A personal diary about life in a country town, Bungendore NSW Australia

Another Country Diary gumboots
Another Country Diary


After about a week of these diary entries, they go to the archive.
1 June '05
Oh dear, two people in crash helmets have been painting the town red. They've started on the Odana Gallery on the main highway... hang on, it's not red, they're painting the town blue...no,  what are they doing?
You might ask. It has always surprised me that one of the plainest, no, ugliest buildings in town contained some of the most beautiful artwork. Really beautiful. I like the romantic works by Norman Lindsay, but if that's not your choice, there's Alasdair McGregor, Vincent Brown, Frank Hinder and more.

Beautiful art and in a small town like ours, remarkable for its quality. I know they sell a lot of reproductions by mail-order but there never seemed to be many visitors that I saw entering or leaving, even when the crowds of weekend sightseers patrolled the main strip. I put that down to the outside of the building, an suburban cream brick house with strangely painted shapes on the boarded up windows. I can imagine why they wanted to change the look, but some one has made a real error of taste again. It's still inappropriate for its contents and now it is an eyesore for the town around it.

A circus tent comes to mind, which could mean fun, but surely that wouldn't attract many to the fine art inside and even then there would be a clash of taste. Have a look at the Odana website for some examples of the art. The site is a little awkward but I don't have to look at it as I pass everyday. Online we can do what we like pretty much but I'm sure there was no application to council before the building was painted. 

I'll vote for any planning restrictions that stop things like this happening that further visually pollute Bungendore. Why should we be less attentive than Braidwood to issues like that? Any charm the town might have with it's older buildings is destroyed by examples like this.
 
It's not all grumpiness though, sometimes it's nice small town things. While I was standing in the middle of the road to take the circus picture, these girls came chattering up and said "take our picture". Of course I obliged.
They then went chattering off. That's what young girls do. I've watched our daughters grow up here and I feel our kids are still safer in this town then lots of other places. Look after them.
30 May' 05
I'd asked David Madew to tell me when he was picking the last of his grapes. It was today. I arrived before the pickers and had time to explore the Madew winery and the vineyard. These are reisling grapes, and he's left them to develop because we haven't had any rain and it wa safe to do so.
This is Marco, an Italian student who has been on work experience at Madew and this was his last day. He'd stayed for the picking but his task was to lift the bird netting off for the pickers. He was heading off the next day with a friend to 'see  Australia' before returning to university.
As I was walking down to the rows, I saw this fox that had been disturbed by Marco ahead. He hadn't noticed it, I managed to catch a few images. This is a cropped portion of a wider framed image that I think (modestly) looks great. Have a look.(700 pixels wide 126k, opens in new window), The autumn tones, the vines draped with net makes it look like a theatrical setting.
David, daughter Arial and dog.
As I headed back down the Federal Highway to Bungendore, Lake George was looking very dry, (the ground and grass I mean, there's been no water there for around six years). I saw this man setting up to pump water up from a very deep dam, that the sheep could no longer reach. I sat in my car and took a series of images as he laid hoses and fussed with the pump. Needing to use every bit of water is an act of desperation for a lot of farms around here. We'd been lucky with some rain earlier in summer and the sheep where in good condition. Now they'll have to be hand fed. Or sold.
21 May '05
Tidying up the garden, Jan pulled up all the baby beetroot. I don't know what variety they were but eating them small, roasted in the oven was an end of autumn treat. I had to photograph the colours of the 'greens' as the sat on the bench. We don't eat the young greens here but they do overseas, mainly as salad addition.Maybe Ill try that next year.
17 May '05
Daughter Kate is getting serious about riding again. It is something she's good at and she could take up dressage events if she could get Russ to perform. (Russ or Russell is his nick name, his pedigree name is Gucci something. True, I promise.)

She's moved him from agistment with friends outside of Yass, to an expensive place in Hall with all the facilities to train.
She's finding it tough going, there's a lot of the previous trainer to 'unlearn'. But she's taken an almost full time job that will mostly go to pay for lessons and stabling. Because the horse is closer to Bungendore Jan (mostly) has again had to take on some after hours rugging and care when Kate's been busy.
12 May '05
It was back to King Island for a few more days, this time I took daughter Aurore to help with some photographs. She needed some folio shots, I needed to be in two places at once. She went off to photograph the young guy who features in our Beef story.
Here she's photographing the plate of char grilled octopus at the Bold Head Brasserie. Father/daughter bonding has never been a problem for us, but the pressure of employing your daughter and needing a high standard of work is. She came through with some shots I'll happily use in the magazine.
10 May '05
The flowering quinces had a great flower display this year and consequently set a lot of fruit. After picking the fallen ones off the path, I decided to collect the others.
With a few stabbed holes in my hands, I picked a bowl full and then tried to not notice them for days. In the end, I had to do something about them so I looked up 'flowering quinces' on Google and found a website by a Canberra academic with lots of advice and recipes with quinces. (Have a look at his other site bits)
I steamed them, pushed the soft fruit through a sieve to remove the skins and lumps, and then used the paste as a base for marmalade because I had spare  oranges and lemons. Flowering quince marmalade? Worked a treat and it tastes great, if a bit strange looking because of the opaque paste of the quinces, but the texture works. It took ages though, when I should have been doing other things.
9 May '05
Back home to the garden and the frost has finally killed off the even the tomatoes that were unstaked and hiding in the pumpkin patch. So they all come inside ripen on the window ledge, some do, some just shrivel up. We were going to make 'green tomato something' but we ate them mostly ripened.
That's the end of flavour till next year.
Um sometime earlier in April  '05
On the last trip to Melbourne (again) I went with Aurore who was photographing the 'Laughing Club" group that her mother attends each weekend. They all seemed to find the experience reinforcing, and therapeutic. They then all go off for a coffee.
The clown in the background was set up for the Williamstown Festival.
 
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Bungendore Country Diary by Fred Harden