chug, chug

7 Jun

WEEK TWENTY-TWO (may 30-june 5)

The week starts with a continuation of the constant twentyONE+ tasks as we approach the finishing line. It does seem like the calendar is going in slow motion – a quick slow quick slow dance as we send through our website edits morning, noon and night.
We do start pushing out the advertising though…

twentyONE+ flyer

The week ends with a beautiful chug, chug on the Hotham Valley Railway steam engine puffing its way gently on the way down the hill to Isandra.
With fingers crossed and loads of steam blowing, we forcefully CHUG CHUGGED our way back up the the hill to Dwellingup.

bushfire view from HV steam train

In-between times I could not settle to stitch, or to making, or to being creative.
My head was too full. I needed a change of task…

I have been looking at the studio, up and downstairs, and trying to find a way that I can reinvent the space to best accommodate my slowly changing direction.
Over the course of the last few weeks I have listed possible moves of shelves and storage spaces as I continue building the exit pile of accumulated materials, books, equipment and the like.

On Tuesday I launch into it, tackling the clearest item on the list. A lone set of shelves on the south side is to join an adjacent long set – therefore exiting rolls of fabrics that have lately overflowed messily.
Done & dusted….and vacuumed and cleared of excess.

The next day two north sets if shelves are cleared. Supplies are slotted into cleared spaces in the south side or removed upstairs to the ‘gotta go’ pile..

On Friday I attacked the ‘laundry’ area where another two sets of shelves had excess removed.
The working week was gone.
The long WA day weekend was about to begin.

Down south winter hit with a vengance. All heaters were on and the wood fire was kept topped up, warming us beautifully.

bushfire view from HV steam train

On Sunday morning we heard the toot of the train and made a quick decision to head over the oval to catch the first steam train for the year.
What a fascinating journey.
I do love to see places from all angles – driving, walking, flying, jumping on trains all offer a different perspective.

bushfire view from HV steam train

This trip was great on so many counts.
First, it is a service run by volunteers who are so friendly and relaxed and who ‘work’ in an old time mode with ‘country’ values and smiling faces.
It is infectious!

bushfire view from HV steam train


Then there was the steam aspect….it was the first run of the season and the team made the decision to run with some small problems rather than cancel.
What that meant for us was that coming uphill in the steepest part we stopped….and couldn’t quite get there….

Over the next wee while we gently slipped backwards…. and then waited patiently while the steam team did their thing.
With a continual blast of steam, and with our bated breath, we willed ourselves back up the hill.
bushfire view from HV steam train

Coincidently we were very close to a crossing where cars were stopped.
The passengers were hanging about with cameras at the ready.
They watched and snapped and smiled and waved as we chugged upwards to glory!

bushfire view from HV steam train

Sunday night finished around our little bonfire pit that has been building its fuel load for an age.
We sit with warm, roasty toasty fronts and cold backs.
We were doubly mesmerised by the flames and the crackle filled our ears.
The easy dinner that night was spuds in foil cooked in the coals and later filled with a variety of ‘presents’ from the fast emptying fridge.
Sunday night peace.

Jan Mullen

B. Ed. Art/Craft (Textiles/Sculpture) Living in Perth, Western Australia Artist, Fabric Designer, Author, Teacher, Mentor.