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Showing posts from May, 2009

Home Made Crutch, MacGyver Style

My partner, Enigma, recently had a bad fall and did her ankle in. Nothing broken thankfully but painful enough to make walking nearly impossible.

Initially Enigma was using an old student office chair (with coaster wheels) to get around on which was proving to be awkward, impractical and still quite painful on her ankle. Me, being the creative person that I am, went out to the shed, MacGyver style, to see what we had to make some kind of crutch.

After some searching I brought together our mop handle, the handle off the end of a spade, a rubber stopper, a towel and some tape (couldn't find a use for a paperclip) to fashion the very effective temporary crutch you can see in the photo.

Whilst, ultimately, it didn't get a lot of use after about day two of Enigma's ordeal it did come in handy for a trip down to the chemist to fill a script for pain killers. The Women at the chemist was very impressed with my makeshift crutch too.

Enigma said on the day she twisted her ankle she had…

NavMan: Telling YOU Where To Go!

Traveling to Port Broughton and Moonta with the aid of a NavMan was something of a new experience for me. My partner, Enigma, was doing the driving so I had plenty of time to observe this little technological marvel from the passenger seat.

If you're like me, able to get yourself from A to B (most of the time) using old fashioned maps and street directories, then you might appreciate the following explanation; A NavMan or, I presume, Navigational Manager, is a little electronic device with an LCD display that attaches to the windscreen (usually) of your car and tells you how to get where you're going through the use of real time animated maps, voice instructions and GPS (global positioning system) data. (See my photo above).

Before this invention the term Navigational Manager and Passenger were interchangeable as many of us drivers relied on our memory and the map reading skills (or lack there of) of our passengers to direct us to where we were going.

A NavMan completely eliminat…

Public Toilet Tourism: Art Where You Go

There seems to be a growing trend in Australian Public Amenities (i.e. public toilet blocks) where councils cover them in art, thus turning them into a tourist attraction.

Far from the usual graffiti attacks that often befall Public Toilet Blocks (as well as the occasional, more artistic but still unwanted graffiti 'pieces') I'm talking about a council taking a considered approach to decorating their public facilities then adding the artwork to the local tourist trail.

I first encountered this in the almost a ghost town of Iron Knob, South Australia, where our tour guide directed Rose and I to what he called 'the most photographed toilet block in Australia'. A big call at the time but I did take a photo so one can assume just about everyone he showed it to does.

The toilet block in question couldn't be more Australian with the word 'Dunny' emblazoned across it as part of a mural created by the town's former local artist.

Recently, on our trip to Port Br…

Gunner Bill's Gallery - Bute, South Australia

May 17, 2009

I was all ready to bag the town of Bute as not being worth the visit but then Enigma and I had a look around Gunner Bill's Gallery in Bute and I changed my mind. First though, let's back up a bit.

After spending our Saturday at the Cornish Festival in Moonta, Enigma and I were wondering how to spend our Sunday, the final day of our holiday? We knew there was a fair on at Kadina for the final day of the Cornish Festival but we had a sneaking suspicion we'd see pretty much all the same food vans we saw at the fair at Moonta so decided not to go.

I read in a tourist magazine a single paragraph about the town of Bute which mentioned that the town had an award winning fauna park and a Gallery/museum/craft shop. Thinking the fauna park might be a good animal photo opportunity and the Gallery could be interesting we decided to go. Bute was on the way home anyway (we passed through it on the trip to Port Broughton but it was dark then).

Bute is small so the fauna park was…

Port Broughton, Moonta Mining and a Cornish Festival

May 15 & 16 2009

After traveling everywhere with Rose for the last five weeks, my partner, Enigma, and I decided we were well overdue for some 'us' time. Enigma heard that there was a Cornish Festival happening in the town of Moonta, South Australia so she booked some accommodation over the coming weekend for us in the, kind of, near by town of Port Broughton (closer, affordable accommodation was booked out due to the festival).

