Maison

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I walked along a different street this morning, and it was a reminder that we don’t have to change much in our daily routine to get an altered perspective. I found plenty of interest in the back lanes my walk incorporated, including this signage, left to take on some character in a way that the front door sign would not be. I wonder if something happened to the O, or if it was just the luck of the draw that on the day the Os were made, the quality of materials was slightly different, or if some other small factor contributed to its future faster deterioration. The typeface looks like a version of Clarendon, which makes me like it even more.

Bus stopping

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In my working life I prefer to work in the comfort and familiarity of my own office (and have been lucky enough to be able to do so), but during the last few months one of my favourite clients has required my presence in-house for a particular project. I like it more than I thought I would, and while it is kind of a disruption to my usual work routine, there are some definite pluses: like birthday cake and a cheery bit of singing in the middle of the afternoon! And I like the view from the bus. My short commute along Parramatta Road gives me the opportunity to admire the impressive turn-of-the-century facades along that noisy, dirty and faded—but once glorious—thoroughfare. Oh, and inside the bus is interesting too, especially on overcast days when the reflections are intensified.

Deep water

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Not only deep, but Woolwich Dock is long and narrow, a chasm-like drydock overshadowed by towering sandstone walls. Eighty-five thousand cubic metres of sandstone were excavated from the site to construct the drydock, and when it opened in 1901 it was the largest in Australia. Now, there is a raised metal walkway and a keep-between-the-yellow-lines footpath forming part of the Sydney Harbour foreshore walk, so you can walk all around the channel of water, from Goat Paddock to Horse Paddock, without having to get your feet wet.

Elks

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Unless I win a greencard lottery and become a citizen of the United States, I will never be allowed an opportunity to join the Elks. Regardless, my reasons for wanting to join are far from altruistic: I’d like to become a member for the purely selfish reason that I could visit the Honolulu lodge at will for the regular evenings of Hawaiian music. Not to mention the view across the water to the glittering lights of Waikiki, which is really something. Or the comfortable and relaxed ambience, a quiet old-time haven (oh, that 60s sunken bar!), a civilised escape from the hustle and bustle of the tourist strip. I know about these charms because one night I had the rare experience of being signed in as an unaffiliated guest. But now, I need to be satisfied with admiring their rather fabulous street-front sign.

Dump no waste

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This notice is etched into the sidewalk in Honolulu’s Chinatown. I’m not sure if the fish is cheerfully oblivious, still swimming around in pristine waters, or if it has already swallowed a mouthful of waste, and is a warning to passers-by that this is the fate that awaits a fish if the oceans are polluted. With its bee-sting lips and googly eyes, it could easily be cousin to the fish that Bart pulls out of the water downstream from Monty Burns’s nuclear plant. Or is it just a happy carp?

Beach weather

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The torrential Sydney rain has finally stopped and it’s looking more like beach weather. If ever I need to know the weather forecast, experience has proved that the most reliable method is to call my friend in Geelong. Whatever weather she is experiencing on that particular day is the weather we will have in Sydney the next. It’s uncannily accurate—more so than conventional weather reports. Regardless, I’m in an airconditioned office today so will not be needing the suntan lotion, and no, that’s not her in the picture.

Tree

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I don’t know how we function without labelling everything! More so, I am also amazed at how a simple word can impart so much information—this hinged metal square set in concrete is obviously not a tree, but it conveys much about inner city landscape planning and management in relation to the tree close by. And I quite like that speckled pink terrazzo.

Bruce Lee

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Looks like some local wag had fun with masking tape. Lucky I looked up, otherwise I would have missed it! I’d like to think of something else to say—maybe about the legibility or suitability of Gill Sans for such street signage—but really, I just liked it because it made me laugh.

673

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Wrought iron is a tough and malleable iron alloy, and over time has been used to make swords, cutlery, axes, garden furniture, rails, rivets, nails, nuts, bolts, horseshoes, decorative ironwork—to name but a handful of a huge array of items. These days, things that look like wrought iron, like this curly number, are more likely made of mild steel, but retain the name ‘wrought’ iron because they are worked by hand. This olde worlde style is not generally something I particularly warm to, but in this instance I was drawn to the shape of the numbers, particularly the spirally 6 and 3.

Spring

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Yesterday I was out and about doing weekend things. Going to the shopping centre and then to the local foreshore park for a late afternoon walk before the storm hit, that sort of thing. Wherever I went I was struck by how vibrant everything looks right now. No doubt it’s the result of a cold winter, some rain, an early heatwave—but the trees seem unusually green and lush, the jacarandas, bougainvilleas and flame trees so vivid in flower, all nudging up against each other to create a dramatic display of strong vibrant colour.