(An aside: reporter on tonight’s news said magpies nest between August and September. Between? So no baby magpies then!)

Had to drop my car in for a check this morning so I went for a walk around central Ballarat while I waited. This is about 8.15am in the Bridge Street Mall. I counted 16 closed (empty) shops just in this short area.

There are plenty more in the same boat in other streets. Definitely a (sad) sign of the times.