Sunday, 6 January 2013

Harbour Bridge and Manley

I went for a walk today over the Harbour Bridge here in Sydney. I always have a walk over the Bridge. It's a bit like the 3 coins in the fountain song. Throw a coin in the fountain of trivia in Rome and one day you will return. With me and Sydney it's walking over the Bridge. Not the arch, that costs a fortune, those people you see climbing the arch so far number over 2 million and even if each one had paid $100, well it's too much for me to pay and you can't even take your own camera just in case you drop it through the roof of a passing bus. But I take the walk seriously. I have been to Rome 3 times but only dropped the coin in the fountain the first two times. Unless the Catholic Church goes completely mad and appoints me Pope I don't think it at all likely I will ever get back to Rome. Actually the walk shows me that I still have some enthusiasm left for Sydney and if I ever can't be bothered then it will be time to pack up coming.

After the walk it was into the Australian Hotel in the Rocks for a beer. An other tradition I take almost as seriously. It was in that pub that I had my first beer ever in Australia. Back then in 1993 the place wasn't all that fashionable and the barperson even confessed to me he expected the place to close down any time soon, but he was wrong and the place is now busy. The only thing wrong with it is there is a 5 a side football pitch across the road and there are always mad Australians playing football even in 35 degree heat. It's a bit of putting when you are having a congratulatory pint at having walked a half mile, stopping every few yards to take a photo and these clowns are running round like the fanatics they must be.

Then on to Circular Quay, so called because the quay is 3 sides of a square, the 4th side open to the sea so the ferries can get in and out. Lots of street theatre there and one act caught my eye. That box is 47 cm cubed and she did climb in side. Must have been some kind of trick, an optical allusion or something.

Then on to my favourite ferry and judging by the people waiting to get on most other peoples favourite ferry as well. But this ferry carries over 800 people at one go and has the best views of the Bridge and the Opera house and Sydney. Manley is a small town totally geared up for visitors and the beach was full to overflowing. Would be nice to see our beaches so full. While I was there the public address system put out a warning, not about sharks, crocodiles or box jelly fish or even dangerous rip tides sweeping swimmers and surfers out to sea but bluebottles. Bluebottles here have a ferocious sting, pain like you have never come across but only last half an hour. I have heard serious things about Aussie bluebottles, worse than child birth I'm told, and half expected the tens of thousands of people on the beach to run madly for cover but not a soul made a move. Brave people our Australian cousins.

And talking of cousins, one of my second cousins twice removed, a young lady aged 6 showed me her finger yesterday and said she had cut it. It was indeed cut and being a kindly uncle I asked her if she wanted a plaster. She starred at me, slightly puzzled for a few seconds before saying she wanted a band aid. Two people divided by a common language. 

Still bloody hot.

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