Good to see that enthusiasm for Christmas is certainly not waning here in Australia. There are countless Christmas trees up in Sydney now without a doubt. One of the most impressive must surely be the one that's been placed in Martin Place by the City of Sydney. It's just near the corner of George St and right next to the magnificent old building that houses the Sydney General Post Office.
Anyone who's walked along Macquarie St would have noticed the bronze statue of the boar out the front of Sydney Hospital (the city's oldest). Il Porcellino is still there of course. But in recent months the hospital has been undergoing major refurbishment.
To make the scaffolding less of an eyesore the builders have placed large photos of some of the stone figures on the building on a backdrop to the statue.
In a way, this actually makes Il Porcellino even more visually striking than he usually is. He even looks sinister from some angles, particularly at night.
Work on George St has been going on for ages now. It still seems a long way from being finished. But there's one section that is pretty much complete and open to the public. It's the block between Market and King St.
Went down there a few days ago to check out the Christmas decorations. They look pretty cool, particularly against the older buildings and signage.
Can understand why business people in the area are still angry about the upgrade. But with the light rail going through it and no more cars people can relax and wander back and forth between the many stores. It's sure to become a shopping hub to rank with Pitt St Mall nearby. In the long term businesses will benefit greatly.
Matt Hayden, blogger in Sydney, NSW.