Snapshot Sunday – Flying Scotsman

The Flying Scotsman in Australia 1988

I recently watched a program on television about Flying Scotsman being returned to service after a 10 year break. I saw the locomotive in 1988 when she was brought to Australia for our Bicentennial celebrations. Back then she was in her LNER livery with the number 4472. Now she is in British Rail livery with  the number 60103 and smoke deflectors added.

This locomotive has appeared in different forms during her lifetime but I have to admit that for me apple green and 4472 are the real Flying Scotsman.

Flying Scotsman 2016

'Flying Scotsman' travelling past Ewood Bridge.jpg
By Brent James PinderOwn work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

David Warner and Joe Burns

Test Match

It didn’t seem much like summer on the first day of the Test Match between Australia and South Africa. The sky was overcast and there was no sign that the sun might appear any time soon.  In fact there had been dire predictions that up to four days of the five-day match could be washed out.

Nevertheless I decided to buy a ticket for Day One and hoped that at least part of the day would be dry. I have a 100mm-300mm zoom lens for my camera which I have hardly used and I was looking forward to trying it out.

I was lucky enough to get a ride to Hobart with a friend that morning so I was there in good time and arrived at Blundstone Arena in Bellerive before the gates opened. This is my favourite time to be at the cricket, first thing in the morning on the first day of a Test Match because you can see the two teams warming up before the formalities begin.

Blundstone Arena under a cloudy sky.

Blundstone Arena under a cloudy sky.

At the ground

It always looks rather chaotic to me. The Australian team are a tangle of arms and legs as they run, skip and do stretches in one part of the ground while the South Africans  seem to he having an enjoyable time kicking a soccer ball around in another. In the middle of the ground the ground staff hover with coverings for the wicket in case it starts to rain and nearby the Channel 9 commentators are doing their pitch report.


I don’t recognise many of the players. Hashim Amla is the only South African I’m sure about and even some of the newer Australian players I’m not too familiar with. Two Australian players are in the team for the first time but at least I can recognise them because they are training in their brand new baggy green caps instead of the usual baseball cap. In these situations I generally opt to take as many photos as I can knowing that I will need to edit them later and I can check then to get names of anyone I haven’t recognised.

Note*: I know this blog gets a few visitors from South Africa so please accept my apologies if I have mis-identified any South African players and feel free to correct me.

I do recognise a lot of the commentators. Most of the Channel 9 team have been working at the station for years and all of them are former players. I also spot a former South African player, Shaun Pollock, doing commentary for his national television station.

After the coin toss to see who will bat first, the ” Welcome to Country” by the local indigenous community and  the anthems play begins with Australia batting first. What a disaster that turned out to be as wickets are lost immediately with the opening batsmen getting out for one run each. In fact the whole morning is like that with  the batsmen falling instead of the expected rain.

At the lunch break the ground is filled with the Milo Into Cricket kids playing multiple games of cricket while the ground staff and their tractor also reappear in case of rain. There was a light sprinkle that sent the players off for about ten minutes but not the downpour everyone had been predicting

The Australians lasted for less than an hour after the lunch break before they were all out for 85, over half of those runs made by the Captain, Steve Smith, who ran out of partners in the end and was left unbeaten on 48. After a short break for the pitch to be rolled the South African innings commenced. The Australians who were now fielding received plenty of “advice” from the small but vocal crowd. Bellerive is a small ground and as Test Matches are not accompanied by constant rock music and other distractions it is easy to hear the hecklers. There was support too of course, whistles and cheers for the few boundaries and the usual chorus of “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi.” coming mainly from the wet area where some fans had their first beer soon after 9am.

End of Day One

I took a lot of photos but by 3pm I was feeling rather cold and as I didn’t want to miss the bus home to Geeveston I left. Of course as soon as I did the Australians took four wickets but they still ended day one badly behind. On the shuttle bus that took us back to the city the consensus seemed to be that we were rubbish but everyone had enjoyed their day at the cricket anyway.

The Result

For those who want to know what happened the rest of the match went like this:

Day  One: Australia all out for 85. South Africa lose 4 wickets by close of play.

Day Two: It rained all day and there was no play whatsoever.

Day Three: South Africa regrouped and built up a big lead requiring Australia to make 241 runs just to make South Africa bat again. They are all out for 326 At the end of Day 3: Australia had lost two wickets.

Day Four: Australia was unable to make enough runs being all out for 161. South Africa won by an innings and 80 runs.

Day Five: Not required. Australian players, coaches and selectors tearing their hair out trying to work out how to improve before the next Test Match in Adelaide which starts on 24 November.


I took far too many photos to put in this post but if you would like to see more head over to my Flickr photo stream where I have a cricket album to see the best ones, well the ones I liked best anyway. As an exercise in photography I think it was a worthwhile day. I got used to handling my big lens and most of the photos in this post were taken with it on maximum distance. I cropped most of them and in most cases the results were acceptable. It was also a good opportunity to practice sports photography. I found that I could focus and press the shutter faster. Some photos were too blurry to be useful but as I took over a hundred during the course of the day I did expect that some would be no good. I probably missed more close up shots because I didn’t feel comfortable taking a photo if the person was looking at me. Allyson is much better at that type of photography than I am. To end this post I’m going to share a few more of the photos that she took at the Michael Clarke book signing the day before the Test Match began.

