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Showing posts from December, 2009

Roadside Santas

Here's what's coming next as well as answering AB's question about Australianising Christmas symbols. We're back home but I need a day or two to catch my breath and choose a few shots from the thousand taken. See you back here in the New Year.

We've been west, much further west than we usually go. Somewhere out there the farmer's have their own tradition of placing Aussie Santas at their gates (which are miles apart in the big wheat and sheep country) ... we saw Santa playing footie, Santa riding a bike, Santa fishing on a dam, Santa waving from a tree and this Santa.

But old traditions die hard, after driving a hundred kilometres across the very hot dry plains we reached a roadside petrol station with this window display!

We are not amused

"Young man you can call it a pedapod but we know that it's a rickshaw"

I wonder how many people got bikes for Christmas. I heard on the radio that the market for them is booming.

Outside the Queen Victoria Building.

That's it for this series. There's a sneak peek on what's coming up next tomorrow.

Happy Christmas

May your Christmas be filled with wonder and delight. Merry Christmas everyone.

David Jones windows

Christmas Eve

Hey Mr Mice can I join your party ... I'm all dressed up and ready to go?
For fantistic shots at the windows go visit Julie's blog.

David Jones windows

What's in there?

Naughty, there are still two sleeps to go.

Outside Queen Victoria Building.

Australia's largest indoor Christmas tree

According to the QVB website the tree took 30 decorators, eight riggers and two electricians more than a fortnight to install and decorate. Standing 24 metres tall and extending through three floors the QVB Christmas tree features 1700 branches, 15,000 Swarovski crystals and is adorned with 40,000 lights, 8,000 baubles and 400 bows. Swarovski Crystal design each Swarovski crystal decoration to reflect light and create the festive 'wow' factor.

And they stare at the stairwell!

Queen Victoria Building

Got shopping to do

If you are interested in learning about the history of the QVB and seeing some great shots of it's interior go see it through Julie's Sydney Eye.

Queen Victoria Building

A shady spot

No snow around here.

Sydney Square ... next to Town Hall.

City lights

We are on a Sunday jaunt around the centre of Sydney to pick up the city Christmas vibe. There didn't seem to be much bunting about. It can only get better from here.

Town Hall Sydney

I'm taking a break from blogging until the New Year, in the meanwhile I hope you enjoy this short Christmas series.


Even though it had reached a cooler 33C at Rhylstone we stopped to get a yet another cool drink.

As we drove into the evening the temperature progressively dropped to a nice 23C. However, things did not go so well with the people of this and neighbouring town of Kandos. The very next day fires were burning and threatening their homes.

That's it for this trip. Tomorrow I'm going to start a Christmas series based on a Sunday excursion to Sydney.

Day is closing

The countryside was lit with the low slanting sun as the day began to close.
Temperature 34C

My railway to nowhere

Julie did a wonderful post Railway to Nowhere of the station at Lue some months ago ... I just had to stop and see what I could do.


This miners cottage in Ulan gives you another look at a Silky Oak tree.

There is not a lot to Ulan, the closed general store looks so forlorn, though the little church over the road was neat and pretty.


After our pleasant afternoon tea we headed out of Mudgee, taking a different route home. It quickly became clear that more than rural industries fuel the area.

Culinary delights

The cheese was wonderful.

As we were leaving I was surprised to see them watering the lawn (given the state of the local dam) but was told they have ample ground water so no water restrictions. Looks like there's some good grapes on their way.

Some more big raindrops fell but went away just as quickly as they came.
Temperature 39C.

Rural delights

The Mudgee area is noted for its fine wool, beef, fat lambs, cereal crops, lucerne, vegetables, vineyards and honey. There are also horse, sheep and cattle studs. Someone mentioned a cheese factory near the town so after a bit of a wander around we headed off to find it -- will show you that tomorrow. Some posts on Paula's blog inspired me to take the shot below.

Temperature still 39C. Is it ever going to cool down??


As we rolled into Mudgee the temperature hit 41C. Top on our agenda was a cafe with air conditioning. Just as we finished our sandwich in a relatively cool place big rain drops began to fall. But they didn't last long so weren't much help on cooling things down. But ahhhhh ... can you smell the wonderful aroma of raindrops on hot surfaces?

Update for Martina: Yes it does steam for a while and is especially noticable on the roads ... here is a shot taken through the windscreen a little later in the day when there was another brief shower.

Temperature 41C dropping to 39C.

Abandoned twins

Nearly at Mudgee (we took a side road to get there) we saw two abandoned houses close together. At the left of the top one is a pepperina tree ... they are popular in hot rural places, the leaves are quite aromatic when crushed.

The second abandoned building could have been interesting because it was brick but a tall chicken wire fence around the house spoiled the image so you get to see the gate instead ... no trespassing

Temperature 40C. Can it get any hotter??

Silky Oak

I noticed the Silky Oaks were in flower so looked around for an interesting shot with one of them in.

Silky Oak is a native Australian tree with golden flowers in spring and an attractive timber, this old cabinet in my home is Silky Oak.

Temperature 39C.

180 degrees

Time for another favourite ... whenever I stop I also look in the opposite direction to see what else I can photograph. Here's what I found over the road from the hay shed ... so quintessentially farmyard.

Temperature 39C.

Low tide

There's still not much water in Lake Windermere which I've shown you before..

Oh boy it's hot ... the sun is bleaching the grass and burning the land
Temperature 38C


The yellow flowers on the roadside are canola. How annoying is that, when I wanted to see it in the field its flowers had all gone and yet in the wild they are still flowering weeks later.
Temperature 36C.

Favourite things

I said I would be finding favourite things on this drive. Here's an abandoned dwelling near Capertee. Commenters have asked if I explore these places, which I don't, even if I did I would have given this one a miss with that prickly blackberry at the door.

Temperature 35C.

An unexpected Royal

The normal road was blocked, I think fires had been sparked by lightening overnight. So we had to take a detour through Wallerawang where to my delight I found a new Royal hotel. A great start for a day where I expected to see quite a few of my favourite things.

For those who are new to the blog, here's my Royal Collection.

Temperature 34C

Extreme heat

When I tell you that the 100 year weather records show that that on average here in the mountains we get no more than 10 days above 30C you will understand that is was a horrible shock to walk outside on a spring (not summer) morning and find it was already 31C at 9 o'clock.

What better way to escape the heat ... go for a long drive in an air conditioned car ... so come along for the drive, we are on our way to Mudgee.