Saturday, 31 March 2007

Good taste and bad taste.

Adelaide's General Post Office built in 1867, is one of the city's gracious Victorian buildings.
In it's earlier days, the arrival of mail from Britain was indicated by a flag during the day and a red light at night. Today the lovely interior resembles a flea market with garish postal-type advertising clashing with the elegant, old Victorian detailing. What's the world coming to?

Friday, 30 March 2007

Not so funny, fun and games on Adelaide's Hills Freeway.

Adelaide has only one freeway, the South Eastern Freeway, that connects the city with the Adelaide Hills. It replaces the old and winding Mount Barker Road where all interstate traffic would travel. This freeway has considerably steep grades and the downhill run from Crafers to the city outskirts often sees trucks and semi trailers running out of brakes on this descent.
When that happens, as it did today, a truck will hit one of these Arrestor Beds at anything up to 150 kilometres per hour.
This is what pulls them up and saves the life of both the driver and the rest of the motoring public, - round water-washed stones !!!

Thursday, 29 March 2007

My dear, darling mother in law on her Birthday. Chaque homme a une grrrrrh belle-mère.

As you will all know by now, Madame is ripping around the countryside and visiting old girlfriends and especially, her dear mother, Beverly, who lives in Queensland, the land of sun and fun.

Car vous saurez tous à ce moment, Madame Benaut vole autour de la campagne et rend visite à ses vieilles petites amies, et en particulier, sa chère mère, Beverly. Sa mère habite au Queensland, dans la terre où les rideaux se fanent au soleil.
Je vous souhaite un anniversaire très joyeux, chère Beverly, et vos chevilles sont identiques qu'une fille qui a seize ans.

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Felix spricht nicht französisch. Felix ne parle pas français. Το Felix δεν μιλά τα γαλλικά.

Since everyone is most concerned with the gastronomical preferences of Adelaide pussy cats, here is one well-fed example.
Don't expect to see the others right now, because photographing them all at the same time is akin to slamming a revolving door.

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

The State Library of South Australia

Situated on one of Adelaide's wide boulevards, North Terrace, Adelaide's State Library is currently holding the National Treasures exhibition, a free travelling exhibition from Australia's National, State and Territory Libraries that tells a rich and remarkable story about our history, our nation, our treasures and our libraries.
It brings together, for the first time, more than 170 extraordinary items that have shaped our nation. One can see iconic items such as Ned Kelly's helmet, James Cook's Endeavour Journal, and a complete convict uniform. This landmark exhibition includes South Australian treasures of national significance from our own library collections.
And; the sun is still shining brightly in Adelaide, it's 26°C. March in Adelaide. No worries.

Sunday, 25 March 2007

One, lucky, still-dry, television reporter. On a effrayé, ce journaliste de télévision, que la pluie viendrait.

In February, St. John Ambulance Australia S.A., launched it's 2007 Recruitment Campaign to increase the number of volunteers within it's organization.
This TV news reporter from Adelaide's Channel Nine visited the Unley, St. John's branch to publicize this most worthwhile campaign.
His facial expression changed somewhat when he noticed Adelaide Daily Photo's mild mannered reporter, up-staging Channel 9. The result was that he had to repeat his spiel a couple more times to suit the international audience that he wasn't expecting.
The rains started just as I left and he didn't get his suit wet. How lucky was that!

Saturday, 24 March 2007

Quand le Soleil dit bonjour à la Montagne. Morning has Broken, - and that's not all !!!

Today, the rains came, and the earth is saying:-

"Sweet the rain's new fall, sunlit from heaven
Like the first dewfall, on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where his feet pass."

Tomorrow, the sun will announce the new day and this is how it will look.
Demain, le soleil annoncera le nouveau jour et c'est à quoi il ressemblera.
And if you Click here, This is what morning sounds like in Adelaide, now the rain has come!

Friday, 23 March 2007

Imitation Snow in Adelaide ? Est-ce que c'est vraiment de la neige que nous voyons à Adelaïde ?

The Glenelg Tram which plies between Adelaide's Victoria Square and Glenelg Beach was upgraded recently with new trams from Bombardier Transportation of Berlin.
Here is one of our new trams cooling down in the 'wunderbar' German weather before being shipped to a sunnier clime.
Sadly, they will never see snow again. (Unless we send them back and buy "Alstom" Trams,- a French company that holds the 'Record du Monde de Vitesse sur Rail'.) Alstom is also currently preparing for the world rail speed record attempt in April 2007. Their trainset designed especially for this event, should reach a speed of at least 540 km/h. At that rate we could be in Glelelg in one minute and nine seconds. Que pensez-vous ?

