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A whirlwind visit of Bendigo 匆匆遊本迪戈

In early December I went for a conference for 3 days in a town called Bendigo about 160 km north of Melbourne. There wasn't much time outside the conference to do touristy things, but thankfully I managed to use the very limited time after the conference on the first day for a quick stroll in town. 12月初我去了墨爾本以北約160公里的市鎮(套用國內用語可算是維多利亞州二線城市)本迪戈Bendigo三天出席學術會議,來也匆匆,去也匆匆,會議以外觀光的時間不多,幸好酒店(沒入住主辦單位安排的酒店,到入住時才知道是汽車旅館)位處市中心,趁第一天開會後有空趕快逛一逛。 It helps that the motel where I stayed was centrally located. I started my quick tour from the Queen Elizabeth Oval directly opposite to my motel. The large block letters on the gate felt somewhat poignant in the year of the Queen's death. 旅館對面正好是伊利莎伯女皇運動場,適逢今年女皇駕崩,見到閘門上的大字,不免令人有點懷緬之意。 The oval was next to the arts precinct of Bendigo, and since the venues were already closed in the evening, I was left to view the architecture of and artwork near those buildings. 球場毗鄰市內的藝術區,由於已是黃昏休館時間,所以只可望望各館的建築和附近的藝術裝置。
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Seeing Melbourne on and from a high 從高處看墨爾本

While I remember, I should write about my two occasions of seeing Melbourne from high up back in October.  補記10月初兩次從高處看墨爾本的不同體驗。 The first occasion was 2nd October, the first day of daylight saving (summer time). It was one of the few sunny days back then, and the government dining rebate gave us an incentive to try out a rooftop bar for the view and the food.  首先是10月2日,夏令時間實行的第一天,天氣難得放晴,再加上有政府餐飲津貼,我便帶太太到一家天台酒吧試菜和看日落。 We were delayed by transport, and we just made it to this bar on the 40th floor at the official sunset time so we managed to catch the last glimpse of that day's sunset.  由於乘車有延誤,我們到達這家位於 40樓的酒吧 時剛好是官方的日落時間,讓我們看到日落的最後一刻。 The skies turned dark very quickly and the streets and building began to light up. The constant flow of traffic added liveliness to the scene.  天色很快轉黑,市中心華燈漸上,地面的公路,車輛川流不息,為夜景增添生氣。 My wife and I were too preoccipied with taking photos and only remembered about food and drinks after dark. Reading the menu proved to

無綫電視事隔多年再度製作並播映《超級無敵獎門人》,由主持人至各環節,原封不動再次呈現給觀眾。電視觀眾似乎不介意,收視率有好成績(雖然收視率今時今日有仍有多少代表性是有爭議性,但最少能反映同一班觀眾之中的趨勢),證明「翻炒冷飯」很合不少人的口胃。儘管有無綫前主播最近抖出該台綜藝製作人員 不思長進 的心態,但單看《獎門人》收視率也會難怪製作人會作出「橋唔怕舊最緊要受」(點子不怕舊,最重要受落)的結論了。 另一台viuTV最「新」的自家電視劇《I Swim》(播出已接近兩個月),網上對其劇情 批評 不少,其中有評論指劇情不真實,例如名校學生不會因學校輸掉游泳比賽而私人用鐵棒攻擊對賽學校的學生、師生戀佔據劇情之餘也嫌牽強。相信批評者求學時,定有面對過作文的老大難,就是寫記敍文時——例如記水運會——如何在真實的背景中寫出一個引人入勝的故事,有些情節,就算沒經歷過或目睹過,如果有可能發生的,又或非完全不合理的,為何不能寫?如師生戀不可能發生就不會有相關 指引 ,敗方球迷賽後騷亂發洩更是偶有聽聞吧。加入相關情節於劇情中,佈局、比重固然可作斟酌,但一定不是錯誤,不然就會像把一篇記水運會的記敘文,變質成一篇平鋪直敘的校報新聞了。 特首李家超早前就上任後第一份施政報告出席諮詢會,他其中一個 評語 ,就是「完全很破格的話,在這方面暫時未有極度破格的東西,反而我現在想有否新思維。」說實話,以香港目前的環境和氛圍,期望人民會提出「極度破格的東西」,倒是個頗破格的想法,相信為政者,應不難了解為何民間不能提供突破的原因,但破解此困局,卻非全可由其主宰。 港人素以靈活善變自居,但生活中對新事物或天馬行空思想的狹窄接受程度(由電視劇至社會對非主流的一般偏見),乃至社會層面的食老本和欠缺新思維,卻與「善變」的精神背馳,更會為香港拖後腿。不破格,無突破,換來的只有整個香港社會的破落。

