Tuesday, May 04, 2010
National Trust Visit, 1 May 2010
While this is our travel blog, we had to mention the visit from the National Trust to our house on Saturday. The National Trust from Sydney had asked if they could have a tour of our house for a fund raising event. As we had open days before, we said yes because it gave us an incentive to clean it up and do the many jobs that everybody puts off. We had the place looking pretty good and put out a lot of historical information and waited for the people to arrive. The National Trust had arranged for the people to come in four groups, so we didn’t expect too many people at once. However, at about five past ten a line stretched out the door and down the drive and continued like this for most of the day! In the end we had about 700 people come through our home and we were exhausted by the afternoon. Everybody had a great time, the visitors admired our various collections and the National Trust raised a lot of money, so we were happy with our effort.
National Folk Festival, 1 – 6 April 2010
This is the major folk festival in Australia, with a great variety of music, dance, workshops and food. As volunteers, we had to do a bit of work and missed a bit of music, but it was an incredible festival with every type of music to listen to. The venues were organised around the showground and there was enough space to ensure you could listen without hearing other music. Folk Festivals tend to take a wide-ranging approach to music, so as well as folk music there were blues, jazz, roots, bluegrass and country. We caught up with Campbell the Swaggie, who we have meet all around Australia – often in the most obscure places. Although we both got a touch of flu, we still had a great time and intend to come again.
Monday, May 03, 2010
Canberra, 26 – 31 March 2010
We travelled to Canberra a bit early to camp at the showground and have a look around before the folk festival. Like most Aussies we have an ambivalent attitude towards Canberra – for a city the size of Wollongong it has superb infrastructure with magnificent public buildings and parks – on the other hand it has an artificial atmosphere and a feeling that a lot of money has been thrown at it without much success, with empty freeways going everywhere. Had a look around Canberra and lunched at the Sailing Club. The highlight of the trip was the visit to the National Gallery to see the Impressionist Exhibition. We were warned of long queues; however there were not too many people, especially late in the afternoon and it was possible to view the paintings without interruption. The paintings were amazing and gave us new insights into the history and variety of impressionist paintings.