SHELLY BEACH SNIPPETS No. 32 March 2015.
Greetings from down under where it is that time of year again when we are invaded by cruise ships .The spectacular sight of two Cunard Queens in Sydney harbour had all the cameras clicking. In a historic ‘Royal Rendezvous’ Queen Mary 2, sailed past sister ship Queen Victoria and docked near Taronga Park Zoo. Celebrating one hundred and seventy five years of Cunard there was an open-air photo exhibition on the boardwalk at the Sydney Opera House. The seventy photographs on show shot by Sydney-based photographer James Morgan, provided a rare behind-the-scenes- look in the Cunards’ three Queen Fleet – Queen Mary2, Queen Victoria, and Queen Elizabeth from around the globe. The 151,400 tonne Queen Mary2 is the biggest ship to have visited Australia. Q.M.2 is two months into a 113-night cruise around the world and after circumnavigating New Zealand, returns to Sydney on March 25th. A fireworks display was held on Sydney harbour in celebration of this grand event. Cruising is a favourite pastime in Australia and a choice way to visit exotic locations, eat drink and be merry is the way to go.
Tropical cyclone Pam tore through the Pacific Islands of Vanuatu in the worst natural disaster in ‘living memory’, with ninety percent of beautiful Port Vila flattened. This was one of the most attractive towns offering stunning views over a beautiful harbour, rambling streets and cafe scene, in a faded French atmosphere. One thousand five hundred Australians were air lifted by military aircraft, and RAAF flights delivered supplies and medication to the devastated Island. Australia has contributed $5 million, New Zealand $2.5 million, Britain and France two million pounds to rebuild the completely destroyed infrastructure. The Republic of Vanuatu (previously known as New Hebrides) is an island nation located in the romantic South Pacific, and was formerly administered jointly by Britain and France for seventy three years with Independence in 1980. Captain Cook sailed through the chain of Islands in 1774 naming many including the New Hebrides, after the islands off the West coast of Scotland. Vanuatu is a firm favourite resort for tourists, and it is to be hoped that it will be up and running in a short space of time.
Arnold Schwarzenegger with his girl friend Heather Milligan, stole the show at the 2015 Australian Grand Prix, the 20th instalment of the race at Albert Park, Melbourne,Victoria. Race winner and reigning champion Lewis Hamilton played the role of a star struck movie fan by exclaiming ‘It’s the man’, as he gazed across the sea of fans from the podium, adding ‘It’s an honour to meet you.’ Then with a touch of bravery the Briton added ‘I thought you were taller’. Schwarzenegger played up to the moment by replying ‘I’m not wearing my high heels’. The popular Hollywood star chatted with each of the finishers drawing plenty of smiles, and was gracious to all. Also at the Grand Prix Oscar winning actor Charlize Theron jetted in. Blonde and beautiful Theron cancelled one-to-one interviews due to personal complication in the U.S. However the day was full of stars and celebrities at The Exclusive Formula One Paddock Club, plus of course classic cars. A good day was had by all.
The Sydney Dance Company gave a sensational performance with their latest double bill, the modern classic ‘Quintett’ and the new work ‘Frame of Mind’, choreographed to wonderful pulsing music by Bryce Dessner gaining themselves four and a half stars. ‘Frame of Mind’is all about the human need to love and be loved, as the dancers in various groupings, comfort and confront each other. While ‘Quintett’ blends balletic and contemporary movements in surprising combinations that took the breath away, leaving the audience spellbound.
Melbourne Zoo welcomed its latest a baby Gorilla, the tiny Western Lowland Gorilla, is the seventh to be born at the zoo, but the first in fifteen years. Parents Kimya and Silverback Otana were shipped over from England as part of an international breeding programme. The sex of the infant is not yet confirmed and a naming competition will take place in the next week or two.
Prince Harry will spend four weeks in April and May seconded to The Australian Army, before quitting military altogether. During his stay in Australia Harry will spend time at Army Barracks in Darwin, Perth, and Sydney, where he will participate in a range of activities. It is understood the Prince known as Captain Harry Wales in the military, is interested in training with Australia’s SAS troops at Campbell Barracks in Swanbourne, Perth. After a flying visit two years ago, he vowed to return. Being a keen surfer, the attraction of Perth beaches are also believed to be a draw card, having sourced the best spots in Western Australia. Eurocopter Aussie Tiger armed reconnaissance helicopters are based in Darwin and another likely destination for the Prince. During this time he will also travel to The Gallipoli Commemorations at Anzac Cove, with his father The Prince of Wales. An official tour of New Zealand is scheduled for May.
Shelly Beach is looking good and gearing up for the Easter holidays, the warm weather continues as do the surfers. The birds are still feasting in the garden and my hand-fed Yellow Wattle Bird is tamer than ever, calling for me whenever he fancies a bite to eat. My books “The Complete Guide to Painting and Decorating Porcelain, Letters of a Travelling Lady, and Wallis the Woman I Love,” are available from Amazon and my website www.patriciasartworld.com Cheers.Patricia. Photographs by Reginald J. Dunkley.