I got up to give Mickey a hug and wish her luck. Coco was off to a friend’s birthday celebration. We were out to supper with Sarah and Wendy (whose house has been sold. – not sure if I have reported this !). So we made a shepherds pie to use the left over meat for Tony and Coco’s supper, and Keith and I set off to the City where we wanted to investigate the Sydney Museum.
We walked down the hill to catch the fast bus and headed to the Museum. Crossing the business quarter to find it.
Once found, it proved to be excellent.
There was a lot of information about the first fleet that sailed into the harbour from England. There were a number of ships carrying all sorts of people, including convicts, equipment and supplies. The trip was a hazardous one and not all the vessels were totally seaworthy. One had to be towed down the Thames it was in such a parlous condition. Nevertheless the ships all arrived although some of the people did not make it. The route shown on a map current at the time….
The land they invaded and which was to become Sydney was inhabited by an aboriginal people who had been there 40,000 years. Within fifteen months of the arrival of the settlers it is thought that their numbers had been decimated by small pox.
Apparently, the area that became Sydney was previously a ‘gallery’ of aboriginal art. Of course the settlers had no comprehension of this. There was an exhibition regarding the aboriginal area
We watched three films on the building of Sydney, it’s origins in the ‘Rocks’ area (mostly demolished now to May way for office blocks) and its current layout and streets, referred to as ‘concrete canyons’. I can see the similarity and where they are coming from! It has taken 200 years to get from settlement to metropolis.
Sydney itself is almost an island and bridges were necessary to enable people to commute in and out. Prior to the building of the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge, the only way to get to the northern beaches was by ferry from the quay. The Bridge has a total span of 1,260 ft. and it took 1,000 men six years to build it. In August 1930 the two sides met up in the middle and in 1932 the Bridge was declared open. It carries trains, traffic and pedestrians.
Having brushed up on our City knowledge, we visited an exhibition focussing on what was referred to as the Bohemian area of the City and the artists who inhabited it in the ’60’s. The artists paradise was in an area we have not explored called Lavender Bay. There were some interesting exhibits of the work of Peter Kingston who we have come across before. However one of the prime movers was Brett Whiteley who, although he travelled the world, had his base in Lavender Bay. His wife, Wendy Whiteley (also described as an artist) still lives there and has created a ‘ Secret Garden’ out of the tumbling, rocky ground in front of her home in memory of Brett and their daughter who tragically died very young. They were all definitely of the ’60’s era! Sex and drugs and rock and roll……..
leaving the museum behind, we made time for a bit of retail therapy and then headed home to prepare for supper with the girls. Sadly we have not been able to see so much of them this trip, so there was definitely a need for an evening together to catch up with their news and hear all about their house move. We met at the greatly refurbished Collaroy pub at the bottom of the hill. Tony kindly gave us a lift down en route to collect the party girl. The Collaroy has an amazing view of the beach from its upstairs bar
We had a really good a really good evening and I was really touched by my birthday gift from them, a beautiful coffee table book of Australian photographs called Walking in the Light by Ken Duncan