Frost

We could feel the car climb as we navigated through the mountains, heading north on gentle winding country roads. The land is painted every shade of brown as it bunkers down for a long, dry yet mild winter. Landowners are out and about with the morning feed ritual, small clouds of dust disperse into the morning air as the hay and feed is tossed out to nourish their depleting stock.

Our car slows for the cattle grabbing precious feed along the roadsides. The herds seem to be in good condition though my heart aches for the stockman, watching over his mob and looking to the clear blue sky hoping for drought breaking relief, soon.

Upwards we climb in search of the little settlement tucked between the Nandewar Ranges and the Horton Valley in the upper reaches of the Manilla River. The place that sits on the Peel Fault, granite country to the east and folded sedimentary to the west. The town that flourished from the 1850s with gold mining, and now the centre of prime grazing and cropping country. Country Australia.

Barraba. A word that appropriately means meeting place.

Especially appropriate in July as, each year crowds descend on the town to enjoy art and craft, reconnect with old friends and make new acquaintances, encompassed by the history and culture captured in its buildings and people.

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Frost Over Barraba. A celebration of painting, photography, pottery, jewellery and music that creates a glowing warmth even to the most boreal winters day.

As we approached the town centre the final autumn leaves seem to herald our arrival, fluttering like natures flags in the wisp of an icy breeze. The main street was a buzz with placards and people, the atmosphere almost bohemian as travellers mix with locals, joining together to celebrate all that Frost Over Barraba promises.

Historic shops, once standing idle and forgotten are bought to life for the weekend as exhibitors dust away the forgotten and grime to create a unique atmosphere of new wares in old frames.

A quick recharge of coffee and the most lemoniest lemon meringue tart at the Polka Dot café is welcomed before we start our expedition along Queen Street. The street is blanketed with the last of the autumn leaves, the almost bare trees brightened with decorative childrens art creating a pictorial backdrop to the artistic avenue.

I met Merlene at Merlene’s Fine Fibre Studio, sitting in the back of her store, spinning. The wheel turns at a mesmerising pace as she draws and twists her home grown raw wool into yarn. Four local women show their wares in the store where they frequently come together to share knowledge, stories and support each other. They make yarn from their own alpaca, wool and cashmere, dye it a rainbow of colours using native plants and turn into garments from booties to jumpers. We laugh when Merlene tells us she is almost considered a local – she has lived in Barraba for 34 years!

The array of unique goods on show at the Barraba Potters and Craft Guild is wicked. We browsed for ages, warmed by the open fire as it crackled amongst the laughter of friends, appreciating the work to create felt scarves to woollen beanies, woven wall hangings to photographs, earrings, necklaces and other clay adornments.

We viewed the stylish pottery works of Anna Henderson on display at Andy’s Guesthouse, feeling right at home in the comfortable surroundings warmed by another woodfire to break the chill of the winter air.

I fell in love with encaustic paintings of Liz Priestly, the lino prints of Sharyn Jones and the aboriginal cultural reflections of Jodie Herden who can paint so much meaning and detail onto a tiny gum leaf.

I chatted with Annette, who had travelled from Coolah, about her studies to become a gemologist and was drawn to her exquisite jewellery display. It was too good an opportunity to add to my own jewellery collection as well!

We wandered into the Playhouse Hotel where more fine artisan jewellery was displayed, this time by Elisabeth Cox. We almost gate crashed a jewellery making class as we freely wandered around the displays.

I stared with mouth agape as I discerned the amazing talents of a photographer I have followed for some time, Andrew Pearson who had his best works on display at the Playhouse Hotel. It was one of the many highlights of the day to then meet him in person a bit later and express how much I enjoy his sensational works.

All these magnificent exhibits – what more could there be?

The pinnacle to the festival is the Frost Over Barraba Art Exhibition at the top of Queen Street.

The memorial hall was packed with displays that showcased infants art, primary and secondary school artworks, watercolour and oil paintings as well as sculptures of numerous shapes, sizes and subjects professionally laid out for visitors to enjoy and judge as connoisseurs of fine arts. I do have to mention a friend of mine won the Watercolur section – congrats Maree Kelly with her interpretation of the Namoi River.

It was then time for us to head home, though there was some regret we didn’t take time to plan to stay for the lantern parade and fireworks, or attend the range of art lessons on offer, but there is always next year.

