couple of boats putted slowly down the channel.

Empire Bay foreshore

Looking north-west to Saratoga (the hill) and Davistown (to its right). In the distance between them, Gosford can be glimpsed.

Empire Bay foreshore

Oyster boat at tied up near the ferry wharf. Brisbane Water is chockers with oyster and mussel farms. How'd you be working on an oyster farm? Out on the water instead of cooped up in an office. Brilliant.

There's a storm forecast for today. Doesn't look like it's coming. It's just overcast. Been overcast for weeks and fuck all rain.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Empire Bay

Today's was mostly clouds and a wee bit of sun. Crappy photo day. Dug these up instead. Took them a couple of weeks back on a pub crawl.

Empire Bay & War Memorial Kendall Road Empire Bay

Empire Bay in the background, the ferry wharf behind the flagpole and the War Memorial in the foreground is in Kendall Road Empire Bay.

Get the ferry from Woy Woy wharf. Sit and gaze out the window as it quietly motors along between the Woy Woy Memorial Park and Pelican Island. Enjoy the view from the water as it cruises past Saratoga and Davistown, past Rileys Island and St Huberts and stops at a few tiny wharfs in Lintern Channel and Cockle Channel. Get off at Empire Bay, where the ferry driver gets off for his lunch.

Empire Bay is not a big town. It's got twenty three streets and the population is probably five thousand. It's rather pleasant and peaceful, like most places on the Central Coast. There's a nice park along the waterfront and a decent fish-and-chip shop fifty metres back from the wharf.

The memorial reads:


C.W.ADAMS x ? 40 24
W. SETTREE x ? ? ?


The question marks are bits I can't make out. They look like dates but have an x in front of them.

Empire Bay War Memorial Kendall Road Empire Bay

Bustling downtown Empire Bay. This is half the shops. The other half are just out of the frame on the right.

The plaque on the memorial reads:



Empire Bay's a small town. Losing that many, and so many from the same families, must've ripped the guts out of the place.

Empire Bay & War Memorial Kendall Road Empire Bay

One of the two small memorials within the fence. That insignia at the top is either the army's or the armed forces one. Can't remember.

The plaque reads:

"1914 - 1918
1939 - 1945

Unusually, this memorial has roses (left edge of photo) as well as the usual rosemary.

Empire Bay & War Memorial Kendall Road Empire Bay

The other small memorial. It reads:


[3 insignia I don't recognise]



As always, it's a relief to see Vietnam acknowledged.

On the way back to my place we hit the Davo (the RSL at Davistown) and the Woy Woy pub. Then we had a little lie down.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Blue hills

Gum blossoms, buds & gumnuts

Gum blossoms, buds & gumnuts. Snapped somewhere in Woy Woy a few days ago.

Woke up this morning to the smell of smoke. Bushfire smoke blown across from the Blue Mountains on Sydney's outskirts. There's been a fire going there since last Monday. The fieries can't be getting much sleep, poor bastards. Half the bloody country's alight. Again.

Here in Woy Woy, the light is bushfire yellow and the hills are blue with haze. At 6AM it was 29 degrees (84 F) and the forecast is for 38 (100 F). Not ideal walkies weather, I stayed home with a cold drink and the fan.

On a happier note

There's some great photos of the hinterland behind the Central Coast (where I live) on Hunter Collectors at Flickr.

Long time coming

So, Thorpie hung up his swimming goggles for good. Doesn't know what he's going to do next. Try coming out of the closet already, mate.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Welcome to Woy Woy

(Random walkies)

Woy Woy Railway Station Railway Street Woy Woy

"Welcome to Woy Woy" it says in the middle.

A mural (or muriel, for Pratchett fans) at the southern end of the station, near the lift. The bus station is behind the wall and those faint chimneys belong to the Masonic Hall across Railway Street.

The train on the left is older and has yank-open doors. It's rather fun to watch tourists yanking at them open before the train has fully stopped and the master release released them.

The train on the right is the oft-loathed Tangara, a Sydney commuter train. Just as well the doors were painted yellow. They're flush with the sides of the carriages and Dear Old Things couldn't find them by sight or feel.

A ride in the Tangara is akin to a ride in a plastic box with someone else's cheese and pickle sandwiches. They have a stale plasticky feel to them and you feel a bit doomed when you see the notice on the door that says not to attempt to get out if there's a fire.

