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


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


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.



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


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.



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.



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.



Whether you love Newtown or hate it, there’s no denying it’s always interesting. When it comes to people-watching and window shopping, sometimes I prefer the north end, sometimes the south end—but this day I was somewhere in the middle because I had a place to be, and I spotted this artwork on my way back to the car.

Children’s pool


The sky was grey, the wind was howling and it was just starting to rain, but I just had to stop and take a picture of the children’s pool before beating a hasty retreat to the car. The pool, at Eastern Beach in Geelong, is a shallow area contained within the larger semicircular boardwalk. Whenever I visit the area I love walking around this boardwalk and taking in the view, especially across the bay to the You Yangs in the distance. This particular day, though, my head was down and my collar turned up, which is perhaps why my focus was closer, and I saw this painted sign for the first time.



Sunday afternoon, sunny and still. The shortest day is only a week away and it feels like it. The washing’s on the line but there’s not a hint of breeze—not good drying weather. I had great plans for today, but really I don’t feel like doing much except staring at nothing. I’ve never been one for having the tv on during the day, but this TV, etched in concrete, is kind of a good match for where my mind’s at. This particular TV is on the Front Street sidewalk in Lahaina, Maui, so I can stare at the grey and be reminded of those tropical shores as this southern hemisphere winter afternoon draws to a close.