Wednesday, December 31, 2008

ABC Wednesdays - X for Xavier

This is the St Francis Xavier Cathedral located in Wakefield Street near Victoria Square in the centre of Adelaide City. Building started in 1856 with the laying of the foundation and continued in three stages as money became available, with the final completion 140 years later; the cathedral was dedicated on the 11th July 1996.

This Catholic cathedral is named after St Francis Xavier, one of its patron saints. Its first bishop was Bishop Francis Murphy who arrived in Adelaide in 1844.

I will endeavour to follow up this post with some photos inside the cathedral. You can read more about the cathedral on its website.

To find out more about ABC Wednesdays and see other participants' contributions go to the ABC Wednesdays' Anthology or to see direct links to their own sites go here using Mr Linky.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My solar energy use

Over the last few days I have highlighted some of the uses of solar energy in South Australia. I will conclude by mentioning my solar devices.

A few years ago I replaced my in-roof hot water service with this on-roof solar hot water service. As with the solar panels for generating electricity for use in the house, the solar hot water systems like this attract government subsidies. Without these subsidies the costs would be prohibitive and so far the savings made have been minimal - but the environmental savings justify the installation.

This is my yacht and the solar panel mounted on the back keeps the batteries topped up; sufficient to keep a fridge running and to run lights and electronic devices on board and still be able to start the motor!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Wilpena Power Station

Commissioned in 1998 this solar power station is about 450 kilometres north of Adelaide. It supplies electricity to local customers such as the Wilpena Resort and the Finders Ranges National Park Headquarters.

The power station has an array of 1250 eighty watt panels, capable of generating up to 100 kWh. There are also diesel generators which are used to supplement the power when the output from the solar panels is insufficient.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Household solar power

Not only is the City installing solar panels in public places, but many energy conscious residents are installing panels like these at their homes. These panels are installed in the backyard of a friend's house.

A set of panels like these generate about 2500 kWh of electricity in a year. Surplus power is fed into the electricity grid and generous rebates are paid; currently 44 cents per kilowatt hour.

The Federal Government is currently encouraging people to install systems like this by offering a rebate of up to $8,000. A six panel, one kWh system can be installed for about $4,000 (after the rebate).

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Solar light

Adelaide has an average of 7.6 hours of sunshine a day, so it makes sense to use it . This is a solar street light in Victoria Square in the City.

Electricity produced from these panels is sent to the State's electricity grid during the day, and the lights are powered from the grid at night. Each light produces about 100 kilowatt hours (kWh) more than it uses each year.

The lights are an initiative of the Adelaide Green City program which aims to develop Adelaide as a Solar City.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Day lunch

Even though Christmas Day can be quite hot here, we always have a 'traditional' hot roast meal followed by Christmas pudding. Yesterday was a pleasant 30 degrees so we ate outside under the pergola. I also cooked the meal outside in a Weber barbecue kettle.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

ABC Wednesdays - W for Windmills

Windmills are a common sight on properties all over Australia, pumping water to fill troughs and dams. In some areas they have become less important due to other available technologies; electric and petrol pumps and now solar powered pumps.

This is a windmill near Rawnsley Park in the Finders Ranges in northern South Australia.

Some people collect cars, some people collect stamps ..... but on our recent return journey from Canberra I spotted this yard - a windmill collection!

To find out more about ABC Wednesdays and see other participants' contributions go to the ABC Wednesdays' Anthology or to see direct links to their own sites go here using Mr Linky.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Beachouse Ferris Wheel

Opened on Saturday December 6th, this is an Australian first; a single arm ferris wheel. Glenelg has waited two years longer than planned for this to eventuate, and the almost $1.8 million cost of building it was over budget. Unlike other traditional ferris wheels you get a continuous ride; people board and disembark while it moves.

Monday, December 22, 2008

West Lakes Carols

Over the last few weeks I have played at several community carols nights. This was taken a couple of Sundays ago at West Lakes, a western suburb of Adelaide. Even though it was a breezy and cold night most of the carollers stayed to the end.

I have just found out the my blog has been listed as a Blog of Note; just the encouragement I need to keep going. It is quite time consuming to post every day, and I have been really busy in the last few weeks so I took a few days break.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

ABC Wednesdays - V for Victoria Square

Victoria Square, is in the centre of Adelaide City. This is a view looking north, and if you look carefully you will see two flags; one being the Australian flag and the other the Aboriginal (Australian) flag. The traditional Kaurna name for the square is Tarndanyangga.

In May 1937 the square was named after Princess Victoria, who at the time was heir to the British throne. She became Queen a month later after the death of the King. This statue of her stands in the centre of the Square.

This is a view looking south past the Three Rivers Fountain (see one of my previous posts) located near the northern end of the Square.

Until recently the Glenelg tram ran in the middle of the Square, but when the extension was made along King William Street it was routed along its western side, reclaiming a valuable amount of space for special events.

