Vanda & Me from Way Back in Sydney

I spent a good part of the evening looking through old photos in the hope of finding something in particular. That did not happen but I did find some very old pictures of Vanda and me on one of our first trips to Sydney together. One time we went over on a coach and stayed in a cheap hotel in The Cross. Vanda took this snap of me at a local café. I’m not sure if it is Jeffries or not but I remember they had the best Black Forest cake ever. The photo of Vanda was taken on the ferry going to Birkenhead Point. At one time they had a great little shopping centre where I bought quite a few clothes and stuff. On the way over it was very windy and when I gave my fare money to the young guy it blew out of his hands and into the drink. I still got my change as he said it was his fault which was very kind of him. It was still paper money in those days. Anyway here are some happy holiday snaps.

Naomi 1985
Vanda 1985

Our Cruise Holiday: Part One


Now that we’ve been home a few weeks Naomi and I plan to tell the story of our holiday. We both took many photographs that we want to share and Naomi also took movie film. We hope to post a little bit of that as well once she’s edited it all.

We’ll probably write some of these posts together and some separately as sometimes we went our own way and did different things or the same things but on different days. We hope that you will enjoy reading them.

Our Holiday Begins


After almost two years of planning and waiting it was time for our cruise holiday to begin. Of course there were preparations to be made especially for our pets.  Two days before the trip my friend Nicola took Cindy and me to the kennels where she would be staying for the next few weeks. Cindy has been going to the same kennels since she was five months old so the people know her well and like her. Just the same I always feel bad when I have to leave her.

Polly was to be left at home and Nicola or her partner Dave would come every day to feed her and make sure there were no problems around the house.  I asked my “garden guys” to come as usual to cut the grass and packed my things. I was ready to go.


Naomi’s holiday began a day earlier than mine as she had arranged to spend the night before we left at my house.

Well I decided to take a week off work before the trip in order to be better prepared. I hate last minute rushing around as that is how you to come to forget things. I had to get my hair done, pack, tidy the house and get to Vanda’s the day before the trip. My first day was about getting my babies to the kennels and catching up with John my neighbour as I wanted to ask him to keep a friendly eye on my home while I was away. He agreed happily so I felt much better about no one being there while I was away. Getting all four animals to the kennels was no fun. The cats were very hard to get into their cages. In fact both of them got quite stroppy with me and in the end I was only able to get Panther into a cage. I have two types and one opens from the top while the other from the front. They hate the front opening one. I had to take three to the kennels and go back for Tigerwoods. I prayed he had not taken off somewhere. I had to drop him off in the afternoon on my way to Vanda’s place. The two dogs were quite good and excited to go for a car ride but naturally upset about being left at the kennels. Toby howled the place down. I must say it was very hard walking away and leaving them there. I hate it in fact and all I want to do is race back and get them.

The rest of the day was uneventful. At home before going to Vanda’s I did a last check of the house and my luggage before loading the car and locking up. I drove a yowling Tigerwoods to the kennels and then drove to Vanda’s. She had prepared a nice dinner. We then spent a quiet evening watching videos on You Tube.

Next morning we set off bright and early for the airport. We dropped Wazza at his holiday car park where he would stay for three weeks. I hoped he had other Fords to talk to while he was there. We had a nice drive and everything went fairly smoothly.



This view needs no introduction. Photo by Naomi


After checking in our luggage at Hobart Airport we had a pretty uneventful two hour flight to Sydney. We had a lot of luggage so we opted to get a taxi to our hotel. We discovered that getting anywhere from our hotel was going to be difficult despite the inner city location because of the road works on nearby George Street where a new light rail system is being constructed. We found it easier to use taxis during this visit although we did do some walking.

We hadn’t made a lot of plans for our short stay in Sydney but one thing that we did want to do was have dinner at the Sydney Tower Restaurant. We thought that it would be a nice treat to see the lights of Sydney from the revolving restaurant and we were not disappointed. I did not want to take my DSLR to dinner so I only took a couple of phone snaps while Naomi took some film.

The view from the restaurant taken with my smart phone.

While we were having dinner we observed a young woman at the next table who was playing with her phone for the entire meal. She did not seem interested in the spectacular views; she didn’t talk to her companion. She did not even eat her food!  We wondered why she had bothered to come at all.

The next day we spent a little time at Central Station which is a favourite place of ours. We’d heard it was due to be renovated again and we wanted to take some photos before that happened.

Sydney Central Station March 2018 photo by Vanda

After checking out of our hotel and storing our luggage we walked from the cruise terminal to the Sydney Opera house as neither of us had been there for many years. On our first visit to Sydney we did a tour of the backstage areas of the theatre but even if we still had the stamina we didn’t have the time for that so we contented ourselves with taking photos of the building, the harbour, and the ferries and of course Ovation of the Seas now berthed across the harbour at the Overseas Passenger Terminal.

Sydney Opera House March 2018 photo by Vanda
Ovation of the Seas at the Overseas Passenger Terminal photo by Naomi

There were a lot of tourists wandering around taking photos of each other and themselves and as usual we were asked to take photos of couples together. We didn’t mind that but did get rather impatient with the “Selfie Brigade” who seemed to be constantly getting into our pictures.

We did manage to take some nice photos of ferries including Narrabeen, one of the large Manly ferries and the recently renamed May Gibbs which was originally given the controversial (and stupid) name of “Ferry McFerryface”.