Thursday, 22 March 2007

Sartorial Splendour, The Australian Norm. J'ai acheté un chapeau pour mon meilleur ami.

Here, in Sunny South Australia, one is very conscious of always being well-dressed. As you will have noticed from all my previous posts, we Australians always rise to the occasion, and leave nothing to be desired in our personal presentation at all times. My good friend attempted to attend this ceremonious function, without the correct head attire. Luckily, I was able to step in and source the appropriate hat for him, in the nick of time. That's what best friends are for.

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

Le Petit Déjeuner Australien Typique. Breaking one's Fast, Down Under.

À la rupture de l'aube, les Australiens décident si plonger dans un océan, ou manger quelque chose.
Decisions need to be taken each morning in Australia. Whether to have a good time or go back to sleep. Possibly to get wet, or even not to.
Madame has got the decision-making process organized and this is one nice way to commence the hardships of the day.

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Is this a Kangaroo?

No, it's a Wallaby. That means, any macropod that isn't large enough to be called a kangaroo and hasn't been given another name. There is no fixed dividing line. In general, a wallaby is smaller and has a stockier build than a kangaroo.
This little guy lives about 5 kilometres from our place and was friendly enough to let Mme. feed him.

Monday, 19 March 2007

Aussies love to Surf, Anywhere and on Anything.

About 80 kilometres from Adelaide, on the Eastern end of the Fleurieu Peninsula, is the South Coast, and the little village of Middleton.
Surfers from Adelaide can access these surfing beaches, in under an hour and radio programmes tell us where the best waves are.
Visitors from Switzerland seem to think this is how it is done, but that's the next part of the lesson. It also involves the waters of Encounter Bay, (where Nicolas Baudin 'encountered' Capt. Matthew Flinders in 1802).

Sunday, 18 March 2007

Sewerage, we can't live with, or without it.

When Adelaideians go to Falls Creek, they need to know that their sewerage needs are being met by the appropriate authorities. They also need to ensure that those who look after their needs don't feel left out or un-recognized. This young man at the Falls Creek Sewerage Treatment Works holds his head up high for many reasons, and we say, 'thank you' and we'll see you again, soon, 'thanks for having us'.

Saturday, 17 March 2007

Merci à Dieu, c'est Vendredi sur le côté de Golfe Josephine: Thank God, it's Friday!

For most of you, it's Friday, and from this Adelaide beach at sunset, one can see out across beautiful Saint Vincent's Gulf.

In 1800, and as the French First Consul, Napoleon supported an expedition by Nicolas Baudin to "New Holland". Baudin gave 400 French names to ports and bays around our coastline and this gulf, he named, "Golfe Josephine". The coastline towards Melbourne was named, "Terre Napoleon".

No wonder we forget to speak English on a Friday, - unless there's another reason?

Friday, 16 March 2007

The Elder Park Rotunda

Adelaide's Elder Park Rotunda, on the southern bank of the River Torrens, was erected in 1882. It was named after the Elder family who were early colonial settlers in South Australia.
Elder Park is the home of the annual Christmas Carols by Candlelight in Adelaide and it also hosts Symphony under the Stars and the Adelaide Festival of Arts.
This shot is a thank you to Gerald of Hyde Daily Photo , who posted 'Hyde Park Bandstand' on March 10 2007, and also to Ame of Santa Clara Daily Photo , who made me laugh with her most objective comment, that day!

Thursday, 15 March 2007

Chaque Mercredi Nuit - Wednesday nights in Australia

Every Wednesday evening, Australians lay down their tools and break their week in half. They relax, play some tennis and crack a few jokes. Usually, visitors from the northern, freezing hemisphere emanate, and bring news from the antipodes. Dennis, from Oregon, whom you have seen before (on Jan 27) popped in again, to check out the scene and ensure that Australian culture (an oxymoron ?) was not exceeding that, found in his nick of the woods. I hope that his Ozzie training stands him in good stead and he can return to the West Coast to educate the masses there, in proper procedures. I am sorry to report, that Dennis is returning via the Whitsundays; islands off the north-east coast and will be forced to suffer the indignities of cruising around those tropical islands instead of speeding back to freezing Oregon.
Quelle dommage! Bon voyage, M. Dennis, nous espérons vous voir ici, encore très bientôt.

