We arrived in Sydney 3 days ago, after a long couple of flights (Vancouver, Auckland). I did get a few hours’ sleep, but I don’t sleep well on airplanes, and this trip held no surprises (good or bad). In Auckland I found a gorgeous carpet that would make a great quilt. Always look for quilt patterns on the floor!
We landed at our friends’ in Woolwich and managed to keep moving until 8:30pm. Perhaps it was the Johnny Depp movie Rango that put me to sleep, but I think it was hard-earned fatigue!
I woke the next morning to kookaburras. There are two iconic bird sounds in Australia, and this is certainly one. When you start your day with a kookaburra’s laugh, you can’t help but laugh yourself.
I have borrowed Gary’s gorgeous black guitar (a sister to mine, but with flames coming out from the sound hole!!!) to do this tour. It helped hugely to travel without a guitar, such a luxury. It is slightly bigger than mine, and has a rich warm sound. I’m enjoying playing it.
Our first gig on this tour was the next day in Newcastle, about a 2-1/2 hour drive north of Sydney. We have rented a little Toyota Corolla while we’re here, which nicely fits everything, and is fun to drive. John always takes the first shift when we get here, because he has more experience driving on the left and so I don’t have to negotiate Big City traffic with that added challenge. We have brought our GPS, Bruce, who clearly knows Australia well, since he’s from here. (“Chuck a yewie, mate”)
We arrived at 11am for setup. The gals in Newcastle had organized an afternoon concert in the community centre and had hoped for about 50 to show up for the show and afternoon tea. They pre-sold 154 tickets!!!! We had a nice relaxed setup and planned an hour and a half show (I love being able to stretch out once in a while). I prayed the jet lag wouldn’t adversely affect me too much.
It always amazes me, when we’re singing in a new place, that people have already seen us sing. We’ve never stopped in Newcastle before, yet, when I asked the audience who had seen me, a large handful of people put up their hands. The rest HAD NO IDEA! (and STILL they gave up their Saturday afternoon for us). It’s a great credit to Marilyn and her gals’ enthusiasm that they did.
We loved it. Lots of stories afterwards (yes, hiding stash stories and husbands’ stories and one great story about her mom and her mom’s aunts making waggas out of anything they could find – hands never still). A thoroughly delightful day.
We ran out of patterns, too, so today we’re in search of a photocopy shop to make more….. who knew? I offered the hexaholics in the audience a free copy of my “7 Garden Maze” pattern – on condition that they make it and send me a picture when it’s done. 8 or 9 people took them! I think they should start a regular group now, and sent me pictures as they go.
We are driving north now, and stopped last night in Grafton NSW, where we had dinner with some quilters here. Glenys was in our audience at Newcastle, and organized us to meet her friends – however, she is still down south! We had a great evening at the home of Chris Timmins, who is a pattern designer and quilt teacher. I love her bargello patterns! http://www.christimmins.com/.
We haven’t put our shorts on yet, and I think it’ll be another day or two before we do. It is winter here. The temperatures are similar to ours at home just now – not yet at 20C (that’s about, 70F), and cool at night. But we are driving all the way up to Mossman, eventually, so there’s plenty of warmth in our future.
I’ll leave you with two pictures from Sydney: some ironwork on a house, and a lovely one of the harbour. If you keep your eyes open, there are quilting patterns everywhere!