Thursday, May 31, 2007

I will be away for 7-10 days. Probably not any longer.

Family thing. Will spill upon return.

Emails will go unanswered, ditto comments.

Do not worry about me.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Grab bag

Welcome to Woy Woy

Graffitti, or more grammatically graffitto, on Mrs Wilson's shop (circa 1910) at the Charlton Street-Railway Street roundabout.

Thank yer, that graffitist, this is much better than the usual tags.

Would've sworn on a stack of beer bottles I had a photo of Mrs Wilson's circa 1910 shop. But diligent searching on Flickr turns up nowt. Buggeration!

'Belinda K' at Brick Wharf Road Woy Woy

This is the Belinda K, a local working boat. She's a familiar sight to those on the ferry out of Woy Woy. She's moored at a private jetty on Brick Wharf Road.

Presumably the owner's house is just across the road. That'd cut down on yer commuting time, wouldn't it? You could totter across the road still clutching yer breakfast coffee cup, cast off and putt off down the channel coffee still in hand.

Woy Woy Public Wharf

I rabbit on a bit about catching the ferry so here's where I catch it from. "Woy Woy Public Wharf" as it says on the sign. In the background there's the commercial wharf, the fish and chip shop all the tourists go to, the CWA and, behind the CWA, Roma.

The park (right, where the tree is) is where the Woy Woy to Gosford Fun Run leaves from. It's coming up again soon. Better start training for it.

Barely a step from Bustling Downtown Woy Woy and a nowt but short stagger from the pub.


The questions below arrived in a very straightforward email. I know what curious buggers you all are so here's my answers for all to enjoy:

Hi.. I just found your site recently and I love the blog.. I have a couple of questions..

1. How old are you?

I have not long been dragged kicking and screaming into my third decade.

2. What do you do for a living that you can walk in the daytime?

I am a freelance correcter of other people's theses.

3. Where are all the people? .. It looks like scenes from Stephen King's The Stand.. kind of creepy..

You are not the first to ask.

Woy Woy is at its busiest on sunny weekends when the roads are clogged with boats in the mornings and afternoons and the fish and chip shop clogged with tourists all day.

On weekdays there's the Dawn Walkers and their dogs, then the commuters, then a bit of a hiatus until the commuters come home and the pub shuts. On pension cheque days the pavements are chockers with Dear Old Things called Mabel walking very slowly to the supermarket.

Thanks.. Keep those house pictures coming..

Yer welcome. I will.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Veron Road

(Random walkies)


Strelitzia (Strell-it-zee-uh) also known as Bird-of-Paradise, proper name Strelitzia reginae. It comes from South Africa and belongs to the banana family (Musaceae). Seriously.

I was going to post you some close-ups but Flickr's having some sort of fit. See if you can get there.

Umina High School Veron Road Umina

Sheep & veg garden in the Umina High School's hands-on department.

Some dickheads jumped the fence a couple of months back and killed one of the pigs.

Veron Road cnr Hillview Street Woy Woy South

Tiny piece of bush opposite the High School's sheep (behind camera), backing onto the Catholic primary school in Meacham Way and across from the golf course (right of photo) (Map). It is also the home of the Stone Curlew.

This photo will have to be added to my Gone photos in a while. The church got the go-ahead to clear it and bung up some luxury villas. Because Woy Woy's so short of luxury villas.

The bulldozers will be moving in soon and after that we may never hear the Stone Curlew again. That pisses me off because I like hearing its weird midnight call.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Up close & far away

Working today, not walking. Ugh. Here's one I made earlier.

Canna Lily

Canna Lily next to the Woy Woy to Gosford Cycleway. Perennially popular garden plants these and I only just found out what they're called. Quick, aren't I?

Woy Woy, Blackwall Mountain, Bouddi Peninsula & Box Head from Staples Lookout
(Embiggen to embiggest)

In the foreground you can see the trees still not fully recovered from the Boxing Day 2006 bushfires. Normally they're back on their feet in no time but they've had fuck-all rain since then, what with the drought and all.

Stretching across the background you've got the Tasman Sea (visible through the tree on the left) and the Bouddi Peninsula.

The Bouddi contains, in order from Maitland Bay (Tasman Sea side) round to Hardys (Brisbane Water side):
The Bouddi (Bouddi National Park, from Macmasters Beach to Box Head)
Killcare Heights
Gerrin Point
Putty Beach
Tallow Beach & Little Tallow Beach
Box Head (at the mouth of Broken Bay)
Iron Ladder Beach
Lobster Beach
Half Tide Rocks
Pretty Beach
Hardys Bay

From the right, between Box Head and Blackwall Mountain, you've got Ettalong and The Excrescence (white blob), Blackwall Mountain, very faintly on its left The Rip Bridge, Daleys Point at the left end of the bridge, Rileys Island (uninhabited) in fron of Daleys, and between Rileys and the foreground, Bustling Downtown Woy Woy.