Congratulations Barraba – you warm a winters weekend with the pride and hospitality that is a symbol of regional Australia.

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Acknowledgements and links:

For more information about the festival, including dates for next year check out http://www.frostoverbarraba.org.au/ + like their page on Facebook – www.facebook.com/FrostOverBarraba .

For winners of the competitions and more details about the exhibits check out their Facebook page www.facebook.com/FrostOverBarraba.

Barraba Potters and Craft Guild Inc – Fuller Gallery is open most weekdays 10am to 4pm at 74 Queen St.

Andys Guesthouse – www.andysguesthouse.com.au

Annette Piper Jewellery – Coolah – www.annettepiper.com + annetterpiperjewellery on Facebook and Instagram

Liz Priestly Artist on Facebook and Instagram

Jodie Herden – BuggArt on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BuggArt-817057858402192

Maree Kelly Art – www.mareekelly.com.au. Keep an eye out for her exhibition at Weswal Gallery in November too.

Andrew Pearson Photography – judge of the photography competition as well  – http://www.andrewpearsonphotography.com.au + Facebook and Instagram.

Elisabeth Cox’s wonderful jewellery – Queen and Country on Facebook at www.facebook.com/queenandcountrybarraba.

 

Taking time to understand mental well being

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“He says he is suffering from depression” she scoffed. “I don’t know what he would be unhappy about?”

I opened my mouth to respond, to clarify that depression isn’t about being unhappy but I couldn’t find the words to explain it. I just nodded and tried to change the subject. That was a few years ago.

Awareness around our mental health and well-being is improving with quite a bit of funding being provided for awareness campaigns, research and education.

But there is still a stigma and misunderstanding.

I have to admit that I have been in the denial and misinterpreting camp, though I have been willing to know more, understand better. I have read, I have listened, I have wanted to empathise.

Today I had a light bulb flash, a serendipitous moment that made sense. I wanted to share with you.

Why do we talk about our physical health and not our mental health? Why do we split them into two?

If I asked you “how are you?” most of you would think about your physical state like –

“I’ve got a bit of a back ache today” or “the arthritis is playing up, must be a change in the weather coming” or “my shoulders are aching a bit, must have been the way I slept”

And that’s what I expect the answer to be.

What if…we start to think about our wellness as our whole self? Mind and body. They are not separate, they function as one yet we tend to think about them as two separate ‘conditions”.

Our mind is a powerful element that can affect our physical state.

Our physical state, likewise affects our mind.

Did you just go aha? I did. (or you might already know all this and it is me that needed to catch up)

I know that when I am stressed I get headaches, I am tired and exhausted.

Stress is a state of mind – headache physical.

I broke my ankle 2 years ago. The hardest part about that mending was trying to manage the sadness and feeling of helplessness as the ankle healed.

Broken ankle physical – helplessness a state of mind.

See where I am going? They went together to make me.

This morning I attended a short course about Mental Health. In 90 minutes Kate from the Rural Adversity Mental Health Program provided a clear and for me, a different perspective about mental health.

She spoke about mental wellbeing (note I didn’t use mental health!) as a scale or continuum from not coping to coping well. All of us move along this scale, its normal. Where we are on the scale depends on our physical well-being, our ability to manage and juggle what is happening in our life and how much we are carrying the load of someone else, those around us whether family, friends or work colleagues.

Check out this great clip – Mental Health Wellness Continuum – it was another aha moment for me.

The session also included some snippets about how to ask the right questions to help others, where to go to get more help either for self or those we are concerned about.

And then some gobsmacking realities –

  • 25% of what our GPs see in a day is mental health.
  • 8 people a day die of suicide in Australia…eight. 6 of these are men. That is 2.5 times more than people die on our roads. I am still digesting this one.
  • The more rural and remote we get the greater the number of suicides and risk factors. There is also a greater lack of help and support opportunities. Gosh.

My take home I want to share with you is this:

Don’t wait for special awareness days to ask those close to you R U OK?

Don’t dismiss their physical symptoms with a light hearted “I’ve got a Panadol”.

Don’t say “have a few wines or a beer and it will be alright, it will pass”.

Take time to listen. Ask. Show you care.

E V E R Y D A Y.

And make the effort to learn more about mental wellbeing and how to help others. It could save someone’s life. It might save your own. We are all part of the same village, we should look out for each other.

