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

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Another Country Diary

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28 November '05
Moths, butterflies grasshoppers, midges, bush flies, blow flies - the air is full of them. Not all as pretty as this one. It reminds me of the design of Navajo rugs.
Maybe I'll have it made up as a tie (it's ok, that's a joke. I'm a T-shirt man). In the process of looking up those links I learnt about Pendelton blankets. Still being made. I like Google.
26 November '05
Grey rainy days, and the roses in the house next door glow in the view from my bedroom window. I can almost forgive the metal fence.
25 November '05
In our second issue of the Regional Food magazine we mentioned that there were a lot of changes since we'd closed the copy for press (we were tight for money and couldn't really justify the updates). We suggested that everyone check the online version of the Guide as usual as that is where we can correct errors and keep information updated. One of those errors I regret is that we said The Old Stone House B&B had closed. when it hadn't. Owners Geof and Caroline Banbury were closed when I called to check (twice) but only because they were taking a holiday.

I also listened to local gossip lamenting "What a shame that we are losing our best B&B's with Toni and Miles and closing Elmslea Homestead and now The Old Stone House".  The mistake embarrassed me of course and I immediately tried to minimise what damage that might cause to the Banbury's. I printed a few hundred errata slips and put them in as many copies as I could in the region's newsagents. We printed apologies in the Braidwood and Bungendore papers, put up notices and immediately put a correction online on our website.

What made the closing seem true was that when we went to all the websites for B&Bs, the website link for The Old Stone House wasn't online. I looked up the latest B&B book and the website link was printed there (and in the edition before) but no website.

Along with apologising personally to Geoff and Caroline, the website was something I could immediately offer. So I built them a simple website based on their brochure and some photographs I took, and offered to host it for free on our Regional Food web server. Now when people click on the links online or enter it from the brochure and business cards were it has been mentioned for years, they'll find it.
Have a look. The building, gardens and interior are very beautiful.
And tell your friends who are coming to stay that it's a fabulous place.

We also updated the web Guide with details of Bardy's, the cafe run by Marg and Rod in the old rural fire brigade shed. This conversion into artists studios, gallery and cafe by potter Rick Beviss and jeweller Simon Fairweather, is a lovely addition to the town.

There is a small outside deck for catching some early or late season sun...




... and full length glass doors to open when it's hot.





You can see Rick's pottery studio through large windows that give him some privacy and cut the noise, but still let you watch as he works, and allow him to check out visitors.



His business partner Simon Fairweather (left) as well as being an artist, jeweller, gold and silversmith is an Olympic archer.

I'm sure it's not just me becoming aware of it, but Bungendore's best artists seem to be cutting through the town's reputation as being a place of not so good craft shops and 'weekend tourist' galleries. If you look at the Bungendore Info list, with additions like Xanthe Gay's X- Gallery and the new Bungendore Fine Art gallery there's some real quality in a sea of tacky gift shops.



Simon was making great necklace and bracelet designs using these small silver ants, intricate and modern with the animism from Nature as a plus. He'll have some on display soon at Bardy's so visit and have a look.

And one or two of Rod's coffees. They're good too.

23 November '05
On the way to Gundaroo there is this sign and an honesty box beside some bags of sheep poo.
While driving copies of the magazine around I went back out to Brindabella Hills to leave copies with Faye and Roger Harris. If there's a favourite view in the ACT, the one from their winery is mine.
22 November '05

You'll have noticed that it's hay cutting time. There's grass chopped flat in rows in paddocks all around. Timing has been a bit tricky because of the pattern of showers. A few dry days are needed before baling.


The old square bales are a novelty now and I keep meaning to photograph some before they're all gone. Maybe next year will be too late.

John and Moya (Shortis and Simpson) invited us to their new Christmas show The Three Scrooges (with Peter J Casey). I've been trying to take photographs for them of each new performance in exchange for our invites. It seems to work and I've realised that the result is a whole lot better when I attend the rehearsals and can walk around changing angles, even getting them to repeat something that's good.
Musically I thought this one was great, one of their best. Jan was feeling low having a hard time at work and I suggested she come to the rehearsal with me after work. She felt a lot better and and cheered up, so thank you John, Moya and Peter. 
19 November '05
Still there's fabulous clouds and reasons to stop while driving.
17 November '05
The late afternoon sun has been backlighting the pots on the well in our yard. I took some photographs last night and when I looked at them onscreen I noticed that they were all out of focus. I'd been swapping my computer working spectacles with my outside world ones and had set the eyepiece wrong. I've been running on manual focus because the automatic is playing up and I can't afford to get it fixed. It all looked so pretty that I took them again next day.

I like my back yard. And it's all so green!


13 November '05
The rain has softened the landscape with lots of grass and filled the dams, it's looking very bucolic rural. I drove out Mill Post Lane and looking back at Bungendore and the heavily watered Canturf paddocks just blended in instead of being a small round green oasis.
5 November '05
Today I drove early to Sydney and coming up to our only Bungendore roundabout, against a black sky, the sign and blossom were hit by some watery early sunshine. I then bolted for the city and spent all day glad that I'd stopped for just a few minutes to appreciate it.

Life can get so rushed that beautiful things sometimes have to grab you by the throat (or eyes) and smack you awake. Morning Fred (wack!).
4 November '05

Driving along the highway to Sydney and back, I've watched as this pine plantation outside Bowral was stripped and chipped. In the middle of it was a hill with some gum trees perched on top, and they were left by the machines. I drove past it a few days thinking how absurd it looked then one day, with fast moving clouds casting large shadows I finally stopped and took some photographs. No tricks here, just lighting by God in a playful mood.

She, he, it does that a lot.



2 November '05
These aliens in clouds of dust are removing the asbestos sheet verandah roof on the Bungendore Police station. There were layers that seemed to go back to wood shingles and the posts were rotting as well. Roped off like a crime scene, it took a few days but there are now new posts and a lighter roof which looks smart on one of the town's best historic buildings.
Fred Harden    
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Bungendore Country Diary by Fred Harden