Saturday 31 May 2014

Chookshed Party

Chookyblue is celebrating the Chookshed’s second birthday with a big party.


Lots of us are helping her to celebrate, some in person and lots more of us in spirit.

The girls who are with Chooky are having a ball, by the sounds of it…… and have even achieved a bit of stitching.

I haven’t had much time to join in today, as we’ve had a couple of open houses, but I’ve done a tiny bit of stitching tonight.

Yep, when all else fails, make a bib for the gift box.

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I did start to knit a wash cloth, but after dropping a stitch and not realising for a few rows, it now looks like this.

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Ready to start again.

I also had plans for a crochet project, only to realise that I’ve packed away all my crochet hooks…….Mind you, I haven’t wanted to use one for ages.  I’ll have to go digging for them.

Not to worry.  I have one little project for OPAM, so not a fail for the month, and hopefully tomorrow will be a day at home, so I’ll be able to help Chooky celebrate more then……….and have another go at the wash cloth.

Friday 30 May 2014

Gold Country Car Rally

Last weekend heralded our Historic Car Club’s annual rally.  Mick and I weren’t as involved this year, so I had a chance to wander around the lovely cars during the lunch break.  There was a huge variety of cars entered this year.

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The rally had a record number of entries and the weather was good.  You have to be happy with that.

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The orange Ford ute was Mick’s favourite. 

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The three below are local cars.  We do have some lovely cars in our club.

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The next two are locals as well.

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The little Anglia was a very popular car, winning its class.

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I’m guessing this is a 1947 Buick (looking at the number plate)?  Another popular class winner with its straight 8 engine.

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This rather classy Austin won best car in the rally. Notice the screen in front of the rear seat.  Rather posh.

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I do like looking at all the bonnet emblems.  They are a real work of art from a very different time.

Emblems 1

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I think everyone had a great time.  It is a lot of work to arrange, but very rewarding on the weekend.

Thursday 29 May 2014

Artisan’s Market

There was an Artisan’s Market on the library forecourt on Saturday.  This is the first time that I’ve visited, although the markets have been going for a few years now.  This was apparently the biggest so far and was well worth seeing.

There was a good variety  of items for sale and no rubbish in amongst it, which was lovely to see.

My friend Anne had her quilts and home furnishings for sale.

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I’ll just share a random variety of stalls.

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We do have some very talented and creative people in our area. I’m looking forward to seeing next year’s event.

There seems to be an increasing number of markets held in this space, and not just your average rubbish.  I hope the number increases, as it is a great outlet for locals and a terrific place to find a treasure.

Wednesday 28 May 2014

Changing of the Season

The weather has been a little confused here of late.  We had freezing temperatures at the beginning of May, but the last week or so has been more like late spring, complete with moths and gnats.  Last night saw that change, with half an inch of rain and today it has been mainly grey, with a cool breeze.

Our poor garden doesn’t know what to do.  However, some things are starting go get into their late autumn mode.

The cotoneaster has a lovely show of berries.  The birds do make rather a mess with these.

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One patch of violets have been violetting away for a while now, but the other varieties are still sitting back and waiting a bit longer before starting to bloom.

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We have our first jonquil in flower.  There will be lots more before too long.

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And finally, another little clump of fungi in a damp spot.

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Sunday 25 May 2014

An Outing to Lithgow

I recently had to go down to Lithgow and had some spare time to wander up and down Main Street.  It is the usual story, you travel through a town all the time…….but always on the way to somewhere else…….so never have time have a look……..or it is on the weekend and everything is closed.

Well, I decided to walk from one end of the street to the other……..and it is rather long.

I didn’t take many photos, but I found a few treasures tucked away.

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Tiled entry ways to shops quite regularly show up as quilting inspiration, but I don’t think I’ve seen any like this before.  It is all apple core tiles.  Don’t they look great in this simple pattern.

There was a cake stall along the way, and of course I had to buy a few things to take home.  They had a rather novel item for sale.  A bickie on a vintage plate.  There were two very cute, matching plates, so they came too.  The bickies were just a bonus, and eaten before any photo could be taken.  The plates will join our other mismatched little square plates that we use all the time for afternoon tea.

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A pair of egg cups that match our mugs (the original mug coming from GDITC at Nundle a couple of years ago) were also brought home from a rather nice gift shop.  That shop also provided me with a new “upmarket beanie”, as I will call it.

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See, it scrunches down flat, so should fit in a bag to take away, or go in the top box on the bike.  I’m not quite sure if Mick  really doesn’t like it or is just taking the Mickey out of me.  Oh well, I quite like it and as it is wool, it should be nice and warm – and of course, red makes you feel warm too.

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The op shops weren’t too bad either, meaning that a couple of jug covers and a few books also came home with me.  You have to support them, you know.

And finally, I found a delightful home decorating shop.  I could have brought quite a few things home from here, but I have to remember that we are decluttering at the moment.  A visit in the future may be in order though.  Very tasty.

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Of course, there was an interlude for morning tea as well.  You need to keep up your strength for all that browsing.

I thoroughly enjoyed my morning.  It was a real indulgence to wander by myself, with no time limit and nothing that had to be looked for.  I wish I could do it more often in other regional towns, as so many look interesting as we travel around the place and seem to have some treasures where you least expect it.

If you get a chance, have a stroll along the street of Lithgow, or any other regional town.  You might be pleasantly surprised.

Saturday 24 May 2014

Wandering in the Bicentennial Park Part 2

I’m back again to finish my wander in the park in my lunch break.

I briefly mentioned “The Cairn” in the last post.

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Here it is a bit closer.

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Next year, Bathurst commemorates its Bicentenary – the oldest inland settlement in Australia (although not the oldest City, Goulburn was declared a city before us).  There are lots of plans being made for the celebrations.