A boat trip like no other 難得遊船河

It was Open House Melbourne on 30 July, when many places were open for public visits. My relatives and I took this opportunity to go on a free boat tour of the Port of Melbourne. 7月30日是「墨爾本開放日」,不少地方都開放讓人參觀,我和一眾親戚約了當天下午一同免費遊船河,參觀墨爾本的港口。 We boarded at a pier in the Docklands district which adjoins Melbourne CBD. The area is generally quieter at weekends with a relaxing atmosphere. 登船的地點名叫船塢區Docklands,現在已成為毗鄰市中心的商住區,在週末人流一般偏少,有種悠閒的感覺。 The Port of Melbourne is in fact a conglomerate of different wharves and piers along the last section of the Yarra River before the Yarra meets the sea, with separate parts for concrete, chemicals, conventional containers and oversized cargo. Each type of goods requires its kind of vessel for transport.  墨爾本的港口,其實是將沿雅拉河各個船塢和碼頭集合一起的統稱,每個碼頭各有分工,包括混凝土、化學品、傳統貨櫃(集裝箱)和超大長或超大型貨物,每種貨物都須用各自的船運載。 Concrete  混凝土 Oversized goods  超大型貨物 Chemicals  化學品 One of my relatives called them giraffes 有親戚說是長頸鹿 For containers, there are vessels that carry trucks (lorries) with cont

Appreciating flowers - and life 賞花的隨想

Heading towards the end of autumn, May in Melbourne is not only the time for red and golden autumn leaves but, somewhat expectedly, for blooming flowers too. It may be hard to get one's head around this for those from Europe or Hong Kong, and even for me despite having lived in Melbourne for so many years - somehow I have been rather oblivious to this natural phenomenon! 五月深秋在墨爾本,除了通紅和金黃的樹葉,還有花可以觀賞,對在歐洲和香港生活過的我來說,是頗新奇的景象——雖然我在澳洲生活也有多年,我卻一直忽略了。 The roses have definitely taken me by surprise, as I have always expected them to flower only in spring and summer. They put on another good show in autumn that can rival the earlier seasons! 尤其是玫瑰,我一直以為只會在春夏綻放,但原來踏入深秋仍不欺場,更可和春天盛開的景況媲美,令人喜出望外! Thankfully I managed to capture the best moment for this bush, because a bout of overnight rain and wind reduced many flowers to petals, leaving the bush in a rather desolate state the next day. Good times don't always last, but I also didn't expect it to be so whimsical

A golden Saturday away 留一天與太太喘息

April is a good time for the great outdoors. My wife and I were keen to explore somewhere new and thus visited Warrandyte on the fringes of Melbourne, for the State Park and a winery there. 4月是郊遊的好時光,我和太太趁機發掘新去處。9日那天我們到市區邊陲、開始帶點郊外氣息的Warrandyte區的州立公園和一家酒莊一遊。 There are actually four parts to Warrandyte State Park. We went to the part which was a gold mine in the 19th century and was the first site of gold discovery in Victoria, although it did not end up with the same level of fame as the other gold rush towns of Ballarat and Bendigo. The park has preserved some relics from the mining days, including the Geraghty's Tunnel whose entrance is still open for a small section. Warrandyte State Park州立公園其實分四部份,我們郊遊的部份,前身是金礦場,而且是維多利亞州首個發現金礦之地,雖然沒有後來的淘金城鎮巴拉瑞特Ballarat和本迪戈Bendigo那麼有名,但也算在維州淘金史中佔一席位。公園保留了些採礦的遺跡,包括一個仍開放一小段的Geraghty's Tunnel礦洞,鑽進去再出來時不期然令我想起鏡仔Ian新歌《留一天與你喘息》的 MV 在 馬鞍山礦場 的片段,所以後來太太撿石頭留念時,我也打趣學MV中女主角的開場白說「石頭係有生命嘅」(石頭是有生命的)。 Geraghty's Tunnel