Monthly Mailbag – August 2019
Who remembers those heady days in the early ‘70s when we all first fell in love… with roundabouts? Councils all over Australia were smitten. We were catching up with Europe and well ahead of the US. Even drivers (eventually) came to realise that roundabouts smoothed and sped up traffic flow, and that the crashes were fewer and occurred at lower speeds.
Well, there are some at Randwick Council who remember none of that. Their recently revised South Coogee to Kingsford cycle path proudly boasts “seven newly signalised intersections” – yes, seven! – in just 1.9kms! If you copped a red at most of them (which isn’t hard), that could add a quarter of an hour to that part of your trip to work.
I suppose we should praise the revised plan’s saving of 27 of the original 37 trees to be chopped down. It only took hundreds of screams from furious ratepayers to have them wonder what they were thinking last year.
Yet the saddest, scariest thing about the cycleway circus is that, for over a quarter of it, the cycle path runs alongside dozens of private driveway exits. Pause and think… got it? That’s not just accidents waiting to happen, that’s horrific accidents designed to happen!
Andrew Worssam’s wonderful piece on Bob’s Gully (A Hidden Delight… Schneider’s Gully, The Beast, June 2019) brought back many great memories.
My brother and I grew up on one of the Penkivil Street blocks on your small map section after some redivision and the renaming of the street to Martins Avenue. Our parents moved there in 1948 and purchased the property in the early ‘50s. Consequently, we, along with many other kids at the time, would frequent and play in the gully on a regular basis. Access was either through a vacant block almost opposite Norburn’s on the corner of Ocean Street (and Martins Avenue) or by sneaking through the beautiful property, Glen Roona, that was mentioned in the article. There was an access gate and pathway down into the gully. We were trespassing but there wasn’t much security in those days!
It was a very special place. The western side was naturally terraced, providing plenty of cover during the many battles waged between rival groups – nothing too serious, just mad fun! There were war games, cowboys and Indians, and the odd ‘shanghai’ fight, as well as catching tadpoles and earning our mothers’ wrath for nicking off with the strainer when it was otherwise needed. There was also a circular bike race track on the floor of the gully that was constantly in use.
Our dad was a member of the Bondi Junction Rotary Club, which was responsible for constructing the scout hall, and several weekends were spent assisting with the construction as members were actual tradies donating their time and expertise.
It was a wonderful haven, especially during a hot summer, and it was just at our back door… almost. Any time you were in trouble and needed to disappear in a hurry it was simply a matter of ducking through someone’s side passage and over the fence into the gully. There you could hide, never to be found – just like Sherwood Forest!
I never ever discovered why it was locally known as Bob’s Gully.
Dear Beast – Just writing to share my disappointment that you have allowed the misogynist contribution (Pearls of Wisdom, Monthly Mailbag, The Beast, July 2019) from an Eastern Suburbs community member who goes by the name ‘L’Oh’.
Everyone’s entitled to their opinion but some opinions shouldn’t be given a platform. I am super disappointed that you gave someone with such a small mind a platform to tell women how they should dress to get respect from men and blasting women for exercising their rights to show a mere two per cent more of their body in a bikini, in line with current bikini fashion trends.
This is not okay, especially given the current climate of women still fighting for 100 per cent freedom regarding their bodies. Women can wear whatever the hell they want, and ‘no’ always means ‘no’.
Please be more responsible with who you give a voice to in your magazine.
Rocks in Head, Rocks on Ankles
I consider myself a positive person. Friends call me ‘happy-go-lucky’ and colleagues often ask why I’m always smiling. But don’t let my bright disposition fool you – yes, fool you – just like the incredibly bright spark who installed the fire alarm in the now demolished Allianz Stadium fooled us all into thinking he knew what he was doing when he installed it.
My sweetness aside, I’d happily tie the rocks to the ankles of the person who installed this system. Yes, that’s right, if I am woken up one more time between the hours of 11pm and 5am! It goes off every single week. It is enough that the suburb of Paddington has to deal with the barrage of construction noise from the demolition of Allianz Stadium and the dust of what is probably asbestos filling our homes (it’s highly suspicious that the majority of the stadium was knocked down during Sydney’s wettest week).
Yes, I’m sweet and clued in, so watch out OH&S officer, I know of your incompetence! The ‘emergency evacuate now’ alarm is obviously faulty, because if people were setting it off deliberately at 2am then surely the cost of security guards would be far less than the thousands in fees for multiple fire trucks to go to the stadium every single week.
If that alarm goes off one more time in the middle of the night, Little Miss Sunshine here won’t be putting sugar in your tea – it’ll be something that’ll feel like a strong hit to the head, just like the sound of that alarm going off at 3am feels to me.
Dear Beast – I was at Black Boho café in Coogee today, trying to enjoy a coffee in a tiny café space with two dickheads on either side of me having full-on work-related conversations with their laptops the whole time I was there, which was at least 20 minutes.
Okay guys, I get the whole digital nomad thing, but please consider your surroundings – the people around you, plus the businesses you are in. These are not office spaces, so don’t drain them of their wifi all day and turn off other customers from coming in. And, buy more than one coffee if you are going to take up a seat and table all frigging day!
The poor café owners are at a loss as to how to teach you some manners.
P.S. Both tables of course had ocean views.