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Preview: Happy Antipodean

Happy Antipodean

A blog by Matthew da Silva since 2006

Updated: 2017-01-19T22:58:16.193+11:00


A quiet day at home


This morning I got up before 8am because the cleaners came to clean the apartment, and I let them in and waited until they had finished. When they left the girl and I had breakfast, which included some leftovers from dinner last night - we had gone to have dinner at Golden Century and ordered four dishes, which was a lot, too much for two people at one meal - as well as some added tomato and

On hospitals


It's so hot and even though it's getting late there's no point in going to bed because I've been dozing on and off all day and the night-time temperature will be excessive tonight, so I decided to sit a while and write about something that I talked to a friend about not long ago. We were talking about hospitals and I said to her that I always felt compelled to stand up for these institutions,

An aborted emergency


In the morning I got up and made some coffee but it had been so hot during the night - I discovered later that it was the hottest January night in Sydney since records began being collected in the 1850s, with temperatures around 30 deg C - that I decided after drinking my morning cup of coffee to go back to bed and sleep. My sleep during the night had been patchy and I needed to get a few more

Went out to lunch


This morning I knew I would meet an old friend for lunch in the city, but I didn't know exactly where, so I put a message on Facebook Messenger after I got to the computer with my coffee. Later a message came through telling me to meet my friend at his office, from where we would go out to lunch. After the coffee I went back to bed and slept some more through the heat, then got up and walked

My ankle was sore


After I got up this morning and on my way to the closet to get a pair of trousers, my left ankle decided to give up. It hurt very badly for a few minutes, then the pain disappeared, but the severity of the pain suggested to me that it would be a bad idea to go for a walk today, so I didn't. I stayed at home this morning, and suffered for it. Not walking left me feeling depressed and sad, so

Too hot to go walking


This morning I knew it was going to be hot because of the forecasts on the news over previous days, and after getting up and making a pot of coffee I got into the car and drove to Glebe to visit Officeworks, where I bought a new computer mouse. The previous one had started to malfunction, double-clicking when it was clicked only once, for example, which made it impossible to use reliably.

On Harris Street


Today it was very hot on my walk through Darling Harbour and on to Chinatown. I got onto Harris Street and saw an unusual truck with big black and yellow squares painted on it. There was a ute behind it also painted in glaring colours. The truck and the ute had illuminated electronic signs on their backs that told drivers coming up behind them to stay clear. The two vehicles were making their

Movie review: La La Land, dir Damien Chazelle (2016)


There's no definitive image that encapsulates the major themes of this movie so I just chose an image of Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and Mia (Emma Stone) looking into each other's eyes. The movie was a nice surprise, as I wasn't expecting much from a 2-hour rom-com where the main character is Hollywood itself. But Stone and - to a lesser extent - Gosling do bring out the best the script and the

Blowing bubbles


This morning I took a walk down to Darling Harbour and saw that they had put up the ferris wheel again, after taking it down for the New Year festivities. They have also set up a big sandbox occupying about 100 square metres on the esplanade, with wooden sides and wooden chairs on the sand for people to sit on. There was one man doing little jumps for someone sitting in one of the chairs at

Holidays in January


Yesterday we went to Watsons Bay and parked the car at the top of the hill away from the traffic that clogs things up down in the valley. We walked down through the scrub along the path beside the cliff until we got to the park, then went down to the beach. I stood on the esplanade while she waded in the water. After she got out she brushed the sand off her feet with her shirt and put her

Some thoughts on using social media


Because the end of the year seems to be a time when everybody looks back over the past year and makes judgements, I thought I would take a look at some of the things that have occurred to me about using social media, which after all is a place where we spend growing amounts of time. It's not a trivial aspect of our lives any more, I think we can safely say. In fact, for some people - like me -

Reveries during my quotidian walk


This morning for a change I went on my usual walk through Chinatown and up Harris Street. On the approaches to Darling Harbour the crowd-control fences had been put up leaving gaps so people could pass through. On the evening of 31 December those gaps will be closed off to limit the number of people who can go onto the Pyrmont Bridge and into the pedestrian area of Darling Harbour. I saw a

