Industrial grunge walk

I needed to buy a couple of things from the hardware store today, so I took a walk over there, and then proceeded to walk home via a roundabout route, so I could document another Sydney walk with photos. The previous walk was very touristy and beautiful, so I thought I’d explore a grungier side of the city today. It’s not the grungiest, because I’m limited to suburbs within walking distance, but hopefully there’s a bit there!

Photos and commentary are in this Imgur album.

I also worked some more on Darths & Droids today – made another comic, wrote some annotations.

New content today:

Virtual Sydney walk

Today was Anzac Day, Australia’s (and New Zealand’s) most solemn day of remembrance. Normally it’s marked by massed gatherings of people at ceremonies held in pre-dawn light in all cities and towns. But it couldn’t happen this year, because of COVID-19 restrictions. Instead there was a movement for people to play The Last Post on any instrument they had, in their driveways, on balconies, out windows, wherever they were at home.

It was also kind of weird and surreal because normally Anzac Day has a big and obvious build up, but this year news was dominated by COVID stuff instead, so Anzac Day kind of crept up until suddenly yesterday we found ourselves thinking, “Wait a second, tomorrow is Anzac Day! Where did that come from??” All in all, it was a very strange version of the day.

Today I went through all the photos I took yesterday and write them up as a virtual walk through Sydney. I put it into an Imgur album here.

I also made some Darths & Droids comics. Now that we’re back up to publishing three strips a week, it means I have to make three strips a week, so it’s a never-ending task.

And there was housework and the usual sort of Saturday stuff. Nothing especially interesting.

New content today:

Escape tech problems

My wife had some technical issues with her work-from-home this morning. Her work laptop simply wouldn’t boot up, and hung even when restarted in all of the various safe modes. So she ended up spending most of the morning on remoter tech support over the phone, trying various things to get to a point where should even begin working. This is very frustrating, both for her and also for me since I’m in the same house hearing it all going on.

Around 10am I went for a long walk to clear my head (alas my wife didn’t have that option). I took Scully with me. She’s feeling much better now after her illness last week.

Scully near Greenwich Baths

Here she is hanging out near Greenwich Baths, which is a good solid 3 and a bit km walk (about 2 miles) from home. That’s a really long walk for her and she was dog tired when we got home. 馃槃

This afternoon I made cr猫me br没l茅e to use up some leftover cream I had in the fridge.

Cr猫me br没l茅e

It’s actually not difficult to make. The custard turned out pretty well. The recipe says to refrigerate overnight before adding the sugar and flaming it to melt it, but I was impatient and decided to blowtorch some brown sugar on top tonight.

Cr猫me br没l茅e torching

Unfortunately the sugar was a bit lumpy… and caught on fire. After extinguishing the sugar and letting it solidify, it actually turned out fine. The whole thing was delicious, although the sugar didn’t make a nice even crust on top. I think tomorrow I’ll try white sugar, and make sure the layer is even before torching it.

New content today:

A walk in North Sydney

Today was Easter Monday, a public holiday. Although with the current COVID restrictions on going anywhere, it didn’t feel much different to any other day. I made a few comics in the morning, and then after lunch went on a long walk, around the North Sydney area. I took a bunch of photos, and when I got home I looked up the history of a lot of the places I’d photographed and turned it into another virtual walk album I(click to see photos and commentary).

I’m learning a lot about the history of my area by doing this. And I hope it’s interesting to other people, who might also not be able to get out very much.

New content today:

Long walk in non-rain

I wanted to see if could play a round of golf this morning as part of my social distancing exercise, but the weather forecast was for up to 30mm of rain, with heavy falls at times. So I decided not to go to the golf course, and instead set out on a longish walk, with an umbrella.

As it turned out, it didn’t rain at all today… so I could have easily played a round of golf without weather problems. Oh well. I did put together this virtual photo tour of the parts of Sydney that I walked through today.

Also, here’s a photo of Scully helping me the other day to get my Lego photos done for Irregular Webcomic.

Scully helping with Lego

This afternoon I worked on finishing off writing annotations for the batch of comics.

Also, me and my gaming friends organised a Magic: the Gathering draft tournament, which we drafted today using a custom online web tool built by one of my friends. We’ll be building our decks and playing games remotely using Tabletop Simulator, as a replacement for face-to-face gaming. We drafted the Dominaria set from 2018, which we never managed to do at the time in cardboard format. I think I drafted a terrible deck, but I’m looking forward to playing it!

New content today:

Video walk experiment

Today I thought I’d try making a video of part of the walk I did for exercise, in this time of social distancing when we’re not supposed to leave home for anything but essential activities (of which exercise is counted as one).

I took the video using my phone, mounted on a small handheld steadicam gadget that I got from a Kickstarter a few years ago. It helps smooth out the shakiness of walking while holding the phone, but it’s not perfect. I didn’t speak while walking, but added some comments using a microphone once I got home.

And here’s the walk route, marked on a map of Wollstonecraft, Sydney:

Hopefully this will be a nice virtual walk for some of you who might not have had much chance to get out and about recently.

