Archive for January, 2010

Dawn Fraser pool

January 27, 2010

I still enjoyed my swim at Dawn Fraser pool today, but the tide was a bit low; I might do better in future to time my lunch further from the low tide.

Funky Pies

January 21, 2010

Imagine my delight when, after peering at the warmer in Funky Pies on Glenayr Avenue, I asked which were vegetarian and was told cheerily ‘Why, we’re all vegetarian’. I’d stopped in, toward the end of a hot day on the way to the Bondi open air cinema, mostly just for a Phoenix cola, having spotted the fridge from across the street. I had a ‘chilli non-carne’ with peas and mashed potato. I’ll be back again.

Photographs of things that are no longer

January 18, 2010

After reading Bowring’s Field Guide to Melancholy on my summer holiday, a beautiful little volume wrapped in a grey photograph by Aberhart of a grey scene, with its first choice of photography amongst the arts for a melancholy exhibition

Photographs are inherently melancholy. They immediately evoke the past, things lost, memories, that which is `dead’ already

I was particularly struck with a line of Proust’s on photography:

La photographie acquiert un peu de la dignité qui lui manque quand elle cesse d’être une reproduction du réel et nous montre des choses qui n’existent plus.

or as James Grieve puts it:

Photography acquires a certain dignity, which it does not normally have, when it is not just a reproduction of reality, but can show us things that no longer exist.

See also Dan Meinwald’s .

A broken engagement

January 16, 2010

After watching Bright Star, my mother told me last weekend a story
about her mother.

She’d broken off an engagement when her betrothed was diagnosed with
tuberculosis and quarantined, not at The C— as P— H— was known then, but somewhere else in Sydney.

Many years later, married to my grandfather, she’d met her old fiance
by chance in L— H— on an excursion across the mountains. My
mother didn’t know if any regret transpired. He’d recovered
sufficiently to have become a magistrate.

The hand police

January 16, 2010

For some years now I’ve been appalled at some of the poor renditions of hands bequeathed us by some quite famous painters; e.g. Cezanne. I know hands are difficult to paint, precisely because the back of one’s own hands are so proverbially well known. On the other hand, hands well rendered are so expressive, and many examples can be found in the works of the great masters of hands in the very centre of the image, e.g. the Gentileschis’ Susanna and the Elders.

In A l’ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs, Elstir dismisses his juvenile Miss Sacripant, October 1872 with,

Il faudra que je ne garde que la tête, murmura-t-il, le bas est vraiment trop mal peint, les mains sont d’un commençant.

Vegeburgers in Balmain

January 15, 2010

After the vegeburger was struck from the menu at the Dry Dock, then disappeared from the specials board, the cook would still rustle me one up on my weekly lunchtime excursions down to Mort Bay, but then finally this came to an end. Since then, I’ve been looking elsewhere on the peninsula for a lunchtime vegeburger.

The marinated tofu burger at About Life is a little strange. The bread is a not especially functional gluten-free variety, and the pattie is homogeneous and unattractively angularly cuboid. The whole assembly is too tall to eat, so I was left to dismantle it with cutlery. It did taste agreeable, but the overall experience is not quite what I’m after.

Across the road at Iku, the Macroburger is very tasty indeed, mostly owing to the simple and unaccountably uncommon expedient of a good dollop of tahini. The main problem here is getting a seat. Sometimes the bun can be steamed too long and go soggy, but I think that seems to only occur toward the end of the day rather than at lunctime.

The standout for value is at the Castle, where a vegeburger, hot chips, and a can is under ten dollars. The burger’s great too a real classic. Here too the main issue is getting a seat; don’t leave it much after noon.

Further along Mansfield Street is the extraordinarily secluded pub, the Bald Rock. I’ve enjoyed a sixtieth birthday dinner, a gig, trivia quizzes, and even a boozy bottle-breaking Bloomsday there, but it’s always wonderfully peaceful in the beergarden on a workday lunch, as is the walk there and back. The sweet potato and lentil burger is a tasty classic, occasionally tending to the messy side, but being a pub, the hand basin is handy. I think this is my favourite at the moment.

I’m almost in the happy situation of being able to have a different vegeburger everyday of the week, aren’t I? And I still haven’t mentioned the chicken shop at Unity Square or the oldest fish’n’chip shop.

When it’s a cold day

January 4, 2010

When it’s a cold day
Down at the beach the ice cream
Doesn’t melt so fast