It's Christmas Day


Well here we are again at Christmas time on a hot day in Sydney. The sun is out and the air is quiet as everything living takes shelter; all I can hear is the occasional cry from a group of revellers down in the park or in one of the highrises around here. Even the birds are mainly still and mute; an occasional trill reminds me of the presence somewhere out there of something living. But I

End of year shenanigans


During my regular walk today I found that the large, floating barge for public events that was usually moored at the head of Darling Harbour has been moved down to under the bridge, halfway down Darling Harbour. At this time of year you get a lot of people getting onto this structure as companies and other organisations hold their end-of-year celebrations. There have been a lot of people

Boys dressed as girls


When I was walking down to Darling Harbour I saw a group of boys dressed as girls. Well, in fact one of the boys was dressed as a box of beer, but that's just the way it turned out. In the main, the boys were dressed as girls. One of them was walking along in high heels and a skirt, waving at people on the opposite side of the road with his mouth fixed in a grin. It was funny, I suppose,

Black dog with blue eyes


No this is not an oblique way of talking about depression, although with the way she has been treating me you wouldn't blame me for doing so. Today on my usual walk through Chinatown I really saw a black dog - which looked like a wolf - with bright blue eyes. It's eyes looked like lasers they were so bright. What kind of dog looks like this? I got home after buying a banh mi at the local

A new television


Yesterday morning after extracting some cash from the ATM at the convenience store I headed up the hill to go on my usual walk around Chinatown but the thought of the diminishing sound quality on my TV brought me back home, where I measured the old TV with a tape measure. I left the building this time via the fourth floor, which has a door that lets you out onto the park at the back of the

A sick pigeon


As I was walking down Dixon Street near Goulburn Street today I saw a sick pigeon sitting on he pavement. The poor creature looked bedraggled and wan, just sitting there on the grey pavement with its feathers sort of ruffled and not smooth. It's head was down pointing toward the pavement and its shoulders were hunched. Probably if I were a kinder and more decent human being I would have

Up on Manning River


On Friday I got in the car about midday and drove north onto the Pacific Highway on the way to my cousin's place on the Manning River, which is located a couple of hours north of Newcastle. The trip up took four-and-a-half hours. I could feel the steering wheel start to vibrate at around 110km/hr but as usual I sat at around 90km/hr to 100km/hr for most of the trip even though the highway in

Reflections on my state of mind


Over the past few days people have been contacting me about my blogposts asking if I was feeling suicidal, because I had said that I was happy with life and could end it without any qualms. But I think that the blogposts contain quite another message. In fact, I think that it is an extremely life-affirming stance to take. I was thinking about these things while I was taking my usual walk

Sitting inside on a November day


Yesterday morning I went for a walk in company to Barangaroo instead of to Chinatown and ended up not in the park (it's such a tiny little park) but in a gelato bar having a flat white while my companion had a gelato milkshake (if there is such a thing). I caught a bit of sun, as you can see. It was a hot and sunny day and we were walking at the hottest time of the day. I got back home today

Demolition of IMAX


Under the Western Distributor they've constructed hoardings to keep people away from the IMAX, which is currently being demolished. A big crusher on wheels is attacking the theatre's external parts each day, ripping pieces off and chomping into the wooden structure. The Darling Harbour managers constructed a walkway on the outside of the hoarding so that people can still get from the south

Major loony wins US election


The Sydney Morning Herald is currently giving Donald Trump 264 electoral votes out of 270. It looks therefore as though the American people have done the unthinkable and elected a complete loon to their highest office. The signs were there from the beginning of the evening, when Hillary started to lose key states like Florida and Ohio. Now, Trump is even looking set to win traditionally

A windy Saturday


I noticed on the way through John Street Square this morning that the light rail had been stopped and that they had put on buses to transport prospective passengers to their destinations both up and down the line. In the Haymarket I saw the reason for the stoppage: a fairly major exercise in repairing the tracks, or something possibly related to the introduction of a light rail line along

Still missing Japan


Late this morning I went for my customary walk down to Chinatown and up Harris Street back home, stopping off at a Japanese place for a bowl of noodles for lunch. Once home I did the ironing and then had a short nap. I got up at about 4pm to step up to the computer. And then at some point in the late afternoon I contacted my daughter on Facebook Messenger. Messenger has changed its layout,