Bit wet in Adelaide today. It started last night with a massive downpour around 7pm and it’s been pouring on and off ever since. It has had us all dashing about madly because we were getting into that lovely relaxed feeling of warm , dry days. Everything in Adelaide is always “a bit.” It has been a bit humid and a bit changeable with the temperatures. One minute we have been wearing long sleeves and the next minute we are out in our shorts and tank tops again. It’s been a bit all over the place but we thoroughly enjoyed the lovely warmth of the Easter break and made the most of it. I have never seen town so busy. On Easter Monday everyone just wanted to kick back and relax and enjoy the lovely, sunny day. It’s been a bit of a surprise today we can no longer move in and out freely. Our pets are managing the change but also wondering what is going on. My garden needs the rain and the plants will be more than happy for all this water. It’s been a bit dry lately. Last year we had a lot of rain so the gardens have been booming and Adelaide has never looked so green. It is the first time ever I have been mowing my lawn in summer. Normally it’s a dust bowl. Today I was out dodging the rain getting fresh produce. Everyone was laughing because we had tried to park our cars where we’d easily reached cover. We were dashing into the shops and full of cheer. The Easter sunshine has buoyed us up and so today we are doing the wet happily and in style and have decided now’s a good time to be cooking and enjoying indoor activities. Adelaideians can often have long faces as soon as the rain comes. Not today. We are all a bit happy, really.
Stephen Goldsmith, an elder of the Kaurna custodians of the Adelaide plains, says: “For Aboriginal people, not just Yolngu, Djalu is our diplomat, our ambassador. We all talk about the Dalai Lama; his role is to embrace all people, to lead with generosity, to enrich our shared understanding of ourselves and each other. Djalu is like that – he is a spiritual leader. Yidaki is his voice.”
I was glad I went to see the Yidaki exhibition today at the South Australian Museum. Less of an exhibition and so much more the experience. The rooms are transformed into spaces where the Yolngu people speak to us and share their culture. It affects all the senses and by the time you have finished you have been transformed. Djalu Gurruwiwi has achieved his end. He transforms people wherever he goes and there was nothing more powerful than the video you watch where you can see that he values so deeply what the South Australian Museum has done. In its turn, the South Australian Museum has been moved and affected by it. This is a very real attempt to allow people to tell their own story and explain their own culture. I haven’t seen anything like it outside the Kanak museum in the heart of Noumea where the Kanak people talk to you and allow you to share their culture by being a real part of it for a little while. It’s powerful stuff because you hear, see and feel the culture.
In the video you can see how expert Djalu Gurruwiwi is a creating yidaki, how at home his son , Vernon, is playing them . In the museum exhibition there is the story of how his grandson learned to play the yadiki and then you hear him. He is young, but you can see he is already one with that instrument and understands it from the inside.
The school children there were silent and absorbed. They were looking, listening, exploring the different parts of the exhibition with real interest. It was making them think. You could see it. The whole exhibition involves listening and taking part. It wasn’t a chore for them. They were drawn into it and wanted to find out more.
It is good to see Arnhem Land being so well represented and properly acknowledged. We should know about Djalu Gurruwiwi.
I was lucky to be able to attend the beekeeping workshop organised by the Willunga Environment Centre and it didn’t disappoint. Apart from all the useful information I was given I also received this lovely Caryopteris plant which is bee and butterfly friendly. Adelaide is supposed to be a bee sanctuary and we are making some good inroads into that but not enough information is getting out. There are things we can easily do to help support bee populations. We need bees. They pollinate what we eat. Europe lost around 38 million bees to insecticides and GMO crops. They have learned and got some good urban bee keeping programmes going. America has had bee colony collapses from diseases, insecticides and pesticides. All this is widely publicised but then there are organisations like the beekeepers of New York who are working hard to counter the the loss of bees. Urban and suburban areas are well suited to helping sustain bee populations because we can limit our use of insecticides and pesticides (do we want those on our food anyway??) . We can help the bees and the video shows us 4 easy ways of doing that. Urban bee keepers Australia wide are doing their bit and have been creating some good connections for bee keeper training, bee awareness and increasing the number of hives. The bee sanctuary is part of that and it’s an opportunity to increase the number of hives through sponsorship. Bee keeping in South Australia can be hard, especially when we have bush fires. We all need to think and work together. The beekeeping workshop was one way of doing that. It helped new keepers become encouraged and find contact with support. It helped people like me develop a plan of how I could help support bee populations and health. We have stingless bees in Australia , too, and not enough is broadcast about those. They produce honey in small quantities and might be more suitable for some people , some areas and some venues. The momentum is building and we are now aware a lot more education around bees needs to be done so we can join together and get healthy bee populations again.
We have some very knowledgeable, expert beekeepers in South Australia. We also have some well train and well versed people in biodiversity. It would be great if we could all get together and work on a well thought out plan to support this notion of Adelaide being a bee sanctuary so that it is a meaningful reality for all of us. It’s not like bees do not contribute strongly and importantly to the economy and our health.
Chinese New Year is this Saturday, 28th January, and in certain respects it makes more sense to celebrate the new year a while after the Christmas celebrations. I find that a week between occasions is not enough. You get too much food, too much preparation and too much of everything. It would be good to have a month between them. People seemed to enjoy seeing the lanterns in the Mall today and most were like me, taking pictures of them because they looked so cheerful and colourful. There was a stage in the Mall itself where something will obviously be happening on another day. So, it’s the year of the rooster – the fire rooster – and rooster people are typically happy and energetic. Some famous roosters are:
- Bob Marley (born 6 February 1945), a Wood Rooster
- Jennifer Aniston (born February 11, 1969), an Earth Rooster
- Jennifer Lopez (born July 24, 1969), an Earth Rooster
- Britney Spears (born December 2, 1981), a Gold Rooster
If you are interested in the year of the rooster predictions , you can look at the astrology club site. In many ways the year of the monkey has left us a bit worn out with all the things going on. The year of the rooster will be different. In any case, Adelaide is ready for it and our Chinese population will be pleased to lead the way as they have done with other Chinese based celebrations like the moon lantern festival.
