Greetings from South Australia. We arrived here two days ago, and sang at a house concert for our friends Raelene and Max last night. It went very well, and we had a lovely time with everyone. Raelene’s quilts are very beautiful (and we got a little tour of her sewing room before everyone arrived). They don’t have much room for a garden, but they maximize it and we saw their apple trees, capsicums (peppers), aubergines (eggplants) and tomatoes. I’ll be planting my garden when I get home, and am keenly interested in how everyone else does it just now.
Our drive from Canberra was remarkable. After 10 years of drought, we saw green fields and water in almost all of the creeks, rivers and ditches. It’s been a very wet summer. The farmers have cut so much hay there is no more room in the sheds, and although they could get a fourth cut from the fields, they are leaving it there. The sheep are fat. And in Mary-anne’s garden, there are plants coming up that have lain dormant for ten years. Amazing, what water can do.
We stopped to visit a friend in Bright, where the autumn colours have yet to turn. Hopefully we’ll be back in a month or so to see them. Then, on to see Mary-anne and Dick in Bendigo. There has been so much rain that the roots of the trees are water logged, and can no longer hold them up in some places. They’ve had a few trees blown down lately, but happily, none on the house.
Mary-anne is the same one I wrote about in “One Stitch at a Time”, she who organized the Kosovo Quilt Drive (Mary-anne: I forgot to tell you that when I tell this story in Texas, some people think of cows roaming across the fields, with quilts on their backs! I have to tell them it wasn’t THAT sort of “quilt drive”!!!) We took pictures of the two of us for the songbook.
We left Bendigo the next morning and Mary-anne came with us to a quilt show in Maryborough by two wonderful quilt artists: Jenny Bacon and Margaret McDonald. They are world-class quilters, and the show was magnificent. One hexagon quilt in particular by Margaret dazzled me.
We arrived in Adelaide that night, after a fairly long day at the wheel. We stopped for lunch at a town oval, where we caught a cricket game in progress. It was an entertaining view while we ate our sandwiches.
As in all of our travels, I always ask John to stop for incredible, unique sights. This includes the giant Ukranian sausage in Mundare, Alberta, the Fork In The Road in New England, and the Falkirk Wheel in Scotland. Here, I’m looking for uniquely Australian icons, and this road did not disappoint me (although it was horrible for sewing….)
We have not seen any real koalas yet, so this will have to do for now!
For the rest of the week here, we’ll be seeing lots of friends. John used to live here, and the last time we were here for only 48 hours, he didn’t have nearly enough time to see everyone. So, it’s lunches and dinners with friends for the duration! Life is tough…. It DOES help that the Barossa wine district is just north of us, so we won’t be running short.
The temperatures are cooling down – only in the low 20s (that’s Celsius), and it’s drizzly. We’ll be in the heat soon enough. We’re enjoying the cool – it’s still far, far warmer than what we left in Canada!