Brisbane Water from Staples Lookout
(Embiggen to embiggest)

From Kincumba Mountain coming into it on the far left and The Excrescence, that blot on the landscape, on the far right.

Similar view but more of Woy Woy and Pelican Island visible there in the middle distance on the left. Then it's up into the Kincumber Broadwater via Cockle Channel and, behind the Broadwater, the hills separating Kincumber (Brisbane Water side) from Macmasters Beach (Tasman Sea side).

Stakles Lookout is on the Woy Woy Road about 2.5 kays from the Phegans Bay turn-off. It's yer left if you're coming from Gosford. Keep an eye out because the traffic will be up your arse and you've got buckley's of doing a U-ey along there.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Warm winter sky

(Saratoga walkies #7)

Brass monkeys yesterday. A wind came up off the snow down south and froze the tits off the Central Coast. Bloody freezing again this morning but the sky is as blue as blue can be and the sun is warm.

Gymea Lilly

Gymea Lily (Doryanthes excelsa). Magnificent beasts they are. This one and its friend are quite short, just a couple of metres high. They get to 6 metres (19.7 feet) and the Central Coast is at the centre of their natural habitat. You can see them in the bush along Patonga Drive.

This one and its friend are on the Paficic Highway at West Gosford between OfficeWorks and the lights. Which is not Saratoga. Got 'em on the way home.

Grow yer own Gymea - Gardening Australia Fact Sheet
Australian National Botanic Gardens - great photo of opened blooms

Brighton Road Saratoga

Reaching for the sun on Brighton Road. The blooms are as soft as they look. No idea what the plant is though. Seen it all over the Peninsula and Brisbane Water and previously mistaken it for a bottlebrush. It is not a bottlebrush. Might be a mimosa.

Plenty of flowering still going on in the autumn sun, paperbacks, whatsits, daisies having another go. Saw a few golden wattles touched by gold today. They'll be blazing in full glory soon.

Point Frederick & East Gosford from Brooklyn Road Saratoga

Silvery roofs, silvery water, Point Frederick & East Gosford from Brooklyn Road.

Steyne Road Saratoga

Blazing colour fit to warm the cockles of yer heart. A whatsit flowering on Steyne Road.

Bayside Burglar

They finally got a description for the bastard. "Caucasian [white], 25-40 years old with greying-blonde hair" says the Advocate.

37 burglaries in 19 days this guy's done. 37 in 19 days. All between the hours of 3PM and 6PM.

He's hitting the Woy Woy Peninsula so far. And targetting Dear Old Things, walking in through the door while they're in the garden, forcing side windows, walking off with handbags and wallets.

Go round and check on your Dear Old Thing.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Bustling Downtown Hardys Bay

(Hardys Bay walkies #3)

Araluen Drive Hardys Bay

A view from Araluen Drive to Hardys Bay Parade. Very restful spot with the sound of water slapping on boats and the seagulls all gone to Woy Woy for fish & chips.

Araluen Drive Hardys Bay

Can't resist the combination of a twisty tree and wee boat. Low tide at Araluen Drive.

Church on Araluen Drive Hardys Bay

Early 20th century building with brand new houses on either side. Pretty typical of many Brisbane Water towns and particularly of Hardys Bay. It is not a town in which real estate is hard to sell.

Araluen Drive Hardys Bay

Fifites house and the remains of its former companion. On the other side is an active building site. All of Araluen Drive is prime land, it's all waterfront.

Bustling Downtown Hardys Bay

Bustling Downtown Hardys Bay has everything one needs in a town:
waterfront cafes (far right & hidden behind loo)
public loo in which to find companionship (green, end of wharf)
real estate agent for those impulse buys (far right, part of cafe)
bottle shop (behind green & white boat)
street sloping down hill to provide picturesque-ness
glob of brand new units smack dab on waterfront (left of wharf)
quiet old houses to retain charm (left of glob)
public wharf to attract the tourists ("Killcare Street Public Wharf" says the sign)
public boat ramp (left of glob) for the use of locals unwilling to wade through tourists.

And, last but not least, it is but a short row across to the Ettalong pub.

