Sunday, February 07, 2016

Extreme Adelaide

This is the GoPro video I made when I went to town last week and then came home and wrote the last post. Even though the weather wasn't particularly nice it was good to be on a train trip and it was good to go over the new bridge and see how that whole area is being developed. The one thing about the GoPro, which is new to me so I am still practising, is that it could take in the spectacular panoramic views from that bridge and from the train. That is what we have in Adelaide. Big sky. On that day it was a big cloudy sky threatening rain. Others were out on the bridge taking photos and lots and quite a few people were on the other side walking dogs, prams, children or jogging. It has such a good feel that area now. What do we do in Adelaide? Whatever we want!

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Amazing Adelaide

As we were arriving in town everyone on the train was commenting on how huge all the new buildings were where the RAH is now. We could not believe how spectacular it all looked because on the other side is the imposing Adelaide Convention Centre. The architecture is very eyecatching. I walked out over the Torrens Bridge and the panormaic views of the River Torrens and its banks were just superb. It is a 360 degree uninterrupted view of sky, water , green and then our buildings. So much is being built, facelifted and reformatted. It has such a good feel and it really looks extraordinary. The poor pelicans were not too impressed with our unusual Adelaide summer weather. Bit cold, bit blustery, bit like it would pour with rain any minute.
So not us and the pelicans knew it. The black swans and other birds didn't seem to mind so much but the recent rain has made the Torrens banks look green and lush. The masterminds behind this reconstruction and new look can be well pleased with what they have achieved so far. We really are becoming more beautiful each week and the energy and creativity going into this is much appreciated.  

Sunday, January 17, 2016

How to be a trade in tragic

Meet my lovely Holden Cruze 2010 , with less than 50 000 on the clock, which the car dealer said was immaculate and so well kept. It's the one with the sun roof. Not many of those around and it's a nice car to drive and has a bit of a coolness factor. In June 2012 I paid 28, 000 + for it with the window tinting and paint protection. I was given $8 000 trade in on my Opel engine 2006 Astra Hatchback which was also in very good condition. I love my cars. Last Friday I was offered $6000 trade in for this Cruze. So now it is worth even less than quarter of its price after only 3 and a half years. I wasn't struck dumb because I said I would be insane to give them this car at that price. Even if I sold it privately I was told I might get 10 or 12 thousand so well and truly under half price. 
Had I known at the time just how much used car prices were going to deteriorate in such a short time then, no, I would not have paid so much for my car. I cannot know these things and nor can you. I'd hate to be on finance. I'd be in a terrible state now had I borrowed money to pay for a car like this and the reality of 2016 kicked in. I always thought it was a good idea to trade up and get myself a better car. Even if they had knocked off $5000 on the Equipe I wanted to purchase it still would only make mine worth $11 000 after 3 and a half years. So I came home for the first time without having bought a car. Interesting experience. You have to go with the market. A second hand car appears to have no value. So it's buy and cry. Under these conditions I would not even consider a new or demo car. How is that going to help the car market? Eventually it will impact on new and demo car sales and it might bring up the used car market and it may well get quite a few people into financial difficulty. As it stands I have come home and worked out a plan which I shall blog about. I am not giving my car away. If the market doesn't value it at all , then I do. I'll keep you posted. 

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Cycling on footpath

Image: Cycling SA

We have a long history of competent and well respected cycling organisations and people in South Australia. We love our cycling and our cyclists . They have achieved a lot for the sport and our state. It is disappointing that the changes to the law which allow cyclists to ride on the footpath have created such a low level of disingenuous debate. We know a lot about cycling. We have done it well. We need to look at the realities. Cars and bikes should never be together on the road in some parts of Adelaide. You cannot give 1.5m clearance on Unley Road. It is mad to put a bike lane between a bus lane and cars as in another part of Adelaide. A car cannot move over into another lane to give clearance if the outside lane has cars. That is all logical and real. Cyclists can be very much in danger because they are not protected. Drivers are in danger if they have to shift lanes suddenly to create room for cyclists. There are irresponsible cyclists who ride several abreast or too fast or recklessly. There are drivers who zoom, swerve and don't care. How many? Most cyclists and drivers are reasonable and responsible and we have co existed well but the increase of traffic has created some difficult and unpleasant moments. Other cities and countries allow cyclists to use pedestrian areas to keep themselves safe. If  the thoughtless, irresponsible behaviour of the few is a problem we need to address that behaviour. We need social awareness campaigns , we need rational discussions and we need to be level headed. It is not us and them. There are no factions and yet, the converstions have largely settled on that. 891 Adelaide had a good discussion about this issue with a lawyer and other experts. We need to look at the issues, the problems , the concerns. We need to find solutions and work together on this. It should be a project where we look at solving the issues and we are clear about what we shall not and never tolerate. It's the mentality which needs to be developed which is lacking. In Canberra cyclists access pedestrian areas. They do that responsibly. I have never felt surprised, threatened or unsafe. I have been glad to see they can get away from the cars and use an eco friendsly form of transport. We have thought that footpath cycling is for little kiddies and that no adult would ride on the footpath. We need to rethink it. Cars cannot determine the liveability of a city and you cannot just push people out onto the road and say - give them 1.5 metres and she'll be right. It doesn't work like that. 

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Upgrading Adelaide

Upgrading Adelaide is well underway and it's looking good! We have the bridge across the Torrens and everyone loves it. The markets are taking shape and are such an interesting place to be in Adelaide with all their sights, sounds and great food. Not just food, though. There are other shops and stalls and it is looking brighter , lighter and cleaner. Not that the markets were dirty. They were old looking. Not now. Frome Road is getting an artsy feel with Eckersley's, The Urban Cow and a matching artsy cafe. I can see that getting better. The bottom end of Grenfell Street has a more sedate feel and being able to get authentic crepes there only adds to it. Carpe Diem is popular for a good reason and adds to the feel of that end of Grenfell Street. The Mall is looking light, bright and active with all the big glass shop windows and, thankfully, they have kept some of the Mall coffee shops and have started to develop the streets and lanes off Rundle Mall. We have come a long way. Whoever has oversight of the planning has had some good vision. So why are we now faint hearted about developing Victoria Square to the model which has been advertised , shared, approved and appreciated? It would look so fantastic and provide a civilised place for people to be at that end of town where the markets and law precinct are. It needs something with panache and the plans put forward looked appropriate. Funding, you say? We are not doing  this because of funding? This is 2015. Crowdsourcing funding is becoming the norm for projects and start ups. Adelaide has never been faint hearted about embracing the future, the unusal and the innovative. Maybe we need to look at the crowdfunding of projects in other cities and move ourselves forward in our customary can-do Adelaide way, no matter what the barriers. It would be a great way to bring us together. Why shouldn't we unite to fund and develop our future

Monday, July 06, 2015

Adelaide is great

Image :trends24

If the Adelaide Football Club motto is : Born to great things (Natus ad magna geranda) then it has been rising above the horribly complex and definitive loss of Phil Walsh and is taking our state and the AFL with it. Scott Camporeale has been trending for a couple of hours on Twitter because he is the new interim coach for the club and he is going to honour Phil Walsh's vision  and try to move through the emotion of the  situation that way. This follows on from what was, to all accounts - all accounts - a very moving and meaningful gesture yesterday from the March of Silence to the ceremony at the Adelaide Oval. Those who were there were deeply moved by it. The family has expressed thanks for such an obvious and huge support for their situation and everyone and anyone to do with football in this country has been picking up the lead of this club and uniting themselves for the family, for the game and for everything Phil Walsh represented. Football. He loved it. He gave his life to it. It meant everything to him that he could share his passion and enthusiam for the game. You do not have to know Phil Walsh or like football to know that Phil Walsh was an inspiration as a coach because he lived for the game and the good it could bring. His club has come together to support Meredith and Quinn Walsh so that they can see their awful situation is not beyond hope or care. The leadership displayed in how this is now unfolding is worth noting. It is a solid uniting of football fans and players which then has reached out to the rest of the community and allowed us to blur the pain a bit. We know it's a horrendous situation. We know it must be unbearable. We know that Meredith and Quinn Walsh must be feeling so black and numb. We cannot even guess really how they might be feeling. The Adelaide Football Club is living up to its motto because this is a gargantuan challenge to keep the spirit of someone like Phil Walsh burning strongly and brightly. This is not canonising him or making him more than a man. It's redressing the imbalance of fate and providing an undeniable blanket of solidarity around Meredith and Quinn who have some tough times to work through. 

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Phil Walsh

Image : Adelaide Football Club

Adelaide is sad. You could feel it yesterday and then you could hear it. Everyone was affected by it and moved. Not just the football community , all of us. We could all see it was a painful, dreadful circumstance for a family to find itself in and the fact that it was a high profile family meant we were all connecting on a very real level about the way in which a happy family can go very wrong. We were talking about it because it had a profound impact. The saddness of it. The finality of it. The awful compexity of it. Phil Walsh was a very well respected and well loved coach and you knew it whether you followed football or not. This was someone who had given his life to the success and building of a sport which everyone loves. In Adelaide there is good rivalry between the Port and Crows supporters. It is the basis of so much fun and so many jokes. Yesterday, it wasn't about that at all.  It was about kinship. Football has lost someone who had strengthened and grown the sport but he had lost his life as a father. A man. The obvious family impact and emotion of it was clear. The club will rally around the family because the club motto is Born to Great Things. Nothing greater than taking this situation into your heart and working a way through it. I feel so so concerned for Phil Walsh's wife , Meredith, and his daughter , Quinn. What has happened to them as human beings is an impossibly tough call and they are having to work their way through the pain and complexity of it. This is a human story and the resolution, as such, will be a playing out of the club motto. The two women need to be cossetted and protected for the time being and will need all the love and help we can muster. In the end it will make us have a really serious conversation about family violence which is going to be painful and difficult but it is one we need to have. The football community will make us honest in fronting up to this. In the meantime, Adelaide cares and Adelaide is sad. Very sad.