Archives for category: Daily life in Sydney

When Monday morning rolls around and the alarm goes off, I spring out of bed with a huge grin spread across my face. Well, there may be a slight bit of exaggeration in that sentence but the general sentiment is true enough. I like Mondays.

Because come Monday evening, when the first day of the working week has been put to bed, I sneak into the men’s toilets, change into my running gear (Kevin 87 t-shirt, swimming shorts and a pair of well-worn sneakers covered in drips and drops of old paint) and head down through Darling Harbour and Pyrmont to Wentworh Park for a jog with Paul. As well as being my running buddy, Paul is a dear friend, prayer companion, former work colleague and mentor, whom I’ve had the pleasure of knowing for the past five years. He’s also the editor of a magazine about trucks. Read the rest of this entry »

Sometimes it’s hard to pay attention to the news. The litany of bad stories never seems to end and it’s easy to let compassion fatigue set in. Or sometimes it’s just more convenient to watch MasterChef. But other times, there’s a story that is so compelling it jumps out at you and sucks you in, forcing you to mix your metaphors in the process.

Just like late on Friday night when I came home and jumped online and the headline of the lead story on the SMH website caught my attention: ‘Sydney’s ‘Dickensian’ scandal: six dead’. Clicking through, I found that the article was about a boarding house in Marrickville where six people had died in shocking conditions between 2009 and 2010. The state coroner had told reporters that her investigations had uncovered a culture of neglect in the home, resulting in widespread malnourishment, oversedation and inadequate medical care.
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A sandstone wall on the F3. (Photo: RMS)

It’s now almost two months since I arrived back in Australia. One thing I’ve continually been reminded of in this time is that it is people, more than places, that give me a sense of belonging. There have been lots of opportunities to share special moments with family, catch up with old friends, meet new babies and resume long-running conversations with close friends and mentors. These ‘people moments’ are easily the best part of being back home.

At the same time though, places can be important too. One such place for me is the small stretch of Parramatta River near my apartment, where I go to jog, walk and lap up the view on a shady park bench. There’s a lot to like about it – the smell of salt water mixed with mangroves, the gentle breezes, the acres of green parkland and the playful sea gulls. It’s a highlight of my neighbourhood and, after walking along the muddy, brown trickle of Santiago’s only river, the Mapocho, it seems even better.

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Burwood Station and mission accomplished. (Photo: CitySider/Flickr)

“Doors closing. Please stand clear,” said the recorded message.

And just like that, the doors rolled shut. With a creak and a couple of muffled clunks, the city bound train began edging forward as it pulled out of Strathfield Station, past the old Whelan’s Hotel and the relatively new TAFE college, which, as always, was advertising new enrolments. Some things don’t change. Like the whistling noise the train made as it started to pick up speed.

It was late on a Sunday afternoon – almost late enough to be considered evening – and the sky was heavy with dark grey clouds that looked ready to burst any minute. Even though there was still a week of summer left, a cool breeze fluttered through the window beneath the sunless sky. It was almost jumper weather. Almost but not quite.

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