I have loved Nouvelle Vague ever since their Bande à part album which has been a regular in my driving music choices. Their music is different . It has a good beat, the lyrics are interesting and it’s great music to listen to. Bande à part was a new wave (nouvelle vague) film by the legendary French director Jean Luc Goddard. The band , Nouvelle Vague, seems to go through a range of female singers but they all have unusual and lovely voices. Last night’s performance lived up to expectation. There were actually three women singing who all had a different way of engaging the audience and not just the two on the poster. The poster really doesn’t do the band or the performance justice. The group performs extremely well live and connects in a competent way with their audience. They have the skills and professionalism to adapt to an audience and personalise the performance. It was all well orchestrated and every detail in terms of music, dress, lighting and choreography was well thought out. The audience had a great night. Her Majesty’s was a really good venue for an act such as this because they could reach out easily to their audience and make it a warm and friendly evening where we could all enjoy their music. Their new CD, I could be so happy, was available at a very good price at the end of the performance and so I purchased it. I tell you, it is not the same as seeing them. There is such a richness of experience in seeing them live because they care about the quality of delivery and take a professional interest in executing a top quality performance. I am certain they can play to much bigger audiences in huge venues but I am glad I was part of the lovely Adelaide up close and personal evening.
It is over a hundred years now since this incident on the Picnic Train in Broken Hill. It’s a curious story and I did not know about it until Christmas day. There was an older lady there who came from Broken Hill and one of her family had been on the train. She understood the power of this story and she could get through what a shock it had been for the community. We need to resolve this a bit better because it has never been properly explained. It may be that there is too much at risk to explain it either because it involved Afghan people or because it was apparently perhaps connected to the Ottoman and British Empires. It would be a complicated story to unravel but maybe now it’s time to do that and understand what really went on.
Despite being a spectacular incident many questions remain.
Claims have been made that the letters were forgeries and the Turkish flag planted. Lines in the ground have been declared on both sides of the story–some say the Afghans refused to take responsibility for the bodies others blame harsh treatment of the Afghans by the locals as impetus for the incident.
South Australia has had a long and close association with Broken Hill and it means a lot to us. It is right on the border between us and NSW. It is also the home of Pro Hart. The story has been well documented and various interpretations have been put on it over the years but it still remains a bit of a mystery but that tends to be part of our culture to have these unresolved historical narratives . Would be good to clear this one up.
Was absolute bliss being in the Noarlunga library this morning. It was quiet, tranquil and calm: a haven from the Christmas rush and bustle which is now par for the course. I love it all. I love all the preparing , shopping, searching, doing, thising and thating. Everyone has been cheerful and happy in the shops and very helpful. This morning was library morning, though, and what a contrast. I could see the superb Adelaide day through the window and appreciate the vibrant greens and blues. I could sit comfortably and just catch my thoughts and ideas and have a safe haven to engage with my interests. I wrote a post on my E-WOT blog earlier about how I had gone back to the library after a 20 year gap. I have not regretted it. Every fortnight I am there and it’s a lovely place to be. It is a place where people go to learn and find things out. The librarians never miss an opportunity to allow you to make better use of their services and they do it in such a nice way. They just talk to you! They have this built in radar which seems to detect a human in need and a friendly face will just pop up when you are starting to get a bit frustrated. People go to the library to catch up on the news, to browse the information or just to have a lovely, serene place to be and search out what they want . Everyone is relaxed but totally absorbed in what they are learning, reading, doing , searching for. It is a wonderful atmosphere. Today was especially nice because it has just been so busy building up to Christmas.
Image : absfreepic by flyupmike
You have to be as tough as old boots to survive retiring in Adelaide. No wonder older people are getting depressed and depression is one of the significant factors affecting the active lifestyle of older people. It’s just nonsense what is going on in Adelaide and bordering on harassment. Definitely prejudice. There is a clear image being forced on retirees of what older people are and should be thinking about. I had no longer left my busy, demanding, full on, responsible job than I was getting emails about estate planning, wills , retirement villages and residential care. Facebook was doing it to me as well when I put pictures up of retiring. I joined the local library and got a funeral planning leaflet in with all my other leaflets. I went to a senior’s session at the cinema and they showed an advert about behind the scenes tours which could be had at a funeral parlor. I was being called love and dear, spoken to on the phone like I’d lost my marbles , treated as though I couldn’t work things out for myself and then discovered the Onkaparinga Council links seniors and disability together on their site. If you want people to be active and involved then they need to be treated with respect. I accept there are plenty of older people who do have disabilities and need help. I accept that the decision in 2011 to amalgamate those two services into one makes sense. I also accept that in this council area it may be what seems to be most in demand from the council – services for seniors with disabilities. Vision impairment is vision impairment and has certain requirements with regard to support no matter what your age. Ditto mobility. If you want to know what is available for older people in your area, though , it doesn’t need to be linked to disability unless that is what you specifically require. If there are frequent reinforcing signals suggesting older people are less significant,able, on their last legs, just need to be amused , entertained and looked after then some of that will stick. Last I read there were unfortunately a lot of younger people shuffling off the planet for all sorts of reasons too. Finiteness is no longer a privilege of the aged in 2016. There are plenty of older people achieving significant wins in marathons, iron men competitions, politics, world changes…life. Angela Merkel, the Mayor of Onkaparinga and Dashun Wang come to mind. Yes, we need to provide easily accessed services for people who need them. Yes, we need to be mindful that those we deal with might have specific needs and we need to be considerate of them. I am lucky I have a strong sense of self and find age a real advantage because I have just been disgusted with this old people , retiree tosh which has been coming at me this year. Last year I was a year younger and it did not happen. I now get dismissed as a senior or pensioner and have been told not to watch daytime TV because they just put on funeral adverts. What a load of rubbish. Adelaide really needs to lift its game. As we upgrade Adelaide we need to upgrade our attitudes as well. You are never going to get active ageing if you channel people into limited images of themselves and others.
