Category Archives: Myponga Beach

The Engines of Country Life

I was asked[1] how many machines with petrol engines do we have here at The Phenelry?

The answer I think is 15.[2] All pretty needful on a country property.[3]

And in line with Kitchener’s Rule, which estimates that the number of such machines a chap has is approximately seven times the number of cars he has. Except Land Rovers, for which the multiplier is 14.[4]  

[1] I need not trouble you, gentle reader, with what prompted this question.

[2] There is my car, which is a Jeep. And then my love car, which is a Bristol. Louise has a car. There is my Countax tractor (settle down; it is just a garden tractor) and a Toro Timecutter zero turn. There’s a drum mower for cutting the croquet lawn grass and my old lovely Hayter mower (by appointment to Her Majesty), which I use for the longer bits. There’s also a Toro walk behind mower which I use for getting to the bits which are inaccessible for the zero turn. There is a mulcher; it soon became apparent that the small electric mulchers which people have in domestic gardens do not really cut the mustard when you live in the country. And because there are some quite fierce fires in Australia, I have a firefighting pump. And because the last State government was obsessed by green issues, and hence there are frequent power cuts here, I have an emergency generator. And then there are the two-stroke machines. I have a Ryobi strimmer (or whippersnipper, as they call these things here) and also a Kawasaki one which has for some time been fitted with a metal blade instead of the nylon line. For the tougher sort of weed. And, of course, a couple of chainsaws.

[3] Well, more or less. To be honest, I could manage without the Toro walk behind mower, which is a pretty bad machine. For a start, it stops if you let go of the bar up at the handle, which is presumably an elf ‘n safety thing. But it means a lot more pulling of the ripcord, and that the shoot to the collection bag is more susceptible to clogging up, because you can’t leave it for a few moments running clean air through the shoot. Also, it has got two wheels at the back, instead of a single drum, which not only means that it can’t lay down the nice stripes which are necessary for a proper English lawn, but also that it slips around a lot more on hilly bits. In truth, I only bought it because the local repair shop had failed to properly fix my Hayter. And then my friend Jeff fixed the Hayter (it just needed the carburettor washing through).

And I suppose I could make do with just one chainsaw. Again, I only bought the orange one because the yellow one had stopped working. But once I had read the manual for the orange one, I understood that the yellow one only needed a bit of TLC to leap back into action.

[4] My advice is that you do not go searching on the Internet for the origin of this rule. I just made it up. For literary effect.

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armsI will be sworn in as an Australian citizen on 26th January.

The local council, who do the swearing thing, have asked for “a brief couple of paragraphs with your history as where you have come from and why you have chosen to settle in the Yankalilla District. This information will be used to introduce you to the community.”

My paragraphs are as follows:

My grandfather James Elliott was a Queenslander and my grandmother Gwendolyn Manton was a South Australian. They moved to England for my grandfather’s work, my father Dennis was born in England, and that is where I was brought up. Around my grandfather’s Sunday lunch table in London, I regularly met family and friends from Australia, and indeed other parts of the Commonwealth.

I moved to Australia some years ago after a career in the law, based in London but often requiring travel around the world.

I chose my present home, on the hill above Myponga Beach, because it was then permissible to take my dog Perdita for a run on the beach at the end of the day’s work, and until the present dog ban was introduced, that daily ritual was the greatest pleasure of living here.

I am retaining my UK citizenship, so will have dual nationality. Unhappily, dogs are now banned from running on the beach (it seems they frighten the foxes which eat the local hooded plovers), so neither I nor Continue reading


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Recent thoughts


Cigar4For various reasons, I have not posted so much recently. But I have a couple of moments now, and here are some recent thoughts:


We at the beginning g of September now, towards the end of the rainier winter on the Fleurieu Peninsula, but neither my rainwater tanks nor my dam (“Loch Phenelry”) are yet full.

If my croquet lawn is to flourish over the summer, I need some more rain.

Hong Kong

Ever since the British government handed back (unnecessarily, in my view) Hong Kong to the Chinese, Hong Kong was doomed. Without any pleasure in saying so at all, I fear the protesters have no real prospect of succeeding. Hong Kong used to be a colony of the British, but was free, in that the government did pretty much what the people wished for, even though there were no elections. Now and for the foreseeable future, it is a colony of the Chinese, and not free: now the government does what the Chinese want.

Forbidden Fruit

For many people, that which is forbidden is all the more delicious.

