Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Freeview and barbers

Saw a familiar face on TV just now. The latest Freeview advertising "more for me" features Enrico the barber of Annandale. He is something of a I was sitting in there when summoned to Samoa). and others mention him in their travelogues. Freeview seem to have difficulty comming to grips with mdia in the 21st century. Their media release for this new advertising campaign includes a web address, user id (moreforme) and password (launch09) of where to get a copy. It seems to have escaped their attention that they could simply put a copy on a service such as YouTibe, but then, if they did that why would we need digital broadcast TV?

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Eco-Annandale 2010 Exhibition

glass sculptureThe Eco-Annandale 2010 Exhibition runs 6 December 2009 to 30 January 2010 at the Leichhardt Library in Sydney.
Eco-Annandale 2010 Exhibition
6 December 2009 to 30 January 2010
Leichhardt Library, Piazza Level, Italian Forum 23 Norton St, Leichhardt

Monday-Friday:9.30am-8pm Saturday:9.30am-4pm Sunday:10am-4pm
  • Night Market: 5.30-7.30pm Wednesday 9th December 2009.
  • Night Market: 5.30-7.30pm Wednesday 16th December 2009.

Forestry and farming in the 18th and 19th Centuries, followed by residential and industry development denuded Annandale of most of its Local Provenance vegetation.

However, since 1995 a dedicated group of locals, who form the Rozelle Bay Community Native Nursery have propagated and reintroduced some of the plants which would have thrived in Annandale in earlier times. As a result of the reintroduction of this local provenance vegetation, native birds and animals which rely on these plants for food have followed. Insects, lizards and birds that feed on the lizards, insects and plants have established themselves in Annandale and provide the diversity of sounds in the dawn chorus.

A diversity of plants and animals provides security for food and air quality in an era of climate change. The diversity of species and genetic material means that particular plants may survive and others will die under new conditions. These plants enrich and secure the soil, filter the air we breathe and transpire the water that falls as rain in our dams and on our crops. The wider the range of plants the greater the chance is that there will be some which will thrive in new climatic conditions.

Plants absorb CO2 in the process of photosynthesis and are a natural Carbon Sink, making them an important in reducing Global Warming.

Plants such as Mangroves stabilize foreshores and mountainsides and protect against erosion and landslides, making them critical to mitigating the effects of rising sea levels due to Climate Change.

The focus of works in the Eco-Annandale 2010 exhibition (December 2009 and January 2010) will be Annandale's biodiversity. Entry to the exhibition is Free.

Marghanita da Cruz, Curator of Eco-Annandale.

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Monday, October 05, 2009

Violin, cello and walk in Sydney

Hunter Baillie Memorial Presbyterian Church, Cnr. Johnston & Collins Streets, Annandale, NSW, AustraliaEmma West (violin) and Emma-Jane Murphy (cello) will perform Partita No.3 in E major for solo violin, BWV 1006 and Suite for solo cello (J.S. Bach), plus Sonata for violin and cello (Maurice Ravel) on at the 2009 Spring Festival Concert, Hunter Baillie Church, Annandale, Sydney, 11 October 2009. The day before is the next Eco-Artists' Walk to the Whites Creek Wetlands and Wildlife Corridor (Facebook, blog ecoannau, twitter #ecoannau).

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Leaking water pipe in Annanale

At 2:30pm I noticed a MWS&DB SV cover leaking water at the corner of Booth and Johnston Streets Annandale Sydney (outside the North Annandale Hotel). I have report this to Sydney Water and will see how long it takes to fix. Worryingly Sydney Water say they normally take five working days, but currently are having in delays with a response. Curiously Sydney Water do not appear to have any way to report an emergency water or sewer fault via the web, only by telephone. At this stage the leak in Annandale is not an emergency, but if not fixed will risk public safety.