New content today:

More walking and baking

For today’s exercise, my wife and I took Scully on a walk down to the local golf course, and then through a bushwalk along Gore Creek.

Scully at Gore Creek

It leads to Bob Campbell Oval, a cricket/soccer field near the water.

Scully at Bob Campbell Oval

From here you have to climb The Stairs of Cirith Ungol to get back to my place.

Scully on the Stairs of Cirith Ungol

At home, we were out of bread. Rather than go shopping, I made some damper! This is beer damper, made with 3 cups of self raising flour, a bottle of beer, a pinch of salt… and that’s it! Mix and bake for 30 minutes at 190掳C. It turned out really nice.

Beer Damper

This afternoon I played some games with my wife. We played Azul.

Azul

And then Walking in Burano.

Walking in Burano.

New content today:

Patricia Trail and banana bread

It’s Saturday, so although she’s been working from home all week, today my wife had some spare time during the day. So we took a bit of a trip, choosing something to do that wouldn’t involve encountering any people, to respect the coronavirus distancing rules.

I wanted to find somewhere where we could do a bit of walking through some bushland, with Scully. Unfortunately for this plan, dogs are forbidden from National Parks. However, I found that there are some Regional Parks which allow dogs, and there are a few within Sydney. So we set out for the Berowra Valley Regional Park, and in particular the area accessed from the northern end of the suburb of Cherrybrook. Here there is a walking track through the park where dogs are allowed.

Scully on Patricia Trail

The track led through thickly grown forest and undergrowth, but the path was easy enough to follow. Although it was a bit muddy in places from the recent rain this week, and there was also a bit of grass growing on the path.

Scully on Patricia Trail

After completing the track, we did a loop back to where we’d parked the car, walking along the quiet suburban streets. We only saw a few people out and about – it was a lot quieter than the area where we live.

Back home I decided to bake some banana bread.

Home made banana bread

We don’t do a lot of baking, but with the purchasing of a few weeks of non-perishable foodstuffs we suddenly have plenty of flour in the house, so I figured I’d make use of a couple of old bananas. I used a simple recipe found online.

Home made banana bread

It turned out fairly good. Nice flavour, maybe a little denser than commercially produced banana bread. My wife had a slice with yoghurt and honey on top.

Home made banana bread

New content today:

Virtual walking

Today was the end of the working from home week for my wife. She said the week had gone quickly, being hectic with plenty to do.

This morning I finished off the work on the new 100 Proofs That the Earth is a Globe entry, and posted it. Then I went for another long walk to get out in the fresh air and get some exercise.

Berry Island lookout

I went down to Berry Island, which is a tied island in Sydney Harbour. I took a lot of photos on this walk, and rather than upload everything to Flickr and format them here into this entry, I’m just going to link to this Imgur album, which has plenty of photos with detailed commentary.

Tonight we were supposed to have our fortnightly games night gathering, but with the coronavirus social distancing we’ve converted to a virtual games night, using the Board Game Arena online platform for playing board games. I’m actually in the middle of playing games with my friends as I type, in combination with a Discord voice chat, and it’s working really well. So far we’ve played 6 Nimmt, Perudo, Colt Express, and Niagara.

New content today:

Another big walk

I went for a longer walk today, to get out of the house a bit and enjoy the fresh air – and also give my wife time to do her work alone in the house (with Scully). I avoided busy places and took to suburban back streets, heading in roughly the opposite direction to yesterday.

Steps into the gully

These steps lead to the suburb of Waverton. The terrain around where I live is, as I may have said before, very hilly.

Newlands Lane

The steps lead down into this forested gully, with a walking path leading up it. However I climbed another set of steps up the opposite side.

Terraces

In this part of Sydney there are a lot of Victorian era terrace houses, with lovely restored wrought iron railings and decorative filigree in well-maintained versions, such as these.

Near boatbuilders

I walked through Waverton to the adjacent suburb of McMahons Point, and then down to the shore of Sydney Harbour. This is Berrys Bay, a small bay on the harbour. The water is clear and you can see oysters growing on the rocks below. I walked around the shoreline to the left.

Berrys Bay walkway

This cool little walkway joins two small promontories of public land, skirting around a bit of the shore where private property goes right down to the waterline.

Sawmillers panorama

It leads to Sawmillers Reserve, a secluded green space on the water, with a view across the harbour to the city skyline (visible on the left side of this panorama).

MSB hopper barge wreck

Just off the shore is the wreck of a Maritime Services Board hopper barge, which I presume was used to transport lumber from the old historic sawmill that used to occupy this location on the shore (and gave the Reserve its current name).

Blues Point Hotel

From Sawmillers Reserve, I walked uphill to Blues Point Road, and the Art Deco Blues Point Hotel, another the many Art Deco pubs dotted around Sydney.

Sandstone cottage

There’s even older architecture around here too, such as this old sandstone cottage, which is still in use as somebody’s home. About here I turned around to walk back home. In all I was out walking for close to two hours.

At home I spent the afternoon catching up on ISO standards work, downloading bunches of reports and presentations from the last meeting, ostensibly in Yokohama, but held virtually. Tomorrow I plan to write up my report on the meeting for Standards Australia.

New content today: