Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Miscellany

Things I like about Sydney No. 29: The Men's Shed

A short distance from our house, along the creek a bit, in the strangely named Smoothey Park, is a dark green metal public sign put up by the North Sydney Council. It boldly announces the following:


What???!!! Is this the male equivalent of those ancient Roman clearings in the woods which were dedicated to female rites and rituals? Do men go to the Men's Shed to bond with each other in secret ceremonies and to howl like wolves at the moon? Or do they meet up there to brush up on their carpentry skills and to admire each other's lathes? Or to compare home brews and get stoned? Or is it all kung fu fighting and the violent crossing of sticks? The Men's Shed. It sounds rather homoerotic to me...

I crept up the hill towards the Men's Shed and peered in through the keyhole the other day, hoping to see some, preferably naked, goings-on -  a cross between a Masonic Ritual and a Caligulan Orgy would have sufficed. Unfortunately, it was both silent and empty.  This does however allow my imagination to continue to run riot...

Things I like about Sydney No. 30: My favourite tree.

My favourite tree stands singly and singular at the entrance to Balls Head Reserve. It seems fairly ancient, on a small well-kept lawn, encircled by a low stone wall. It is currently laden with faded and  drying flowers and is, I believe, some form of banksia (not to be readily spotted in Islington anyway).

Things I like about Sydney No. 31: Sarah and Michael have invited their friends for breakfast, lunch and tea.

I introduced Sarah and Michael back in June. They were Sulphur Crested Cockatoos, new arrivals on the terrace at Glenview Street. Just like Thang and Kev, the rainbow lorikeets, they have since trumpeted the news of the good grub to be had at ours to all their friends. It's frankly getting quite out of hand.

Things I like about Sydney No. 31: Outsize and freaky Fungi.

Fungi can be divided into two broad groups, called ascomycetes and basidiomycetes, depending on how their sexual spores are formed. Many are however asexual or homosexual and therefore if they wanted to get married in Australia they wouldn't have a chance in hell. I mention this because there is about to be a general election in which the ONLY party that supports same-sex marriage is the Green party. The Prime Minister, who doesn't even have the excuse of religion as she declares herself to be an atheist, simply doesn't approve of the idea and that's that. When I casually drop the fact that Iceland has a female prime minister who has just married her female partner into conversations many Australians tend to look at me with either complete disbelief or horror. Sadly, none of them seem to already know this marvellous fact. So the fungi and I are going to stand up for our rights and go on a march on Saturday. Perhaps I'll dress up as a mushroom.


  1. None of them looks as if it'll go nicely with some grilled bacon for breakfast. Stick to eggs benedict

  2. I demand to know more about the shed! and the wonderfully monickered Smoothey Park. i am going to google both right now

  3. "Here, men can come and share a fantastic variety of tools and spend time with other men of similar interests - learning new skills for the first time (or keeping old skills honed and productive)."