Winter Holiday – needle & spindle

Winter Holiday

It is school holidays here and we took a family sojourn in central Goldfields area of Victoria where it is crisp and chilly. With an open fire and some sunny days, no one throwing up or injuring their back, it was one of our loveliest holidays in a long time.

IMG_3235We stayed at Maldon, an old, frozen-in-time, kind of place, in a house built in the 1870s. You could see the layers of occupation in places. This is the old corner fence post, right at the back. Visibly cut by axe from a felled tree, it still stands strong and carries a tracery of wire old and new.

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The old shed is patchwork of really old framework and layered bits of corrugated metal.  Some of the corrugated pieces had been pressed from printed metal tin sheets, maybe seconds turned into shedding material.

Gold was discovered in the 1850s in Maldon and suddenly this bit of Aboriginal land had 20,000 Europeans smashing up the earth and cutting down the trees.  When the alluvial gold ran out after only two years, the Company mines moved in and dug deep for seam gold. With regular wages and Company money, Maldon grew houses and public utilities like banks, post offices, halls and a school.  At one time, the town sustained sixty hotels (places of beer drinking)! Then in the thirties with the gold now too deep to extract economically and the Depression, the town declined to a thousand people.  It just kept going quietly on after this, its Gold Rush architectural heritage preserved, unaltered until it it became a place of antique shops, book shops and cafes for Melbourne folks to contemplate history.

So we too contemplated history.  I cast on a shawl on our first day. We played games, read, caught up with friends and made things.

IMG_3152The kids made this beautiful house from wattle tree blossom from the garden and quartz they gathered from the roadside.

IMG_3218We visited country op shops.

IMG_3306Our Dear Boy and I also gave the Djeco parachute kit a go with delightful results.

IMG_3259The shawl grew with our holiday.

IMG_3198I stuck a cushion under my arm to take some pics of a disintegrating wicker chair.  When I put it back, I discovered it had a bat on it!  After checking myself thoroughly for any other bats, I took a photograph of the bat and then turned it back over as I had found it. Ten minutes later it was gone.

IMG_3253We drank of the apples from neighbouring Harcourt.

IMG_3312I cast off on our last day which seemed perfectly fitting (shawly bits next post).

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05. July 2014 by Rebecca
Categories: knit, look | Tags: , , , , , , , | 10 comments

Comments (10)

  1. Perfect!! Just gorgeous, and the house your kids made…. well simply outstanding!! x

  2. What a beautiful holiday you and your family have had. I like to see the children amusing themselves without electronic devices!! That tree with all those strings (?) hanging off it is quite interesting. Lovely shawl too–I see the halo of the yarn.

  3. What a lot of happy memories that shawl will retain! I love it when I have a project that is a short cut to a happy time or place and that one fitted your holiday so perfectly…can’t wait to see a bit more of it…Em x

  4. It’s wonderful to see all your beautiful photos of your holiday. Fancy finding a bat under a cushion! Eeek!! I love the house dear boy and dear girl made, it’s sparkling in the sunshine. Your op shop bounty looks fabulous too!

  5. First I had to go for a map…so you weren’t’ too far from home, as near as I can reckon 🙂 Maldon would be nice for a visit, esp with no children being sick or hurt ……… So then had to look up Corroboree which after watching one you tube video I will explore more later. The music is absolutely hypnotic.
    A shop named Entropy, interesting. And glad the children liked to play ‘in the dirt’ but the best was the BAT!! I love those little creatures, saw a video of a mother with her baby clutching onto her as she was eating some kind of flower. And of course your shawl. what a quick knitter you are. I don’t know if you get Barbro’s Threads, will send it to you and see what the Estonians did with 1.25mm needles…….that would slow us all down 🙂
    Glad your vacation went well.

  6. That house IS utterly gorgeous and I’m sorry we missed seeing it in person. Thanks for sharing some of your holiday with us, we had a lovely visit. Your shawl is stunning!!!

  7. Divine. So glad it was a lovely (and illness free) holiday. xo

  8. This looks like a perfect holiday–low-key, focused on family and crafts and making, a pretty spot. Your photos really capture the dusty, rusty feel of the town. And how satisfying that the shawl began and ended within the days away!

  9. That bat is seriously cute. Love the vacation pics!

  10. I love that region too. Looks like a great holiday, and can’t wait to see that shawl blocked out!

    The bat shocked me – who would have expected that?! Very sweet things, those beautiful wings and soft fur, but wouldn’t expect one on the underside of my cushion!

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