We didn't see a lot of Port Broughton as our specific purpose was to see the Cornish festival. In fact we didn't arrive in town until after dark on the Friday. However we did enjoy some fish and chips for tea at a local cafe and, on the Saturday evening, we snapped a few pictures of the Port Broughton historic jetty and surrounding beach front at sunset (see photo above).

According to one passer by the sunset we snapped was nothing compared to some he had seen there. I can only imagine as the sun seems to set almost in line with the end of the…

As Fast as a Speeding Frog(van)

Since I haven't mentioned my frog van since Rose and I's trip to Mannum I know you're wondering how it's doing and whether I drove it the 90 minutes each way to and from Burra?

As you can see from the photo on the right, this is my van parked outside the old Burra historical railway station. No, really, I didn't photoshop the van in, it's really there!

The van traveled to Burra in 100 minutes (give or take a minute or two) reaching speeds of up to 110kmph (that about 68mph in old 'money') without so much as raising a sweat i.e. the engine stayed at normal temperature the whole way.

At about 110kmph the vans roof begins to vibrate in the wind. Nothing serious, it's a commercial style van, it doesn't have roof upholstery like your people movers just the thin sheet metal that is the roof. Since the speed limit in most places was 110kmph the vibrations are quite handy for letting you know you're going too fast.

As well whenever an oncoming eighteen …

Two Afternoons in Burra, South Australia

9th and 11th May 2009

This is my third trip to the town centre of Burra, South Australia, approximately 90 minutes drive north(ish) from Gawler. Fourth, if you include the second trip two days later on the 11th of May.

The first time Rose and I were here, during our 2007 Road Trip, I briefly wrote about our visit in two posts titled Miranda's Bedroom and Searching for C. J. Dennis and Gunning for Broken Hill.

At the time I was disappointed that the towns Community Art Gallery had an exhibition of quilts (not really my thing but I do appreciate the work involved). On the first day of this trip to Burra we visited the same gallery and... an exhibition of quilts (sigh). Must be an annual exhibition that occurs during the month of May?

The town of Burra is actually famous in these parts for its copper mining history and in particular the open cut 'Monster Mine' which is now used as a venue for Jazz concerts and can be seen in the background of this photo of Rose (above) taken on …

Back Into Central Adelaide

6th May 2009

Rose and I specifically planned another trip into central Adelaide to see a free exhibition called Picturing Words at the Adelaide Festival Centre, Artspace Gallery.

Prior to visiting the exhibition we made a stop into the Festival Centre's Cafe where I snapped this photo (on the right) of an almost deserted table area. We were having a fairly late lunch so had to go with pretty much what was readily available. I had a piece of Quiche, that looked more like a slice of cake it was so big, along with a bit of cucumber and lettuce salad topped with some kind of savory sauce dressing that I couldn't quite determine the flavor of.

The Picturing Words exhibition was described on the festival centre's web site as follows (because I'm too lazy to write this up and you'll understand more why I was a little disappointed later on):

Picturing Words

Artist's Perspectives on writing and illustrating picture books

Program developed with the DECS education officer based…

Mannum House Boats and the 1956 Flood

May 2 and 4, 2009

Mannum, South Australia is situated on the Murray River about an hour and twenty minutes drive from my home town of Gawler. If you've been following recent posts on this blog then you may be wondering if my frog van was up to this distance.

Fortunately the day before Rose and I spent a very damp afternoon at The Gorge Wildlife Park located in the Adelaide hills about forty minutes south of Gawler. The van had not only got us there without any real problem but had also negotiated some pretty steep hills (one of which had me right down to second gear to make the steepest sections). After that a drive to Mannum should be easy.

Before I get back to Mannum, I didn't write about The Gorge Wildlife park because I've already covered it in 2007 with my post, Gorge Wildlife Park, Cuddle a Koala. That previous trip we had a much better time and weren't rained out. Back then I took 137 photos, this time I took only one and it was a bad photo of a dingo.

Right, that o…

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