Monday, February 28, 2011

Sydney Gift Trade Fair

I have just returned from a wonderful few days at the annual Sydney February gift trade fair.

I just love these events, and after 22 years I never tire of them, only I seem to be more tired when I get home.

There are three trade fairs to attend. The first is Life in Style which is held a few days earlier that the other two. I just love this fair. It's a fairly new fair compared to the other two, and showcases a lot of the new and upcoming young designers. I always find something new and interesting, and this year was no exception. I have picked up several new companies, which will be showcased on over the next few weeks.

The other two fairs are the Reed gift fair which is held at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre at Darling Harbour and the Home and Giving Fair held at Sydney Showgrounds at Homebush.

These two companies run complimentary ferry and bus services between the fairs, making it very easy for us buyers to complete our buying without having to worry about trying to negotiate Sydney traffic.

I spend considerable time at all of these fairs, sourcing new products which is a very integral part of keeping the website as fresh and up to date as possible.

Of course it's not all business and after the fairs finish each day we take in the wonderful restaurants of Darling Harbour and the Rocks district.

There is nothing more relaxing after a day of buying, sitting beside Darling Harbour. watching the water craft and the twinkling lights of the city with a glass of wine.

I am very excited with my buying choices. I will be adding several new companies to the website and I will be sure to let you all know when new stock has arrived.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sunraysia's Big Wet - February 2011

I have lived in the Sunraysia district all my life and I have never seen the amount of rain that happened here on Friday 5th February.

The morning was very humid due to the tropical cyclone Yasi that had crossed the Queensland coast several days before. I went cycling with a friend and by the time I got home a storm was brewing.

Late afternoon the heavens opened up and dumped 150ml of rain over Mildura and surrounding areas. Houses and streets were flooded over the district and worst affected areas of Irymple and Red Cliffs had in excess of 200ml. The rain was so heavy at times you couldn't see across the street and reminded me very much of a tropical thunderstorm.

It continued to rain all night and all of Saturday when it finally ceased. The official rain total was 189ml but some areas measured 250 to 300ml.

Sunraysia had its yearly rainfall in 2 days.

Sunday dawned and was clear and cool and we went on our usual Sunday morning cycle ride.
It was amazing to see all the water lying around. The Murray river that is very swollen at the moment, had risen about 8 inches. Mildura's Apex Park which has a lovely sandbar has been underwater for many weeks now, the water there is very close to going over the road and inundating the park, and could still do that with a lot more flood waters to come down the Murray yet. Many parts of our cycling track are under water and huge holes have appeared.

I am sure it will take several weeks to clean up the streets and houses that were flooded. The effects of this rain will be felt around the district with devastating results for our grape industry. Many fruit properties were almost completely underwater and many growers were already dealing with the worst outback of Downy Mildew in the area for many years, and I am sure this rain will be the last straw. Tropical cyclone Yasi didn't just affect Queensland, it's affects were felt all over Australia.

2011 has certainly been the year for amazing weather events.

The photo's that I have included are of Apex Park and the bike track that follows the Murray around to the Marina. If you look back at some of my older blogs on cycling, you can see the difference in the river.