To Sydney on Sunday–8 car trains, M, Jim Belshaw

A regular complaint from travellers between Wollongong and Sydney is that out trains come in four car sets, which can lead to some uncomfortable overcrowded journeys. But they have been listening, it appears.



Joining two sets to make 8 cars to Sydney on Sunday morning. The 5.30 pm express back was 8 cars as well.

For some shots of the journey up see To Sydney as the wet approaches–pinhole shots. Yes is was moderately wet pretty much all day.

After visiting M in East Redfern, I bussed to Kingsford then walked to Daceyville. The Daceyville photos will be on the photo blog tomorrow. Thus to Jim Belshaw’s.

Yesterday Neil Whitfield and Winton Bates came to lunch, the first time Winton and I had met for a long time. Winton on the left, Neil right. This was the first time that Winton and Neil had met.

As I can and when I can, I am slowly bringing together the people in our little blogging village. Winton and I were co-editors of Neucleus, The University of New England student newspaper. Neil and I met as bloggers via the death of Australian playwright Alex Buzo. 

As you might expect,  it was a wide ranging conversation that gave us all great pleasure.


Very pleasant day, despite the weather – but even that was better than the 46C we had recently!


Wollongong Station

And the winner is…!

The most popular post here in 2012 was Sniffing out the swamp then looking up…. (August 2012).

You may view my WordPress Annual Report.

Crunchy numbers

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 49,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 11 Film Festivals

In 2012, there were 399 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 1,535 posts.

The busiest day of the year was June 9th with 878 views. The most popular post that day was Australia not earthquake free.

The most viewed posts:

  1. Home page / Archives 18,610 views in 2012
  2. Sniffing out the swamp then looking up…. 1,753
  3. A very personal Australia Day 26 January – my family 1,396
  4. Being Australian 16: inclusive multiculturalism Aussie style 9 – my tribes 1,230
  5. Nostalgia and the globalising world — from Thomas Hardy to 2010 935
  6. The Rainbow Warrior 752
  7. Being Australian 11: inclusive multiculturalism Aussie style 4 665
  8. About 532
  9. Tomorrow is… 531
  10. This may well be the best Australian history book I have EVER read! 505
  11. Jack Vidgen–Australia’s Got Talent last night 480
  12. Niggling example of political short-sightedness: Maldon-Dombarton rail link 478
  13. Once Upon a Time in Cabramatta Episode 3–SBS last night 373
  14. Wollongong local history 336
  15. Being Australian 302
  16. Family history and mystery–the Indigenous connection 299
  17. Being Australian 20: poem and song, images, dreams, nostalgia, England 295
  18. Best documentary on climate change so far… 268
  19. Sport and multicultural Australia 259
  20. Australia’s flood crisis 257
  21. Mail me 252
  22. Australia’s Got Talent 2011 Grand Final 252


Here is the Photo Blog’s December collage.


Top posts there were:

  1. Home page / Archives 5,087
  2. Shellharbour 2 – Beverley Whitfield Pool 127
  3. Corner of Goulburn and George Streets, Sydney 125
  4. The amazing Surry Hills Library 1 112
  5. 2012 96
  6. St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral, Wollongong — 3 94
  7. The ultimate old photos post 93
  8. Paddy’s Market to Ultimo 2 – the markets 93
  9. Small Buddhist temple 3 89
  10. Wollongong–Boxing Day sales crowds, but not on Boxing Day 68
  11. Old Illawarra: mystery scans from my family archives 67
  12. Illawarra Flame Tree — Brachychiton acerifolius 66
  13. Waiting for Jack Vidgen — 1 65
  14. Old haunt derelict now 64
  15. 2009 Mardi Gras Fair Day 4 – Mad Hatter’s Tea Party 62
  16. Volcanic eruption in Australia ’3000 years overdue’! 58
  17. Old court house, Wollongong — 2 57
  18. Lunch at The Hellenic Club, Figtree 54
  19. Revisiting Surry Hills: The Shakespeare Hotel and Devonshire Street 52
  20. The Carrington Hotel, Bourke Street 50
  21. Mount Keira 50

Wisdom of the sp*mmers

Quite a crop of sp*m comments were stopped by Akismet this morning, as 99.9% of them usually are. I am amused by their fake sincerity and sometimes weird machine-generated English.

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All those, and more, tried to attach themselves, with glorious irrelevance, to my latest recycle post 2010 recycled: GapMinder!  Note the thread of flattery. The last one was trying to sell me upholstery cleaning, or just as likely malware or spyware.



Great sage—“You are amazing! Thanks!” – meditating at the Steelers Club, Wollongong, yesterday.

My underwhelming posts of 2012 (so far)

Of course this post may change that!  I take the idea from My most ignored posts of 2011:

Thanks for the idea for this post to Winton Bates via Jim Belshaw. Unfortunately I can’t really do it as WordPress stops well before listing posts no one at all ever looked at! … Just shows people don’t appreciate quality, eh! Winking smile

OK, here are the ones that had a mere 8 views each in 2012. That’s as low as the WordPress stats will go.

