Thursday, 24 March 2011

Kensington Antiques - SA 5069

One thing I am finding really interesting in Australia is the amazing antique stores that are dotted about all over the place. The furniture you can get is absolutely incredible - all solid woods and beautifully designed. They are really into their Danish designs here it would seem, and the place I visited today gets a lot of stuff sent over from Denmark.

I walked into this shop on one of my many walks last week, and it kept me amused for at least half an hour. So today I returned to Kensington Antiques.

Kensington Antiques - Buying and selling fine antiques, art and china

A selection of the wares can be found lined up outside.

Patrick, the chap who works there, was more than happy to let me document his business - and his ethos seems to be similar to my own - don't throw things away if you can find a home for them somewhere else! Patrick has a box of items which he places outside the shop for anyone to take - they are all perfectly good items, but for one reason or another they are not going to get sold in his shop. He obviously does a great deal of trade judging by the turnover of items in just a few days. There were gaps where things had been last time I visited, and new items cramming corners.

The front of the shop suggests it is a small place, but it spreads backwards to make a huge space. There are 6 rooms choked with items. The first seems to be a show piece for some of the best and most valuable things currently in the shop. A long corridor stretches from the middle of the back of the room, with 2 rooms off each side. One room is full of books, magazines, and music, another of bedroom furniture, two with lounge furniture in, and at the end of the corridor is a space on the left hosting kitchen wares and tools. At the back of the shop is another large room with yet more furniture and the overspill of kitchen related objects.

I found the front of the shop the most interesting. A cabinet full of decanters sits in the middle, and if you look closely you can see the room reflected in the top stopper of the gleaming glassware.

The room is reflected in the top stopper

You have to be careful as you move about the shop, as there is so much packed in, one move in the wrong direction wearing a rucksack could get very messy indeed.

The two shelves of vintage cameras caught my attention. On the top shelf was a complete Kodak polaroid camera which looked very aged. I resisted the urge to buy today - but I expect I may go back at somepoint!

You could get lost for a day just examining all the many trinkets, trying to work out what they may be. Some are more obvious than others. The badge collection was hilarious.

There are some excellent musical finds too. More than a few battered guitars could be found today. I bet given some attention some of them would sound top notch. Some of the records were amusing - I found an LP titled "The Beatles" with a topless woman on the front, a tamborine covering what was left of her modesty. "Strange" I thought, I don't remember that album cover! Looking closer, in tiny letters under the Beatles, was the subtext "sung by Russ Sainty with the Johnny Arthey Sound". I bet that's a cracker then.....

In another room I found some strange paper rolls in boxes. It turns out these are word rolls, used in times gone past by piano players.

I did buy one thing in the shop today. Out in the back room some brightly coloured cushions had appeared. I bought the green one to go in my new place.

This cushion will be in my new place!

And that was the end of my afternoon in Kensington Antiques, the place where time stands still.

To see the complete set of photos accompanying this blog visit:

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Adelaide Botanic Gardens - Autumn Adventures

No trip to Adelaide would be complete without a walk around the Botanic Gardens, and I remember it fondly from previous visits. The gardens are within walking distance from the city centre, and a perfect escape to socialise with friends, or to find a bit of solitude, which is why I visited today. Despite being so close to the city, they are peaceful with most of the noise being made by the birds flittering through the trees.

The Conservatory Gate

The gardens host an absolutely amazing array of plant collections, as well as 3 very different and yet all equally stunning glass houses. You could wander for hours looking at the huge variety of plant species, dotted absolutely everywhere.

The banana plants and the massive bamboo plants caught my attention. Many people had carved their names into the bamboo. Whilst I don't entirely like the idea of carving ones name into a plant, this city seems one of expressing yourself with graffiti wherever you happen to be....

A + D 2010 Love

Bicentennial Conservatory

The Palm Glasshouse looked really beautiful today, with the blue glass matching the blue sky.

Palm House

I spent a bit of time near the Nelumbo Pond, which is packed with lotus plants. It's currently mostly seed pods, with the last of the lotus flowers shedding their petals. The seed pods look like the sprinkler attachment on a watering can, and look almost alien as they poke up into the air.

Seed pods in Nelumbo Pond

I found a quiet little spot to read a book, listen to some music, and rest my somewhat weary feet. My moment of solitude.

Time to kick off your shoes and relax....

....if you can find a shady spot!

Some of the plants look a bit vicious. There were some incredible cacti.


Whilst plants like the bamboo and the banana trees are visually dramatic from a distance, some of the prettiest things are only appreciated close up. The bark on some of the trees is fantastic, with a variety of colours, textures and even smells where sap is running out.

I can see myself spending a lot of time here during my stay in Adelaide.

To find out more about the Botanic Gardens visit:

To see the rest of this photo set visit: Adelaide Botanic Gardens Flickr Set

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Alpha Video

Alpha Video would have been the master of home entertainment rentals - back in the day - with a warehouse space filled with movies and posters of the latest movie stars.

Today the building looks distinctly unloved, with faded carpets, and the worn posters of movie stars hiding a multitude of marks, stains and hidden cubby holes.

Layers of dust adorn almost everything in the office. A range of handmade signs mingle with more permanent ones, advertising the latest releases, different genre's of film available and the different formats available to view.

The drinks and ice cream cabinets are empty - the stains on the carpet highlighting the failures of the fridge and long since gone freezer. A lone stand full of popcorn is the only treat available.

Spiders webs cling to the empty lower shelves and you can't help but wonder how many spiders lurk under the units.

Despite all of this, you can still get all the latest films, the old classics, and many more - and it doesn't seem to cost the earth. Alpha Video does what it says on the slightly rusty tin.

The complete set of photos can be found at along with my other work.