The former “Ferry McFerryface” now renamed “May Gibbs”. photo by Vanda


I love Sydney and always enjoy exploring the city and suburbs. I looked forward to seeing it again if only for a day. Unfortunately we are never lucky with hotels and so far we have not managed to find one we want to stay in again. This time we had no fridge or tea making facilities. I could not believe it. I find it hard to go without a cup of tea in the evening and when I wake up in the morning. It’s the first thing I do after I shower and dress. The kettle goes on and I have a cuppa. This hotel was near the old Capital Square monorail stop and would have been wonderful in 2015 before they ripped the whole monorail apart and tore it down. Ever since then they have been building a tramway or light rail system and Sydney CBD is in chaos due to these ongoing works. It’s murder for motorists and people who need to get from one place to another. It also makes the city look horrible. Vanda may have taken photos of the street but I didn’t bother.

George Street Sydney at night, taken on my smart phone. This was away from the worst of the road works. Photo by Vanda

We spent some time at Central Station a favourite haunt of mine. I wanted to capture more of it on film along with trains and trams running outside. I did a long walk around the building filming things here and there. One thing that I noticed all over Sydney but particularly in Central Station were all the large boards depicting the history of each iconic place. These boards had old photographs on them of how things had looked decades ago and some written information about the various scenes shown on the boards. All of these boards were meant to cover up a redevelopment going on behind them. I wondered what awful design and structure would eventually emerge from behind the old photographs. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to know as I hate most new buildings. I love the grace and elegance of the buildings of the 1920’s and 1930’s. They were so grand and so beautiful. Everything is glass and cement now.

The old dining room at Central about to get renovated. Photo by Vanda
Lovely old windows at Central photo by Vanda

We also had a lovely walk around the harbour so we could see the ferries coming and going and of course Ovation. She sat proudly in her berth waiting for us to board her. We wandered around to the Opera House as it is completely opposite Ovation’s berth so a good spot to take photographs from. I wanted to get some movie film from a different location than I did the previous time so this was great. We were lucky enough to see some of the larger ferries like Narrabeen. I got some great footage of that one and also  the former Ferry McFerry Face now called May Gibbs. I think she is a writer but I don’t know really. I should say the competition to name the ferry was rigged and that was how we ended up with Ferry McFerry Face. There were some red faces after that one!

Ovation of the Seas from The Opera House. Photo by Naomi
Narrabeen photo by Naomi
Sydney Opera House from the front. Photo by Naomi

While we were walking I found a credit card on the ground and worried about the owner losing it. What if someone had picked it up and ripped off their ID or something. I wandered around looking for a place where I could hand it in but could not find anywhere. I kept it with me for an hour or so while I got my photos of the ferries and of course movie film and eventually took it to the ferry terminal. There had been a long queue there earlier at the information counter and I did not have time to wait there. Now it was shorter to I asked the people if they could do something about this person’s credit card. I could not as I had to board the big ship I said. The kind young man at the counter said he would sort it out for me. So with that job done it was time to collect our luggage from the place where we had left it and board the ship. I expect we’ll talk about that next time though. It was a nice morning in Sydney. I loved seeing the ferries again and walking around Central Station.


Finally it was time to head back to the Overseas Passenger Terminal and board the ship. We hope you have enjoyed reading this rather long post. Next time we’ll show you some pictures of the ship and our departure from Sydney.

“Ferry Mc Ferryface”

Names for Sydney ferries are usually chosen by a public competition but after the outcry about the name “Ferry McFerryface” being chosen it was revealed that it was not the first choice of the public but that of the Transport Minister.

New Sydney ferry “May Gibbs”.






Snapshot Sunday: Vintage Advertisement

I saw this while wandering around Sydney with Vanda. I had read about this being uncovered after decades when the adjoining building was demolished. It’s sad to think it will be covered up again when something new is built. Peapes was once a store selling men’s and boys wear but you can probably already tell from the photograph. I found some stories online about this old department store so I will get Vanda to add them when she has some spare time. They are quite interesting to read and one tells of other old signage in Sydney for those who are interested and might be visiting.–catch-it-before-it-is-spirited-away-20170917-gyizkj.html




Cee’s Which Way Challenge: 4 May 2018

Which Way Sydney

Although our time in Sydney was brief I managed to find a few Which Ways at Central Station and Sydney Harbour.

Concourse at Sydney Central Station
Things you can’t do at Central
A different angle of Sydney Harbour Bridge
Promenade to Sydney Opera House.


Snapshot Sunday

To keep me motivated I will attempt to post photos and blogs on a regular basis. I had almost forgotten about Snapshot Sunday. I didn’t take any pictures today because I worked all day today and all day yesterday. The weather wasn’t the best for getting out after work and it gets dark really early. That’s my excuse anyway. It’s true in fact! Yes really. What was I going to post for today? I decided to go back over photos saved on the little cards I use in my camera and find a favourite picture I had taken before and not used yet. Here’s what I chose.

This is the Luna Park face and the entrance to the amusement park in Sydney. Nothing like a happy face to make you smile.

This is the main entrance to Luna Park in Sydney Australia. This is a favourite photo of mine and I love the Luna Park face because it makes me smile and feel happy. check out those dentures. I wonder what toothpaste he uses. Wonder White comes to mind!

Advance to St James

Cee’s Which Way Challenge

by Naomi

One time while I was on holiday in Sydney I took some pictures of St James railway station. St James is a beautiful old underground station and I thought it would be great if I could get some nice photos of it. It’s always been a favourite of mine. On this particular day the station was almost deserted. With hardly a soul about it was easy to get my photos. Adding to the atmosphere was not only the lack of human life but also the fact that they made a really scary movie at this station. Here are my photos.

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