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

L'Alliance Française d'Adelaïde

L'Alliance Française d'Adelaïde is my regular Monday evening dose of culture, French language learning, and jolly good fun.
The teachers are great, they all come from France or a French speaking country and speak French as their native language. Some Monday evenings, my friend, here, and I, travel to Quebec, Montreal or Paris to make mischief, and report on our findings. Sometimes we have lunch with M. Chirac and M. Villepin at the Eiffel Tower restaurant and other times we explore beautiful little villages in Quebec Province.
L'Alliance Française d'Adelaïde has a most friendly atmosphere, encouraging interaction and communication. Merci beaucoup mes amis.

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

"Come on then where's that hideously messy desk? I can't wait."

From time to time, women place monumental demands on men, which is one reason the world goes round.
Without women in the world, the globe might as well spin the wrong way.
Two women have conspired to FORCE me to post a photo of my humble desk. One of them, my dear girl, has not even included the photo of Marilyn Monroe, mandatory in any bloke's office, when she snuck-in, with camera, while I was attending my French class "ce soir". The other one, "la grande perpetratreuse", sits comfortably in Cheltenham, UK, smugly thinking that her challenge has fallen on deaf ears.
ASIDE: Now, the stolen numberplate is revealed for all the world to see and the gendarmes will be after me. I hope that Stéphan will not dob me in !

Monday, 12 March 2007

Fermez la Bouche, à Adelaïde.

Today we celebrated for Eric of Paris Daily Photo and the second anniversary of his wonderful Photoblog.

Aujourd'hui est l'un des jours les plus importants pour M. Tenin de Paris Daily Photo; et Mme. Benaut et moi.
Pour Eric, c'est son deuxième anniversaire de PDP. Aussi, pour nous, c'est notre troisième anniversaire de mariage.
Ce soir, Madame et moi "ont frappé la ville" pour célébrer cette occasion la plus propice. Nous avons jeté en bas d'un certain poulet mort* et de quelques grands verres de bière et de vin, dans la meilleure tradition française.
À Eric, nous vous souhaitons un anniversaire très heureux et "fermons toujours la bouche quand nous mangons ! ! !"

Sunday, 11 March 2007

House Boating on the Murray River

"Katarina" and "Simply Irresistable" could not resist taking sixteen of us cruising the Mighty Murray recently. These houseboats rival the comforts of a posh hotel, yet you are only a short walk from endless outback saltbush plains. We cruised past spectacular ochre-red cliffs, long white sandbars, river redgum forests and fascinating wet lands. In many parts of the river, our only neighbours were Kangaroos, Emus, Lace Monitor Lizards and an incredible variety of birds in an unspoilt River Murray Wilderness area.

Saturday, 10 March 2007

We have Very Fierce Bears in Australia. Les Ours Très Féroces habitent en Australie.

Australia is a land where most wildlife is approachable and even cuddly. William has discovered 'Pooh Bear', and he sent me this photo to show me how clever he is. Even though he is a New-South-Welshman and lives 1154 kilometres away, he is preparing to fly across to see me again to find out more about bears, piglets and kangas.

l'Australie est une terre où la plupart de faune est accessible et égale ils peuvent être caressés. William a découvert 'Winnie l'Ourson', mais il l'appelle juste "Peuh" !!! Il m'a envoyé cette photo pour me prouver qu'il est un garçon très intelligent. Quand il vient ensuite à Adelaïde il apprendra plus environ Tigrou, Porcinet, Coco Lapin, Petit Gourou et Bourriquet.

Friday, 9 March 2007

Public Transport in Australia?

Adelaide has only one remaining tram line, since the major routes were replaced with diesel buses over 40 years ago.
Many old trams were purchased by people for use as holiday shacks, and by now, these are slowly decaying. Recently, I saw an Adelaide tram in the Heysen Tunnel on the South East freeway. Perhaps it was heading for a destination like this one!

Thursday, 8 March 2007

Kangourou, Kangaroo, Canguru, Känguruh, Καγκουρό.

Since we looked at the mating habits of Koalas, some time back, here is an other Australian marsupial, which is very well known all over the world. This female Kangaroo with her little joey in her pouch, lives in the Adelaide hills on the slopes of Mt. Lofty. We sometimes see them on the warm roads and wait for them to hop away. Kangaroos are featured on some Australian coins, and road signs warn of their presence on highways. Hitting kangas on a highway at high speed can have disastrous consequences and caution should always be taken, especially at sunset and sunrise.

