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

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Another Country Diary

After a while these diary entries, go to the archive.
8 October '05
Scott Watkins-Sully the Braidwood brewer called to say he was heading to the Royal Hotel in Bungendore for
Saturday lunch with his family and some friends and would I like to join them? I had a draft layout of the article in the next issue that features him,
so we proof checked on the spot. It's a bit of luxury because the magazine has been put back a few weeks until we get some more advertising, we just can't afford to print it until we do. The problem is the content is rapidly going 'stale' and the seasonal references will have to be redone if we can afford it. We're stressing a bit. I think I need a beer, or rather, an ale.
2 October '05
Butterfly season, the garden is full of them. Somehow I've never bought a reference book to tell me what they are. Is there one?
The tips of the Horse Chestnut tree as the buds start to swell look like medieval 'pikes' or ...
...is that fleur de lys?
They quickly lose that symmetry and become...buds.
About three weeks later there are flowers. (You can do that sort of thing when you don't update your diary for months)
This was taken 26/10/05
1 October '05
I was walking past and realised that I'd never taken a picture of the temporary home of the Palerang Council. It's not very pretty, but a record is a record.
Like the number of dead things I've photographed looking down like this.
The lawn is growing at a startling rate, I've been cutting it every week. The few tame magpies always follow the mower, knowing that there will be good things to eat turned over as I pass.
Jan planted these tulips outside daughter Kate's bedroom window. We can just see them from the kitchen window if we squint sideways. Now daughters have lots of redeeming qualities but observing flowers (or even looking out windows) isn't one of them. Next year we'll move the bulbs so we can appreciate them while doing the dishes, cooking etc., all the things grown-ups do and daughters do rarely.
28 September '05
The 'visioning' process sounds very New Age, and we all agreed that as a name it sucks. But the meeting held in the old hall tonight was useful community involvement. There were more than the usual suspects er, advocates there which made it feel less like a closed group talking to themselves. The process and the night was long, but both sides of the pro-development and 'slow down' arguments were heard. (This meeting approach is the same as they've done and will do in other areas in Palarang.)

It was lead by Cr. Catherine Moore who was asked to conduct the same process in Womboin. She was terrific, I'm now a fan. Working through our current and future wishes, in small groups that reported back to the whole group, it was all summarised and written up on sheets of paper. Then we voted for the statements that were the closest match to our own positions and ideas. Somehow from this, a list of the key issues were created and will go to council for feeding into the local planning (LEP) process. Council was to have started similar community consultation sessions by now and this has  gazumped that a bit. The fact that few (if any) of the new residents from Elmslea didn't show up, doesn't negate the process. It says more about their priorities and/or not needing to be part of the community. When it affects them they'll be there. We just have to make it an open welcome.

The reasons that people move and build here are because it's an attractive country town, with open spaces, some lovely old buildings, a good school and pretty good shopping facilities. Take that away and why would you drive for half an hour to and from work?

You can't make people take part in things like this, it has to be those who are moved enough, and care to move from the comfort of the 'outside' to 'inside'. We all have to take responsibility for the way the town is going. This was one step. 

27 September '05
With so much spring in the air, some of it has to end up in the water. The goldfish in the pond are doing their mating wriggles in the shallows, and the petals from the pear blossom are providing the nuptial confetti. I think they must eat them but there's so many I don't think they're interested that much.

The wind was blowing small flurries into the pond, and I tried but couldn't catch the blurred moment. You can waste a lot of time lying down in the sun on a pond bank with a telephoto lens.


The goldfish community has a lot of mixed colours, black and white patches and red and gold patches. Inbred.
The white ones are almost ethereal. Albino, elfin like, they're always longer and skinnier than the red ones.
This single tree is in the forecourt of the Community Hall/Library at the School. In isolation it adds a Japanese garden feel to the space.
The grass is growing in the paddock next to to St Phillips church, so there were some new horses to eat it.
26 September '05
The glass in our bedroom sash window has some very old panes in the six piece panels. One is cracked but I don't want to replace it because the patterns of light coming in through the distortions are lovely, and looking out through them is just as abstract.
These leaves are the last to come out of all the trees around us. The pale green leaves grow very quickly into long green ones and in compensation, they're the last to fall, pale yellow, in autumn.
Fred Harden    
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Bungendore Country Diary by Fred Harden