Another Country Diary gumboots
Another Country Diary


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Week of 1 October to 6 October '02
Quince blossomIt's not just me. The quince flower has been admired through history and long ago entered the world of symbolism. Ancient Greeks believed it fostered bonds of fidelity between the lovers who exchanged it, but the Victorians considered it a symbol of temptation (but those Victorians were a funny lot) . Although the flower features in Japanese and western art, it seems that the fruit plays just as as strong (or even stronger) role in mythology. 

Quince illustration from Birds & Nature Cydonia Vulgaris
the botanical name for the quince is ..."derived from the name of the Greek city Cydon, now Canea, of Crete. The Cydonian apple of the Greeks was emblematic of fortune, love and fertility, and was dedicated to the goddess Aphrodite (Venus). It is a question whether Crete was the original home of the quince. Some authorities maintain that it found its way into Greece from upper Asia, Persia, or India. Wherever its first home may have been this plant was known in Greece 700 years B.C. From Greece the tree was introduced into Italy and Spain, from which countries it finally spread over central Europe. Charlemagne, Karl der Grosse 812, was largely instrumental in spreading the quince in Germany." 

(Text and botanical image from 'Birds & Nature' a nature journal printed in England between 1901 and 1907 by A.W Mumford, the site www. birdnature.com has some excerpts.)

 

Tussocks with with fresh green haircutsThese decorative grass tussocks are around the sand area near the pond.  The previous owners called it 'The Beach',  it's now called 'the biggest kitty litter tray in the neighbourhood'. They get cut back every year and look dead for about two weeks. They then turn green as if someone has thrown a switch. By summer's end the stalks are dry with soft wispy seed heads but they don't seem to self seed that much. If they do, the tussocks are shallow rooting and in the sandy area pull up easily.
A local knave on a questOn one arm was a corrugated cardboard shield ("My brother painted this" he said proudly) and he carried a wooden sword that looked a lot like a croquet mallet. The fake chain mail top went down to his knees and was off the shoulder. As he hitched it up he said  'This is my dad's armor" and told me how they were all going to a medieval tournament soon. Later in the day I saw him back in t-shirt and jeans carrying a yellow plastic ray gun. 

 

This is where you sit, thinkin' about drinkin'More trips to the tip, with the remaining tree prunings and quite a lot of wine bottles that had built up. There used to be a separate recycling collection with the town's garbage collection but they moved away from a truck with two 'garbos' leaping on and off, clanking and shouting 'right' as they moved down the streets, to an efficient one man version with an remote arm that picks the wheeled bin and shakes it into the hopper. There was not enough money in the glass, plastic and metal to sustain the recycling service so the people who care have to take their glass to the tip. The bins and drums there are  always full and you can get a fair idea about what the town drinks and eats from what's left. In the clear glass bin, tomato sauce and Carlton Cold, in the brown - VB. In the green bin it's mostly beer stubbies again. Our wine bottles look conspicuous.
Auto art at the tipAs I was leaving home with the trailer, our opposite neighbour pulled out with a load in his station wagon and all the seats filled with his small boys. He said 'it must be an age shift, they all want to go to the tip' and I said I remembered doing the same when my dad went to dump things, it was a real adventure. 

The tip is divided into areas. Car bodies are stacked three or four high, there's a sheet metal area with a lot of bent corrugated iron (from the recent high winds) and old fridges, and a 'dead animals' area with the occasional horse and cow. There's a pile of old tyres which was set alight a while ago, it was smoldering for days. The 'section' signs are spray painted on concrete slabs or propped up car bonnets and they seem to move around a bit. So you have to hunt for the one that says 'bushes' before giving up and dumping in the general tipping area. This area also shifts around and you're never sure whether it's the real heap or one started by someone impatient to get to the tip face. I subscribe to the theory from Arlo Guthrie in his 'Alice's Restaurant', that one big pile of garbage is better than two little piles, and I figure the bulldozer will sort it out. I've got the 8x10 glossies if anyone needs evidence.
Coming back from the tip, I pass the Bungendore Bowling Club. There were no women this morning but about ten older men, who as you can see displayed considerable style. Sunday morning bowls seems more like a social event then a formal tournament. There's not a white bowling uniform in sight and more than a few Esky's point towards the possibilities of how the day will develop. 

The Bungendore Bowling Club sign is one of my favourites around town. There's a picture of it here. 700 pixels wide, about 70k, opens a new window.

Fred Harden  
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