Carl Sagan said in the TV series (and book) Cosmos:
Some 5 billion years from now, there will be a last perfect day on Earth… then the sun will begin to die, life will be extinguished, the oceans will boil and evaporate away.
Today felt like that last perfect day. It’s late autumn and we’ve already had a couple of cold weeks as we descend into the chilly depths of winter. But the past few days have been nice, and today was the culmination of a short warming trend. It reached 25°C here in Sydney, and the sky was a brilliant shining blue, with a gentle breeze just to keep the air moving so you didn’t feel hot in the sun.
I had occasion to be out and about. After my Monday morning online ethics class (teaching two 10-year-old boys today, same topic as last Friday’s class), I had an appointment in North Sydney for an ultrasound examination, which my doctor had ordered to check out a niggling persistent pain in my abdomen. It’s about half an hour’s walk, and I decided to make the most of the day by walking, rather than catching the train.
And it was gorgeous being outdoors in the late autumn sunshine. My route took me past St Leonards Park and to the Ridge Street Lookout, from where I captured this view looking south towards the city centre:
The city centre is on the right, and the harbour stretches east (left) towards the ocean. You can see the Harbour Bridge (giant steel arch on the right) and the Opera House (left of the big white “Bayer” building near the Bridge).
For my ultrasound, I had to fast all morning – no food or drink since last night. So by the time it was done at 11:30 I was really hungry. I walked back north to Crows Nest and a local pub where I like their chicken schnitzel lunch special. It’s a bit decadent, so I don’t get it very often, but it’s the best chicken schnitzel I’ve had anywhere.
From there I went straight to pick up Scully from my wife’s office, so I could look after her during the afternoon. Late afternoon I took Scully to the dog park down at Waverton. And from here I got another amazing view of the city, in the late afternoon light just as it was transitioning from the harsh midday sun to a beautiful warmer glow.
Again you can see the Bridge. And yes, you can see the Opera House in this photo – but you need to either know where it is or be really good at spotting it. You can also see a few clouds just starting to creep in. The forecast for tomorrow is a cooler 21°C and afternoon rain, possibly including a storm. And with the rain and cooler weather set to last for several days, I think it’s highly possible that today was indeed the last perfect autumn day for the year.
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