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Thursday, October 27, 2022
Tuesday, April 19, 2022
1 -- Cruise to Saratoga or Davistown on Central Coast Ferries (if I am too anxious for whatever reason, I can try to bail out at the first available wharf!)
2 -- Catch another catamaran to Empire Bay, the last stop on this service some 30 minutes from Woy Woy. I could then hike back to my hotel via Daleys Point and St Huberts Island, with their multimillion dollar views.3.-- Catch a Fantasea ferry from Ettalong to Wagstaffe Wharf, en route to Palm Beach, and explore the nearby national park.
4.-- Take the same ferry once more, this time directly to Palm Beach, before returning to Woy Woy. This will be a one-hour round trip over deep water, and my first landfall on Sydney territory in nine years.5.-- Return to Palm Beach, and then get the bus to Newport, some 10km south, where there is a hotel that I can (barely) afford.
6 -- Stay at said Newport hotel one night, to see if I can handle it..
|The Saratoga docking at the Central Wharf in Davistown, on Cockle Channel (Australia, 2022)|
Each cruise will be a baby step in the escape from the Central Coast, and the migration to Sydney's Northern Beaches. I have a lot of mucking about in boats to do!
Sunday, January 2, 2022
Sunday, May 30, 2021
|Looking south from Gosford Station (Australia, 2021)|
Thursday, March 18, 2021
|Table and chair for lessons and a fridge, but the TV didn't seem to work (Australia, 2021)|
|Rickety old lift at Hotel Gosford (Australia, 2021)|
The second cheapest hotel in Gosford (the Ibis) cost at least $100 a night, or $3600 per month, I could survive without television for one night, of course, but how about the longstay (or the even longer stays which loomed beyond?) If the TV didn't work this time, what else might not work in the future? This was a dry run of the Escape from Oz which is due to begin in just a matter of months. It was a critical battle, one worth fighting for.
I was on my way downstairs again when I met a member of housekeeping on her rounds. I briefly informed her of my predicament, and she kindly accompanied me to my guestroom. After fingering the remote controller for a while, shuffling around the batteries, shooting from different angles, she surmised that the TV was on the blink. (That might, possibly, be why the remote was removed in the first place!) She promised to move me to another room, and new keys were delivered to me promptly. Five minutes later I had been transferred to a nearby wing, facing the Imperial Centre (behind the yellowed blind).
|My new room, with remote controller and Indian snacks, at Hotel Gosford (Australia, 2021)|
|Catching a little telly before bed (Australia, 2021)|
Saturday, December 14, 2019
One of the fascinating things about travelling and visiting new countries is learning about the colourful and unique festivals that exist out there. Now while I don't travel as much as I used to, I am able to explore the world vicariously, through my job on iTalki, and my online wanderings. It has become clear to me that Christmas is a global event, celebrated on every continent. The way it is celebrated differs starkly, however, depending on the locality. Not every country has a Santa Claus, and Santa doesn't always ride in a sleigh. In Spain the Three Wise Men deliver presents to children, which kind of makes sense, since they gifted gold, frankincense and myrrh to baby Jesus in the Bible. In Holland they have a Santa but he lives in Spain and sails to and from the Dutch homeland by boat. Go figure. Russian children send letters to Ded Moroz, a bearded old man who resides in Vologda near the North Pole, and whose name means "Father Frost". He walks with a long magic staff and sometimes rides a troika.
|The Christmas Shitter (El Caganer), and El Tio (Australia, 2019)|
I believe there is a relationship between Christmas and New Year's Day in that they offer a glimmer of hope in the midst of winter. They both arrive just after the winter solstice, the most desperate time of all, but they promise that the light/sun/Son will return. It might be faint and distant, but the light is there and can be seen, twinkling through the hoary boles. The rebirth has begun... (To read my full account of how Christmas is celebrated around the world, click here.)
Wednesday, October 30, 2019
I love music's ability to rally our emotions, and take us on a journey. When I got out of my 16 days of detention in Japan, the only one who could really understand what I had been through was Jónsi Birgisson, the frontman of Icelandic quartet Sigur Rós. It didn't matter that I had never met him, it was obvious that he understood. It doesn't matter that his songs are mostly wordless, it is the emotion that counts. In fact, his music speaks of the realm beyond language which we inhabited before incarnation, and