Sunday, 17 March 2013

Adjourning to Armidale

Sunday 10th March cont.

After our caving adventure, we drove through to Armidale and arrived at the Tourist Information Centre about 11 o’clock. The young lad was very helpful and gave us directions to the two caravan parks in the city. He also booked us on the free Heritage Tour the next day. Yes – it’s true; Ron, who is reluctant to even enter museums agreed to a Heritage Tour!!!
We drove around to the caravan parks and they were both a long way out of town. I suggested we try a different route to one and as we drove past the showground we spotted a sign for camping. We pulled in and spoke to the caretaker, John and promptly booked in for three days at $20 per day for a powered site.


I asked about laundry and he and said they would throw in the washing machine for free. It was a little twin tub and after some running repairs involving hex screws and green whipper snipper line, we were ready for action. It took several hours and reminded me why I had traded my old twin tub for a fully automatic over thirty years ago!


Monday 11th March

We walked to town (about 20 minutes) and arrived for our Heritage Tour.

Werner was our driver and Jennifer our guide. What a crack up!! She was so dry. We laughed our way around Armidale.


Our first stop was St Peter’s Cathedral.

Apparently Armidale received city status not because of anything sensible like population size, but because they have a cathedral.

The architecture was pretty amazing and the brickwork quite exquisite.


Not to mention the beautiful rose gardens out front and the elegant stained glass windows.

As we wandered through, I could not help but notice three Stars of David. A bit Jewish I thought for the Anglicans! I was informed however that they were more probably representative of the star that shone over Bethlehem and the Holy Trinity.



From there it was off to the Aboriginal Cultural Centre and Keeping Place.
When informed that it was closed, Jennifer asked “Has Daisy gone to jail then?”
Turns out they had no power.


From there we sallied forth to the Rail Museum for an interesting talk from Peter and a scrummy morning tea. We even got to play with the toys!


All this visiting was done via lots of other historic parts of town and various buildings of social and political import including of course the house Jennifer was born in and the house she now owns!

 Our final stop was the beautiful old colonial home which belonged to the White family before being bequeathed to New England University and used as their Administration building.


It was a really good tour, (lasting two and a half hours) and we gleaned lots of interesting and fun facts about Armidale and its environs. For instance, it has the highest (above sea level) domestic airport of anywhere in Australia and (as Jennifer tells it) a most unaccommodating car park in Woolworths shopping centre. She told the tale in her laconic manner of how shortly after the opening of the monstrosity (she does not care for shopping malls at all) a woman, overcome by the excitement of it all, passed out or fell in Woolworths and when the ambulance was called, it was discovered that it could not fit into the underground car park.

After the tour, Ron and I then went for a bit of a walk around town and then came back home. Ron decided to move to another spot in the show ground, closer (than our three minute return trip) to the amenities. I went off to talk to our new neighbours. I spoke to Tres, a lovely lady from Brisbane. Turns out they are here for a Gem Show on Saturday here at the show ground.

The weather has turned quite cool and I am in my tracky dacks and hoodie.

Tuesday 12th March

It was cold and a bit showery today so I spent the whole time working on my diary and blog. It is the photos that take up the most time but they are the best bit.

Wednesday 13th March

Today, the sun is out again and it is really warm when there is no wind. I’m back in my sleeveless frock (for the moment). We walked to town again this morning and saw Hanna’s arcade with its beautiful stained glass window.

Further along we realised that we were definitely in a country town when I spied a hitching post outside a pub.
We then sauntered up the mall past the Court House and the Post Office until we found a nice little café and had lunch.

We went to a small art gallery and The Folk Museum. I commented to the lady that I am finding it a little disconcerting that more and more items that we had at home when I was young are appearing in museums. She replied that she was glad that she was still around to see them…..fair point I thought!

Thursday 14th March

The Armidale Spinners and Weavers were having their weekly meeting in the building next door to where we are parked at the show ground so I popped in for a visit. They were really friendly and invited me back next Saturday for a weaving workshop that Ian was running.

