Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Trash or Treasure!

Top Gear and I have pretty much gone our separate ways since spending 14 days in a car together but not for long. Tomorrow we head off again to Melbourne but this time only for five days, but I digress.
During our last trip we explored a lot of little out of the way places. Top Gear loves to find old chemisty stuff and I like to find old sewing treasures. We love nothing more than to drive into a sleepy little own and find the junk shop. You know what they say......one man's trash is another man's treasure. Well, on our last trip we found a treasure called the Enterprise store. I'm not going to divulge the location because one day I might just get back there and persuade the owner to part with a few of her treasures. It was an old general store that still traded as the local shop and post office but as less than 100 people lived in the town, business was pretty slow. The school only had 10 pupils with no new enrolments for the past three years so it wasn't exactly growing either. It was a really pretty town too, with lovely old buildings and a creek running through a park at the end of the main street. This store was OLD!

Inside was dark and musty. The shelves were old butter boxes that went to the ceiling and the old counter was solid heavy timber from another era. The lady who ran the store had lived in the area all her life as had her parents. Her husband, Charlie, said they had bought the place for $30,000 in the early nineties when they moved in from the farm. They now live upstairs.

Treasures, you ask???? These treasures were sitting on the shelf, still in use!

And this......

full of these.......

It wasn't beneath me to ask if anything was for sale but alas not this time! Still you never know what might happen the next time I ask!!!!!
Anyway, unbeknownst to me Top Gear started trawling eBay and the auction sites he uses on the internet just to see what pieces like these might be worth, just in case we ever found something similar again.
He did all right because yesterday this little beauty arrived by registered post!

It is in near perfect condition......I was dumbstruck. It was such a surprise and sooooooooo perfect. What a man!!!!!
I have now embarked on a whole rejig of the sewing room to accommodate my new treasure. Like I said, what some people see a trash,well, lucky for me!
Anyway, Melbourne bound so stay tuned!
Happy Stitching!

.- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, 23 July 2012

The Homeward Trail

On my last post we had reached Renmark on the Murray River. We spent the morning taking in the town. It is not a big town so it didn't take long. We found the obligatory second hand shop.......because you never know what treasures you might find.....and this is what we found!

They are old Coats thread drawers from a haberdashery store and unfortunately were not for sale. Poor things, I could have given them a good home.
From Renmark we followed the Murray River to Mildura. We stopped by river for a quick cuppa on the way. There weren't many places that are actually riverfront on this river, but we managed to find a few vantage points.

Mildura was a quick overnight stop and apparently famous for this......

......the giant Murray Cod!
We had planned a longer stop in Echuca. It has been many years since I had visited here and was looking forward to checking out the paddle steamers and a lovely patchwork shop I remembered from years ago. Well, the paddle steamers were still there.........

but the patchwork shop was gone.
We booked into a lovely boutique hotel and planned to have a nice dinner and a ride in a paddle steamer the next day. The lady who ran the hotel was a patchworker and I soon had a list of three patchwork shops in Echuca......bliss! ( I managed to get to two).
The weather was clear and sunny so our trip on the paddle steamer was fun.

Up the Murray for an hour then back again, very relaxing. A quick stop at the local shops and we were in our way to Wagga Wagga. The local arts and activities kept us occupied along the way.

We were only going to stay overnight here and make the run home the next day but we just happened to arrive the day before this event!

Advertised as the biggest swap event between Melbourne and Canberra, Top Gear was keen to be there at 6 am the next morning!!!!!! Not this little black duck, she was happy to go at 9 am but if being there in the dark was his thing then he could go it alone. I woke up at 7:30 the next morning with Top Gear happily snoring away beside me......6 am.....yeah, right!
It was wet, it was bitterly cold, it was big and it was .......interesting. Mainly car junk and bric a brac. Top Gear found some good junk and I found this.......

a little set of drawers made from old sewing machine drawers. I was chuffed! Perfect for my sewing room!
Back into town for lunch then we were heading home. It was so cold.....4 degrees at midday.....that even the street art had rugged up.

It was pretty much a straight line home from there. We stopped in Bathurst again to break the trip and, yes, I did have another little wander through The Home Patch. We were keen to get home. We had planned on ten days away and it was already fourteen. A quick stop in Bilpin for a box of apples then a little exploring in Carcoar, the town "time forgot", and we arrived home early evening. Our car looked like this...

First official retirement trip....done and dusted......and successful!
Happy stitching!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Friends, Food, Wine and Antiques.......

It was good to stop for a few days and enjoy the pace of Adelaide. It is a really easy city to negotiate, not too hectic and the shops and restaurants are familiar and well priced. We decided to just walk the city the first day as we had been in the car so much. Adelaide's Chinatown and markets were just a block from our hotel so that was the first place we headed......did we make it.....Ooooooooh Noooooo.
Top Gear spotted a Lotus Elise Sport car, went to have a look, started chatting to the owner and before you knew it we were in the suburbs having coffee with our new friends. Carol and Wayne turned out to be lovely company and took us to have " the best coffee" to be found in Adelaide. It was a lovely morning and a new friendship was cemented.
We did manage to walk for the rest of the day, shopped and visited the museum. As the sun set, we found our way to a great little wine bar, called The Apothecary, named for the old shelving that now serves as counters and wine storage. Top Gear was in his element! Two wines and a Thai meal later we walked back across Adelaide city to our hotel.

