Fittee not Footdee village

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Steve Tobias and I strolled along the beach in Aberdeen and came upon a wee village which the locals call Fittee but is supposedly Footdee. Small houses, clean neat lanes and potted plants snuggled beside the docks. I saw a man gardening and asked him about the village. Apparently the village was demolished and moved when the docks were expanded during the 1800’s. fittee was not desireable until an artist moved in and gradually others discovered the place.

¬¨‚ĆA quiet little area. John (I’ll give him a pseudonym) said that there is a great little community there which can result in him dropping in to see a neighbour and staggering home a few hours later.

If you look at the photo you can see where the original building is and the stones built on top to extend it and make a two story house.

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Last night after the end of the conference we adjourned to the local bar which sits in the middle of the university. It was great – a blast from the past. Crowded, noisy,all in good cheer. I had to squeeze my way past to make it to the bar where we ordered a pint of courage something or other. One of the patrons offered his pint for us to taste to see if we liked it. the good thing was no smoking, so even though the bar was full the air wasn’t putrid with cigarette smoke.

 It reminded me of years gone by when young teachers would meet at room 29 AKA The Criterion opposite the school, on a Friday after work, for an hour or so of waffle and enjoyment. Jeff Langdon was often my partner in crime

Joey Langdon’s farewell in Castlemaine

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Joe Langdon is leaving for Norway to spend time with his love Martine and as a farewell brother Rory organised a lunch at our house. About twenty two people brought food and wine to share in our new living area. Rory’s idea was for everyone to bring tapas. Molly and Jake, Labrador and Border collie, got on very well. Bec and Rory brought along a surrogate daughter Annabel, who¬¨‚Ćcharmed everybody, and¬¨‚Ćhad a couple of young women increase their cluckyness.

Tracy and Zack arrived late after working in the guildford pub until 3pm, and according to Tracy, “It was a little late for us, everyone started to leadve after an hour and there was no food left.”

Swinging at the Talbot ball

Talbot held a literary ball last Saturday night and about ninety people attended. I waasn’t sure what the ball was in aid of but I agreed to accompany Pat to support her sister Kate. Security in numbers I suppose. Before the ball we crammed into a small corner cafe for a meal and a few glasses of wine and noisy talk. The brass big band I found hard to dance to – just didn’t swing. someone said to me, “They’re like a school band which just hasn’t quite got it right.”

The best dancing I’ve enjoyed this year has been at the weddings of friends and relatives. Lots of swinging at them both.

Castlemaine Child Care celebrates 25 years

A few weeks ago Pat and I wandered through the Castlemaine Child Care Centre as part of its twentyfifth anniversary. I won a toy rocking horse which I think a few people expected me to donate but maybe we’ll have a grandkid one day. In the meantime there are plenty of Pat’s nieces and nephews who can enjoy the rocking and rolling on the nag.

 Pat was a key player in getting the centre up and running and I kept thinking that as with most local initiatives of this sort the memory of who was involved was forgotten.

Wine and scramble eggs at Tylden

Out of bed at the Sunday sleep-in time of 7am this morning, stuck an orange, a grapefruit, a carrot, an apple and a chunk of ginger in the juicer, poured the liquid into a jar, loaded a carton of red wine in the car and Pat and I took off for Ken and Lorna Mansbridge’s for a late breakfast.

The dam at their farm if overflowing with the excess running into a creek. As we drove around the dam ducks paddled away from a swan gracefully cruising across the surface. the last time we visited the dam was about a quarter full.

We were delivering the wine to Ken as a thankyou for the planks of Blackwood who gave us to make a dining table. The temperature at Tylden was 7C and as usual wind whooshing. Do we have a wind chill factor as they do in New York?

Delayed Bastille celebration at Smythesdale

Now that we’ve moved into our house¬¨‚Ćrenovated kitchen, bathroom and laundry I need to get more jobs done. Last weekend we drove to Ballarat to enjoy a delayed Bastille Day dinner with Jeff and Anne Langdon, Pat and Pete Cameron,¬¨‚Ć Michel and Beryl Morriset and their friends Arno and Diane(?) senior moment with the memory lapse here. The food wine and talk were plentiful although no plentiful when compared to 30 years ago.

 The next day Peter, Jeff and I  enjoyed cutting down three dead trees with chainsaws. there is something satisfying about sawing up a dead tree for firewood. On the way home pat and I stopped at Creswick factory to buy some alpaca throw-overs -$90 reduced which are $220 in shops. And today Pat drove Danielle over to buy one for herself and another one for a present.

Kitchen cupboards arrive

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Our new kitchen cupboards arrived today and the Tasmanian Ash looks good. Pat is getting frustrated in not being able to move back into the house but we hope that another week should have us back inside.

 More cupboards to come, skirting board to be attached, lights placed and painting finished.

Breakfast at foggy Smythesdale

Joey Langdon is sitting beside me setting up our website grumont.com.au and establishing this blog. To keep us nourished Anne and Pat have fed us fresh juice, bacon, eggs and toast with cafe latte made by Jeffricus- the family patriarch. The Langdon family home¬¨‚Ćrests in 15 acres¬¨‚Ćat Smythesdale, 15k out of Ballarat. Driving over yesterday took about an hour and a quarter. I’m figuring on using this blog as a place to write some of the personal things that we experience.