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Making local government accessible

Leichhardt Council have made their Draft Management Plan and Budget 2009/2013 available online. Unfortunately, as Annandale on the Web says, this 1.5 Mbyte 298 page PDF document is not particularly public friendly. The council might like to consider making the plan available as a set of web pages which meet accessibility standards, in accordance with the Australian Disability Discrimination Act. An automated test appears to indicate that at present the Council's web site does not comply with the Act.

While not a legal necessity, it would be useful to have the web pages follow mobile web guidelines. The Council page which describes the plan scores 62/100 on the W3C mobileOK Checker, which is not a good result. The council should aim for at least 90/100. This would make for a much easier to handle document, in small easy to download and read segments. As well as working on devices such as iPhones and Blackberries, this would make the plan easier to read on older computers with slow Internet connections.

But apart from the poor formatting, there is much to be positive about in the plan, including support for light rail.

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Historic home Open in Sydney

The contents of "The Abbey", Johnston Street, Annandale, Sydney are being auctioned this weekend. This is the collection of Dr Geoffrey Davis, physician. The rambling house is crammed with bookcases, chests, display cabinets and desks, with their original contents in place.

There is an interesting collection of musical instruments, a Broadwood grand piano and harp. There are rooms full of wax cylinder recordings, early disk records and Edison players. There are views of the Sydney Harbour brodge and the Sydney CBD including Centre point tower from the upper floors of the house. There is a garret with comfortable chair at the back. Unfortunately the toweris not open for inspection, as it has 260 degree views of inner west Sydney.

The auction for the contents is 23 and 24 May 2009, from 11am each day. There are thousands of items for sale. The Abbey is at 272 Johnston Street, Annandale 2038. There is a fully illustrated catalogue. Some items:

Full Catalogue Entry22Taxidermy of a parrot in glass domed case
Full Catalogue Entry28Set of three early toy cars
Full Catalogue Entry34Pair of model Train locomotive engines
Full Catalogue Entry41Leather cased Siemens 16mm movie camera with accessories
Full Catalogue Entry58Cased magnifying glass
Full Catalogue Entry167C19th Sebastian Erard Patent Harp
Full Catalogue Entry168John Broadwood & Sons London walnut cased parlour Grand Piano
Full Catalogue Entry648HMV Gramophone with built in speaker in cabinet
Full Catalogue Entry649The Walking Machine Co
Full Catalogue Entry650Oak veneered music cabinet with two doors and a fitted interior
Full Catalogue Entry651Edison Amberola in oak case serial no
Full Catalogue Entry652R Klitz and Son Boxed music saloon gramophone
Full Catalogue Entry653Edison Amberola player serial 633979
Full Catalogue Entry654Old phonograph housing including contents (records)
Full Catalogue Entry655Pair of amplfying horns
Full Catalogue Entry656Three speaker boxes
Full Catalogue Entry657Edison Amberola player in oak casing serial number 487748
Full Catalogue Entry658Three reference books on Edison
Full Catalogue Entry659Large Phillips Radio Player
Full Catalogue Entry660German projector in case plus a Siemans early amplifier
Full Catalogue Entry661Phillips gramophone
Full Catalogue Entry662Decca Portable phonograph
Full Catalogue Entry663Edison Disc phonograph C19-SM173603 in fitted oak cabinet with fretwork decoration
Full Catalogue Entry664Collection of four signed photographs of Opera stars
Full Catalogue Entry665Shelf lot of tins containing gramophone needles
Full Catalogue Entry666AWA Bakelite Radiola
Full Catalogue Entry759Edison Amberola Phonograph SN 3710 in cabinet
Full Catalogue Entry760Edison dictaphone type B
Full Catalogue Entry761Three various phonograph related metal signs plus a tin
Full Catalogue Entry762Box of Amberols in a leather case
Full Catalogue Entry763Eight drawers of Amberols including ballad, opera, comedic, jazz etc chest of drawers included in the lot
Full Catalogue Entry764Three shelves of books on Gramophones, opera and the record guide
Full Catalogue Entry765Cascade Mark II Bond & Sons gramophone player with external horn
Full Catalogue Entry1085Book press
Full Catalogue Entry1335External electrical lantern - ex-harbour bridge