Warm and sticky this morning. Good thing when one is engaged in rumpy pumpy, not so good for walkies. Went up to Gosford but didn't walk there. Wandered about in Woy Woy for a few minutes after that, had a coffee in a cafe and came home with a large apple turnover for my lunch. I'm livin' la vida loca.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Daleys Point

(Daleys Point walkies #1)

Got bored with trekking up to Gosford. Bloody weather up and down like a fucking yoyo on speed isn't helping. Though I like the cool bits. Bloody cool Wednesday and yesterday. More on that later.

Fishermans Bay & Hardys Bay from The Rip Bridge

Morning sun sparkling off the water at Fishermans Bay. Taken from The Rip Bridge (below). Hardys Bay in the background.

Lovely day for walkies today. Twenty degrees (64F), blue blue sky, warm sun and a cool breeze to keep me cool. I walked from home, down Blackwall Road, over The Rip Bridge to Daleys Point and down to the water. A nice slow walk but plenty of uphill work on Daley Avenue. (Map)

Plenty of balconied houses to be seen. Up on the crest of the point overlooking the bridge there's houses that look both ways, down into the water to the north-west, between Blackwall and St Huberts Island and probably across to Koolewong and Tascott and down into Fishermans Bay and Booker Bay (below) on the other side. Perhaps even across Killcare peninsula to the sea.

The Rip Bridge from Daley Avenue Daleys Point

The Rip Bridge. Looking back to the Woy Woy Peninsula. Booker Bay is on the left and Orange Grove on the right.

The Rip Bridge went up in 1974 and provided easy road access to Daleys Point and St Huberts Island. More.

Pelican fishing off Daleys Point

Stood there for a bit looking out over the water. This pelican was cruising about close to shore looking for his breakfast. He poked his beak into the seaweed every now and then but didn't seem to have much luck. Eventually he floated off to the other side of the water.

Taken from Daley Avenue Daleys Point, under The Rip Bridge.

Booker Bay from Daley Avenue Daleys Point

Booker Bay with the hills of Pretty Beach and Wagstaffe in the background.

Booker Bay is the money suburb of the woy Woy Peninsula. There's money wherever there's a view but apparently there's more of it in Booker Bay. The boats certainly back that up.

But, as with everywhere I've been on the Central Coast, in between the swanky houses there's still plenty of little workmans' cottages someone's grandma still lives in.

Have a gander at The Rip Bridge from Guyra Street Booker Bay.

St Huberts Island from Tulani Avenue Daleys Point

St Huberts Island ramp from Tulani Avenue Daleys Point. The house where that boat was tied up had a car in the driveway. What the hell were they doing indoors on such a fine boating day?

Snow in Queensland

On the telly on Wednesday night we watched the fieries battling bushfires in the Blue Mountains (outskirts of Sydney). Then they showed the snow falling in Bathurst. A kid was building a snowman. It hasn't snowed there in November (late Spring) for fuck knows how long.

Yesterday it was delightfully cold in Woy Woy. Wore a jumper and a jacket and my beanie pulled down over my ears and nearly got caught in the hail. and it snowed in Queensland. Which never happens. Today I went walkies in shirt sleeves.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Early this year the old wooden buildings around St John the Baptist church in Blackwall Road Woy Woy were demolished. There's now some housing units in their place and the church itself is unmolested. (Photo of the units when the builders' fence comes down.)

A couple of weeks ago the buildings below, on Blackwall Road opposite the church, were also demolished. There's a nice big block of land there now and presumably they'll build matching units on it.

St John the Baptist building

Weird little building that appeared to be a fifties extension to the old wooden classroom buildings (see top of post). It sat alone in a small sea of ashphalt facing the roundabout on the corner of Blackwall Road and Victoria Road.

St John the Baptist Presbytery

St John the Baptist Presbytery. It sat on Blackwall Road opposite the church, between the fifties classroom and the old house below. It was nothing out of the ordinary but a pleasant enough building of its type.

St John the Baptist building

This old house sat to the left of the Presbytery on Blackwall Road. There's no reference to it in my notes or online. I think it was or is used as a homeless shelter and called Mary McKillop House.

