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.
Monday 1 November '04
I haven't attended the meetings for the local bank initiative, not because I don't want to see it happen, just that I'm not sure it could offer me the range of services I need (I did some research on the Bendigo Bank site). There's been a lot of information in the Mirror (and there's more online at the bungendore.info site). The town needs to get about $1/2 a million in share pledges to make it possible to start. It's something perhaps I should do out of community spirit, I remember how hard it was in town when we arrived nine years ago, with no EFTPOS, no local bank branches and well before online banking. You had to have an account at all the local stores or you went into Queanbeyan to get cash, and often did your shopping when you were there. Things have changed now with EFT in most shops, and it's more the community aspect that is the motivation.
Sunday 31 October '04 - Halloween
All Hallows Eve. There was a big crowd at the oval to the event run by the Bradley Van Heythuysen committee for the local 'youth'. There was a jumping castle, a sausage sizzle, stalls and face painting. I drove past and didn't return with the camera, but I was working in my front room and watched the kids walk past (followed at a discreet distance by parents keeping an eye on them). I kept the dogs at the back of the house (they bark at the sound of the front door knocker). When the kids arrived I swapped some lollies for a photograph of them (is that a trick or a treat?)

Last year, there were only a few front door visitors and the costumes were a whole lot more homemade and endearing.  I can't say Halloween has become commercial and is not like it was because it such a new phenomena here I don't know. It's just the old man in me, happy to adopt an old tradition but not wanting the American trappings.

Then there were the big 'kids' out to scam some goodies, no attempt at costumes, one had a mask, another a couple of painted fangs and all brash enough to grab a second handful of treats before I could say , "hang on, leave some for the little kids". Next year I'll be ready and apply the techniques I've been reading from the US, giving the teens packets of sultanas and health foods. They don't like it (erggh too healthy!) but can't say no. At least they were brazen enough not to come in costume.

There's a website with Halloween origins and customs and short bits about the various traditions around the world associated with the last night before Christian All Saints day and the following All Souls day, November 2. I also liked these vintage Halloween cards
Saturday 29 October '04
Walking past I've watched as the fence wobbled its way into position, then received patchy first coats of paint. Today, when I asked the owner if she couldn't make it seem so exciting to paint that the neighbourhood kids would all want to do it, like Twain's Tom Sawyer, the reply was "There's NOTHING exciting about this fence".
The rain approaches. That's the old railway shed beneath the storm clouds. It housed the Military Hospital museum, a brief moment of initiative in town that I always meant to visit. I didn't have much interest in the subject matter but should have at least shown some local interest. I guess that's why it closed.
Friday 28 October '04
The blue wrens that we see outside our kitchen window must have a nest in the Banksia Rose hedge. They have brought out their babies. There were two sitting side by side and I went for the camera, then saw a third. They were too elusive to get a picture, small balls of fluffy feathers but I've got the telephoto lens attached and the camera standing by the window.
The spring garden growth continues, the first of the red and white currants are forming. I took some good photos of them ripe last year in a diary entry here



The sage flowers are so delicate that they get smashed around in the wind, they only last a few days anyway before they fall off but they look pretty in the herb garden. The bright green leaves here are oregano.
The bees like the sage flowers, somewhere there's some sage honey being stored.
Thursday 28 October '04

A few days ago I included a close-up photo of the clematis on the fence. I realised it was a bit 'so what?'. This image shows the side of the house and maybe gives you an idea why I rave.   That's clematis in the foreground, Banksia Rose behind and the apricot tree sticks up at the back. The wind knocked down a lot of fruit from the exposed top of the tree. It's a shame but that's how it happens. Optimistically, it means the lower fruit will be easier to pick, and if I cover them with bird nets, we'll at least get more of those that are left.

We've already had a few meals of the asparagus. I was slack in keeping the beds free from weeds and a few of the crowns had withered and died. It's time to replace them from what I've read. Like most things, the asparagus tastes so much better fresh, even the market bought ones are a week old by the time we get them, and kept in cold storage there's some flavour loss.

I've been buying a bunch or two anyway, to supplement our garden ones, and you can really taste the difference when they're mixed on a plate. There's a handful like this every couple of days, so you have to make sure you've got the knife with you, when you 'check out' the garden.
Fred Harden    
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Bungendore Country Diary by Fred Harden