Weekend Coffee Share…3rd March, 2019.

Rowena in art galleryWelcome to Another Weekend Coffee Share!

This week, I thought we’d backpedal a little and have coffee at the Pavilion Kiosk in Sydney’s Domain, across the road from the Art Gallery of NSW. I’ve chosen a table a bit out the back, which is under the shade of a Morton Bay Fig tree and for that rustic touch, we’re perching on leaf litter. Hard to believe this place is only a stone’s throw from the busy CBD.


Brett Whiteley: Self-Portrait in the Studio at 36

I’ve brought you here, because I was here on Friday as I headed into the Art Gallery to see the Masters of Modern Art from  St Petersberg’s Hermitage Museum. I also wanted to squeeze in Brett Whiteley’s Exhibition:  Drawing Is Everything. Fortunately for you, I have my camera with me. So, as a whirled through these exhibitions like a cyclone, I committed what I could to “memory” and also bought the catalogue.


However, if you love and appreciate architecture, you might just want to rewind a little further and do a bit of a tour with me from St James’s Station on the edge of Hyde Park across the road to St James Banco Court and St James Church and then across the road to the Hyde Park Barracks, The Mint and Sydney Hospital.

I must admit that I was interested to note the statues of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert on opposite sides of Macquarie Street. They reminded me of John Keat’s: Ode to A Grecian Urn where the lovers are destined to spend eternity apart. I felt like giving Queen Victoria a bit of a shove across the road to be with Albert but then I saw what looked like a magic wand in her hand, which looked rather sinister and I decided to leave her alone. If she wants to be with Albert, she’ll have to find her own way there.

These buildings along Macquarie Street are among the very oldest public buildings in Australia and are well revered and loved. However, although I’ve admired them walking past, I had not been inside The Mint or Sydney Hospital and was gobsmacked by their stunning interiors with all their ornate design features. Naturally, they don’t make buildings like they used to and I love the high, lofty ceilings, incredible staircases and detailed touches like pressed tin and plaster ceilings etc. I could quite easily call one of these places “home”, even though you’d need an army to keep them clean.


The other thing I’d like to share with you about my trip to the Art Gallery, is that I ran into an old uni friend I haven’t seen for over 20-25 years. I was absolutely stoked, because I’ve lost track of quite a few really close friends from uni and most of them haven’t gone onto Facebook and I haven’t been able to track them down. While many people have come and gone throughout my life, there’s something special about my school and uni friends which is different to the rest. I also feel they know the person I’d describe as the “real me” a lot better, as I feel that this person is often swamped by responsibilities and chronic health issues and can be in absentia. My friend and I had a coffee together at the art gallery cafe and went through the exhibition together. It felt so good to see her. Moreover, after all my walking around, I was getting quite tired and just like she used to do, she took me under her wing. I do have a bit of a Paddington “Please take care of this bear” aura about me.


Above: Brett Whiteley: Head Studies 1971

It was good to get away, even just for the day, as I’ve been trying to get the house sorted. I have started out in the kitchen with what I’ve called: “The kitchen Revolution”. However,  my plans backfired. I might be wrong here, but it seems like order requires space. So, when you decompress everything in your cupboard and create space for what you put back, its a very clear case of: “Houston, we have a problem”. Just like many a backyard mechanic has found left over bit reassembling an engine, I have stacks and stacks of left over “crap” after I’ve removed the “really crappy crap”. While many might advise me to consult Marie Kondo on how to resolve my dilemma, I’m staying well away. Rather, I’m  secretly hoping that someone will accidentally knock the piles of leftover plates, bowls and what not, off the bench so I don’t have to make any more decisions. Yet, even then, I’d still need to find space in the bin. So, my troubles still wouldn’t be over. Indeed, it almost makes me wonder whether it would’ve been better to have left “well enough alone”.

As if I hadn’t done enough damage, I also made the mistake of buying two hibiscus plants at our local Bunnings Hardware store to add a splash of colour and Hawaiian delight to our decrepit front yard. However, given how many plants I’ve murdered, Geoff insisted that I plant them straight away. This meant that the kids and I were out under floodlights ripping out the long grass the mower had missed by the handful, while our resident orb spider was rebuilding its expansive network of web on the left of our letterbox and our daughter was trying to keep out. Not one to even do spontaneous gardening by halves, I trudged out to the worm farm and carried through buckets of squishy compost and a gazillion worms to give the hibiscus a fighting chance. This, of course, reminds me that it’s now Monday and I haven’t watered them since. Somehow, I’ve become a very bad and neglectful plant parent!