To find out more about ABC Wednesdays and see other participants' contributions go to the ABC Wednesdays' Anthology or to see direct links to their own sites go here using Mr Linky.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas tree on the move

On Sunday my cycling group had a Christmas ride followed by a lovely lunch. Our cycling "Santa" sure got lots of attention and along the way and gave lots of Christmas cheer to passers-by.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Glenelg to Hahndorf Toy Run

Yesterday was the 30th annual Charity Toy Run held by the Motorcycle Riders Association of South Australia. It is estimated that about 17,000 riders took part. At the end of the ride a collection of toys and donations was made for the St Vincent de Paul Society's Christmas appeal.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Rain at last

This was a very welcome sight. Over the last two days Adelaide has received about 30mm rain, the most significant fall for at least a couple of months. A good soak like this will really help our parched gardens.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

John McDouall Stuart

Standing tall in Victoria Square is a statue of John McDouall Stuart, one of the most significant of South Australia's explorers.

His journey from Adelaide to the Indian Ocean (the northern coast of Australia) and return in 1861-62, led to the construction of the Overland Telegraph that connected Australia to England and the rest of the world.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

ABC Wednesdays - U for Underdale

The University of South Australia had a campus at Underdale, but in 2000 it decided to consolidate and upgrade its other campuses. In 2005 saw the demolition of the site and relocation to other facilities.

The library, where my wife worked is shown here. She was relocated to the Mawson Lakes Campus.

A new housing estate, Promenade on the River Torrens, is being built on the Underdale site.

To find out more about ABC Wednesdays and see other participants' contributions go to the ABC Wednesdays' Anthology or to see direct links to their own sites go here using Mr Linky.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Commonwealth Law Courts complex

When this building was opened in 2006 its architectural design certainly raised comment from many Adelaidians; me included.

The random coloured panels I have since read have symbolic meaning:

"The eucalyptus green colour on the façade was chosen to pay homage to Colonel Light's garden city plan, as well as the native eucalypt and dry grass vegetation that is common on the Adelaide Plains. The sienna and ochre colours on the façade were chosen to represent the colours of the Adelaide Plains and the arid hinterland."

I found this description on a web page that also has links to Google's street view. Click here to read and see more.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Six star building

This is a view looking east from Victoria Square in the centre of Adelaide. The newly completed SA Water building was awarded a green six star rating for sustainability. Read a summary of the building's features on the Green Building Council Australia website.

In the right of the photo is the new Commonwealth Law Courts complex.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Holdfast Trainers

This afternoon on my way home after an enjoyable few hours sailing my yacht, I noticed these small boats sailing on the Patawalonga.

They are Holdfast Trainers, designed in South Australia in 1948 as a small boat in which children can learn to sail. The boat is 2.42m in length and has a crew of two.

Although I did not own one as a child, I spent many hours learning to sail as a crew member on a friend's boat.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Cresswell Gardens Fountain

Another of Adelaide's fountains; this one is near the entrance to Adelaide Oval. It is one of a pair which were originally erected early last century in front of the Exhibition Building (no longer there) on North Terrace.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Three Rivers Fountain

Last Friday I showed a photo of the Three Rivers Fountain without water. The council have obviously decided to switch the water back on; I took this photo during the week.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Pipers in the Park

Last Saturday on the Guitar Festival opening night these pipers gave an impromptu concert in Elder Park's rotunda to many appreciative onlookers.

They had participated in the Guinness World Record Attempt for the biggest guitar band. No - they are not guitars! "It's a Long Way to the Top" featured a bagpipe, so they came along to help.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

ABC Wednesday - T for Trams

This is a tram travelling along King William Street in the City.

In the past Adelaide had an extensive tram network, but only the City to Glenelg line was retained and it terminated in the centre of the city in Victoria Square. Last year the line was extended along King William Street and along North Terrace, past the Railway Station.

So we have gone the full circle; here we have horse drawn trams travelling along King William Street in the 1900's.

It is now planned to extend the tram network next year another 2.8 km north-west of the City to the Entertainment Centre.

To find out more about ABC Wednesdays and see other participants' contributions go to the ABC Wednesdays' Anthology or to see direct links to their own sites go here.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Guinness World Record Attempt

Last Saturday afternoon on the opening night of the Adelaide Guitar Festival, there was a world record attempt for the biggest guitar band. Unfortunately the number of registrations fell just short of the required number to break the record. Organisers were hoping for 2000 participants.

The song chosen for the playout was the ACDC hit 'It's a Long Way to the Top'. I had considered taking my guitar along, but thought I might have been embarrased. Having seen the event and now realise that the band on stage would drown out any of my shortcomings, I might have a go next year if they try for the record again.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Adelaide Guitar Festival

This is a mural near Festival Theatre promoting the Adelaide Guitar Festival that runs from 29th Nov to 7th Dec.