Gotta love you and leave you. Plumber's bringing his plunger over in a sec. Hot it's the cute one this time.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Grey sky

(Today's photos)

It's raining again now. I stood at the window and watched it come across the rooftops towards me. First the cockies shot up into the sky between showers, screeching loud with their rusty voices, wheeling in flocks of white against the black clouds. Then they disappeared and the ridge misted over with rain and it came across the rooftops like a steady train coming towards me.

I laid in bed this morning until half past eight. It was not much lighter than before dawn and the bed was warm and soft and I could hear a soft shower on the tin roof of next door's garage. Bliss.

This rain got to the farmers. Poor bastards have been gasping for it for yonks and finally it's come. The state is only about 70% in drought now and those who know such things reckon it's going to be a wet winter. El Nino is pissing off and La Nina is coming.

Banksia flowering

There's plenty of flowers still out at this time of year. Banksia seed cones are falling like rain but there's still plenty of flowering cones.

Bottlebrush flower

Golden bottlebrush flowers

Red berries on a European tree

There's a lot of non-native plants in Australian gardens. No idea what this one is but I like the red of the berries.


Sydney's been fogged out twice this week. There was an excellent picture on the telly last night of the top of the fog with just the Sydney Tower and the tops of a couple of other buildings sticking up through it.

We get a bit of Sydney's fogs here. It lays down along the top of the ridges and silences the birds. Wisps of it can still be seen mid-morning, caught in the folds and valleys. Quite beautiful.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Overcast this morning, completely overcast. Won't need the camera, says I, I'll just be going walkies without it. And I don't need it because it's overcast all through my walkies. Then the minute I step back inside the bloody sky clears! It's a conspiracy I tell you, a bleeding conspiracy! What that's, nurse? Time for my medicine?

So anyways, these are from a completely sunny day a while back. Enjoy, while I have a soothing snack of Valium.

Barrenjoey Head & Lion Island from Ettalong Beach

Taken from Ettalong Beach near the Vietnam memorial.

That's Wagstaffe on the left and you can just see Half Tide Rocks off the right of it if you know what you're looking for (flat shelf of rock at water level).

Over on the left hand margin is the corner where Ettalong Beach ends and Ocean Beach starts. Those are flats and holiday rentals there on the very edge of the picture. The white line extending out to the left from that corner is the big sandbar, the last one the Palm Beach ferry has to avoid on its way back to Palm Beach.

In the distance you can see Barrenjoey Head, down into Pittwater, then Lion Island sticking up and Commodore Heights behind it.

Ettalong Beach

Showing Lobster Beach and Little Box Head with Wagstaffe out of frame to the left. In the right foreground there's a couple of banksias providing some shade for the seagulls when they get tired of pulling tiny crabs out of the sand.

You can't see Lion Island in this one, it's behind the trees. Behind the 2nd boat from the right you can see Barrenjoey Head.

Flathead Road Ettalong

I like these. I like fifties retro. They look well made as well. None of yer slapped up crap. And those wee huts at either side of the gate must hide the bins and stuff. Very neat.

That's Blackwall Mountain behind (hur hur). As mountains go it's more of yer small hill.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Mireen Avenue

(Davistown walkies #5)

Fog this morning, laying thick over the ridges and hills. Inversion fog I think because we got cloud later.

Went back to Davistown. Got the Saratoga from Woy Woy across to Lintern Street Wharf and wandered East from there and into Mireen Avenue.

Creek on Emora Avenue cnr Mireen Avenue Davistown

An old creek or relatively new storm drain. (Sometimes they're both.) Full from the recent rain and providing a lovely calm vista at the T junction of Emora Avenue and Mireen Avenue.

Mireen Avenue is one of the old streets of the old Yow Yow Estate, flogged in 1908 by Henry F Halloran who was a native Sydneysider and mover and shaker in coastal real estate.

His great-granddad was transported for being a fake priest, amongst other things, and was mates with Simeon Lord and John Macarthur.

Lord was an ex-convict who owned one of the largest houses in the colony of Port Jackson (Sydney). Lieutenant Macarthur of the New South Wales Corps (marines-cum-prison wardens who accompanied the First Fleet convicts in 1788) started sword-fights, started Australia's lucrative wool industry, established Elizabeth Farm, went off his nut and died in 1834.

'Inala' Mireen Avenue Davistown

'Inala' Mireen Avenue. A Bungalow front on an earlier house, probably 1900s. Icecream colour scheme, old rose bush, deep shaded backyard. A comforting house to look at.

