Sunday, 28 July 2013

Sunday 8th January, 1837

Colonel Light this week began the surveying of the city acres. He has established a base line for the survey practically at the door of his cottage, which means either that he built the cottage to be near the baseline or else the entire city of Adelaide is sited where it is because Light wanted a few extra minutes in bed.

I am perfectly happy with the site Colonel Will has selected, although I could wish that he had placed it nearer to the ports and have suggested to him that he consider moving it either further down the Port Road, further down the Holdfast Bay Road or further down the river.

Light has pooh poohed all of these ideas, all for reasons that he makes sound convincing, or at least leave me befuddled, but I am not sure that the distance from the ports will not be an insuperable difficulty.

Mrs Hindmarsh has her own doubts. She is making a great deal of noise about Boston Bay and the views, even though both Light and I have tried to make the impractical nature of the suggestion clear to her. Of course word has got around and now it is said that I am being difficult and want the capital moved back to the Spencer's Gulph.

To top it all Mrs Hindmarsh was looking through some papers - probably looking for government letters for the cat TInkles to piss on (Satan's own hellish familiar. I refer to the cat, not Mrs Hindmarsh. Although...) - and has found a report from Captain Sturt about the mouth of the River Murray in which he gave a favourable view of the lakes he found there.

So now, of course, she has set her cap on the idea of a capital by the sea.
Charles Sturt

Based on a report by Sturt. Sturt! The man is a buffoon! As an explorer I wouldn't have trusted Sturt to find his own arse with both hands and a map to guide him. He was late for the Battle of Waterloo because he took a wrong turning at Bruges and ended up at Antwerp.

His great achievement was floating down a river and getting to the sea. Well, a block of wood can do that! All he had to do was sit tight and not turn left or right. Although one of the soldiers who was with Sturt told a friend of mine that every morning the great explorer needed reminding which way was downstream.

And this is the man on whom my wife is basing the future hopes of the colony. Well, my rule in marriage is "Anything for a quiet life" so I suppose I must send Light in his "Rapide" down to Encounter Bay so that he can tell my wife why Sturt  is a bollocks and his report is not worth a wet fart.

Mr Stephens, the Colonial Manager has, it seems been causing some commotion at Kingscote.

Not the most practical of men and promoted to a position where practicality might be considered by most a requisite .

Samuel Stephens

A liking for drink, coupled with a liking for selling it to others is one rumour. There are, I fear, others.

His plan to introduce South Australia Company banknotes as a stop gap measure has not been well thought through.

To start with, just getting some paper, cutting it up into banknote sized pieces and writing "This is worth sixpence" on it in pencil does not automatically turn the paper into money.

Second, the currency of England has "payable upon demand" printed on it and you really are able to stroll into the Bank of England, plonk down your ten pound note and demand ten pounds worth of gold. The colony is lucky if it could afford ten pence worth of gold at present and Mr Stephens writing "Payable if you're lucky" on the notes, whilst accurate, does not set a proper tone,

His plan for every tenth bank note to have "Toss you for it, Double or Nothing" written on it might be ingenious, but is not, I feel, advisable.

Mr Stephen's Banknote

Fortunately he is an employee of the South Australian Company and hence not my problem, but I cannot help but feel that when the excrement hits the punkah it'll be muggins here who gets to clear up the mess.

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