From #18:

  1. Green things gone mad 
  2. Monckton — the follow-up 
  3. 2010: I joined the Steelers Club 
  4. Scans worth preserving–5: Christisons 1–my mother’s family 
  5. C’est moi 
  6. Sunday lunch at Diggers 
  7. Searchings — 1 
  8. In the matter of David Hicks — 2 
  9. Paper! Paper! 
  10. Exploring my inner Scot — 3 
  11. Is the Christmas Bush early this year? 
  12. I’d rather talk about Leonard Cohen 
  13. Where are the loons of yesteryear? 
  14. Idiot box? Only if you want it to be… Part 1 
  15. With thanks to Rob Baiton 
  16. Poor old pensioner watching Cricket… 
  17. Music and my life– 2— 1945 
  18. mais où est l’Albury d’antan? 
  19. Being Australian 30b: inclusive multiculturalism Aussie style 16 — fair, reasonable, and far from radical — 2 
  20. Passing of a person of faith 
  21. Please take a moment while we… 
  22. Miss Odgerny and other contemporary figures 
  23. My overstuffed (virtual) bookshelf — 3 
  24. What was hot here in 2011 
  25. There’s always the weather to talk about… 
  26. It’s spring in Port Kembla… 
  27. When I was young, and you were my street tutor… 
  28. On TV–and on how little I really know about my own country despite almost 70 years in it 
  29. In train at Coledale 
  30. Who is in favour of monoculturalism? 
  31. More on “Tony Abbott was right: we really should move on” 
  32. Blogging–a side-track 
  33. The best TV you haven’t seen yet, and our Asian Century 
  34. Visit a bookshop week starts 22 October – spread the word 
  35. 2011 retrospective–7 — July 

Go on! Look at some and lift them to the heights of 9 or even 10 views for the year!

Some say we have just three weeks left…

… so make sure your next few weeks of blog entries are really good! I refer of course to the Mayan Calendar.  (But see also ANALYSIS: Mayan Ruins Describe Dates Beyond 2012 ‘Doomsday’.) On a shorter time frame the weather people have been warning us to keep out of the sun today, which so far is not too difficult.


Can’t complain about the sight that greeted me from my window around 6am though.


By the time I got downstairs it had almost disappeared. Bloody rainbows! Can’t rely on them…


Do visit the photo blog for the December City Daily Photo theme entry, and go to DECEMBER – ‘My Street’ to see other CDP bloggers.

November 2012 greatest hits

Looks as if the two active blogs are tracking daily much as they did last month. The entries most viewed here in November have been:

  1. Home page / Archives 1,169 views since 1 November 2012
  2. Redfern Now–and just up the road privileged erks revel in their toxic culture 124
  3. The Rainbow Warrior 108
  4. Nostalgia and the globalising world — from Thomas Hardy to 2010 95
  5. Sniffing out the swamp then looking up…. 84
  6. Croker Island Exodus 67
  7. Being Australian 11: inclusive multiculturalism Aussie style 4 67
  8. A very personal Australia Day 26 January – my family 55
  9. This may well be the best Australian history book I have EVER read! 53
  10. Wollongong local history 46
  11. Australia’s flood crisis 46
  12. i98FM’s Camp Quality Convoy 46
  13. Family history and mystery–the Indigenous connection 46
  14. About immigration and Redfern Now last night 45
  15. Redfern Now last night, and memories of Aunty Beryl 45
  16. Our River Days and the Croker Island kids 44
  17. About 39
  18. Niggling example of political short-sightedness: Maldon-Dombarton rail link 36
  19. Jack Vidgen–Australia’s Got Talent last night  34
  20. George Pell spots the Antichrist and she was once a history teacher in Tasmania… 34

In November people came from:

  1. Australia 2,538
  2. United States FlagUnited States 365
  3. United Kingdom FlagUnited Kingdom 189
  4. Canada FlagCanada 80
  5. Philippines FlagPhilippines 43
  6. Germany FlagGermany 34
  7. India FlagIndia 33
  8. Indonesia FlagIndonesia 28
  9. France FlagFrance 26
  10. Brazil FlagBrazil 25
  11. Japan FlagJapan 23
  12. Poland FlagPoland 19
  13. Sweden FlagSweden 16
  14. Thailand FlagThailand 16
  15. Italy FlagItaly 15

On the photo blog these posts were most visited in November 2012:

  1. Home page / Archives 313 views
  2. November’s theme: The Water’s Edge 22
  3. Corner of Goulburn and George Streets, Sydney 17
  4. About 13
  5. Best of 2008: 22 12
  6. More best of 2008: 44 — “pencil sketch” 10
  7. St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral, Wollongong — 3 9
  8. The amazing Surry Hills Library 1 9
  9. Volcanic eruption in Australia ’3000 years overdue’! 8
  10. The ultimate old photos post 8
  11. Paddy’s Market to Ultimo 2 – the markets 8
  12. Public housing at Poet’s Corner, Redfern 8
  13. Revisiting Surry Hills: The Shakespeare Hotel and Devonshire Street 7
  14. Good for sky shots yesterday evening… 7
  15. Loving Surry Hills 24: mosque 7


Quiet Friday

Lunch at Diggers and a quick vino at Steelers.


Saw an occasional bit of the Cricket. Then a brilliant sunset at The Bates Motel.

FotoSketcher - PB090060

Made a little painterly there with FotoSketcher.

Interesting WordPress Bestseller List.

Take a look at the bestsellers and award winners who use WordPress — and be sure to scroll down to read about the notable works and WordPress-powered websites of twelve authors we’ve handpicked from this impressive list…


And quite a few more of course. I immediately think of  Cristian Mihai, for example, and of US GLBT author Rich Merritt, and then there’s The Rochford Street Review from Sydney. Not to mention poet Adam Aitken.  Be interesting to know how many writers, famous or obscure, have embraced the blog, specifically which in my view is the best of the popular platforms now.