Madeira, in January

I have escaped the relative cold in January in Keynsham to the beautiful Atlantic Island of Madeira approximately 300miles west of Casablanca in Morocco.

We are staying in the Pestana Palms, Lido, Funchal it’s about a 40 minute walk from the centre of the city. When we arrived on Monday lunchtime it was pleasantly warm and we sat by the pool and relaxed as we had all had a very early start to get to the airport for our 07.10 flight..

On Tuesday we walked to Camera de Lobos, the fishing village where Winston Churchill came to paint.

Storm damage

The Pride of Madeira
Swan’s Neck Plant
Vasco da Gama
First view of Camera de Lobos
Inside the church of St Sebastian by the harbour.

Poncha is a traditional alcoholic drink from the island of Madeira, made with aguardente de cana, honey, sugar, orange/lemon juice and with different fruit juices according to the version of poncha, but traditionally lemon juice is used. 

McMahons Point, Barangaroo, and the Coal Loader, Sydney NSW

Revamped wharves.

Munn’s Slipway

The opening of Barangaroo Reserve In 2018 has allowed Sydneysiders to walk around a part of the Sydney harbour foreshore that had been closed off to the public for more than 100 years. The six hectare parkland has transformed one of Sydney’s oldest industrial sites, stretching back two centuries. The topography of the park was inspired by the shape of the 1836 shoreline, which was cut away over time to make way for wharves and docking activities, and the original headland. The reserve has been designed to complement the other headland parks of the harbour (such as Mrs Macquarie’s Chair and Goats Island) and aims to let visitors get up close to the water of the harbour.

Munn’s Slipway

Archaeological excavations of the site at the beginning of the park development works found the remains of a slipway from Munn’s 1820s boatyard on the site. Comprising an area of flat sandstone units forming the ramp of the slipway, with semi-dressed stones along either edge, a decaying timber rail was also found running down the centre of the slipway. Unsurprisingly, given the design of the new park to reflect the 1836 shoreline, Munn’s slipway was located beneath the proposed new sandstone shoreline on the northern shore of Nawi Cove.

Viewing the Casino site.
Artists impression of the casino!

Bridge Walkers.
Coal loader wharf

Commonwealth Lighthouse Service (Australia) Ensign.

Kangaroo paw

The Bridge from the Coal Loader

Dangar Island

Brooklyn Marina

Dangar Island is a forested island, 29 hectares (72 acres) in area,[2] in the Hawkesbury River, just north of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Dangar Island is a suburb of Hornsby Shire and as at the 2011 Census had a population of 267, which swells dramatically during holiday seasons. The island is serviced regularly by Brooklyn Ferry Service and departs from Brooklyn and takes about fifteen minutes. The Brooklyn ferry is itself adjacent to Hawkesbury River railway station. The ferry service is in operation 7 days a week. Sydney, New South Wales. Area 0.29 km2 (0.1 sq mi) There are no private cars on the island.


Dangar Island has been known to the local Guringai Aborigines for thousands of years. The first European to visit the area was Governor Arthur Phillip, who explored the lower river by small boat in March 1788 within weeks of the First Fleet’s arrival. He named it Mullet Island, for the abundance of fish in the local Hawksbury River. At first the local people were friendly towards him, but when he returned a year later, they would not come into contact. By 1790, over half the Guringai people had succumbed to the smallpox the British had brought with them.

The island was purchased in 1864 and renamed by Henry Cary Dangar, the son of Henry Dangar, a surveyor, pastoralist and parliamentarian.

Dangar leased the island to the Union Bridge Company of Chicago for the construction of the original Hawkesbury River Rail Bridge between 1886-1889. About 400 Americans and their families lived there and the island boasted a large social hall, school, library and its own newspaper.

In the 1920s the island, which is barely a five-minute walk across, was divided into residential plots, though space was reserved on the beach, the flat and the top of the hill for recreational use. Dangar Island Post Office opened on 1 September 1951 and closed in 1986

The Jetty at Wobby Island on the way to Dangar Island.

From the café at the landing stage
Unique table decoration
Another café shot
Wheelbarrow detail


The railway bridge



Tawny frogmouth and chics
Emergency vehicle
How folks get their shopping home from the Jetty.

Dream home

We took the postman cruise last time.

Another blog you might like.

Mo’s Temporary New Home


A seaside city about 51 miles south of Sydney. It is the third largest conurbation in New South Wales now has a population of around 300,000 people and the 10th largest in Australia. Originally the indigenous aborigines here were nomadic Dharawal hunter-fisher-gatherers. The area was first visited by Europeans in 1796 when Bass and Flinders landed at Lake Illawarra, although the first settlers are believed to have arrived in 1815.

The name “Wollongong” is believed to mean “seas of the South” in the local Aboriginal language, referring to NSW’s Southern Coast. Other meanings have been suggested, such as “great feast of fish”, “hard ground near water”, “song of the sea”, “sound of the waves” no one seems sure!

Mo’s balcony bottom right, White Cliffs.
The approach, well tended garden
First entry, the security door.
The balcony, with the harbour in view.

Wollongong Harbour History

The original inner harbour completed by a convict workforce in 1844 required further improvements during the 1860’s and 1880’s in order to accommodate the rapid increase in shipping trade.

To meet the growing demand for ship loading facilities a tee-shaped jetty was built from the Central Spur in 1880. A stream driven crane operated from the end of a railway running along the jetty.

Demolished in the 1920’s, the jetty’s only remains are the cranes iron and concrete base seen jutting from the harbour directly forward of this position.

Still to be seen within the western wall of the central spur is the slipway once used in the launching the Harbour Pilot’s life boat.

Wollongong Harbour is the only point on the east coast to have 2 lighthouses, the other being Wollongong Headland Lighthouse. 

With the expansion out of Sydney in the early 1800’s, Wollongong Harbour was developed to serve the new township of Wollongong and the Illawarra region. In the 1860’s work on the harbour included the construction of a basin and breakwater. At this time “… at the end of the pier a red light was fixed to guide boats into the harbour.” 

In 1869 tenders were invited for the construction of lighthouses at Wollongong and Ulladulla. Manufactured in England, shipped to Australia and assembled, construction began in November 1870 and although completed in March 1871, it stood unfinished until the lantern arrived from England in June 1871. More delays occurred until finally it was brought into permanent use on 1st March 1872. The lantern was manufactured by Chance & Co Birmingham England and was described in 1873 as being “… a fixed Dioptric system of the 4th Order with a fixed red light.” The original apparatus was dismantled around 1970, as it was proposed to use this at Eden. The light was permanently extinguished in 1974. In 2000 the light was fully restored.

Flower bed by the back door.
Meanwhile back at site of the granny flat……….
Bobby Charlton (the dog), hanging out with the men discussing the extension for Maureen!

Video of The North Beach 5 minutes from the Apartment on Sunday.