This coming week is going to be quite busy. Our son turns 15 on Friday and will be getting baptised on Sunday at Church. I’m quite stoked that our teenage son is choosing to get baptised rather than all the other things he could be getting up to. I take nothing for granted and parenting is a bit like going to the beach where “you never turn your back on the sea”. Yet, just as easily as one can be shocked, you can  also be pleasantly surprised. Not that his decision is a big surprise. He’s had his own faith for a long time and goes to youth every Friday night. This is something that I’ve felt has been between him and God and not just something thrust on him from Mum and Dad. I’ve decided to keep the celebrations fairly simple, because otherwise, I’ll get overwhelmed and fall in a screaming heap.

Well, after spending a lot of time turning around and editing photos, I’d better head back to the kitchen and see if I can knock off another pile. Oh yes…and water the plants on the way!

Hope you’ve had a great week.

This has been another Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Eclectic Ali.

Best wishes,




9 thoughts on “Weekend Coffee Share…3rd March, 2019.

  1. Antoinette Truglio Martin

    What an interesting outing. I too am a neglecting plant parent. My husband shames by questioning why I have not heard them screaming for water. Have a great week.

  2. Gary A Wilson

    Is there anything about our children when they were just a bit younger, that does not cause us to get all mushy and nostalgic? Not that I’ve found. . .

  3. Rowena Post author

    I used to be so much better and called my mother a plant killer. Her potted plants used to die of thirst sitting right beside the sink. At least mine have died outside. Hope you have a great week too.
    Best wishes,

  4. New Journey

    I have been absent, I am so sorry. Even though I am barely turning on my computer these days, your in my mind and I am always so a quick add to see what time it is on your side of the world, just so I can think about what you might me be up to!! LOL Sound like life is going well for you. How about donating all your cupboard clutter you don’t want to a good will or church. ?? Just a thought. I love that we have lots of thrift stores always ready to take my crap off my hands. LOL I have learned that living in Yuma we really didn’t do much but stay in the house and go for the occasional drive over the same roads we had already been on over and over again. Here in Tucson, there isn’t enough time in the day for us. Up early and we are out laying more bricks here, making walkways and paths to walk on instead of the rocks. Actually a lot of fun. We are having another pallet delivered on Monday. And we are getting a new roof so we need to remove everything off the deck and that means all my potted plants have to go somewhere with shade, we are going to work on that tomorrow. So since I have been here 6 months, I am starting to think about changing wall colors. LOL I have started by covering the ugly wall border that was up in the room off the kitchen. It was apples and red and not my to my liking at all. I have a real colored kitchen and a soft blue dining room, so red checks and apples weren’t very pleasing to they eye, She put the border in the middle of the wall, so I painted over it a soft slate blue, it already looks so much better. The kitchen walls are a brown, dirt color, so I am going to paint my kitchen white. It should brighten it up a lot. Seems like one project after another. We have had a fence put in the back part of the property, 480″, its almost done but we have been letting Chika out to run after birds and rabbits. She has yet to catch anything but, boy can she run!! So happy we finally found someone that would do it. Well I just noticed the time, I have been getting up at 5:30a and its close to 11p so I am off to bed, I promise I will be back in the morning with a nice cup of java and read all your post I have missed. Thinking of you from the desert!! Oh yes, my son and his girlfriend were here for a few days, really fun to spend time with them…night

  5. Rowena Post author

    Hi Kat,
    I’ve also been feeling guilty, as I haven’t been on my blog at all lately as I’ve gone underground writing and researching what’s going to be my first book: In Our Genes. I’m writing short biographical fiction about Geoff’s and my ancestors using the sort of thing you’ve read on my blog. I have one finished and three others underway. I’m not so much writing their bios but more focusing in on an incident, point in time and expanding on that. It’s working out really well so far. So, stay posted.
    I don’t need to imagine Chika running fast. Rosie snuck past me when I was getting through the door today and flew off across the road and down the laneway. My heart sank and the kids flew after her. Apparently, Miss started crying (not sure whether it was real or pretend) and she stopped and came. Phew. I as never a stay at home mum when my kids were small because we were often out. However, what with me writing and researching and sleeping, I’m home with these pups and thinking they need to go to daycare a few days a week. Also need to get the kids to walk them with me.
    All your home renovations sound great and like you’ve well and truly caught the bug. You won’t know the place.
    Well, I’d better head off.

  6. New Journey

    Can’t wait to enjoy your books. You are a wonderful writer and draws us right into the story. Yes life is good, shhhh I won’t say that to loud. LOL sending you warm wishes and hugsxx

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