My car is really going to miss its idyllic parking spot on a Tuesday evening. I am on a promise to go back to the McLaren Vale and Fleurieu Information Centre to discover the shop , the cafe and the Stump Hill Art Gallery while they are open. It was an ideal location for the first Living Smart SA course in McLaren Vale and I count myself very lucky I was picked to be in the first group. There are two other groups in Unley and Glenelg at this stage. It’s a 7 week course of 2 hour weekly sessions plus a field trip which are packed with information and inspiration. The wealth of expertise and experience in the group I was in was very impressive. We were a mixed age group from the region and the balance from that was important. It meant we were a dynamic group because we were at different life stages, had different interests and needs but the natural sharing which came from that was valuable. The input from experts and council was well targeted and helpful. I had access to quality information about my region and about the environment and sustainability in general. The session which focused on energy was so informative because it looked at real life problems and how you could address them. I did my own energy audit at home so I have two things now I can work on. The gardening session was energising. I have always gardened but to have it come at me from a different angle made me think and reconsider some of my practices. I am more focused now. That was enhanced by the field trip to the Arts Eco Village at Aldinga. To be able to see how that worked first hand was so worth it. People in the village kindly explained things to us and did it in a friendly way so we could see how what they had done and planned had worked. It had such a positive impact on me that I am now more decisive about changes I want to make in my own home. Another session we had on recycling certainly clarified a number of issues. I can now make proper decisions about my recycling because we got the information from an expert and then the experts in the group could add to that. That was what was so noticeable about the course. We had topics and sessions but each one of them was capable of drawing on the wealth of knowledge in the group so we experienced value added learning. Lynda and Dani , who ran the group, tuned into those sorts of things very quickly and promoted the learning potential in the group naturally by noticing what we reacted to. They were able to stimulate the thinking and action potential in that group. One of the side effects of the recycling focus is that I have become even better and more adventurous with my upcycling. It has reinforced my belief you repair, repurpose, recycle, upcycle or donate to charity. Every week we were sent emails with resources and every session we were given or pointed towards resources. We are richer for having done that course because we can direct ourselves more ably and we are all very wildly enthusiastic now so we have been launched as stimulants into the wider community. It was a really well run, rewarding course and I can easily recommend it.
Adelaide was full of joy yesterday. The city was cheerful and happy and we were back to the lovely sunny weather. This year the Mall has different decorations and they are taking up a lot of room. They have different installations to say things like Peace and Merry Christmas. At each end of the Mall there are matching booths with seats. Some teachers sensibly used the one at the top of the Mall to rally students who had been on an excursion in town. It was a great use of the booths and demonstrated how effective something as simple as that can help people stay safe in the city. People like hidy holes but the booths have bars down and not solid walls so there is the illusion of privacy without being cut off from the mainstream. Adelaide has been thinking about safety in the city and has done it in some interesting ways. The big decorations would stop the mass entrance of students after school who can mill around the Mall in clumps and clusters without thinking. Those decorations are guiding pedestrian traffic quite naturally. The train station has had a regular presence of police and yesterday the sniffer dog as well. The dog was so wiggly and well. A credit to the people who care for those dogs. There is nothing wrong with reassuring shoppers they can shop in peace and having a common sense approach to social expectation. It meant everyone was relaxed yesterday and we could all shop and eat in peace. I am really glad to see they still have the coffee booths in the Mall. They add to the atmosphere and are well patronised. It was joyful yesterday and will get better as the days go by. We are not yet in December and the preparations are still being completed.
Love Zic Zazou. They are inspirational recyclers and know how to repurpose with ingenuity and style. This clip is perfect for South Australia since we have well established wine regions. What a great use of wine bottles and what an awesome way it would be to celebrate our wine industry. The title of the clip is The art of musically opening bottles.
This venue is a bit of a misnomer. I have driven past it so many times. I have always thought it was well placed, well cared for and looks lovely and thought it was for tourists to the McLaren Vale and Fleurieu region. I did not think it was for me. How could I have been missing out for so long? I was fortunate to have a meeting there last night for the beginning of the new Living Smart course. The Information Centre is beautiful. It is well thought out, looks what it should look like in McLaren Vale and is a treasure trove of the local region. It gives an authentic feel of this area. I found an art gallery which had so many interesting pieces, a shop, local produce and some lovely local things to look at. I shall never drive past it again. The Onkaparinga Council site describes it in this way:
“The centre also offers a comfortable modern cafe, public toilets, ever-changing gallery, food and wine interpretive displays, free internet hot spot and a cellar door which accommodates different wineries each month.”
It is a great little spot for anyone who wants to enjoy this region. Given it’s hardly any distance down the main road to McLaren Vale, it is perfectly placed and now will become my first stop! I normally admire it from a distance, drive past and go straight into the township!
