Sunday, August 05, 2007

Home from Bathurst

Well, Friday morning dawned wet and cold, so I abandoned the idea of painting my little easels. I was packed and ready well before DH, but it was 1.30 pm before we eventually left the city. We stopped in Blackheath in the Blue Mountains for a late lunch in a deli cafe, where the temperature was a brisk 6 degrees C, a foretaste as it turned out. We arrived at Bathurst showgrounds and registered at the Show and, as I had been warned might happen, my allocated table was in the centre of the first pavillion. My DH promptly helped me cover the tables with the heritage green poplin I had brought along, and we pinned a skirt of the same material around the table. I had packed the large suitcase in assembly order for a quick setup and was able to pull my easels (raw wood), makeshift display stands and boxes for tiers out before I had to uppack the clothes. We had my display all set up in 1 and 1/2 hours, thank goodness, as it was starting to get very chilly indeed, down to about 4 degrees. The forecast was for a cold weekend, about 10 - 11 degrees and possible light showers. We had had several days of very mild weather in Sydney, and they had the same in Bathurst, 18 degrees on Thursday.

Friday evening we booked into our accomodation, a boutique hotel with only 3 guest rooms in a renovated 1886 2 storey home on a hill in Bathurst. The owner Lindsay showed us to the Rose suite upstairs. The decorator details were quite nice, with rose pictures on the walls, a rose wall freize, rose painted bead fringed bedside lamps and a square patchwork bedspread featuring rose design prints. The bathroom had underfloor heating (quite a luxury in Australia) which I really appreciated after a long day on Saturday. We ate dinner at a local Thai restaurant, and then went "home" to the roaring open fire in the parlour. The owners were very welcoming and we felt like visitors in their home (which we were of course since they lived in half of the house!)

Saturday morning saw us up before 7am to shower and get ready for breakfast in the parlour, near that roaring fire again. Poor Lindsay must have been up with the sparrows to light it for us, and we had a beautiful cooked breakfast and chatted to him about the Show and Linnwood, comparing the two houses and noting similarities. The drive to the Show was about 6 minutes, so we arrived in time to uncover the tables and settle in. In hindsight, I was underdressed for the weather, as I had no concept of the cold weather. Well, the maximum all day was 7 degrees, and that was in the sun. The concrete floor of the pavillion made it much colder, the hot food and drink van did very well from my business !! I can't recall ever being so cold in daylight hours. But it was worth the discomfort, as I talked my head off to everyone who stopped to read my labels and made eye contact. I gave out quite a few printed contact cards, and of course everyone offerred to give / sell / put me onto wonderful underwear they knew about. I did get an invite to display at a a local historic house open day in the future, and the local Historical Society would like me to help date some of their collection of underwear. I also spoke to two ladies on Sunday who have collections they are wanting to downsize, so fingers crossed they come to fruition.

Saturday night we went to the Show Dinner with other exhibitors, and we made up a table with 3 other couples we have known for a long time who were also attending. I also had several surprise encounters, including 2 ladies from Sydney who I haven't seen for a long time who were visiting Bathurst. I also found several mutual friends with people I spoke too, very spooky how small the world is, isn't it. We enjoyed seeing 2 dear friends who recently moved to Tasmania from the mountains. Edgar had inoperable prostate cancer and other problems as well, and the doctors have told him to go home and enjoy the rest of his life. So he and his wife have moved to Tassie, bought an 1830's stone cottage, joined the local Historical Society and been made honorary life members and patrons already!! I think he has a new lease on life, if his body will just allow him the time.

Sunday was slightly warmer, about 9 degrees I think, but I dressed in more layers, DH bought me some pantihose to go underneath my trousers, and I added a fleecy jumper. I don't own any wool ones, and Spring clothes are already in all the shops. I empathise with the Michelin Man ;} I had bought a cute knitted hat on Saturday from a trader so warmth triumphed over fashion! I hope there is no photographic evidence of how "interesting" I looked !! On Sunday I felt warm enough to do a little bit of the patchwork piecing I packed in case I felt like stitching. It was a good talking point anyway, even if only a little was done.

The taking down of the display took about 15 minutes (I'm not kidding) and after goodbyes all around, we set off for home. The traffic through the Blue Mountains was dreadful, and we took just on 3 hours to get home. The cat was very glad to see us, although the youngest daughter moved home for the weekend. We will never complain about Sydney in winter being cold EVER AGAIN !! I'm glad we went to the Bathex Show, but I've put in a request for it to be held in the Spring next time !!

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