Are the shops open today?

This is a question I have heard frequently this festive season, often from my own lips. There are a number of us confused about the extended trading hours and how these apply to different types of retail outlets. Checking websites is not always helpful as many businesses do not update their sites to show either their holiday opening times, or whether they will be open during the extended trading hours. I congratulate the Bassendean Shopping Village, for clearly posting opening hours on their website – http://www.bassendeanshoppingvillage.com.au – a useful site for those of us in the catchment area. Extended trading hours didn’t seem to be a huge success at our Shopping Village – only Coles and Woolies took the opportunity to stay open, and they were not well patronised – come on citizens, get out there and spend! Use it or lose it!

Can we just make it 8 to 8 everyday? Then we would all know. This would also allow for full-time retail workers to shop after work, or on weekends. The 4pm to 8pm shift would make a handy four hour shift for students. Clearly I’m not a retailer (just a devoted shopper) so I am not sure how this would actually pan out. But it’s a good starting point for a discussion of permanent extended trading hours. I don’t see how we can think we are serious about tourism in Western Australia if everything closes at 6pm, or 5pm in some localities. Hardly the state of excitement?

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Basso Markets an instant success

The first of the last-Sunday-in-the-month markets was held in Old Perth Road today. I arrived at 9.30am, half an hour after the start and it was already very well patronized. The stalls displayed merchandise of a high quality and there was good variety, with fresh food, preserves, clothing, bags and gardening implements available to name a few. The Bassendean Hotel was open for business and serving up a sausage sizzle. The Bassonovas attended and kept the crowd entertained with their particular style of drumming.

I think the Bassendean demographic is more than ready for regular markets and Old Perth Road is a good central location that allows local businesses to reap the benefits of having extra people attracted to the area. The only suggestion I would make for the next market day is a few more chairs, tables and umbrellas. I think this will become more important as the weather heats up. It would be nice if families could bring a picnic and make it a day out. Kudos to the Bassendean Town Council – a well organised and enjoyable event.

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Fat or Flat

Once again the categories for the Bassendean Visual Art Awards are wide open, the main criteria being that the work is no more than two years old at the closing date. Entry forms are now available from Town of Bassendean Cultural Services – phone Jackie O on 9377 8000.

The total prize money has increased with $5000 top prize money offered for the Town of Bassendean Open Award. There is also $1000 for Works on Paper including Photography. Nice to see it specifically included this year. The Flat art can be works of any mediun, max size 1.2m by 1.2m, which leaves nearly all the artistic decisions up to the artist. Fat works will need three dimensions no more than 2 metres in any direction. Sculptures also have to be discussed with the Town beforehand. Think I will just stick with photography.

ToB must be expecting a lot of interest as this year it is only one entry per person, with $20.00 emtry fee. Anyhoo time to turn on your right brain, get into the zone and create – entries close, somewhat ominously, on Friday 13th August. Does ToB want visions from the dark side?

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Art about Town

Calling all local artists – the date for the Bassendean Visual Art Awards has been annouced. It will run from Thursday 23rd to Wednesday 29th September – mark your diaries now. Further details and entry forms will be available soon – watch this space.

This year photography has been specifically included – thanks ToB for not making the photographers feel like second class artists. I have in the past had to put up a strong argument as to how a photo can be art. And you know how hard it is to define art!

I’m not sure yet whether there will be a theme for the Awards, or whether it will be fairly open has it has been in past years. Usually the art has to have been produced within the last year. It also needs to be  entered for the first time.

The Bassendean Arts Council has recently been revitalised and now have a website where you can view local artists work. You can view this here.

And let me know if you think this is art…

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The Bunches of Bai Yon…

and the lunches of Bai Yon can be found at this new Thai restaurant in Old Perth Road. In an interesting commercial mix, which I think is a first for Basso, if not the world, this enterprising business is selling both Flowers and Food.

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You can get lunch from Monday to Friday and Dinner 7 nights a week. I have eaten there myself and can say it is value for money, with a classic Green Chicken Curry available for $10.50. Now that is recession busting eating.

I was also tempted to buy a bunch of red roses as I walked home from the train station. At $15 for the bunch, I am going to need some Ruddy good economic stimulation to keep myself in flowers if I am tempted every week.

There seems to be some small problem with the restaurant awning which has been propped up with steel supports for some time, though with all the flowers decorating the front this is hardly noticable. I guess they need to turn a bit more profit before they can get it fixed, so come on citizens, get yourself a cheap feed, a bunch of flowers and help a Basso business prosper. Take away available – 9279 7979 – good number hey? Very Basso!

Comments welcome from anyone who would like to review the Bai Yon Thai Restaurant and Florist!

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The North / South Divide

You will be familiar with the phrase “the wrong side of the tracks” which generally refers to the lower socio-economic side of said tracks. In many a Hollywood movie, the less than des res address of the hero is a significant barrier to social progress or even wedded bliss.

Right here in Bassendean our own right side / wrong side debate rages. Bassendean is a town divided against itself by the hard iron lines of the Midland to City railway. Which side is the best side has been a discussion best avoided if you are visiting from the other side.

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When I was a young and living on the Northern side, we were pretty sure that our side was the best. After all, it was the more recently developed side, and in the heady years following the space races, anything new was better. Ths South side was seen as a bit passe.

But since this time, a wave of nostalgia and environmentalism has swept the suburb and cottages and riverbanks are back in style, in spite of the disadvantages of leaking roofs and mosquitos.

I have recently made the move from North to South and I seem to have swapped my allegiance unpatriotically quickly.  South has the donwtown, the river, the footy oval, the Bassendean city farm and the petrol station. Admittedly, the North side has Charlie’s, Ida St. Deli, faster access to Galleria and the Arboretum.

North or South, please let me know whether your side rules, or whether you long to make the switch to the other side of the tracks.

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Sun on the Rubble

The old Pyrton and TADWA site in Lockridge is being dismantled. For those who aren’t aware, TADWA stands for Technical Aids to the Disabled WA. At TADWA, dedicated volunteers with engineering knowledge make custom designed aids to help people with disabilities access work, education or recreation activities. Having recently moved to new premises in Collier Road, the old site at Pyrton is being dismantled and provided a great photo opportunity.

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There is something very sad about abandoned wheelchairs.

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 The original plan for the old Pyrton site was a new prison, but fortunately that idea was chased off by the usual suspects, who I believe in this case definitely represented the views of the majority.  At the very least my views and that of at least one neighbour.

The site once contained interesting and well maintained gardens and there are many unusual trees on the site, as well as many well established and beautiful natives. I hope it will be kept as parkland. I believe a section has been earmarked for housing. Perhaps someone in the know can comment? _mg_3244

I love a good tangle of wreckage.

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