We have visited a wonderful quilt shop in the Top End – Dragonfly Fabrics. If you collect Australiana, Aboriginal, Jinny Beyer, dragonfly, landscape, frog or Kaffe Fassett fabrics (plus a LOT more) this is the place for you! I even found one with snow skiers on it (and we’re a LONG way from snow here!) It’s owned by Judith, who has run it for a few years, after Frangipani Fabrics moved to Hobart Tasmania. I’m delighted with this shop, the only one in town, and wish it had been open when I lived here.
The rain continues.
We have been visiting quilters here, and getting tours of their sewing rooms (and stashes). Alison has a huge collection of Aboriginal-designed fabrics, including some of the really beautiful Tiwi Island Collective fabrics. Her quilts are very Top End, and beautiful, and I got a bit of show and tell when we arrived.
She will be doing an exhibit with her friend Mary Noble and a mutual artist friend in October at the Craft Council and they are both working very hard to produce the pieces for this show.
Mary had us over for brunch yesterday and showed us around her magnificent garden. A very strange looking mushroom, called a “phallous fungus” – as you can see, it is well named.
She is also growing pineapples, passionfruit, pumpkins and paw paws (papayas).
Her garden has benefitted from the nearly 3 metres of rain they’ve received this Wet season.
It’s been a whirlwind of social engagements here. We have very close friends in Darwin and have seen almost all of them, through our various get-togethers. We’ve also been sampling some of the joys of the city.
Darwin has a number of regular open-air markets that are very well attended. Mindil Beach Market only runs in the Dry season (which it will be soon), but on weekends in the Wet, you can go to Parap Village Market Saturdays or Nightcliff on Sundays. Yesterday we visited the Nightcliff Market.
There are always interesting things to buy: “pot plants” (not the illegal variety, but plants in pots), clothing, palm reading, leather goods, and even some crocodile skulls at one.
Our gig last night at the Railway Club in Parap went very well. We did a bit of show and tell, and sang two sets for everyone. Some of the audience had heard the songs from the first CD as I was writing them, and I’m sure they noticed quite a few changes in them over the years. They did some great singing along, too. We finished the show with a song I wrote about the demise of the Hotel Darwin in 2000, called “Grand Old Duchess”. It’s still quite emotional for people to hear this song here.
Only an adventure could get me out of bed at 7am on the morning after a gig! This morning we went swimming down by the new Wharf precinct with Alison and Mary. When we were last here, there were plans to turn the mud flats by the government wharf into condos and a water park. It’s all completed now, and what a difference! There are lots of blocks of units, restaurants, shaded green space, a box jellyfish-free swimming zone, and even a wave pool!
We are still prohibited from swimming in the open bay until the end of May, because box jellyfish can be lethal, especially to children, so this area is closed off and supposedly “jellyfish-free”.
There was a story on April 1st in the NT News (my favourite rag) about someone swimming in this area and getting “attacked” by a “suckerfish”, whatever that is. Haw haw! Must be an April Fool’s joke, we thought, along with the rest of the dubious stories. (also see: http://www.ntnews.com.au/article/2010/08/12/171421_ntnews.html) So four of us headed out into the murky waters to swim. As we got to the far end, I was the first to be “nudged”. (There’s something spooky about having a fish rub up against you in murky waters – perhaps I have spent too much time watching “Jaws”!) We all got “suckered” by the fish. We all think he was just lonely – there is no outlet to the bay from this area, so perhaps he just thought we were potential mates. That’s a bit creepy too….
We’re starting to see some sun, and it didn’t rain last night, so perhaps the Dry is coming!