Over the Easter long weekend we did what many Aussies do, we went camping. In Australia the Easter weekend is traditionally preceded by lovely weather that convinces everybody that the weekend will be a lovely one and that roughing it is a good idea.
If we paid any attention at all we would remember that Easter is really the first weekend of cold and wet weather and that camping may not be the best idea. Everyone I spoke to in the lead up to it commented on the wonderful weather we were having and how nice the weekend would be. In each case I replied that it was likely to rain and asked if they could remember an Easter when it didn’t rain. None could.
Despite this we went camping out in the bush anyway. Not such a silly decision in our case, we have a lovely caravan with its own power, TV, and an internal bathroom. No roughing it for us! Even if it rains we can hole up inside, put the TV on and make a hot lunch.
As it turned out the only rain we saw was on the Friday night, and only a sprinkle. The rest of the time away was spent under sunny skies. Wonderful 🙂 The trip home however, well, that was a different story!
We stayed near the small town of Rushworth, north of Melbourne, an area that was part of the gold rush in the mid 1800’s and is still popular with those seeking their fortune today. Although we had no luck finding gold over the weekend, others in our group did, including this lovely little piece, modelled by number 2 son, that was bought over by the finder for the kids to have a look.
Man of the House went off with his metal detector a few times over the weekend but had no success. All he found were the standard shell casings and blacksmith nails. Not the huge lump of gold that everyone is really hoping to stumble across!
It turned out that on Saturday the town had planned an Easter Heritage Festival, complete with parade, so on Saturday afternoon we drove to town to have a look. We have been to Rushworth many times over the years and I have never seen so many people there before.
The parade started with horses and horse-drawn vehicles, many of them had walked from the nearby town of Moora for the day and were walking back for Moora’s own festival the next day.
They were followed by vintage cars of widely varying eras and conditions. Some of the cars were beautifully restored classics and others were old bone-shakers with barely a scrap of paint left holding them together. Needless to say I loved the old bone-shakers the most!
There were also stalls lining the street selling a variety of things, old and new. The kids were happy to get an ice-cream cone. Man of the house and I were unhappy when we fell in love with a small row of vintage cinema seats but had no way of getting them home. 😦
It was a typical country festival and a really good event, we were really pleased we had the opportunity to go.
On Saturday night our group all gathered as usual around the campfire to socialize, have a sausage sizzle and a raffle of donated bric-a-brac. There is always a plant on the table and that is the one thing the kids always want to win. So naturally they were desperate for the cacti that turned up. Fortunately the second ticket called was one of theirs, so they were quick to rush over and snaffle their prize.
On Sunday morning the boys were very pleased to get the chocolate vampire zombie bunnies (as mentioned in the earlier post) and we sat in bed eating chocolate eggs for breakfast and read some more of the book we started at the beginning of the weekend. (It is a steam punk for kids book. They are enjoying it immensely, I will tell you all about it when we have finished) A very relaxing morning!
Early in the afternoon we had the traditional silly Easter games that we all participate in and a huge laugh was had by all. I can now reveal that I am the horseshoe-throwing-at-a-stick champion and recieved an honourable mention in the hitting-the-golfball-at-a-target game. I have no real world skill at either of these things but in my victory speech I thanked Wii golf and Wii bowling for their help in my training regime.
We spent the rest of the day just hanging around and relaxing while eating unhealthy amounts of chocolate eggs. By Monday morning we were all relaxed to within an inch of our lives and had no desire whatsoever to go home. It is school holidays and I am not due back at work until next week so the continuing employment of the man of the house was the only cause for us to return. Bugger.
We had great weather the whole time and couldn’t believe our luck. On the way home it all changed and we were poured upon for the last half of the trip back. When we got home the sky was clear and we had just enough time to reverse the caravan up our narrow driveway (no mean feat and a constant surprise to me that we succeed with me directing the only partly obedient man of the house) and the heavens opened. It rained for a moment, and then it hailed. Thankfully we didn’t stop for a cuppa on the way home! The hail was so thick that it looked as though it had snowed, and the temperature dropped dramatically. Hours later there was still piles of hail in places and here we are days later and the temperature has barely gone up! Yep, Easter is the start of the cold, cold weather.