Thursday, April 19, 2012

Back to the Past

Each year Geraldton hosts a Heritage Week, culminating with a 'day out' where items of yesteryear are on display.

This year we once again headed north on a lovely autumn morning.  The venue was slightly different from previous years, this time being held in Queen's Park adjacent to the Queen's Park Theatre.  We parked in our usual shopping day carpark where date palms help provide shade from the blazing sun.
Old cars, trucks and tractors were parked up on the grass; their windows wound down to allow the curious [mainly males] to peer in at the dashboard, and the bonnet put up to allow those same males to peer into the workings of the engine.  [Me?  I just take photos and admire the colour schemes!]
Rides were available for all.  An oil-fired 'steam' engine chuffed around the ground pulling open wagons filled with eager children.  Two skewbald ponies pulled a little covered cart, here it wasn't only children participating in the rides, as several elderly folks took up the offer. [As an aside, a lady trailed around the grounds carrying a bucket and shovel ... just in case!  I hope they sold the droppings for garden manure!] For the small children a ride-on mower offered a quick trip around the grounds.
A dress parade of cloths from the 1950's onwards brought back a lot of memories, but to my dismay not one of those stiff petticoats that we used to wear to hold out our full skirted dresses was shown ... perhaps none survived!?  Remember crimpolene?  A white crimpolene trouser skirt attracted attention, although it had a different style to my cream crimpolene trouser suit that I wore when Peter Cook and Dudley Moore performed on stage in Dunedin.

A large room housed exhibits of various types, though all of the crafty persuasion.  Old dolls, beautiful satin roses, The Shoemaker and the Elves, a gorgeous crochet rug with pink roses adorning the corners of the squares, embroidered doilies as in days gone by, a finely knitted tea cosy, a collection of tins, some of which I happen to have, a group of elderly sewing machines that many of us remember quite well, but what took my eye at this exhibition was a collection of miniature sewing machines, eminently suitable for a small child to learn the intracies of sewing on.  I pictured a small girl concentrating on sewing a dress for her doll.
While wandering around it did cross my mind that many of the young attendees would have no idea what the exhibits were, little alone how to use them.  Aha, times they are a changing, but old skills are being lost to the detriment of our sense of calm and peace and creativity.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Book Bonanza

Each Easter Sunday our local town, 17kms away, holds its annual book sale.  The Fishermen's Hall, a modern building with a significant floor space is cleared of the usual furniture; trestle tables covered with boxes of books replacing them. 

The books are donations from folks, like us, who have a perchant for buying books and running out of space in which to store them.  Already we are the proud, if slightly embarrassed owners of four bookcases , all of which are overflowing purchased over a three year period.   This year I forgot to sort out any spares, perhaps because I really do not want to lose any? 

The doors open at 9.00am.  We arrived ten minutes before the designated opening time to find several people, all armed with large bags, sorting through the offering. 

It is on such occasions that a people watcher finds much enjoyment!  There are the considerate folk who do not stand chattering to their neighbour about what is for lunch; there are others who start up a random conversation [about a particular book] adding a delicious piece of  'information' about the author, or when they first read the book.  Then there are the bulldozers; those who take up too much space, hog the boxes, give anyone who dares to peek into the box that is their considered prize at least until a choice is made.  Most of us peer into the boxes wondering if perhaps that particular book has been read sometime in the distant past.  

The payment of $1 per book is cheap!  And if a mistake has been made in the choice, that book can easily be recycled next Easter! 
We came home with 30 books between us; many hours and days of reading through the winter months.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Easter Moon

We hear of a Blue Moon once in a while, we hear of new moons, and full moons every month.  The moon dances in the sky every night, though with a cloud cover its actions remain unnoticed.

Last night, with radio switched off [football!!] there was time to listen to the evening sounds, and envelope myself in the sights of dusk. 

One tawny frog-mouth had perched on a sliver of a branch of the old gum tree that shelters the back door through the hours of daylight.  His/her mate found another place, not far away as they appear to be a pair who like each other's close proximity.  On dusk the humming sound of their conversation began.  I watched.  Back-door bird fluttered from the branch to a stronger one a few feet away and started the process of awakening ablutions.  The feathers were preened; the wings stretched showing a remarkable width, and the tail swished as preparation for a night's flight were made.

I listened.  Soon the mate, silently as a dark shadow, landed nearby.  They took off into the night.

As I stood spellbound at the intimacy I was privileged to view [this pair of birds are unafraid of my presence], I glanced upwards.
Many stars were shining brightly, some peeping between an ocean of cloud whose chosen path appeared to surround the moon, which peering out yonder like a small child waking from a deep sleep and unsure of it's position.  Hurrying indoors I grabbed the camera and snapped a photo of the moon surrounded by cloud, though some of the magic of the moment is lost on film.  Moments like these do not last; photos help retain the memory of that dark and mysterious sight.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Hot Cross Buns

Early January 2011 I was waiting to have a new battery placed in my watch when the person behind the counter made an off the cuff remark ... a trolley load of goods were being pushed into the supermarket.

"Next week that trolley will carry hot cross buns."

I stared!  Pardon?  Why we hadn't had Valentine's Day yet, and surely chocolates and roses rated highly on the year's sales!

He was adamant, and sure enough, two weeks later when we did our grocery shopping, Hot Cross buns held pride of place just beyond the shopping trolleys.  

I refuse to purchase Hot Cross Buns until Easter.  Is Easter not the correct time to eat Hot Cross buns?  To me having a Hot Cross bun months before Easter is like eating Christmas cake in September.  

Yesterday happened to be our regular grocery shopping day, and yes, I did buy Hot Cross buns.  Two half-dozen lots in fact!  One packet from the supermarket and another from a small bakery.  Mmm, just by smelling I already know which ones will be the tastier!

Most of us know the meaning of the cross on the bun; we learn that from our parents, the Church or its junior partner, Sunday School, or from friends in the playground.  

What about today?  In this multicultural society that is Australia 'things religious' are skirted around.  Other religions must not be offended.  

The sad result is that many children today think that Easter is chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate; chocolate eggs, chocolate chickens, chocolate rabbits, chocolate anything!

Don't get me wrong, I like chocolate eggs, especially Turkish Delight ones that my daughter has kindly posted north ... and yes, I am holding off on opening them!
But isn't Easter worth remembering as a sacred time, a time to reflect upon things spiritual, a time to remember that Jesus gave his life on the cross?  And rose!
The photo is the Hot Cross buns from the small bakery ... they are glazed and smell delicious.  Tomorrow!!!