Weekly Photo Challenge: Unusual

Last weekend I was fortunate enough to explore the new University of Newcastle building at its community open day. The building was architecturally designed using square boxes to highlight several Newcastle icons. From the outside it may look unusual but it’s also practical and spectacular.







The unusual building was filled with unusual performers ensuring everyone felt welcomed.

From level 8  I saw many unusual views — an aerial view of Hunter Street, Newcastle’s main street,

over Civic Park,

Newcastle Harbour,

and out to Nobby’s Beach and lighthouse.


Coffee Catch-Up #12

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I enjoyed my job interview last Monday and am very excited to start work at my new hospital in early August. The unit has a calm feel to it and I am pleased to be back working in my home town, although I have been happy living a free lifestyle for the last 2 months.

If we were having coffee I would tell you how surprised and in some ways saddened I was, to hear on Friday nights news that they were closing the wooden escalators in both Wynyard and Town Hall Stations over the next 12 months. Apparently there are only 7 wooden escalators left in the world — 4 at Wynyard, 2 at Town Hall and the other in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Of the 4 at Wynyard Station, 3 were opened in 1932, the same year as the Sydney Opera House and the 4th in 1952. The Wynyard wooden escalators were the first in Australia and over 80 years later are still working hard carrying over 150,000 commuters daily.

Growing up I remember that I loved to ride on the wooden escalators in David Jones stores as they had a warm and inviting look to them which made me feel like a part of history. Unfortunately, these escalators were taken out over a decade ago and since then using the escalators is just a means to an end. My mission now will be to make sure that I get to Wynyard Station before they close the wooden escalators for one last ride and reflection.

Wynyards wooden escalators

close up Wynyard Staion Wooden Escalators

If we were having coffee I would tell you about the walk my father and I went on, from his house along Throsby Creek to Newcastle Harbour and back again. With stopping off along the way to explore, our walk took us 2 hours and as you can see it was  a magical winters day. I couldn’t believe the growth that has occurred in this part of Newcastle including the formal walking trail includes many beautiful sculptures like the large lounge shown below.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I can’t believe how quickly this year is going. Tomorrow is the 25th July which means that it is exactly 5 months till Christmas Day. Wow! Then I think about how much I hope to get done between now and Christmas and that is when I get truly exhausted. Start a new job, pack up one house, do repairs to our Newcastle house before moving in, move in, finish book, catch-up with old friends, shop for Christmas and plan a trip to Japan to visit our son. Think positively is my motto so I am sure it will sort itself out for the best. After all, its amazing what one can achieve when motivated to do so.

If we were having coffee I would ask you what is happening in your world?

Remembering Newcastle Earthquake

For our final trio prompt of the year, write about any topic you wish, but make sure your post features a bookcase, something cracked, and a song you love.

Next  Saturday  28th December at 1027, it is 25 years since Newcastle was hit by a 5.6 magnitude earthquake. It was a day I and most Novocastrians will never forget.

I was awaken suddenly as I had been on night duty. Initially, I had thought my terrace was collapsing. I blamed the pillars of the terrace next door thinking they had cracked, causing it to fall. Either way I had to get out. I didn’t know what was going on but I was getting out.

I bolted down my moving stairs only to see my bookcases and plaster walls crashing to the floor. I rushed out onto the street just in time to see the steeple on the local church collapse.

Then the sirens began. They wailed all day and night. I lived in the damaged zone and major rescue efforts were underway. It was a scary time. The main hospital was evacuated and people were cared for on the lawns outside. Everyone did what they could.

This week our city remembers the 13 people who died on this tragic day, grateful this number wasn’t higher due to the time of year. The following song celebrates the power of our town as we supported each other through a difficult time in our history.

And we have built it up stronger than before.


Home Sweet Home



Home to me is Newcastle, Australia. The city I grew up in—spending nearly the first 30 years of my life. This photograph overlooks Newcastle Beach. It was taken from James Fletcher Park. The park opposite the entrance to the psychiatric hospital I began my nursing career in the 1980’s.

I loved this view from childhood. So, as an adult I couldn’t believe my luck when I got to see it everyday. Some days—it was my saving grace. I would walk up in my lunch break especially if work was busy, breathe in the view and energise myself.

Today, when I visit Newcastle, if we come in via this direction, I get a warm, welcoming feeling as I see this view again. It gently rocks me as if saying, in it’s own soft tones—you are home.