Tag Archives: signs

Watch Your Step: Coffee in Sydney’s Surry Hills.

If ever there was a sign written for me, this was it!

Somehow, as I was walking along Devonshire Street in Sydney’s Surry Hills, these words leaped out at me. Hit me straight between the eyes.

Bang! Rowena, this message is for you!

Watch your step! Tread carefully. Don’t rush and definitely don’t trip…an excellent life lesson really.

I don’t know if you believe in serendipity, signs, fortune tellers and all of that but if you’d met me in the flesh, you’d know this sign was put there for me. Me of “broke my foot walking on grass” fame: https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2014/12/19/oh-christmas-boot/

I also had a spectacular stack in Surry Hills last year where I thoroughly grated my knee, despite using my walking stick at the time. Not to be deterred, I didn’t jump straight back on the train but marched up a rather steep Albion Street up to Crown Street and enjoyed a wonderful lunch after buying an industrial strength stick-on dressing. That scrape was so bad, I needed antibiotics.

Nasty! Nasty! Nasty!

Devonshire Street, Surry Hills outside the Sly Cafe.

Devonshire Street, Surry Hills outside the Sly Cafe.

Moreover, I have to admit that when I stumbled across the sign, I was actually rather lost and completely off-course. Yet again, I couldn’t quite work out how this jumble of streets somehow interconnected. I had actually been heading for Albion Street and although Devonshire Street is still in Surry Hills, it’s almost in a separate universe.

So you can understand why this sign spoke to me in such a personal way…especially as I wasn’t meant to be there.

But who am I to argue with destiny and what was “meant to be”?

Or, in the words of John Lennon:

“Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.”

I know I really should be writing about the cappuccino and toastie I had there. They were great and very well priced.

However, I wasn’t in Surry Hills as a food critic…more of an explorer.

I had a medical appointment at 2.30 PM at Royal North Shore Hospital (which I must confess is nowhere near Surry Hills but at least, it is in Sydney) Applying my carpe diem seize the day approach, I like to drop the kids off at school and go off on a few detours before these appointments. Take what you could describe as “sanity breaks”. These days, that means sneaking off to Surry Hills, where my ancestors lived after arriving from Ireland back in the 1850s. I started out exploring their old nooks and crannies and now just find myself wondering around discovering quirky odds and sods and almost feeling at home.

This brings me to another discovery at the Sly Cafe, they had the most amazing light fittings cut out of old crystal glassware. This has given me a few ideas for our place. We’ve had to ditch our light covers after installing the you-beaut electricity-saving light bulbs Geoff bought. With all my vintage tea cups and “stuff”, I thought something like this would fit in extremely well at home.

Light Fittings, Sly Cafe.

Light Fittings, Sly Cafe.

What I like about Surry Hills, and this certainly applies to the Sly Cafe, is that you have an experience. While my food and drink were great, what I really loved was the ambiance. That there were so many little things to check out from the light fittings through to the recycled timber etc. It wasn’t some pre-fabricated, mass-produced excuse for somewhere to go.

There’s still more to uncover there because I understand that a sly grog shop used to operate on the premises (hence the name) and that sounds like quite a story. I love intrigue.

Anyway, here’s a link through to their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SLYSurryHills

Plus, I’m very pleased to report that the sign must’ve brought me good luck. While all my diversions made me run a little late for my medical appointment, there were no accidents. I remained upright.

This would suggest that it wasn’t just me watching my steps. It was a case of divine intervention!

xx Rowena

Finding Signs

So often we are looking for a sign, some kind of indication about which direction to take, which choice to make or maybe some pearl of wisdom which will permanently change of our lives. As much as I looked for signs in the past, I now realise that I was really wanting someone else to make those difficult decisions for me so I could sit in the passenger seat, instead of driving my self.

That said, I still appreciate a good sign and here are a few I found in my travels around Surry Hills and the Sydney CBD when I was in town last week for the Sydney Writer’s Festival.

Hope you are having a great week. We have been enjoying summer temperatures here even though winter kicks in next week…a disturbing sign of the times perhaps.

xx Rowena

 

I finally cut my ponytail off last December but I do recall many either rushed or lazy mornings where my hair was quickly ponytailed away.

I finally cut my ponytail off last December but I do recall many either rushed or lazy mornings where my hair was quickly ponytailed away.

Above: Found outside a hairdressing salon in Surry Hills.

 

This was written beside the Buddist Temple in Surry Hills. Looked interesting especially in the light of the area's Irish heritage. Times have changed.

This was written beside the Buddist Temple in Surry Hills. Looked interesting especially in the light of the area’s Irish heritage. Times have changed.

 

 

I should stick this sign beside my bed so it is easier to get up in the morning.

I should stick this sign beside my bed so it is easier to get up in the morning.

 

Handprints-  Riley Street, Surry Hills

Handprints- Riley Street, Surry Hills

Outside a restaurant in Fitzroy Street, Surry Hills only doors away from where the Curtin family business operated for many years.

Outside a restaurant in Fitzroy Street, Surry Hills only doors away from where the Curtin family business operated for many years.

The Big Question- spotted in a boutique window in Macquarie Street, Sydney across from the Mitchell Library during the Sydney Writers' Festival

The Big Question- spotted in a boutique window in Macquarie Street, Sydney across from the Mitchell Library during the Sydney Writers’ Festival

 

I wonder if I could drop myself off here for some quick and easy personal development...

I wonder if I could drop myself off here for some quick and easy personal development…

 

Spotted at the Sydney Writers' Festival.

Spotted at the Sydney Writers’ Festival.

Spotted at the Sydney Writers' Festival.

Spotted at the Sydney Writers’ Festival.

 

A quote from Tom Stoppard found at the Wharf Theatre, Sydney

A quote from Tom Stoppard found at the Wharf Theatre, Sydney

 

Outside a florist in the MLC Centre, Martin Place, Sydney.

Outside a florist in the MLC Centre, Martin Place, Sydney.