Skip to main content

Passing Thoughts Around Richmond

The narrow roads contrast with the expanse of the plains surrounding the Hawkesbury as the river meanders down from the foothills of the Blue Mountains. The intense aroma of fresh grass finds its way to my nostrils. A various range of buildings, from brick through wood to tinshed, dot the landscape. Young gum plants are lined up in rows to ensure a food source for koalas. The Blue Mountains are not far away, but retain a plateau-like presence on this rather amicable day, and yes they do indeed have this tint of blueness for colour.

Tucked in the north-west, as far away from the Big Smoke centre of Sydney, but still included in its greater area statistics, lies Richmond, part of New South Wales Governor Macqaurie's inland drive from Sydney Harbour more than a hundred and twenty years ago. I had been to Windsor in recent times, but not this other major centre only fifteen minutes by car from Windsor. Nestled not far from the main road to the Mount Tomah Botanical Gardens (one of the trio of significant gardens for Sydney), its low lying topography does not detract from its charms. A noticeable oval sits in the centre of the town, a neat collection of shops and residences encircling its inner core. As expected, its long time base of agriculture lingers on, with equine breeding centres, groups of dairy cattle and shorn sheep all dotting the late spring scenery.

What jumps out in captivating attention is the RAAF base in Richmond. I noted it before as a vital link in the supply chain of resources and troops from Australia to involvements oversea, with Darwin as the other noted connection. Political leaders flying from overseas can land in Richmond if they do not want to use commecial airports. The configurations of the airbase are bigger than my expectations, and I was delightfully surprised how the harsh realities of air defence can blend nicely with the residences of its staff and support facilties like hospitals. This has resulted in a self-contained suburb or campus with full length runways. Although understandable and necessary, the continuous fence around the base is a little jolt to my perceptions of Australian openness and design. There was a whole range of aircraft lined up on view for us travelling on its publicly accessible boundary road - a sight that will more than provide a flutter of excitemnt in the imagination and heart of any budding pilot in a ten year old. I could not help thinking of the former RAAF base in Butterworth across the channel from my home island of Penang.

The university campus in Richmond offered remarkable experiences. Groups of deer sat in committee-like posture in a paddock. A heritage building now is livened up as student residence. Faculties are referred to as colleges.Almost every building does not have a second storey. Numerous and clear signs and maps make it easy to locate specific buildings. A friendly student asked Carmel and me if he could help us, as we stood in front of the community notice board wondering what "HAC" stood for. Teaching buildings looked more inviting and not like entrances to overly commercial set-ups. I had a penchant for the window designs in Mark's office -they offered protection and good views of the outside, whether in sunshine or rain.


Popular posts from this blog

Chung Ling Alumni Association Petaling Jaya Klang Valley

Telephone Contact:  +603 7957 0318

85 Degrees Bakery Cafe Hurstville NSW

There are several outlets of this bakery cafe for several years now in Australia.  Did they coem from the USA?

Each franchised outlet is in a busy area, often in suburbs so-called by a diverse Asian demographic.   The one in Hurstville is rather roomy and lots of baked stuff on its shelves.   The base of Sydney operations is in Chester Hill, a suburb south-west of the Sydney city centre.

Some of the cake creations would be viewed as rather leaning on the East Asian dimension  - Strawberry Angel (with chocolate base and top) and Mango Cheese ( with yoghurt).   However, to counter this perspective, there are also Death by Chocolate, US Cheesecake, Coffee Brulee and Blueberry Marble options.    

The pastries are definitely filled with ingredients more suited to perhaps Anime loving fans and non-mainstream cultures - for example, garlic, pork, tuna, green tea, red bean, shallots, pork floss, coconut, Hokkaido butter cream and Boroh or pineapple buns.   Sung seems to be a variation emphasised…

Penang - Lor Mee

Lor mee is another of those street foods that are not commonly available in Western societies, but are easily found in southern China, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. The dish is iconic of the Teochew Province in China and has been mainly brought to equatorial climes by immigrants over the last few centuries. It combines snippets of ingredients in a thick savoury sauce. Above, the lor mee with roast pork and sliced hard boiled egg accompaniments at the Fong Sheng Cafe, along Lorong Selamat in Georgetown, Penang - the place was introduced by May Wah and Henry Quah.

The cafe harks back to the seventies or eighties - and maybe earlier - what caught my eye were (above) freshly blended fruit and/or vegetable juices and (below) metal and plastic contraptions of the food trade.

Hot and cold drinks are easily on offer from the cafe (above and below) at very reasonable prices.

Another version of the dish (below) taken whilst Bob Lee was enjoying them in another cafe or coffee shop in Georgetown…