Image: adapted from ClipArtKid
The images of the mangled pylons have reached iconic status and we are at the stage where we think building an ark might be a good idea. Wellies are going to be the footwear du jour for a while and we are just holding it together and battling on. It has been a great team effort from South Australia. Other states have massive icons like the big banana, the big koala and the big pineapple. I am thinking we need to have the big piggy bank. It would fit in with our pigs in the Mall which everyone loves. We could put a ladder on the side and encourage cardio vascular health activity too. We love our fitness. We need to start saving to get our electricity back. We appeared to have been exporting electricity to the grid via the Victorian interconnector just before it all went down when the pylons collapsed. In May Germany had generated so much excess power via solar and wind power they were paying citizens to use it up. Since then they have gone into partnership with Norway to create a production/storage arrangement to benefit base load and the car industry. As a matter of interest, one of the significant German renewable energy companies was actually developed here in Adelaide and had to move because it wasn’t getting the support it needed. We also have the storage development here in NT. Big companies around the world are committing to renewables and Costa Rica ran for 76 days on renewables. So, it was good to see ANU come out and explain the situation with our storm, climate change and renewables. We need clarity and experts. It had actually been a great achievement to get us back up and running in such a short time from a total state black out. That needs to be acknowledged too.
Crikey has explained what happened quite clearly and we need to keep that in mind because we can confuse ourselves. SA Govt keeps its site updated too.We also have a long and well thought out history in the science of meteorology which is of vital importance to us now and needs to be consulted along with other expert information. The abc site looked at electricity in Australia. It does seem to be a bit of a mixed bag and maybe what has happened in South Australia is something we need to look at as a country. We need to be able to manage our electricity and infrastructure in a way which enables us to be in control when the climate goes mad. Deregulation ought not mean we lose control of a guaranteed supply at a reasonable cost which can manage the conditions in our country. Until we identify why pylons can just collapse like that and they did , apparently, under ETSA in the 70s, then we need to keep questioning and thinking. I don’t have a problem with a safety shutdown across a system if it is designed to save lives and create safe working conditions for those trying to repair damage. We need to look at all the issues separately and back away from a garbled mix of them all.
WhatChef? has an Aussie foods downunder channel and he is yet another person who has tried to keep us positive and able to cope. The video will remind us we were all like that with our torches, flashlight apps and candles trying to go through cupboards to put a meal together. Those coming home from work were doing it hard. Some houses are all electricity so the oven or cooktop were not options. Some people used their barbecues or camping equipment, others got take away. By dinner time the weather was really tough and the power outage had settled in. Some people put their ideas up on Facebook to help others think. The sense of community was strong and WhatChef? has now added to that. YouTube is full of clips of how to manage during power outages. We do live in a world where people make videos of how they manage difficult situations and the help is real. It was just luck I had eaten my main meal at lunchtime and my decision was not to open the fridge at all. Not so easy when you have a hungry, growing family. Other people where doing like WhatChef? and looking through their cupboards and creating creations for dinner. Sharing this information is how we are building knowledge banks for everyone. Life is what is and we need ways of managing it and Chris George is helping us do that.
The narrative continues. We have been from #stormmaggedon to #adelaidestorm to #SAStorms and now to #SAFloods. Meanwhile reality is starting to kick in and the the enormity of this is hitting us. We’ll manage and we’ll get through because we’ll talk each other through it and we’ll share information. The national reaction is baffling and inexplicably odd. Where’s the empathy? The care? The consideration? Where’s the acknowledgement that what has happened in South Australia is calamitous, catastrophic, disastrous? The discussions can by all means go on in the background but front and centre should be help. Concern. We are dealing with some real issues here which are extremely challenging and we need people onside. We are currently double battling reality and then the capricious nonsense which is diverting authentic care. We’ll deal with it but it is pretty unsettling to know this is how we are being treated. There are people who have been frightened and destabilised by the thought of the storm and then the storm itself. Their levels of anxiety and depression have escalated. There are people who are appearing to be selfish because they cannot compute that food had to be wasted in huge quantities and it will take some time to get resupplied. Many of our roads are flooded, blocked, degraded, crumbled, broken or unsafe. Our food largely comes by truck. The emergency services, SAPOL, Jay Weatherill and other organisations are sending clear , strong messages to us and getting the information out to us. We don’t need to be diverted from those messages. We are a big , sprawly state and some distances we need to travel to get food or help are long and now difficult or impossible. Some still don’t have power or mobile and or phone connections. Many are concerned about relatives. People are traumatised. They might seem like they are coping but they have taken a body blow and so are not necessarily thinking straight so they do seemingly dumb things like drive through flood waters. That message that we mustn’t just has to keep coming out. Likewise the messages about checking roads and transit corridors, not going into flood waters, how to get help. We need good, clear information and the state is supplying us with that. We also have had sightseers criticised for taking photos. No, they should not put themselves at risk or get in the way, but it is how we are coming to terms with the enormity of this. It is HUGE. Cosi was so sweet to make a live video of the flooded Brewery Lights. It has meant a lot to people because it is a childhood thing. Instinctively he knew it would help us process what we need to process. If you are looking for flood information Greg Barila at AdelaideNow has established a live feed site:
That is what we need.
