Friday foto


Freezer section, Eastside Shops.

Kangaroo tails: mmm!


Friday foto


Your correspondent has temporarily taken off to the Red Centre.

Alice Springs is built on the floodout plains of the Todd River, just where the water backs up as it hits the gap in the Macdonnell Ranges. An absolutely bonkers place to put a town, but back in the day they didn’t seem to worry too much about that kind of thing. (Maitland, anyone?)

It’s a bit dry around the traps at the moment. When rain does come it can come in ferocious downpours that thunder off the rocky hills that surround the town. I came across this on the outskirts of East Side; perhaps its an ironic postmodern installation, “Visiting Chair in Erosion Studies”.



Friday foto


Men are considered to be very literal creatures, poor at multi-tasking and generally in need of clearly articulated instructions with ‘real world’ outcomes. I was reminded of this when strolling around the post-industrial back blocks of Clyde Street, a strange nether-world of neither-here-nor-there-ness.


That’s Shed 14, guys! The one with the arrow and the words “Toilet” and “Men’s” on it. Not behind the fig trees, OK?


Friday foto


I saw a young lass jogging, proper jogging, with all the proper jogging clothes on, heading upstream from Islington.

I got a cheery wave from a fella bedding down for the night in the small triangle of grass formed between the junction of the Styx and the drain and fuel depot.

I bumped into Isaac, who’d just watched a goshawk seeing off a brown falcon.

And then I met Richard and Rebecca and the girls, out for an evening stroll.


The drain: it’s better than the park, better than the dog beach, better than the jogging track.

Get into it!

Friday foto


I was about to post a different Friday Foto when – BANG! – along came this absolute corker from Ruth Cotton, which trumped everything.

LP' 147-177. Broadmeadow & Boreas Rds. Hamilton Nth, N'cle. 10.06.1950. N F Reed.

The photo is captioned “Broadmeadow & Boreas Rds, Hamilton Nth, N’cle, 10.06.1950”. It was taken just next to the Sunnyside Tavern by Noel Reed, who appears to be something of a legend in his recording of public transport in NSW.

A delightful reminder of how we like to install transport infrastructure then rip it out then install it again then …

Friday foto


Of all the creatures that God created to walk, creep and slither upon His Earth, surely the nosiest, the most insatiably curious, would be Reynard the Fox.

Sunday morning. Glorious. Rounding the bend in the creek and I see something move.


It’s hard to see in this hastily taken phone photo, so I’ll blow it up and crop it a bit.

Yes, that’s old Foxy Loxy calmly trotting out of the gasworks and across the beck. Surprisingly he didn’t see me; in fact, it wasn’t until he scented Jambo on the breeze that he picked up on us at all. Then it was a quick scamper up the banking, a kick of the heels and off into the scrub.

Foxy loxy

Well, not quite. Old Reynard simply cannot resist a quick look back. Foxes with hound packs at their heels will put a little bit of distance between them and the pack and then stop, look round, check out just how bad things are and then — and only then — bolt onwards.

My fox was no exception to the rule. Like Lot’s wife he couldn’t resist a quick over the shoulder. It’s this last look that hunters rely on: miss with the first barrel and you’ve always got a chance with the second.

It’s a good job for Reynard that my dad wasn’t with me. Bang!

Friday foto


You can lose a lot of time in the University of Newcastle’s Cultural Collections if you’re not careful.

This photo is captioned “Travelling crane, Oil works, Newtown, Hamilton North, NSW, 2 September 1911”


There is some further information in the Notes:

Image shows the travelling crane at the oil works in Hamilton North. Image was indexed as Newtown (Hamilton North). The works (under construction in the image) was owned by the British Australian Oil Company (Additional information courtesy of Mr John W. Shoebridge, June 2009).

Was the oil works at the site of the Shell depot? Or the gasworks? I’m tempted to think the latter; the rail lines would need to cross the Styx to get to the fuel depot and there has never, to my knowledge, been such a bridge or crossing.

So was the gasworks an oil works before it was a gasworks?

So many questions!

Friday foto


I’m always fascinated by the trains that rumble over the Styx Creek bridge. Sometimes the people look down at me looking up at them and I wonder what they’re thinking about me as I think about them. Who are they? Where are they going? Why? What are their stories?

In winter I tend to get down the creek later in the day and often find myself in the not-quite darkness of the city’s post-dusk period. The trains at this time are lit up like TV screens, each window its own little world.


Who are you? Where are you going? Do you see me?

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I took this photo back in February and, while it’s not truly Hamilton North, it felt right for the times we’re living in.


Friday foto


An evening walk, a wintry dusk settling across the suburb, the air in the creek becoming cool and damp. In the near distance the sound of kids whooping and yahooing and the drrrrrrr of small, hard wheels against Macadam.

They reach the edge of the creek bank and now the fun part starts, the bit that this whole dragging the trolley from the bus stop was about, the thrill of watching something stumble down the grass, hit the concrete and somersault with the kind of jangling crash! that makes the good folk watching the news and Who Wants to be a Millionaire? sit up straight in their chairs and wonder “What the hell was that?”


And then they see this figure down in the creek. It’s too dark to make him out: is that a uniform? Is he some kind of security? They lose their nerve and run off, giggling and squawking and oh-my-godding.

Chill, groovers. It’s only me.