Saturday, 23 July 2011

Creswick in winter

We went out to Creswick last Wednesday, a beautiful cold, misty day.

Woodsmoke from the chimneys of many little cottages along the Clunes Road scented the air.

We stopped off at the cemetery first.

Where the Cemetery Trust (and in the country that generally means volunteers) keep things shipshape and welcoming for visitors.

The dead lie in the appropriate street, and social niceties are observed in death as in life,

And the living console the dead.

Then off back to town, stopping at the best milkbar in the district for lollies

You  can get pies, milk, plants, papers and  entertainment here and you can post your letters.
Outside is a magnificent tree I've admired since I first saw it. The native bush in Creswick was savaged in the goldrush and later a lot of land (not all) was replanted with pines and exotics for forestry, so this tree is special.

We walked through Calembeen Park, the site of the former Chinese camp on the Black Lead, now a spring-fed swimming pool and recreation centre.

When we crossed the bridge to the bushland area

We found a little plaque on the bridge that remembers Mr Hannie Kay.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Paddy and yoga

Paddy is seventeen, really old for a labrador. He spends a lot of time lazing around. However he is a tough old beast - we describe him as the Holden ute of the dog world - and he maintains his reputation for stirring.

Shut out from yoga practice, because he will join in despite shouting and most unspiritual insults,

he goes off to occupy The Forbidden Chair.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Lovely lollies

Also from the Creswick milkbar.
I went a little crazy - all my childhood faves! Raspberries, mint leaves, milk bottles, caramel butters, musk sticks - and snowballs.

Musk sticks are particularly marvellous - they really taste pink. Not a bit of fruit flavour in them. God knows what makes that taste, and I won't ask.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Snowball season in Ballarat

Snowballs are seasonal here in Ballarat, unlike Melbourne where you can get them year round. Wilson's keeps them in jars by the cash register - but only in season - and deprived of them during the hot months, I awaited winter with anticipation.

Three weeks ago the chocolate shop in Mair Street put up a sign  'Snowballs in Season'. Yes! I bought a bag of snowballs.

Then out along the Clunes Rd this morning I stopped at a milkbar (which will have its own post later) and bought two lovely fresh snowballs. The milkbar owner confirmed that snowballs had only been in season "about three weeks".

 Snowballs are delicate, moist marshmallow balls with a shadow of a chocolate coating and a flutter of shredded coconut.
I'll make the most of them while they're around!

Sewing mountains and rivers without end

I wanted to make a small quilt for myself and have been sewing away in bursts  for a month or so.

Once the top was stitched together I found old, soft Indian cotton for the backing and tacked it on without ironing it. Using it just as it came fresh from a drying wind on the clothes line. It will be very soft and a bit rumpled when it is quilted .

I love sewing quilts. Each quilt evokes poems I love as I work on it, and those particular poems remain sewn into the quilt for me.

Leaves gathered from  the streets form the patterns for quilting.

and I am almost ready to quilt. 

I still have to find one last piece. this was a fairly tightly contained pattern so I have let the cranes fly in over the mountains at the top and I am looking for something to dwell in the river below. maybe a carp, maybe a dragon.
Once again, the pics are bigger than the frame of the blog. If you click on this you will see the whole quilt reasonably clearly.

Almost ready to quilt - just need to get that last little bit!

Sunday, 3 July 2011

I love the energy of winter evenings,  it's so cold and fresh, it demands you get out and about.

This blue gateway is Ballarat's Arch of Victory, leading west into Victoria's first Avenue of Honour - miles of trees, each with a soldier's name.

When I came back from a long walk, things were buzzing as people went home from the city.