Monday, 5 October 2015

Sydney Buses and Transort for NSW... you read my blog? I would think not but hopefully mentioning you in the title for this post might attract your attention.

The newly altered route for buses 324 and 325 has their City destination as Walsh Bay.

That's fine with me, especially for my travel to location for the Sydney Theatre Company.

Why then does the otherwise very helpful TripView App which I like and refer to regularly and which contains 'data provided by Transport for NSW' not mention Walsh Bay at all?

TripView App

After some research I found the App records the destination as Dawes Point. The realignment of bus services to accommodate the light construction will be difficult enough without this inconsistency thrown it.

Sydney Buses and/or Transport for NSW whichever you call yourself, please remedy this inconsistency. Thank you.

From Fools to Shakespeare

It is a wonder that the Rugby League football code still exists in Australia. Often seen as a sport of bash and barge its players and officials are rarely off the front pages for all manner of indecencies and petty criminality.

Last night the 2015 Grand Final was staged in Sydney. (Any USA readers for Grand Final substitute Super Bowl.) Yesterday morning ahead of the match news reports filtered through that one former champion player was dropped from the host broadcaster's commentary team after having allegedly verbally assaulted a woman with sexual innuendo at an airport before allegedly taking a nap on the floor in a drunken stupor. Almost every major Rugby League match seems to be preceded by a front page scandal.

Somehow, the sport survives and even thrives despite itself.

Last night's match has become an instant classic. The first half was an unusually open and thrilling affair. At half time social media reported it was the highest scoring first half for a Grand Final in over sixty years. Only two points separated the two sides, perennial champions the Broncos and perennial strugglers the Cowboys. The likely winner was still well disguised at the break.

The second half was chalk to the first half's cheese. The match turned into an arm wrestle with play repeatedly going from end to end and back again like a basketball match but without any scoring. Apart from two points from a penalty goal within minutes of the restart there was no further scoring in the half and with only ten seconds remaining it seemed the Broncos would hold on for yet another win.

Then came the final five seconds and the match assumed a level of drama befitting a Shakespearean drama. Literally as the time clock showed zero seconds left to play the Cowboys improbably, unbelievably and thrillingly somehow conjured this tying score;

(Getty Images, Cameron Spencer)
And then it was left to the Cowboy's own champion player to take centre stage after the full time siren and then into Golden Point extra time eventually to secure a stunning and memorable win.

(AAP: Dean Lewins)
From one champion player's shame to another champion player's destiny. From Fools to Shakespeare.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

One 'S' and one 'T' too many

Daylight saving time commenced overnight in those Australian states that participate.

I like it.

What I don't like is that rogue 'S' that sometimes accompanies it. My body cringes every time I hear certain television weather presenters (and others) refer to daylight savings. Please cease and desist this display of sibilance.

The one similar practice that irritates me even more is the rogue 'T' that emerges every year in June. The Championships at Wimbledon may well be enjoyed with strawberries and cream but never with 'T'. There is a place called Wimbledon. If there is also a place called Wimbleton then be assured it does not host a major tennis tournament.

Rant over.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Kick to kick and I'll be kicking myself

It has been an odd week. There is so much I should have done but set to one side instead. It seemed as though I had no time available to get things done, yet I had fewer commitments than usual. Where has the week and my time gone?

This is a long weekend in Sydney with a public holiday on Monday. Early summer conditions are forecast. I should try not to waste it but the temptations of indoor televised distraction are only too obvious. It is that weekend again.

This afternoon from Melbourne;

Australian Football League Grand Final

Tomorrow evening in Sydney;

National Rugby League Grand Final

Better switch off the MacBook, get off my arse and get going outdoors. Otherwise I'll be kicking myself.

Friday, 2 October 2015

The Visit

It must be a frustration after being an overnight sensation with your first major creation only to find your every subsequent work is unfavourably compared with that initial success.

M Night Shyamalan arrived with a bang with his third feature 'The Sixth Sense'. His next film was eagerly awaited but failed to match the impact of its predecessor and each subsequent film seemed to continue the decline. They were interesting films, each in their own way, but all were overshadowed by the brilliance of that initial success.

And now we have 'The Visit'. Two teenage siblings spend a week with maternal grandparents they have never previously met. The week starts well enough but soon the grandparents begin to display behaviour unfamiliar to the teenagers. Initially reassured by their mother not to be concerned by the behaviour, typical of ageing people, the teenagers do become alarmed when the behaviour turns increasingly bizarre.

This is Shyamalan's best film since Sixth Sense. Although some moments, meant to shock audiences, are not always as well timed as they could have been, the main twist on which the plot rests is well disguised. The two Australian lead performers are excellent as the siblings.


Thursday, 1 October 2015

Memories of visas past

(Living Large, Spending Small blog)

Next month I am off to Vietnam and Cambodia with a couple of friends.

This week it was time to apply for the relevant visas. First cab off the rank was a visa for Vietnam. The visa can be applied for online through the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Very 21st Century I thought as I started to complete the online application. Sadly the reality didn't match the theory. Try and try as I did I just could not get my application past the validation screen. I tried. Believe me, I tried. I tried many, many, many times.

Eventually I gave up trying the online route. The old fashioned method of application proved far easier. I obtained a hard copy of the application form, completed it and submitted it by hand. Luckily, the Consulate for Vietnam in Sydney is located in the office block next to my apartment building. Effectively, it is next door to me.

Bah, humbug, 21st Century!

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

In flew enza

Oh yes, a droll joke in the title line.

My friend Cs is recovering from a severe bout of influenza that has had him housebound for over two weeks. This despite him having received the flu vaccination this winter. He also experienced conjunctivitis to add to his discomfort.

My bridge partner Ce has also succumbed to the illness (conjunctivitis included) and we have missed the last three bridge sessions as a consequence.

The two of them have not been in each other's presence so something obviously is 'going around' generally in Sydney.

Monday, 28 September 2015

The old 324 is not what she used to be

I travelled home from the Opera House yesterday after seeing 'Of Thee I Sing' on bus route 324. This bus route between Watsons Bay and Circular Quay has operated for decades; as long as I can remember. It was the last time I will be able to travel this route.

Next Sunday major changes take effect to Sydney's bus routes that operate through the CBD. Buses will no longer run down George Street which is to be prepared for the new light rail system to be introduced there from around 2018.

Bus route 324 doesn't actually run down George Street but the route is being altered as part of the overall changes. There will no longer be any buses operating to Circular Quay from my location. At some point I will either have to change to trains or walk to get that area.

Meanwhile the 324 will in future operate to the new Barangaroo precinct and Walsh Bay. Ironically this change amounts to a balanced plus and minus for me. No longer will I have direct public transport to the Opera House but in future I will have direct public transport to the Sydney Theatre Company.