Saturday, August 16, 2014
Sunday, August 10, 2014
It’s been a while since we got out of Sydney. Our friend Will from Sydney Park has taken his dog Puck and moved down to one of the beachside suburbs north of Wollongong. It’s a little over an hour from our Sydney home to this particular beach, which is off-leash fulltime.
I don’t think Munson has been in proper surf since we visited Cadiz two years ago, but in water or out he had a splendid time. It was a beautiful clear winter’s day, perfect for us all to walk barefoot along the water’s edge from one of the beach to the other and back, following it up with fish and chips down the road in Thirroul.
I had intended to take Gustav into central Wollongong but we didn’t get very far due to bad traffic, and cut the day short. If dogs were allowed on trains on Australia, I’d be down to these beaches much more often. Unfortunately Australia doesn’t do public transport very well and almost no pet-friendly transport. This journey would be like jumping on a London train down to Brighton for the day, albeit with much much much better beaches.
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Thursday, June 19, 2014
Monday, June 16, 2014
|At the end of May, El Loco & El Lobo slipped quietly into its tenth year with 1725 posts, and close to 12,000 photos. In 2010 a Facebook page was established to complement this site, primarily to make sharing of links and photos easier for readers. |
This week we’ll be appearing as a feature story in (this year’s) issue 25 of the Australian weekly magazine that’s life! to be published this Thursday June 19.
To those new readers, welcome, and to those loyal fans of Bondi and Munson who have followed us over the last nine years, thank you. A malamute-sized hug goes out to those that supported us through Munson’s cancer surgery last year; there’s a big love-beast with his mojo back out to save the world because of you.
I still remember the day I turned nine. I was beginning the fourth grade at school in the small fishing village of Urunga on the north coast of NSW, and I’d just been given my first wrist watch (a J Farren-Price as I recall) as a birthday present from my parents. I didn’t have far to walk to school, but I must have raised my arm a hundred times to stare at it, to make sure it was still wound, to make sure that not more than ten seconds had passed since it was last admired. Exciting times must lie ahead.
Exciting times did lie ahead. Across twenty five years - a fathomless gulf to a 9 year old – I was now living in the United States, the same age as my father had been when I was given that watch. This particular day in December was even more memorable because an eight-week old malamute puppy called Bondi came into my life and changed everything. The companion that Bondi became made all the adventures in this blog possible.
Bondi passed away in 2009, a few months after the photo at the top was taken, passing the torch to young Munson who is now six years old. In 2010 I made a short tribute film about my life with Bondi which you can find here.
Stay a while and click through nine years of life on the road with two wonderful dogs. Make yourself comfortable with your own furry friend of today or maybe the one you cherish from when you were nine.
Sunday, May 25, 2014
After watching an episode of the BBC program Coast - now turning its attention to Australia – we were inspired by its Sydney episode to go looking for the Dawn Fraser Baths in Balmain. Although I’ve passed by here many times, I wasn’t aware that the baths were an enclosed harbour tidal pool until seeing this program. When you’re in a country that takes plentiful swimming pools for granted, there’s nothing in a name that will lure you to make a special visit.
While we’re enjoying a decadently sunny autumn – one that seems to get warmer as we get closer to winter – the baths are closed from April to October. Approaching it via Elkington Park we passed a group of people picnicking by the harbour, with a Munson-coloured malamute lying on its back, paw in mouth, enjoying the sun. Oh that Munson had been with us for this outing!
|Scouting for coffee after this we avoided downtown Balmain’s spreading network of parking meters and looped back to Chippendale. From there we walked up Broadway to look at the new Central Park urban village development. We’d had a brief look at it in November on a wet and windy day – this time with Munson in tow – and had not had the opportunity to look inside ( that Sydney limiting factor of having a dog ). |
|In my first year out of university I lived a few blocks away from here when the site belonged to Carlton United, with the smell of malt from the brewery carring up Broadway and Parramatta Road. |
The old brewery building remains with its internal workings restored and space given over to a combination of energy generating facility and public space. Around that is a belt of parkland, and a major retail and apartment development wrapped in living vegetation – the world’s highest “green wall”. This sits directly across Broadway from the brutal monolith of UTS (University of Technology, Sydney) which may be cloaked in even more futuristic fashion in a few years.
The inner commercial space is still a work in progress, and far from busy on weekend afternoon. There are video walls, eccentric spinning chairs and a skylight washed in water to create a dappled light on the foyer floors below. What I did like was that you could stand in the central open space and look out through a number of windows of the encircling shops and see sky and greenery.
|Also facing Central Park is a new UTS Information Technology and Engineering (ITE) building enveloped in perforated aluminium screens. For anyone who has not seen this southwestern approach to the city in a few years, the combination of new structures will come as quite a surprise. In Google Maps you can currently make a quick comparison, by starting here to see that stretch of Broadway in recent months, and then moving a little to the left and seeing the original view. |