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

King Furniture Delta Modular Furniture

Back when specifying the the fit-out for my "Smart Apartment" in 2001 I included a sofa bed from King Furniture. I purchased a Delta model from the King range. This is their lowest cost range and most modular. While not cheap, this has worked well as both a sofa and an occasional guest bed

Searching for Sofa Bed
Recently a friend needed a guest bed for a visit by a guest and we did the rounds of the discount furniture stores looking for a cheap fold up bed for a few hundred dollars. Having found nothing, we happened to go past the King Furniture store in Parramatta Road, Annandale in Sydney.

As usual there was a large sign saying "sale" draped across the front of the building. Having nothing better to do we went in, with little hope of a bargan. We realised that the average sofa in the store cost thousands, not hundreds of dollars. The sales people looked a little insulted when told we wanted a sofa bed by the next day. The delivery time on the carefully custom made sofas is weeks or months. They then reluctantly suggested looking in the remainders warehouse across the road.

The Annandale King Furniture warehouse is an anonymous white industrial looking building which I had assumed was part of the adjacent car tire store. The building is kept locked and we had to wait for the sales person to arrive with the key. They opened the door to reveal hundreds of sofas. These were mostly Delta units in imitation suede fabric (of the type I decided to have in my Smart Apartment in place of leather). The problem was then to find enough modules of a suitable colour. This is made difficult because of the very wide range of colours available and there being two models of almost identical sofa design. Eventually we found two modules, with a back, which would make a chaise longue and convert to a single sofa bed, for less than $1,000.

While much more than the few hundred dollars for the typical folding bed, this makes a much more comfortable bed and also an extremely comfortable chair.

Delta Modular System
The Delta sofa system is designed on a 800 mm square unit which has sockets on each side to hold backs, arms, or tables. Modules can be temporally clipped together or perminatly bolted. One unit makes a ottoman, clip on a backrest and you have a chair, add arms and you have an arm chair. Two modules with one back back at the end and one arm on the side makes a chaise longue, two backs at the back make a sofa. Add a module to the sofa to make a corner lounge. There are also small tables which can be plugged into the sockets.

A typical package consists of two double module units forming a corner lounge and one module to make a matching arm chair. The clever part of the system is that you can change it around later, without the need for an tools. Several acquaintances have bought supposedly modular lounges only to find that the corner of the lounge is at the wrong end, or they would prefer to have two small units, but are unable to change it later as it has all be permanently assembled into one shape in the factory. The Delta arrives in bits and you put it together they way you want and can change it.

Unlike a regular sofa bed, which has the mattress recessed under the seat, with the Delta, the seat is the mattress. The bed option consists of two metal bars with a right angle bend in them. These are used in place of the usual backrest connectors and allow the backrest to be laid flat to form a headrest of the bed. Two modules and a back make a king length single bed. Four modules and two backrests make a double bed. While the sofa bed looks a bit ungainly when assembled, it is extremely comfortable.

Two Delta Systems

The original Delta design from King Furniture, which I purchased, had the sockets to clip arms and backs into as bolt on units, on the outside of the sides of the modules. When ordering a chair, you had to specify how many sockets you wanted and where. Each socket was covered in fabric to match the chair. The result was less flexibility.

After buying my chair, I suggested to King that they instead install the sockets inside the top of the modules. In this way the sockets would be invisible (hidden by the cushion on top of the module) and could be installed standard on all chairs. This was done for the series 2 of the the Delta. The same backs and arms can be used between the two systems, with slightly different connecting rods being used.

Another change was that originally the fabric covered arms for the chairs were semi-permanently bolted to the bases. As a result I ordered no arms and used the rectangular wooden tables instead, as these can be moved (and can easily be used to stand a coffee cup). Later chairs have the same socket system used for the arms, allowing them to be moved.