Snapshot Sunday – Number 96

Australians of a certain age may recognise this block of flats in Sydney as the location of popular TV series "Number 96"

Australians of a certain age may recognise this block of flats in Sydney as the location of popular TV series “Number 96”

While we were in Sydney in March my sister wanted to find the location of the apartment building used for the Australian television show “Number 96” which ran from 1972 – 77.

When we were teenagers this was the show that everyone talked about at school and at work as it was quite daring for the time. I never watched it myself but Naomi did and said that she liked it because it was often funny and compared to the TV dramas of today she felt the characters were more like ordinary people.

The show was set in Paddington, an inner city suburb of Sydney but this building is actually in the adjacent suburb of Woolhara. Naomi knew the name of the street but not the exact location so we set out to find it. We took a taxi and as luck would have it the taxi driver was a man of around our own age who also remembered the show and he and Naomi had a good chat about what they remembered of the characters and although he didn’t know the exact location of the building either he recognised it when he saw it.

It was not the easiest building to photograph on a sunny morning, this was the best of four pictures I took and incidentally the last one I took with my Nikon Coolpix L120 as I broke it later that day.

Snapshot Sunday – Ferry Across the Mersey


Ferry crossing the Mersey River, Devonport Tasmania

Tasmania has been in the news recently with major flooding in many of our river systems, not the Huon thankfully. The port of Devonport on the Mersey River has been badly affected. Here is the tiny ferry that crosses the river on a nicer day. Taken on a trip to the northwest with friends a couple of years ago.

Melbourne's St Patrick's Cathederal.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – All About Cities

Skylines to Street Photography

For this week’s Fun Foto Challenge Cee asks us to present photos of cities. I have chosen photos from four of the five Australian capital cities I’ve been to. Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Hobart. I have also visited Canberra but I was using a film camera then and have not yet transferred those pictures to computer. I really should do that it was 9 years ago!

In a city, especially a big city it’s pretty hard to photograph buildings or anything really without getting people in your shots, unless you like to get up at the crack of dawn anyway. You can either get mad, not take the pictures or go ahead and take them anyway. That’s what I do. People are part of the city environment and sometimes they add something to the photo.


  1. A photo of the ever-changing skyline of Melbourne taken in 2014. This would have been taken from the Star Observation Wheel.
  2. Trams in Swanston Street. I think I photograph the trams every time I go to Melbourne. I love them. I rather liked the cyclist in this particular photograph too.
  3. St Patrick’s is Melbourne’s Catholic cathedral and while trying to fit it all into my frame I thought that the line of bikes and the tourists taking a “selfie” were a nice contrast.


  1. I don’t often take photos of people like this one taken on a tram on Sydney’s light rail system. Everyone seemed to be on their phone and didn’t notice me with the camera.
  2. Queen Victoria Building . This is one of my favourite buildings in Sydney. I was a bit annoyed to find the man with the cigarette in my best shot but actually I think it makes it a good city scene now I’ve cropped it a bit.
  3. Sydney Harbour. Sydney and Melbourne seem to be in competition for largest number of skyscrapers.


  1. Rundle Mall Adelaide 2012. I took several photos in Rundle Mall last time I was in Adelaide as I was afraid that by the time I came again they would have completely ruined it with ugly new developments. I get especially angry about that because I grew up in Adelaide.
  2. Light Rail Adelaide. After removing most of their tram lines in the 1950s Adelaide is now in the process of putting them back.
  3. Adelaide Arcade is a rather grand and beautiful arcade off Rundle Mall.


  1. Hobart’s Red Decker tourist bus on a sunny Saturday afternoon last summer
  2. The recently refurbished Cat and Fiddle Arcade at Christmas
  3. A mixture of old and new architecture taken from a Hobart rooftop.


Times Past: Grainy Memories

This month I’ve decided to dabble in Irene Water’s Times Past blog challenge. Here is what Irene asks us to do.

Times Past is a monthly prompt challenge that I hope will give us social insights into the way the world has changed between not only generations but also between geographical location. The prompt can be responded to in any form you enjoy – prose, poetry, flash, photographs, sketches or any other form you choose. You may like to use a combination of the two. I will also add a series of questions for those that would like to join in but don’t know where to start.

Heading your response please put what generation you belong to, your country and whether you lived in a rural or city environment at the time of your story.

Prompt No 3. Beach Memories. Did you go for holidays to the seaside? What kind of swimming costume did you wear? What activities did you do? Did you slip slop slap from an early age or did you bake yourself to a crisp? Did you eat ice cream after a swim? If so what kind did you normally have or was your favourite. The first time you went to the beach without your parents who did you go with? Any beach memories you’d care to share – I’d love to read them.

Baby Boomer Memories from Britain and Australia.