I am proud of South Australia and South Australians. We have, and still are, managing a very difficult situation for the state. The reaction from Canberra has been highly irregular under the circumstances. The lack of concern at a time, when we were in the thick of it not knowing really what we were dealing with, was uncalled for and remains inexplicable. The continued muddying of the waters is unnecessary. We are very grateful for interstate expertise and practical help which is assisting us rectify the situation. That’s why I am proud. We have hauled ourselves through this and we have all been working hard and very positively. We have given each other practical help, ideas, reassurance, encouragement, information. SA Power networks, SAPOL, 891 and Jay Weatherill were giving clear, helpful directions. Even before the storm hit we were told what to do and what we needed to look out for. The SES got a very useful infographic out on social media and have been on the ground ever since. All sorts of organisations and individuals have put themselves out there so we could manage Wednesday night and now the upshot of all of that on Friday. Last time I was on an extended power outage I was on holidays on the south island of New Zealand. There was no power, no landlines just blackness , the thunder, lightning, rain and wind. Powerlines had broken and were waving around so the power had to go off. The same happened here. That was a massive storm. We don’t have things that look like tornadoes forming off our coast. We can have devastating winds and we do have storms. I have lived in South Australia for 51 years. This year I have had more power outages than ever and Wednesday night I was without power for 11 hours. Some people are still without power. Others got their power back by about 7.30pm. Our supply comes from Victoria and the generators are like a Clipsal safety switch . They will shut down if they sense a fault. I’d rather have that than live wires or transmitter stations coming down in heavy winds , massive rain and significant lightning strikes. It has caused us to think about how we’ll deal with this kind of situation again. I am hoping there is no deal whereby we will get charged for not using enough electricity because we couldn’t because we were shut down. My new neighbours , who come from the country, appear to have been running a generator while we had the black out. We are thinking of ways now that we can create supply if the main supply has to go down for safety reasons. I had plenty of candles, my mobile devices were charged and I still had access to a landline and mobile network. Some of that meant I was relaying messages for those who found themselves without mobile or online access. I had battery powered LED lights and I’ll be getting more of those. We were not as badly hit as other areas of the state and now some regions are dealing with roads which have fallen away or are blocked and flooding. The great thing about us was we were helping keep the mood positive. We were coming out with the laughs but we were supporting each other. The storm has caused widespread damage and disruption. It is a major event. 891, our Premier and our emergency services have taken this seriously, have kept their nerve and are genuinely working hard to help us. That means we can help ourselves. It is really hard for the people who still don’t have power or proper phone access. That is not our fault. That is what has happened because we had a massive storm unlike any other. We do have thinking to do and we’ll do it. People with expertise who can help us think this through would be great. Meanwhile we’ll wait for the next lot of rain and carry on.
The Stone Crown is a book written for secondary students. Malcolm Walker was a lecturer in English at Adelaide University and created the book as a PhD thesis. Yes, there is an aspect of young adult fiction about it but it is still a well written tale with characters well drawn. It develops a plot around the interaction between King Arthur and a modern day family on the Scottish border. This family has a connection with the Arthurian legends. The book has atmosphere, builds tension and creates an involvement because the detail is well thought out. I enjoyed it and an adult version would have been preferable for me but this one is pretty good as a diverting, well constructed read. Malcolm Walker is a fantasy author from South Australia and it’s reassuring to know we just keep producing good quality writers here.
I had been going to the Show for 20 years and then decided to have a break. After 13 years I got back there this year and was so pleased to be a part of the Royal Adelaide Show again and to have the chance, as it turned out, to be there with my now grown up daughter. It was an interesting day for both of us. We had always been there as a family and with Grandma. It was always a big event in her young life and she loved to have the chance to sit with the brochure and work out the best showbags for her money and then to work out what she wanted to see and which rides she wanted to go on. The rest of us then worked out what we wanted and the Wool Fashion Parade was always the top of my list. Sadly, it is no longer there. I used to love the featured sheep. I used to love seeing Australian fashion and I love wool. We caught the train and got off at the Show stop. That makes it so easy. Before we were taking the car and with the recent rains the parking might have been interesting! The train stop is perfect. We also had our e-tickets on our phones so that was all easy too. The first thing we saw were all the rides and it was so noisy. Show noisy! We then found coffee and cake so we could look at the map and get ourselves oriented in a leisurely way. We went first thing Tuesday morning and so it wasn’t busy – not until lunch time when everyone just kept coming in. My daughter wasn’t looking forward to the showbag hall because she had remembered how squashed and intimidating that was as a child. We always sent two big men ahead of her to clear the way and lifted her up when she was really small. She couldn’t believe how we could just walk around this year. Me either. It was bliss. I scored two great bags with so many products which I have now used and tried and some great magazines to read and two very useful shopping bags. She didn’t do so well. The sorts of bags she was interested in were not good value for money. They do need to look at pricing and what is in the bags. Showbags are a big part of the feeling of the show but I can imagine a number of people would have passed them by. We loved looking at all the other things, especially pixelbrushart. I also had a great experience at the Kenyan tea stand. The people were so helpful and serious about their tea. We did a lot and then I just had to have a baked potato for lunch. For me it is not the show without it. I do think we need to get the Adelaide foodie thing going at the show though and have more choices and a range of prices. Maybe we should have looked at the food court. We decided not to because we always used to go there. The show was a great experience. It was done well. We need to ensure people are enthusiastic and keen about it. It’s a unique experience and one which we can build and move to this era. The music was great. That was so good to have the live music right out in the middle there. There are so many opportunities for local artists of the performing and visual arts to be showcased at the show. I ‘d love to see more textile arts and features on wool, spinning and the sorts of things they do in the Textile and Art Gallery , Better Worlds and the Jam Factory. We have our plans for next year now and are already quite excited about it!
I have just used the handspun wool from Aldgate Crafts which I found in my stash. Pretty sure I didn’t buy it from Aldgate Crafts. I would have maybe bought it at a craft fair or at Hahndorf. I don’t think Aldgate Crafts is what it used to be. It was like the Textile Arts and Crafts Gallery in the Adelaide Arcade. . I might be wrong. Isobel Corbally is one of our successful water colour artists. The handspun wool still had the lanolin in it and so was really soft and lovely to work with. We do have some good hand spinners in Adelaide and those who spin on a wheel and who dye wool. They don’t really get enough attention paid to them. They are promoting our wool industry, keeping skills alive, contributing to our textile arts and crafts. The Handspinners and Weavers Guild does a lot to keep alive something we are good at and which is a part of South Australia . We need to notice.
