Monday, April 26, 2010

Back from the Big Smoke

We are back from our lightning quick trip to Sydney which we still managed to drag out by rushing to witness part of the ANZAC Day march in George Street, zipping through The Powerhouse Museum and detouring on the way home for late afternoon tea in the Southern Highlands town of Berrima.

Charly woke me early for our traditional exploratory walk.  We always slope off together when we are travelling, tip-toeing carefully in the morning darkness so as not to disturb the others, and explore the area around where we are staying.  It was a drizzly morning on Darling Harbour, but we were undeterred.  Restaurant staff were cleaning up from the night before and nightclub patrons at one venue were still raving but otherwise we had the entire harbour to ourselves.  We walked passed the King Street Wharf to the very end of the pedestrian precinct at the Sydney Port Auhority Passenger Terminal.  We ventured a short way along Hickson Road tentatively planning to walk down to Walsh Bay and The Observatory, but the city streets were a bit too desolate and foreboding and the distance, we realistically assessed, was too ambitious, so we backtracked to the hotel and a buffet breakfast.  Thus undoing my efforts to eat well and in moderation.

I was also reminded of the need to stretch and bend more as I sat, like a pudding, in the audience at the Opera House for the The Australian Ballet's performance of The Silver Rose.  Principal Artist, Lucinda Dunn, danced the lead role of The Marschellin, with strength and maturity, but the one who stole the show for me was soloist Ty King-Wall, a New Zealand dancer, who played the role of Octavian, her young lover.  It was a magic performance, with comedic parts involving cross-dressing as the Marschellin's maid, and intensely passionate characterisations of scorned affection and young, true love.  He proved that his technical skills were equalled by his acting ability.   He's my vote for the 2010 Telstra Ballet Dancer Award. 

The rest of our stay, regrettably, confirmed that Sydney would not be my choice of a place to live despite its proximity to the sea, my major longing.  Even the desire to visit is waning.  Its concrete, compactness oppresses me.  The ramshackle shops, blocks of flats, high-rises and houses, the motorways, expressways, tunnels and narrow roads.  There is just not enough green space, or any space.  It's claustrophic. I've come home gasping.

Photos by Charly and The Australian Ballet


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