If you are an employer, big or small, make mental well being part of your Work Health and Safety program.

Start by checking out the Rural Adversity Mental Health Program website. There are loads of tools, stories and contacts to get you started

Thank you Kate from RAMHP and the Gunnedah Community College. It was a day of discovery.

Image credit: © Can Stock Photo / focalpoint

WASH

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She stands at the sink overlooking the rice fields as the panicle, packed with grain sweep in a cooler morning breeze. The sun starts to colour the sky.

It had been a long night for her.

Her youngest had twisted in pain, his arms wrapped across his stomach, his eyes as big as saucers brimming with tears begged her to make it stop. Yet another night of little sleep for the family as his cries perforated the night in between short moments of fitful sleep.

The number of sleepless nights were becoming too many. Her family could not survive much longer. Her husband could not continue to work long hours in the field with little sleep.

She spied the pamphlet on the floor. It was stained with mud that had been carried into the house on little feet as they had darted outside in the rain to go to the toilet. She hoped they went a distance from the house, but she could hardly reprimand given the amount of rain that fell last night. She will check that later.

For now, she just needed to recharge.

And think.

As her tea brews she can hear the thump of coconuts falling outside. Husband is picking a few for her to take into the market. She wipes the pamphlet and slowly turns it over in her hands, looking with envy at the picture of a woman standing outside a freshly finished brick building. She recalls what the man from SAMIC told them.

“We can offer you a loan to build an outside toilet and install a water filter to give you clean water as well. It would cost you about $30-50 US dollars a month to repay. It will be a declining loan. The money is offered under the WASH program, to help provide water and sanitation. You could be the first in your village.”

Could they earn enough from the sale of the coconuts and rice to repay this and keep the family? She could take the buggy and find rubbish to sell if they needed more money. Her eldest was nearly old enough to help too.

Her breath stops suddenly as she contemplates her children getting sicker. Too many in the district had died already from stomach complaints. They say it’s the bad water and no toilets that is doing it. They had no money for hospitals, yet it seemed only a matter of time before one of her brood fell too sick to recover.

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There is yelling from below as the chickens scatter. The cow is off its chain again. She puts her dreaming aside and heads downstairs to save the animals from her husband. The lack of sleep is showing itself already. Its going to be a long day. Not the day to try to talk about a new toilet.

 

6 weeks later:

It is so shiny! The water so clean you can see the bottom of the tub. There was even enough money to install a path so there will be no mud being tramped across the rugs inside.

She is now running late to market as the neighbours called in to view this new building, quiz  husband on the cost. Some even wanted to give it try, it has created quite an interest. The people from SAMIC have become quite busy now.

Her smile is one of relief. Her children are better, she sleeps at night. They all have renewed energy to face each day.

A small building can make a big difference to a family in Cambodia.DSC04329

She climbs on the bike beside her husband. Today she is making her first repayment at the SAMIC office. As her children run ahead on the path, with energy levels tripled she knows she has made the right decision.

Maybe she will ask her husband if she can learn to read soon. A better world awaits her and the children, with a little help. She nods at the Spirits as the bike weaves to market, her smile beaming in the midday sun.DSC04353

 

**Inspired by experiences while travelling in Cambodia with Good Return and Xplore.  If you wish to know more, especially the WASH program also see SAMIC.

All photos are my own

First Steps

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It took me some time to decide. I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone every now and then but not sure this was for me. I had visions of being thrown in a foreign jail, not able to tell family and friends where I was. But maybe I just watched way too many movies.

The country had been a war zone in my lifetime. I have small recollections of learning about the events of the 1970s at school, even raising money to help the poor of the region.

But I said OK, lets do this!

YOLO …   (and I can feel my daughter rolling her eyes…50 year olds should not use YOLO she would be saying)

Off I go – to gain the fourth passport stamp of my life.

As the waters of Singapore came into view from the airplane window I contemplated the Australian bloodshed that had occurred decades before as World War 2 knocked on our door and annihilated the land now beneath me.

As a teenager I was fascinated by the World Wars. I watched countless TV series about prisoners in Changi Prisoner of War camp, of women who were captured by the Japanese in 1942 and of course Pearl Harbour and Gallipoli.

