Paying it safe

Would you trust a condom on the bar? Seems a little risky to me.

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At least they are being offered, it is refreshing to see people not freaking out about sex. Isn’t it strange that one of the most powerful forces we feel, sexual attraction, is one we are told to oppress and not talk about? Sex is one of our biggest desires however we have to pretend that it isn’t the case in professional environments and social circles. It is like we are acting as people that we actually aren’t, whether that is for better or worse would be a much longer post and one that I do not have the answer for. Of course I am not solely talking about sex, it just makes sense as I have a bowl of contraception under my nose as I have a beer.

I did talk about this briefly in my post Is Adulthood a Delusion? as I do find it fascinating to consider. Are we living a bigger lie than we are willing to accept, or is it a good thing that we have to leave some of our desires at the door? I am sure there are valid arguments for both.

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For the first time in our history…

Artwork used to be mysterious. Without a definitive message, many pieces of art throughout history would and have remained unexplained and up for debate. If it wasn’t for the Rosetta Stone, Hieroglyphics would have suffered the same fate. Now I can whip out my phone and read all about this ancient language and countless others. It is pretty damn incredible.

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When I am walking past street art, I can do the exact same thing. If I want to learn about a piece of art that catches my eye, the chances are I can find it with a quick google search. Most artists want their message to be heard. As seemingly meaningless as some art may appear, it often has a backstory. Banksy is an exception as this artist uses anonymity but provides clear messages in the work, the anonymity making the artwork world famous.

The art seen above looks great with the skyline in the backdrop. It made me think of what would have been in place 40,000 years ago, long before such high-rises. I typed the words seen in the image into google and found an article dating back to 2013 in the South Sydney Herald. The article opens with the following:

In 1983, Redfern residents created the iconic 40,000 years mural. Thirty years later, the paint is peeling and graffiti blemishes the cracking wall. But recently, residents have united in a movement to rejuvenate the historical artwork.

In 2017, the paint still seems to be peeling. I think this weathering goes well with the message, despite the time passing there is a reminder that someone somewhere hasn’t been forgotten. As the wall slowly decays, the memory stays.

The article can be read here. In it a little insight to the artist, the meaning behind the art and what is being done to restore the fading artwork:

Artist Carol Ruff played a key role in planning, designing and painting the 40,000 years mural in 1983. She explains how the now faded original images pay tribute to Redfern’s powerful Aboriginal history of abundance, tragedy, perseverance and accomplishment.

The salient message, “40,000 years is a long, long time/ 40,000 years still on my mind …” is inspired by Joe Geia’s song, “40,000 Years”. “We were trying to say that even before Redfern, Aboriginal people have been there, have been in that area, have known this country, this place,” Ms Ruff said.

Walking by the piece it is a shame to see the decay considering the proposed restoration in 2013. Maybe it did see some work done and four years is enough time for more weathering. It isn’t my area of expertise sadly but I hope a team with a passion for art come and bring it back to life before it loses the battle with time, a battle that has taken so many incredible and powerful civilizations with it.

Another day, another way!

What I love about Sydney is the countless ways I can get into the CBD. There are so many wharfs! Today I decided to get the ferry from one of the countless terminals dotted around Sydney’s coastline.

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Today’s journey, Neutral Bay (centre of image) to Circular Quay.

Because there are so many, the demand doesn’t seem to be so great. There was an exception to this recently during a very busy and warm weekend trying to get the ferry from Circular Quay to Manly, a very popular beach town (top right of the map). It was rammed, so much so that I had to wait for a second ferry as the first was at full capacity. This doesn’t seem to be commonplace though, each of my journeys has resulted in me finding a seat very easily and not having to give it up for someone that needs it more. The service reminds me more of a bus service with stops just down from streets and residential areas, one of the three stops today picked up a family. How cool is it that a ferry can stop solely to pick you up?

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As I have said before, I recommend taking a different route to work if possible. It takes the boring, repeated routine out of life and spices the day up a little. Even if we can mix our day up a tiny bit in some way, we loosen those shackles that society and employment place us in that little bit more. By changing the daily routine, we gain a little more control.

To infinity!

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The difference between a life livable and a life enjoyable

I love rainy days, I just prefer to live in a climate that makes me value rainy days more often. That is the thing with us British folk. We get too much of what some of the world is in desperate need of. Every time I switch on the news it is another nation burning from wildfires- recently Canada and the USA and even more recently Spain and Portugal.

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Wildfires in Portugal. EPA/BBC News

As I sit in this tiny cafe and type up today’s post in Northern Sydney, I can’t help but listen in to the conversation between the lovely Asian owner and a local that stopped by for a quick coffee. ‘I am so happy I don’t have to water the flowers today’ she said in broken English. Here, rain is valued a little more. Downpours are nowhere near as frequent as they are back in blighty, so there is more optimism as the pair gaze out of the cafe entrance. People still walk around in shorts and flip flops, embracing the warm droplets splashing against them on route to pick up their pre orders. Oddly, I am the one wearing the most clothing, I assumed Aussies around me would feel the cool much more than me. Then again I don’t think some people here have jeans to put on.

Our world is incredible. It is capable of producing so many variable climates and terrains; hot and cold, wet and dry, land and sea, incredible peaks and deep oceans, bright days and the darkest nights. The diversity is pretty damn remarkable. What it doesn’t have is a perfect system, these variables aren’t spread evenly to make life struggle free. I imagine earth like a car built with the most incredible engine but with wheels facing opposite directions, the most aerodynamic shell but placed back to front. Would I give this car a ten out of ten if the features were there but not implemented correctly? Of course not. The world is this car. The features are great but the design is far from perfect.

It is certainly enough to help us scrape by, thankfully humans have intervened with technology to make this more bearable. We can all praise the conditions in which we live, but what would these conditions be like without our intervention? Can you imagine no air con, no heating, no cars to escape wildfires and no roof to shelter from the storms? As much as we should all be grateful for the Goldilocks zone we inhabit, let us not forget the incredible human achievements that make life not just livable, but enjoyable. The fact that we can spend a huge chunk of our lives not worrying about our environment killing us is a luxury many people didn’t have and still don’t. To have life is a gift. To have actual leisure time to enjoy it is much more precious.

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A fabricated perspective?

Do you sometimes feel that the world comes to you instead of you walking towards it? Like a video game, the character is constantly occupying the centre of the screen and it is the environment that slowly moves closer. The player movements create an illusion that the opposite is happening. I got that feeling on this very walk.

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This was taken around the circular walk that is Narrabeen Lagoon. I was introduced to this lovely walk by my family when I first arrived in Sydney. It is a little further north near the Northern Beaches and is great for everyone. Runners, cyclists, walkers, joggers, families, dog owners… you name it, they love this flat circular walk around the 8.4km circuit track.

As I was sitting in one of the few cafes on route, I stopped and thought of my constantly changing perspective. I though of the world as a whole, and how no matter where we are standing on Earth, we always appear to be the ones on top looking upwards to the skies. The lake is big, but small enough to locate where I was standing thirty minutes ago across the water. It was fascinating to see the trees that towered over me as tiny dots on the horizon, what was full scale now barely visible. What I could barely see directly over the water was the place I was now sitting with people previously too small to pick out.

Do you sometimes feel that the world comes to you, instead of you walking towards it? I guess that it a part of the simulation theory, that everything is being simulated on a supercomputer and we are the players unaware.

If we are, thank you Player One for making my simulation bearable. Don’t pull the plug just yet, I am having fun.