Selling a Standard Unit
Buying a modular chair is a bewildering experience due to the number of options and combinations of options. This is made more complex with the Delta system, due to the ability to rearrange the modules. The sales staff are trained to take the customer though the options and are perhaps a little too proud of this skill.

When I suggested in 2001 that there should be a standard offering to make the process simpler, the sales staff were a little shocked. I eventually ended up buying one two module unit to form a sofa, with two backs and two side tables. With this I purchased two single module units. With one module at the end of the sofa and one it front, this form a long corner sofa. This can be reformed to make a double bed.

I suggested to the staff this arrangement could be offered as a standard configuration in a limited range of colours. They seemed shocked at the idea their very custom product would be reduced to a standard offering. But since them King have offered a standard corner lounge, consisting of two two module units, three backs and sometimes an extra single chair.

On the recent visit to the store I again suggested a standard offering, with the staff again expressing concern. In this case we needed furniture then and there and ideally something we could take away in a compact hatchback car (a Honda Civic). The 800 mm Delta module is small enough to fit into small car and with some effort a two module unit 1600 x 800 mm fitted into the back of the Civic. But it occurred to me that a small system was possible.

If the furniture maker confined itself to the 800 mm module, the units would fit in a small car, or fit on a standard industrial pallet for bulk delivery. To make the modules smaller, they could be vacuum packed, with the foam padding compressed, making the module half as high (the legs screw on and so can be left off for shipping). The frame of the modules is about 150 mm high, with a cushion 150 mm high on top. When compressed the cushion would be about 20mm high. Six modules would fit on a standard size pallet into the back of a small van, such as a Volkswagen Caddy.

The padded backrests could be similarly compressed. in this way a corner sofa should fit in a small hatchback car. To make the purchase simpler, a limited colour range stocked in the store could be offered. Such units could also be sold over the Internet.

To make the shipped modules even smaller, the zips on the bas of the unit could be extended, to allow the hollow base to be used to hold some of the components. As an example, a back, cushion, the legs and one pillow could fit in the base. But this might not be a good idea for take home sales, as it would make the modules much heavier.

See also:
  1. RAVE - King Furniture
  2. King furniture - anyone bought from there?

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Ecologically Sustainable Annandale 2009 Exhibition

An "Ecologically Sustainable Annandale 2009 Exhibition" is being run at the Leichhardt Library in Sydney, 30 December 2008 - 31 January 2009. This features glass and discarded packaging sculpture, photographs and drawings inspired by local themes.

Events in association with the exhibition:

Eco-Annandale 2009 Exhibition

Leichhardt Library, Italian Forum, Norton St, Leichhardt (Sydney)
31 December 2008-31 January 2009

  • Opening - Meet the Artists

    Leichhardt Library, Italian Forum, Norton St
    6pm-7.30pm Wednesday 7 January 2009
    RSVP Tuesday 6 January 2009
    Telephone 93679338/93679266
    or email: localhistory@lmc.nsw.gov.au

  • Morning Talk

    Rozelle Bay Community Native Nursery
    9am-10am Friday 16th January 2009
    Meet at Nursery, Chapman St (East), Annandale

  • Twilight Talk

    Federal Park Wetlands
    Meet at Federal Park Wetlands (Chapman St - East), Annandale
    Date: TBA

  • Twilight Talk

    Whites Creek Wetlands
    Meet at Whites Creek Wetlands (end of Wisdom St) Annandale
    Date: TBA

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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Ecologically Sustainable Annandale 2009 Exhibition

Ecologically Sustainable Annandale 2009, an Exhibition of Photographs and Artworks focusing on Annandale's Ecosystem will be held at the Leichhardt Library, in Sydney, 30 December 2008 - 31 January 2009.

