Sunday, March 13, 2011

Who, why and what I am grateful for in Bathurst:

This week I had the great privilege to return to Wiradjuri country in central NSW. I went to Bathurst to celebrate International Women’s Day at All Saints College. After a series of extraordinary cases of six-degrees-of-separation, I was reminded of how small this planet really is, and how special life in country Australia can be and is.

Below are who and what I am grateful for:

It’s always meaningful to go back to country – Wiradjuri country – be it Bathurst, Dubbo, Mudgee, Orange, Cowra, Brungle, Wagga Wagga and so on. Bathurst is special because it is the resting place of Windradyne, the Wiradjuri warrior who fought to protect his people by leading the Battle of Bathurst also known as the Bathurst Wars in 1923 /24. ‘Mortally wounded in a tribal fight on the Macquarie River, Windradyne died a few hours later on 21 March 1829 at Bathurst hospital, and was buried at Bathurst.’ After my speech I was fortunate to meet the owner of the property where Windradyne is buried. I look forward to returning one day to pay my respects and hopefully write something.

2. ALL SAINTS COLLEGE: I am grateful to the head librarian Michelle O’Brien and all the staff and students at All Saints who made me welcome at the school. Although I only spoke for an hour, I had the entire day to discover what a beautiful landscape in which to learn and grow as a teenager. And what an inspiring library in which to sit and read books. It almost made me want to go back to school! I think I may have to offer myself as writer-in-residence there! The pic above is of me in full flight during the mother and daughter breakfast, and pic below with Michelle and English teacher, Tessa. There’s more pics on the school’s website.

3. FAMILY CONNECTIONS: There’s Wiradjuri and Williams’ mob (my mob) all over the state, so it’s not unusual to make family connections when I am on the road, but I was particularly grateful to catch up with my young cousin Tilly at the All Saints event. I first met Tilly at the Erambie Mission ‘Read With Me’ event in December 2009, and I had no idea she was now studying in Bathurst. What a joy it was for me to find her there as a student. That’s my beautiful cuz below.

4. PATISSERIE CAFE LEGALL: I’m told that people travel from around the region to enjoy this cafe. Most locals will say to their visitors, ‘You MUST go to Cafe Legall!’ And so I did. While I was there I watched a stream of people come and go, some eating croissants and quiches on-site, some making and taking large orders of pies and other pastries (see pic above of goodies). I took my time to decide on the crème brulee tart with dates and a chocolate macaroon. Delish! But the highlight was being surprised by a staffer, Nikki (see pic below) who was actually in my sister’s class back at St Clare’s College, Waverley. Six degrees...

5. THE NAKED BUD: I’m grateful to local vintage shop, The Naked Bud. It had three floors of vintage clothing and retro furniture, art deco goods and jewellery. I NEVER find dresses to fit me in vintage shops, it’s like they didn’t have breasts in the 50s 60s 70s, but at the Naked Bud I picked up a vintage red and white dress for $30 - bargain! I was grateful for that purchase and the brief yarn with the fella who owns the shop.

Clearly, it was an exceptional way to spend the 100th International Women’s Day!


Dave said...

Anita, thank you for your kind words in regards to our shop 'the naked bud.'

Saturday was exceptionally busy for us, so next time you visit Bathurst, pop in for a proper chat!

Meeting people is one of our greatest treasures.

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