Lumpentour #3

Sorry to keep you waiting for so long since the last leg. People kept asking me for a light. Long story.

You didn’t get mugged or nuthin’, did you? Good. Let’s get moving then.


It’s slicker than I remember (2011)

Elizabeth Shopping Centre! I can remember when it was John Martin’s instead of Myer, but alas, John Martin’s went belly up at the end of the 1990s. They were one of the better employers in retail, too.

Of course, they’re all up against the wall now, about to be shot to bits by online sales.

(Dear upper management; it’s service provision that’s the issue, not the employees, nor the things you’ve been obsessively tweak-and-squeezing for the last decade).

How this place has changed… It’s all so shiny.

I can remember an episode here once after work, in ’97 or ’98, when public smoking restrictions were first being implemented. In the thickest, most nasally affected Strine, Miss Bogan announced to all and sundry, ‘The Sissem wun stomme frumm smokin’ wereawanna [fark fark fark!]’. And it didn’t, or at least it didn’t for as long as I watched her light up and puff her fumes indoors.

Who says you can’t fight The Sissem?

Never saw her again, mind you. Maybe she’s hidden in an abandoned bank somewhere, pickled in a barrel. Continue reading “Lumpentour #3”

Photo: Cracticus tibicen – Mr Photogenic

As with a number of other birds in Australia, it’s currently mating season for Australian magpies (Cracticus tibicen). I’ve been swooped a number of times already (even double teamed by a pair – a new experience), which is normal behaviour when they have eggs or young in the nest.

That being said, they can be pretty sociable as well. (Unless you’re a cyclist.)

Cracticus tibicen (2011)

I’m going to put it out there, that this is a male; the deliniation between the stark white back and the black feathers being well-defined, without a dirty white or grey feather in sight.

Trying to work out the subspecies is the difficult part. Distribution of C. tibicen telonocua, to the west, isn’t supposed to reach Adelaide. Although our little friend here looks a lot like one, and there are intermediaries in the area (growing up as a child, I lived where C. tibicen telonocua is distributed – they’re what seems ‘normal’ to me) . Conversely, the white back doesn’t descend far enough for it to be C. tibicen tyrannica, a subspecies distributed to the east – starting south-east of Adelaide in the Coorong, and spreading further east through southern Victoria before eventually reaching the southern end of the east coast.

Maybe Melbournites will notice that the white feathers on the back seem to finish a little high.

At a guess, I’m going to go with an intermediary somewhere between the two, m0re telonocua than tyrannica. Of course, if you were wanting something definite, then I’m afraid you’d have to go elsewhere. (I don’t know anything about the population genetics of the Australian magpie, and my understanding of the taxonomy going on between currently recognised  subspecies borders on the non-existent).

An enjoyable little encounter all the same. He didn’t seem to mind my walking up within a foot of him, and the little fella strikes a nice pose.

~ Bruce

Lumpentour #2

Okay, I’m back. You didn’t get into any trouble since I left you last time?

Maybe you did… Stiff bickies. It’s Elizabeth. Let the tour continue.


High Voltage! (2011)

And some people leave their kids playing next to this…

I could hear something arcing while I was taking this photo. And I could have sworn the sound was closer to the gate than anything else.

Anyway, this being bogan territory, if you’re going to continue this tour of the way I used to walk home from work, maybe you’d like to pop in some earphones and strut to something suitably ridiculous. High Voltage!

Continue reading “Lumpentour #2”

Lumpentour #1

Something I don’t think I’ve emphasised, or affirmed enough, is my grounding in the working class. Possibly with the exception of the years of my youth between 1988-1991 (a period of relative comfort ultimately conspired against by family break-up and the effects of high interest rates), I couldn’t in any way be reasonably accused of having had a middle class lifestyle.

I’m not ashamed of this.

To convey a little bit about myself to you, in this respect, allow me take you on the first stage of a photographic tour of a portion of my own working class history.


Out back of the Exide factory, Elizabeth West (2011).

