bovine kinfolk, overly full cars and a skating gander

I had grand notions of calling into every thrift store and second hand aladdin’s cave we passed on our 3 day journey.  Alas, this did not happen :-)  Even I can see that it was a rather unrealistic notion.

Especially given the boot was already filled with orchids, hydrangeas (well-intentioned farewell gifts!), a sewing machine and overlocker (just in case!), crazy things that didn’t make it into the removalists’ trucks (a thick and heavy slab of marble and two large table lamps),  an enormous stack of books that we bought at an amazing bookstore in Ballina (and then added more to from its sister store in Grafton), and eventually a food processor, blender, and several Christmas presents that were bought in a flurry at Peter’s of Kensington as we battled through the bum-numbing Sydney traffic.

Yes, we Boots travel like the Beverley Hillbillies.  The only thing we are missing is the grandma and rocking chair on the roof.

However, there were a few vintagey-stops – I bought two old floral sheets and a wee wooden jigsaw puzzle at the Nabiac Bush Hospital – my Nanny and Great Auntie Bea worked there as nurses in the 1960s and strangely (sadly?) enough, it’s now an community run thrift store.

And we spent one morning in Tinonee, a tiny timber village on a beautiful bend of the Manning River, and where my Nanny’s family had a timber mill and broom factory in the late 1800s.

{ the once upon a time timber mill and broom factory
– now a breathtaking and peaceful garden }

{ I do declare these three charmers are the reincarnations of some of my Tinonee kinfolk – they were so thrilled to see me! }

{ they practically cantered down from the top of the paddock to say gidday, lick as much of me as they could and head butt me over and over }

{ and bump each other out of the way so they could get as smoochy close to me as possible – I have never experienced cows behaving like this before
– I just must be related to them! }

But our only other truly indulgent stop was a rushed half hour in a vast antique centre in the old docks area of Newcastle.  Mum and Abby had visited last year with Cate, and I, being inflamed with jealousy when they described the treasures they found last year, just had to call in this time.

It was indeed vast and if I’d had plenty of money, time and a much bigger home (lacking in all three!) I’m sure there would have been many pretties that may have caught my eye.  Instead, I came away with one small treat … The Skating Gander … a children’s story book with exquisite illustrations set in Holland.

‘Tis indeed falling apart … but in a charming way … and some of the text is quite odd.  The author’s name certainly sounds English (Alice Cooper Bailey) but some of the story reads more like a wonky translation.  And there is an element of anti-semitism that makes me wince.

On the other hand, such flippant yet derogatory and inflammatory descriptions also provide a very valuable opportunity to read, think and discuss with my fourteen year old how what was considered just normal and acceptable “opinion” (bigotry!) contributed to the ease with which six million innocent people were murdered – and thus, how very, very, very important the words are that we choose to use.

But as declared, the illustrations are ever so lovely (the blue is so scrumptious I expect it to rub off under my fingertips like the blue my Nanny used in her laundry), and the nuttiness of skating geese is really funny.

I certainly won’t be chopping it up, but I do think there will be some scanning in of pretty illustrations, perhaps a gathering of frames for the nicest, definitely plenty of cross stitch pattern inspiration from the chapter headings, and almost certainly a six sided wooden jigsaw.

And almost definitely, relief on Julian’s part that he won’t be arriving in a few days time to boxes of “look what I found!” that will then have to be squashed into our car for the journey back to Melbourne :-)

{ what Julian would LIKE to do to me when I spy a thrift store! }

2 thoughts on “bovine kinfolk, overly full cars and a skating gander

  1. Your cow “relatives” have sweet faces. What an adventure you’re having! I’m enjoying hearing about it.

  2. Hi Lily,
    We have some Angus cattle in the paddock near to us here , also some gorgeous little friesian heifers who love to hang over our fence and say hello and lick the salt from our hands. I love living here in this semi rural area, just 3klm’s from town but in the country.
    Blessings Gail

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