We knew we would be having a Friday Funday this month, as our car was due for its service. You see, when we bought our new car last year it came with a 7 year warranty. However, if we were to take it to the dealer we bought it from, which happens to be in Orange, about three quarters of an our up the road, we get a 10 year warranty. Many people duck up to Orange to go shopping, but we very rarely make a special trip there, usually just driving through on our way to somewhere else. Taking our car for its annual service (yes, it only needs a service once a year) is a good excuse for a day out.
So, what did we get up to?
We weren't too sure what we would be doing as the weather was forecast to be stormy and we actually drove through some fog on the way up there.
When we arrange a service, we are able to book a courtesy car, which is very convenient. Our first port of call was a lovely garden centre with a cafe for a late breakfast. A very civilised way to start the day.
When we took our car up for its first service at the start of the year we went for a walk through the historic Cook Park. It was looking very sad, as there were no annual flower plantings in the garden beds, the grass was as good as dead and they were just doing the best they could to keep the trees alive.
It was looking so much better on this visit.
The fernery was open.
There still weren't many planting, but it looked rather nice in the dappled light.
It is duckling time on the little lake.
But watch out for the Cook Park Dragon.
It's nice to see fountains running again.
The sunken rose garden was just coming to its peak flowering time.
The blooms looked lovely after the overnight rain.
Mick waiting patiently under the arbour.
There are some enormous trees in the park. The taller one is a Giant Sequoia. It certainly towers over the begonia house.
Usually these buildings are closed except for when the begonias are in bloom, but there was an exhibition detailing the history of the Dalton family, who were some of the prominent pioneers of the town.
Our next venture was to visit the op shops on our continuing quest to find an orange spotted mug to replace Mick's chipped one. No success and no other interesting finds either.
We had noticed an antique shop in the main street, so decided to have a little look inside. I ended coming home with this pretty green glass bowl. I don't tend to buy green glass these days, as I don't have room to display all that I have, let alone more, but it is rather unusual with the embossed floral design. For once I actually had my UV light with me and was able to check and discover that it is a piece of uranium glass. That was the clincher in deciding to buy it.
We still had time up our sleeves before the car was to be collected, so we visited the Art Gallery. They currently have an exhibition of some of their permanent collection. There were some beautiful works, including ones by Brett Whiteley and Hans Heysen.
When we came outside again we noticed that the weather was building up to another storm. It was quite a dramatic backdrop to the modern buildings. The building you can see houses a cafe, the Visitors Centre and the brand new Museum. Surprisingly, until just recently, Orange has not had a museum.
We enjoy visiting the occasional museum, but don't make a point of visiting every one we see. This one was really well set out. The variety of artifacts on display were quite varied, reflecting lots of different aspects of Orange's history, from grand things to rather humble ones.
Of course, I was drawn to the little sampler worked in 1872. The colours are still so vibrant.
When we emerged from the museum there was a very heavy downpour taking place. There had even been a bit of hail, which happily we missed. Fortunately, we were able to make a dash to the cafe next door without getting too wet.
We enjoyed a rather tasty lunch and by the time we had finished eating the storm had passed.
By then our car was ready to collect and for us to return home.
We had initially thought of doing something rather different to visiting art galleries and museums, but the weather wasn't suitable. We can keep those plans for next year's visit.
When we got home I had to see how the bowl looked under a proper UV light. Rather well, I think.
It fits in nicely with this part of my display.