The Ambitious Drifter

Words, Images and The Occasional Noise

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Photo Safari – Newtown Street Art

I went back yet again to my old stomping ground, Newtown in Sydney. There’s some fascinating buildings, which I’ll blog next. There’s also some great street art. I think I could run a tourist safari out there…..

Great street art and a Dodge Phoenix…. (1961?)

wpid-img_20151120_180149.jpgWhen I was taking this one a man walked past and said ‘I think the drawing’s terrible, but each time I walk past it I can hear it!’   Kookaburra



All credit must go the artists… I just pointed a camera

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Photo Safari 1

Now that I’m back in Australia I’ll be blogging a few of the sights {and sites) that I love. Expect more writing from the crabs on the beach and the wonders of inner-city Sydney.

Today, King St, Newtown, home of my imaginary time-travelling coffee lounge and many other interesting places.

Copyright J P Horsam 2015

The Aboriginal flag flies proudly. Back in the ’80s there was a fabulous indigenous band that played brilliant Creedence covers on a Saturday afternoon.

Copyright J P Horsam 2015

The Marlborough has never been a rough pub!

Copyright J P Horsam 2015

Newtown terrace houses.

Copyright J P Horsam 2015

Street art opposite Mostly Frank’s Coffee Lounge.


Annotated phone, somewhat kewl, as Quarksire would say.


Mostly Frank – How We Met


It turns out that your neighbor on the plane/bus/train (or the person sitting at the next table at the coffee shop) is a very, very chatty tourist. Do you try to switch seats, go for a non-committal brief small talk, or make this person your new best friend?

It might be hot but King St has lots of shade. There are patches where the awnings have been modernised away, that’s when you notice the merciless sun. I dont mind the summer in Newtown, even if it does make the place a little bit smelly. I like that, it seems ‘European’. It was hot. I was out wandering for an hour or so while my girlfriend had her hair done. I’d found a new coffee lounge, just off in a side street. That’s where we met. He was behind the bar, the place was empty. It looked good, impressive espresso machine, all chrome and pearly inlays. Didnt recognise the make, but it seemed suitably Italian. The place felt like it’d been there for years, but I know O’Connell St really well.  I’ve been there for years. I sat down. He came from behind the bar with my coffee.   ‘Strong, not too much milk, one sugar’.

I’d like to tell you that there was a note of triumph in his voice, but there wasn’t. It was matter of fact, but not unfriendly. As a matter of fact, the cappucino was perfect. ‘How did you know what I wanted? It’s perfect by the way.’ Seemed a reasonable question to me, I hadn’t said a thing so far. ‘Saw you coming…. yesterday.’   Now that was a small note of triumph, wasn’t it? ‘You found the place.’ ‘Yesterday? I wasn’t here yesterday.’ ‘Neither was I’  he said,  ‘We just got here.’ * It was the beginning of a long friendship, a very long friendship. It’s stretched about a thousand years so far, and that’s just in the first hour. My girlfriend is still at the hairdressers, that’s what my watch says .As to me? I’ve been around, I can tell you. I will tell you. ‘I need your help.’ he said. ‘There’s no longer always a Goth on the platform at Newtown station.’

The Universe was changing and most of the inhabitants were not happy .about that.

 Selected views of King St, Newtown, NSW, Australia. 

More Frank

* Coffee Takes You Places.

  Copyright notice.


Losing Colours

If you were forced to give up one sense, but gain super-sensitivity in another, which senses would you choose?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us SENSITIVE.

Super sensitivity?  No thanks, too much trouble. We live in a noisy, flashy, smelly world already. Macro vision? Nope, things wont keep still.

Can we plea bargain here?  How about a reduction in some senses for an increase in others?  I did lose my sense of taste, it was weird but I’m very happy to have it back. My hearing and sight have dwindled a bit as I get older, does that count?   At least I trashed my hearing in a good cause, sacrificed to the electric guitar.  My sense of smell remained, even when I couldnt taste sugar or salt. I’d miss my favourite incense and the memories it evokes.  I couldnt live without touch, life is such a tactile business.

My other senses? I’m sure I’ve got more than five.  I’d happily lose that part of my sixth sense that tells me things are not going to go well. Maybe I could lose the bit that tells me when something brilliant is about to happen.  Then it would be a wonderful surprise.  Mind you, my life has been surprising, sixth sense or not. Common sense?  I’ve always been low on that.

A final offer, maybe I could live in a monochrome world, as long as I could dream in colour.


Newtown, NSW, Australia.  Canon Ixus using colour pick setting.