Floating Life 4/06 ~ 11/07

an archive

Archive for the ‘Surry Hills’ Category

Surry Hills Library threatens restaurant

Nothing like a good parochial story.

You see, Sydney City Council is building a swish new community centre to include, among other things, a new Surry Hills Library, at the moment temporarily housed on the Northcott Estate. Next door to the new library site is an Indian restaurant.

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Written by Neil

November 28, 2007 at 8:34 am

Polling Day in Surry Hills

Just past 8am and the polling booths will have just opened for today’s election. There will be no surprises in Surry Hills where Labor is 100% sure to win. But nation-wide? There were those at last night’s meeting still saying “landslide to Labor” but it does seem it will be a very close thing.

I have to say I thought Noel Pearson’s dummy spit yesterday was impolitic. He could have saved that for after the election. I really wonder too whether he bothered to look beyond the campaigning hype (on both sides) at actual ALP policy on Reconciliation and Indigenous Affairs, particularly Constitutional Recognition Of Indigenous Australians. All he has done is tarnish his own reputation for a degree of balance and originality — for which I have up to now tended to respect him — and made life difficult for himself if Labor gets elected.

Here in Surry Hills it is a grey morning and the sound of crows fills the air. Is this ominous? If so, for whom? I go coaching in Chinatown shortly and will vote either on the way there or on the way home, depending on the crowds. Meanwhile I note, if this relates to anything, the relative readership figures for the past 21 hours on my blogs here at WP:
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Pre-election: Politics in the Pub at Surry Hills

So I went down to The Gaelic Club this evening for Politics in the Pub; Sirdan was meant to come too but he must have been working. I do get to see him Sunday so I guess I’ll find out what happened.

I had a bit of a connection with this event, as these entries explain. Some nice things were said about my story in the introductory talk, and then we heard from the ABC’s Mark Willacy. He is an interesting speaker. We also heard from Noah Bassil, Deputy Director, Middle East Centre, Macquarie University. There have been some interesting talks at Politics in the Pub over the years as you will see if you visit that link; a few of them have transcriptions. You may see tonight’s talks on UHF 31 Thursday 2.30 pm and Sunday 10.30 pm.

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Written by Neil

November 23, 2007 at 10:29 pm

Yesterday’s Sunday lunch

The Shakespeare Hotel in Devonshire Street Surry Hills was the venue again. Simon H (who turned 50 a week ago!) was meant to join us, but was delayed; he did arrive in time for drinks.

Looking back I note the equivalent Sunday last year:

This very informative documentary was made for PBS in America and there is an equally informative website; Part 2 is on SBS next Sunday night.

Lord Malcolm recommended it to Sirdan and I as we pushed him in his wheelchair from the hospice to the fish restaurant, where we had an excellent lunch.

There will probably not be many more such excellent lunches.

That story continued until the beginning of June this year. Right now another friend is facing a rather ominous diagnosis, but I am not free to say more about that. And M has had a bad experience in South America; again I can’t go into it, but at least it was not life-threatening and isn’t a health issue. It may cut his trip short though. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Neil

November 12, 2007 at 2:36 pm

My South Sydney Herald piece

Inside the Whale

Former ABC Middle East correspondent Mark Willacy doesn’t just take you into the news or even behind the news. He takes you under the news – and I for one wanted to scream. Not at Willacy, but at the leaders of this world…

Mark Willacy will be at Politics in the Pub on Friday 23 November from 6 pm to 7.45 at the Gaelic Club, Level 1, 64 Devonshire St., Surry Hills (across from Chalmers St exit and Devonshire St tunnel at Central Station). Parking is usually available in side streets. Afterwards you may have dinner at the Royal Exhibition Hotel across the road.

Imagine this. “The 17-year-old was just a torso and a head. His legs had been blown away, and his stomach had been peeled open. He looked like the android from the movie Aliens after the alien queen has torn him in two with her stabbing, serrated tail.”

This was a suicide bomber. It is the first scene to confront Mark Willacy as he takes up his appointment as ABC correspondent in Jerusalem in 2002. It is the first paragraph in his recently published The View from the Valley of Hell: Four Years in the Middle East (Macmillan Australia 2007 $35rrp). Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Neil

November 2, 2007 at 6:33 am


1. Go to English/ESL — and more today if you enjoy Shakespeare. And YouTube. It’s in the “and more” department really.

2. I see The Rabbit has garnered some serious support for his views on marriage. David Smith was in my Year 10 of 1996 and is now doing a Political Science doctorate in Michigan. UPDATE: Jim Belshaw is intrigued by The Rabbit’s idea as you will see on Let’s take the law out of marriage. I await further developments.

3. I had that postponed blood test today… Two hours. Afterwards I discovered a lovely new coffee shop on Crown Street.

4. Antony will be pleased to know I am watching the wormed version of the Treasurers’ Debate on Nine. Thomas has live blogged it. He must have better typing skills than I have…

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Written by Neil

October 30, 2007 at 1:28 pm

Busy Redfern morning

Earlyish I went to the Redfern doctor because my last blood check showed above normal blood sugar, so next Monday I have to be checked out for diabetes as the reading was just within the diagnostic range. Mind you I had eaten a very sugary blueberry bagel not long before that test; we shall see.

The good news is the Logicol margarine has been working, along with the kangaroo sausages, so my cholesterol is acceptable at last.

I had fasted this morning just in case so I breakfasted after seeing the doc at Quirks just over the road — see pic. I should do this more often. It is quite delightful. I ate something very healthy.

While there I read about the latest polls. 😦 Can’t believe we are so impressed by men in raincoats offering boiled sweeties, or (as someone said on 702 last night) Big Brother restoring the chocolate ration. Then I rang Pan Macmillan and have set up an interview with Mark Willacy early next week. He will be at Politics in the Pub the day before the election: 6 pm to 7.45 Friday 23 November at the Gaelic Club, Level 1, 64 Devonshire St., Surry Hills (across from Chalmers St exit and Devonshire St tunnel at Central Station).

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Written by Neil

October 19, 2007 at 1:32 pm