knit | look

Winter Holiday

July 5, 2014

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.


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).