Saturday, 19 November 2011

Clunes Show

Caught the one bus from Ballarat to Clunes this Saturday to go to the Clunes Show.

The one hundred and fifty first Clunes Agricultural Show smelt of pine and eucalypt, wet earth and and animals, with  a tang of cooking oil and hot sugar.

Clunes has a lovely showground. It's green,  full of huge old trees and sits at the very edge of a hill looking over the vast country around.

I couldn't make my camera encompass what I was looking at. The show ring sits against the sky and the mountain, a calmly busy space. This is the best of a poor set of images.

There was a shed full of wool and shearing.

I would have liked to take some bags away to play with.

Traditional bakery contest - I loved the  sponges, fruitcakes, shortbread on their fly-proof  shelves.

Preserves of  pride- jams, jellies and pickles,

Garden produce, and children's artwork.

I admired the goats and chooks of varied breeds and beauty, put some money in the Ferret Society's Ferret Rescue tin and snacked at the CWA stall.

But the best were the miniature donkeys.

I've loved donkeys since I got to look after two of them at Ceres over quite a few years. Could I fit a couple of these into my yard and go walking with them in Victoria Park?

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Clean dogs and straw

It's warm enough to put the doggies out now, so I put down some straw for them to lie around in. Kitty has just been clipped (by me) and washed (by me) a heroic job tho' I say so myself.

She was not amused.

Still not amused.

Poor thing, she is 15 and feels such goings on are for younger dogs. I feel sad when I see how frail she has grown.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Victoria Park Spring 2011

 I walked the 4 or 5 kilometers around the big park at the end of my street. It is one of Ballarat's special places. Some native wildflowers still survive among the formal plantings and the huge mown spaces.

There were three parties of anglers along the side of the big pond, lots of dogs and kids running about and picknickers sitting around the tables or on the grass, but it didn't feel a bit crowded. You can see I had no trouble taking a picture without anybody in it.

There was a competition at the Riding Club and dozens of horses and riders sweating a bit in the heat, but they were over the hill, behind the fences and hedges. Just a whiff of sweaty horse and dung, a few horsey noises.

 I counted seven cricket games going on, but the park is so big it swallowed them up. I heard the occasional shouts of crickety triumph roaring out and admired the white clad players against the green grass. There was plenty of quiet for me.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Knitting indulgences

Here are my feet in glorious handknits, but not in socks of my knitting, these are a generous present from a friend.
I took this photo, emulating Jane Brockett, standing on my new white blanket.

And here are the socks again, actually looking better off my feet, on the white blankie, .

And here are the socks looking better than ever (I'm on a roll here) on my autumn-coloured, knitted blanket (it is a proper single-bed sized blanket, not a mere rug).

When a beloved rug of stripey patches that my grandma knitted me fifty years ago finally fell apart, I spent a year learning to plain and purl and perilously cast-off, and made this first blanket.

I loved the colour, texture of the wool and  the click of needles but not, after I made 14 beanies for charity, counting, concentrating and following patterns.
I really enjoyed making the second white wool blanket, triumphantly sewn up two weeks ago.

Now I'm collecting blues and greens from op shops and bargain bins to knit a blanket for next year. I have a beautiful print of mythical waterbirds by Lisa Kennedy in haunting blues and greens in my room and  I want to play with water-cool colours for a while.
(The link is just to a recent exhibition, not to an image of my print)

 I may just keep on knitting patches of colour and sewing them up into thick, soft, warm and pliable blankets. Socks will have to wait awhile longer.

I'm prepared to work on a piece of sewing, to wrestle with it, to try and perfect it. I want knitting to be pure pleasure for a while.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Roller Door

Travelling in to the state archives in North Melbourne

is made a pleasure by a trip to Roller Door.

It's just around the corner and down one block from the North Melbourne station.

It's the best coffee in the smallest of spaces - a back yard garage with a roller door and a tiny courtyard.

 Coffe that's worth a trip in just for a for a cup, a few perfect sweets or a delicious organic savoury something.