Photos: Manly to Spit Bridge Walk

Walking Sydney Town Hall to ANZAC Bridge and return

This afternoon I decided to walk across ANZAC Bridge. Almost every weekend I stretch my legs over the Sydney Harbour Bridge but today I decided it was time for a change.

Walking from Town Hall to ANZAC Bridge I got myself a little bit lost through the back streets of Pyrmont but eventually managed to find the pedestrian access to the bridge.

The bridge is a marvel. When Sydney builds something they typically do it in a way that simply takes your breathe away. I simply love the fact that all the major Sydney landmarks are easily accessible by foot it is something that other cities (hint hint Auckland) still need to learn.

Overall the walk from Town Hall across the Bridge and return took just over an hour and is about 6km. It is a decent but busy walk but is a lot less tourist crazy than the Harbour Bridge.

Below are some photos I took along the way.

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Brian “Head” Welch’s Stronger

I have just finished reading Brian “Head” Welch’s Stronger – Forty Days of Metal and Spirituality. The book is a forty day devotional consisting of a few scriptures and then a few pages of either commentary or stories from Welch about how these scriptures have impacted his life.

This is the second Welch book I have read (see here my comments on his first) and like his previous work this book comes across in an easy to read style that engages the reader in a way that they can relate to. This is what makes Welch’s work particularly good, this is a book about God written not by a high and mighty spiritual perfectionist but instead by a guy who has been on top of the secular world and seen his world crumble all around him and somehow in all the mess, the drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll he found God who has given him a whole new perspective on life.

Overall, Stronger gives an excellent insight into the struggles of everyday life but also how you can live your life with God in control without coming across as some weird ultra-religious zealot. I would recommend anyone who struggles with how they can keep their faith real and relevant in modern society to pick up this book and give it a read, it is short but will challenge the depth of your soul.


The consequences of the apathetic generation

Over the last few weeks a revival has happened in New Zealand politics – but not a good revival. On both the left and the right of the political spectrum we have seen a return to the 80s in both politics and politicians.

Let’s start with the Act Party. Strange things happen in politics sometimes. But you can’t get much stranger than Don Brash, former leader of the National Party who is no longer an MP and not a member of the Act Party demanding that Rodney Hide, current Parliamentary leader of the Act Party resign and give the leadership to him or else he will ‘destroy them‘. Out of this coup we have seen the undead zombies of Rogernomics arise with cries of “sell it, sell it, sell it all”.

Meanwhile in the land of the loony left we have the rise of the Mana Party. Rebel former Maori Party MP, Hone Harawira has broken every promise he has made to start this party which features such great minds as Sue Bradford, Matt McCarten and John Minto. The key policy planks of Mana seems to revolve “buy it, buy it, buy it all”. They want to nationalise all monopolies and duopolies and tax and tax and tax everyone into equal poverty.

The co-current leader of the Greens, Russel Norman, sums up the current situation pretty well: “…who wants to relive the battles of the 1980s and 1990s? We’re in 2011 for God’s sake. We need a progressive force that actually deals with where we are now, not tries to refight the 1980s and 1990s.

That is exactly how I feel. At the moment the NZ National Party wants to step back in time and see MMP removed and replaced with essentially FPP on steroids. Both the extreme left and right parties want to return to the past as well… as for Labour… well where have they been for the last three years? Let alone now… who knows that they stand for or want?

Personally I wonder if the success in the revival of 80s politics is actually a result of the failure of my generation to stand for what they believe in. Political apathy amongst my peers is high. No one cares about politics because ultimately many of them feel that no matter what they do, nothing will change. We see National governments and we see Labour governments and essentially they do the same thing… talk, talk, talk, build a white elephant here and hey presto throw in a big sports tournament and we have another three years gone.

Wasted money on white elephants and sports tournaments are enough to get old people angry enough to go to the extremes to try and make a difference. But for many young people making a difference is a turn off. The world won’t change in the typing of a status message on Facebook so therefore it isn’t worthwhile doing.

As a result, we find ourselves where we are today, a generation of young people who are being neglected because politicians know we don’t care and therefore they don’t need to cater to our needs. They know they can simply hold a sports event every three years which will get us drunk enough to forget about our real needs. And unfortunately by the time we wake up from this hangover we will be bearing the consequences of this neglect for many years to come.