Monday 30 November 2020

Keeping It Simple In Darling Point


We had dinner with the Two Peas last night, beyond our local Rushcutters Bay Park in the lofty suburb of Darling Point. Scorpio Mr. P had his birthday recently, so they were kind enough to host a dinner for we four in his honour. 

Theirs is a cool and elegant late Art Deco apartment*, it's interior spaces painted white, and with a bit of well-appreciated air conditioning, for it was a fearsome heat that frizzled us over the weekend. 

The fan-forced oven conditions saw both days hit 40.5 degrees along the centigradium in our 'hood, which was a bit of a shock to the system as the winter doona only got swapped out for the summer a couple of weeks ago. There had been a bit of lolling limply about in one's smalls in our more eco-friendly abode during the day, so we forewent the usual legging it across the park and up the hill to theirs and, ahem, took a taxi for the few minutes drive.

As is the way in this city, the crazy-hot days don't last long as they are immediately curtailed by what is known as a Southerly Buster. A cold front moves over the continent to our south and the dense cold air that gets trapped against the mountain range on the east coast forces a funnel of air over the Tasman Sea to come whooshing up the coast, accelerating as it goes and by the time it gets to Sydney it comes thundering in like a freight train and the temperatures plunge in minutes.

Last night was no different, and by the time we were to head back home, the temperature was 20 degrees and the chilly wild wind made it feel like 16, according to the Bureau of Meteorology**. Dressed now inappropriately in our summer linens, there was no countenancing a stroll back home through the park, so another taxi ride was in order.

The gabled house in the top left was once owned by Our Nick
a.k.a actress Nicole Kidman

But that kind of indulgence is perfectly in keeping with Darling Point, and no curtains twitched as we clambered into the backseat of the waiting vehicle, as they are of a posher nature than we on the Island, for whom our trotters are best relied upon to get us hither and yon.

And steep streets like this beauty are what we would have had to scramble up
in the heat if not for the taxi ride

Talk of Darling Point reminds me that, temptress that I am, Dear Reader, you are overdue the promised exploration of the infelicitously-named Governor Ralph Darling, who has lent his name to much of the geography in our neighbourhood. 

But that is not for today. Instead, a simple survey of some of the fancy architecture of the suburb will be undertaken. Can you spot the theme of this assemblage of pics?

While Elizabeth Bay is rather heavy on the red-brick and it's mainly the modern buildings that sport a simple white livery, Darling Point has really taken the lack of colour to heart and uses white render, often with a splash of black, to great effect.

* Not seen in this lineup of White Houses.

** As the computer modelling becomes fancier, the BoM now seems to get further away from the accuracy of its predictions, but can still keep our attention with their adoption of the "feels like" temperature measurement. Finally, someone has taken heed of the typical exchanges heard about the land and now give us what we Need To Know:

P: Phew, it's witheringly hot! What's the temperature, I wonder?

Mr. P: [Checks] Thirty-umpty degrees according to the Bureau ...

P: Rubbish! It feels like Forty-umpty to me!


  1. Do you think there is anywhere in the world with the perfect weather Pip ? ..... I don't ! Although everyone around the world thinks that it rains constantly here in the UK, it doesn't and I rather like our weather. No extremes, clearly defined seasons and often, lovely Summers.
    I absolutely ADORE those beautiful colonial Australian houses with the filigree ironwork. Nicoles looks pretty lovely as well ..... I am watching her and Hugh Gant in The Undoing at the moment. Not something I would normally watch and Hugh Grant isn't a favourite of mine BUT, it's really good. I loved Nicole in Bangkok Hilton and Far and Away , pre plastic surgery/ fillers ! XXXX

  2. Silly me, I thought "Darling" was in reference to the architecture.
    I love it. The white, with the black accents and the lush greenery, is just perfect. Funny that Victorian houses in the U.S. traditionally were painted in gaudy colors (and called "painted ladies"). It's nice that each place has its own character.
    Also, it's brilliant that so many places have balconies. So many balconies! As I have been in the market here, where the weather is very nearly perfect and thus one WANTS to have the choice of sitting outside, I realize that balconies and terraces are very rare and courtyards even rarer (or there are courtyards but they are used for parking, not lounging). The builders in the 1970s had a thing for balconies--the buildings here typically have two exposures and there's a bigger balcony on the front and a tiny balcony off the kitchen, where the washing machine can go. Having grown up where the average winter high is lower than the record low here, I was shocked that everything didn't just freeze. But it almost never freezes here.