Friday 15th March

 We walked into town again and bumped into the President of the Spinners and Weavers (small world) who recommended a lovely little café in The Mall for lunch. We spent the rest of the day resting up for our big day out tomorrow.

Saturday 16th March

And what a big day it turned out to be! We were up early (Thanks to the roosters across the way. Chook fanciers had set up in the Poultry Pavilion on Thursday and Friday) and we were off to town for breakfast in the park – all part of The Autumn Festival.
It was yet another perfect Autumn day and the local Lions Club were doing a roaring trade in pancakes and bacon. 

We shared our table with a lovely couple, Ray and Carol. We spent 2 hours chatting over breakfast would you believe….and it was Ray and Ron who did most of the talking!!!!


There were lots of market stalls and free entertainment like the Pig Races. We were just in time for the Sparerib Sprint (to be followed in due course by the Bacon Bone Bash and the Pigs Trotter Triathlon).

The three runners appeared quite relaxed before the run.


 After a tight field in the beginning, it wasn’t long before a clear leader emerged.


But in the end, they all shared the spoils!

(In this case, a bowl of milk with caramel sauce!!!!)



There were the mandatory carnival rides. And of course you can’t have a carnival without a Dagwood Dog!

Ronnie found himself a nice cool resting spot before we set off to watch the parade.

The parade started at 12.30 with lots of people marching, floats and bands.


We were unable to stay for the entire parade as I had my two o’clock appointment with the Spinners and weavers.

We ran the gauntlet through the Gem Show and said ‘Hi’ to the folk we knew and headed home to gather supplies for the workshop.

When I arrived, Ian the tutor was already set up.

He was surrounded by eager students. There was Clare, a lady whose name I did not get, her grandson (aged about 12) Kyle, Bec who was quite mad and lots of fun and finally me.

Jan, another weaver turned up just to do some more spinning. She wore the fabulous free form beanie she had made. It looked so great.

We had such a fun time and the weaving was fabbo too.


In fact, I had such a good time making my square, I came home, sat out in the sun and made another one!


Sunday 17th March

We went to the Farmer’s Market this morning and bumped into Bec from Spinners and Weavers. She was there selling her duck eggs.  She has ducks and goats. She keeps the goats for milk and cheese and the ducks for eggs and assured us that all of her animals have pension plans.


We bought an Orange and Blueberry Tea Cake (which we were reliably informed was delicious served warm with custard) and some Passionfruit Butter.

We went back home to drop off our packages and there was a Horsemanship Clinic in progress.


Sadly, there is all ways one who wants to play but isn’t allowed!


Later we caught a cab to NERAM (New England Regional Art Museum) to see The (touring) Archibald Prize exhibition. Imagine our disappointment to learn that it was last year’s prize winners (fairly obvious when you consider this year’s prize winner will not be announced till next week). I was also sorely disappointed to learn that it cost $10 to get in the door. I was told that this was necessary to cover insurance costs.


After our visit to the gallery, which was well worth the price of admission we decided to walk the three kilometres home (mainly because it was downhill).

Upon arrival, we were bombarded by the glorious aroma of a Bar-b-que at the Poultry Pavilion…no it was not bar-b-qued chicken (that would be too close to cannibalism) and I suspect these show birds also have pension plans!

I went over to enquire whether it was members only but they were happy to take any one’s money so Ronnie and I enjoyed a steak sandwich and a sausage sandwich respectively.
I then mustered all my courage (a brave act indeed as I have a morbid fear of all our feathered friends with chooks taking first place) and went into the pavilion.

They certainly come in all shapes, sizes and colours; but they have beady little eyes and I’m sure that they are plotting ways to sidle up to the cage bars, bend them back with their nasty little beaks and ATTACK!!!!!

They (the poultry fanciers and their poultry) all left this afternoon so we are looking forward to a quiet night before our departure tomorrow.


1 comment:

  1. It is easy to see why you both had itchy feet parked outside my place. I would much rather be where you are, that's for sure!