Clacton Pier 01 (Piotr Kuczynski).jpg
By PkuczynskiOwn work, GFDL,

I lived in England until I was eight years old and every summer mum would take us to visit our grandparents in Clacton on Sea for  most of the month of August or to her brother’s home in Brightlingsea while his family vacationed elsewhere. I enjoyed those holidays. Clacton Pier was a fascinating place with a Helter Skelter, carousels, dodgems and many sideshows. Further down the beach was Butlins where we were once taken for a day visit. On the beach itself there was Punch and Judy and my favourite, the donkey rides. As we didn’t have a lot of money in those days these things were a treat and we did not do all of them every year. If you went to the Pier one day it was sandwiches and a flask of tea on the beach the next. I remember bright sticks of “Clacton Rock” which we were allowed to have once a visit for a treat, ice cream “cornets” or a tub (dandy in Australia) or perhaps an iced lolly shaped like a rocket, it was the sixties after all. People sat in front of their “Shally’s”  in deck chairs and read the papers or went to sleep in the sun. I wished we had one as well. I loved going past the little shops that had racks of postcards, buckets and spades and fishing nets spilling out of the doorways. I still have a love of British seaside towns to this day.


Beach huts and lifebelt, Brightlingsea - - 1141640.jpg
By Bob Jones, CC BY-SA 2.0,

In Australia going to the beach was a very different experience. We lived in Elizabeth, South Australia, a long way from the beach so as a child trips to the beach were made with my aunt and uncle and their family.

Imagine; it’s something like ninety degrees fahrenheit and three adults, four children and a baby are packed into a non air-conditioned car for what seemed like hours.  On the way to Semaphore Beach we passed the abbatoirs which stunk and the sewage works which smelled just as bad. My aunt and uncle smoked, my cousins fought over the window seats, mum always wanted the windows closed, everyone else wanted them open. I usually felt like I was going to be sick.

The beaches were longer and more sandy than the stony English beaches I was used to but there was always a lot of smelly seaweed.   At Semaphore there was a fun fair which my cousins always wanted to go to but were not usually allowed so of course my sister and I could not go either. We would buy ice cream though and sit under a striped canvas beach shelter in the shade if we were not paddling or playing in the water.  We’d do the things kids do, bury each other in the sand, dig holes and make sand castles. It was nice and cool in the sea but then you would have to rinse the salt and sand off, get dressed and get back into the hot car with grumpy, smoky adults to go home again.

Middle Beach was different again and in my mind it was not a proper seaside beach.  It had mangrove swamps and to my mind was not a very attractive place in those days. There were no rides, donkeys or ice cream, just sand, swamp and flies. The beach was not my favourite outing I’m afraid.

Middle Beach -South Australia – Public Domain,

As an adult I rarely went to the beach. I did with my husband when we were first going out together. We decided to spend the  day at Glenelg, went to the fun fair, played mini golf and went in the water but he managed to get himself so sunburned that he was too sore to do anything for a week.  After we were married we moved to the beachside suburb of Hallett Cove. It’s a small rocky beach and we used to enjoy walking there with our dogs when it was quiet. I would walk there most days during the 25 years or so that we lived there but not to swim or sunbathe. I still don’t like the hot sand burning my bare feet or being out in the glaring sun for too long but I do like being beside the seaside.

Beachfront Semaphore South Australia.jpg
Semaphore South Australia – By en:User:Mudkipsblahen:User:Mudkipsblah
Originally uploaded to EN Wikipedia as en:File:Semaphore.jpg.JPG by en:User:Mudkipsblah 26 June 2007., Public Domain,


View from a bus window

View from a bus window

I was surprised to see them at the bus stop. It’s early in the season for backpackers but there they were, a young Japanese couple checking out the bus timetable at the Treasury bus stop in Murray Street.
When the bus arrived they stood aside to allow the other passengers to board before hauling their bulky luggage, two heavy wheeled suitcases and numerous hold-alls and backpacks, aboard. They had trouble making it all fit into the tiny luggage area and received much advice from two older gentlemen passengers about how to do it.
They laughed and talked to each other and consulted a sheet of instructions to see where they were headed. At Kingston two women with children in strollers got onto the already crowded bus and they tried to rearrange their luggage again with more advice from the old timers.
Once everyone was settled in as best they could be we continued and I looked at these young people with their cases marked with “I heart Tokyo” stickers and wondered how fantastic this must seem to them. Was this their first time in Tasmania? How different did it seem from their home and what did they make of this crowded local bus full of teenagers on school holidays and old timers returning from shopping or appointments in Hobart? Did it seem as strange to them as travelling on the Moscow Metro once did to me? The young man caught me staring at him and smiled. I smiled back.
By now the old timers had discovered that the pair was headed for a farm near Huonville for a three month working holiday and that they were staying at a backpacker hostel in the town. I couldn’t see the young woman’s face, she had long hair and was seated facing the front of the bus but as it climbed away from Kingston I could see how the young man was looking around him drinking in the sights. He was alive with interest. The smile was in his eyes as well as on his face.
I was too far away to talk to him. I would like to have heard his thoughts about what he was seeing.
They got off the bus at Huonville and prepared to haul their bags two or three kilometres up the road to the hostel. I hope that their holiday is everything they hoped it would be and I hope I see them again some time so I can ask them.