Well, it’s certainly been a while since my last Blog, but I have some stories to share and some inspirational people to chat about.
JOURNEY TO NED KELLY COUNTRY
Federal Standard Printing Works
Ken’s quest for film and information about printing methods from the past, recently took us to Chiltern which is in northern Victoria about 300km from Melbourne. Chiltern is very close to Glenrowan where Ned Kelly made his last stand. The purpose of the visit was to go to the National Trust Printing Museum, which is in the original building of the Chiltern Federal Standard printing works, and see the original letterpress machinery in operation. It turned out to be a rewarding experience. The custodians, Robert and Mary Martin, made us really welcome and their enthusiasm was catching. Now it’s up to Ken to document our visit on video. Hopefully that will be available shortly.
Chiltern Athenaeum Museum
Chiltern has lots of other attractions to offer like the Athenaeum Museum where I felt I could have spent the whole day. I was especially interested in the life of Alfred William Eustace who came out from England in 1851 and was initially employed as a shepherd. Whilst tending his flocks in the solitude of the bush, he turned his attention to painting and music to while away the long and weary hours. He endeavoured to capture the spirit of the bush sometimes painting on board, canvas or tin plate, but as these materials were not always readily available he then started painting on large round eucalyptus leaves from the White and Red Box trees that grew around about. By the turn of the century his paintings had become world famous even being acknowledged by Queens Victoria. Some of his leaf paintings are displayed in the museum. I found this all absolutely fascinating as I had no idea you could paint on leaves. However, having searched the internet I see there are many artists who use this medium today.
Whilst walking in the Mt Pilot National Park I was able to pick up some of these large leaves. Of course I’m no artist but had a doodle with a pen to see the result. The leaves are really thick so presume that’s why it’s possible to paint on them.
Actually there’s lots more to tell about this trip like the Chiltern Recipe Cookbook from the Past printed in it’s original format, but I’ll leave that for next time after I tried out some of the recipes.
Rustic Cacao Factory and Cafe
Some time ago a friend suggested I went to a cafe in Loch (Gippsland), the incentive being that one of the partners was from Spain and it would give me the opportunity to chat in español. It turned out to be a great experience and I can certainly recommend the food and the atmosphere of the cafe. You can challenge your taste buds with some of the hot sauces or experience milder flavours as well as indulge in delicious chocolate beverages. It’s called The Rustic Cacao Factory and Cafe. Diana and her husband are working very hard to make their venture a success and have now produced an outstanding website (link below). I’ve extracted the following from their site to give you an idea of what they are doing and what’s available if you visit or order on line.
Here Diana tells their story:
“In this beautiful Village of Loch was born the first Rustic Cacao Factory and Cafe.
When you arrive in Loch you can feel some of the rustic spirit of this country and the old-fashioned hospitality.
We, Alan and Diana, think that we just may have the opportunity of creating something different, like manufacturing genuine and tongue tingling products and merging the Spanish and Aussie tastes by cooking dishes that embrace both cultures.
Here, I manufacture a thick raw cacao with Australian sweet spices or chilli. You can have a “free tasting” of this unique hot drinking chocolate or iced chocolate, every weekend, at The Rustic Cacao Cafe.
Alan grills tasty meals on the barbecue and you can give your lunch a kick with any of his 20 varieties of the World’s Hottest Chilli sauces… if you dare!… We always have a glass of milk ready to put out the fire inside your mouth.”
Follow this link to their web site: www.rusticcacao.com.au
Kira’s Legacy written by Joan Woods
I met Joan Woods, a local resident of Wonthaggi in Gippsland, a couple of years back but didn’t realise what hidden talents she possessed. Kira’s Legacy is Joan’s first full length work detailing the History of the first Twenty-one Years of the West Australian Ballet Company (1953 to 1973). It highlights the triumphs and difficulties of members of the Company in those fledgling years whilst at the same time brings to life the performances of the ballet together with photographs.
The heroine of this book, Kira Bousloff chose Perth as her home and through hard work and perseverance, so emotively described in this book, started what today is the highly acclaimed and successful West Australian Ballet. If you decide to read this tale of the birth of a ballet company it will be obvious to you that Joan Woods not only has an intimate knowledge of the West Australian Ballet but also great affection for all the many dancers who gave so generously of their time and talent. This is a story that perfectly illustrates that dreams can come true.
Joan plans to visit WA in the near future where she has been invited to do a book launch and signing. The book is published by PJW BOOKS, 4/13 Hunter Street, Wonthaggi, Vic. email: [email protected]
I’m going to sign off for now but in the next few days will continue with details of my quest to learn how to crochet and also my latest dressmaking challenge plus more.
Here’s a saying sent to me by my son: “It’s easier to keep up than it is to catch up”