A brief sojourn in Adelaide.

I’m back from spending the weekend in Adelaide. it was my Dad’s birthday and I wanted to go out with him and my brother. Unbeknowns to me, my niece and her partner were also in town and staying at Dad’s place. So it was a great family lunch at a nearby pub with a couple of long – and I mean looooong – term family friends joining us.

JudgeG with the niece and the Dad!

The weather was hot, hot, hot. Yesterday was 36C or something. Luckily it wasn’t too humid – Sydney had the humidity saved for my return last night. Within 5 minutes of being out of the airconditioned terminal, I was sweating like a grunter.

No Woolworths in Rundle Mall? NOT HAPPY, JAN!

A big surprise to me on my first walk through of Rundle Mall – the main shopping area of Adelaide – was that Woolworths had closed down. I was gobsmacked! I actually walked past it a few times because I didn’t believe it. I saw a few other people looking stunned as well.

Woolies in Rundle Mall is not just a shop, it’s an institution. It’s been there as long as I can remember and I go back to the um, well…let’s not talk about how far I go back. As well as being an institution, it’s also sorely needed. It provides everything from internet cafe access to a supermarket to general merchandise to alcohol. There’s nothing else like it in the Mall.

I kept involuntarily heading there everytime I went into the Mall…it was like auto-pilot. It’s being completely renovated and not opening until the end of the year. Too long, too long, I say! And I do hope they don’t try and turn it into some uber-modern, uber-stylish department store experience – that’s not why people go to Woolies and not why it has become such a huge success and a key part of Rundle Mall. I was thinking about our local Big-W at Campsie in Sydney which was completely renovated a year or so ago and now carries half the stuff it used to, most of it more expensive and less useful than before. It’s hardly worth going anymore. Please, please don’t let that happen to Woolies in Rundle Mall. It’s part of the town’s history!

Harris Scarfe...always on sale!

Across the road from the now defunct Woolies, Harris Scarfe – Adelaide’s downmarket department store – was having a sale. Another sale. I thought to myself “have I ever been in Adelaide when Harris Scarfe wasn’t having a sale?” I think not. Still, it’s a good shop and another part of Adelaide ‘s history.

My mother used to shop there every Friday afternoon after work – as well as John Martin’s, Myer and Cox Foys of course. Mum did all the big shops. And she had a “charge card” at most of them. I’d follow her around some Fridays if I was on school holidays as she went from store to store. She’d pay $5 off this account and $5 off that one. And, for Mum, no visit to the city was complete without a visit to the Myer Bargain Basement (sadly long gone) to see if there were any new Osti frocks to buy! It’s no wonder I’ve turned out to be such a shopaholic – I never had a chance!

The sun blazes down over Rundle Mall

I might have developed a bit of an instant tan on the weekend because the sun was blazing. I took this shot in Rundle Mall where, at this particular time, it was hot but not oppressively so. I just looked up and enjoyed the direct sunlight for a while and decided to snap off a shot. Now if I’d been in Sydney, I’d have been soaked after a few minutes thanks to the evil humidity which I still can’t deal with after living here for 25 years.

I also checked out the Hampshire Hotel, Adelaide’s only Gay pub. And again it was pretty dull. Perfect location, fabulous outdoor seating area and totally unimaginative management. I sat there lamenting “with the right management, this place could be huge.” But it’s Adelaide and nothing is going to change unfortunately.

I finished my time in my old home town by assembling and installing my brother’s new printer. He’s just bought a new Toshiba laptop and Canon multifunction device to go with it. We discovered on Sunday at 4.45pm that Canon had not supplied a USB cable with it. I raced to Dick Smith, arriving 4 minutes before 5pm – the time when all shops close in Adelaide on Sunday (yes, even the major supermarkets!) and picked up a USB cord. As the Canon manual hadn’t specified anything beyond “USB cable required” (with no illustration or description of which particular type of cable), I bought a standard USB cable which was precisely useless.

The software refused to install on the laptop without the printer being connected so everything came to screeching halt. Monday morning I went shopping for the correct USB cable and took a tram down to my brother’s place in the blazing heat to finish the installation job. It’s all working now – no thanks to cheap-arse Canon 😦

Crap service on Virgin Blue flight to Sydney

The holiday in Adelaide finished up with what must be the worst Virgin Blue flight I’ve ever had. Clunky old 737-700 which looked in need of a “Queer Eye” makeover combined with slow and hopeless service from the strangely ditzy and ineffectual cabin crew. No Diet Coke, warm beer only and no change. All delivered with the kind of slowness you’d expect in “Driving Miss Daisy.”

I don’t think I’ve ever really had a Virgin Blue flight like that. The cabin crew are usually on the ball, fast, efficient, bright and loads of fun. Still, I suppose we got there in one piece – that’s a blessing. Had it been Qantas the plane might have lost a part midflight due to the $2 maintenance job they do in Asia.

So that was my weekend: family, Adelaide, computers and oh yes, $7.50 for a 425ml glass of Stella at the Hampshire Hotel. Perhaps New York might be cheaper next time 😉

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1 Comment

  1. Costco is the best here in America! And now they’ve opened in Australia.


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