Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Arncliffe Photo

My old primary school - Athelstane, in suburban Arncliffe- is barely recognisable to a casual glance. However, when I started looking more closely, I could see ghosts of the timber demountable school I attended in the late 1950s and early 1960s, in amongst the modern 2-storey brick buildings. I couldn't believe my eyes, for example, when I recognised some of those ACTUAL timber buildings, still being used as classrooms! ( Sounds a little like criminal and educational neglect )

The school is named after the rather grand house that existed on the land till it was demolished by the Department of Education around 1950, when they built the school. What they did leave, though, were the 2 huge magnolia trees, that must be close to 150 years old, and they are still magnificent. I couldn't tell you the number of times I fell out of those trees.

When I left Athelstane to go on to high school, the cultural make-up of Arncliffe was already changing, and Turkish families had started moving into the area. Today I think most of the students at the school come from a Lebanese background. The senior students in the photo above were walking back to school after going to Arncliffe Park for a PE class.

Monday, 21 May 2007

New Art

Thought it was about time to have a bit of a show and tell of what I've been working on since returning from Sydney. The first 2 ATCs ( Artist Trading cards, 6.4cm X 8.9cm) are 2 of the 7 I've done for an ATCoZ swap on the theme of early 1900s, and tomorrow I'll put them all in the post to the swap host, in Brisbane. She gets all the ATCs from all the participants, shuffles them and sends us back cards by other artists in our group.

The next ATC is going to the US, to a lady I simply came across in another of the groups I belong to, and she'll send one of her's back to me. I thought I'd do something quite "Australian" so painted the background and then embossed a stamp called "Kakadu" over it.
I'd joined up for a swap on the theme of Sunrise/Sunset, but withdrew from the swap because I had tried a few things and wasn't very happy with any of the results. It was a theme that appealed to me, so I tried again, and simply clear embossed a gorgeous stamp image of a little girl sitting on the beach, and rubbed the card with different colours from dye ink pads.

These 3 ATCs were sent to the ATCoZ host of a blind swap, in other words there is no theme, and you don't know what you'll get back. For me, just making ATCs as art, is far more expressive and are often quite personal in their subject matter.

Ya Gotta Boogie

As one of the guys from Canned Heat ( pictured ) said yesterday arvo,the Broadbeach Blues Festival must be one of the best festivals in the world. Where else can you go, to a FREE festival, in a park next to the beach, enjoy gorgeous weather AND listen to sensational blues music??!! Now one of the four musos in the current Canned Heat was actually in the original Canned Heat, the band that played at Woodstock, in (I think it was....) 1969.

Saturday, 19 May 2007

London Plane Trees

For as long as I can remember, I have adored London Plane trees. This avenue of grand London Planes, at Arncliffe Park, in Sydney, is one of my most vivid memories of living in Arncliffe, and it was such a joy to find them still looking so splendidly majestic.
The child still bubbling in me delights in kicking up the fallen leaves lying beneath the shedding autumn branches, while the adult that lurks beneath the surface engages in a meditation of watching a solitary leaf , silently float, downwards.

Friday, 18 May 2007

Daily Photos-Arncliffe

This beautiful statue was a feature of a lovely old Victorian home I discovered in Farrar St, Arncliffe, a southern Sydney suburb. I grew up in Arncliffe between the early-1950s and the early 1970s, when I moved to Wollongong, and my parents moved to the nearby suburb of Bexley.

It appears that quite a few of us Baby-Boomers have rather idealised, Arcadian memories of the freedoms we enjoyed as children, that are often not available to many city-dwelling children today for a whole variety of reasons and excuses. My childhood memories are no different....building cubby-houses in the bush or at the old quarry, playing cricket or tennis out on the road and managing to dodge any traffic, walking to and from the local park independently to play with whoever turned up, and being told to be home when the street lights came on...taking risks, pushing boundaries, learning independence, getting into, and out of, trouble and fracturing limbs.

From reading Sally's blogs ( I still haven't been able to do html links....her blogs are ''Sydney Nearly Daily Photo" in my 'Checking Daily' list and " Sally's Arncliffe/Turrella Blog" in my 'Clicking On" list, both down the RHS-----> ), I have developed an interest in the history of the suburb. It then naturally followed that when I spent 2 weeks in Sydney recently, Arncliffe called me back. Over the next week or so, I'll share some photos of that journey with you.

Thursday, 17 May 2007


Yes, onward! The paucity of posts ( sorry about that...couldn't resist the aliteration) was NOT a result of my having run away and hidden. It had to do with an extended visit to Sydney, to catch up with family and friends, blessings for which I am daily grateful .
My loyal readership has no doubt abandoned me for other more regular bloggers, but then, they are not the reason I write anyway.
So, NO, I have not given up.....I'll be back tomorrow! And, thank you to those kind people who have encouraged me.