Saturday, May 27, 2006

another aussie gardening blog

the Cosmic gardener in Tasmania looks like being an interesting read - I found it during a google search on planting by the moon- the cosmic gardener says:
"This blog combines my own garden experiences with some comentary on moon phases, plant lore and whatever I feel like writing."

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Sydney photo blog

You might have noticed I love showing off my city so was delighted to find Paul Murphy's blog "Sydney Webcam" - Paul posts a daily photograph and his photography is brilliant!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Travel: Newington Armament Depot, Homebush NSW

I’ve had a busy couple of weeks, getting a display ready for the Sydney Miniatures Show and a demonstration I did for our little textiles group, so we’ve been missing our Sunday drives.

However, a couple of weeks ago, daughter grabbed me late one afternoon to go with her to see the Artexpress exhibition at Homebush.

Artexpress is a collection of work by high school students submitted for their High School Certificate examination in visual art, because of the quantity of work it is usually divided between a number of exhibitions spaces.

The venue we went to was at the Newington Armoury which is on a section of the Bicentennial Park next to the Olympic Park at Homebush, NSW

We didn’t allow enough time to find the place, so got there very close to closing, on a cold afternoon, I was more interested in the history of the site itself and promised myself another visit later.

In 1882, approximately 88 hectares of the Newington Estate on the Parramatta River was resumed by the Government for the development of an armaments magazine.

Newington Armoury, Homebush, NSW

The armoury gate house was built in 1897.

In 1921 management of the Depot was transferred from the Royal Marine Garrison to the Royal Australian Navy and the complex expanded into adjacent grazing land and wetlands.

The largest expansion of the site was between 1941 and 1944 when the site expanded south, providing space for the construction of additional magazines for the US Navy and the Royal Navy as support facilities for the US and British Pacific Fleets.

By 1950 demolition of war time stocks had commenced.

Conflicts between the Naval Depot and surrounding commercial and residential areas occurred in the 1960s, when tear gas and other noxious fumes escaped and affected nearby office workers, and in 1961 certain explosives were removed from the site and relocated to the Kingswood depot.

Landfilling had been occurring around the site since early 20th century and there were a number of areas (including the Olympic site) where wastes were dumped or that operated as municipal and industrial waste tips.

Historical naval records indicate disposal of residues arising from Depot activities including laboratory wastes, burning ground wastes, detonated and burnt ammunition, military waste including containers, boxes, petroleum, obsolete stores and propellants in the Nature Reserve Saltwater Wetlands and other land areas.
A large proportion of the Wetlands has consequently been fenced off to the public due to the possible existence of unexploded ordnance.

It was a standing joke in Sydney when the Olympic site was being constructed that it would “tick”, and everyone knew someone who had worked at Homebush in the chemical plants or the state abattoir, and had stories of buried toxins and chemicals.

All of this dumping just another tiny example of the horrific things we do to our planet, and dumping in a wetland, where seepage carries into the river - what were they thinking??!!

None of this has been good for our long suffering Parramatta River, this old sign on the armament site not only shows the usual workplace warnings but also against eating fish caught from the river.

Newington Armoury, Homebush, NSW

Earlier this year commercial fishing was again banned in Sydney Harbour.

One small saving grace was the discovery of the endangered green and gold bell frogs on the Olympic site, the presence of the frog meant the building plans were halted and a frog habitat had to be created nearby.

The Navy vacated a portion of the site in 1996, when ownership transferred to the State Government to be developed as the Athlete's Village and the suburb of Newington.

However, they did not leave the Armoury Precinct until December 1999. The last ammunition operation was conducted over the wharf on 14 December 1999

So back to our visit – a long stroll from the car park to the wharf –

Newington Armoury, Homebush, NSW

Newington Armoury, Homebush, NSW

Then we followed the little railway tracks:-

Newington Armoury, Homebush, NSW

from the Light Railway Research Society of Australia -

“From 1909 – 1999 an extensive network of lines carried armaments from the wharf to a series of storage bunkers. The line was worked by battery-electric locomotives”

Newington Armoury, Homebush NSW

through the tunnel to the gallery which must have been one of the storage buildings, a bunker almost buried in the centre of the hill.

Outside, before we entered the tunnel, were sculptures (not made by students but, I think, left over from the annual “sculpture by the sea”, I should have paid more attention to the signage)

I really liked this table, cast metal with a camel theme, bit strange finding it standing in this open field with "buffer zone" sign next to it - what was it buffering, I wonder.

outstanding in its field

(is this what they mean when they say “it was outstanding in its field”)

camel table

behind it you can see the hill of the bunker.

And this piece with a wave motif

wave sculpture

So getting cold and late we headed off home til next time.

(...and how *do* you spell armoury - according to my dictionary it's armoury and armory is the US spelling, so why does the Sydney Olympic site keep calling it armory - another takeover/corruption of our spelling - I get really annoyed when Australians use US spelling, I have enough arguments swearing at the microsoft spell check)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

apropos nothing.....

I really hate cooking, I mean I *REALLY*...*HATE* cooking, which has always been hard to reconcile with the fact that I like eating - I cook because I have to, not for pleasure, so what ever possessed me to buy 1kg of ricotta cheese at the supermarket....I mean....1 whole KG for heavens sake!

Husband suggested I could make cheese pies (like mother used to!!)

Couldn't find a pie plate in the whole house that hadn't been used to mix paint when I suddenly remembered another of my impulse buys - a pie maker - another of those whatever possessed me moments, what did I think I was going to do with a pie maker - you can't even dye stuff in it!!!

So here it is - the first and most likely the last time you will see my cooking on this blog!