Today I had my face-to-face ethics class at the school. It was the last week before school holidays – two weeks off, then returning for term 3. The Year 5 students were back after last week’s camp. I asked them where they went and they said Canberra. I said it must have been very cold, and they agreed enthusiastically. Canberra is inland and nestled in mountains, so it gets very cold in winter – sometimes it even snows there. I’ve been to Canberra many times myself, and almost always in winter, oddly enough.
We finished off the topic on moral responsibility, with a couple of stories setting dilemmas of who to spend money on – local people/family, or foreign people (via charities) who need it more. There was some good discussion of this, with various different ideas on how to decide.
After class, I went into the city by train, because I had an appointment in there. (By this I mean the Central Business District, or “downtown” area, although we don’t use the term “downtown” here.) I picked up some Japanese food for lunch while in there, and also checked out a bookshop. And I took some photos!
This is George Street, the main street of Sydney. Normally around lunch time it would be absolutely crowded with people, but we’ve had a new COVID-19 outbreak here developing over the past few days. Today 16 new cases were announced, taking the total up to 37 cases. This was enough to make the government reintroduce some very strict mask requirements and movement restrictions. Facemasks are now mandatory (as from this afternoon) in every non-residential indoor setting, including office workplaces. They were made mandatory again on public transport and in shops a few days ago, but this workplace requirement is new – something we didn’t have at any time before. There are also travel restrictions now in place for subregions of Sydney, with people not being allowed to leave their local government area (essentially an area covering a few suburbs). The general feeling is that this is one step short of a full lockdown, which I think a lot of people are expecting within the next day or two if cases continues to rise.
Back to photos, this is the Sydney General Post Office, which is considered the building marking the central reference point for the city. Distances in Sydney are measured “from the GPO”.
This is the interior of the Queen Victoria Building, and old government office building dating from 1898, now converted to a shopping area. Many people in government in the 1950s and 60s wanted to demolish the building to make way for more modern development, but fortunately that ever happened and we now have this beautiful Victorian era building in the middle of the city.
Here’s an exterior view, of the southern end of the building. It’s a long, thin building running north-south, so it’s a lot longer in the other direction than you can see here.
Back home this afternoon I had a Zoom call with a former work colleague, who is now a professor at the University of Technology, Sydney, teaching various image processing and engineering subjects. He’s offered me a casual job teaching tutorials for his image processing course for the second semester of this year, which I’m thinking I’ll probably take up. So we were discussing what would be involved and so on. It looks promising, and if approved I should be starting this job in August.
Finally today, I got information from the hospital for my tonsillectomy tomorrow. I need to fast from 4am and show up at the hospital at 10am. I don’t know yet what time I’ll be released, but I’m expecting I’ll be home for dinner. Assuming I feel okay to eat anything but ice cream…
So I suppose my next blog entry will be after the operation, and I can tell you how it went.
New content today: