317 Comments

  1. Dear Daniel,

    I must say, this is one kind of a scary blog! I never thought this could actually happen? So i never experienced something like this. Although i sometimes feel myself falling from a great height, but that’s because your heart stands still for like one second. So i don’t know what this electric shocks mean.

    I hope you’ll never experience them again. or maybe you should, to find the meaning?

    x

  2. Usually, these kind of dreams have no meanings, and from what I’ve learned (and those people say) it just represents the agitated state of your soul, the anxiousness of your mind, or maybe your deepest fear. Most often, they’ll advise you to not give much of a thought into this, and if this is your first time, big chance it will go away easily if you keep on smiling, find out what makes you sad, what makes you happy, and counter that sadness with happiness. πŸ™‚ If you still experience those dreams later on, maybe you haven’t found the core of your agitation yet.

    I used to have a lot of dreams like this back then, mostly due to my unstable mental state. But then, I’ve learned to control it better and live positively nowadays, so those dreams hardly come back.

    But hey, experiencing these kind of dreams are rather awesome, don’t you think? XD

    btw: I’m from twitter, if you’re wondering XD

  3. Hi Daniel!
    I must say whenever you post something I’m always intrigued and have to read what you have to say no matter the subject. However this one is very interesting as you may recall I asked you to help me interpret a little over a year ago. Thankyou once again for your time.

    I however have also experienced dreams like your “electric dreams”. I often have dreams or perhaps nightmares would be a better term for some, that are so realistic in my mind that i believe they are still happening when I wake. A few times last year I found myself standing up in my room, falling out of bed and even kicking my bedroom wall, which is thankfully made of brick so my foot hasn’t gine through it. These dreams are also mixed into sleep walking. The first happened when i was around five years old. I know this is going to sound stupid but remember I was five (and maybe had some mental problems). I dreamed about an evil Batman (yes… Batman) that had broken into my house. In my dream I ran from the Batman out my front door and climbed over our 6ft wooden fence and hid in the back yard. This is when the dog woke me up. contrary to being a ‘dream’ I had actually gone out the front door climbed the fence and hid in the back yard. A 6ft fenced is quite a feat for a five year old. Like you I woke in a sweat and absolutely terrified about where I was.

    The next time this happened in such a vivid dream woud have been when i was close to ten years old. This time i was in a different house and conviniently enough my room had a door which lead into our poolyard. I had a dream that my grandmother was in the poolyard watering the plants. I went outside to talk to her however when i got out there she was gone. I exited the poolyard and as the pool gate closed it made a noise thus waking me from my wonderfully crappy dream. Once again i freaked out. Trying to get back in my room i found the door locked. Luckily someone else heard the pool gate and came to se who was in our yard.

    The last notable dream (although this one would have to be the nightmare and probably the most on topic of your electric dreams) i found myself in my current bedroomwith the walls closing in on me. I got out of bed and stumbled around my room looking for the doorway or a lightswitch however I was disorientated and found myself knocking things over in my panic. I was ‘awake’ the whole time as I was awre of what i was doing even thought the walls weren’t actually closing in on me. When i woke i was very weak and colapsed onto my bed. I was shaking all over and sweating yet again. It took me, just like you around half an hour to settle down and convince myself that what i thought had happened actually didn’t!

    I am guessing that all these dreams DO have a meaning because they are dreams, and from my understanding or belief, dreams are your subconcious thoughts. Things that exsist that you are not paying attention to and need to or things that are bothering you. Perhaps you dont have a fear of being electrocuted, maybe it’s something that it represents.

    I think it is a great idea to try and work it out for yourself before consulting a webside or dream dictionary.

  4. Ooh poor you, my dear!
    Sometimes, I believe dreams are our second reality, a reality in which we can’t run from the things we normally hide away from. So when we experience something in them and then wake up, it feels very real.
    Maybe life itsself is the dream and the dream is reality. Who knows…I do believe you should lisen to the things your dreams try to tell you through symbolism πŸ™‚ Try to look for it in a book or online and it will tell you something about the reasons why you dreamed about these particular things.
    *hugs*
    x

  5. Aww thanks for your responses guys! Yeah it is kinda awesome, in a strange way, to have dreams that affect you physically as well as mentally. Kyle, wow, you’ve had some really crazy ones there dude, thanks for sharing that – and it’s a good thing you didn’t end up in the pool itself :S

    I’ve been properly electrocuted once as far as I can remember, which was a very uncomfortable experience and led to the doctor referring me to hospital for observation. I didn’t develop a fear of electricity, but I do associate it with general unpleasantness, which may explain the dream on surface-level. But I do fully believe there are underlying meanings behind these things. I’ll keep thinking about the symbolism and might refer to an online dream dictionary one day to see what others say about it.

    Oh and Froe… “Maybe life itsself is the dream and the dream is reality…” I love it!! πŸ™‚

  6. Daniel, I’m really moved by this piece of art. And with art, I mean both your writing and your personality. I truly believe that i’ve never had the chance to meet someone as pure as you are. Your honesty and personality makes you a friend to never forget.

    I truly hope that one day i’ll get the chance to meet you in real life. And i also hope that one day you’ll find the right person for you and that you can truly be yourself.

    You deserve it.

    x Vincent

  7. Love it! I get these too, I’m just too damn lazy to write them down. I had my first hypnagogic hallucination the other night- pretty stars [apparently they are known as ‘phosphenes’] and just two nights ago I had an ‘out of person’ experience where I forgot who I was and thought I was someone else! Pretty crazy. Do you ever have lucid dreams? I used to have them more often, but lately I’ve been lucidfree. Sure, that’s a word.

  8. That’s awesome how you had a visual hypnagogic experience! I did read about the phosphenes but I can’t quite imagine what they’d “look” like. Ooh I’ve probably had a maximum of two lucid dreams before in my life, and both times I remember waking up from a dream first, then going back to sleep, getting into the dream again, and then being able to control what happens. I love the human mind πŸ˜€ And according to Google there are eight other places on the web that make use of the word Lucidfree!

  9. Great story! It’s those special nights when the travel gods seem to coordinate everything perfectly that make travelling worthwhile.

    There are a couple of good tracks on the Rihanna album (although some depressing ones too).

  10. Wow, it sounds like you had a fantastic time! Rome sounds brilliant, I want to go now. xD

    Hehe, I don’t like Rihanna much either xP

  11. Dude, I must say I love the way you write. It shows your intelligence and skill with words but it still manages to have a very relaxed, casual feeling. No wonder you won the CD. (and no, I don’t like Rhianna!)

  12. Hi Daniel

    Thought I would catch up on what you are doing and loved reading your experience on Rome and what a lovely memory to keep. You do write well no wonder you won the CD. I can well appreciate your feelings for Rome, mine will always be with me as well. I quite like Rhianna.

    Carol

  13. You had pizza in Rome with a Spanish girl called Carmen!

    I think that is the very definition of cliche – but I like it πŸ™‚

  14. Justin Bieber? FFS Danny, you might just as well cut off your dick and throw it at the kangaroos.

  15. The whole cancelation of the Bieber thing really made me realise what a police state we live in these days. I mean they had 230,000 people show up to see the Beatles arrive in 1964, with many more hysterical girls. If they could cope with that in 1964 the police should be able to cope with 5000 for Bieber.

    Oh, and that old man should just be grateful that Greg was nowhere near by when he made that comment. Calling Cardiff part of England would have signed his death warrant, hehe

    1. That’s too true mate… if you ask the question “were the girls going too hard” or “were the police going too soft” I think the answer speaks for itself. The kid’s done well though, I can’t really think of any other musical act in my lifetime aside from Hanson (sorry for mentioning them!) who have brought on such a teen-girl hype.

      And you bet I thought of Greg & Chris the instant the guy said Wales was in England!

  16. Wow, really excellent poem! Love it, sent a tingle down my spine (:

    Hehe, and just seen my blog on your favorite blogs bit, thankyouuu <3

  17. Ann-Marie never existed. A lady by the name of Maria worked the night shift at Sweethearts, and never wore a mini skirt. Francis was a more attractive lady, with long blonde hair who worked through the day, and she always wore a mini skirt.

    Maria was the only person who was at Sweethearts when both murders happened, the first one being Benny Kazawie and the second being John Pulitano.

    Maria’s son was charged with murder on the Gold Coast shortly after the second murder at Sweethearts in a totally unrelated incident.

    The original Sweethearts was at the location where the McDonalds now stands, however that building burnt down in the mid seventies.

    Sweethearts moved across the road into the building along side the Pink Pussycat. It remained there until it closed during the late 80’s.

    1. In 1983, I was a doorman at the Pink Panther strip club. While standing in the doorway of the strip club, if I looked directly across the road, my line of sight went straight in the entrance of Sweethearts, pass the counter, all the way to the back wall of the restaurant.

  18. Hey Dan, I had no idea you were so musical! Loving the blog btw, and looking forward to reading more πŸ™‚ x

  19. How many millionaires do you think will be using the tunnel? You got the poor lot dude. Start busking outside rich restaurants haha

  20. Aw thanks LJ, glad you’re enjoying the blog! Hope all is well with you πŸ˜€
    And Kyle, ha, well ok maybe not too many millionaires catch the train, but I’m sure there’d have been at least a couple of hundred-thousandaires πŸ˜›

  21. Sounds like you had a great night. Good work πŸ™‚ can’t wait to hear of the next busking adventure

  22. Great blog about busking on the streets of Sydney! Interesting to see how it’s really like from the ‘other side’. Keep it up!

  23. Good stuff Dan. I promise a fiver if you sing Get A Haircut and Dumb Things!!!! Fun blog to read….thanks for sharing!

  24. Daniel this blog is excellent!!! And without a doubt more good shit to come!!!

    Busking really is an interesting experience. That crazy woman is the bomb, lol.

    Fucking yoko ono shit, lmao.

    Best of luck with your next performance. Sounds like a great team with Laura playing violin and you on guitar, can pull off some great stuff with those two instruments togeter!

  25. Ha ha – hilarious! That’s the experiences you live for πŸ™‚

    Sorry the Rabbiitohs shirt didn’t help – was hoping you’d get some sympathy donations (they haven’t won the premiership since 1971!!!).

  26. Hey man, good work. Love the blog, will have to look out for it more often. Sounds like you go through some funny experiences out on the streets there aye.
    Keep up the good work man, making more moolah than i do.
    Cheers

  27. Hi Daniel!

    My name is Carrol, and I’m writing an article on buskers and would love to know when your busking next so I can come down and interview you for about 10 minutes of your time. It’s nothing big just for my uni. I just want to know about your experience so far etc. Hopefully this is alright, if so can you post your busking schedule? πŸ™‚

    Look forward to hearing back from you

  28. Hi mate,

    Really liked the blog. I’ve been toying with the idea of doing some busking in Sydney for the last few months (never done it before) and you have inspired me to go for it!

    See you in the tunnel!

    1. Yes I’ll tip for sure if I see you! I still busk, but I don’t do it all that regularly, maybe once or twice a month, and mostly in the Central Station tunnel. Are you still busking in Sydney?

  29. That’s awesome Daniel!!!

    Great photos. And holy shit, you have one of those “lights” that always seem to mysteriously appear in haunted photos!!! That is a scary thought . . . but how very interesting . . .
    Have you thought of returning? Full moon next week isn’t it? πŸ™‚

    Very good photos! I recently scored myself a 30 year old SLR camera for 40 bucks off ebay which is meant to be the top of its kind in its day. Excited it takes film too, will be interesting! πŸ™‚

    1. Awesome Simone, I think that calls for some photos at West End cemetery with your SLR! It’s a pity you can’t experiment as much with the film ones, but that probably makes you a better photographer in the long run.

      It is pretty freaky though hey? I went in purely to take some snaps of the cemetery over the city skyline and came out with so much more…

  30. Very pleased to find your blog. It just turned up while I was looking for more info on ‘Heartbreak Science’ I haven’t found your piece about that yet, but have come across your bit on hypnogogic imagery, words etc. I did my thesis on dreams years ago, & in the process discovered hypnogogia. Since then, I have noticed many hypnagogic ‘dreams’, and strange hypnogogic sentences. I too, never write them down, (except some hypno dreamlets) mostly because I don’t want to interrupt my getting off to sleep.
    With regards to lucid dreaming, I discovered this too, whilst doing the thesis. I go through phases of having many of them, other times I have none. I remember one lucid dream, where I was very thirsty, realising I was dreaming, I put a grcers in the street next to me, & went & bought myself an orange!
    I did this thesis decades ago, but I was very obsessed with the topic. I could wake in the morning & remember every dream of the night.-5 or6.
    One of the most interesting things I found out, was that a tribe on the Malay peninsular, were/(are?) taught to do lucid dreaming, and if they see demons (for eg) punch them in the nose. Also they’re taught to bring something back from their dreams, – an idea, an invention . I read, too, that they are remarkably happy peoples, & have always thought that their dream control must have something to do with this. I only found 1 short paragraph about these people, though I searched for more.
    More recently I discovered, that there is research being done into this field, in U.S.A. Nobody seemed to know much about it then (1970’s). It led me to a less intense, but never the less lifelong search into this area. At the time I had many theories, which I have since forgotten, but I do still believe that there lies the secret to happiness!
    As a chronic non sleeper, I have also discovered one way to overcome insomnia. On your way to sleep, try to remember your previous nights dreams, pretty soon you will be asleep. It works every time, but sometimes I forget to try it. Sometimes even an older dream will do the trick!
    Now I must try & find your piece on Heartbreak Science – which I found remarkably exciting too. When you think about it , you feel emotions around the heart area, not in the mind. It really does make absolute sense. Like your blog & will subscribe.

    1. Hi Lu, thanks so much for your comment, and how fascinating that you wrote a thesis on the subject. I started writing the phrases down just for a bit of fun, because they sounded so random and crazy, but I must say I’ve since developed a very keen interest in sleep and dream-related matters. I’ve just looked up some details on the Malay tribe you mention, the Senoi – *wow* – their approach to the dream state and life in general is incredible. It would be fascinating to be involved in this kind of research. I’m going to try your tip on getting to sleep the next time I suffer from insomnia, I can imagine doing so would trigger a reminder within your body of what it was like to be asleep? I’d actually posted my piece on Heartbreak Science on another blog, but I’ve since added it here; it’s just a couple of paragraphs about how I excited I was to hear about the breakthroughs in the field πŸ™‚ Cheers again for your input, and all the best with your own quest for knowledge!

  31. As a kid I used to read my sister’s mail. All the time. I never received any letters. But she did. All the time.
    Oh, but I am not very proud of it. It was pretty mean and unthoughtful.

    1. Oh wow, it’s much more risky eavesdropping on your family’s mail cause there’s the risk that they’ll catch you doing it & you’ll have to explain yourself. Hope you never got caught though…

  32. Hey man, first of all great post! I really enjoyed reading it… I especially like the fact that you went to the library to check out the Bible’s barcode :P.

    Anyway, I do believe that some people who are really superstitious might be able to create some sort of fear against barcodes. I had never heard of this before. But I certainly gonna give it a thought!

    Thanks for sharing Dan,

    Vincent

    1. Awesome Vince, glad you enjoyed reading it! Yeah, there are some very superstitious people out there, I wouldn’t be surprised if there are more people than we think who are fearful of barcodes. You won’t look at them the same ever again πŸ™‚

  33. Dan,
    I know it’s got nothing to do with barcodes, but to this day Peter (Kate’s husband) will NOT ring us on our home phone because of the 666 numbers in it.
    Weird or what?
    Interesting read by the way.

    1. Wow, I didn’t know that, how interesting? It never occurred to me that the 666 in your phone number would be cause for distress. You’d better not show him this blog then – he might never wish to speak to me again!

  34. Hi, Dan…
    So, here is my religious point of view.
    This barcode theory is not new to me.
    My best friend told me about it.
    And back then I already thought it was bullshit.
    Although it’s funny, you know. There are a lot of things to discuss.
    On the one hand it is just a coincidence but the Bible talks a lot about that number, you know. And God says that the number will appear in our life’s etc… so, even if it is just a coincidence for men, it is not a coincidence for God.
    This being said, I think that Christians should not be worried or frightened about barcodes. They should not fear the Devil either. I for myself don’t because Christ is stronger and whoever believes in Christ is strong himself. So it would be me + God against Satan. It’s two against one.
    I feel sorry for that woman, it certainly is hard for her to live with that fear, but to be honest I would not say that she is a very religious person, but that she is kinda very superstitious.
    Being superstitious about religious things does not make you a religious person, haha πŸ˜€

    PS- your blog entry is pretty awesome. congrats on all the research and the pictures. the story with the code on the Bible is pretty funny.

    1. Thanks heaps for your input Andrea, it’s great to hear what you think, as a Christian. I’m glad you don’t possess the fear of the Devil that you hear about so many other people having; I just can’t understand how anyone can believe that hate is stronger than love. You make a very good point about superstitiousness vs. religiousness as well, I totally agree with that. Glad you enjoyed the blog πŸ™‚

  35. Awesome Dan! What a trip it was – was so great to relive the tour reading through this. Thanks for finally getting around to it – just the perfect amount of time after to bring it back for a read through!
    Would highly recommend this tour to everyone – just amazing!!

    1. The day I rediscovered my travel diary, I realised I hadn’t heard from Todd in ages, so I went to his FB to say hi, and found from all the messages left on his wall that he actually died in October last year. He was a laugh and a half while he was here though, lots of great memories!

  36. Ha ha, sorry I didnt leave a comment last night because I was so bothered and stuffed!!! But indeed they are GREAT pics you gots talent. Especially the way you’ve kind of “photoshopped” them. Love the one of the cocky on the palm frond with his wings flapping!

  37. Mr Dan , this doaa walid an egyptian . Honestly it’s an honour for us (egyptians) to have guests and friends like you , I do appreciate your time and your effort . Believe it or not I do believe that egypt has a secret makes all of us love it very much . I can proudly say egyptian people are the most amazing in the whole world , kind , affectionate , very friendly . Please come to Egypt again and again and again ………… With all respect , thank you ……….
    Doaa Walid

    1. Hello Doaa, and thank you so much for your lovely comment! I definitely agree with what you say, I was blown away at how friendly Egyptian people are. I would love to visit again one day, and you’re welcome to come to Australia too πŸ™‚

  38. Yep, Neville is right with all that. I used to end my late nights at Sweethearts in the late 70s and early 80s when it was by the Pink Pussycat. As a musician who often ended up wired and in the Cross way after midnight it was a good chillout place after gigs at the Manzil Room or wherever.

  39. Wow, intense! I’ve always been particularly affected by dreams where I’ve lost control of something I *should* have control over. So your unstoppable swing (even without the looming electricity) would have been far more upsetting to me than a venomous spider.

    And I can hardly wake up without some part of my body being numb and tingling–usually one or both of my hands. I must really twist myself into some wacky positions. Or perhaps it’s from the dreams I can’t remember… πŸ˜‰

  40. Hi Dan
    I just discovered this post and read it with fascination and thought I’d post my own little idiosyncracy. It has nothing to do with Hypnagogia but its kind of dream related.
    Quite often when I dream I’m woken by something or other and remain awake for quite a while, but I can often talk myself into returning to the same dream.
    Another thing I do is to tell myself what images to ‘see’ during that half wake/sleep time and sort of create my own dreams. I like to choose where people go and what they do. It doesn’t happen all the time but quite often. I’ve become more aware of it in the past few months.
    Weird or what?

  41. Me too Barb, It’s all pretty interesting, isn’t it? One of those theories I had when doing my thesis, – was what people are beginning to say now, i.e. that we create our own reality! Back then saying such a thing would’ve got you chucked in the loony bin. So I didn’t say it aloud. It still strikes me as being a whacky idea, – the idea that life is like a holograph, however that was the conclusion I came to back then, though always wondering why people don’t choose to create a paradise for themselves! I think the dream control stuff
    has some important role in all this and in a way you were practising dream control. What I can tell you is that the more obsessed you get, the better you’ll get at it.
    Thanks Dan for the info on The Senoi. I did reply, but it looks as though it didn’t get to you. I’ve searched for so long for that info, but could never find anything and you came up with it just like that!

  42. I was a very naive girl of about 19 and I remember the Cafe next to the Pussycats well. What on earth was i doing in the cross?? I didnt do drugs or work as a prostitute..knew heaps of them..but I did love to dance .. I loved the dance club across from the pussycats and I would dance all night then go next door to the Jazz Bar..and finally to bed at about 6am…sleep all day and up again. I remember the crazy conversations that use to happen in that cafe…like a guy telling me that my new boyfriend was actually his boyfriend…like I said I was pretty naive and didnt have a clue about that sort of stuff….saw it but didnt understand it. I am wondering where all those people went? The looked after me I was seen as the one to be protected ..and the Kings Cross bikers of that time…Polite nice guys never gave me no trouble and treated me well. The memories have been with me a few years now and still I remember the faces so vividly. It really has a heart beat of its own its like a world of its own..and seems its still the same.

  43. I just had to say that I had first hand experience of a barcode phobia when I was 19.It was very distressing as I had to rip and destroy the barcodes on everything I used or ate.Just crossing them out wouldn’t work.I beleived that the food with barcodes was contaminated with human blood and if I used anything like a barcoded pen for example -I was condemned to hell.I was brought up as a Catholic and the religious aspect of it is something you are definetely right about.It also has something to do with OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder).I recovered eventually and I do see the humourous aspect of it now.After all Jesus said:’It’s not what you put into your mouth;it’s what comes out of it.

    1. Hello and thanks for your comment, it’s fascinating to hear from someone who knows what it’s like first-hand! I imagined that psychology would play a big part in it, on top of the religious aspect. It sounds like a horrible phobia and I couldn’t comprehend the life that the woman I spoke to on the phone would have led, knowing she couldn’t be within eyesight of a barcode. I’m glad you recovered in the end πŸ™‚

  44. Mushrooms were the one thing I couldn’t stand either for the lingest time. But for one who prides herself on adventurous eating, this was unacceptable. I have developed a taste for them through trial and error, but the thing that helped the most was getting pregnant. I craved the darn things (and couldn’t stand the sight of a carrot). So I guess you’re out of luck. ;P Your video cracked me up! πŸ˜€

    1. So you know exactly what I’m talking about Alina! It’s very interesting that pregnancy changed your appetite like that. I’m glad there’s hope for me yet – maybe the trial and error thing will pay off in the end eh? Thanks & glad you enjoyed the video!

  45. Those locked gates can be very dangerous!
    Great photos Dan. Love that first one with the trickle of water flowing through.
    Great find!

  46. Hi Dan;

    Great piece of work !
    Your bar code research is impressive and accurate. Also, the explanation and presentations were anything but dull as the code subject matter can be. You have presented a well rounded view based on fact and even some Bible eschatology.

    I’m considering putting together a you tube video in an attempt to refute some of the “insistent” people who are continually making claims of the UPC/number of the beast authenticity.

    I would like to borrow some of your information and perhaps an image or two, if I do go ahead with this video.

    Any info and images used, will give full credit to the original author (you) and provide a link to this blog.

    I’ll await your response.
    Either way,
    Well done and thank you.

    Erandon

  47. Just got home from busking in Sydney. I ventured up to Queen Victoria Bld to find a young guy with yo yo’s doing his thing so went down to Town hall and set up (have backing blues and jazz for vocals and sax. Was approached by a couple of really nice ladies who encouraged me to move to QVB as they work at T/Hall and said they would love to hear the sax while they work. Looked down at the venue but saw it was replaced by a guy named Phil who was playing really loud guitar, he explained people can hear him before they see him and playing loud and selling c.d.’s is the way to go. Time was getting on so on Phil’s advice ventured down to outside Coles and was accost by a guy selling The Big Issue pissed off because I was intruding on his territory. After he calmed down advised me to go to Martin Place there was a lot of council work on the go and the only viable place was outside of Martin Place station and was taken by a guy playing Asian music. Getting pretty frustrated with restrictions at this stage but will keep you posted David

    1. Hey David, thanks for sharing your experiences. I try and steer clear of the heavily restricted areas to be honest, and just hope that the central station tunnel isn’t too packed full of buskers. I agree, it would be much better if we had more freedom to use sites like Martin Place. All the best & hope you manage to find a place along the streets of this crazy city…

  48. Thanx for the nostalgia hit. Yes Sweethearts was next to the Pussycat. The club that Michelle referred to was the Persian Room and the Jazz club was the Paradise Nite Klub. I worked in the Paradise as a bar person and enjoyed many iconic bands come through and jam there. Renee Geyer, Billy Fields, George Benson, The Commodores, The Supremes, The Stylistics, Erana Clarke, The Harlem Globetrotters, Doug Williams (who is still performing in Sydney) just to name drop a few groups that passed through the Paradise doors. I DJed in the Persian Room for a couple of years and we were the Funk/R&B pioneers in Australia – All the Afro American navy would beeline to our club – lines down the street hours before we opened when the US Missouri came to Sydney. I was up at our door way when Cold Chisel filmed Saturday Night video…and of course Carmen who just passed away this week….don’t forget the iconic Manzil Room that was one lane behind us….damn the memories of a infamous period in Australian history serviced by expat Kiwis and Pacific Island peoples!!! Cheers

  49. Hi Dan;

    I did finally get a video completed explaining how UPC codes work in an attempt to dismiss the “666” connotation as really just another wishful thinking conspiracy ploy to try to get a square peg to fit in a round whole.

    Anyway Dan, thanks for your help and inspiration on “tipping the bolder” down the hill for me. It took a little while to get the message short and informative, without becoming an encyclopedia.
    http://youtu.be/gUvdknVO73Y

    I ended up directing the whole piece at William Tapley, a famous You Tube prophet who supports the UPC/666 idea. He is becoming famous or maybe I should say…infamous with his Denver Airport-Phallic symbol controversy.

    Best to ya,

    Erandon

  50. Nice work Dan. Ahhh… used to love the Paradise, Roosda!! Tho sometimes had more trouble getting back up the stairs at night’s end than on the way in. And the Mandrax… oops… Manzil Room. (Sigh). Yep – nostalgia. And there are plenty of musos, working girls and punters of every kind who’ve sadly dropped off the twig or ended up a tad brain dead since the 70s. Good to see some of us still keep the memories alive. And if anyone’s at all interested I’m one of those old Kings Cross troopers still making music: http://www.skullbug.com . All the best and happy new year to you all πŸ™‚

  51. Rather than say that there is no such thing as failure, I prefer to think that there is no success WITHOUT failure.

    Looking back, virtually everything worthwhile that I’ve achieved has been *after* I failed first. Sometimes, I only failed once or twice, then succeeded… other times, I failed for years before finding the right path.

    I’m at the point now that I know when I fail, I’m one step closer to success. That’s my outlook, anyway.

    1. Absolutely Steve, great point, thanks for your comment πŸ™‚ I think that even failure itself, so to speak, is a success for exactly the reason you pointed out… which I guess is why I believe there’s no such thing as failure. It’s all how you choose to perceive it. All the best with continued success in your life!

  52. I am a spirit medium. you got yourself a nice orb. and it snt a dust one. its a spirit
    well done, and excellent photography. btw your camera was being played with

    1. Cheers Chris, thanks for your kind words, and it’s great to hear feedback about the orb from someone who’s in the know! Yeah, there’s no way the camera could have changed settings like that, without the help of otherworldly manipulation…

  53. I looove posts like these! Full of pictures of beautifulness!! πŸ™‚ Capital cities are the bomb

  54. Hey man and other posters awesome read and photos I’m still to visit toowong but if your keen I had a really fucked up experience at the back of the redland bay cemetery a few years back, it’s only a small should check it out we also had a few insane photos from there but sadly my camera was stolen. If you want more info just email me at c.waite89@hotmail.com

  55. I used to live in WOODPARK just down the road from Merrylands.

    This is a good song but WHY DON’T YOU TEAM UP

    WITH THE GUY WHO WROTE THIS SONG.

    Your Might come up with a another gem, you could be
    become the Simon and Gartunkual of Merrylands.

  56. Fantastic read, mate. It’s a life dream of mine to someday climb a volcano. They absolutely fascinate me.

    On a slightly unrelated note, I love the layout of your blog. Did you design it yourself?

    1. Cheers Chris, glad you enjoyed the read! It’s totally worth the trip if you can make it across from China one day.

      The blog layout was designed by Lix at Wealth & Hellbeing. She created the artwork for my album and turned it into a WordPress theme as well, I’m really happy with how it turned out πŸ™‚

  57. hi,

    ive just come across this while doing research about this song.

    Firstly, do you remember which hostel you were staying at in orwell st?

    Secondly, I’m sad too about the Mc Donalds thing but I am positive that it moved. You see, in the golden plates in the pavement, one on the corner on the street, several shops away from Mc Donald’s, says “sweethearts”.

    I don’t know if you know (or if you’re still around Sydney) but this might cheer you up a bit: on the corner of that street, there’s a pub called sugarmill (at which I used to work while living in a hostel in Orwell st, thus my first question) and on the last floor they recently opened a rooftop bbq place called sweethearts in honour of that cafΓ© πŸ™‚

    Also, do you reckon they lived in Campbell st, glebe and just came to the cross just for sweethearts?

    1. Hi Lila, thank you (and everyone else) for getting in touch! Since I posted this article I too have found that Sweethearts moved from its original location, as quite a few people have commented about earlier. I went on a walking tour of Kings Cross a few weeks ago through Two Feet & A Heartbeat and our very knowledgable guide Stephen (who also stumbled across this blog) mentioned this fact to us and pointed out where it used to be. After the tour we had a drink at the new Sweethearts rooftop bar; I’m pleased to report it’s very atmospheric and worth checking out. I stayed at Eva’s Backpackers on Orwell St in 2009, which used to be the Venus Room nightclub back in the day. Good point about Campbell St in Glebe – it could well be that the boys lived there and namechecked it in the song?

  58. Really interesting post! I’ve been hearing hypnogogic words and sentences all my life – but like you, never wrote them down until recently!

    I was wondering, what voice do you here these in? Your own or other people’s?

    Also – I’ve experienced hearing these random incoherrent sentences whilst awake, usually while doing some passive activity that doesn’t require too much attention – Its called daytime parahypnogogia, have you ever experienced something similar?

    1. Thanks for your comment Kate, it’s great to hear from others who experience similar phenomena! I had a peek at your Tumblr and was impressed with your live hypnagogic blogging post – that’s a great idea. I don’t really recall it happening to me while I’ve been awake… it may have happened once or twice in the past as I’ve been in a semi-conscious/daydreaming state, but most of the time I get the phrases as I’m about to fall asleep or just as I’m about to wake up in the morning. They’re nearly always in my own voice and they’re quite rhythmic too, I often hear them with a stress on a certain stress syllable or as part of a catchy rhyme which helps imprint them into my memory. If you’re on Twitter, feel free to follow me & say hi at @HypnagogicTales – I post new phrases there every day or two πŸ™‚

  59. Nice pics, but oldest bridge in Australia 1832? That honour goes to the bridge at Richmond Tasmania, built 1823

  60. Dan, so inspiring, and such a relaxing, folky tune. Love your voice!
    You need to apply for Palm Creek next year!!!! This weekend thought of you always!

  61. Hey Dan, we love the song! We are a Canadian Immigration law firm, let us know if you have any questions about immigration to our great country!

    1. Cheers guys! I love how an immigration firm heard the song. I have a working holiday visa sorted out for later this year, but I’ll definitely keep you in mind in case I love it so much and want to stay for the rest of my life πŸ™‚

    1. You should totally add it to your bucket list Annette! Ha, I haven’t even had a Thai massage in Australia but if I ever travel to Thailand I’ll definitely get one.

  62. Beautiful photos. I searched Toowong Cemetery as I have seen a lovely house for sale opposite but not sure what to think of being so close to a Cemetery – but you have shown me there is beauty in the eerie!

  63. Loved this article! I too am a huge fan of Rodriguez – almost flew from Vancouver to New York to see him perform at Radio City Music Hall in October before realizing that scalpers had bought up all the good seats and what was a $95.00 seat was now going for $650.00. Ouch!! Can only hope that he does a North American tour in 2014 as he spent most of the summer and fall in Europe. Cheers…

    Sandy

    1. Hi Sandy,

      Thanks for getting in touch – it’s great to hear from a Canadian fan (I’m actually moving to Canada at the end of this month!) I did look up his tour schedule and saw the October show in NY. It’s so tempting to book a ticket but I don’t know yet if I’m going to be able to fly down for it. I missed his Sydney show earlier this year – I had no idea who he was because I hadn’t watched the film at that stage. But yes, hopefully we’ll get to see him soon πŸ™‚

  64. Hey Dan
    Great photos btw! When you mentioned your camera actually a similar thing happened to me and my flatmates in toowong cemetery back in 1999. One of my mates was studying photography and she wanted some unique shots in the cemetery, mostly of the angel statue. The day was November 11and we could hear city hall’s clock chime 11am distantly. And yes it was Remembrance Day. Shortly after 11am, my flatmates camera jammed and she couldn’t fix it. We were puzzled by it but decided to callit a day and stop by a camera shop to fix it. We felt like idiots when the shop did a quick flip of the dial and it was fully fixed. We had tried that in the cemetery and it didn’t work at all. So I don’t think you’re imagining things, I think strange things happen in that place to a lot of people.

    1. Hi Amalee, that’s fascinating, thanks so much for sharing your story of the jammed camera, and on Remembrance Day too! It does makes me feel a little more certain that otherworldly entities may have been at play when it came to my own camera experience. Toowong Cemetery is definitely an interesting place; I’ve been meaning to go back to another cemetery one day to take more photos and see if it leads to any other interesting results…

  65. This is a lovely article which made me smile. I shared it ,and it brought even more smiles.!!! Thanks with love ,and appreciation. The Barclay center-show in NYC Brooklyn. ????Rodriguez ????will perform with a uk and ashville north carolina band as will variety of special guests. Which include : Sandra Kennedy?Susan Cowsill????John Sinclair ????and others. ???? Thanks Dan???? hope you make it.! These two shows in NYC are the final two after 19 months of concerts and touring. & Scalpers of tickets BEWARE!! Respect the art .

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Sandra, I’m honoured that you saw my post and that it brought smiles. There is a small possibility that I can make the NYC show depending on how my first few days in Canada turns out… it will be very last-minute if so, but I’m crossing fingers it falls into place. And I agree entirely with your sentiment on the scalpers! Cheers & thanks again πŸ™‚

  66. I heard someone once drank the toe on accident. Don’t drink the toe. If you want to see a bear- make it a black bear(a grizzly bear will literally eat pieces of you while you’re alive). Visit the UP- sault st. Marie (shares the name with Michigan and Canada), proceed to drive to Marquette. These are just, you know, suggestions πŸ˜‰

  67. Yes I read that about the toe as well! That’s pretty gross… I doubt I’ll follow in those footsteps should I ever make it to Dawson. Cheers for the tips! The black bear is the soft way out though πŸ˜›

    1. Yeah that’d be the #1 choice in Canada! I just looked it up and there’s a few matches coming up in Toronto over the next week but it’s like $230 for a ticket!! I think the hockey might have to wait πŸ™

  68. Great summary dude. I enjoyed reading it. I hear a basketball match is very exciting, stateside. NFL would probably be really fun to watch as well.

  69. Cheers Joel & Yo – they’re all on the list! Next time I decide to cruise down to the States I’ll check out the price of NFL tickets. It doesn’t look like there’s any championship curling coming up in Toronto but there’s a bit going on around the country, I’ll keep my eyes open…

  70. Hi Dan – I came across your blog while searching for reviews of The Composition Engine and, lo and behold! Not only did you have kind things to say about it, but there’s a picture of me on your blog. πŸ˜€ So glad that you enjoyed it. I *loved* being in it. Welcome to Toronto! Welcome to Canada! How long are you staying? I’ve done the immigrant experience myself (lived in the UK for 5 years) and I know it is both exciting and challenging. I sure hope we’re living up to your expectations here in Canuckistan.

    Thanks again for your lovely review.

    Rachel

    1. Hey Rachel, thanks so much for your comment, I’m stoked that you stumbled across the post! I still can’t get over how great the Composition Engine was. I can imagine how incredible it would have been to be part of, were you one of the three harmonists at the back?

      I’ve been in Toronto for just over a week now and I love it, it’s such a pleasant, friendly city. A few years ago I lived in the UK as well and I loved the international experience so much that I really wanted to try it again, except I chose Canada this time πŸ™‚ My working visa is for 2 years, hopefully I’ll stick it out for the whole lot but it all depends how things turn out…

      Cheers,

      Dan

  71. Yep, that was me in the trio at the back of the chapel…the one on the left in the photo.

    What an introduction to Toronto, to experience Nuit Blanche in your first week! Glad you’re finding it friendly place to be. Though I grew up near TO and have spent a lot of time here, I’ve just moved to live in the city myself. I hope your plans to stay here work out in whatever ways you want and need them to.

    Have you figured out some good places to experience live music yet?

    1. I haven’t tackled the live music scene just yet but it’s on my to-do list. I am going to see Great Big Sea in Oshawa next month though which I can’t wait for! But I’m quite curious to discover the best places in town for a blues band or jazz quartet on a Friday night – let me know if you have any suggestions for venues.

      I’ve just moved into the Kensington Market area and I’m blown away by how great it is to walk to streets here… it’s beautiful! I hope your time in the city is just as enjoyable.

  72. Hey Dan Good to hear from you. I actually got the papers for Canada and Aussie at the same time the Aussie visas came through first so I ended up here. A lot of the Irish washed up on the shores there 150 years ago. Might get there some day. I know you will do well there they appreciate art and culture. You have a great style and freshness in your singing and playing. Let me know how you go. Robbie Dunn

    1. Hey cheers Robbie, glad you enjoy the song and thanks for the kind words. I know the further east you go the more Irish the accent sounds, especially in Newfoundland – I do have plans to travel through there some day. Take care & keep in touch, hope all is going great in Brisbane.

  73. Lennox Bridge/Horseshoe Bridge is actually the second oldest existing bridge in Australia – 1833. Richmond Bridge in Tasmania is the oldest – completed in 1825.

  74. I am the total opposite. Dan, the thought of general anaesthetic terrifies me. Not sure what it is; I don’t really think it’s the fear of not waking up……more the feeling of having absolutely no control. I can imagine being the psycho patient who has to be held down while the doctors jams the mask over my face!!!! I get very claustrophobic, and I had to have an MRI one day. The had my arms, legs chest, forehead and chin belted to the gurney and then put me into a little coffin type thing. Pure terror. Luckily Daz was there, and I kept singing one of his songs over and over! Music is comfort for every situation…….

  75. Interesting! Didn’t realise it was your first time?!?! I went under when I got my wisdom teeth out, and as the anaethesist was slwoly putting it in my arm and I was getting woosy, I rememeber saying to her “Wow this is what it feels like when you’re getting stoned . . . ” the look on her face was priceless, ha ha!
    25 mins isn’t too long, hope all went well. Shame, you could have almost had a Paul MCCartney moment, waking up with the melody to a song (his was Yesterday, that came to him in a dream one night!) I was getting excited there!

  76. Leanne it definitely sounds like you have a phobia of the general. Have you ever actually tried it before or do you just think you’ll be terrified if you go under? I reckon it’s different to trying narcotics, for example (not that I’ve ever gone too crazy with them in the past)… yes, you do lose control to some extent, but you don’t have the safety net of the professionals watching over your sedation like you do while you’re on a hospital bed. Oh yeah I remember you telling my about your MRI too. Once again we’re opposites – I’ve had a few and I LOVE them! There’s nothing more comforting than being cocooned in the grey tunnel with the trippy mechanical noises going on all around you. I don’t know if you’re the weird one for not liking them or if I’m the weird one for liking them πŸ˜›

    I remember you getting your wisdom teeth out Simone but I thought they used a local anaesthetic for your mouth only. I wonder if they put everyone completely under when they do wisdoms? I can imagine the look on her face as you drifted off comparing it with being stoned, that’s gold! I do get lyrics and sometimes melodies come to me during my sleep but most of the time they either don’t make any sense or I don’t remember then when I wake up. This time, they made sense AND I remembered them, but it turned out to be someone else’s song! I’d like to know what Paul’s secret is…

  77. Hi there Dan! Angela Korra’ti here, clicking over from the Facebook OKP group to read your post. GBS fandom knows me as “Anna the Piper”, which is the name I used to post under back in the day when greatbigsea.com still had the original OKP board.

    Just wanted to welcome you to GBS fandom. Long-time fan here; I’ve loved the B’ys since 2000, and I’m feeling pretty wistful about SΓ©an’s imminent departure myself. But this band has given me a huge amount of happiness, and even at this point in the band’s life cycle, hell, like it says in “Goin’ Up”: “there’s always room for more.”

  78. I came across them in a roundabout way, Republic of Doyle caught my eye on TV a couple of years ago and I will admit the theme tune intrigued me . I bought Fortunes Favour as my first cd, and that was it hooked! My GBS bucket list resulted in a lengthy trip from the UK for the most incredible week in Washington and Naniamo, 4 concerts new Friends and big adventures. No doubt the experience of a lifetime. If you haven ‘t done so already check out Alan and Sean’s solo albums, Sean’s in particular have moved me to tears on more than one occasion. In January I will have new adventures travelling to. Toronto for Murray’s Cocksure Lads cd launch more new friends to meet I’m sure . No one knows what the future will hold for the band now but individually and together the music will flow.

  79. Hi Angela & Freda, thank you so much for the welcome & for getting in touch with your GBS stories πŸ˜€ It’s great to see so many people out there who share a love for the band.

    I’ve heard of Republic of Doyle but I haven’t seen it yet, I’ll have to get onto that. I think I might have stumbled across the theme tune clip on Youtube once actually. So far I’ve gotten ahold of Boy On Bridge and Son Of A Sailer, they’re both fantastic solo records and I know there are a few others out there which I’m sure I’ll get onto soon. Thanks for the heads up about the Cocksure Lads CD launch in Toronto as well.

    The future is indeed unknown but you’re both right: there’s always room for more, whether individually or as a whole!

  80. Dan, I’ve been posting about going to GBS shows for ages and I invite you to check out my posts when you have free time!

    I’ve got a bunch of show review posts over here: http://www.angelahighland.com/tag/gbs-show-reviews/

    And most recently I was MOST pleased to achieve this: http://www.angelahighland.com/2013/10/19/the-most-important-thing-about-the-great-big-sea-show-tonight/

    And I post a LOT about GBS in general, all over my blog. They’re HUGELY important to me as the band that got me into playing guitar and a bit of mandolin and bouzouki as well–they made me rediscover music as an adult, after having six years in band in school.

    Last year I had the huge pleasure of going to Newfoundland on vacation and seeing them perform on their home turf. That was AMAZING. πŸ˜€

  81. Cheers Angela, thanks for pointing me towards your blog, I’ve had a look through it! I’m pretty jealous you’ve gotten a pic with Alan πŸ™‚ And WOW you got to see them in Newfoundland? I was originally thinking about coming over to Canada for a week or two earlier this year to see them in NL but I delayed the trip and decided in the end to get my money’s worth on the flights & move over for a year or two. I was hoping they’d announce another St John’s show in the near future but it looks like that may not happen now. Good to hear they got you into playing guitar/mandolin/bouzouki too, it’s fantastic for a band to have such an effect that you go out and learn an instrument!

    1. You are _very_ welcome!

      Yeah, the Newfoundland trip was amazing. I wanted to go there originally for two reasons–one, one of the book series I’m working on has a Newfoundlander as one of the lead characters, so I wanted to see St. John’s with my own eyes for the benefit of the character. And two, I wanted to hear Newfoundland music specifically _on Newfoundland soil_. So my wife and I decided we needed to hit the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival.

      Which turned out to be wonderful. We’d never been in a festival environment before where we could see a performer ask for four-part harmony from the crowd–and get it. And since Dara plays bouzouki (among other instruments), it was pretty amazing to actually be somewhere where _people know what a bouzouki is_.

      And after we started making plans to hit the festival, then Great Big Sea went and dropped a show into the very same weekend, unrelated to the festival. So we did both! AND AND AND we got to see them bring out Darrell Power for an encore. First time I’d seen him on stage with them in TEN YEARS. And they whipped through “Excursion Around the Bay”. God, it was beautiful.

      THEN! At the festival the next night Darrell’s current band was the closing act, and he says to the audience, “Last night I did something I hadn’t done in ten years: I remembered the words to ‘Excursion Around the Bay’.” And Dara went YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING ME just as they brought Alan, Bob, and Sean on stage, and they did “Excursion” _again_.

      The crowd went crazy. πŸ˜€ And Dara videoed both performances of “Excursion, too!

      But also I would very, VERY much endorse checking out the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival. We had great fun there and quite a few folks were rather stunned and pleased that we’d come all the way from Seattle for their festival. Plus we had a great stay at the B&B we stayed at in downtown St. John’s, as well as just walking around the town checking out the place. Hiking up on Signal Hill was great fun in particular.

      We definitely want to go back. <3

      And yeah, GBS gave me a lot of music I'm very grateful for. I'm not trying to be a professional musician, just a hobbyist, but I'm a very enthusiastic hobbyist! And I had a jamming group for quite a while that played around with GBS covers, inspired by an effort on the original OKP message board for fans to record their versions of GBS stuff and share 'em. We've still got several MP3s left over from that.

      My aforementioned wife, who IS trying to be a professional (she's got music, yay), cites GBS as a big influence on her though it's not her only influence too. But they're definitely why she plays bouzouki. The bouzouki rocks. πŸ˜€

      P.S. I went and listened to your album on iTunes. I'll be picking that up. πŸ™‚

      1. That’s amazing Anglea… what a great story about your NL adventures! To see GBS with Darrell and to then see Darrell with GBS must have been absolutely mindblowing. If any of the boys announce a solo show in NL I’ll try my best to get there – and if they don’t, I still want to go before I leave Canada just to see all the places they sing about. I looked up the dates for the folk festival next year and it’s in early August, so that’s quite possibly achievable πŸ™‚ There were a few familiar names in last years lineup, it sure looks like a worthwhile festival.

        GBS songs are a lot of fun to play on guitar, I’ve done a couple of their covers myself. Mind you, I don’t think I actually included any guitar on the songs I recorded. Have you put any up onto Youtube? Feel free to send me the link if so – I’d love to check it out. I’ve never played a bouzouki before but from what I’ve heard they seem like very charismatic instruments. I see the tuning is G-D-A-D… how interesting… I assumed it would be G-D-A-E like a mandolin but I guess that’s what sets them apart. I’ll keep an eye out for one when I next do my rounds of the music shops.

        Thanks for the kind words about the songs on iTunes, I’m glad you enjoyed them!

  82. Toronto looks so beautiful under those few inches of snow. Love the Healing Crystals shop front and the cheese shop and the bakery. They all look as though they belong in a dolls house village. Great pity about the shoes. One thing that’s for certain, keep walking in snow and they’ll fall apart. Hope you have heavy duty gloves, hat and scarf!

  83. Lmao loved the pics and reading only to come to the end with a very blatant outcome of “No it can’t” You made it sound so exciting, lol!
    I love how the snow looks in front of the camera lens. And agreed with Barb, those shops are so old school, and when covered in snow, its like a scene from A Christmas Carol, 1800s style epic Christmasness!!!
    i like “safety first” it looks really effective that pic.
    This part of Toronto looks a lot like Melbourne to me . . .

  84. I’ve got a great pair of gloves @Barbara, a friend at work kindly got me some before I left and they’re fantastic! They do a very effective job at keeping the fingers warm.
    Cheers @Simone, yeah I found if I use the flash it captures the reflection off the snowflakes which gives the shot that extra-Christmassy feel. There are indeed certain areas of Toronto that look very similar to Melbourne, and Kensington is one of them πŸ™‚

  85. Oh these photos are AMAZING!!!!!
    I have honestly never heard of an ice storm? i know of snow storms, blizzards, etc. so thanks for explaining that all. pretty scary stuff though . . . do you yourself have power?

    1. Cheers Simone! Thankfully there were no power problems where I am, although a massive tree in Bellevue Square Park toppled over a few hours after I was there! There are still 50,000 people without power today πŸ™ Yesterday I went for a walk with my housemates around an area 10km east of the city and there were a few streets there without power, there were still trees over powerlines and exposed wires, it was pretty scary. Check out this photo, it’s the best pic I’ve seen of the ice storm so far.

  86. Hello I have a 1839 Directory listing George Ibbotson (a descendant of mine) labourer living Campbells lane, Elizabeth st Sydney. Kind Regards Sandra

  87. Thanks for recommending the Crowded House cafe at Scone, it does pretty well on Trip Advisor too. I’ve been looking for scones around Barrington Tops without much luck so this might be a better option.

  88. Hey Sandra, thanks a lot for your comment. How interesting! There doesn’t appear to be a Campbells Lane in Sydney around that area any more… I wonder if it’s the same Campbell Lane referred to in Breakfast At Sweethearts? It’s fascinating that you’re able to trace your ancestry that far back as well.

  89. Remind me that if I ever visit you it needs to be not in winter!!! The coldest I ever remember being would be in New York last year and when I was in Scotland. You could say that Perth experiences extreme temperatures due to how hot it gets here! But all you need to do is avoid the sun and when you do venture out making sure you have sunscreen and a hat!

  90. I think I’d prefer the extreme cold to the extreme heat. You can always put more clothes on, but you can only take so many off… particularly when in company.

    Dan, do you have a decent balaclava or yowie? Invest in some Merino… Well worth the extra $$$

  91. Oh Loren, how about the wind? The last two times I was in Perth the wind was incredible – you had to lean forward as you walked or it’d push you over. The sun would be pretty ferocious there too, you guys get a dry heat, right?

    I agree Yo, after growing up in the tropics I’d prefer to be in -40 than +40. I don’t have a balaclava yet, I’ll try to refrain from spending the $ on one just yet but if I was to do some kind of outdoor activity in this weather it’d be the first think I’d look for

  92. Ew Dan, if I hadn’t read your entire blog post, I would have left this page thinking that Ben&Jerry’s was out to ruin the good name of ice cream by putting BROCCOLI in it. YUCK!! The flavour you -actually- tried sounds effing amazing, though, so I hope you gave it a good rating because I want to be able to buy it!

    1. Haha, sorry to put you through that Sam! πŸ˜›
      But yes, the Salty Triple Caramel was DEEE-licious. I gave it a 9/10 and very much hope it makes its way into the shops one day…

  93. Bah you REALLY fooled me with that broccoli cheddar chunk! But is it really an option, I mean, are they actually considering that flavour? I still bet you woulda tried if it were available . . . ha ha!
    Wow, so after your big desire for maple syrup, they took it off you at teh airport? So shit!
    Love your blogs, you really pick out all the things normal people would walk past, and make something intersting of them! And, well, pick out the awesome stuff anwyay.
    Always!

  94. I remember watching an episode of iron chef one time and a fellow made ice cream out of something sea foody. On that note I would have been up for trying broccoli ice cream πŸ˜›

  95. Wow! That is one heck of a story. I can’t even fathom why anyone would go out for the sole reason of letting someone else pay.. I’d rather go out to enjoy the company I’m with!

    1. Yeah I don’t understand either Meg! Maybe she did scoot off for a legitimate reason, or maybe she just didn’t like me, but either way I’m still calling ‘michtoneuse’ haha. It must be a popular thing to do in France seeing as they invented an actual word for it!

  96. Neat article. I really wanna let people who wanna know about Canadians read this! Totally agree with you. Good job, Dan. This makes my day.

  97. Very well written, indeed! As a ninth-generation Canadian, your list is a reminder of why I love this country and (more specifically) my hometown of Toronto.
    Thank you for sharing your positive words and thoughts!

  98. Actually. only the people of toronto refer to it as the center of the universe. For the rest of Canada it can be refered to as Hogtown (historically) or the Big Smoke. More recently Fordlandia ( a play on Portlandia). Only people of Toronto think highly of the city, and are thought of as self-centered navel gazers, kind of like the Americans with their “we’re the greatest” attitude. Ask anyone outside of Toronto what they think of the city and you will be quite surprised.

    As urban centers go, it is a cool place, i was born there and lived there so i can speak from experience. However, if you want to meet the real Canadians, you have to go outside of Trawna. They are friendlier, kinder and less interested in how expensive your car/ house is and more interested in what you think and do. You haven’t even scratched the surface of Canada in toronto so you have the best yet to come. Get out of Toronto if you want to see the real Canada and the real Canadians.

    Banking/Tax – try asking for the cash price of an item…you will often get a better deal because the credit card fees paid by the vendor are as extortionate as the interest we are charged. Less tax will be paid as well.

    Milk – its not bladdered milk its called bagged milk.

    Winter – most Canadians wear winter boots during the snow season, they are waterproof, insulated and indifferrent to salt as they are often rubberized. I guess if you tend to wander the shopping malls of T.O. then shoes might be appropriate, but in the rest of Canada we go outside often and the boots are standard equipment.

    Travel is always educational, and i’m glad to hear our country has made a good first impression, but please, see the rest of Canada. Sydney is not Australia, and Toronto is not Canada.

  99. As a Canadian one of most humorous incidences of cultural confusion with Aussies happened when we lived in Calgary and struck up a nice friendship with Chris and Mary. Early on in the friendship my wife invited Mary over for tea one day… poor Mary sat waiting for something more substantial than biscuits, fruit and multiple cups of tea to be served.

  100. Cheers everyone for your kind words & input!

    Toronto is indeed an amazing place and I’m looking forward to venturing further & seeing more of the country over the coming months. This is the Canada I’ve come to know so far – perhaps in a year’s time it’ll be an entirely different story?

    Ha, I love that story @Mark, I can definitely see how that eventuated πŸ™‚

  101. I am friends with the family that ran Sweethearts during the years of ‘Breakfast at Sweethearts’. Members of Cold Chisel were regulars, apparently. The detail Neville provides about Maria is consistent with the information the family gave me. Sad that the cafΓ© has been replaced by McDonalds

  102. Hey I found your post through the website reddit and I enjoyed reading this. I am a native Vermonter living currently in Strafford. I am always interested in tourist perception of our great and unique state. Looks like you got to see some of the best. I would highly recommend returning in the Summer to see the Green Mountains.
    fyi the Licence plate you took a picture of, it says “I am Vermont Strong”. That became the unofficial state motto in the recovery from hurricane Irene, the states worst natural disaster in decades.

    1. Hey, cheers for your kind words Seann, yes I loved my trip to VT and I’d love to return in the warmer months. I just looked up some pics of the Green Mountains in summer and it looks unbelievable – especially this one.

      Thanks for the info on ‘I am Vermont Strong’ – when I saw it I was wondering if it related to something specific or if it was just a general statement. It’s only recent news to me that Irene hit Vermont so hard. I hope you weren’t affected too badly by it.

       
      Edit: thanks to those who pointed out the image I linked to isn’t actually of the Green Mountains in Vermont. Try this instead!

  103. So happy you enjoyed your visit. We may be tiny by many standards but we pack a nice punch. Seeing others enjoy my ‘hood is a great reminder that VT is a great place to be, it can be hard to remember that a week into Spring with temps hovering around 0Β°F (-18Β°C) and 4 feet (1.2M) of snow on the ground. Come again, and head north and there are some great sights as you head into The Northeast Kingdom. More great beer, more cheese, some wineries and even more beautiful views with swimming holes and waterfalls.

  104. Jeff: Your review of Montpelier is better than what the Chamber of Commerce is paid to come up with. Thank you for such kind words and mentioning us at Buch Spieler Music. Next time you plan to come to town, let us know as we have a stage in the store and we would love to host a performance by you. Until next time…

  105. Great piece. As a Montpelier resident, I enjoyed reading it. You captured the town well. One note: I don’t think the photo you linked to in the comments is from VT. The mountains look too tall, bare and jagged. Ours tend to be under 4K feet, rolling and covered in trees.

  106. Don’t miss Montpelier’s farmers market when you come back in the summer! Saturdays from 9-1 in the parking lot behind Julio’s on State St. There are over 50 vendors selling local veggies, meat, cheese, eggs, maple syrup, etc. and beautiful handmade goods.

  107. Hi everyone, thanks so much for your enthusiastic responses! I’m stoked you all enjoyed reading my little piece about Montpelier. I’ll keep all those suggestions in mind – the more I find out, the more of VT I want to see.

    I won’t trust google images again! This is more like it: Mt Equinox.

    @Jeff: cheers mate, it was a great store & I’ve spun Steam Engine a few times since. I’ll definitely get in touch if I return.

  108. Dan – since you enjoyed Central Vermont – you’ll have to come and see the Northeast Kingdom. I moved here from Montpelier 38 years ago – and will never leave. It has the real beauty that Montpelier and that area had when I was a kid there (I grew up in Worcester) and is what real Vermont is…….I’ll bet the majesty of Willoughby Lake and the rest of the Kingdom will inspire a song! Glad you enjoyed Vermont!!!

  109. My favorite thing about VT is they value the beauty of there land. I wonder if you noticed it? No billboards and no skyscrapers πŸ™‚ also, people are very polite drivers.

  110. Montpelier set the standard pretty high – to think the Northeast Kingdom pushes that boundary even further piques my curiosity quite a lot! There’s some fantastic feedback & photos on Willoughby Lake at Tripadvisor, I’m impressed. Thanks for your input Sharon.

    I didn’t notice the lack of billboards at the time Jen but now that you mention it, that’s true. There was very little advertorial or architectural pollution πŸ™‚

  111. You missed the allegedly haunted statue in the cemetery along route 2. There’s also a super sweet park behind the capitol. Called redstone, it has a cute little babbling brook through the middle of it.

  112. Great write up man!! I grew up in montpelier and have enjoyed everything that you described, thanks for the positive words your welcome around here anytime.

  113. Nice write up and spot-on. Montpelier is a great capital, and represents our state well. I’m sorry you were not able to see the inside of the capital building, and that is a good reason to return in the summer. Unfortunately, you won’t be rubbing shoulders with Representatives, Senators, and the Governor because the legislature is only in session from January through early to mid-May. After that the legislators all go home to their regular lives and the capital lifestyle eases off. It’s nice to have a legislature that does its business in a few months, produces a balanced budget, and then adjourns so the citizen-legislators can return to their hometowns and regular jobs. When you do tour the capital building you can take a guided tour, or just walk around on your own and poke around all the cubbyholes. It’s really neat, and oh yeah, you won’t find any metal detectors or oppressive security at the doors of the capital because Vermont remains a very respectful and chill state.

  114. Ohhhh, I just moved back to Florida after spending 2 glorious years living in East Montpelier and working at National Life Group, in Montpelier. I am a native of Vermont, born in Northfield, not far from Montpelier. Was moved away at a young age and ended up in Florida. When I got laid off from my job and could not find another decent paying job, decided to move back to my home state. Something I needed to do. Only back in Florida because my husband, a southerner, could not adjust to the weather and because my children and grandchildren are in FL. I am so grateful for the 2 years I was able to live back in my homeland. Thank you for sharing your experiences and yes, Vermont is a beautiful and cool place to visit! I can’t wait to get some Vermont Macintosh apples…my favorite!

  115. I totally agree with You, young man. My wife and I visited Montpelier during the summer of 2013. Staying at my sisters, who by the way is Your host Karin. We too fell totally in love with the city and the country. And Your poetic hommage could have come directly from my heart. Vermont is a unique place.
    Greetings from the little kingdom of Denmark, where people in many ways are like Vermonters.

  116. I’m stoked my little post got as far as Denmark, Rolf! How lovely that Karin’s own brother has stumbled across my musings πŸ™‚ Thanks for your kind words, and I’m glad you had just as magical an experience in Montpelier.

    Cheers to everyone else for your input.

    @Rael, I did wander around behind the State House but I didn’t see Redstone Park… damn!

    @Tom, thank you for the details on the legislative season, it’s quite impressive that it’s limited to only a few months of the year; if only every state could be as efficient. I did notice the security around the building wasn’t excessive either.

    And @Laurie, it’s great hear you managed to return if only for a short few years. A welcome opportunity to relive some of your childhood back at home

  117. Enjoyed your pictures immensely. I lived in Montpelier in the 60’s and 70’s right behind that yellow Victorian house that you pictured. You can see the top of the Baptist church that my father pastored. I walked over that bridge that you took the picture of the apartments from and past the State House to high school everyday, learned to drive over that bridge crossing the Winooski River, and experienced Easter sunrise at Hubbard Park. I was proud of Vermont’s character then and still am today.

  118. I’ve herd they do ghost tours there and also herd there’s a hill there nick named spook hill apparently if you park your car halfway up and let it roll back it actually gets pulled up the hill apparently a child died in a crash and its them pulling you to safety

    1. Oh yeah I did actually click onto that one while I was browsing, but I’d never even heard of Hot Rod before so it made no sense to me! You’re right though, it should be part of the list πŸ™‚

  119. Lol I remember being obsessed with Hello Kitty. I even had a Hello Kitty phone (landline) that when it rung her wings lit up!! I really want to go to a cat cafe one day.

  120. Bau Haus – that sounds german? Whaa?
    That looks so distracting, lol.
    And the cat cafe on a third floor? Random.
    That cat wheel looks like the fucking bomb diggity!!
    $13 for a coffee and waffle around the sheep? I WANT TO GO THERE WOOOW
    Lavender tea???
    Wow so whhaa you’d never heard of Hello Kitty before? Now that I think about it, I’m not sure where the concept grew from either . . . Japanese or maybe it is Korean? Perhaps a TV show it was once I can’t remember?!
    So how many times did you have to say hello to Hello Kitty, lol?
    OH MY GOD THEY ARE OPENING A CAT CAFE IN MELBOURNE AARRRGGH I CANT WAIT not that I can afford to go down there again but still . . .

  121. ^ Oh, you would all love hanging out at a cat cafe, I hope you guys make it to one eventually!

    Yeah Simone, lavender tea. It tastes pretty much like the essential oil mixed with hot water – it was refreshing but not something I’d try again in a hurry. I knew that Hello Kitty existed but I have no idea what it actually signifies, like is it a cartoon or a book or just a random character? (ok so Wikipedia tells me it’s a Japanese character). You gotta to to Melbourne dude!

  122. Wow, there are love locks on the Sydney Harbour Bridge?!
    I thought these were only present on that bridge in Paris! Did you know that part of teh bridge in Paris actually collapsed under the weight of thepadlocks and they had to close it, and I guess, replace it? Quite sad really. It was becoming a safety issue though, lol!
    Would you say this collection is more impressive or perhaps more maintained as opposed to the collectin in Paris?

    1. Yeah there are actually some locks on the Harbour Bridge, but the maximum number I ever saw when I walked across would have been like around 100 – and that’s spread across the whole 1.3km fence! I never saw the locks in Paris so I can’t compare, but I’d say this collection in Seoul is top of its class. The European ones I’ve seen in photos tend to be a little more dull & grey in colour for some reason. Only two days ago I saw some here in Toronto as well – they’ve constructed a sculpture that spells ‘LOVE’ and people are encouraged to attach their locks.

  123. There are several bridges on Mainland Australia older than this one such as Clare’s Bridge, Thomas James Bridge (still in use) and Circuit Flat Bridge to name a few. Whilst Lennox Bridge is a beauty and an old Bridge, it does annoy me that so many people say it’s the oldest bridge in mainland Australia when within 100km of it are around 5 bridges that pre-date it.

  124. Holy cow, Dan! That’s awful. I hope the Wheel of Fortune turns in a brighter direction for you very soon. I wish I could help. If I can, let me know.

  125. That’s right, Dan! You tell Canada that you’re not going anywhere…. and then punch Canada right in the face! (But then apologize, because seriously, if you want to stay, you can’t just go around punching people in the face!!)

  126. @Rachel – thanks buddy, I’m sure it will too πŸ™‚ All is ok now.

    @Mathieu – I know, right? Sheree would have had a field day at this place.

    @Sam! I want to punch my landlord in the face, not Canada!!

    1. Hey Amanda. Yeah, interesting, isn’t it? It’s not exactly the normal circumstance under which a guy would ‘buy’ a girl. Hope you’re staying outa trouble and managing to avoid all those Detroit gangsters!

  127. Hahaha the ‘wine’ girl sounded different, maybe ebay have changed its rules in the last few years, maybe try selling yourself for a date? Good read man, made me giggle on a Monday morning πŸ™‚

  128. I think we should go hang out buddy sounds like we are both hits with the ladies. I have spent enough money to go on two or three good trips abroad over the years and have been rewarded with everything from their husbands showing up on the date with them trying to swing a threesome (quite uncomfortable) being invited back to their place and having their husbands show up later very surprised to see me there (even more uncomfortable).

    I’ve had the women who go on about their love of something like hiking/the outdoors/astronomy and plan out pretty decent dates to have to hear them complain about doing said activity.

    Then there are the scary ones. The ones who give you that constant look like they are planning on drugging you then butchering you up and enjoying your liver with some fava beans and chianti. Or the using blatantly false images of themselves and feeling bad that they would resort to that and deciding to chat with them all the same. Afterwards telling them politely you are not interested they grip you in a bear hug that far surpasses any awkward hug ever as after twenty minutes I was forced to put the palms of my hands in her face and push with an over abundance of force to break free if her. Oh yeah then there was the cross dresser. He did do himself up nice but still hard to hide an Adam’s apple that was freakishly large. I am actually going to stop recalling “great” dates as I am becoming a little bit depressed here.

  129. Cheers Jay, glad it gave you a laugh. I don’t know about eBay but maybe I can look at other places to sell myself haha.

    Ross! Dude that’s epic, have you blogged about any of this stuff at all? I’m pretty sure between the both of us we could write a book. Thankfully I haven’t had any husbands show up, but there have been one or two over the years who I’m pretty sure weren’t as single as they put themselves out to be. Back in my very early 20’s I had some overly flirtatious attention from a lady who I later found out wasn’t a lady – not that there’s anything wrong with that – but I agree it’s quite startling to come by such a revelation. It’s an interesting world out there, that’s for sure.

    Hope all is well with you. I still haven’t written off a trip to Edmonton one day… hopefully at some stage in the next 12 months I’ll make it over.

  130. Amazing story! I too went into the vaults but my friend was the brave soul to step into the circle. After he stepped out of the circle of rocks, he has four slashes on his left arm and started bleeding.

  131. Wow. I can’t believe I’ve found this. Up till now (for about a few years) I have privately and silently suffered from the terrible affliction of barcodaphobia. It started at school when a friend of mine switched me on to the significance of the long lines at the beginning, middle, and end of the UPC (the significance being the mark of the beast). Thus after having gained this knowledge I ended up getting seriously sensitized to barcodes. They were everywhere I happened to look. There seemed to be no escape from them; being triggered by them whenever my gaze unintentionally lit on them became inevitable. So I despaired. And even recently have I taken extra measures by which to avoid seeing one all day, lest I get demonically possessed, but alas, these preventive measures were in vain and did nothing but put the brain in a constant state of unhealthy alertness and tensity. At a deeper level I’m fully aware that OBJECTIVELY there is no need to fear such trifles. However, when the mind has been conditioned, as mine has been, it’s very difficult to deprogram that bad conditioning, especially when the associated neural pathways have become so inveterate. In a way I wish I were deneuralized like in MIB, but what’s done is done, and the only thing I can do is move forward. And at the end of the day it all boils down to attitude. Which is why your post, dear Schaumann, is a godsend. I was firmly convinced that my barcodaphobia was a unique, unprecedented phobia. But I guess all one has to do is google. I was gobsmacked to find out that other people have had and still have the same phobia as me. Wow. And your ‘lighthearted and humorous perspective’ on it was epiphanic. I can’t thank you enough. As they say, what you resist you become, and that maxim could not be truer in this nightmarish and absurd case of barcodaphobia. You can resist all you want by saying ‘no, NO, this is NOT happening..the barcodes, THE BARCODES!’ but in actual fact they do exist, but ultimately as powerless things unless they evoke a bad (programmed, conditioned) reaction. You helped me realize that the emotion of fear is far worse than the thing itself. Why do we as humans sometimes work ourselves up into this insane pattern of behaviour? It makes one literally mentally ill and it’s no fun way to live. What I also loved about your approach in this post was that you did not deride those who had the phobia; there’s an edge of understanding and compassion to your words. All too often people delight in scorning and ridiculing others who have mental problems; they don’t see the mote in their own eye. Anywho, this has been a breath of fresh air. Thank you! Take care. Jesse x

  132. Of course you don’t pay $100 just for a burger……you’re buying a unique experience; a memory that will last forever, and an AMAZING dinner table anecdote! Good on you!

  133. It seems you got good spirts keep it up and dont let anyone stop you from doing what you love, only i think that having a girl with you who is a great musician is the only way you will get past the 2 dollar mark, i busk too and make about the same as you but when i take one of my go’s who plays awesome i make a killing, thanks to her hard work, i can pay my rent! πŸ™‚ so keep it up πŸ˜‰ good idea for using a gimmick to make some extra dough!

  134. I made an early call that the pic of you and the banana was going to be my favorite part of this post, but actually it was…’Oh, sweetheart. I’m serious’.
    Dan, as always, this is excellent xx

  135. I went into the circle yesterday bring the sole person to do so . Nothing happens out of the ordinary but I did wake up with a blood nose excessively just a little . It was a bit strange but that’s all that happened

  136. i did the same thing in goodna cemetery lastnight and found something similar to what you have. there were no lights around and couldn’t of been caused by anything else

  137. I was in Toowong Cemetery about a week ago, and got a video of strange lights dancing in front of me. I could have reached out and touched them. I couldn’t see them with the naked eye but could see them through the IPhone I was videoing on. The strange light in your photo looks like a still of the lights I have videoed.

  138. Hi, I just stumbled across your blog while looking for photos of some of the big names in the Cross back in the day. You see, my dad used to manage Sweethearts around the time the song was written, and as a kid, whenever I’d visit him in Sydney, we’d always end up stopping in to see Maria even after he stopped working there. It was in the old McDonalds building and also across the street from there at one stage. I remember sitting in big, black vinyl booth seats looking at weird looking people asleep at the next table. My memories are blurred, but they’re still there! My dad had many stories to tell including the time he got called in over the shooting that appears in the Underbelly series, and how he used to chat with Don Walker all the time. He was a Serbian immigrant, and the Cross became his home. He has recently moved back to his homeland as he is terminally ill, but he’s left behind quite a few photos and negatives from those days which I’m about to start going through. Just thought I’d share..
    Nadia

  139. cant wait for more. i want to get into photography but i dont know where some good places are and about the f13 thing maybe a ghost wanted you to take some pic with that f13 maybe.

  140. These docs are fucking whack. Wouldn’t expect anything less from you, lol. I love documentaries but lack efficient internet connection and data to watch any of these, but if I happen to see them at the video store down the road from work I’ll be sure to rent them! (old school)
    I actually did see Searching for Sugar Man on SBS one night – I think I told you that!
    I own Bowling for Columbine p I bought it for cheap as an ex-hire DVD from Video 2000 at Deeragun in High School. After watching it in Grade 8 and having tears well in my eyes I ahd to have it. I have followed Michael Moore well ever since although have also since then adapted to the moments where he cuts and pastes things. There is a moment you can tell at the end of that film when he is talking to the GUUUNNNNNNSS guy where it is a poor edit. Some of his stuff now I see as conspiracy theorist and he is the clever journalist, but others tells true.
    I’ve heard so much about Spielbergs Last Days, and keen to see it one day. I have a strange and sad fascination with the holocaust.
    I almost did go with my boss to see the Amy Winehoouse docuemtnary at the movies but it fell through somehow. Strong woman, strong voice.

    Apparently Blackfish is a bit full of shit. I know numerous zookeepers who detest the movie and who adore their animals. I have not seen it myself, although I have also recently been told that seaworld in America is much different to Austrlaia – we have much better laws here in regards to keeping animals in captivity. I’ve now met numerous zookeepers who are passionate about animals and ai to keep them happy in their environments.
    THE ELMO ONE SOUNDS AWESOME.

  141. I was asked if I wanted to enter the stone circle. I had the strongest of all feelings/warning that I should stay out. I physically could not go near the circle either. I felt uncomfortable the whole time in there.
    It was the room at the end in which I felt the strongest presence though. Our host did not say anything other than some women don’t feel comfortable in here. I was okay first, then all of a sudden I felt/heard whispering next to me. I felt an overwhelming sense of terror. Not exactly for myself….. but that I was feeling the feelings of someone else. I have never felt terror like that before. I felt someone’s utter and absolute fear like unlike any I had experienced. It overtook me completely. I had to ask to leave the room. We all stood just outside the entrance. Just a few steps and I felt ok. But still aware of a presence there.
    I was asked what happened, and after describing it, my host said sometimes the form of a little girl in a red dress appears there. This was not what I felt though. Something communicated to me its feelings of utter fear of another entity.
    I was feeling like a feeling of suffocation and intimidation.
    Well he was right. I am a woman. And I didn’t like being in that room. At sll

  142. That’s a really sad story for that girl. I think it comes from her not totally relaxing enough to make herself comfortable on someone’s property.

    Does she worry she will ruin someone’s stuff ? With having dirty feet on it. Maybe in the past something has happened that gave her tramau.

    It would’ve been nice if you could’ve stuck around and helped her with her problem. Overcome her phobia. She probably hasn’t opened up to many people about it.

    Your story was well written and I enjoyed reading it πŸ™‚

  143. Just came across this as am writing about a tine spent working as a waitress at Sweetheart s in the late 80s mostly on the night shift !! Was an 18 year old backpacker and remember some of the characters so vividly……remember the Albanian gang who used to run some kind of drug thing through there and some of the amazing people who were working in the brothels around, and some of the v crazy stuff that went on – so vivid…thanks for posting

    1. Hey Maddy…do you remember a man named Ned? He was manager there for a while, worked there on and off for years (80s and 90s)…he was my dad.

  144. I found all of these stories very interesting. My story is somewhat lengthy but still true. It was October 2016 and I so badly wanted to visit the vaults. I have previously visited Scotland before but did not tour any haunted sights even though I wanted to. The tour started later in the evening so I left my husband in the hotel and I ventured off by myself to the vaults. The craziness starts in the vault with the stone circle, it was damp in there and water was regularly dripping on my head a face, I really didn’t think anything about this although no-one in the group had the experience. I always am that one person who likes to stand in the darkest corner alone, or allows someone to lock me in the closet. This time it all turned out different for me. I was the last to leave the vault and OF COURSE HAD to stand in the circle, after all that’s the crazy things I do, I didn’t feel anything in the circle but upon exiting the vault I IMMEDIATELY began to get dizzy, standing in the direct next vault listening to the next story I began to sway, I felt very off balance, my knees were literally about to buckle, I felt like I was going to start crying, (I mean not a whimper cry, I mean a hysterical bawl). I walked back to the hotel for we are leaving bright and early that morning. We were leaving from Manchester and I felt a cold heaviness in my lungs and even mentioned it to my husband. We arrived home the next day and at 3:00 am I found myself in the emergency room of the hospital. I had a pulmonary embolism, not just a regular pulmonary Embolism but a rare type where part of your lung dies, and not only that they had to drain 2 liters of blood off my lung as well. Doctors say the cause was because of the airplane ride. I must say I have traveled to Eygpt, Italy, Greece, Africa, Germany, ETC. In other words I have been on much longer flights. It was very ironic to a very healthy me for this to happen after standing in the circle. Another REALLY weird thing is two of my sensitive friends have basically stop talking to me, claiming there are iron shackles around my left foot and there is an ancient entity attached to me. What the hell? Crazy story I know! Coincidence or not, I have no idea?

  145. Hello everyone. I worked in Sweethearts in 1989, it was across the road from McDonald’s. I have photos of very dodgy people inside! I also have a photo of Ned, my boss. It was the most memorable, crazy place I ever worked in my life, I was 20 then. I found this blog because I am using my experience for an assessment at University in Scotland. I’m trying to get a hold of Cold Chizel to attain their permission to use the song to accompany my artwork. Boy oh boy do I have some stories!

    1. Hey Nicky, that would be great! Sadly, Ned passed away in May last year over in Bosnia. I’ll always remember visiting Sweethearts as a child…I wonder if we ever met? Ned used to say that he had a good relationship with Don Walker (even years after his Sweethearts days), and since his death I’ve often wondered if I should get in touch to let him know Ned’s gone…I’d love to see this photo – how can I get a copy?

  146. Hi Nadia, you can find me on Facebook Nikcy Baillie
    Your Dad was a lovely person, the only decent thing about Sweethearts really. We used to have chilli eating competitions and I remember eating a lot of schnitzel! My memories are very strong. I wonder if we did meet, in 1989 I was 20. Seems like yesterday. Look me up and I’ll send you what I have. I’m sorry about your Dad, he was a gentleman

    1. Thanks Nikcy, will do! In ’89 I was 11 and living in Newcastle – Ned would take me to Sweethearts every now & then when I’d visit Sydney, so we may have met!

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  148. Hey, total shot in the dark, but do you happen to know how to contact the Wiccans practicing down in the Vaults? I’m doing a research project for a college class based on family member’s paranormal experience on this tour. I really need to someone who knows about the rituals that took place in the stone circle vault. It has been difficult to find any solid info.

  149. Hi, if you like I could ask Chisel management for a permit. Also, I would (and so would hundreds of Chisel fans) like to see those old interior shots of Sweethearts!

  150. Strange how micro machines not working led me to this awesome blog post. I’ve never been to Australia. But I do work for dfat. So most of the Aussies I know live in Canberra. My brother lived in Sydney for a year and I speak French and play guitar. I’m unfortunately straight, male and married. I do have two toilets though.

  151. I spoke with Don Walker and he said he got Campbell Lane from a street sign he saw from the hotel window while writing the song.

  152. My son visited the vaults over the new year week and stopped with us traveling back. The next morning when he came down stairs I could see he wasn’t himself.
    I asked did he sleep ok and when he turned to reply I noticed three deep scratches down his neck he had no idea where they came from. He then burst into tears and began to tell us about a girl called Emily who he appeared at the end of his bed she came towards him and he felt she entered his body.HE tried to wake his girlfriend but was totally unable to move. Then his head started shaking side to side . At the point he was able to shout the name Emily out which woke his girlfriend. Speaking to her she said his voice wasn’t his. He has been deeply affected by this,I wish he hadn’t entered that circle.
    This week he has had a really bad week with things going wrong which he puts down to this circle. By the way he is 30 and a non believer

  153. Wow! I worked at Sweethearts for a few months in 1991. 4pm to midnight.
    I had a transvestite overdose on heroin in the washroom…. I couldn’t call paramedics because the owner at the time didn’t pay his phone bill. And with the police station just blocks away, do you think there were any cops around?
    Never a dull moment!!

  154. I went busking 4 times in the same spot in newtown and made a grand total of $200. I was suprised when I read your blog. I’m think I’m about to get a city busking licence but I’m wondering if its worth-it. Is it? (Take into account I am 12)

  155. I came from the central west NSW and used to travel to Sydney now and then to do some busking. Found myself busking in the cross a few times. And of course early breakfast was always at sweethearts. It was near PP when I remember it, in early 80’s. Thanks for the good read. πŸ™‚

  156. In the original John Farnham video above, who is the gloriously-soaring lead guitarist that they should’ve shown more of & where is he now?

  157. Similar bridges at Carcoar are completely ignored by Blayney Council and historians. They deserve to be protected, but no one will listen. Two bridges built near each other and they look like the Lennox Bridge. They are not on the β€˜heritage register’ but need to be recognised and conserved before they are totally destroyed by β€˜progress’

  158. Thank you to the person who tidied up the location of Sweethearts.
    I remember it being 2 doors down from pussycat..on the same side of street!
    I used to work at the Tennessee Inn across the road.
    Then at Adams Hut(1st 24hr liscence in the cross)
    I worked at the Barrel and Pussycat as Barmaid

    Tania

  159. I went to the cemetery last night alone and experienced a feeling of tension and dread randomly as i was walking down spook hill (twelfth avenue) for my second time. I mocked the giant angel that was on the side of the road and i heard a loud hissing to the right of me at the bottom of the path which i ignored. As i walked further, another hiss came at me but much closer to my left like it had teleported to the other side of the road. I yelled and sprinted out of there like no tomorrow!

  160. Hi. I just read this and was amused. I moved to downtown a few months before you visited us here. You can come back now. Its ok.

  161. I have had camera issues at toowong cemetery. trouble starting a brand new vehicle. The new vehicle is automatic and when trying to change out of park mode it wouldn’t change and I could not leave the cemetery car park for another 20 minutes or so, then everything went back to working fine. also many photo anomalies and beams of sunshine in the shape of angels.

  162. Australia’s oldest bridge is in the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney. It is small, supported by convict made bricks and was built in 1816.

  163. The Richmond Bridge in Tasmania was built in 1825 and is the oldest stone bridge in Australia. This appears to be the second oldest.

  164. I’ve seen a large white orb about the same hieght as me. It floated there and i stood there while i sent a message to it. It was very calm but very curious about me and it stayed until i left it alone.
    When i got home something was in my room watching me sleep.

  165. Hi there. I’m doing a deep dive into some Cold Chisel history. My podcast is about the song Khe Sanh and I’m just doing part two on Flame Trees. The second podcast will be accompanied by a You Tube video where I’ll show where Don Walker lived and which was the inspiration for his song Four Walls. (Originally it was about his hotel room and was later changed to be about a prison). If you’re interested, the podcast can be listened to at http://www.ipas.com.au/pods-blogs-and-vlogs or you can search for the De-mHistory channel on your podcast provider. Cheers and, as CC said: “Laugh of Die!”

  166. Always loved this song,probably from when the album came out.Funny I used to wonder about the location and back story to the song.Promised myself I would one day come over and locate Sweethearts.I finally get around to a bit of research after listening to Cold Chisel whilst on the M25 and find out its gone.Never mind this blog was a most interesting and informative read,chill out everyone in this strange Coronavirus world

  167. Greetings from Twickenham UK
    A great read that transported me across the world,I am now putting this wonderful place on my visit list once this horrendous coronavirus has been sorted.
    Literally sounds like another world with plenty of peace.

    1. Cheers Paul! Yes please do yourself a favour and visit Vermont – I’d love to hear if you ever do make it. I returned a few years later in 2016 (I just had to try another burger at the Three Penny Taproom) and I’m pleased to report a consistent sense of peace and incredible food. Hopefully the spread of this virus slows down soon and we can all return to a slightly more normal life.

  168. Omg! Oct 4, 2017 The White slab with the little heart! That’s my tribute. NL & MG my mate found the place just like I wrote, and we started to come back to contribute to the artistic build….we fixed the bench around the mosaic table, which we loosely mosaic’d…plus in the middle put rocks around to make a small sundial We spent a lot of time returning and playing about, we even built a little spot to put a tealight in. After I wrote my little love note to this paridise, I left my Sharpie so others could do the same. We were so pleased to see others had found and loved, and left their notes and thoughts on the white slabs, that we collected and left in a single spot with the sharpie, and low and behold….well you can see the other notes to this wonderful place.
    It was a sad day indeed, to ride our bicycles to our favourite spot to find it totally demolished, not a trace to be found, not even the notes on the white slab rocks could be found. My heart sunk. I can’t believe they tore it down!!!
    Thank you so much for taking the pictures….I truly cannot believe you took a photo of my note!!! Thank you for that xoxo

    1. Wow are you serious?! That’s incredible, I’m so happy you caught my Reddit post and clicked through! It was such a peaceful place to spend time at. I remember being really impressed with the mosaic table – that was some true attention to detail – and your sharpie was certainly put to good use by fellow visitors.

      Somebody on Reddit commented that these forts pop up from time to time but are eventually taken down by city workers for safety reasons, it’s a shame but it makes sense from a liability perspective and it explains why it was there one day and gone the next. I’m gonna be on the lookout for more of these structures next summer.

  169. 18 years old living in Melbourne when this song came out. I thought it was an awesome song that had a down to earth, Aussie, gritty feel with a good story. Though I’d never been to Kings Cross, I’d experienced St Kilda and the song so much just captured that sort of place. Since living in Brisbane where the suburb of Fortitude Valley has a similar vibe, including the strip clubs, pubs, hookers, music scene and coffee shops. Last year I was visiting Sydney and took my first wander through Kings Cross.Just like probably every other tourist who’s heard the news stories of stuff going on, or perhaps even like every other Cold Chisel fan. I wasn’t looking for Sweethearts cafe but saw a sign pointing to Sweethearts on a door to a pub roof bar. It didn’t seem to gel with the lyrics they’ve been playing all these years but I took a photo anyway. Later I googled Campbell Lane Kings Cross which only made it more confusing. Still love the song of course and I don’t know why but even though I’ve never lived there or in Sydney, it seems like a huge loss that the cafe is gone. Will they burn down the dog on his tuckerbox or dredge Bondi Beach next? yeh move on..Maybe the song is more than the cafe, but if it was still there and playing Breakfast at Sweethearts over the speakers, how good would that be?

  170. i knew the MAXIMOVIC family very well, owners of sweethearts….love to know what became of them, they had a number of cafes in the cross during that time

    1. Hi Neville, thanks: yes Mikko got in touch with me quite some time ago…he even passed on the news of my father’s death to Don Walker, which was nice of him ?

  171. The Lennox Bridge isn’t the oldest bridge in Australia. It even isn ‘t the oldest bridge on the mainland which is a bridge on the Old North Road. near Wisemans Ferry.It is the oldest stone arch bridge on the mainland

  172. What an amazing place. Lost my beautiful Bindi in January; how I wish there was something similar here! Thanks for sharing