December 13th, 2008

Does My Bomb Look Big In This?

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Last Wednesday night we were invited to go to the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, held by Amnesty. Starting with a welcome by a traditional custodian of the land, we were treated to a dinner in the Australian Jockey Club at Randwick Racecourse.

Some of the interesting moments included finding out that Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO is actually related (by blood) to Eleanor Roosevelt.

The food was, by mass catering standards, quite remarkable. Here is the entree of a huge Mezze Plate of roasted artichokes, vine leaves, stuffed sweet pimentos, proscuitto, marinated olives, Italian salami, hummus dip and lovely Moroccan bread.

The key note speaker was none other than Geoffrey Robertson QC - probably the world's leading human rights barrister. If he needs an introduction, check out his Wikipedia entry HERE.

He was one of the most fabulous orators I have heard live, he covered 700 years of history in a neat story explaining how we have got to where we have on the issue of human rights. And it's not far enough in his opinion either, people.

One of the funniest moments to me was finding out the initial draft of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was authored by a group of writers including H.G. Wells (War of the Worlds) and A. A. Milne (Winnie the Pooh) - pretty funny! Oh and the first version of the American version initially read these rights are 'sacred and inviolable' but Ben Franklin (who invented bifocals and the lightening rod) changed the words to 'self-evident' as he felt it sounded too close to the pulpit. Oh and Stalin liked show-trials. He really tied a whole lot of history together for me in an engaging and witty monologue.

Plus I am very chuffed that he also believes in exile, I have said for a long time, no death penalties, send 'em to Antarctica if they prove unable to live in a civilised society with others.

I saw David Hicks too. I would have loved to hear him speak (and touched him), but as the lovely Mohamed from Amnesty (who organised our tickets) pointed out, you can't touch him because well - torture probably means you don't feel so good about people touching you any more. He's not that chuffed with the media either. But way cool to see him alive, kicking and walking freely.

Finally we were rocked by Ebb Tide and The Shorebreakers with Rob Hirst, the drummer (and apparently the real singer) from Midnight Oil. They even performed some old Oils songs. Rob wrote, or co-wrote most of their big hits!

saving planet = tick

Does My Bomb Look Big In This?

Big Day South

Our big day heading south began with a visit to the Eveleigh Market. Breakfast was pig. Spit roasted pig. Only click below if you are hardy.

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I was really quite chuffed with this market - not one, not two but at least three different duck producers, which included one I hadn't yet bought duck from. So as you might imagine, we now have a new duck to report on, quite cheaply 540g for $13.00 to boot from RedGate Farm, an Aylesbury! Plus there was the best fudge I have tried for years from Bowral Fine Foods I think - I can't tell for sure as I ate it all, finished gone. I already want more - all it tasted of was brown sugar, butter and cream... no preservatives. Just perfect.

My only complaints would be the steamy weather was very hot in the tin shed, and that's not great for food. Plus as a fresh food market, they need to have really good food handing procedures, and as you can see by the non-gloved food handling in the top photo, they're not there yet.

We then headed down the coast consuming aforementioned fudge on the way, with a pretty paddle at Stanwell Park Beach. From there we went to look at the white kittens. They're made of cute, but all are clearly deaf. We headed down the coast to North Coledale Beach for a lovely swim, then got hungry and went to the Headlands Hotel.

It's set on... you guessed it... a headland with an excellent view of another little beach - Little Austinmer I think, which we later went and had another swim at. But first, there was a Seafood Plate for 1 ($27.50) which was excellent and really went towards feeding us both quite happily.

We also had a 1/2 Kilo of Prawns ($15) which I think was more done on sight than weight - awesome specimins too!

We washed them down with Stones Ginger Beer ($5) which is a great drop, and then rolled down the hill to this excellent beach. See the two rock pools in the inlet - we had them to ourselves! One was warm, one cold, and we wavered between them. This beach is made of win - dogs permitted off leash, clean water, gorgeous water in the showers to clean off with, soft sand, stunning views at the escarpment and virtually no people on a saturday!

We timed the run back from here to our door, and it's an hour and fifteen minutes. For an unpolluted, unoccupied beach with awesome cheap seafood and cheap drinks, I think there is something to be said for skipping the popular Sydney beaches this summer in favour of the south coast!