The Mary McKillop connection is through the Josephite Sisters who run the Catholic Primary School at Woy Woy South. McKillop was their founder. MacKillop was also responsible for the Holy Cross church and St Joseph's Orphanage at Kincumber South.

The windows on this building are narrow enough to put the style in Federation Bungalow (circa 1890 - c. 1915) but the angle of its roofs are more Inter War California Bungalow (c. 1915 - c. 1940). I'm putting it down as 1915-1940. Windows have been recycled before.

For a gander at the building progress, go down Blackwall Road from the station to the roundabout at Victoria Road. For all the recent Woy Woy demolitions go here.

A lump

Belinda Emmett died a couple of days ago. I knew of her vaguely as an Australian TV actor. Her obituary today and a couple of Dear Old Things this morning said she was a local girl.

From the SMH obit:

"Born in Gosford to Michael and Laraine Emmett, Belinda grew up at Umina, on the NSW Central Coast, and was educated at St John's in Woy Woy, St Joseph's, Gosford, and Corpus Christi, Tuggerah. Her family called her Belle.

At school she performed in musical theatre and fronted the pop band Big Baby Jam. She worked in a record store and, after leaving school, with Coast FM radio station. She made her professional debut in 1993, at 19, in the Gosford Musical Society's production of The Gingerbread Man. She also sang with two jazz duos."

She survived one bout of cancer in the nineties then it came back for a second go and got her, poor bugger.

Our Kylie was back onstage the other night. She had a breast cancer scare a couple of years ago but got treatment immediately.

"[Belinda] had first noticed a lump in her breast about two years earlier [than her diagnosis] but had not had it checked."

Had my lump checked out this morning. Doctor says it's an ingrown hair and to eat more carrots.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Piles Creek

(Random walkies)

Piles Creek Girrakool

Piles Creek Girrakool. Near one of the old quarries I blogged the other week.

Turn off the Pacific Highway at Quarry Road and go under the F3 Motorway (Sydney to Newcastle) to the picnic area carpark. Or turn left off the Great North Walk at the appropriate sign. Follow the signs for the creek lookout.

Piles Creek Girrakool

The Piles Creek gully from a bit further along the track. There's a couple of lookouts, one right beside the waterfall.

It's a beautiful spot. The trees block the sound of the F3 and it looks like you're in the middle of nowhere. There's just the sounds of the bush and the waterfall falling into its pool below. We stood at the lookout and just zoned out watching it for a while.

We didn't go much further along the track. The heat had the flies out in droves and it was getting bloody muggy.

It started out blue sky this morning. By the time we were back in Woy Woy it was overcast and a storm had come over. The thunder was cracking right above our heads. It rained a bit and then the hail came. We shot in under the Post Office roof. The stuff was coming down hard and fast as buckshot. It was bouncing on the road and everyone was standing under the shop verandas watching it. It got so loud even the text-happy teenager looked up open-mouthed from his mobile (phone). There was a bolt of lightning somewhere very close by and the wind gusted harder. Then it and the hail died away and the storm moved on. And now it's blue sky again.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Mangrove forest

(Gosford walkies #32)

Mangrove forest walk West Gosford

There's a boardwalk through the mangroves beside Adcock Park. It's a short walk but a pleasant one. The ducks stared out at us from the dappled shade and a couple of teenage ducklings quacked. The mangroves are just starting to flower. The flowers are tiny creamy white things with a faint perfume. It's sunny again today and the tide was half out. Small patches of seaweed around the shore started to steam and stink in the sun. We hurried round to the pub for a nice cold one.

The walk is opposite the corner of Moore Street and the Pacific Highway, between the overpass into Gosford and the bridge over Narara Creek. Park in Moore Street.

On the way home we saw ninety eight flowering jacarandas. I counted them. They'd make a lovely forest.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Kendall Street

Lovely and cool for walkies today but a crap day for photos. Way too dark. Just as well I had a few more blue sky photos squirreled away. These ones were taken a couple of streets apart and perhaps five hundred yards from Gosford Hospital.

St. George Street Gosford

Some nice profiles in St. George Street. Couldn't get a decent shot of the fronts of these houses due to the trees.

That's Presidents Hill in the background.

Kendall Street Gosford

Nice profiles going up the hill in the direction of the hospital.

