Friday, 20 April 2018

150th Royal Bathurst Show

As anyone who knows us is aware, we love a good show, especially our local one.

This year, due to work commitments we only had a chance to pop down for a look see on Friday evening, but we packed in as much as we could in that time.

Firstly, the outside attractions. 

 We arrived just in time to see the D-Max utes going through their paces.

Unfortunately, the livestock section was closed for the evening, as were quite a few exhibits.  Not to worry, we still saw heaps.

There is a community stage where local talent keeps us entertained.  Unfortunately, there was a dust storm, followed by some rain which hunted patrons inside, so there weren't too many in the audience at this point.

Of course, side show alley has to be visited after dark for the best effect.  What was really strange this year, was that even at night we only needed short sleeves.  Normally it is cold at the show.

When we went into the pavilions Mick was accosted by a very friendly dog.  Mars Petcare (maker of Schmackos and Pedigree for dogs and Whiskettes for cats) is celebrating 40 years of production at Bathurst.on 

Now to check out the creative section of the show.

There were some cleverly decorated cakes to celebrate the 150th show.

The numbers of entries were certainly up on previous years, which was great to see.

The kid's art section took in a huge area.  It looked so colourful and bright.  Here's hoping some of the kids continue to exhibit in the future. It reminded me a bit of when I was in primary school and every girl in the town made a pin wheel in third class.  They were then all entered in the show by the schools. How the judges picked a winner is beyond me.

A part of the Western Regions display at the Royal Easter Show is always included in our show.  The designs on the letters of  "Youth" were really clever.

Little Sofala School got in the swing of things with their vegetable carving.

More art.  The quality of the art this year was really high.  Wonderful to see.

These came from the Nursing Home where Mum lives.

Stunning photographic section.

Now that is one cool wheeley walker.  It was created by one of the local nursing homes.

I loved the colourful mandala rug.

Beautiful knitting.

My Mum earned a second prize with her blue scarf.  She also received a second prize with her crochet, but I couldn't see it.  Apparently it was displayed in a different section.

The Needlework section was looking quite full, whereas for the last few years it has been rather bare.

You may see in the top left hand corner a blue and white quilt.  Well, I was actually able to enter a quilt in the show.  Two factors allowed this to happen.  Firstly, I finished a quilt (that always helps) and secondly, it met the requirements of one of the classes.  My previous quilts have been machine appliqued and pieced and there is only a section for hand applique and piecing.  This one went in "Hand or machined pieced, commercially quilted".

I was rather pleased and humbled when we arrived to see a red, white and blue ribbon on my quilt.  I had won champion of the section.  

I very nearly didn't get my entry in on time, as entries had to be delivered by lunch time on 6th April, but I wanted to take my quilt to Baradine for show and tell on 5th April, so decided that I'd rather take it to Baradine, and enter the show next year.  I received a phone call on the Sunday night we returned home saying I could deliver it on the Monday morning.  Phew. I'm so pleased they made that call.

We capped the evening off by watching the spectacular fireworks from our verandah - a surprise bonus of living where we do. It's funny how the finale of fireworks displays now seem to be white, rather than multicoloured.  They remind me of dandelions.

The show had some challenges this year with the weather, firstly a hot windy Friday, then a dust storm and rain that night.  Saturday was cooler, but blowing a gale. Sunday was cooler again, but not quite as windy.  Despite the weather, the locals turned out to make the event a great success.  Here's looking forward to many more shows in the future.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

In the Background at Baradine

I may be a bit odd, but I don't mind having Mick tag along to a retreat.  He was due to have a weekend of R & R as well, so we took our van. It was also our wedding anniversary, so that would have been no fun with him back at home.

Coincidentally, we have had Camp Cypress on our "To Go To" list for some time, as they advertise as being a motorcycle friendly venue.  Unfortunately, travelling there by bike hasn't happened as yet.

On Friday morning we had a nice leisurely breakfast.  He is enjoying using his very low tech camp kitchen/table.

Following Jenny and Robin's example we had our eggs in the toast.  It worked very well and tasted great.  Any  breakfast tastes good when eaten outdoors when you are camping.

There were some pretty grevillias in bloom in the grounds of the camp and the miner birds loved them.

The sunsets weren't too shabby either.

Mick was quite happy to sit in the background and read a book, go for a walk around the town and catch up on some zeds........Not a lot of that happened.

