Monday, October 25, 2010

The House Opposite the Greenwich Ferry Stop

Things I Like About Sydney No. 37: the house opposite the Greenwich Ferry stop.

Sniff and I have discovered two new walks recently and one of them is very close to home. All we have to do is drive to the shops on Greenwich Road, carry on past them towards the sea and stop at Shell Park on the right. From there we can walk along a waterside path that takes us down to the Greenwich Ferry stop and to great views over towards Cockatoo Island (scene of former artistic triumphs) in one direction and the Harbour Bridge and City in the other.

The beginning of the walk is very unprepossessing - opposite Shell Park is some kind of gas and oil works (hence the sponsored name, Shell) and there are some alarming signs dotted about:

These warnings were not enough for the poor ring-tailed possum we found the other day.... Hercules Cooper will have to re-open the investigations into random corpses begun way back in May...

Not only was this possum very freshly killed it was quickly followed by another shocking  discovery:

the ant-ridden corpse of a snake. This may be a Yellow-Faced Whip Snake which is, yes indeedy, venomous, but I am having trouble identifying it properly. It had a greenish-blue tinge to its belly and tapered to a very fine tail. I didn't want to get too close because it was crawling with very large red ants and they can give you a very nasty bite. A similar ant attached its ferocious mandibles to Sniff's fore paw the other day and refused to let go. I had to beat it off with a stick. Sniff, having been well and truly bitten, whimpered and trembled and refused to walk for hours (which was rather problematical as we'd just driven for an hour and an half out of Sydney to the Strickland State Forest with the intention of spending the day walking...and the only reason we went there was because you were allowed to take dogs...ho hum).

(He's alright now by the way).

Ignoring the piling-up of corpses and the oil works you can be rewarded with views like this at the beginning of the walk to Greenwich Ferry:

and with views like this at the end:

with the added bonus of constant views like whilst walking:

so all in all it is very lovely. And if you were to come and stay I would pop you on the ferry at the end of the walk and send you off into the becalming waters to Circular Quay and some champagne at the Opera House Bar.

Directly opposite the very quaint ferry stop which, with its wooden walkways and itinerant fishermen looks like something time forgot, is a house which arouses inordinate jealousy in me every time I see it. A beautiful turn of the century building with views straight over the water to Cockatoo Island. If I were to sell our house in London then possibly, possibly we might be able to afford it and then I could stand on that upstairs verandah, walking up and down the widow's walk, looking out to sea like the French Lieutenant's Woman or Mrs Gummidge out of David Copperfield or something out of E Annie Proulx's The Shipping News waiting for Daniel to struggle home across the waters from Performance Space...

Not that I'm complaining about our lovely shack in the bush. Especially as we have a new visitor doing the feeding rounds: the inordinately beautiful Simon, a King Parrot.

He's becoming bolder by the day and now eats from my hand - something the cockatoos aren't allowed to do since one rather savagely bit Daniel last week leaving two nasty indentations on either side of his thumb. As they can destroy woodwork in seconds with their beaks I think Daniel got off lightly....But nevertheless, someone should tell them not to bite the hand that feeds them...


  1. Steady on old chap! Don't be beguiled by the verandah - remember - red ants and their depradations are unknown in Islington

  2. do you have a suitable dress for promenading on the veranda a la french lieutenant's woman?