Ecologically Sustainable Annandale
2009 Exhibition

An Exhibition of Photographs and Artworks focusing on Annandale's Eco-System

Curator: Marghanita da Cruz

Artists: Margot Alexander (Slumped & kiln fired glass) - Sue Kallas (Pencil & Water Colour) - Viki Alonso - Susanne Martain - Joel Tarling - Marghanita da Cruz

Leichhardt Library, 30 December 2008 - 31 January 2009

Talks and Special Events

Contact us if you would like to give a talk or sponsor an event

Subscribe to RSS Feed, or register for an alert to be notified about events.

This group exhibition features plants and animals that would have been familiar in Annandale before 1788. Annandale was cleared for its valuable timbers and farming during the 19th Century. Between 1898 and 1938, Whites Creek and Johnstons Creek, on the boundaries of Annandale, were concreted as Stormwater Channels 951 and 55 2, to improve the sanitation of now Urban Annandale.

In 1994, Ted Floyd a local resident, initiated the Friends of the Earth "Living water Project" 3. Since then, two Wetlands have been constructed in Annandale to filter Storm Water before it enters Sydney harbour. In 2001 the Federal Park Tidally-Influenced Salt Marsh Wetland was constructed and the next year a series of ponds were constructed to create the Whites Creek Wetlands.

In the 1990s4, local residents sought to reintroduce local provenance plants to encourage native birds to return to Annandale. They established The Rozelle Bay Community Native Nursery. Volunteers propagate plants from nearby bushland. This stock is then used by the Rozelle Bay and Callan Park bushcare groups. Thanks to the tireless co-ordination of Beth Buchannen and many other volunteers, a wide range of local provenance species are again thriving around Annandale.

  1. Sydney Water S170 Heritage Register Whites Creek Stormwater Channel No 95
  2. Sydney Water S170 Heritage Register Johnstons Creek Stormwater Channel No 55
  3. FOE - Living Water Project
  4. Bringing Back Biodiversity to Cities: beyond social and physical health - Section 4.4 Case Study on Rozelle Bay Community Native Nursery (82KB PDF)

This exhibition is proudly supported by Ramin Communications as an extension of Annandale on the Web.

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Leichhardt Espresso Chorus, 30 November, Sydney

  Hunter Baillie Memorial Presbyterian ChurchThe 2008 Spring Festival of Music Concert Series in Annandale (Sydney), continues next weekend with the Leichhardt Espresso Chorus, 30 November at 3pm. Tickets can be booked.

The last concerts for 2009 at the Hunter Baillie Church will be Kirsten Williams, violin & Jane Rosenson, harp: Bach, Elgar, Kreisler, Saint-Saens, Westlake and Gershwin, 7 December.

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Big Red Metrobus in Sydney

Yesterday I was in a hurry to get from Norton Street (Sydney's Little Italy) to the Sunday concert by The Song Company in the 2008 Spring Festival of Music Concert Series. In answer to my prayer, along came a big red new Metrobus. This is a new service which commenced operation yesterday and is being trialled for 12 months. As the name implies the service operates like a metro: there is no timetable, with buses instead arriving at set frequent intervals (every 10 minutes in peak hours, 15 minutes off peak, 20 minutes on weekends).

As the service had just been introduced there were two extra staff on board to hand out pamphlets and explain the service. The buses are claimed to carry more people that a standard bus, but looked the same to me. They are fitted with an electronic display showing the next stop and an automatic voice announcement. The bus I was on is a single unit, but articulated ones are also being used.

The pamphlet and the bus stop signs are an improvement on previous STA bus information. The metro style maps are easy to understand and to work out where to change to other transport. The roadside signs lack a countdown timer to tell you when the next bus is leaving, but the on-board staff explained that these signs are planned.

The buses do not accept cash and all tickets must be purchased before boarding. This will cause some inconvenience but greatly reduces bus loading time. It is also safer than the arrangement in Melbourne with trams (and buses in Thessaloniki), where patrons have to attempt to buy a ticket from a machine on-board a moving vehicle. There are newsagents and other vendors selling tickets near most bus stops.