You see, Charlie, the camp caretaker told him about this really interesting place to visit - Sculptures in the Scrub.  So he went and had a look and then continued on to the Salt Cave. 

We'd heard of the Sculptures, but knew nothing of them and had never even heard of the Salt Cave.  He returned that afternoon announcing that next year we need to spend extra time here to go exploring.

When I was telling him that Chooky had planned a surprise outing, he smugly told me that Chooky told him where we were going, but he wouldn't let on.  I was wrapped that I was going to see the sculptures as well when we got there.

Mick noticed another of the sculptures from the Gorge floor, which we missed.

The Salt Cave

The Observation Tower at the Salt Cave. Yes, we definitely have to do some more exploring next year.

On Saturday he headed off and met up with Mr Chooky and Miss Jules' other half and they all went to a clearing sale out the other side of Coonamble.  

Mick found it really interesting, as it was on a rather larger and more expensive scale than we get at home.  Then again farming out west is on a rather larger and more expensive scale than we get at home.  

Before he left, Mick said he wanted to buy a big green tractor.  His five dollar budget didn't cut the mustard on the one that was there, so he bought five novels from the Rotary Club stall instead.

He even got to see the painted water tower in Coonamble.  They were just starting the painting when we visited the area last June.  Apparently, while we were at Baradine, the little town of Gulargambone was having a weekend of painting murals on their buildings and also painting their water tower.  I can't wait to see that too.

So there wasn't too much resting for Mick, but at least he wasn't at work.

We went for a short wobble tour around Baradine on our way home and were taken by the Catholic Church and Convent.

We also were able to see the Siding Springs Observatory in the distance on our way home.

A nice way to end our visit.

We both are looking forward to returning next year.  Maybe Mick will get to rest, read a book and go for a walk around the town....maybe.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

What's a Retreat Without a Swap

All retreats need to have a little swap.  The tradition that has grown with this group of bloggers is "Make it, bake it or fake it".  This time we dropped the bake it section, so just "Make it or fake it".

For once I had a chance to make something.

It is a Goody Goody Binding Kit.  I made one for myself a while ago and use it all the time.  I've had the stitchery sitting around for a while.  I loved stitching it, but in the end it didn't match what it was intended for at the time, so I remade it in another colour ways.  It works perfectly on this project.

I received this lovely gift from Lynda.  The gift was wrapped in the cute grey text fabric by Helen Stubbings.  Perfect for the little collection of greys I am gathering.  The fabric on the card isn't showing well, but it is a lovely Japanese fabric with sea horses on it. Finally, the scissors.  I started using them on retreat and they are so nice and smooth to use.  I think they will live in my sewing steamer basket by my chair, which doesn't have a special pair as yet.  A very nice gift pack to receive.

Scrub Stitchin' Excursion

When we were at Scrub Stitchin'  a week or so ago, we were informed that on Saturday morning we were to be at the dining hall at 8am with our walking shoes and hand stitching. 

OK..  We can do that.  No hints as to what we were doing were forthcoming.

When we got there, we were greeted by a big bus.  We left Baradine and drove along corrugated, dusty dirt roads into the Piliga Scrub.

A major bush fire raged through the forest a couple of months ago.

This is a poor photo of unburnt scrub.

Some of the fire ground was already showing lots of regrowth, which just goes to show the resilience of the Australian bush.

However, other parts weren't coming back.  This area must have been very hot, and also would have had different species of tree that don't come back.

Eventually we had a clue as to where we were headed, which fortunately, hadn't been burnt.


We alighted from the bus and headed off into the scrub for a 3km walk to see the Sculptures in the Scrub.  I was delighted about this, as Mick had explored the area the day before.

We had a little climb, but there was a well formed set of  stairs.  Just at the right height for me.

Along the top of the gorge there are a series of sculptures.  Please tag along with us.

Then we went down to the bottom of the gorge and walked beside the creek, which was dry, as we are in a drought here.

It was interesting being able to look up to the top of the cliff to see a different aspect of the sculptures.

I was very surprised to find a maiden hair fern growing in this dry landscape.

Caves at the base of the cliff.

There were several Eastern Yellow Robins flitting around the base of the cliff.  A couple sat still and posed beautifully for their portrait.

We had taken a rather leisurely walk around the sculptures, so there was no time for stitching before we hopped back on the bus to return to camp. There was however, time for some fresh, home cooked scones, courtesy of Chooky's mum.

Thanks Chooky for a nice surprise. It was very enjoyable to see some of the interior of the Scrub.