When I moved to the country almost three years ago, friends expressed concern about how I might fill my time, and if I would make friends…. Let me reassure you, retirement and the quiet country life are a myth as far as I'm concerned - I am constantly busy and now relish the days when I stay at home and can be a hermit for a while. The past week has been very full, and I'm ready for a little down time again.
On Tuesday a friend and I took my car to Ballarat to be serviced, and had the pleasure of swanning round the town for the day in an almost brand new courtesy car from the Subaru dealer – of course we visited the quilt shops, Lincraft, and some book shops, coming home with fabrics to add to the stash and a couple of new art quilting books. Both of which I would recommend as a splendid source of technique and inspiration.
On Wednesday I had a day with my quilt guild, spent chatting and stitching a hand pieced hexagon quilt done in the Grandmother's flower garden style, over papers and with each piece fussy cut. It has been a work in progress for many years but the end is almost in sight – it will deserve a large photo and full blog entry to itself when that happens!
On Thursday after a 6 kilometre walk with my local walking group, I was taken out to lunch by friends in appreciation for helping them when they did the flowers for a very flash wedding held a week or two ago on a local property. It took two days with 5 of us, to decorate the marquee, the garden arbour where the ceremony was held, and tables inside the marquee, plus make all bouquets and the floral arrangements. Imagine 7-9 small vases of flowers, and the same number of candles on about 20 tables plus several huge urns 4-5 feet high on pedestals. It looked wonderful, and the whole shebang must have cost the lucky Father a small fortune.
We were chauffered in my friend's 1950's Daimler, to our luncheon destination, an 1850's colonial farm-house which is being lovingly restored from near derelict condition, and will function as a special guest house when completed. Currently the owner provides a private dining room, dinner or lunch with full silver service, using authentic 1850's recipes and local wines. It was a fabulous experience, and so good to see a historic building being sensitively restored and available for others to enjoy.
On Friday I spent some time with another old friend who has not been well, when we had coffee and chatted in a quaint tea shop in her thriving small town, then wandered the street to admire more old buildings hidden amongst the newer businesses.
On Saturday my daughter and I went to Fryerstown Antique market, and even though we were there before 9 am, it was already buzzing with treasure hunters. I was tempted by many lovely old things, and succumbed to the call of this quilt, and a largish owl (since named Wilbur), who will probably guard my front door. The quilt is double bed size, hand pieced, the quilting stitches are large and uneven, and it is probably no more than 30-40 years old – but I love it. It is soft and worn, bright and cheerful and shall have a special place in my collection of quilts. We then went on to lunch in Castlemaine, visited a couple of op shops and of course, Threadbear the quilt shop. I will not list my daughter's booty from the market, she has eyes like a hawk and finds the most amazing stuff. Suffice to say she also did well! Today I drove her home to Melbourne, and after a quick change into some more glam gear, went on to a 60th birthday party of a very good friend, being held at a restaurant in Camberwell. Home by about 6.00 pm to a wonderful greeting by my poor neglected hounds! Hopefully they will have a long walk tomorrow, and the coming week will be a little less hectic.