As the plane makes it final flight into the modern Singapore I’m taken back to a school assignment interview with a friend of my father who has been a prisoner in Changi and survived. He didn’t tell me much at the time and at 14 I was a little naïve to ask for the detail. As none of my family have a history of service in the wars, these were my only experiences of the bloody battles that ravaged southern Asia last century.

The city beneath me and modern airport, complete with indoor gardens was a stark contrast to what my imagination conjured of Singapore. I celebrated my first footsteps in Asia with a Singapore Sling – it seemed fitting and absolutely glorious after the eight-hour flight.

And then onto our destination, Cambodia.

My senses exploded as we exited the airport at Phomn Penh.

Lights from a herd of motorbikes galloped towards us, another line jostled beside trying to sneak past. The air was filled with a peal of horn blasts swirling in with the dust of the evening skyline.

The streets were a coalescent of old with new. A stooped woman slowly wipes the street dirt from a table covered in a plastic faded cloth, beckoning diners to take a seat while next door an elderly man sat on a broken chair minding bric-a-brac that covers every available corner of the shop in the hope a shopper sees a bargain or a necessity.

Youngsters kick an empty drink bottle dispersing other litter and discarded food across the street. A toddler wearing only baggy torn shorts watches, his face a flummox of his day with specks of food, tears and mucus staining his cheeks and running down his bare chest.

A car tries to reverse from an American clothing store, the security guard holding up traffic to allow the driver to enter the continual flow. A troupe of tuk tuks hang near a club, ready to barter for a ride in the hope of making a meagre wage from Saturday night tourists to finish early and maybe rest tomorrow.

Overhead I spy 3 storey buildings inclining on each other, seemingly built as an afterthought for family expansion. Spirit houses protect the occupants, the ornate gold coating catching the last of the sunlight, the fruit offerings keeping the spirits peaceful.

The streets are framed by a spaghetti of electrical wires looping around leaning poles and mixing with neon lights and dilapidated signage, a mix of local chirography and western advertising.

Our driver paints the political and social landscape for us as we bump and thrust through the city traffic. The herd continues to stream by, some laden with 3 or 4 passengers, even a baby slumped asleep over the handle bars. Others tow a small trailer packed with goods from vegetables, building materials to sorted rubbish. We learn there is a market for the rubbish – one person’s trash another’s treasure that can put food on the family table.

We hear the story of our driver’s family, a story we will hear retold by many we meet. The loss of family members in the 1970s, a country pillaged and ravaged through history, a people exploited with their spirit tattered yet unbroken.

Unfinished highways funded by other countries loom in the twilight, while displaced sleep in hovels in its shadows. Our car bounces along unloved roads and past the contrasting grandeur of others.

The grit of this city is smattering on us, our eyes seeing what our minds are not comprehending.

Our ears are hearing the chaos of existence yet our hearts will listen to the silence of oppression.

We steel ourselves for the days ahead. We step into the night, into the city.

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countryhorizons_bvmarketsroadsigntotownIt is normally a sleepy little village. Its 180 odd residents living a quiet life tucked under the shadows of the southern Liverpool Plains mountain ranges, at the very beginnings of the Mooki River that will weave its way across the plains to Gunnedah. The bustle of school traffic, children’s laughter in the playground and the toll of the bell are the only sounds that would break the quiet air during the day.

I know at least one day of the year when the population of Blackville would more than triple.

I witnessed it last Sunday.

The annual Blackville Arts and Market Day.

The road from Curlewis to Blackville was picturesque as the remarkable realm of the Liverpool Plains shone in the morning sun. A carpet of green crops, fading yellow canola and fallowed black clay rolled out in front of us, a band of hazy blue of the mountain ranges bordering the panorama. Pockets of trees lined paddocks, cattle and sheep enjoyed their morning feed as, across the plains farming families finished their morning chores.

Blackville is not really on the way to somewhere or the way from anywhere. It is about a 40 minute drive from Quirindi to the north-west and Merriwa to the south, as the crow flies. I recall my dad used to refer to the Blackville area as “gods own country” – if there was a hint of rain in the skies Blackville seems to always get it.

We rounded the final bend and were greeted by ‘road closed’ signs just past the town signage. There are few places that can close off the main thoroughfare of town for markets. Blackville can, and did.

Smiling faces of the local committee greeted us, the hospitality of rural Australia evident in the air.

Welcome to Blackville.