The Metrobus is a cost effective and realistic answer to some of Sydney's transport problems, unlike the unworkable "North West Metro". However, there is a danger the Metrobus trial will fail due to a lack of investment. Some areas where it could be improved are:
  1. Usable Web Site: Sydney Buses provide a minimum of information about the service on the web in a difficult to read format. Instead of large, slow to download and hard to read PDF documents, the Brochure, Route Map, Download the TravelTen calculator should be provided in the form of web pages accessible by the disabled and usable on a mobile phone. The Wikipedia entry for the service provides better information than the official government web site.
  2. Next bus electronic sign: Each stop needs an electronic sign counting down to when the next bus leaves. These signs need to provide an accurate estimate. When I tried the Perth "Cat" system, the signs were so inaccurate as to be useless and discouraged patronage, rather than helping it. STA should invest in a reliable system which uses real time displays with wireless links to a GPS reporting bus. The signs could be solar powered in most cases.
  3. Next Bus Cafe: Electronic signs could be installed in cafes near the stops and the the staff encouraged to help patrons with bus information.
  4. Better road access: While the Metrobuses are new and have a good ride, the service suffers from the poor Sydney roads. The NSW government should repair the road surface along the bus lane for the Metrobus route to improve the ride and speed up the service. Bus priority traffic lights would further improve the service. Also the buses could be equipped with with traffic cameras, linked to the RTA Transport Management Centre, with a button for the driver to report a traffic problem. The RTA central controllers could then see and act on problems effecting the buses. An additional option would be to fit the buses out with mobile traffic infringement cameras, so that vehicles parked in bus stops and otherwise impeding the service could be issued with fines immediately.
  5. Electronic tickets: Sydney needs a workable electronic ticketing system, such as the Akbil system used by Istanbul Public Transport. Sydney has abandoned one electronic ticket system (Tcard) and is planning to install another system which will not work. Sydney needs to rationalise its fare structure before an electronic ticketing system will be workable. One option would be to propose the Australian Government fund a national standardised system and have it piloted on the Sydney Metrobus.

Name of stationStop numberLocations servedConnections

Market Place Leichhardt22WLeichhardt Market Place
Elswick Street21WLeichhardt
Cromwell Street
(Eastbound only)
Leichhardt Town Hall20WLeichhardt, Norton Street Palace Cinema
Norton Plaza19WNorton Street Plaza
Norton Street18WNorton Street Italian Forum
Catherine Street17WSydney Institute of TAFE - Petersham College
Percival Road16WAnnandale, Stanmore
Johnston Street15WAnnandale
Bridge Road14WAnnandale
Denison Street
(Westbound only)
13/14WCamperdown, Annandale
Mallett Street13WCamperdown
Missenden Road12WRoyal Prince Alfred Hospital
Larkin Street11WUniversity of Sydney
Ross Street10WUniversity of Sydney
Sydney Uni (Footbridge)9WUniversity of Sydney
Sydney Uni (Main Gate)
(Westbound only)
8/9WUniversity of Sydney
Victoria Park8WUniversity of Sydney, Victoria Park, Broadway Shopping Centre
Broadway7WBroadway, Broadway Shopping CentreBus: Newtown, Glebe Point Road
Abercrombie Street6WBroadway, Ultimo
Unversity of Technology (UTS)5WUTS, Broadway, Ultimo, Haymarket
Railway Square4WRailway Square, Sydney Institute of TAFE, Ultimo, HaymarketTrain: Central Station
Bus: Northern Beaches
Rawson Place3WChinatown, Paddy's Markets, Haymarket
(Westbound only)
2/3WChinatown, Paddy's Markets, Haymarket
World Square2WChinatown, World Square, Town Hall
Sydney Town Hall1WTown Hall, Queen Victoria Building, St. Andrew's Cathedral, George St CinemasTrain: Town Hall Station
Park Street City1ETown Hall, The Galeries Victoria, Pitt Street MallMonorail: Galeries Victoria
Hyde Park2EHyde Park
Museum3EHyde Park, Downing CentreTrain: Museum Station
Bus: Bondi Beach, Paddington, Bondi Junction, Bronte
Brisbane Street4EWhitlam Square
Riley Street5EOxford Square
Taylor Square6ETaylor Square, St Vincent's Hospital, University of Notre Dame Australia
Albion Street7ESurry Hills, UNSW College of Fine Arts
South Dowling Street
(Eastbound only)
7/8ESurry Hills
Moore Park8EMoore Park, Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney Football Stadium
Cleveland Street9EMoore Park, Fox Studios, Entertainment QuarterBus: Randwick, Coogee
Robertson Street10EMoore Park, Centennial Park
Alison Road
(Eastbound only)
10/11EMoore Park Supa Centa
Carlton Street11ERandwick Racecourse
Ascot Street12ERandwick Racecourse
Todman Ave13EKensington
Addison Street14EKensington
Doncaster Avenue15EKensington
UNSW16EUniversity of New South Wales
Barker Street17EUniversity of New South Wales
Middle Street18EKingsford
Kingsford Nine Ways19EKingsfordBus: Maroubra, La Perouse