For me, as for many other people, the best fruit is knowledge. There is a delight in Continue reading

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Filed under Brexit, Climate, Culture, Myponga Beach, News from at home, Pointless News, Uncategorized

Bee Happy

Bee hotelIt will come as no surprise to those familiar with the absurd overegulation in this State that it is illegal to help the bees by having bee hives – or even a single bee hive – on one’s property without a licence and even then a pile of regulations apply.

So I have built a bee hotel for my local bees, and hung it up on the back of my workshop. There is a lot a lavender here, so hopefully this will make their visits more comfortable for them.

I have incorporated a couple of glass jars, on the basis that I might put some Continue reading

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Old Mark

It is a blessing that old rockers are still having fun.


Mark Knopfler is a few years older than me, but is evidently still in reasonable shape. Hopefully, my daughter Annabel will rustle up his latest album as a Christmas present.

Meanwhile, I am playing in my local band here Robbies’ Road. The requirements for membership of the band are living on Sampson Road, Myponga Beach, and being called Robert. Or Rob. Or Bob. Sometimes we play covers. Sometimes my songs. And sometimes songs by our vocalist, Rob Weedon (no known relation to Bert). We have fun, too. But it would be hard to pretend that Continue reading

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Yankalilla Council Elections

localsIf you have a vote, and have not yet cast it, now is the time to do it. The issue that most people care about is dogs: who is most likely to roll back the ridiculous anti-dog by-laws that we have recently been suffering from?

In Field Ward, Leon Zarins will get my top vote as a dog-lover. You have to vote for 4 candidates. So for me, that is:

  • Zarins
  • Rothwell
  • O’Neil
  • Wetherby

So – Olsson certainly does not get my vote!

In Light, you would probably want to go:

  • Gibbs
  • Leverington
  • Quirk
  • Marks
  • Verwey

With a bit of luck, enough dog lovers – or just people who recognise that the wishes of most residents should prevail over the demands of a few activists – will get elected, so that Continue reading

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Filed under Myponga Beach, Uncategorized, Yankalilla

Not happy, Nigel!

Nigel MorrisYankalilla have released their Resident Satisfaction Survey. 75 pages of what is largely self-conglatulatory pap. But turn to page 53 and you get to some meat: only 7% of residents are satisfied with Council handling of animal management issues generally (that includes barking dogs etc). And – wait for it – 0% of residents are satisfied with “Foreshore access/disagreement”. That right, folks – 0%. Nil. Niete. Not a single resident thinks the Council has got this one right. It really is a disgrace that there is no acknowledgement at all in these 75 pages of the extraordinarily strong opposition amoung residents (and for that matter visitors) of the Council’s war on freely-running dogs on the beach.

So, will the unpopular Council CEO Nigel Morris listen to the 2,000 people who have signed petitions – both on-line and traditional local – asking for us to be allowed to resume letting our dogs run freely on our beaches? We will see.

If not, then hopefully the new elected council (due to take office following elections later this year) will vote the new dog restriction laws off the table, and if Continue reading

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A Petition for Freedom

petitionI delivered the Freedom for Fleurieu Dogs petition to the District Council of Yankalilla today; in the end it attracted over 1,000 signatures, not only from locals, but from people all over the world.

Will the Council take any notice? The track record for the short term is not good. It ignored another, traditional, petition to the same effect last month, which was signed by over 1,000 locals.  And when a proposal to ease the restrictions was moved at the last Council meeting, it was voted down. And, demonstrating the sort of mean-mindedness that is prevalent among dog-haters, they also voted down an acknowledgement of the efforts of those who had consulted with the community on the issue.

A number of locals have come to the view that the way to fix this is to get the errant Councillors voted out of office in the elections due later in the year. A new Council will simply be able to repeal the offending by-law. These locals may well be right.  The Councillors get elected with tiny numbers of votes cast, and this issue seems to be by far the most important in the minds of the local electorate. The total numbers of petitions in the two petitions is some 40% of the electorate (although of course there are bound to be a few duplicates, and some petitioners live outside the area), and so one would have thought that the prospects for getting a dog-friendly Council elected would be quite good.  It is quite extraordinary that the present Council should be insisting on these dog restrictions when they know full well that they run counter to the strong feelings of the great majority of ratepayers, particularly since the restrictions are causing real damage to the health of residents, our dogs and to the local economy.

The petition went in with a covering letter which read:

Please find herewith a hard copy of the on-line petition Freedom For Fleurieu Dogs.

As you will see, this has been signed by over 1,000 people, both locals and those from further afield, who seek a rolling back of the recent laws restricting the exercise of dogs.

As such, this on-line petition compliments last month’s petition of locals, which also attracted over 1,000 signatures.

It is a regrettable reflection of these new laws that they are offensive, not only to locals, but also to friends from all around the world.

There is a long way to go in this saga…


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Filed under Myponga Beach, News from at home, Uncategorized, Yankalilla

Comments on Freedom for Fleurieu Dogs

Over 500 people have now signed this petition. Some of the comments are as follows. I have not sought to edit them in any way. Nor have I removed any negative comments – there have been none. I have removed some comments in foreign languages because I have no idea what they mean.

Additional comments: At the end of this post, I have picked up in green some of the comments which I now learn were made in response to the Council’s limited consultation exercise last year. These ones are edited – they cover a multitude of other views about vehicles on beaches etc.

The Comments:

Latest Comments:

This is unfair on both the dogs and their owners – like people on the beach, dogs should be allowed to run freely, and I’m sure they aren’t going to cause any problems.  If they were previously allowed to run freely, why the sudden change?  Free the doggies!

Councils generally need a wake-up call.  Their purpose is to represent the interests of their constituents fairly and sensibly, not to place yet another layer of ill-conceived and often downright silly rules and regulations on an a population already overburdened by a Nanny state mentality.   The fact that some mother’s children are scared says more about the mother than dogs on the beach.  Four legs, good.  Two legs often really stupid…

Be civilised. I reside n Australia and we have many designated dog ie leash free beaches.These are very popular and work well.Become civilized and educated!

I can’t believe this! We like to stay down Yankalilla because our dogs can enjoy the beaches as much as we do. Surely this ban will affect potential tourist stays?

Shared beach time with dogs is a reasonable (and joyous) outcome observed by Councils across Adelaide.  I suggest that Councillors visit the very happy, busy, dog inhabited Henley/grange beaches on a Busy Saturday morning- clear evidence that people and free roaming (under effective control) dogs co- habit well.  Dogs need to run, socialize and swim freely.  Do not take this opportunity from dogs and their owners.  For what justifiable reason?

Dogs should be able to run like they are meant to. No way could people run enough to provide sufficient exercise for these animals..

Absolutely.  Just why has this happened?  Dogs love the beach…….

We are sooo overregulated in the WRONG things in this country.  Walking off-leash with my dogs is a life-long dream for me and we CANNOT decrease the number of the these areas for those lucky enough to live near one.   These promotes mental health and well being for not only the owners but their beloved pets as well.

It’s our feckless bureaucratic eejits that should be kept on a leash. Many of them also need muzzling. If they have nothing better to do than this they should be unemployed. Must go now, my B.S. filter needs cleaning.

Dogs and humans have always walked together and this is an attack on the freedom of both to enjoy life.

I have friends who are being affected by this new by-law.

Whats the point of (to a dog) of a sedate stroll.A dog wants to run and splash and chase other dogs.

I have lived on Sampson road for 23 years and have taken my border collie to the beach many a time and let her have a run and NEVER had an issue, most times there have been other people with their dogs doing the same thing. As long as we all respect each other and the environment. I can’t see the problem.

We have by-laws for everything now.m Where is the reasonableness. Continue reading

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Filed under Manners, Myponga Beach, News from at home, scandal, Uncategorized, Yankalilla

The Council Strikes Back!

As I have previously noted, I am not a regular petitioner. In fact, my petition on Freedom for Fleurieu Dogs is the first and only time I have initiated a petition on a matter of public interest, or indeed anything else. I am told by that 85% of petitions never even reach 50 supporters,  but since my petition was launched earlier this week, it has already found over 500 supporters. If you have not supported it, but would like to do so; please do so.

The response of the Chief Executive of Yankalilla District Council was initially to show interest in the petition[1], but this interest now appears to have somewhat waned[2].

But what has happened, since the launch of the petition, is that approximately 5:50 PM on Wednesday I was visited by an officer of the Council, who personally served on me an Expiation Notice[3] alleging that that Perdita was “wandering at large” on the beach on 5th January.


It is a surprising document, because it Continue reading

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Filed under Legal, Manners, Myponga Beach, News from at home, Uncategorized, Yankalilla