Saturday, July 17, 2010

Battery Point

I have a few pics taken around the new office and the surrounding Battery Point neighbourhood. I explored a bit more today, in the course of finding a parking spot. There is 2 hour non-resident parking (stick with me, this will get less boring) which means we have to keep coming out, running 3 floors down the fire escape, then the same height up Kelly Steps and then however far to the car, move it enough to convince the council parking guys, then return. I get more exercise when I walk rather than take the car, but only just.

I only take the car on Fridays so I can nip up to the school for Chess Club. Today I had to move the car at 11.30, and scored pole position, right at the top of the steps. I had to abandon this at 12.30 to go to chess. When I got back, Kelly Street was full, and due to the amusing one-way system it took me another fifteen minutes to get a park in parallel South Street, some way off from work. But, as I was grumpily stalking down the incredibly narrow street, I looked around and thought - actually, this is pretty nice. Heritagey. (I will StreetView it and throw in some pics next week). As I walked down Kelly Street pole position was suddenly free again. Sigh. Urban angst.

Did I mention I lived in Kelly Street nearly twenty years ago? I worked nearby, and at knockoff time on Fridays I jogged home, grabbed some stuff, jogged down the steps and across the docks to Franklin Wharf, and there caught a tiny ferry to my then girlfriend's house in Bellerive. She flatted with a guy whose girlfriend also spent all weekend there. After some months of this, the no-nonsense landlady, who lived next door, said enough is enough: one of you couples is going to live here and the other one will have to go. She chose K and I more or less at random. I felt pretty bad for the guy who was suddenly kicked out, but ... not that bad. Anyway - my share house in Kelly St was so poky, you could fry an egg in the kitchen while turning on and off the shower.

Just around the corner is Arthur's Circus (a small circular residential street with a park in the middle, not some kind of tent-based amusement). Apparently in colonial times Governor Arthur granted himself this tasty bit of land, and came up with a novel way of  getting the maximum number of house lots out of it. Each lot is a wedge with a tiny frontage on the Circus. I drove around the Circus twice while hunting for a parking spot - it does start to lose its charm after a while.

I once designed a CD-ROM for some kind of Education Department history program about Battery Point. The point is named after the Prince of Wales Battery - an array of cannons erected in the 1890s to repel the Russians. The CD-ROM had little captions such as "Each Sunday the Queens Own Worcestershire Rifles fired the cannons at the Prince of Wales Battery for practice". One of the questions to be answered was "What would have happened if they had hit it?" The Caption Division and the Question Division of the D of E must have been in different buildings.

Opposite our office is the berth of the Aurora Australis, a bright orange icebreaker. My boss moans that it blocks the water views, but I like it - surely a large boat is a water view. Of sorts.

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