The stall owners stood behind their wares, a sense of pride as they happily showcased their goods. From watercolour paintings, jewellery of many shapes and material, fashion, wood crafts, hand dyed scarves, straw bags, metal ornaments, clay homewares, photography, home furnishings, local produce from the plains and the tastiest honey I have had for some time. It was an exciting array of goodies.

The homemade lime and coconut cake was delectable with my morning coffee, enjoyed in the spring sun with a wisp of a breeze keeping the heat at bay. We watched younger ones tuck into fairy floss, washed down with a frozen cup of pure delight as a duet played gentle music to entertain.

Ahh this is how Sunday should be!

After our fill of tastes and a bag full of goodies we set off on a different route home. I am a bit like my father in that I try to never travel the same road twice on a road trip. We circled back to Spring Ridge and a pit stop at the local Royal Hotel. The residents of Spring Ridge wont go hungry while ever they have the burgers at the Royal!

One cant help but relax snuggled in this country.

Sunday road trip.

Family, spring, fresh air.

Living a dream.

 

 

Some great stalls that were there:

Food River Station – produce and gift ware profiling the great Liverpool Plains

Wattle Tree Love – lovely hand dyed scarves

Colourful bags and baskets

Buzz Honey – The best honey for a long time – Phone 0429 074 520

or head to the Blackville Arts and Markets Facebook page for more information.

The whale kingdom

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Malo le’ le’…again. I promised I would return and I did. I fell in love with the contagious smiles and welcoming embrace of the Kingdom of Tonga last year and I do believe I left a piece of my heart drifting gently through the cerulean waters of this island paradise.

A few weeks back I journeyed again to connect and renew, if only for a short time.

The capital city Nukualofa maybe a bit more bustling, the western influences maybe slowly creeping into its veins but once you voyage to one of the outer islands the slow-paced bustle is left far far behind and you are vortexed into a postcard. The waters, every shade of blue, turquoise and aqua are as deep as forever. The sun warmed our winter weary bodies as we were resuscitated by the dashes of island breeze that fluttered in the air.

A small boat ferried us to our island escape on Kapa, just a stone throw from the main island of Vava’u, where our host welcomed us with a warmth we had grown to expect from this Kingdom. One cannot help but just relax and fall into an island way of living, the clocks are few, the technology connections to the outside world intermittent, the call of the ocean mesmerising.

As a new day was heralded with a postcard sunrise we packed way too many belongings for a day on the water to search for the regal majesties of the ocean – the humpback whales. I am an ‘in case packer’ – I packed a large backpack for the day, in case we got wet, in case we needed some food, in case we needed an extra battery, in case the boat broke down and we necountryhorizons_tonga_reefresort_sunriseeded to spend a night on the water, in case, in case, in case. And of course, used very little of it!

On the whale tour boat (Beluga Diving) we met travellers from the across the globe, all with a similar wish.

The Japanese ladies were kitted with the iPhone in water proof pouches hung around the neck. If you ever wondered if these work – they do! We dived, we snorkelled, we were in and out of the boat and the iPhone survived brilliantly.

The Intense Italian was so concentrated and really dominated the personality of the boat. He was equipped with large DLSR cameras – one he spent more time keeping dry and free of salt spray than actually using, the other enclosed in a mammoth water proof case that took several people to lift back into boat each time.

And an Australian couple from Brisbane, Simon and Allison. Seasoned travellers who dive and snorkel regularly off the coast of the Queensland. It was good to have kin folk close by, even if I did feel a novice as this was the only second time I had worn snorkel gear.

Day One was a tad windy and the waters choppy. The calming island zephyr had decided to whip up enough to make the whales head to deeper, calmer waters. We spotted a few, jumped in to observe underwater when possible but the main act hadn’t read the script.

As we farewelled our whale-seeking-friends at the end of day, our skins parched by the island sun and wind we wished them safe travels, never believing we would see them again.

Until we met the boat the next day.

To our surprise and delight we were teamed again with the Japanese ladies and our Brisbane couple, small world sometimes. And I arrived with less ‘in case’ luggage – it was me, my snorkel gear and sunscreen today. I have to admit it was liberating.

The Intense Italian had been replaced by a young French Wanderer, travelling the world post doctorate before settling into the hum drum of mature living. Yes, a small amount of envy and a great amount of admiration for solo travelling women such as she.

