When I was 15 I got a job at the newly opened local Woolworths. Out the back, right next to the tea room, was a place that held enormous allure – the showcard and ticketwriting room. I started as a price chaser and made my way up the ranks to checkout chick, but neither job held the mystery and fascination of ticketwriting. I wondered if I could learn that secret writing style, but I never did. These days you don’t see it around so much, but one of my local grocers displays this fine example. It reminds me of a time, and I am pleased it is a skill that has not disappeared completely.

Parramatta Road


Parramatta Road is widely considered to be one of the ugliest roads in metropolitan Sydney, but it is the major historical east-west artery, beginning in the east as a continuation of George St and Broadway, and ending at Church St Parramatta. Ugly it might be, but there’s no denying its fascination. As you travel west the dates carved into the building facades reveal the progress of settlement and architectural detail hints at former glory and hidden beauty. In 1883 the steam tram went as far as Annandale, which is where I found this old lettering on a boarded up shopfront.