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New York

 

When we lived in New York my first wife and I had an apartment in a York Avenue high rise, near the East River. 

 


Apartment 27D 1365 York Avenue - new in 1977 under repair in 2010 for concrete cancer

 

My eldest daughter was born in New York Hospital just across the way.  Over the years York Avenue hasn't changed much, except that New York Hospital no longer operates as a general hospital; it has become a medical research institution.  But elsewhere New York’s changed a great deal since the late 1970s.  The most dramatic changes are downtown, around Soho and on the West Side.  An area that used to be mainly artists’ lofts and old garment factories has transmogrified into a major retail area with lots of trendy boutiques.  It seems the whole West Side, up into the hundreds, has been gentrified.

Because of my familiarity with the area we rented a serviced apartment in east 58th street.  This is still a good choice as it is an easy walking distance to Fifth Avenue, Central Park, the Museum Of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum and the Guggenheim.  We were there at the end of March but there was still snow piled at the end of Central Park the day we arrived.  Our first night we walked across town, past Carnegie Hall to Broadway and then back via Grand Central station and Lexington. 

 

 


Broadway - to see more photos click on the above image

 

You either love New York or you hate it.  I’m in the former group.  It’s like London, I feel at very much at home when I’m there.  But of course it’s quite different to Sydney. 

Needless to say we visited the various museums; the Empire State Building; Radio City Music Hall; the Chrysler Building, from outside and above; took a Circle Line tour around the island, taking in the Statue of Liberty; and went to the Opera at the MET one night (la Traviata).  We also did the ‘sex in the city thing’, based on the TV show,  and shopped.  I picked up some new skis and boots from the after winter sales and a new camera.  The catalogue of Wendy’s purchases is too long to list here. 

Then it was time to pick up the rental car and drive to Washington.

 

 

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Travel

Russia

 

 

In June 2013 we visited Russia.  Before that we had a couple of weeks in the UK while our frequent travel companions Craig and Sonia, together with Sonia's two Russian speaking cousins and their partners and two other couples, travelled from Beijing by the trans Siberian railway.  We all met up in Moscow and a day later joined our cruise ship.  The tour provided another three guided days in Moscow before setting off for a cruise along the Volga-Baltic Waterway to St Petersburg; through some 19 locks and across some very impressive lakes.

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Fiction, Recollections & News

The McKie Family

 

 

 

Introduction

 

 

This is the story of the McKie family down a path through the gardens of the past that led to where I'm standing.  Other paths converged and merged as the McKies met and wed and bred.  Where possible I've glimpsed backwards up those paths as far as records would allow. 

The setting is Newcastle upon Tyne in northeast England and my path winds through a time when the gardens there flowered with exotic blooms and their seeds and nectar changed the entire world.  This was the blossoming of the late industrial and early scientific revolution and it flowered most brilliantly in Newcastle.

I've been to trace a couple of lines of ancestry back six generations to around the turn of the 19th century. Six generations ago, around the turn of the century, lived sixty-four individuals who each contributed a little less 1.6% of their genome to me, half of them on my mother's side and half on my father's.  Yet I can't name half a dozen of them.  But I do know one was called McKie.  So this is about his descendents; and the path they took; and some things a few of them contributed to Newcastle's fortunes; and who they met on the way.

In six generations, unless there is duplication due to copulating cousins, we all have 126 ancestors.  Over half of mine remain obscure to me but I know the majority had one thing in common, they lived in or around Newcastle upon Tyne.  Thus they contributed to the prosperity, fertility and skill of that blossoming town during the century and a half when the garden there was at its most fecund. So it's also a tale of one city.

My mother's family is the subject of a separate article on this website. 

 

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Opinions and Philosophy

Electricity Pricing

 

 August 2012 (chapters added since)

 

 

Introduction

 

The present government interventions in electricity markets, intended to move the industry from coal to renewable energy sources, are responsible for most of the rapidly rising cost of electricity in Australia.  These interventions have introduced unanticipated distortions and inefficiencies in the way that electricity is delivered.

Industry experts point to looming problems in supply and even higher price increases.

A 'root and branch' review of these mechanisms is urgently required to prevent ever increasing prices and to prevent further potentially crippling distortions.

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