From: Metrobus, Wikipedia, 2008

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Annandale 2008 Spring Festival of Music

  Hunter Baillie Memorial Presbyterian ChurchThe 2008 Spring Festival of Music Concert Series in Annandale (Sydney), commences today at 3pm. Tickets for the later concerts can be booked. All concerts are on Sundays at the at the Hunter Baillie Church:
  1. Sunrise String Quartet: Dvorak & Haydn, 21 September.
  2. The Song Company, cappella ensemble, 12 October.
  3. Leichhardt Espresso Chorus, 30 November.
  4. Kirsten Williams, violin & Jane Rosenson, harp: Bach, Elgar, Kreisler, Saint-Saens, Westlake and Gershwin, 7 December.

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Waltzing Matilda

On Sunday the Song Company six person vocal ensemble performed at the Hunter Baillie Memorial Presbyterian Church, Annandale, Sydney. They started with medieval music and moved up to the present day, then for a finale sang Australia's unofficial national anthem, Waltzing Matilda in four languages: English, French, German, and Queenslander. They will be featuring this in a Songs of Oz series of concerts in 2008.

Some samples of their music are free online, CDs can be purchased direct from the Song Company, and some music is available from Amazon.com.

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Friday, September 07, 2007

Thai Prime Minister at APEC in Sydney visiting Buddhist temple in Annadale

Thai PM Sydney at APECThinking I was safe from the chaos of the APEC meeting in Sydney, I was barbecuing some kangaroo on the balcony in Sydney when a dozen motorcycle police came past and blocked the street outside. The Thai prime minister the arrived to visit the the Buddhist temple opposite in Annandale.

The scene involved security people in ill fitting suits and wrap around sunglasses talking into the cuffs of their coats, and even someone going past on a Segway.

Later on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, of the Kingdom of Thailand provided an official photo on their web site:
Prime Minister of Thailand visits Wat Buddharangsee in Annandale

After the meeting, the Prime Minister along with Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Commerce visited Wat Buddharangsee at Annandale in order to perform religious practices and met with more than 300 Thai people who are living in the vicinity areas. In this occasion, the Prime Minister talked to those who came to welcome him about current political and economic situations in Thailand. ...

From: Prime Minister of Thailand arrives in Sydney for APEC Summit, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, of the Kingdom of Thailand, September 8, 2007

ps: BBQ Kangaroo: Take one de-boned leg of kangaroo, place on a very hot BBQ plate with sunflour oil. Sear both sides. Add garlic, pepper and two cups of red wine. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for ten minutes.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Community and Environmental Facility at White Street

This is a comment on Development Application: D/2007/31, 31 White St, Lilyfield NSW 2040: "$500,000 Alterations and additions to existing building".