The four Paparazzi dogs by Gillie and Marc aren’t exactly featured in Adelaide Central Plaza. I don’t know if there are four there or not. I just see this one and always love it. You bump into it is and it is an incredible surprise. It is under the escalator as you walk in off the Mall and you don’t see it unless you are walking around that way. There are supposed to be 4 of them and they do not get enough attention or accolades. They are beautiful bronze sculptures which have a real impact. They are designed to show how people become victims of the paparazzi but that is not really an issue here in Adelaide. Here they are creating that surprise artistic encounter and if you look into the dog’s eyes you feel like he is representing how we don’t always make the most of those picture perfect , artistic moments in Adelaide. Unless you go into Central Plaza you would miss these gems. Everyone knows the pig statues in the Mall and they create a lot of interest and fun. They are well appreciated. These dogs have dignity and a real sense of art and style and in some respects it’s a shame they are hidden. On the other hand their style really adds to where they are. People respect them and are a bit in awe of them. There is not much about them and why they were placed in Central Plaza or how we came to get them. I love seeing this statue. It’s in a league of its own.
I am not overly fond of portrait painting. I wanted to see this exhibition , though, because Robert Hannaford is South Australian, he won last year’s Archibald prize and I believe in supporting our own. I also believe in supporting our art gallery because it has come a long way and it is now a lovely place to be. It is virtually windowless and so that in itself is a challenge but the gallery now makes good use of those spaces and allows people to get lost in different worlds and around each corner is a surprise.
The Robert Hannaford exhibition was downstairs. It was well devised, well thought out and well documented. To have a quiet space organised where people could draw and develop their ideas was a good decision. By the time you had finished you really understood why Robert Hannaford was such a skilled and powerful portrait painter. You had watched him grow. You had witnessed his development. He does capture the spirit of people. The portraits almost talk. I particularly liked his portraits of Paul Keating and Tim Flannery and then there were two people I did not know, Kate and Tom and his portraits of those two were just beautiful. He had captured what was special about them at that time of their life.
That is what he can seem to do. Show how individual and special people are and how much they are to be appreciated for being themselves on that day you meet them.
Christies Beach is changing in a good way. Some people will miss the empty, natural beach front with just the green railing fence but the improvements are welcome and have been well thought out. The big wooden walkway onto the beach means you can get down there more easily and people keep jogging down it or take their dog and it is easy. The trail along the cliff face is well used and popular and seems to have been improved. When the wind dies down and the rain holds off I intend to go and explore that to see what they have done. It is better with more people and more life at the beach front. It makes it safer. It has become a beach where people enjoy the outdoors and exercise. It is not a good swimming beach unless you stay in the shallows. There are rip tides which are very difficult to deal with. Deja vu is a newish cafe right on the Esplanade at Christies and overlooks the ocean. Very friendly and very civilised. A lovely spot. The park on the corner has been upgraded with play equipment for children and seated areas so people can have a picnic. The apartments have food and shops and I guess that will expand and the views from those apartments will be spectacular. Without Port Stanvac Oil Refinery it has returned to being a a really great place to be on a nice day where you can just relax and enjoy the laid back, ocean life style .
Senator Scott Ludlum of the Greens party in Western Australia has narrated this video and I thank him for informing South Australia and for making a video which allows us to recognise that storing nuclear waste is a very serious matter. I have two words – Chernobyl, Fukushima. Anything nuclear is disastrous and nuclear waste is not safe. If you want to know what we have agreed to already as a nation you can read it here on the World Nuclear Association site. There is currently a Royal Commission going on in SA and there have been consultations. What has been missed is too many South Australian are mostly unaware of what is going on and are not able to say what they think. Much of this is being presented as a fait accompli with varying degrees of plausibility with regard to information. At least Scott Ludlum has explained it so I understand. I don’t think it is like visiting lions in a zoo as was explained in an article in the Conversation. Nuclear waste is devastating and other places around the world have fought hard to keep the waste away from them for obvious reasons. Nuclear waste and people don’t go together. What has occurred here is they have allowed people to volunteer their land. That means we have been bypassed. Our opinion is irrelevant if people are going to be allowed to volunteer their land. Not a nice way to treat people in my opinion. A News article has covered that quite effectively. Solidarity explains about the Anti-Nuclear Alliance and our situation in SA. Now you have information gathered in one spot because, as it stands, the information is here and there and we do not have a proper picture of what is occurring. I do not want South Australia to become a nuclear waste dump. It will not be a tourist attraction . It would impact on tourism, though. I wouldn’t visit a nuclear waste dump. Would you? Then there is the small matter of safety because no one is addressing the issue it a massive safety issue.
I swear I just had a cup of coffee this morning! I have no idea why the picture is blurred. I was in Signore’s having their special breakfast and coffee. It was cosy and warm and the atmosphere was friendly. Outside was cold and the day only deteriorated which is how Adelaide has been this winter. Freezing. Then not too bad and then more freezing and often rain. We have certainly had plenty of rain this winter and our Artesian Basin will be grateful. I was sitting at the side of Signore’s downstairs in Adelaide Central Plaza looked out and saw this sign. What a great idea. We are so battery challenged these days because technology development has outperformed battery development. Until the boffins come up with a suitable cutting edge solution this is a godsend for those who find their phone has just run out of power. They can sit in a civilised environment, have a cup of coffee and charge their phones so they can stay connected. Since a lot of working people frequent that area of the Plaza then it’s a very considerate gesture.
