2015: Balmain, Sydney: 31 photos Lots of photos I took one morning, 3 January 2015, on a walk around Balmain in Sydney, with my dog Kiera. The good, the bad and the ugly: three poets from previous generations: Frank O’Hara, Gregory Corso and Charles Bukowski? A fence and its flowers, Balmain, Sydney. Metal Heart, Balmain, Sydney, 2015. Blue flowers, orange fruit. Eucalyptus tree trunk. One blue flower. Tall skinny trees. I call them “red flitches”, but I am sure there’s a better name. A lovely white rose. One slightly-damaged cactus. Another tree trunk. A five-petaled flower. Yet another eucalyptus tree trunk. A glass door. Another tree trunk… what do they mean? Should we tell them there’s a tiny Santa on his way? They cold be some kind of hieroglyphics. Faded beauty. Red gum blossom. Eucalyptus again. The last tree trunk. More red gum blossom. A house called “Kelvin”… named after Lord Kelvin, as Wikipedia says: “The Kelvin scale is named after the Belfast-born, Glasgow University engineer and physicist William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin (1824–1907), who wrote of the need for an “absolute thermometric scale”. Unlike the degree Fahrenheit and degree Celsius, the kelvin is not referred to or typeset as a degree. The kelvin is the primary unit of measurement in the physical sciences, but is often used in conjunction with the degree Celsius, which has the same magnitude. Subtracting 273.16 K from the temperature of the triple point of water (0.01 °C) makes absolute zero (0 K) equivalent to ?273.15 °C (?459.67 °F).” They could have caled the house “Bill”, of course. Red gum blossom, up close. Last for today, next to the house called “Kelvin”, a house called “Elgin”… named perhaps after Lord Elgin: “James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin and 12th Earl of Kincardine, KT, GCB, PC (20 July 1811 – 20 November 1863), was a British colonial administrator and diplomat. He was the Governor General of the Province of Canada, a High Commissioner in charge of opening trades with China and Japan, and Viceroy of India. As British High Commissioner in China during the Second Opium War, in 1860 he ordered the destruction of the Old Summer Palace in Beijing in retaliation for the imprisonment, torture, and execution of almost twenty European and Indian prisoners.” Knock it down, old boy! Ah, those Scots… An old stamped PMG (Postmaster-General) manhole (personhole?) cover, opposite the Balmain Telegraph Exchange, 2015. Forty years old, at least; still covering the person-hole. The Postmaster-General’s Department of Australia was created in 1901 to take over all postal and telegraphic services within Australia from the states and administer them on a national basis. The Department was administered by the Postmaster-General. The Department was abolished in December 1975 by the Fraser Government, and replaced by the Postal and Telecommunications Department. The Frangipani (Plumeria) tree, in Balmain. Wikipedia: “Plumeria (common name Frangipani) is a genus of flowering plants in the dogbane family, Apocynaceae. It contains primarily deciduous shrubs and small trees. They are native to Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean, and South America as far south as Brazil, but can be grown in tropical and sub-tropical regions…. Plumeria flowers are most fragrant at night in order to lure sphinx moths to pollinate them. The flowers have no nectar, however, and simply dupe their pollinators. The moths inadvertently pollinate them by transferring pollen from flower to flower in their fruitless search for nectar.” And the silly things keep on doing it, generation after generation. So now you know: Wikipedia:”The word “avocado” comes from the Spanish aguacate, which in turn comes from the Nahuatl word ?huacatl /a??wakat??/, which goes back to the proto-Aztecan *pa:wa which also meant “avocado”. Sometimes the Nahuatl word was used with the meaning “testicle”, probably because of the likeness between the fruit and the body part.” Testicle Tree, King Street, Balmain, Sydney, 2015-01-03, photo John Tranter. A palm tree in seed, in Balmain, Sydney. In the heyday of the reign of Queen Victoria, Empress of England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, India, etc, etc, the citizens of Balmain in Sydney erected a Court House and adjacent Prison Cells, making room for a Post Office in a subsidiary wing. On the left, the Australian flag, consisting of the Union Jack (symbol of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northen Ireland) and the Southern Cross in a blue sky, ho ho; on the right, the white man’s idea of an aboriginal flag, that is, if any aboriginal civilisation had developed a velixological sense and system of manufacture and cultural practice of flying emblematic flags; and in the centre, a plastic representation of the Christmas Tree, a modern development of the ancient Nordic myth of the tree of life, Yggdrasil, this recent development a Yuletide custom probably imported into England by an essay on the German use of the Christmas tree in the early nineteenth century by poet S.T. Coleridge. The building is the Balmain Town Hall, erected in those optimistic days at the close of the nineteenth century, before two world wars had ruined Europe and Asia. This is what the Mobile Phone Industry has done. Once there were several phone boxes in front of the Balmain Telephone Exchange; now there’s only one. Once Australians were up in arms at the idea that a telehone company might charge by the minute for local calls, which always had been a fixed mininum price and not timed. Ha ha ha. Once Australians would have laughed at the idea that people would voluntarily encumber themselves with expensive tracking devices that would let their government, the CIA, the NSA and any nearby advertisers spy on them all the time, no matter where they were. Ha ha ha. Good night. Sleep tight. My morning walk is finished.