This was previously described as the "Community and Environmental Facility at White Street", in the Leichhardt Municipal Council Media Release 19 January 2004:
"Concept plans for a new and unique multi-use community facility in Annandale ... The major focus of the project is to retain as much of the existing structure as possible whilst incorporating many innovative environmental features. The plans include composting toilets, on site waste water treatment, use of solar and wind power and community veggie gardens. ... The design of the centre incorporates meeting rooms, office space and an education centre. ..."
While the media release talks about "composting toilets, on site waste water treatment, use of solar and wind power", of these only a solar hot water system appears to be included in the plans submitted for the building. Composting toilets, on site waste water treatment, and wind power appear to have been dropped.

I suggest enhancing the water conservation features which are in the design by:
  1. Increasing the size of the proposed water tank and expanding its use,
  2. Increasing the water saving rating of fixtures from AAA to AAAA.
Also I suggest the council place all future plans, online for community consultation. By not providing the detailed plans online the council is excluding a large section of the community from consultation and is increasing the cost of the planning process.


The plans include a 5,000 l rainwater tank for watering the gardens. But the tank is too small and too limited in use to make a significant contribution to water savings. I suggest the tank be increased by six times to about 30,000 litres in capacity and the water be used for flushing the toilets as well as watering the garden. A larger tank would not take up significantly more space. nor significantly increase the cost of the project. It would provide much greater water savings.

Comparison of tank sizes:

Capacity (Litres) Height (m) Diameter (m) Cost Model
5,000 2.08 1.83 $1,190.00 1913
27,000 2.67 3.85 $3,793.00 2046

Tanks and prices from Irrigation Warehouse used for comparison.


The plans call for Water Services Association Australia (WSAA) AAA (3A) rated water fixtures. I suggest this be increased to the more efficient AAAA (4A) rating.


Local authorities, such as that of the ACT, publish the full details of development applications online. The Leichhardt Municipal Council does not appear to do this and instead just publishes a list of applications and then requires the community to obtain a paper copy of the plans.

In the case of the Facility at White Street, the consultants were required by the Council to provide their plans in an electronic format. It should therefore have not been difficult to provide these online.

Not providing the plans online reduces the ability of the community be consulted. It also increases the cost to the Council (and ultimately to the community) by having to produce and distribute more paper copies. I suggest the Council implement an online process.


* Technology for Energy and Water Efficient Houses
* Energy and Water Saving Books and Products

ps: If you are wondering why someone with a Canberra address is commenting on part of Sydney, I spend part of my time there:

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Cliff Hardy to Newtown?

Peter Corris' novel "Saving Billie" has his detective Cliff Hardy moving office to Newtown in Sydney, having found Kings Cross too gentrified. Perhaps Mr. Corris might like to set a story around the New Theatre. This has a rich history of involvement in left wing union politics and a cast of actors from TV soap operas.

Another spot would be the Hunter Baillie Church in Annandale. They run spring concerts with people who might be straight out of one of an English detective novel set in a village.

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Monday, October 02, 2006

Songs for Spring in Sydney

On Sunday I attended the first of the 2006 Spring Festival of Music Concert Series at the Hunter Baillie Church in Annandale (Sydney).

The setting, with the church spire, spring flowering trees and cucumber sandwiches in the church hall, was very much like something from a fictional English village, depicted in TV shows such as Midsomer Murders. The concerts are run to aid the church organ fund and the vicar will tell you the roof is in need of repair.

The first concert was by the The Song Company. They performed several of the works from their new CD "As a Lily". You can try the sample of "SICUT LILIUM" by Antonio Brumel (c.1460 - c.1515).

The church music got a little tiring after a while and was relieved by the very secular "Bat's Ultrasound" with words by Les Murray and music by Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen.

The performance ended on a whimsical "Waltzing Matilda" sung in French and German. I have suggested they might like to try the 'Queensland version'.

The Song Company is shortly off for a performance in China. Perhaps the Beijing 2008 Olympics should invite them to perform.

Coming up in the Spring Festival are:

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