I am not a grandparent carer. I was asked to research about it. There are over 20,000 grandchildren in grandparent care in Australia. There is such a lot of information and it is all over the place. There are new policies coming in next year so that grandparent carers will have some better access to funding but understanding what rights and entitlements you have as a grandparent carer is not easy to establish. The funding will be good news for grandparent carers who are either full time carers, part time carers or required as carers by law. A number of families are using grandparents as day carers since day care is so expensive and working hours are long and erratic for many families.There are also issues with parents who cannot parent their children for long periods of time or not at all. There have been some articles about it but probably not enough to keep everyone informed and clear. There is a lot of information on the Commission for Children and Young People site. It is a global issue. How big an issue it is in South Australia is hard to determine. There are fewer organisations which offer support and help compared with interstate. I have gathered resources on Trello to do with Grandparent Carers in South Australia. Our best resources for information and support seem to be:
Last time I was at the markets I made a point of getting out and about to see the specialty shops. The food areas can be so enticing so I had to do a deal with myself and set a time limit on my shopping! It was great to see how these specialty shops have all embraced the spirit of the markets but also enhanced the venue. The one which really caught my eye was Better World Arts. It had some lovely things on display and they were all very eye catching, attractive and beautifully made. Different. Better World Arts is a way for our aborigines to connect in their own way with everyone. Better World Arts is a place where these cultural gifts and talents are showcased. They have a web page explaining about the organisation and who the artists are. Their Facebook page is excellent. It is regularly updated and you can see what is available. You can also come to understand that this shop is supporting the Kaurna language too so that our aboriginal people have a way of maintaining their own authentic identity.
Image : Amnesty International SANT
No, it’s not just the young people at the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre. It’s Nauru, Manus and this week as well it’s also an Adelaide nursing home . As Australians some of us seem to have become very good at abusing and harming vulnerable people. We have crossed the divide to the other side and , you know, we are actually pretending we don’t do it. We keep trying to ignore it. We keep trying to hope it will go away. Four Corners had our eyes wide open and our hearts in pain. The news of what had happened in a nursing home then sent shockwaves through us. We have people in nursing homes. We know people who have people in nursing homes. That one cut just as deeply and then there is the ongoing hideous abuse which we know is occurring on Manus and Nauru. It been thoroughly documented. The UN knows. We are still quiet. So what do we do? Think it’s all too serious and too big for us? Keep quiet hoping someone might fix it? We have seen it . We have confronted it , we have talked about it and now we have shut down. We feel powerless. Talk of royal commissions is not very helpful. There was, I believe a royal commission in 1998 with over 300 recommendations. Did we implement them? It is a dire situation and we have no integrity as a nation while it remains like this. We have never thought of ourselves as such a harmful nation . The evidence is there. Most people are deeply concerned. Are we saying anything? There is this thing that if you say something you feel you will be judged. For standing up for respect and dignity for the vulnerable? For asking that young people in detention be treated humanely, people in detention be treated humanely, and old, weak people be treated with loving care? As South Australians we have had a long and good history of working with the Northern Territory. I would want to see us working with them now. I would love to see South Australia be who it is and just go to the Northern Territory as we have done forever and just work alongside as we always have done so not another young person is abused. Sarah Hanson-Young has fought long and hard for some humanity and human rights on Nauru and Manus. She has not once given up or given in. She has been a voice for the voiceless . Irrespective of our politics we should be pleased she is South Australian and doing the decent thing of making her voice heard. As for the abuse of elderly people. All homes now should be under review. All staff should be under review. All families should have a place for mandatory reporting as other people in the state have. We need mandatory reporting laws for older people as well as for younger people but at this point in time we all need to know that our nursing homes are treating people properly. We have done the really hard part of seeing it all and hearing it all. Now we need to get a plan together so all this abuse stops now. Right now. Not one more minute of abuse for anyone. Not one more bit of pain for anyone. We need to reinstate our integrity as a nation in the only way we know. By not putting up with the blatant mistreatment of others and listening to everyone’ s side of the story.
Even though it has been hard dealing with the unknown as I have been transitioning from long term paid employment, a life I knew well and a fixed income situation to the world of alternative income streams, Centrelink, allocated funds and MyGov I have to say that both the private and government people I have dealt with over the last couple of months have been really helpful . They have been good at giving practical advice and support. I like the MyGov site. It operates well, it is easy to navigate and the fact you can link up government organisations to it like Centrelink, Medicare and so on makes it convenient to have a one stop shop available on a computer or mobile device. I like how I get phone messages to alert me to new information and I like how my phone supplies another layer of security for logging in. I also like that you have to present yourself personally with your identification papers to enable your online sites to be linked to MyGov. It may seem annoying you have to keep proving yourself but I am happy with that because the government sites are doing everything they can to ensure I am me and that I am the one gaining the benefit and information on and from these sites. What I also like is that the Centrelink people I talk to can let me know what the processes and procedures are and can show me how to navigate sites and get the advantages of the system working for me. Like Jo this morning at Centrelink. She could listen, she could provide straight forward instructions, she could understand my problems and she could also give me information about linking my Medicare to MyGov and the easiest way to do that. She wasn’t just confining herself to my questions about Centrelink process. She had a broad sound knowledge of govenment procedures. MyGov really does encourage you to use technology to make life easier in terms of not having to go out and run around when we have phones, laptops, desktops and connectivity which can enable us rather than be shoved aside so we stand and wait or sit and wait and then find out we have to go somewhere else. I have had sound help from my private and government contacts to ensure I genuinely understand the process and feel like I am making headway in this new lifestyle set up. I found MyGov had everything I needed to get me going once I had gone through the registration process and it is a site where you can find what you need. Uploading information is very effective and online form filling is very clear and efficient. When it is then backed up by good phone help and private organisations which do their bit , it has put me in the position of feeling confident at navigating my way through this changeover.