The next day we were collected from our hotel by Adelaide friends we had met on some of our previous car club trips. They took us for a drive south of Adelaide to McLaren Vale. After winding through some lovely countryside dotted with small towns we eventually arrived at our lunch destination, Woodstock Vineyard. A long lunch was washed down by one of the best bottles of wine we have ever had. It was then back to our friend's spectacular home in the Adelaide hills for afternoon coffee and a chance to enjoy the sweeping views across the city to Glenelg and the sea.
The next day we had decided to head to the Barossa but we found an antique shop that required a visit. Uhhhhhh ooooooooh!
This little treasure had my name all over it!!!!

With this safely stowed in the car, we then headed for wine country!
We drove out through Hahndorf and Woodside heading for an overnight stop somewhere near Tanunda. On the way we stopped at Melba's chocolate factory. I'm not posting a picture of the purchases from there on the grounds it may incriminate me!!!!!!!
Next day we woke to our first misty, rainy day. It was eerie!

No dampening of the spirits though......we headed to Maggie Beer's farm for lunch. It was awesome, so much produce, so pretty, and YUM! We opted for a simple picnic style fare for lunch.

I ended up with a recipe book and a bag full of quince paste, verjuice, olive oil, dukkah, etc etc......and I think I sampled everything along the way.

Of course, I found every patchwork shop along the way as well. This one being the most obvious and just along the road from our lunchstop.

We then decided we should do some wine tasting, given that we were in wine country. We headed for Clare Valley as this is where a couple of our favourite wines originate but being mid week some of the cellar doors we wanted to visit were closed. We did manage to pick up some nice reds and rose' here.

Even though it is winter the Barossa/ Clare valley is still a pretty place to visit.

Next stop was Renmark on the Murray River.
We arrived at sunset and the river was gorgeous.

More adventures to come!
Happy Stitching!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Adelaide Bound!

Earlier this week Top Gear and I set off for our first road trip as truly retired people. I was a bit ambivalent about this one because Princess had just arrived home after 3 months away and I wanted to spend some Mum and daughter time while she was on uni hols. Top Gear kindly took this into consideration so we delayed setting off for ONE whole day....Wow!
We covered plenty of miles the first day. First stop was Dubbo but all I got to see was Spotlight. I have worked out that I can knit in the car but I broke a needle and Top Gear gave me two seconds to run in and replace them. It was concede to my request or I threatened to sing along to the radio for the next 100 Kms !
We travelled fast in the Audi and covered lots of miles so not many photos taken. I did try but at an average speed of 140 kph we were often a km past the spot before I managed to get the camera out.
The road was long and straight.........

With only occasional road train to slow us down........

Or maybe this fellow........

Heading Outback was a first for me and I have to say it was an eye opener. Heading through Narromine it took me a while o realise the white "fluffy foam" on the verge of the road was cotton fluff, shed from the cotton bales piled in the paddocks and in the storage sheds.......it went in for Kms.
Gradually the soil got redder and redder and the bush turned to dry scrub. Our first overnight stop was Nyngan, so we joined the locals at the RSL for dinner and State of Origin in the big screen. A quick walk around the town before bed and guess what I found.....a patchwork shop! It was really strange, there was a supermarket, two pubs and a chemist but there were 4 hairdressers and this shop full of fabric and wool! I went back the next morning ( as expected) to have a look and found out that most of her customers come in twice a week on the bus from Bourke. They shop for fabric,have lunch at the RSL and get their hair done (hence the abundance of hairdressers). It's their girls day out!!!!
Anyway, in the road again, heading for Cobar. We had been warned to watch out for kangaroos and feral goats on the road but we very surprised to see more of these guys has any other wildlife.......

We had a cup of coffee at Cobar, and yes, I found the patchwork shop, but just a quick look was had., then on to Wilcannia. I was gobsmacked by this place. In its' heyday it would have been glorious. The main street is lined with the most beautiful sandstone buildings, most have now fallen into disrepair. This is the post office, empty and boarded up!

We found a local lady serving coffee and cake from her cottage.......no other amenities were apparent. We had a quick drive around but it was sad to see the groups of locals just hanging around and the queue outside the demountable Centrelink office!
Getting fuel here was also interesting once we found the right person to ask! There wasn't any signs to help so we followed a cattle truck!

Next stop for the night was Broken Hill and it was freezing! We managed a bit of proper sight seeing here. We visited the cafe atop the Line of Lode that dominates the town.

We did a quick whip around the Pro Hart gallery (surprisingly, Broken Hill boasts about 27 different art galleries, far outwaying the number of pubs) !

Next day we headed out to Silverton, about 25 Kms west of Broken Hill. This area is famous as the film set for the Mad Max movies, so if you Iike dry red dust this is the place for you.

They have lots of relics still out there left over from the movie and a Mad Max museum!

It was a very quirky place to visit with a lot of little surprises all through the town. We had brunch at the local cafe there and the food was great.......all homemade as was the friendly service.
Now the road was long and straight through to Adelaide with a few little stops along the way. We went to Petersborough.....famous as the place the trains had to change gauge (and, yes, I found the patchwork shop) then on to Terowie. This town is pretty much a recent ghost town. As we drove down the main street it was obvious that shopkeepers had just closed their doors and walked away. The sewing shop still had a coupe of modern sewing machines in the window, covered in grime and dust. The bakery had a very grey bread display. A few locals still hung on and there was one little general store going.......looks like it was the original fish and chip shop, but generally it was all closed and dilapidated. One local man still had a sense of humour and was keeping himself entertained by building .......
The Tin People of Terowie.......

He had a paddock full of these creations!
Finally Adelaide was in our sights and we are ready to be city and wine valley tourists.

For me, not much holiday stitching so far, but for you I hope.......
Happy Stitching!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad