We’re Back and Busy!

Chris and I have recently returned from a short winter break in Alice Springs, where we were house sitting for friends. These lovely people are circus performers, they run a business called “Circosis” and had just finished a performance of their new show “A Circus Affair” at the Araluen Arts Centre in Alice. They were off outback for a month to teach circus skills to the kids on the indigenous communities. It was whilst they were out at Utopia that we had arranged to go and house sit.
We had a lovely, three-day cross-over period with them before they set off and were able to meet some of their Alice Spring friends too. Many of them were also in the entertainment business and it’s interesting to share stories of performances and shows. Their house and caravan contained some amusing circus related props like those very long shoes that clowns wear, or a row of prams complete with frilly borders (presumably to wheel small poodles around in, or am I being too stereotypical?) Wigs and costumes – hmm yes, that reminded us of our house. Chris built us a new cupboard to house some of our costumes just before we left.
Once they had left for Utopia we really hit the road and started to explore the region – they kindly loaned us their car as they had a troopy to travel outback. We did all the usual touristy things like Uluru, Kings Canyon, Kata Tjuta and were awe inspired by them. Closer to home was the magnificent McDonnell Ranges where we spent a magic day exploring all the chasms, gorges and water holes.
On our return from Uluru, we were just in time for the third day of the Beanie Festival – we loved it! What a novel idea of bringing a community together and, indeed, a country as there were entries from all over Oz. The gallery with all the really artistic beanies was amazing. Wow, some of those creations were works of art. But our favourite, was Beanie Central – three young guys were sitting just in the doorway knitting and crocheting. It was a gold coin donation to enter, great lunch of dhal or pumpkin soup and just such a buzz! Beanies, hung on pegs and racks, everywhere. I bought a Barrow Boy’s Cap which has become a firm fixture on my head since my return to Tasmania (except when I’m performing Louisa when my mob-cap replaces it!) It was interesting to see Christina Henri’s convict women cap kits for sale up there and gave us an opportunity to talk with people about the Cascades Female Factory and Louisa’s Walk. Another interesting place to visit was the National Pioneer Women’s Centre, housed in the old town gaol (see my review on TripAdvisor)
Home again on July 1st and, in common with all good holidays, it had gone all too quickly. Memories include so many things and certainly seeing the full moon rise over Uluru was iconic but – I think my favourite place was the Olive Pink Botanical Gardens. I am now deep into a book about this fascinating woman and her conflicts with fellow anthropologist Ted Strehlow. Chris and I are inspired to return (especially if we can procure some funding) with one of our Live History! plays written by Chris. Olive Pink, Ted Strehlow and the story of his wife’s amazing rescue by the indigenous peoples when she was near death in the bush. There are stories to be told!
Back at work now, much food for thought. Louisa is strutting her stuff in the cold of a Tasmanian winter which has, fortunately this year, been very mild. This is the first winter we have been available throughout July for some time and we are busy! Visits to other places in Australia and meeting their historic characters and stories tells us we have a wonderful story. We continue to tell Louisa’s story with passion.

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