There's another 'Inala' at Pearl Beach, one of those holiday houses. Pearl Beach fascinates me. Half the houses are holiday cottages and the place is like a fucking ghost town outside school holidays.

50s Mireen Avenue Davistown

Natty fifties house. Well looked after and painted not that long ago.

The pot plants and what might be native lillies in the garden aren't yer classic fifties plants but they look smart against the white and blue of the house.


Ducks. Found out the breed then clean forgot it. Mallards? Something like that. Anyways, they're the common-or-garden variety for southern Australia.

The males have the most beautiful shades of purple and blue and green under their wings and on their necks. The colours change with the light as they move.

This lot were poking about for snails in the shady bits of someone's front garden. Wish they'd come round my place. Planted a geranium last week and it's been eaten down to a stalk.

It's another warm autumn afternoon here in Woy Woy and a couple of mynahs are sitting on my balcony railing peering in at me as I type. They're inquisitive birds and like to know what you're up to. They often sit and watch me put sunblock on then nod at each other and fly off.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Lady Kendall saved

(Random walkies)

Went off along Brisbane Water Drive today. There was a crane at Koolewong. There was a skip beside the crane, loaded with bits of old wood. I thought the Lady Kendall was off to the knacker's yard. But someone said no, she's off to Sydney to be restored and the bits in the skip were just garbage that came up with her.

Wreck of the Lady Kendall Koolewong Reserve 11th May 2007

Her bow all hooked up ready and waiting for the other crane to arrive. She looks like a fish skeleton, all ribs and head and tail.

Wreck of the Lady Kendall Koolewong Reserve 11th May 2007

Cleaning her up before her trip. She was full of seaweed and empty beer cans last week.

Wreck of the Lady Kendall Koolewong Reserve 11th May 2007

Cranes, skips, bits, blokes, the Lady herself, the barges and gawkers.

Wreck of the Lady Kendall Koolewong Reserve 11th May 2007

Lifting her onto the rocks. After that they cleaned up the barges and the cranes went home.

Wreck of the Lady Kendall Koolewong Reserve 11th May 2007

On the rocks. Where presumably she'll rest until carted off to be restored.

Wreck of the Lady Kendall Koolewong Reserve 11th May 2007

Her bow and midships. Note the red and white paint and the touch of blue amidships.

Wreck of the Lady Kendall Koolewong Reserve 11th May 2007

Her stern and propeller.

Wreck of the Lady Kendall Koolewong Reserve 11th May 2007

Drainage hole (?) and pump wheel. Amidships.

There was a cameraperson there from NBN (Northern Beaches Telly) so there should be some more about her on the telly tonight. 6PM their news is on. Sydneysiders, twiddle yer dial, you might be able to get it down to Dee Why.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


Stingray between Brisbane Water Drive and Pelican Island, Woy Woy

See the stingray? Light patch in the middle, with its tail to the left. The stuff floating on the surface is dry plant bits blown into the water. The stuff under the water in the upper half of the photo is seaweed, that sort like strings of beads.

Thanks to Ami for these stingray photos. They were not moving, she said, just laying there on the bottom waving their tails occasionally.

This is in a few feet of water between Brisbane Water Drive and Pelican Island. From the photo below, it looks like it's no more than a hundred yards from Woy Woy.

Stingray between Brisbane Water Drive and Pelican Island, Woy Woy

The second one, again just laying there on the bottom in the shallow water. See it? Down the bottom there, that light patch.

Got an idea they're waiting for the wee fish to clean them. Like sharks get cleaned by pilot fish or whatever. It was on some doco the other night.

Either that or they're waiting for an Irwin.

"[N]ot aggressive" says the Australian Museum but raises "its tail which is capable of inflicting severe or potentially fatal wounds... above its back like a scorpion", as Steve Irwin found out.

Not sure what type of ray these two are but they fit the stats for the Smooth Stingray (Dasyatis brevicaudata): "a bottom-dwelling species which is recorded from temperate waters of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

In Australia it occurs from southern Queensland, around the south of the country and north to the central coast of Western Australia. It lives in coastal waters and estuaries from shallow water down to about 170 m."

Brisbane Water is an estuary and a very shallow one in places and it's in southern Australia.

I've seen rays a few times, mostly at ocean beaches where it's very shallow and calm. And the aquarium at Manly has a has a cool glass tunnel you walk through to look at the fish & rays & sharks. Stingrays don't so much swim as fly along like a very calm magic carpet. They're rather beautiful.

