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.
Sunday 8 May '05

There had to be some outside time today, cleaning up the fallen leaves, a trip to the tip. And lunch in the sun.
Jan has a big bowl of these daisies growing on the well and there was an attentive butterfly or two that I hadn't seen before.
I've been shuttling all day from work to outside, noticing how warm it is and how cold in my room with the computer. It's time to drag the vertical heaters in from the shed. Our electricity bill triples in winter in Bungendore, (and then there's the gas, the firewood). 

In summer however we live more lightly on the planet, there's no air conditioning in this old house (or room for it under the old timber floors). Windows are opened at night to bring the cool air in, we close the blinds against the sun in the morning and the thick brick walls stay cool through days of heat. Not that we've had much this past summer.
Saturday 7 May '05
We took the dogs for a walk in the autumn afternoon light. I took the camera and felt guilty that it was the first time I've been down to the town with it for weeks. The dogs don't mind but I know there are people who read this who have noticed the sudden silence in entries. (I can be shamed into updates Marjorie.)

There's a new sign up on the main road through town. Not very pretty, and damned hard to read, but I guess the message will get through that we've got our own 'cheesecake shop' in town. Ye Old? Maybe it's time for that signage bylaw to be introduced.

By comparison, this sign (and there's a rash of them around) has the brevity to be read at 50kmph, has a price point offer and works a treat. Marketing 101.


While on the subject of visual clutter and signage pollution, I've been meaning to take a photograph of the LJ Hooker house/office in town as another  example of the usual LJ Hooker bad taste. The Raine and Horne office in Queanbeyan is a particularly ugly example. These garish offices cover the country.

In the evening light, it somehow looked subdued but in daylight it's ugly. There's not much hope for having a tasteful attractive town when the real estate agents themselves don't have any of those qualities. I know it's branding but it's a turnoff rather than appealing or professional.

It's a lot neater however than the derelict state that house had slid into over the years. Every main street seems to have one of those, the rental is low because no-one wants to live there, so they attract the people with the old car with flat tires, dead bikes in the yard, maybe a skinny dog too scared to bark at people going past. Then it's deserted for a while, the grass and weeds grow over the kid's broken toys. Everyone walks past saying, 'somebody should mow that'. Yet the land is valuable and the house eventual gets done up. Next it will be pulled down and we'll have another shop front. I'll continue the chronicle I'm sure.

Friday 6 May '05
Autumn composition #2345. Kings Highway Bungendore. Taken while heading to the post office with an Express post bag. What did we do running businesses in small towns before Express Post?


Thursday 5 May '05
The last of the banana capsicums have been picked. They grow much better than the red or green capsicums in our garden, they taste a little bitter but we've made a few meals with them as per the recipe I found ages ago. It's a good one for vegetarians, and all our family like it

Is the plural of pasta, pastas?
I've been photographing a lot of fruit and vegetables lately for the Regional Food website. It's been fun. See the Season's Best section.
Have you ever tried a dragon fruit?

Dragon fruit are actually a cactus fruit, and are also called Pitaya, Pitahaya or apparently, Strawberry Pear.

With a soft fleshy pulp inside that tastes scented and only slightly sweet. It's a hard fruit to compare to another, the strawberry pear is a lead the flesh is slightly crisp like a pear and full of small soft black seeds like a strawberry. It's not a strong flavour (there are better tasting varieties but these white fleshed ones are so dramatic in appearance they're the most seen variety).

Vietnam grow a lot and export here, and  they're well established in China but are almost certainly South American in origin. One of the Chinese legends about it's name says that after a dragon has breathed fire, it ejects one of these fruit. Eating one gave you the strength of the dragon in battle. The do have have healthy fibre and Vitamin C.

We are growing Pitaya in Australia. A 'cluster' of growers in Tropical North Queensland, around Cairns, called Australian Tropical Foods produce red fleshed and white fleshed varieties.

There's a quirky webpage for the China High Quality Farm Produce Network with some mythology and lines like "When it is booming, it producs sweet fragrance and called as "lucky fruit".
The website of Pine Island Nursery in Miami has the best page of photographs of the plant and the varieties.

Sunday 1 May '05

Yep, it was the collector Pumpkin Festival again. I was so impressed last year that I joined the committee this time. I helped this year with their website and worked with Romily Madew on some of the marketing. (Called in favours and did a few small ads and flyers.)

Here the pumpkins await the crowd in the hall.

And what a crowd. Over 5,500 this year and it really pushed the event into a big time success.
There will be more photos and reports up on the website



Friday 29 April '05
It's been a while since I've been to a country ball. On the Friday night, was the Bushranger Hotel Pumpkin Festival Ball. And it was a big success.


Jan comes along with me even when she knows that I'll have to jump up and photograph events and people all night long. It must be love.
She seems to be enjoying herself here though.

Kate McKay and Romily Madew, both committee members and a big part of the festival's success.

Fred Harden    
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Bungendore Country Diary by Fred Harden