Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Trying to catch up!

I've been reading some blogs and commenting here and there, and figured it's time for an update from me. Plenty has been happening, and that's the thing, where does one start?

First I should report that Techie Son is having the time of his life, meeting all sorts of people from all over the world (he IS living in International House, after all), and one of his goals is to learn a few words of each language he comes into contact with. A very admirable goal! And thanks to those of you who have left comments and sent emails sharing their experiences with children who have left home.

Last week at this time I was on the first of my planned train/tram journeys, as one of my retirement goals. I will be keeping a journal of these travels, and the Man Who Cooks helped me think of an unusual name for it, The Flanged Wheel Journeys.

A definition of a flanged wheel can be found in Wikipedia, with photo here and I can use it for both trains and trams.

Those who know me would not be surprised that I chose Castlemaine, in Central Victoria, as my first destination. I arrived about 11 a.m. and spent 5 hours just enjoying the daily midweek life of my favorite country town. I spent nearly 2 hours in the library (of course!), and borrowed some origami books I hadn't seen before.

The 19th century Mechanics Institute which houses the Castlemaine Library.

Had a lovely lunch and spent some time in a public meditation garden that a local church has provided. It is on a hill near the railway station, and caught a gentle breeze.

The Castlemaine Railway Station, a panorama shot taken with my new camera. I can't even see where the stitching is, the camera would have done that!

And the best part of the day? Sitting in the train, looking out the window and gawking.


PEA said...

Hi Val:-) I just love it that you're making some of your retirement dreams come true!! Loved seeing the pictures and hearing what you were up to...sounds like a wonderful time!! Your new camera takes lovely pictures!! Hugs xox

Susie said...

Isn't Castlemaine near where you go for your camping?
The pictures are lovely and I'm so glad you had a great train trip.
It's still bitterly cold here and no real end in sight. My weatherbug is saying 25ยบ at 9:30 PM. Brrrrr!

Val said...

Yes indeed, Castlemaine is the country town I fell in love with soon after arriving in Australia in the 70s. We have 10 acres about 15 minutes from town, but we won’t be going there much this summer: too hot and dry, no water in the dam. So when I went up there by train I didn’t have the means to get to our place but that wasn’t my intention anyway. I just wanted to do “townie” things. It’s something I envisaged doing frequently after retirement, but have just now got around to it. We’ve been up by car, of course, and unless the weather is really hot, we’ll be going up on Australia Day weekend (26th – 28th). There’s a big antique fair held in a nearby village every year, and it’s fun just to see what people turn up, what junk antiques are on offer. I go more for the picturesque setting than anything else.

Gwen said...

Hi Val .
Sounds like you are enjoying your retirement,and so you should.
Castlemaine is one place I've not been to,but who knows I might one day.....Stay Well

Merle said...

Hi Val ~~ Glad you had an enjoyable visit to Castlemaine. I have been through it, but that's all. Enjoy your
retirement, you have earned it.
Glad you enjoyed the Marine and his "Dad" story. A nice young man to do that for a stranger. Take care Val, Love, Merle.

Kerri said...

I'm glad to hear you've begun your train journeys. May there be many more!
Great name for your journal!
That garden looks very peaceful, and of course you spent time in the library! :) What kind is your new camera? You've taken some nice photos. Thanks for sharing your trip. Glad Techie son is doing well. I'll bet he's freezing in those cold temps they're having!! We're getting some snow and cold temps here today.

Annette said...

Lucky you to be able to fulfill some retirement dreams. Train travel is a blast. Only those of us who love books will understand and approve of you spending that time in the library on a vacation.

We got 3 inches of snow today, in many places falling on top of existing ice. http://www.kgw.com/ has a great video of about 15 cars sliding down a hill in Portland and smashing into other cars. If the roads weren't so bad, I would be going to the nearest library too! Walking is hard going here at the moment, lol.

Have a grand time!


Sonia said...

Wow! Sounds you are enjoying your retirement and having a great time!
Love the photos! I go to Wikipedia to see a definition of a flanged wheel. (((Hugs)))

And thank you for your visit and nice words about my currently post!

lindsaylobe said...

Hi Val ~~ Castlemaine has such a rich history. The meditation garden sounds a lovely place to rest in.
True to your word your travelling on those promised train trips, I think there is certain nostalgia looking out the window of train, imagine all of those journeys before, they formed such an important part of our transport in the 19th & 20th centuries!!
Best wishes

Jeanette said...

Hi Val
Nice start to your retirement, taking a relaxing train tripand the garden looks a lovely place to dine. Take care (((HUGS)))

John Cowart said...

Flanged Wheels would be a great name for a rock band.

Anonymous said...

Val... Sharon - blank page here - that sounds like a great day... Something I might put on my 'possiblities list' for my holidays in May... How long does the trip take??? We have quite a few origami books at the shop at the moment with w reasonable discount for a friend... * a by note - Zart (Lexton Rd) has relocate to another shop - same area - but bigger premises - a piece of heaven according to my daughter and sister who visited yesterday... Lots of - well, everything!!!

Cris said...

So glad I stopped by, and thanks for visiting me. Australia is one of the places I would love to go some day!

Meow said...

Hi Val, hope your weekend is going well. Isn't the rain lovely !!
Take care, Meow

Kali said...

Hi Val!
It's been good catching up with your news...
Glad it's going well for you son too.
Cheers :)

jellyhead said...

Val, great to hear your news. I'm glad 'Techie Son' is settled in and having fun.

Your first train trip sounds lovely...so relaxing.

Hope you're having a lovely weekend!

DellaB said...

lovely Val, beautiful, thank you. Good to see the photo-stitch too, looks great. What a fascinating place, not one I imagine I'll ever see in real-life, this is a great way to share things like this...

I'd like to do the GHAN train trip some day. There is something special about gazing from a moving train.