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Miscellany

Australia – Wireless museum Blue Mountains Botanical Gardens

I thought I would have an easy day, without too much walking, a few weeks earlier I had discovered that there was a wireless museum, towards the Blue Mountains but I had not managed to check it out. So my plan was to drive out there and take a look, then take it from there.

I parked up at the museum, there was space fire just five cars, just my sort of museum. The owner cam out of his house, and introduced himself, Ian ran the museum and I it seemed was his only visitor so far that day. He unlocked and took my $10 entrance fee. It was my type of museum, packed the the rafters, in this case with old radios, there must have been at least a thousand. Most of them worked or did when they were put out on display.

Ian was a friendly chap, and was keen to demonstrate and explain the history of some of them. He warnede that Rodger would might turn up and that if he did he would have a Philips radio with him. I was so ask Ian questions if he did. Five minutes later Rodger turned up, with his Philips radio set, which he plonked down and started to explain that it needed repairing. I asked Ian at me questions, but Rodger was keen to demonstrate his knowledge of radios.

A little while later a young guy called Rex turned up with his partner, they had not however been warned about Rodger and got drawn into conversation. Rodgers carer came in and lurked around and left with Rodger a while later when he had got bored. One of the biggest radios was off a ship which had been seized by the authorities for drug smuggling. It was about six feet wide and tall, and was fully functional, Ian had acquired it through an aquaintance who helped him transport it back to the museum on a trailer.

Ian was a mine of information he played a record that was the theme music of an Australian radio soap that was supposedly the inspiration for the Archers. He also has the first FM radio station transmitter in Australia, and knew the weaknesses in all the radios he had, apparently through repairing them all. He learnt radio when as a child his parents ownedba newsagents, and he used to look at the Wireless hobby magazine which intrigued him, he has to write down the queries he had and ask the people who collected the magazines to get the answers, but after a while he realises he had learnt enough to know more than some of them.

I said said my goodbyes and headed out to the Blue Mountains Botanical Gardens, glad I had remembered that the museum existed. It was a pleasant 30 minute drive to the gardens, the road was steep and twisty on places. I parked up and had a wander around. Although there was a lot of work going on in the gardens it was well worth the visit, plenty of the plants were flowering. I spotted plenty of birds as well, Crimson rosella, Blackbird, New Holland Honeyeater, and Eastern Spinebill. Best of all and one of my top three Australian birds was the Fairy Wrens, a bright blue male and the drab female, pecking around in the grass.

I grabbed a coffee on the way out which as I have found in Australia always involves a long wait, I don’t know why but it seems to be the rule here. Before I found the car I detoured to look at the spring garden flowers, which I am not sure whether they were native, the plans looked to delicate, Iris, pansy and tulip, were the main ones.

I decided to take the long way back via some small roads, and my adventured started with a 5km dirt track which led to another road across rolling agricultural land, it was very scenic. Eventually I came a cross a roll on roll off ferry. It was free but the ferry man said I had to stay in my car so I could not get any pictures. I stopped at an apple shop in Bilpin which is a local apple producing area.

I headed out and had a Lhaksa with prawns for dinner and had an early night as I had work in the morning and was still adjusting to Sydney time.