31 October 2016

A Walk in the Park

The kids are back home and they decided to fight their jet lag by taking us for a walk in the park followed by lunch.  We went to Centennial Park, a massive park in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, where Buddy was able to run free.  Wandering through the bush it was easy to forget you were so close to the city.

Lunch was at Soul Burger where I had my first vegan cheese burger.  I have to admit it was delicious.

A quiet evening at home?  No such luck.  We are off to a dog friendly bar to meet friends.

30 October 2016

Public Transport

Today we took the bus and train to the Australian Technology Park on the far side of Sydney.  We used our Opal cards (similar to London’s Oyster card) which you just tap on a machine as you get on and off the transport.  As it was a Sunday the travel was free after an initial $2.50 (£1.50) deduction.    

We took a bus into the city centre, then hopped onto a train to the exhibition park (where we visited a Cruelty Free Festival).  After a browse around the vegan friendly stalls we caught a train back to Circular Quay for some lunch.  Another train back to the city and finally a bus home to Buddy. All for $2.50!  Shame about the noisy kids but you can’t have everything.

The transport system is very easy and efficient to use but sadly you can’t take dogs on the buses, trains or ferries.  Although knowing Buddy he would probably try and eat the bus driver.

Off to the airport shortly in the Ute to collect Sarah and the Bearded One.

29 October 2016

Gargoyles and Knights

Macquarie Street is an elegant tree-lined boulevard adjacent to the commercial city centre and overlooking the Royal Botanic Gardens. It is one of Sydney’s most distinguished residential addresses.  Until recent decades it was known as the Harley Street of Sydney due to the presence of a number of medical chambers and surgeries.

The Art Deco BMA Building was built in 1928 and at twelve stories was one of the tallest in Sydney at that time. Today it is dwarfed by tall skyscrapers but its unique facade decorated with gargoyles and tiles in rich and unique designs really make it stand out. The 11th floor balconies have giant medieval knights holding shields to ward off evil. 

Sarah works on the 6th floor (or it might be the 5th or 4th) of this building for an investment publishing house.  She is assisted in her work by Schnitzel von Krumm. 

Dogs are strictly not allowed inside this illustrious establishment so Mr von Krumm is smuggled into the building each day by the MD in a special dog holdall.  If anyone steps into the elevator during the ride to and from the 6th floor he responds obediently to a whispered “down Shnitzel” and ducks his head down into the bag. 

Buddy would like a job here too but his application will probably be declined as his references are a bit dodgy and he only has experience as a ‘tradie’. 

28 October 2016

Jacarandas and Kookaburras

There is a purple haze covering Sydney at the moment.  The purple blue, flower-laden branches of jacarandas are everywhere. The colour is so vivid it’s like living in a psychedelic city. They are abundant in the area and many people think the trees must be native. They’re not, but they have been growing in Australia for more than 150 years. 

a poor example of the Jacaranda tree

I went out to capture their beauty this morning but failed miserably due to technical problems with the camera (someone, and it wasn't Buddy, forgot to replace the memory card).  I’ll try again tomorrow but in the meantime I did have more success with the guy who was cackling and laughing at us as we walked through the bush.  Did you know that kookaburras are related to the kingfisher?

 Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree, 
 merry merry king of the bush is he,
laugh kookaburra, laugh kookaburra
 gay your life must be

26 October 2016

Nasty, slimy slugs

The basil in the vegepod is doing well but those pesky slugs are eating the leaves.  Paul went outside with a torch last night and discovered the nasty, slimy critters munching away.  Back home in France we scatter slug pellets around to keep them at bay but Sarah forbids the use of any poisons in her vegan garden.  Paul decided he would buy some sharp sand to put around the base of the plant to deter the slugs.  So we hopped on a bus to Mosman to visit the hardware store.

Incongruously positioned between two designer boutiques in the heart of trendy, upmarket Mosman this traditional hardware store is crammed full with everything you could ever want, except for sharp sand.  The shopkeeper was very helpful but seemed a bit bemused when we explained what we wanted it for.

On the way back to the bus stop we passed a shoe shop.  Paul has been looking for a pair of casual lace up shoes to wear with shorts.  He saw a pair that caught his eye and headed inside to try them on.  They were very nice but when he saw the $300 price tag he went quite pale and suddenly decided he didn’t like them at all.  

When we got back home we noticed an aquarium shop opposite the bus stop.  Aquarium grit is going to work just as well as sharp sand and it only cost four dollars.

Head Gardener

25 October 2016


Willoughby Creek

Today Buddy explored some new territory.  Paul drove the Ute over to Primrose Park and then we walked alongside Willoughby Creek as far as Folly Point.  It was a very pleasant expedition, quiet and not too many other people or dogs about.

Buddy behaved impeccably, trotting along the path on his lead and stopping occasionally to check out those delightful scents.  I tried to take some nice, scenic photographs but it was a little tricky wielding a camera in one hand, a bag of dog poo in the other and trying not to trip over tree roots.

Buddy behaved impeccably - " Come back you little ....."
Folly Point