Wednesday, 7 March 2007

I Love? a Sunburnt Country

725 kilometres south-east of Adelaide is the Tasmanian Island in Bass Straight, called King Island. Bushfires are raging out of control there at the moment and the low pressure weather systems are blowing the smoke across the continent to South Australia. Today we are bathed in the smoke of this disastrous fire and we must spare a thought for the folks of King Island. Dorothea Mackellar said in her poem, "Core of my Heart",

Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the rainbow gold,
For flood and fire and famine
She pays us back threefold.
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze…

This 'filmy veil' of greyness tells us of our neighbours and their turn at distress; bushfires, an Australian event that occurs like perpetual motion, every summer. But we know, we'll see, "She pays us back threefold".

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

"Gambling is a destitute public policy"

Adelaide's only Casino, located in our historic Railway Station building, provides some 70 gaming tables and 950 gaming machines. The Casino opened in 1985 and was owned by the South Australian government until June 2000, when it was sold to private operators.
In the first year of their introduction, South Australians lost a total of 185.4 million dollars to gaming machines. Of that figure the South Australian Government collected 62.5 million dollars in gaming machine taxation.
This was once a proud and busy railway station. Today, with 23,000 problem gamblers in this state, each problem gambler affects the lives of 7 others: 180,000 South Australians directly affected by the pokies bug.

Monday, 5 March 2007

Adelaide to Sydney on a most important mission.

Qantas, an acronym for "Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services", is Australia's national airline, the world's second oldest continuously running independent airline and the 11th largest in the world. It was founded in Winton, Queensland in November 1920 and their first aircraft was purchased for £1425.
Today, Qantas flies me to Sydney to see William, who is now 6 months old and a bit of a Qantas frequent flyer himself. Two days before William's birth, the Air Hostess on this flight assured me that my daughter was definitely having a baby girl.
Qantas' safety record may be the best in the world, but their sex predictions are, well, inaccurate. William, who thinks it's a hoot, says "I fooled you, Grandpa!"

Sunday, 4 March 2007

Rules for Teachers, September 1886

Domenico Scarpantoni from the Abruzzi region of central Italy, migrated to Australia in 1952, to settle in McLaren Vale, south of Adelaide.
In 1968, he purchased an old school property and planted vines. The result was "School Block", a blend of Shiraz, Cabernet and Merlot, aged in oak for 12 months.
When you click and enlarge this photo, taken in an old school house, you will notice that, in 1886, it was forbidden for female teachers to wear bloomers whilst cycling!
We enjoyed this wine with roast lamb and later joined a Feminist Movement anyway. Rules; just love them!

Saturday, 3 March 2007

The Motorcycle Toy Run

Every year, the motorcycle riders of Adelaide gather at Glenelg Beach, to ride in the Motorcycle Toy Run to Hahndorf in the Hills. Over 20,000 bikes take part in this rally and riders donate and deliver toys to charities, who distribute them to children. The rally takes a few hours to pass any point and thousands of spectators line the route. My vantage point was at Crafers on the south east freeway. Many riders perform "wheel stands" as they pass under bridges lined with children and the accompanying Police riders just grin and wave. Please click on image to enlarge.

Friday, 2 March 2007

Adelaide, the City of Statues.

Adelaide has it's fair share of Statues, everywhere. Recently dear old Queen Victoria had a thorough cut and polish. Now the city fathers are tackling the World War 1 horseman. This statue sits outside the gates of Government House, on the right. Parliament House can be seen to the left. When they complete the task, I'll show you the results.

Thursday, 1 March 2007

Theme Day. Men at Work.

I think I'm in Big Trouble. It's theme day and I hadn't caught up with it. So today I'm breaking the rules with a second photo. Here is Wolfgang, Francesco and Giovani, foundation contractors, enjoying their work in the sun, hamming it up a bit for the camera and doing a great job for Adelaide Daily Photo. Grazie, ai miei buoni amici.

Adelaide Oval Scoreboard, Electric or Wind-up ?

Adelaide Oval is widely regarded as the most picturesque Test cricket ground in the world, with St Peter's Cathedral rising behind an elegant Edwardian scoreboard and Moreton Bay fig trees at the northern end, the Mount Lofty Ranges to the east, and nearby city skyline to the south.
The Scoreboard has four levels on the inside connected by stairs. It is almost entirely mechanical using mainly original machinery. One electrical item is the light bulbs indicating the batsman on strike, and the fielder who has fielded the ball.
Please click to enlarge.