10 October 2005

Hungry on the Road

Grumpy and I have just returned from a long - and, folks, I do mean looooong - weekend in Northampton.

But seriously! it's a great little town. We went up there so Grumpy could write an article about the Airing of the Quilts, which happens each year. Quilters from near and far bring or send their quilts to Northampton to be hung from buildings all along the main street.

It was a fabulously sunny day and the breeze was up (and when it wasn't, the flies, oh the flies) and colourful quilts flapped everywhere.

Grumpy's job was to bail people up for interviews - he even got to renew his acquaintance with Prince Leonard. He's a good sport, HRH; he waved at everyone from the back seat of his Rolls during the street parade and posed for a photo with the town cryer in front of a quilt of note.

Don't tell Grumpy's mum but also, he went inside a Masonic hall. I kept waiting for the walls to drip some kind of green ooze and for him to start talking like a Beatles LP played backwards rool slow. It didn't happen. I was somewhat disappointed. Maybe those Masons aren't all they're cracked up to be.

Flies did seem to swarm from his eyes and mouth and I got all excited for a minute. Then I realised that was happening to everyone. Even me. My God, even me.

My job was to eat bag after bag of fairy floss and then lay my sticky fingers all over quilts. I felt the stern eye of many a member of the Ladies' Auxiliary appraising my antics and I knew my application form for CWA membership would be stamped "Never to be admitted".

Northampton is a neat little town, filled with lovely old buildings. There's a lot of civic pride about the place. The quilt display comes hand in hand with many, many stalls, manned by friendly locals. There was the one selling fairy floss and other sweet treats. And one doing the sausage sizzle. They kept their cokes on ice, so you know they're quality people. I didn't have a chance to grab a lamington and I feel it is something I may always regret. A lamington cooked by a life-member of the CWA is not something to be sneezed at. Particularly not just before you eat it.

I enjoyed the sign for the Northampton Moter Hotel and for the shop, now defunct, called Tasteful Moods (no idea what it sold; I suspect it wasn't anything by Tiffany).

We also took a spin out to beautiful Horrocks to have a squizz at the beach. Grumpy now wants a holiday house at Horrocks, where the sand is white and the water is aquamarine and the breeze is somewhat blowy.

On our way back to Perth we called in to Greenough. Grumpy wasn't interested in checking out "a bunch of old buildings". He sat in the tea rooms writing a postcard to his Nan while I wandered through divers buildings and immersed myself in a small but significant page of this great state's heritage*. I looked in the cells they kept the convicts in. I was the only person in the place and I thought a little too long about the deprivations they suffered (that, and all them murders they done) and spooked myself.

Luckily it was nothing that couldn't be driven away by the reassuring goodness of a vienna chocolate.

*That was for Grumpy's benefit. I know how much he'll enjoy it.


Quirkie said...

You didn't mention the amazing sideways-growing trees wot are famous the world over! At least, that's what we all used to reassure ourselves as we drove home from the city. "Oh those city kids may have Saturday morning cartoons, and fancy on-off traffic lights, but they don't have world famous sideways-growing trees. Nup. They don't have them."

Livewire said...

ahh - childhood holiday memories abound
the windswept beaches of the region
the CWA hour on local radio
(and the constant ads that had something to do with farmers having something in their lupin crops)

granma's family have got some sort of northhampton connection

and thanks quirkie - its really the sideways trees that are the clincher

but now that I think about it - I also remember the news of some horrible multiple murder in Greenough (in modern times)

True Blue said...

Yep..I hear Greenough and think of axe murders...Now I will try and think of sideways trees....