I spend most my life buried away in the Blue Mountains…and I don’t even eat gum leaves! However, Pauline Conolly, (my guardian and employer) took me on a little tour of Sydney recently. She wrote a story about it, but I had to cross out lots of rubbish she wanted to put in. Oh dear, my red Editing Pen almost ran dry! In the end I decided to delete hers and write one myself. Ha ha!
OFF WE GO!
We started off at the 19th century Queen Victoria building in George Street. Was quite something to peer up into the central dome, made of stained glass
Just near the dome is a secret, sealed letter written by our very own Queen Elizabeth. It’s not allowed to be read until 2085. Poor old Mrs P. will be a wobbly 135 by then, but I’ll only be 76. Then we went to see the hanging, sandstone clock. I was ever so impressed. It’s mechanical, and a ship sails around past views of the harbour. Above that are scenes from colonial life. The one in the picture below is very sad as it shows Aboriginal children being taken from their families. Pauline said the authorities were very misguided.
The four levels of shops are very trendy and expensive.
We didn’t buy ANYTHING, not even fudge, although I asked for some very politely. Pauline was astonished by some of the accessories. She said these shoes looked as though they had exocet missiles in the toes. To be fair, she usually wears gumboots.
Outside the building is a statue of Queen Victoria (because it’s sort of her building) and a sculpture of her little dog. He is begging for coins for deaf and blind children, so we threw some into the wishing well. I made a secret wish. There is a stone in the wall of the well, from Blarney Castle in Ireland. Well I wouldn’t let Pauline near that, because her partner Mr Rob says she talks too much already. So glad I was wearing my British jumper….might help my wish come true.
And well I forgot to say that the lavatories in the Queen Victoria building are very stylish and worth going to even if you are not desperate.
Here’s the building from the outside. You can see the big, copper coated dome.
This is the person who basically controls my life;
Then we went to the historic Strand Arcade. My guardian looked for antique pillboxes, but they were all too expensive as well. Authors don’t make much money., though more than editors! We took a photo from the top level.
At Christmas time it looks really pretty.
Mrs P. wanted to show me something special at the GPO…..that’s the old Post Office. There are carvings on the Pitt Street side (very high up) There was a lot of trouble when these were first seen, especially over the postman handing a letter to a lady. They said the lady looked far too friendly and might be going to invite the postman inside!! I’m not sure what would be wrong with that myself.
We walked up to Maquarie Street next, because the boss said she wanted to do some research at old Sydney Hospital. It was built by Governor Lachlan Macquarie in 1815 (I think he got the convicts to build it really). Rob’s cousin, the lovely Dr Bruce Conolly, was a hand surgeon here. And in another part they fixed his Mum’s bad eye! We walked up a very nice old staircase.
Outside is a big bronze boar with water dripping from his tusks. His nose is polished like gold because people rub it and make a wish. I wanted to have a go but Pauline said I’d already made one with the Queen’s dog, and now it was her turn! I bet I know what she wished for, but better not say.
Well we ended the day further down the street at one of Pauline’s favourite places; The Mitchell Library. There was a free exhibition on, so at least we could afford that. ..ha ha. Here’s something special we saw. Pauline thought it was special anyway, because it’s Macquarie related. I think she’s writing a story about it.
You know what? They started to take lots of books out of the library’s big reading room to make more space, but all the writers and researchers complained so they put them back! Pauline says that’s Australian people power!
Also, did you know that a robber tried to steal some paintings from the Library once and shot at a poor librarian? When his revolver didn’t go off he hit her on the head with a piece of book shelf. Her name was Joyce Cocks.
If you are very special you can go into the beautiful Friends’ Room. Wot can I say….I’m one of the chosen!
I bought a pretty new editing pen in the Library shop, and then we had coffee and cake in the cafe.
It was a very nice day really. Before I forget, here is another story about Sydney and Queen Victoria, written by Pauline. Not as good as this one, but if you want to read it, click HERE.
I might as well tell you what my wish was now, because it didn’t come true anyway. It was for a red sportscar, not very original I know, but my heart’s desire. Meanwhile I have to ride my old bike.
What do you think might be in Queen Elizabeth’s secret letter? The person with the best answer gets the chance to publish their own little story on Pauline’s website. If they want to, that is. But if you leave a comment you have to complete the sum under the comment box. DON’T FORGET NOW….Editor Des. xx