It looks like a quiet street from this angle but you can't see the public carpark that is the other side of the road. Not residents' cars I think but peeps who didn't get a park in the multi-storey carpark next to the train station.

Kendall Street Gosford

Pleasant old bungalow on Kendall Street Gosford.

The roof isn't distinctive as is common in the Federation Bungalow (circa 1890 - c.1915) and Inter War California Bungalow (c. 1915 - c. 1940) styles. Could be a 1915 - 1940 renovation of an older house.

Kendall Street Gosford

Boarded up house in Kendall Street Gosford, near the hospital. I'll go back on a month or three and see if it's been demolished and a thingo of units bunged up in its place.

St. George Street Gosford

Mynah bird taking flight from a flowering vine in St. George Street Gosford.

Mynahs are curious buggers. Put something out in the backyard and they'll all come and have a look at it. They're also rather fond of pulling all the pegs off your washing so it falls on the ground. They're an exotic species and come from eastern Asia.

Plants and animals in Australia are divided into exotic and native. Exotics are introduced species brought in by white settlers in colonial times (1788-1901) or later. The most infamous introduced species is the humble rabbit. It eats native species out of house and home.

Worser and worser

We're not in a one in one hundred year drought after all. It's a one in one thousand years.

Send water!

Monday, November 06, 2006


Beautiful weekend. Wet and grey and windy and cool. 18 degrees (62.5 F). Laid out on the balcony in a wooly jumper with a beer and watched the wind. Lovely.

It started out that way again today so I cancelled today's walkies. Then of course, the sun comes out. It was only kidding though. It's still lovely and cool and windy and we might get a bit more rain.

Rosemont Village Road Saratoga

Took these photos god knows when. Last year maybe. Forgot the buggers completely.

The house is called 'Rosemont' and it's on Village Road Saratoga on the Saratoga/Davistown peninsula, which is just across the water from Woy Woy. Rosemont is on the northern side of the hill and on a gentle slope.

Before the houses across the road were built, you could've sat on that veranda and had an uninterrupted view across to Longnose (Point Frederick) and Gosford (map). In this photo you can see about half the land the house is on. There's more to the left out of frame.

Get the ferry from Woy Woy Wharf, get off at Central Wharf (Davistown) and walk up Davistown Road, turn left into High Street then right into Martin Crescent and downhill to the corner of Village Road. If you're driving come off Avoca Drive onto Davistown Road at the Green Point/Yattalunga roundabout, go right into Jirramba venue, left into Centennial Avenue, left into Mimosa Avenue and right into Village Road.

Rosemont Village Road Saratoga

Federation Queen Anne (circa 1890 - c.1915) was "the dominant style in Australian domestic architecture during the decades immediately before and after 1900". Queen Anne usually isn't symmetrical like Rosemont is but everything else about it says Queen Anne so I'm happy.

Haven't done any research on this one yet. Nothing on the net about it except a Development Application in Gosford City Council's minutes for October 2006 that gets approval for a "dwelling addition, garage and fence". Looks like that'll be happening on the back right corner of the land, as seen in the photo.

Come back on Wednesday or I'll rip yer bloody arms orf!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Purple bits

(Random walkies)

Walked in Woy Woy today. Went down to Umina, in amongst the slow overgrown creeks behind the beach. It was a hot sticky walk. Hardly any breeze and the mercury climbing up to 32 (90 Farenheit). I plodded along under my hat sniffing at other people's gardens as the clouds slowly closed in again.

Brisbane Avenue Umina

Jasmine climber on someon's front gate. When the sun hits the flowers the scent of jasmine hangs heavy over the Peninsula. Brisbane Avenue Umina.

Brisbane Avenue Umina

Beautiful soft trumpet-like flowers. They fall and make a purple carpet under the tree. When the leaves come jacarandas make good shade.

Mount Ettalong Road Umina

Iris or something by the footpath. Pretty sure it's a native.

Ettalong Creek Wetland Reserve Mount Ettalong Road Umina

Heard the kookaburras as I was walking past this patch of bush (wild forest). Ettalong Creek Wetland Reserve Mount Ettalong Road Umina. From Ocean Beach Road follow the traffic down Sydney Avenue and Hobart Avenue to Mount Ettalong Road.