Smooth Stingray, includes video, Australian Museum.
Oceanworld Manly, the one with the tunnel.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Abandoned Austins

(Saratoga walkies #6)

Abandoned Austins Patrick Crescent Saratoga

Two abandoned Austins on Patrick Crescent Saratoga, opposite the path to Mimosa Avenue. The white one is an A40. The green one is an A35.

The A40 looks like it's a Farina Mark I. Farinas were made from 1959 to 1967. The Mark I has windows you have lower and lift by hand and the engine was 948 cc. I've seen a few of these in car rallies I'm sure. Them or Morries.

Austin A40 Patrick Crescent Saratoga

Austin A40 Patrick Crescent Davistown

Interior of the A40. 45,571 miles on the clock.

Austin Patrick Crescent Saratoga

The badge on the front says Austin. No other badges were visible. Umina Rampart on Flickr tells me it's an Austin A30/A35.

The A35 2-door 4-seat saloon was built from 1956 to 1959 with a 948cc engine. The A35 was superseded in 1959 by the A40.

Brockie's first racing car in 1967 was an A30, though his had a Holden engine.

An A30 van was Wallace's pest control vehicle in the Wallace and Gromit movie The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. My all-time favourite Wallace and Gromit.

Austin Patrick Crescent Saratoga

Interior of the A35. That's another box of parts down there in the passenger side. The backseat was sprung and all the springs were showing. They were pretty rusty of course. There was a creeper starting to grow into the back.

Abandoned Austins Patrick Crescent Davistown

No idea what's left under the bonnets. No way I was sticking my fingers into redback territory.

It's a crying shame to see two such fun old cars in this state. Maybe some Austin fancier will see this and rescue them. No idea who owns them but the local residents will probably be eager to get them sold and gone.

Turn off Avoca Drive at the Green Point roundabout and it's the fifth street on your right, Patrick Crescent, right up the back. Or walk through from Mimosa Avenue.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Wreck of the Lady Kendall

Wreck of the Lady Kendall/Lenna Koolewong Foreshore Reserve 4th May 2007
(Click photos for big versions)

Pop along and have a look at her. She's at the boat ramps on Brisbane Water Drive between Koolewong and Tascott stations.

She's currently sitting on a barge, having been raised recently. She sunk in January 2006. She's owned by Alan Draper, the guy who runs the Starship Cruises (lunch cruises) out of Gosford. She was once the ketch Lenna of Taswegian (Tasmanian).

There's another boat of the same name, the Lady Kendall II. She's a modern ferry currently doing lunch cruises on Brisbane Water. See her here.

Wreck of the Lady Kendall/Lenna Koolewong Foreshore Reserve 4th May 2007

The prow (front AKA pointy end) with anchor chain hole.

The article on her in today's hard copy of the Express Advocate has a picture of her as a ferry. Very smart she looks, all white with red trim.

Wreck of the Lady Kendall/Lenna Koolewong Foreshore Reserve 4th May 2007

She's crusty with barnacles and full of seaweed but you can still see her red paint shining through.

Wreck of the Lady Kendall/Lenna Koolewong Foreshore Reserve 4th May 2007

Amidships. That's the middle bit of the boat. I know that from a misspent youth spent watching old war movies.

She was built in Tasmania and launched there in 1903. She was a ketch called Lenna. 21 metres long and twin-masted. She carried logs to Hobart and later worked as a fishing boat in Bass Strait (between Tassie and the mainland).

She won in her class in the Hobart Regatta in 1940, '47, '50 and '54. In 1966 she was converted to a ferry in Melbourne, re-named the Lenna Bird and worked as a tourist ferry on the Gippsland Lakes in Victoria. In 1985 she came up here.

Wreck of the Lady Kendall/Lenna Koolewong Foreshore Reserve 4th May 2007

Looking towards the stern (back end) from amidships.

Before the railway came trading ketches took farm produce from Brisbane Water to Sydney. It's 18.2 nautical miles from Barrenjoey Lighthouse to the Sydney Heads. Dunno what that is in kilometres but it can't be more than a morning's sail.

Wreck of the Lady Kendall formerly the Lenna Koolewong Reserve 4th May 2007

The stern view. You can see the propeller there on the left.

She's off back to Tassie soon. The Tasmanian Wooden Boat Museum is going to restore her to her former glory.

January article
May article, drawing & podcast on her history

Fake doctor

Some guy wearing a stethescope tried to drag a woman out of Wyong Hospital on Sunday night. He got sprung but ran off. He's 40-45, got "dark hair and a bald spot", orders the nurses around and flashed an army badge as ID. Express Advocate article.