Archive for the ‘Bendigo’ Category

In Among The Wool
August 9, 2017

This collage is inspired by the Australian Sheep and Wool Show which is held annually in Bendigo in July.

The Sheep Show has been running since 1877 to showcase Australia’s top wool growers and prime lamb producers.

The promoters of the three day event in its modern form, bill the show as ‘the largest event of its type in the world.’ Whatever the truth of that claim is, it is undeniable that at the show, wool is king and merino rams are lords.

In addition to sheep bred for wool, there was a large area devoted to prime lamb breeds. Dorper lambs are so appealing especially when they are wearing small coats to keep warm.

It is possible to attend the Australian Sheep and Wool Show and not look at a sheep. The many wool craft sheds are thronged with people who have a passion for fashion and the fibre crafts – spinning, weaving, dying, knitting, crocheting and felting.

This year’s show had the added bonus of being the venue for the National Yard Dog Championships so it was kelpie heaven. I found it exciting to watch the kelpies herding sheep through a course of enclosures, gates and ramps under the direction of their handlers.

I spent most of my time in the sheep sheds where I was easily entertained. I was amused watching the rams being taken to their appointed spots for judging as some had no intention of going quietly. Some roared as their owners held them firmly under their chins as they awaited the judges. Young owners lining up roughly 20 lambs for judging was a hoot. It was heartening to see so many young people training to be farmers.

I especially admired the coloured sheep with their long ringlets. Some were tame and were happy to accept pats from admirers.

 

Bendigo Easter Festival 2017
April 27, 2017

For our local regional city, Bendigo, Easter means the Bendigo Easter Festival and an essential feature of the festival is………..dragons. Chinese dragons to be exact.

The Easter Festival began as the Bendigo Easter Fair in 1871. The highlight of the Fair was the Gala Parade. The local Chinese community first participated in the parade in 1879 and in 1892 provided a dragon for the parade….thus began a long standing tradition.

I  headed up to Bendigo Easter Sunday to observe the celebrations outside the Golden Dragon Museum as the Chinese cultural component of the Festival prepared to join the parade.

I arrived there early so I could be in the front row behind the barriers.

The initial proceedings were colourful but relatively low key.

Banners which are stored inside the museum were brought out and participants stood around until they were given the signal to move off

Helllllooooo…….I believe that is Lisa Chesters, Federal Member of Parliament for Bendigo.

The men with the bright red sleeves are part of the fireworks brigade.

The pace really began to pick up when the lion dancing troupes arrived. These young people are from the Chinese Youth Society of Melbourne.

Alert!! Who is coming??????

This is who is coming!

By now the fire crackers are being let off, the drums are beating and the cymbals are clashing. The noise is tremendous!

This is one of the dragons which emerged to participate in the Gala Parade.

The excitement is building and the lion dancing troupes form a guard of honour.

The lions are bored…..waiting, waiting, waiting.

Attention!…He’s coming!

Yes, He is coming!

AND HERE HE IS!!!!!…..This is what the fuss is all about  – Sun Loong, the world’s longest, imperial, processional dragon.

The air becomes misty with the smoke from all the firecrackers which crackle on his appearance.

Sun Loong goes off to join the Gala Parade where he is undoubtedly the star.

Sun Loong has one of the cushiest jobs in the world. He snoozes all year to be woken up the day before the parade. The Easter parade is his sole outing for the year.

There is plenty to see when the marchers return to the museum.

The Chinese lions continue to protect the dragons as they return.

This lion troupe in their hot, tropical colours came all the way from Cairns in Far North Queensland.

Sun Loong is the last to return to the museum. He enters tail first.

Sun Loong is given a tremendous send off as he bids farewell for another year.

The celebrations continued after Sun Loong disappeared…… the lions demonstrating their athleticism. The performance concluded with the lions rearing right up tall, parading in a tight circle.

There are no photographs, I was too busy clapping and cheering. I loved every minute of it.

Sun Loong retires in 2018. Bendigo is raising funds so his successor, Dai Gum Loong, can be made.

This video provides more information about Bendigo’s dragons.

Pastel Drawing: On The Road To Yoga
April 2, 2013

DSCN2374On the road to yoga, I pass

The art shop

The splashing, historic fountain

The towering cathedral – also historic.

On the road to yoga,

My heart quickens as I crest Big Hill to view familiar hills and trees stretching away before me,

And it gladens as I pass through the eucalypt  tunnels and arches.

On the road to yoga, distant  Mt. Franklin sits in the centre of the windscreen as I approach the turn off to Castlemaine and Harcourt.

On the road to yoga, I follow the curve of the poplars and pass the shrouded vines,

Lanes with evocative names mark my journey as I climb from the lowlands to the central highlands –

Havelook Street

Pepper Tree Track

Limestone Track

Strawthorn R0ad.

On the road to yoga, I turn right when I am within sight of the Chocolate Mill

Home of the most delicious, dark chocolate covered licorice bullets on the planet.

On the road to yoga,

I observe the apples ripening on the tree growing beside the lane

And watch out for snakes as I bump along the track leading to the yoga studio.

Destination reached.

19th March, 2013

I attend a weekly Dru Yoga class on a rural property near Mt. Franklin. It is an hour’s drive from where I am currently living in Bendigo.

Mt. Franklin is an extinct volcano which dominates the surrounding countryside. It is close to Hepburn and Daylesford in Victoria’s central highlands.

DSCN2373 

This is the last post I will be publishing in Bendigo. When I am writing my next post, I will be living in Castlemaine.

Pastel Drawing: Grief – 14th November 2012
November 15, 2012

Grief for my aunt, Anne, and my friend, Enid, who both died this year.

Grief for my nephew, Alexander, a young man in early adulthood who is struggling with life. It all seems too much for him. What will his future be?

Grief for my unruly garden which will disappear under a new dwelling. The possums will lose another haven.

Grief for the death which needs to occur as I leave one stage of my life to begin another.

This is my final post published from my home in Ferntree Gully. I am surrounded by the chaos of packing and my mind is filled with a list of tasks to be completed by Monday when the removalists arrive. 

I am  grateful for the assistance and  support provided by family and friends as I undertake this major life change.

I will be in Bendigo, in Central Victoria, when I publish my next post.