One of my favourite landmarks in Sydney is The Sydney Harbour Bridge. I drive over it most days and every time I do, it is an absolute treat! Even whilst driving you can appreciate the aspect, the view of the approaching city and the wonderful cloudscapes. It's even better when you walk over it - the view is spectacular - so high up and all that beauty of the harbour and ferries and The Sydney Opera House below.
These paintings and drawings of the bridge being built are by local Sydney gal Grace Cossington Smith. She was born in 1892 in Neutral Bay (quite close by to where the bridge stands) and was a pioneering modernist Australian artist. I think these are some of my favourite art works depicting Sydney.
I came across these magical pussy cat water colours by Serbian artist Endre Penovác recently. He has to my mind captured the essence of the feline in these paintings, don't you think? You can see (and buy!)more of his wonderful work here ---> Saatchi Art.
This is my drawing of Eloise The Serious Knitter - I made her into a gif today. As you can see she has a very important friend who is assisting her with her knitting. I think anyone who knits and owns a cat will understand this scenario.
I've been watching Mary Beard's excellent "Rome: Empire Without Limit". This documentary reminds you just how enormous the Roman Empire was and how much we are indebted to it today. Anyway, speaking of the classical world, several weeks ago I was at a loose end in Bondi Junction, so I decided to take some photos of the tops of buildings. To my surprise, Bondi Junction is actually full of classical Victorian statues. You might not see them immediately, but if you look up, it's like a classical pantheon of gods and goddesses! I have collected together here only a couple of the many photos I took on that fine winter afternoon.
Something I've been working on this weekend: Famous Cat People. And here I have also collected some interesting tidbits about each of these terrific people.
Mark Twain was a very keen cat fancier and was quoted as saying, "When a man loves a cat, I am his friend without any further introduction." Here are some more Mark Twain cat quotes and also some photos he took of his beloved cats too.
Queen Victoria was a very keen animal humanitarian and had a number of pets during her life (mostly dogs) which included a pretty white persian cat called White Heather. You can learn about her love of animals and the white persian here.
French author Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette had a number of cats that she was very fond of and even wrote a book called "La Chatte" which features a cat as one of the main protagonists.
Isaac Newton, discoverer of gravity and inventor of the cat flap door! Yes, that's apparently correct, Sir Isaac Newton invented the cat flap door for his cat Spithead. Spithead would open the door to his room which Newton wasn't too happy about and so invented the cat flap door in 1700. Read all about it here.
Winston Churchill was a huge cat fancier and had one called Tango (a ginger tom) and another called Mickey (a tabby). For more stories of Churchill's cats click here.
John Lennon was a lifelong cat fancier and owned a number of them over the years including: Elvis, Salt and Pepper and Major and Minor to name but a few. More info here.
Vivien Leigh was very passionate about siamese cats and had a number of them given to her by her husband Sir Lawrence Olivier. Their names were Tissy, New Boy and Poo Jones. You can read more about her history with cats here.
The well known Crimean War nurse Florence Nightingale reportedly owned sixty cats plus over the course of her life! Wow!
This attractive Art Deco seat (made from Bondi sandstone) was built in 1939 for the Australian poet Henry Kendall. It is in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney, Australia which I had a stroll through on the weekend. I had not heard of this poet, so I looked him up and here I present a the second stanza from his poem "Bellbirds":
The silver-voiced bell-birds, the darlings of day-time, They sing in September their songs of the May-time. When shadows wax strong and the thunder-bolts hurtle, They hide with their fear in the leaves of the myrtle; When rain and the sunbeams shine mingled together They start up like fairies that follow fair weather, And straightway the hues of their feathers unfolden Are the green and the purple, the blue and the golden.
You can read more about Henry Kendall and his poems here.