Continue reading “Lumpentour #1”

Photo: Frome Road

I like to walk a lot, which given a rather permanent injury to my foot, can be a bit difficult at times. I’ve got a 17k course that I like to walk very early mornings, weather, time and foot permitting, that I’ll have to take some photos from.

When I moved to Adelaide as a teenager back in 1992, I had a different route which ran down from the north-eastern suburbs into the city. Frome Road was a welcome part of the walk, especially in early autumn when the leaves on the trees had just started to brown.


Frome Road in winter (2009)

It’s a bit barren now with all the leaves fallen and cleared away, but when things liven up, especially in early summer, it’s quite nice. It’s a bit haunting like this.

The Royal Adelaide Hospital is off to the left, which has a few unpleasant memories attached to it. My Aunt passed away there the other week, as did my Father in April 2003.

Up until my father’s passing, the sunny weather managed to hold out. The last night I spent with him, we snuck him out of his bed for a smoke and the skies were crystal clear. He’d spent a good part of his last years planting trees and if I was prone to woolly spiritual thinking, I probably would have made something of the leaves suddenly falling in large numbers the day after, along with the first heavy rains of the year.

I spent part of April 2006 off to the right, studying biology. Specifically, on the anniversary of my Dad’s passing that year, I was working on a cell biology practical in a lab that faced across the street, which naturally had to raise the topic of cancer.

I’m here doing my one and final subject of my science degree, which is only going to entangle and reinforce the memories further. Still, I guess I’ll be leaving on an upper, with fresh new leaves growing in the sunshine.

~ Bruce

Photo: Dutton Bay Jetty

If there’s anything I hold as a single sacred site, this spot has got to be an easy contender for the title.


Dutton Bay Jetty (2003)

It’s a beautiful little spot, and a few, but as yet not quite too many sea changers have moved in with new abodes in the area.

It also has a lot of significance to my family. When my Dad was four years old, he jumped off of it and was lucky to be helped by a fisherman who happened to be there. My Dad ended up working for the Department of Marine and Harbors in the late 70s and early 80s, fixing jetties up the west coast of South Australia.

Dad was an excellent diver.

He and his siblings grew up in the area, and for the first few years of my life, so did I. I spent a bit of time in these waters as a little one myself.

The photo was taken in 2003, out back from Cliff Dobbins’ home. Cliff was a long time friend of the family and in the 80s was president of the Marble Range football club that my Dad trained under-17s for in the 70s. Sadly, both Cliff and his wife passed away only weeks after this photo was taken, surviving my father by only a few months.

2003 was a bad year for the family – my Grandmother on my Mother’s side also passing away in December.

About four months after the photo was taken, my Father’s ashes were spread from the Dutton Bay Jetty to join with those of an Uncle who’s ashes were also spread there.

My father, like his father before him, were fishermen in the area. But they were also custodians, not afraid to enter conflict with other fishermen who didn’t have the proper respect for the environment by over fishing or polluting the water and it seems fitting that my Father has been returned to the ecosystem that he grew up in.

Aside from the history my family has with the locale, going for a walk along the beach or down the jetty always precipitates contemplation, so I thought that it would make and appropriate title bar for a contemplative blog.

Before he passed away, Dad told my cousin that he’d protect her from sharks if she went for a swim here. I rather suspect that he was being poetic, but all the same I’d rather go for a swim here than other areas around the southern Eyre Peninsula. It’s a sheltered little bay and is a comforting distance from the tuna nets in Port Lincoln.

If you are ever in the area, be sure to get out of the car and have yourselves a stroll. There is a bed and breakfast by the jetty and The Woolshed museum is worth a look-in as well. 😉

~ Bruce

Sunday Stroll #1

Went for a walk this weekend, as I often do when I get a bit of free time and the weather is nice. I reckon when I do, I’m going to take a few snaps from now on and post them on the odd Sunday. I think I’ll skip the details and let people guess or question them in the comments.

Time to work out this gallery feature in WordPress.

~ Bruce