The circular wall surrounding the cairn has plaques of many pioneering families.

We will now start to wander back the way we came. 

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However, this time we will detour through the Peace Garden.

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It didn’t look like this when I was a kid.  The steps were there and the bust and plaques, but it was overgrown and a mess.

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As well as tidying up the steps area an addition was made to the Peace Garden.

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I love visiting here.

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This was a community project.  The local brickworks provided the blocks of 5 bricks, which were still attached to each other, and hadn’t been fired.  Community members or groups could obtain one or more of these blanks and carve them.  The idea was to have round sections top and bottom and rails in the middle section.  They were then returned and fired at the brickworks.  There is so much creativity here.  Let’s have a look at just a little few.

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There are some that are just patterns, some have Australian themes.

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Some have political and peace themes.  Notice the Amnesty International symbol on the left hand one below.

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And the special thing for me is to find the one below with the “88” on it, as my Dad made it.  He would say he was not at all artistic, but he got involved in the project and his simple designs really stand out.

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His second contribution is the block on the left with 1788-1988 carved in it.  It is a nice legacy he has left.

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And then it was time to go back to work.  I really enjoyed my couple of strolls in the parks.  I may have to venture somewhere else one day.

Friday 23 May 2014

Wandering in the Bicentennial Park Part 1

After I wandered around Machattie Park, quite a few weeks ago now, I decided to spend the next lunch break wandering around our other main park, along the river. It’s just taken me a while to get around to sharing it with you.

This area looks so very different from when I was a kid.   You see, I lived just up the road and the river was our playground.  None of us could swim much, but that didn’t stop us being there all the time.

Bathurst has two main river crossings, “Evans Bridge” on the highway  (which replaces the earlier “Denison Bridge”) and “The Low Level Bridge”, or officially “The Gordon Edgell Bridge”, but no one ever calls it that. 

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This isn’t the bridge that we grew up with. The pic below shows all that remains of the original old bridge.  It had a 5 ton limit on it, but when an occasional mining truck was being taken to Western Australia in the 70s they had to break that rule, as the tipper trays wouldn’t fit between  the sides of the Denison Bridge on the highway.  It would be quite an event to watch.  They would take the prime mover, on a low loader, over the Denison Bridge and then park it.  They would then hook the towing truck up to the front of the truck towing the tray and the two trucks would tow the tray up the hill on the western side of the low level bridge.    All us kids from the street would be there to watch.

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The other event that had us all down at the bridge was a flood, and there were a few during the 70s. We would be there putting sticks in at the edge of the water and regularly going down to check if the water was rising or receding.  After a flood, we would then go river combing (for want of a better description).  We’d find old bits of china, bases of the round bottomed lemonade bottles, bits of old earthenware ginger beer bottles and all sorts of bits and pieces. They were fascinating to us.  Fortunately, during those years our house wasn’t flooded.

Anyway, back to my walk.  I’ll start at one end and go for a stroll.

Firstly, this house, No 1 George Street, was the museum when we were kids and it was exciting to visit and go up the steep stairs to the second level.  It was a lovely, pokey type of museum, unlike the modern versions.  It is now a private residence and the garage is a recent addition.

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Out the back of No 1 is “Government Cottage”.  This is the oldest surviving building in Bathurst.  It was part of the museum, but has languished somewhat over recent years.  A few years ago the local Historical Society has become involved in its care, opening it once a month and providing afternoon tea.  That is something that we must do soon……add that to the list…….  The Garden Club have also become involved, providing some care to the ancient apricot trees (and using the fruit for jam for the afternoon teas), and returning the grounds to what is in keeping with the era. 

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The Historic Car Club has donated a lovely garden bench for this area.  It is now looking so much better than it did.

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We’ll cross the road now.  This area was just a wasteland when we were kids, but that has changed.  Bathurst has a sister city relationship with Ohkuma in Japan.  Unfortunately, Ohkuma is very close to the nuclear plant that was affected by the Tsunami a couple of years ago and many of the residents are still in temporary housing.

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Anyway, back to the park, as part of our relationship, we now have a lovely little Japanese garden by the river.  It is only small, but quite delightful.

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Now we will follow the river upstream. Back to my childhood…….This was also pretty much a wasteland.  The best thing though was that there was an island.  How many kids had their own island to play on?  It was the best…… no longer exists.  It was sort of where the person is in the photo below.  The river was causing bad erosion in the steep bit you can see to the left, so they filled in the channel and straightened the course of the river.  It was a sad day to see, even though it needed to be done.

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This stone seat has always been there, although I’ve never really known its significance.

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I thought the seat was older than 1985.  Maybe my memory is playing tricks, or maybe it is only the plaque that is newer.  Who knows.

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Bathurst’s main Bicentennial project in 1988 was the beautification of the river bank and the renaming of it as “The Bicentennial Park”.  It was an ambitious project and there were sceptics, as it was previously known as “Peace Park” and had been let get into a state of disrepair.  Happily, the park has been well maintained and is now a feature of the city.

As we stroll along we pass the plaques for the Citizens and Junior Citizens of the Year.  Many familiar names are there.

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On a nice day there will be lots of people having picnics on the grass and walking, jogging and cycling along the paths.

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There appeared to be a Mother’s Group having a picnic while I was there.

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A controversial purchase by Council back in 1988 was the sculpture “Conversation”.  Some liked it, some didn’t and a lot questioned the expense.  We always liked it.

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As I was walking along, I couldn’t help but notice that a lot of the trees were wrapped in pink and mauve tulle, as was the area around the Cairn.  Not yarn bombing, but it certainly caught my eye.

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So I followed the row of trees and found this.  There was a week’s festival of circus on the riverbank.  It is great to see the area being used so creatively.

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There is still quite a bit to see in the park so I will leave that for another day.