I walked every street in Woy Woy

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Walk #41 - Egg & Spoon

Rather nippy wind blowing on and off today. Snowed down south in the last few days and the wind was coming up the coast off that. But I was warm enough while I was walking. And it wasn’t constant so the cats and birds had time to sun themselves.

So did a black rabbit with a white nose. It was crouched on someone’s lawn as I went past. Thought it was a blackened stump but then it twitched. The whole lawn had a nibbled look so maybe it was let out to earn its keep as lawnmower.

Met a lovely friendly dog and saw three other beautiful beautiful dogs. The friendly dog was bitsa. Medium-sized, short-haired, white with brown ears and a pointy nose. It trotted straight up to me and gazed up at me fondly. It sniffed my hand and leaned against me for a scratch behind the ears. Then it puts its paws up on my legs so I could give it a nice hearty chest rub.

The three beautiful dogs were in the back of a ute on Whatsit Street. They were so beautiful everyone stopped to watch them go past. Young dogs with long bushy tails. Classic dingo colour. Deep gold. We asked each other is they were pure dingo. Their heads were certainly dingo shaped. The muzzle shape and the forward pointing ears. But they had a bit more brow ridge. I’ll never know I guess, unless I spot their owner on foot one day.

Birds were twittering and carrying on in the trees in the side streets when the wind dropped. The magnolia denudata and camellias and bottlebrush and golden wattle are still flowering. The bottlebrushes attract lorikeets and some sort of sparrow thing. Honeyeaters like bottlebrushes too I think. They certainly go for the wattles. There was one sitting warbling on a fence. I got quite close before it flew off and noticed it had a pale yellow patch between its legs. The back view was a bit unfortunate. Looked like a white bum with a grubby bumcrack.

I walked four side streets today. Nothing to write home about in terms of visual splendour but interesting enough. Found a few more pre-20s rooflines and one house that looked almost untouched since a refit around the thirties.

The settlement pattern is really starting to emerge. I’ve walked nearly half the Peninsula now and so far I’ve seen a lot of the main clumps of settlement. The thirties, forties and seventies are fairly evenly spread over the Peninsula, with higher concentrations of the forties round the three main centres: the train station, Ettalong & Umina. The seventies has a few dozen streets of its own, streets that just didn’t exist until then, mainly on former swampy ground and in South Woy Woy round the big end of the golf course. The pre-30s houses are a lot more scattered though there’s fairly high concentraions of them round the train station, Ettalong & Umina and along Ocean Beach Road.

All that can be read in a local history book in the library of course. But seeing it for myself gives me a far greater understanding of the Woy Woy and Woy Woyans. And a chance to make a list of the worst and best of Woy Woyan domestic architecture.

The dogs were yapping and howling a lot today. They started off again as I went past. They’d already been excited by the ambulance sirens and noise from the school carnival.

The carnival was at the end of McEvoy. There’s some bush there and an big oval in the middle of it. Had a glance as I marked off McEvoy on my map. The place was overrun by kids in school uniforms and someone with a loud hailer (bullhorn) was exhorting the eight year olds to line up for the egg-and-spoon race.

At the end of my walk I came out onto Whatsit Street. Outside the supermarket there was a guy in a bear suit and a barbeque to raise money for some charity. I handed over my gold coin and got a sausage.

Then I got the bus up to the top of The Rampart. Pretty steep going up that hill. The bus was in first gear all the way up. The view was great. Across to Phegans Bay, the whole sweep of Umina Beach from Half Tide Rocks to Patonga Ridge, and out over Patonga Ridge to Barrenjoey Head and the Northern Beaches beyond. Loverly. (Map.) It’ll be a bastard getting up that hill on foot but it’s all in a good cause and the photos will be great.

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