What a magical day.

Within a short time of leaving shore we came across a mother and her new babe. Our Tongan guide was first in the water, establishing a relationship with her in a language that seems to cross between them in silence. We are just visitors to this timeless world of the Tongan people and their whales.

In groups of four we slid softly into the water and as quietly as possible swam close the mother and baby. I felt a bond to the resplendent mother of the blue ocean as she moved slowly, buoyed by the natural currents of the water. Her baby exuded an energy that all young seem to have as it ducked and weaved, from side to side, top to under. I could not help but relate to a time when my babes were young and rarely sat quietly in my lap!

As other travellers busily clicked their cameras and jockeyed to a position to make that ‘like-worthy’ shot I was happy to just be. The desire to capture for perpetuity can take away from just taking in the experience that is unfolding in front of you. I left that for others.

The serendipity of the moment hypnotised me. A lump rose in my throat, my mask fogged with tears unchecked, a soft choir of an ocean song echoed in my ears as I was suspended in the water magnetised and connected to this mother of the ocean. As our eyes met amongst the sunbeams dancing through the water I hope she could hear me say she was doing a great job with her babe and safe journey back to the cooler waters of the world.

And then is was over. We left the new family in peace, reminding ourselves we are purely observers to the main act and our time of theatre was over.

Malo. Thank you. My heart still stays, I will return again.

 

Footnotes and travel tips:

We stayed at the Reef Resort. I highly recommend this as a place to stay. It only has 5 cabins so only a few other guests at any one time. The Japanese coral gardens on your doorstep are wonderful to discover with snorkelling. Host, Herwig is very very helpful and a wonderful host. Hannes and Julia are top chefs – the food was amazing and they are always smiling and offering to help in any way.

Herwig booked our whale swim tours for us through Beluga Diving. Biggest tip is to book these well in advance of your travels. I did not realise this and nearly missed out! Book at least two days, preferable three. Cost is about 400TOP (= ~ 235 $AUS) per person per day.

We travelled to VaVau’ via Nukualofa but have since learnt that VaVau’ is an international airport and you can travel via Fiji. The flight times are a bit more reasonable via Fiji.

A Splash of European Cultcha

I have been travelling to Tamworth a bit this last week as someone very dear to me has been in hospital. Normally when I travel to Tamworth, an hour’s drive away the ‘to do’ list is long – appointments and grabbing things you cannot get in a smaller town. This week, when the patient was sleeping I took the opportunity to explore some of the places that pop up on my social feeds.

On this particular bleak winter afternoon I happened upon a treasure tucked just below the Botanic Gardens at the top of town. The tree lined street frames an energetic CBD and the glorious Peel River valley below, the traffic echoes are muffled by the melodies of the birds that make this area their home.

The entrance is simple and easy access. A large sliding door leads you into the Weswal Gallery. I felt like I had been transported into a little piece of European artistic sophistication – for Australian art!

I was warmly greeted by Sandra who exudes delight in the place she has created. And then she let me wander.

My eyes darted from ceramics to jewellery, from paintings to sculptures a liquorice allsort of colours, shapes, sizes, tastes. This invoked what would have to be the equivalent heady joy that children feel in a toy store – for art lovers.

In the exhibition area I wandered through the journeys of local artist James White, where my European tour continued. James presents splendid watercolours from his travels in his current collection of Postcards.  I traveled with him as I stepped along each wonderful piece.

In the shop there are so many imaginative pieces to choose from. If you are looking for a special gift this is the place to go, especially something Australian for oversees family and friends. Or, if you are like me and want to treat yourself you will find a treasure I am sure.

countryhorizons_weswal8062017What did I purchase? Well I fell in love with an unusual ceramic mug. I love the orange colouring. I am not sure whether to use as my water cup or for my morning latte? I may have to get another as I still cannot decide!

The passage through Europe was hungry work – lucky for me the Weswal Café is just next door. You HAVE to try one of the bagettes – baked fresh on site! The owners Isobel and Sandy Allan were wonderfully hospitable – Sandy even followed me out to the car to give me some delicious orange chocolate as a farewell treat.

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If you are looking for a place that is a little out of the way to meet up with friends or take a relaxing Sunday drive then a journey to the Weswal precinct is worth adding to your list – especially if you like a bit of ‘Cultcha’ .