You could hear it. “You know the rules.” It’s a bit of a catch cry in Adelaide and one we know well. We were frozen, we were a bit wet and we were waiting patiently on both sides of King William Street to wait for the lights to change so we could cross to the mall or to Hindley Street. One woman just walked out and crossed over to the island. We watched her and as one we were all thinking, “You know the rules.” There are trams there, there is plenty of traffic and some people had their children who had probably been through the road safety training at school as well as at home. Wait for the little green man. Don’t cross when the little man is red. So then there is an adult who decided the rules were not for her. It stood out so clearly. There are plenty of You Tube videos of pedestrians being hurt because they do not work with the traffic signs. Then there is the video of the little dancing man who seems to be having an effect but , as one of the commenters has said , the effect will wear off. The rules are for everyone but not for me. This is something we are very conscious of in Adelaide. You know the rules has come into play a lot this week. Our weather has been cold, wet and uninviting. You can hear us calling , “You know the rules! Winter is not supposed to start until June 1st.” We actually believe that it is unfair to start winter before then! We’ll do winter but not until it’s time. Adelaide is funny like that. Same as when I was walking back along the mall to get to the train station. I picked up my step because I didn’t have a lot of time to get there. I walked past a man and he then started walking as fast as I was and then he pushed into me. “Why are you pushing into me?” he asked. I thought he was joking. It was cold and wet, I was in a hurry and I thought he was just trying to lighten me up. He pushed into me again. “Why are you pushing into me? ” he asked again and I said , “Sorry, I am not pushing into you,” and by that time we were at that concrete block and columns outside the Myer Centre. He started up. I could not just turn and walk away from him. I was wedged. He obviously wasn’t quite right and I needed to get away. I am small so I pulled my shoulders in and took off to get to the lights on King William Street and the safety of the crowd. It was then I heard those familiar words. “You know the rules. Don’t rush.” He may have found it disturbing I was rushing. People don’t rush in Adelaide. They amble and they take their time and if they miss the train they complain about it and catch the next one. No big deal.
This is a really nice initiative. Not all the businesses I frequent are there but it is my chance to vote for the businesses in Adelaide which I value. Go to the City Awards 2016 blog and you will find the link to vote. Takes about 5 minutes and I am sure the businesses will be pleased to find out they are appreciated.
It was cold and wet in Adelaide when I went there this week so I went onto Rundle Street to do a bit of exploring. Bauhaus is as great as ever and in the shops I visited the staff were warmly welcoming and very helpful which was a contrast to the weather outside.
One of my favourite shops is Miss Gladys Sym Choon. I have not been able to be there for a while so I was pleasantly surprised by all the hard work which has gone in to change the image of the shop inside and allow items to be more visible. It has been well thought out. I got good advice about the shoes I was looking for and was well pleased with my purchase. I noticed there is a dedicated Miss Gladys Sym Choon shoe store back up Rundle Street towards the Mall. Have made a mental to go and look at it. The shoes are always good quality but a bit different. The weather was so cold and everyone was just trying to deal with it and Adelaide faces were unusually straight. I was glad to have breakfast in Signore’s downstairs in the David Jone’s basement mall. Their breakfast special was good and I got a Rewardle Card which I could connect on my phone but still have no idea what it does and how it works. To me it’s not obvious even when I looked at their video. I guess I’ll work it out. Signore’s was so warm and the staff were really pleasant. With free wifi it was a good way to deal with the weather on a cold day. David Jones had its push notifications but I did not see that as bad. It’s a good idea if you have come out shopping ,the weather is uninviting and you just want to be able to be gently led to where you might want to go!
Adelaide has been a bit under siege with the weather this past few days. Today wasn’t so bad but it was dismal and windy. A trip to Adelaide Central Markets seemed in order because it is always cheerful there. One of the places I always go is The Honey Shoppe. I buy bulk rosewater there but it is a fairyland of soaps, organic self-care products and then honey. It is well worth the visit because it has a good range of prices , a lot of locally produced items and then some really nice products which would make good presents. I love the range of soaps. I got some of the organic shampoo today to try for a change. They sell Gilbert’s honey which is really nice. It is made at Marino which is one of our coastal suburbs. I will always support local if it good quality and so much of Adelaide produce is good quality. Gilbert’s honey is really worth trying but I have to say it is hard to beat Kangaroo Island honey which you can also get at the markets.
Tequila n Tacos has become my favourite place to eat with others. I have been there a few times now in the last year and it never disappoints.Quite the opposite. Anyone who has never been there before wants to be back there as soon as possible! Yesterday was a family celebration and the food never ceases to please those who have not been to the restaurant before.The recommendation is to choose the mango or guava frozen margarita over the plain one. They do take-away as well. The meals are beautifully prepared and substantial. It is good value for money. Last year I went with colleagues from work and we all loved the entrée and it got us off to a good start. On that occasion I had the chimichanga which was incredible but so big I did not eat the whole of the next day. Yesterday someone had the chimichanga and just enjoyed it! For me the chimichanga is something you could share with two people and then have an entrée or a dessert. The fajitas are great fun. So tasty and served in a really interesting way. I am featuring the nachos my daughter ordered and I think I shall have that next time! I have also had the quesadilla which are lovely and fill the gap for someone who doesn’t want to eat so much. Each time I have been I have loved the relaxing dining, the effective and friendly service and the venue. It is hardly any distance from the beach so there is always the option of walking off that lovely food afterwards on a nice day.
You can find the menu here on zomato.
The Textile and Arts Collective Gallery is in the Gay’s Arcade which is to the right in the Adelaide Arcade as you walk towards Grenfell Street. It is a lovely little gallery of textile art and design work by Adelaide artists and serves as a point of sale venue for them as well. I really enjoyed browsing the gallery on Tuesday. It was a poor day weatherwise in Adelaide so being in the gallery was very positive.The things were beautifully made, very original and just lovely to look at. I am very much into textile arts and the sorts of things I make are similar to what is on show so it was very inspiring to me to see we are supporting textile arts so well in Adelaide. Technology can threaten these sorts of skills but the gallery demonstrates that textile arts can very much be a part of our world. I loved the scarves and I especially liked the ostriches. You can find out more about the collective on the Tarts web page.