  3. Very pretty colonial houses and neighbourhood. I have been away from the land of blogs for a while, trying to put my thoughts in some semblance of order. Alas, I do not think I have succeeded so I'm still trying to come up with something to write about.
    It's supposed to be winter here soon but the temperature hovers between 18 and 20 (Celsius). I despair that I'll ever wear my cold weather clothes.

  4. I like the white buildings, especially the modern one at the end. I am watching Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant too, same as Jackie. I am a Nicole fan.

  5. Jackie: No, I don't think anywhere is absolutely free from its residents having a grizzle about the weather from time to time. I'm sure even the fabled languid Polynesians whose Paradise seduced everyone from maritime explorers to Gauguin and beyond must have had a thing or two to say about the wind when it was cyclone season ... The wrought iron filigree work is such a feature of the Victorian architecture - so much variety from one masculine enterprise! ... I'm going to put myself in the naughty corner and say that I'm not a real fan of Our Nick - her face is too familiar to get away from not seeing her as the actress, and as for the, ahem, modifications to it, it's waaay too distracting. xx

    ToF: Yes, and the blue sky backdrop is just thrown in for good measure! You're in the market as in looking to buy? Balconies are such a great idea. Our building had them originally but they were enclosed not long after it became liveable - a combination of way too windy up on our hill and creating an extra room. In principle I miss not having one for pot plants and a BBQ (how Australian!) but the extra 10 sqm for our tiny apartments is a godsend. It is strange that your own lovely climate didn't encourage more outdoor spaces and the modern offerings are seen in a utilitarian light. Different priorities in times past. There are plenty of places even here where a gorgeous harbour vantage has been practically ignored in the window department of some old blocks and houses but the emphasis had been on recreating the architecture of England, mostly, where small windows were favoured to keep out the Northern Hemisphere weather challenges!

    Loree: It's nice to change up your routine from time to time, but it's good to see you today! You've been writing meaningful blog posts for years and years, so a bit of writer's block is probably to be expected in these times of not much happening. I wouldn't presume to offer suggestions, as I get my fodder from the fluff around my life and matters of utter inconsequence. And fear not about your winter attire, I'm sure the cold weather will come thundering into your world before long!

  6. Rachel: Your foray into Netflix has been a raging success it would seem! As I said in Jackie's reply, Nicole isn't an actress I seek out so I tend to miss a lot of her work. That said, I will admit that when I do watch something with her in it, she's pretty good. She's also a good comic actress. When she was young and pre-surgery she was in a film where she played a murdering weather girl and I was surprised how funny she was.

  7. You certainly have some beautiful buildings. My house in Brighton (UK) is situated in an all-white Victorian terrace, it does give an area a pleasant looked-after feel.

  8. Cro: I love colour and love the painted terraces but agree, nothing beats a row of white terraces. Particularly the English rows with black, glossy iron fences. The only tricky thing with the white here is that you tend to get a bit of snow-blindness on those bright summer days!

    I hear NICOLE does a wonderful job in the "UNDOING"!That is next on my list once I finish the QUEENS GAMBIT!

  10. Contessa: Auguri is a good word! We are very, very fortunate here but a lot of people are still very sensibly cautious. Plenty of changes in place as to how the world works but we're more or less free for now. Visiting one another has restrictions but that's okay - we can, which is great! Sounds like you're in good company with watching The Undoing. Isn't the Queen's Gambit terrific? xx

  11. I am a newbie reader so I do not know who are the 'two Ps" but it like this term are these two people nearly identical in looks or in mischief?

  12. Ur-spo: Nought so colourful, I'm afraid, just P & P. But extra good fun when taken in their double-dose!

  13. What a beautiful Art Deco apartment block, every detail of house and garden so well conceived and carried out. And REAL HEAT and a clear blue sky - oh my!

  14. Rosemary: Yes, it's a real eye-catcher that one. Such effective use of the limited palette, and blessed with a side-road situation for tranquility, and north facing for optimal light and sniffing distance from the harbour ... and on and on!


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